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An unusual demonstration will feature horses and riders painted to show their muscles and bones at the Mare & Foal Sanctuary in Devon on September 15.

Equine anatomist Gillian Higgins will illustrate the workings of horses’ musculoskeletal systems, allowing equestrians to ride, train and manage their animals more efficiently and effectively. Every bone and muscle group is drawn on the outside to give a unique perspective on what is happening inside.

She said: “They are such beautiful animals on the outside, but very few of us really knows what is going on under the skin.

“They are big and complex creatures and we expect to be able to jump on board without knowing what is going on to their bodies every time we do.

“By learning more about their anatomy and how the muscles, bones and ligaments work we can make sure we are doing everything we can to minimise the wear and tear riding, jumping, racing, eventing and hunting can cause.

With a rider in a skeleton body suit, it is possible to see clearly the interaction between horse and rider.”

Gillian is a British Horse Society Senior Coach and professional sports therapist who has evented at International level.

The demonstration at the Mare & Foal Sanctuary’s Coombe Park Visitor Centre near Totnes is ideal for all horse owners and riders, trainers, saddlers, therapists and farriers.

Coombe Park manager Tracy Gray said: “Gillian’s demos are always really popular. The horses are beautifully painted and watching them move gives a really good insight into how their bodies work. It’s always great fun and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been around horses, you always learn something.”

The demonstration takes place on Friday September 15 starts at 7pm at the Mare & Foal Sanctuary. Tickets cost £25 for adults, £12.50 for children and can be booked by calling 01803 866615.