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Carol O
Aug. 21, 2009, 08:26 AM
So you have the "classical" people, and the rest of us. There have been many threads about this; how one is better than the other, etc.

What I am wondering is.... What common ground do we share? We all love horses, of course, but what other common thread exist?

Peace
Aug. 21, 2009, 08:52 AM
So you have the "classical" people, and the rest of us. There have been many threads about this; how one is better than the other, etc.

What I am wondering is.... What common ground do we share? We all love horses, of course, but what other common thread exist?

You love the sport of dressage.

Carol O
Aug. 21, 2009, 01:56 PM
And we all eat, breath air, and sleep....

Worse than I expected. No common ground.

Tonja
Aug. 22, 2009, 10:13 AM
Carol O wrote:

What I am wondering is.... What common ground do we share? We all love horses, of course, but what other common thread exist?
We ride in dressage saddles. We use leather reins. We wear tall boots. We wear gloves. We carry a whip and wear spurs. That’s about all I can think of at this point.

egontoast
Aug. 22, 2009, 11:53 AM
So you have the "classical" people, and the rest of us

Assuming this is not a troll looking for another trainwreck on a very tired subject, that's a faulty premise based on the often misused label 'classical' which appears to have vague, widely varied and subjective meanings.

As is often said, there's only good training and bad training, whatever the label attached.

Forget the label and watch the riding, watch the training, watch how the horses and students progress in training.

I remember that was a big time 'classical' expert from another dressage board who came here trolling under an alter in bizarre verse to trash another trainer. Troll was outed as someone called Kassette from another board and photos (public domain) emerged of said expert. Labels mean nothing.

angel
Aug. 22, 2009, 11:54 AM
What do you mean by "classical," and what do you mean by "the rest of us?" I don't wear tall boots generally, as they are blessed hot. Does that mean I do not fall into either group?

Carol O
Aug. 22, 2009, 02:13 PM
No troll here. Looking for common ground. I apologise for the title of the thread, as it does not truely represent this idea. How do you change titles?

Thomas_1
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:05 AM
Well I'm one of those "classical" people so if I tell you what I believe that is fundamentally about, then you can decide what you have in common with me ;)

To me its about striving to achieve a deep understanding about what a horse is and respecting the way it behaves and working with its natural attributes to train it for what you want to do in partnership. Its understanding not just what you do but why and why what you do will illicit certain responses and reactions both in terms of behaviour and dynamic or mechanical action.

Its not just ground work because that is just the basics.... but extends to correct ridden and driven work and enables the handler/rider/driver to work with empathy and understanding and without force.

It requires a pragmatic approach and an acknowledgement that horses come in all sorts of types with preferred behaviours and dispositions and they don't have push buttons and haven't read the book about the step by step approach of what always works.

It also requires an understanding that horses don't have human emotions and behaviours - they're horses: they don't lie, trick, deceive, love, like and dislike

To me classical training takes a long time to acquire and is a practical skill that must be practiced under good supervision to be acquired well. You can't learn it well or effectively as you go along with a horse making mistakes. And being a practical skill you can't learn it from books and videos though they might give you a theoretical understanding presuming they are extraordinarily well written.

Classical riding perversely isn't about the rider. It's about showing how fantastically well trained and biddable the horse is and allowing the horse to perform at it's optimum.

Personally I think that good old fashioned classical equitation ticks all the boxes.

angel
Aug. 23, 2009, 09:34 AM
Oh, grasshopper! Do you have a lot to learn about horses, if you think they have no emotions.;)

grayarabpony
Aug. 23, 2009, 09:57 AM
Yeah, really... the part of the brain that generates emotion is one of the oldest, biologically speaking.

Thomas_1
Aug. 23, 2009, 11:35 AM
Angel and Grayarabpony: Might be better if you read again for content, context and comprehension.

Like I said "Classical" IMO is about striving for a deep understanding about what a horse is and respecting the way it behaves and working with its natural attributes

"Classical" is about respecting and appreciating horses for being horses NOT for anthropomorphising.


It also requires an understanding that horses don't have human emotions and behaviours - they're horses: they don't lie, trick, deceive, love, like and dislike

I'm presuming you two aren't classical and hence nothing in common, or else just got bored and stopped reading! ;)

ridgeback
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:08 PM
Angel and Grayarabpony: Might be better if you read again for content, context and comprehension.

Like I said "Classical" IMO is about striving for a deep understanding about what a horse is and respecting the way it behaves and working with its natural attributes

"Classical" is about respecting and appreciating horses for being horses NOT for anthropomorphising.



I'm presuming you two aren't classical and hence nothing in common, or else just got bored and stopped reading! ;)

Thomas I think they are disagreeing with you about the emotions part. I don't think anyone will argue with you that they don't have human emotions but I believe they do have emotions likes and dislikes etc.

goeslikestink
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:14 PM
Oh, grasshopper! Do you have a lot to learn about horses, if you think they have no emotions.;)

oh grasshopper as you calll him has had more horses than you 've had hot dinners
ooh grasshopper is highly respected to include royalty and not just in driving, will also add hes still one of the top trianing yards in the uk hes a top class very well run examination centre for both riden and driven and old grasshopper also caters for the disabled as much as the abled bodied people

a horse will only re-act how you act - its not about likes or dislikes it how you act and interact with a horse

goeslikestink
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:15 PM
Well I'm one of those "classical" people so if I tell you what I believe that is fundamentally about, then you can decide what you have in common with me ;)

To me its about striving to achieve a deep understanding about what a horse is and respecting the way it behaves and working with its natural attributes to train it for what you want to do in partnership. Its understanding not just what you do but why and why what you do will illicit certain responses and reactions both in terms of behaviour and dynamic or mechanical action.

Its not just ground work because that is just the basics.... but extends to correct ridden and driven work and enables the handler/rider/driver to work with empathy and understanding and without force.

It requires a pragmatic approach and an acknowledgement that horses come in all sorts of types with preferred behaviours and dispositions and they don't have push buttons and haven't read the book about the step by step approach of what always works.

It also requires an understanding that horses don't have human emotions and behaviours - they're horses: they don't lie, trick, deceive, love, like and dislike

To me classical training takes a long time to acquire and is a practical skill that must be practiced under good supervision to be acquired well. You can't learn it well or effectively as you go along with a horse making mistakes. And being a practical skill you can't learn it from books and videos though they might give you a theoretical understanding presuming they are extraordinarily well written.

Classical riding perversely isn't about the rider. It's about showing how fantastically well trained and biddable the horse is and allowing the horse to perform at it's optimum.

Personally I think that good old fashioned classical equitation ticks all the boxes.

oh well said thomas

EiRide
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:32 PM
Thomas I think they are disagreeing with you about the emotions part. I don't think anyone will argue with you that they don't have human emotions but I believe they do have emotions likes and dislikes etc.

But . . . he said not to treat them like they have *human* emotions. There was nothing to indicate that they didn't have emotions at all!

I think equine emotions are similar to human emotions, but you have to strip out all the things which require higher cognition, like 'vengeance' and 'self pity'. Clearly they have bonding emotions, fear emotions, boredom, anxiety, jealousy regarding resources, things like that. My guess is that Thomas has his own list of 'horse emotions' that he considers in his training and handling.

merrygoround
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:50 PM
oh grasshopper as you calll him has had more horses than you 've had hot dinners
ooh grasshopper is highly respected to include royalty and not just in driving, will also add hes still one of the top trianing yards in the uk hes a top class very well run examination centre for both riden and driven and old grasshopper also caters for the disabled as much as the abled bodied people

a horse will only re-act how you act - its not about likes or dislikes it how you act and interact with a horse


I agree that Thomas is very knowledgeable, and I do agree with his philosophy, but I do disagree with his statement about horses not having likes and dislikes. Like us, their frame of reference comes from previous actions and interactions.

Perhaps it is something that he deals with intuitively, not really stopping to consider the horse's mental frame, but dealing with whatever is presented to him. He need not think about it, he just does it.;) :)

Thomas_1
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:58 PM
But . . . he said not to treat them like they have *human* emotions. There was nothing to indicate that they didn't have emotions at all!

I think equine emotions are similar to human emotions, but you have to strip out all the things which require higher cognition, like 'vengeance' and 'self pity'. Clearly they have bonding emotions, fear emotions, boredom, anxiety, jealousy regarding resources, things like that. My guess is that Thomas has his own list of 'horse emotions' that he considers in his training and handling.

You got it. :yes: I'm guessing I've zilch in common with the rest here though.

Heck they don't even seem to speak the same language :winkgrin:

goeslikestink
Aug. 23, 2009, 01:12 PM
You got it. :yes: I'm guessing I've zilch in common with the rest here though.

Heck they don't even seem to speak the same language :winkgrin:

thanks a bunch ooh grasshopper lol

angel
Aug. 23, 2009, 01:15 PM
Well, if you sound anything like my brother-in-law, Thomas...you are correct. The English certainly doesn't sound the same!:lol:

As far as Thomas having more horses than I have had hot meals...well, I seriously doubt that. But, I will accept that he might have lots more horses than I.:cool:

Dressage Art
Aug. 23, 2009, 01:57 PM
I think more traditional riders do believe and care that horses can feel love, happiness, depression, sadness, fear, stress and even hate. I think more traditional riders do take more care of horse's emotional needs and don't treat them as the disposable equipment with out feelings that some of the more modern riders tend to do. (Buy, testride, sell if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, rinse and repeat = don't have time to waste, got to get that blue ribbon FAST! The only thing that matters is the show results! Doesn’t matter how they’ll get it or what their horses feel)

The similarities can be in many ways: love for horses, love for dressage, spending countless hours in the barn, working hard… describing what we feel and want for our horses in the very similar words, but not what differs is that in the reality “what is considered good for the horse for some riders, is simply not the same for others. There are some very strong divisions, but most people are somewhere in between of those strong divisions. There can be 101 similarities and 101 differences at the same time.

Dressage Art
Aug. 23, 2009, 02:16 PM
OP, if you have a friend that is more traditional than you are and you are trying to connect with that friend, just don't brag about your blue show ribbons with her/him and you will get along just fine ;) If you can't help yourself, but talk only what your horses can do for YOU in the show ring (Me-Me-Me-Me-Me syndrome) then it might be more problematic to connect with a more traditional/classical friend, since they tend to value if horses can be just simply happy on the daily bases and what they can do for their HORSES

The topics for pride and joy can be vastly different, thus there might be some disconnect and honest misunderstanding between those 2.

merrygoround
Aug. 23, 2009, 03:40 PM
thanks a bunch ooh grasshopper lol

:sigh: Now he's gone all snooty on us.

grayarabpony
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:29 PM
Thomas, you said horses don't like or dislike. I read it. It's not that hard to understand. And I don't agree with you. The way humans feel has much less to do with their cerebral cortex than they would like to think. Lying and deceiving aren't emotions anyway. If you mean that humans try to one-up each other, well then horses do that too. They just don't do it with words. Horses will test their handlers and riders. It's up to the rider to figure out if the horse is just testing or trying to tell the rider he's hurting somewhere.

ridgeback
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:31 PM
You got it. :yes: I'm guessing I've zilch in common with the rest here though.

Heck they don't even seem to speak the same language :winkgrin:

It appears Thomas has something the horses don't have....a rather large EGO.

grayarabpony
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:35 PM
I don't know -- my horse has a pretty big ego.

ridgeback
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:38 PM
I don't know -- my horse has a pretty big ego.

Ego is a human thing:)

grayarabpony
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:46 PM
It's also a horse thing. lol

goeslikestink
Aug. 23, 2009, 05:20 PM
Thomas, you said horses don't like or dislike. I read it. It's not that hard to understand. And I don't agree with you. The way humans feel has much less to do with their cerebral cortex than they would like to think.




did you not read his answer - 2nd paragraph







Lying and deceiving aren't emotions anyway.
yes they are ----- in a human world as your a human using that part of your brain
to cheat steal and decieve others on there emotions
for exsample --- a person enters a ring with a drugged up horse to win
and does win and everyoone else loses with horses thats are not drugged up
is that not playing on others emotions


If you mean that humans try to one-up each other,
rivlary dont hurt no one everyone does that as we are humans


well then horses do that too. They just don't do it with words. Horses will test their handlers and riders.

you dont say but they dont lie - and dont cheat what you have is a horse that knows what buttons to pull

It's up to the rider to figure out if the horse is just testing or trying to tell the rider he's hurting somewhere.

which has nothing to do with likes or dislikes in that sernerio hes either hurting or he isnt

goeslikestink
Aug. 23, 2009, 05:23 PM
It's also a horse thing. lol

nope -- horses only have big egos if they have your no and you let them

Carol O
Aug. 23, 2009, 05:38 PM
I think more traditional riders do believe and care that horses can feel love, happiness, depression, sadness, fear, stress and even hate. I think more traditional riders do take more care of horse's emotional needs and don't treat them as the disposable equipment with out feelings that some of the more modern riders tend to do. (Buy, testride, sell if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, rinse and repeat = don't have time to waste, got to get that blue ribbon FAST! The only thing that matters is the show results! Doesn’t matter how they’ll get it or what their horses feel)

The similarities can be in many ways: love for horses, love for dressage, spending countless hours in the barn, working hard… describing what we feel and want for our horses in the very similar words, but not what differs is that in the reality “what is considered good for the horse for some riders, is simply not the same for others. There are some very strong divisions, but most people are somewhere in between of those strong divisions. There can be 101 similarities and 101 differences at the same time.

Dressage Art, I believe you have described the meaning of "classical".

D_BaldStockings
Aug. 23, 2009, 09:14 PM
I think Thomas1 is on target here.

My opinion: Classical is about fully and optimally developing the athletic capacities of horse and rider/driver in relation to each other, and also developing the rider/driver's mental and emotional ability to react correctly to all behaviors presented by the horse while instilling correct habits of response behaviors in the horse. Techniques and methods are based on accepted equestrian principles maximizing correct, efficient body use on the parts of both horse and rider, found in hundreds of years of respected books and riding programs and lately videos.

This may or may not lead to show wins or great scores. In an ideal world, it may lead to a really good interaction where horse and rider become greater as a unit than separately: and that is the great accomplishment, to be able to do that repeatedly, hopefully with new horses and teaching other humans what you've learned as best you can.

Quest52
Aug. 23, 2009, 09:24 PM
I don't know -- my horse has a pretty big ego.

I find it interesting when one gives an educated and verbose understanding of their idea of what common ground would be on a subject they are knowledgeable in, is it their "ego" that is assumed.... not any matter of experience.

I find Thomas' comments refreshing, esp. calling out the anthropomorphizing that occurs, often seen, not so for being brought to the forefront.

grayarabpony
Aug. 24, 2009, 07:11 AM
Actually I find the anti-anthropomorphizing of horses to be somewhat uneducated and behind the times.

Humans are animals, after all, and are much more guided by emotions than cerebral thought anyway.

Thomas_1
Aug. 24, 2009, 07:34 AM
:sigh: Now he's gone all snooty on us.

I can only presume that the above is what counts for intellectual debate or witty or informed comment in your part of the sand pit?

I find it interesting* (see footnote) though that when there is any attempt at detailed explanation that it's dismissed with a childish snipe. So as I can't send you to bed early with no supper, I'll file your comment in my special category of "interesting"

Now where is that litter bin?


It appears Thomas has something the horses don't have....a rather large EGO. Interesting and thank you. I do indeed have a strong sense of self and self-esteem. However I suspect you might be using the word in a different (and I could argue but won't!) inaccurate definition.

You might want to try to post again when you've something to say or add about the subject matter of the thread.




*Footnote http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=2475372&highlight=raisins#post2475372

egontoast
Aug. 24, 2009, 07:39 AM
Anthropomorphism just results in poor horsemanship and confused horses.

If you don't believe Thomas, then maybe you might have some respect for people like Andrew Maclean who specialize in the study of equine behaviour.

Andrew Mcleans articles can be found at the Horse Magazine site (Australia). I recommend the series about the Biological Basis of Submission if it is still there. A quick search found this article about handling yearlings but the other articles are more general in scope.

http://www.horsemagazine.com/CLINIC/M/MCLEAN_ANDREW/stop-go-park/jorn_lesson1.html

Horses are amazing animals. No need to dumb them down with human characteristics.:)

ridgeback
Aug. 24, 2009, 07:53 AM
It's also a horse thing. lol

I'm thinking you have an active imagination:lol:

ridgeback
Aug. 24, 2009, 07:54 AM
I can only presume that the above is what counts for intellectual debate or witty or informed comment in your part of the sand pit?

I find it interesting* (see footnote) though that when there is any attempt at detailed explanation that it's dismissed with a childish snipe. So as I can't send you to bed early with no supper, I'll file your comment in my special category of "interesting"

Now where is that litter bin?

Interesting and thank you. I do indeed have a strong sense of self and self-esteem. However I suspect you might be using the word in a different (and I could argue but won't!) inaccurate definition.

You might want to try to post again when you've something to say or add about the subject matter of the thread.




*Footnote http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=2475372&highlight=raisins#post2475372

Oh now you are the new Theo....LOL Just stating an observation and clearly an accurate one.:lol::lol:

EiRide
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:30 AM
Actually I find the anti-anthropomorphizing of horses to be somewhat uneducated and behind the times.

Humans are animals, after all, and are much more guided by emotions than cerebral thought anyway.

It depends on what you mean by that. 'Animals don't got no feelings so I can torture at will' is certainly barbaric and not good horse stewardship. However, 'My Wittle Twixie wuves me and would never hurt me' or 'he knows what I want him to do and he is mad at me and therefore won't' is certainly *also* problematic.

Recognizing that horses have emotions based on being social animals and prey animals, and working with those emotions, the biomechanics of the body (yours and theirs), and with an understanding of equine learning processes results in some amazing communication with our equine partners.

Tonja
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:57 AM
It’s not anthropomorphizing to acknowledge the fact that horses do have emotions.

If horses had no emotions they would be unteachable.

Quest52
Aug. 24, 2009, 10:15 AM
It’s not anthropomorphizing to acknowledge the fact that horses do have emotions.

If horses had no emotions they would be unteachable.

this is actually not correct. When using learning theory and the 4 quadrants of training (positive and negative reinforcement, and positive and negative punishment) emotions are not a factor at all. It is the cerebral response that all animals have in their basic brains. This is why you can train an Elephant and a Goldfish. When one attempts to bring in "emotions" in the training process when bringing it to the level of operant conditioning, it actually is counterproductive to the learning process.

grayarabpony
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:01 AM
I'm thinking you have an active imagination:lol:

Well, I do have an active imagination :winkgrin:, but what I mean by ego is confidence and assertiveness, not projected self-image.

grayarabpony
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:07 AM
It depends on what you mean by that. 'Animals don't got no feelings so I can torture at will' is certainly barbaric and not good horse stewardship. However, 'My Wittle Twixie wuves me and would never hurt me' or 'he knows what I want him to do and he is mad at me and therefore won't' is certainly *also* problematic.

Recognizing that horses have emotions based on being social animals and prey animals, and working with those emotions, the biomechanics of the body (yours and theirs), and with an understanding of equine learning processes results in some amazing communication with our equine partners.

I agree, horses are not sentimental. lol

I think dealing with horses is a lot like dealing with kids. Directness is key. No reasoning, no pleading, clear boundaries are best. The difference is they are 1000 lb+ animals who if they spook or run over you or strike out can kill you.

What I am trying to say is their basic emotions based on being social animals is not so very different from ours. Nor is the way they learn. If you make it clear what you want, horses can learn very quickly. Humans get very mixed up in their communication with each other because their cerebral processes make them more neurotic than it does intelligent. :lol:

OlympicDreams
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:21 AM
I just wanted to share with everyone this wonderful article my coach, Hans Hollenbach, wrote in an issue of Horses for Life. I found it very helpful and maybe you will as well. Anyways, Enjoy!


http://horsesforlife.com/WhatIsClassicalAnyway


Also, I would highly recommend the book "Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage" by Philippe Karl... it is a wonderful book! :)

Bronte
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:28 AM
Classical versus the rest of us, what do we have in common.

EASY! If you follow these threads.

The absolutely indisputable belief that they are right. And a contempt for anyone that does not understand that.....:winkgrin:

ThreeFigs
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:45 AM
Right on, Bronte.

I'm about as tired of these classical vs. The Rest of the World as I was of the Rollkur threads. I used "classical" principles to rehab my gelding and bring him along. I bristle at the idea that, because I choose to show him, I don't care sufficiently about his well-being.

That is such nonsense.

Peace
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:52 AM
Right on, Bronte.

I'm about as tired of these classical vs. The Rest of the World as I was of the Rollkur threads. I used "classical" principles to rehab my gelding and bring him along. I bristle at the idea that, because I choose to show him, I don't care sufficiently about his well-being.

That is such nonsense.

What, did I miss something who said anything about showing did someone say "classical" riders don't show their horses:confused: Honestly if you are sick of threads for heaven’s sake don't read them.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 24, 2009, 12:19 PM
I haven't read all the responses in this thread, but the classical/non-showing vs. classical/showing has indeed come up in past threads. There are a few folks here who seem to think that if you show, you automatically CANNOT be classical. Do a little searching in this forum and you'll come up with some dandy trainwrecks.

There are a lot of people who use the "classical" moniker to mask a world of flaws. There are others who never use the word "classical" who are great horsemen.

These threads are here to be read and responded to. I respond to some, don't even bother to read others. The Rollkur issue became so irrational, I did indeed stop opening them. So, Peace, you may be right. But how do I know an issue will trip my trigger if I don't open the thread and read it?

grayarabpony
Aug. 24, 2009, 12:20 PM
Thanks Bronte. I just love it when someone puts in a flippant comment that's insulting to everyone and adds nothing to the discussion.

Tonja
Aug. 24, 2009, 12:51 PM
Quest52 wrote:

When using learning theory and the 4 quadrants of training (positive and negative reinforcement, and positive and negative punishment) emotions are not a factor at all.
Positive reinforcement (reward) works because animals experience desire.

Negative reinforcement (discomfort) works because animals experience annoyance.

Positive punishment (unpleasant consequence to a behavior) works because animals experience fear.

Negative punishment (withholding/removing rewards) works because animals experience desire.


It is the cerebral response that all animals have in their basic brains. This is why you can train an Elephant and a Goldfish.
Elephants have a wide range of emotions. Goldfish experience fear, desire, worry, etc…

When one attempts to bring in "emotions" in the training process when bringing it to the level of operant conditioning, it actually is counterproductive to the learning.
Emotions make operant conditioning possible.

Ambrey
Aug. 24, 2009, 01:18 PM
Quest52 wrote:

Positive reinforcement (reward) works because animals experience desire.

Negative reinforcement (discomfort) works because animals experience annoyance.

Positive punishment (unpleasant consequence to a behavior) works because animals experience fear.

Negative punishment (withholding/removing rewards) works because animals experience desire.


Elephants have a wide range of emotions. Goldfish experience fear, desire, worry, etc…

Emotions make operant conditioning possible.

Mmmmm, not exactly. Operant conditioning works because of the states of comfort and discomfort, and more basic functions such as hunger and physical sensations. The brain has a function that will increase probablity of behaviors that lead to comfort, and decrease behaviors that lead to discomfort.

What you are calling "desire" is a higher cognitive function not really related to operant conditioning.

The brain also has functions that link stimuli (classical conditioning) so that things that are not initially linked to primary functions such as hunger or pain can be paired in the brain with those functions- if you say "good boy!" and give a treat or release pressure, then "good boy" becomes a reinforcer in itself. Those are called "secondary reinforcements."

I'm not saying that horses don't feel those higher level emotions (although I think things like desire are probably not experienced by horses in the way we think of them), just they are not really a part of operant conditioning.

Ambrey
Aug. 24, 2009, 01:19 PM
p.s. I call "false dichotomy" on the entire classical vs. competitive argument. There are not two sides. There is an entire spectrum, and the vast majority of people fall somewhere in the middle.

Tonja
Aug. 24, 2009, 02:37 PM
Operant conditioning works because of the states of comfort and discomfort, and more basic functions such as hunger and physical sensations.
Horses desire comfort and they fear (or are at least annoyed by) discomfort.

There is no question that horses experience desire, fear, annoyance, anxiety, anger, boredom, surprise, etc…

Horses are very expressive and visibly enjoy learning when they have a good instructor and the visibly dislike training when they have a harsh trainer.

Ambrey
Aug. 24, 2009, 03:12 PM
Horses desire comfort and they fear (or are at least annoyed by) discomfort.

These are not higher level emotions, they are primary functions of the brain- seeking and avoidance.

Even simplest of creatures seek primary reinforcements (food, sleep, proper temperatures) and avoid pain/discomfort or things that instincts tell them are dangerous. And these can be used for operant or classical conditioning.

I would disagree that there is "no question" as to whether horses experience other than primary avoidance and seeking behaviors or emotions more complex than comfort/discomfort. I think there is a lot of question about it, and it's a question that deserves a lot more study :) Do horses experience love, shame, or anger?

goeslikestink
Aug. 24, 2009, 03:52 PM
Well, I do have an active imagination :winkgrin:, but what I mean by ego is confidence and assertiveness, not projected self-image.

well matey if you havent got the assertiveness and confidence or ego then your working harder than your horse is

Tonja
Aug. 24, 2009, 04:11 PM
Ambrey wrote:
I would disagree that there is "no question" as to whether horses experience other than primary avoidance and seeking behaviors or emotions more complex than comfort/discomfort. I think there is a lot of question about it, and it's a question that deserves a lot more study Do horses experience love, shame, or anger?
I don’t know about love or shame but horses obviously have deep affection for fellow herd members. Ambrey, you’ve never seen an angry horse?! Or a jealous horse?!

Ambrey
Aug. 24, 2009, 04:18 PM
I don’t know about love or shame but horses obviously show deep affection for fellow herd members. Ambrey, you’ve never seen an angry horse?! Or a jealous horse?!

Well, this kind of goes to the concept of emotion in general, doesn't it? And the very basis for the original comment about anthropomorphizing horses and giving them human emotions?

Human emotions are extremely complex- jealousy in humans involves parts of the brain that horses have no correlate to and rational processes that horses don't experience.

Have I seen a horse react to another horse invading its territory? Absolutely. Have I seen a horse react when people it is bonded with interact with other horses? Yep. Have I called it jealousy? Yes. Do I think it is at all the same as the complex emotional state we call "jealousy" or "envy" in humans? No.

Do I know what their feeling of jealousy DOES entail? no. It might feel similar to fear, or similar to discomfort, or completely different. I have no way of knowing. I can guess that it's simpler and more basic than what we label "jealousy" in humans, but beyond that I have no clue. It might even be a simple instinct-based trigger that causes aggression without any negative emotional state.

gypsymare
Aug. 24, 2009, 04:24 PM
I am probably wrong but in my own mind I differentiate the two like this:

Classical dressage would be training the horse to go in a manner of perfect obedience and lightness, correct use of the body and of a clear mind. Characteristics that would allow the mount to excel in the environment where dressage developed, namely as a calvary mount. No emphasis on extravagance for the sake of winning a ribbon, just trying to realize the greatest harmony between horse and rider. It's not saying that this style of riding can't make it to the top, just that it does not sacrifice the process for the result.

Somewhere the interest shifted to producing obscenely huge extravagantly moving animals. Yes they can perform the test, and they are surely beautiful and expressive, but the impression is more of raw power than of lightness and obedience.

HyperActive
Aug. 24, 2009, 05:03 PM
I am probably wrong but in my own mind I differentiate the two like this:

Classical dressage would be training the horse to go in a manner of perfect obedience and lightness, correct use of the body and of a clear mind. Characteristics that would allow the mount to excel in the environment where dressage developed, namely as a calvary mount. No emphasis on extravagance for the sake of winning a ribbon, just trying to realize the greatest harmony between horse and rider. It's not saying that this style of riding can't make it to the top, just that it does not sacrifice the process for the result.

Somewhere the interest shifted to producing obscenely huge extravagantly moving animals. Yes they can perform the test, and they are surely beautiful and expressive, but the impression is more of raw power than of lightness and obedience.

How about Classical = Braindead :yes::yes:

egontoast
Aug. 24, 2009, 05:14 PM
Classical dressage would be training the horse to go in a manner of perfect obedience and lightness, correct use of the body and of a clear mind. Characteristics that would allow the mount to excel in the environment where dressage developed, namely as a calvary mount. No emphasis on extravagance for the sake of winning a ribbon, just trying to realize the greatest harmony between horse and rider. It's not saying that this style of riding can't make it to the top, just that it does not sacrifice the process for the result.



cue the violins and release the doves

Liz
Aug. 24, 2009, 05:32 PM
gypseymare - I don't quite agree with part of your definition. Specifically the part where you say that "lightness and obedience"is a component of the classical school of thought and not the competition arena. Consider the past Olympics, those horses must "perform" in a huge stadium with a jumbo-tron, photographers, video cameras and god knows what else. I think, for the most part, they do demonstrate a considerable amount of "obedience" to the rider.

Why does classical and competition have to be separated?

grayarabpony
Aug. 24, 2009, 05:32 PM
I just wanted to share with everyone this wonderful article my coach, Hans Hollenbach, wrote in an issue of Horses for Life. I found it very helpful and maybe you will as well. Anyways, Enjoy!


http://horsesforlife.com/WhatIsClassicalAnyway


Also, I would highly recommend the book "Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage" by Philippe Karl... it is a wonderful book! :)

Thanks for the link OlympicDreams.

Hyperactive, no, not braindead, but cooperative and willing to partner with a rider. For some horses that are very sensitive and independent thinkers (such as Tbs who excel at crosscountry), dressage can be a hard sell. On such a horse the rider has to be so laid-back it can be hard to get anything accomplished in the way of competition dressage.

egontoast
Aug. 24, 2009, 05:48 PM
Why does classical and competition have to be separated?

It doesn't and it isn't

(except on the ultimately pompous discussion boreds).:)

Bronte
Aug. 24, 2009, 08:38 PM
Thanks Bronte. I just love it when someone puts in a flippant comment that's insulting to everyone and adds nothing to the discussion.

It was not flippant. And "everyone" does not seem to be insulted... And where is the "discussion", I would be pleased to listen to that...:(

gypsymare
Aug. 24, 2009, 10:28 PM
gypseymare - I don't quite agree with part of your definition. Specifically the part where you say that "lightness and obedience"is a component of the classical school of thought and not the competition arena. Consider the past Olympics, those horses must "perform" in a huge stadium with a jumbo-tron, photographers, video cameras and god knows what else. I think, for the most part, they do demonstrate a considerable amount of "obedience" to the rider.

Why does classical and competition have to be separated?

They don't and aren't separated. I suppose I wasn't really clear but this is all just my opinion since there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer anyhow. I would use Hubertus Schmidt as an example of what I would consider a fine classical rider and he has certainly had his share of successful competition. His horses look to be a pleasure to ride. Light, responsive and relaxed.

I think there are a lot of shortcuts taken in modern dressage for the sake of appearances that are not in the best interests of the horse.

grayarabpony
Aug. 24, 2009, 11:56 PM
It was not flippant. And "everyone" does not seem to be insulted... And where is the "discussion", I would be pleased to listen to that...:(

Jeez, if you don't like this thread, don't read it. You're certainly not adding anything anyway.

Liz
Aug. 25, 2009, 12:19 AM
gypsymare - fair enough. I too am a big fan of Hubertus Schmidt.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 25, 2009, 12:58 AM
Ye Gods. Calvary = where Christ was crucified. Cavalry = mounted troops. PLEASE get it right!

Hey, Greyarabpony, this is a discussion forum. A discussion often involves one or more differing opinions. Sometimes they conflict. Too bad, so sad!

grayarabpony
Aug. 25, 2009, 07:25 AM
Er, you should be directing that comment to Bronte. I don't have a problem with differing opinions, do you? What I have put down are my opinions. If someone wants to extrapolate something from that and put down some kind of inaccurate interpretation, that's their problem: too bad, so sad...

ANYWAY, none of this has anything to do with the OP's question. I'm not sure what the two camps have in common and how much they overlap. Some of the stuff I've read on here has made me go :eek:.

Dressage Art
Aug. 25, 2009, 02:10 PM
Actually I would say that showing is one of the things that both camps have in common. I know people from both camps who actively show and even judge.

Not showing doesn't make a rider automatically classical and showing doesn't make a rider automatically not classical.