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CatOnLap
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:36 AM
There have been several threads recently extolling the virtues of one type of horse or another for dressage, with spectacular and exceptional examples of quite unsuitable horses doing quite well.

It is said the exception proves the rule, and I agree- there are a few individuals in many off breeds that do exceptionally well, even up to national level competition, but the vast majority will never get there. However, since most of us will never own an olympic bred european warmblood started by Anky, and we have the horse we have, lets see how dressage has improved your "off breed".

Me? currently in my stable there are 3 off breeds:
1) a percheron/appaloosa/morgan cross who does a nice second level test. There is no doubt that dressage has improved on her training in general, as she is my family horse that anyone can ride, and the obedience demanded by dressage has made her safe even for 9 year old girls and 80 year old ladies to ride.
2)a purebred appy gelding whose training in dressage has made him a much more comfortable and obedient western pleasure and trail horse for his regular rider
3) a standardbred pacing mare off the track who has developed a rhythmic trot and has corrected her permenent inverted, one sided-ness through dressage, so far.

How about you? How has dressage specifically improved your off breed?

dbadaro
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:52 AM
i too have a standardbred. he was not a pacer tho. but, dressage has taught him collection and how to use his back instead of trotting around with his head in the air.

PaddyUK
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:43 PM
As we are in in the run up to the Olympics, it is time to out myself as Carl Hester. I do love tuning into the "real experts" on here. I did not realise the Draft X was the way forward.

I will soon be selling all my current GP horses and buying Percheron stallions and Percheron Crosses as clearly I have been doing it all wrong for these last few years.

I shall make this "Ambrey" person an offer for this superlative Draft Cross as I am sure it is my passport to a medal in 2012.
.

CH

FancyFree
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:48 PM
As we are in in the run up to the Olympics, it is time to out myself as Carl Hester. I do love tuning into the "real experts" on here. I did not realise the Draft X was the way forward.

I will soon be selling all my current GP horses and buying Percheron stallions and Percheron Crosses as clearly I have been doing it all wrong for these last few years.

I shall make this "Ambrey" person an offer for this superlative Draft Cross as I am sure it is my passport to a medal in 2012.
.

CH

Carl I am a fan of yours. Apparently I'm all wrong about draft crosses, but could you let me know when you're going to unload your GP horses? I'll do you the supreme favor of taking them off your hands. You ship to California right? :lol:

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:52 PM
I do love tuning into the "real experts" on here.

Excellent! Please pm me for anything you would like to know about dressage. I anxiously await educating you.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:53 PM
Carl, you are SO wrong. It is all about the OTTB.

Other than that, I like your stuff.

FancyFree
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:54 PM
Excellent! Please pm me for anything you would like to know about dressage. I anxiously await educating you.

How could you possibly be an expert? You only have 379 posts!

Long Spot
Sep. 17, 2009, 01:04 PM
How could you possibly be an expert? You only have 379 posts!

She googles like the wind.

FancyFree
Sep. 17, 2009, 01:07 PM
She googles like the wind.

No, no. It's a well known fact: The higher the post count, the greater the expert. Carolinadreamin' obviously doesn't spend near enough time on the internet. I will not be going to her for dressage advice.

:lol:

katarine
Sep. 17, 2009, 01:13 PM
How about you? How has dressage specifically improved your off breed?

My hot as a pistol Big-Lick bred TWH is finally learning he can relax and walk on out, free and loose and reach for the bit. A plain full cheek snaffle. He's finding his flat walk instead of a broken pace. Every now and then, we find his running walk. We don't have another gear between that and a canter. So he's learning how to slow down and balance me at a canter, not just rocket around inverted. The TWH and other WH associations have modified the USDF tests to replace any trotting with the various walks, and we'll compete where we can. Down the line we'll nail lead changes. I can't WAIT. This is a horse that anyone who knows TWHs, would write off as an idiot for his bloodlines and their propensity for being idiots. Nice. He's a wonderful horse and dressage helped me help him.

We'll never trot, LOL, but boy oh BOY at the WALK on that horse. mm mm good.

So no, you'll not find us at any 'real' dressage competitions, but he's MY dressage horse. If that bothers anyone, welp, that wouldn't be my problem, now would it ? LOL

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:06 PM
Carolinadreamin' obviously doesn't spend near enough time on the internet. I will not be going to her for dressage advice.

Darn you, Fancy Free! I must go google and then start posting madly to increase my count.


If that bothers anyone, welp, that wouldn't be my problem, now would it ? LOL

That's a good point. If you're happy with your horse and appreciate, recognize and utilize his/her talents, then that's what it's all about. I don't understand how some go around with a chip on their shoulder about their horse(s). Does the horse satisfy you and meet your goals and purposes? If so, great. Who cares what everyone else thinks. But don't go and try to convince, via argument, that your horse can do X when in reality it can only do Z. Prove it via the riding, not the online posting.

oharabear
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:11 PM
3) a standardbred pacing mare off the track who has developed a rhythmic trot and has corrected her permenent inverted, one sided-ness through dressage, so far.


This. Exactly. But we're still working on the one-sidedness.

But I have noticed that his neck is no longer "upside-down" and is actually starting to look.... nice. :eek::winkgrin:

Also, last night for the first time ever he volunteered canter strides (a HUGE deal for him for anyone who remembers me constantly posting about him). And the first few were actually very nice.

I thought, "Holy Crap, he might make a nice riding horse yet!!" :cool:

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:34 PM
I have a QH, TB, percheron, arab cross mare that is a paint color. She scores low 70's at training/first (we event). Anyways she is not going any further so it looks like she is going to be sold by the Oct. 1st. Really sweet girl I will miss her but her new home is fab and she will have a nice life teaching little kids the ropes. :)

FatCatFarm
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:55 PM
No, no. It's a well known fact: The higher the post count, the greater the expert. Carolinadreamin' obviously doesn't spend near enough time on the internet. I will not be going to her for dressage advice.

:lol:

Egads, you don't think it means that she's actually been out riding all this time instead of posting about it!? :eek::lol:

ThreeFigs
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:06 PM
I confess that my early horses were not improved by "my" dressage. I lacked skill and knowledge. As I've gained experience through the years, I have been able to improve run-of-the-mill horses, both mine and those of students.

The bunch of us, my students and me, can't afford anything fancy. I work with rescue horses, "off breeds", and backyard riders exclusively. This has its own challenges and rewards.

The most spectacular example is probably the lady with the rescue Arab, who in his past life was a Park Horse, then a failed school horse. He was a basket case who could not tolerate any contact with the bit, inverted, tense, fearful. Four years of patient work (hats off to his owner -- she never gave up!) and now he can go on the bit, is obedient, happy and calm.

I have four students with purebred drafts or draft crosses. The draft, a Shire, we laughingly call the "Andalusian on steroids". When she's on, she's really ON, and looks fantastic! She may have limitations, but the work has improved her rideability beyond what I would have expected. I have not worked with any of the draft crosses as consistently as the purebred.

Another, a Freisian/Morgan cross, was a bundle of nerves when his owner began work with me. He's learning to relax, to stretch, to listen more to the rider's seat, rather than being crunched together between a clenched fist and clenched leg.

Another, a Paint, could kick butt if the owner ever wanted to take up dressage (she rides Western) and show. She just wants to work on his obedience and so forth. No showing in the plans, dangit! When she came to me, she had issues of her own, due to Erb's Palsey. The rider has gained improved strength and control over her affected side, and the horse has improved consequently.

Often, it's the rider's issues that are a bigger factor than the horse's issues in terms of progress.

DressageFancy
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:45 PM
I went through 3rd level and achieved my Bronze medal on a 1/2quarter and 1/2paint tb cross that I home bred. When I started him in Dressage I was a novice rider, but, I had already seen enough abuse in training western pleasure to know that I didn't want to go that route with my youngster. Fortunately I found and worked with a couple of very excellent instructors along the way. Not only did my horse do well but when leaving the show arena for the last time he became a wonderful schoolmaster and taught several young riders confidence. He is still my "best bud".

rabicon
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:24 PM
I love my boy, he is morganxappendix. He was a 13 year old trail horse that spooked all the time and would throw people and pop up as well as buck. Come to find out all he needed was a rider that didn't bounce all over him and didn't hold his mouth all the time. One that gave him confidence also. Did I mention these were unguided trail rides also. He wouldn't cross water, would rear or back like crazy, wouldn't cross a bridge either. Now he loves the water, lays in it, puts his whole face in it and goes right thru it and also doesn't mind a bridge of any kind. He went like a giraffe and didn't know he had a back end except to buck. He hadn't contact and was scared of it, I'm guessing from everyone hanging on his mouth. Now he is amazing thru dressage. Granted we are smurfs but when we come out of training level with high 60's low 70's you can't bet the feeling. We have worked hard and hope for 1st level next year :D

spotted mustang
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:41 PM
As we are in in the run up to the Olympics, it is time to out myself as Carl Hester. CH

well, it's time to out myself as Reiner Klimke. I've been enjoying the experts on coth from my cloud for some time now. occasionally, I pipe in with a smart remark, but really, I'm too busy up here riding all the great horses to spend too much time on coth.

P.S. also, internet connection up here sucks. Gotta go ride Ahlerich now. Tschuess!

RK

meupatdoes
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:42 PM
Before:
Video Sept'08 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtMzR3Iz2jA)
Pic Oct '08 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Jinxy/IMG00007.jpg)



After:
Pic May '09 (http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/ss235/meupatdoes2/Horses/Jinxy/Jinxyhandsome.jpg)
Video Aug '09 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFr8X8fdCYE)

He is actually doing more than what the last video shows and is schooling up to some second level stuff plus lead changes.

It is not necessary to buy something expensive and branded to get the feet wet in lower dressage and crack the 1L barrier. I have learned a TON from this horse!

Trevelyan96
Sep. 17, 2009, 05:14 PM
Its the only reason I have any interest in dressage actually. I just want to teach my horses to be forward, straight and obedient, and develop their muscles evenly.

The showing, scheduled ride times, more comfy saddle, and tails are just gravy.

quietann
Sep. 17, 2009, 05:35 PM
I have to confess.... I didn't want a WB. At all. Yes, I know there are small ones, but not a lot (under 15 hands). What little I'd seen of them just didn't grab me.

I loved Morgans, and I loved various breeds of ponies.

So I got my Morgan. Wicked smart, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Dressage has made her more respectful of what I ask of her. In our case, the limitations are definitely mine; she's a lot of horse for her little self and with a really good rider up I can see where she might go.

rugbygirl
Sep. 17, 2009, 05:53 PM
I shall make this "Ambrey" person an offer for this superlative Draft Cross as I am sure it is my passport to a medal in 2012.
.

Buy mine instead. Guaranteed to get you on the podium.

http://images2d.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp536%3B6%3Enu%3D3365%3E574%3E5%3A9%3E WSNRCG%3D32%3B734%3B%3A8%3B337nu0mrj
Half Percherons are passe. Not enough hair.
http://images2c.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp53666%3Enu%3D3365%3E574%3E5%3A9%3EWS NRCG%3D32%3B734%3B%3A84337nu0mrj

My "off" breed is a purebred Clydesdale. Mother to the above filly. She was a trainwreck after 10 years of driving, none of which agreed with her much. Dressage has taught her to move softly away from pressure. We'll never score above a 6 for our trot, and I'm not sure that we'll ever achieve the same "nice silhouette" feedback that I got on the TB...but she's now a useable, reliable Open Show mount. She was on the fast track to Fort MacLeod when I got her.

The other one is a former chuckwagon pulling TB. Two years of Dressage with a rider better than I brought him down from racing/pulling and turned him into a fabulous ride. I shifted him to Hunter and Jumper, but he has a solid flat work foundation all due to that Classical Dressage foundation (he was schooling 2nd/3rd when I got him).

SharonA
Sep. 17, 2009, 05:55 PM
Late-teens Arab, two years ago would trot and canter as if her tail were on fire and she was trying to outrun the back half of her body with her head up around your chin. Canter tossed you up in the rafters with every stride. Trot was uneven, motorcyled around corners, etc. Now, lovely strong quiet trot in a nice frame, the canter has moments of absolutely brilliant glory and at its worst is vastly better than it was, the upside-down neck is right-side up, topline filling in, a new muscle in the haunches, and she knows that it is possible for her to spread out her hind feet and let them work as two separate legs, as opposed to one pogo stick. It has not been easy for her to develop these muscles, and it's still very hard work at the canter and not entirely consistent at the trot, but she is trying and is putting up with my learning process too. Love, love, love the versatility and heart of this horse.

Cielo Azure
Sep. 17, 2009, 06:31 PM
I know...I am probably in the minority but I love to not only fool around with ridden dressage but with driven dressage... trail riding, horse camping, driving, parades and carriages, halter classes, even occasional farm work (these days non existent), plus a hitch class. I like a horse that is brilliant. I like a lot of presence. I love my Percherons because they are willing and so smart and have a lot of presence and yes, versatile for the kinds of things I like to do (I don't jump or race around or do endurance).

My favorite horse was Katie. We lost Katie this year to colic but when you look on her page and see wins at the National Percheron show and reserve Ch at a local dressage show, that says it all. That she could show in front of 10,000 at the National Percheron show or drive in the local parade and then, go out and try her hardest at dressage. That was way cool. Katie was not our prettiest, or our best conformationally but she was everyone's favorite:
http://www.cieloazure.com/katie.html

Right now, I am working with Soleil (Katie's 4 yr old daughter) and my husband is working with Corbeau (katie's 3 yr old son). I think will do very well in dressage and it benefits the driven dressage so much too. They are full brother and sister. We plan to pair them in driven dressage classes.
http://www.cieloazure.com/soleil.html
http://www.cieloazure.com/corbeau.html

Right now, my heart is heading towards spending more time in the driven dressage arena but I keep banging away at the ridden stuff too. I need more hours in the day!

So, silly me, I enjoy a lot of activities with my horses. I will always be an amateur in dressage. My body in nearing fifty.
Jack of all trades, master of none but I have a darn good time doing it!

goeslikestink
Sep. 17, 2009, 06:55 PM
ok i will play

1-- ollie bright bay an e x grade A international showjumper 17.2hh jumps 1.60 plus
( has had bnsj on his back and has 11,750.00 on his bsja card) selle francias
2- jasper chestnut 1- 3day eventer come show jumper selle francias x tb 16.3hh jumps 1.60
3- osiris a chestnut han x tb 15hh pony club horse riding horse mixed events has compete in bsja
bef ,1 and 2 eventing ht x/c and sponsored rides been there done it and worn the t shirt semi retired pull him in for a lesson if i need him has to many wins to name as never lost anything hes been in
even though hes got copd and was blind in one eye then but now 20 vision jumps 1.40 plus
4- bonnie very very dark bay a welsh sec d mare not as heavy as some as she got a b and c in her so is more lighter than thomas 1 welshies xompetes at mixed events - sj bsja trial blaizers grass root eventers chanllenge h/t x/c rc activities and any thing else jumps 1.40 plus
again never lost any of her classes
5 raspberry sec a strawberry roan an x pc pony clubber pony x prince phillip the cup games pony has competed mix events to include sj h/t x/c sponsored rides been ther done the t shirt backwards is 26 and still at it -- jumps 1.05 plus
6-- pebblles a welsh sec c pony - that been bred and left and bred and left shes 17 and is barren got her as a rescue from a market - now broken in to ride and doing well
will be broken to drive as have swapped her job with chocky

7- chocky a chestnut welsh sec b -- potential ja pony and show pony is broken to ride was thinking of driving him but change my mind as hes sharp and fast and been working him as a 2nd pony hes fast against the clock and will compete in sj jumps 1.20 plus
i also do trec

all the horses and ponies go out on the roads and are traffic proof they all load and box well and they all behavefor the ets and farrier

and they all can do dressage as they all flat school well

Ambrey
Sep. 17, 2009, 07:14 PM
As we are in in the run up to the Olympics, it is time to out myself as Carl Hester. I do love tuning into the "real experts" on here. I did not realise the Draft X was the way forward.

I will soon be selling all my current GP horses and buying Percheron stallions and Percheron Crosses as clearly I have been doing it all wrong for these last few years.

I shall make this "Ambrey" person an offer for this superlative Draft Cross as I am sure it is my passport to a medal in 2012.
.

CH

Oh, whoops, I didn't realize my remote control thread derailer was working! Look, threads are about me when I don't even READ them, much less post on them! My devious plan has succeeded!

But sorry, Carl, he's not for sale. You will have to find your own draft cross and ticket to the olympics. Check the "drafts in dressage" thread, there's one cutie who's getting passed up for a WB over there!

slc2
Sep. 17, 2009, 08:43 PM
Probably a thread criticizing Carl Hester for his 'elitist' attitudes isn't too far off.

I thought it was funny.

Ambrey
Sep. 17, 2009, 08:50 PM
Probably a thread criticizing Carl Hester for his 'elitist' attitudes isn't too far off.


No, a thread praising his great taste in horses! :winkgrin:

slc2
Sep. 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
Quote from PaddyUK, who says he is Carl Hester:

"Carl is a magnificent trainer and rider, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Brit"

Now there's a clear vision.

I've always had a lot of fun with each of my horses. They were all very, very different. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, even great ones. Dressage is always a kind of physical development process for any horse and hopefully always improving them.

My first dressage horse was a very cheap small Quarter Horse. It was amazing to see how he changed as the training progressed. They all change and hopefully improve.

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:04 PM
Trainer has a horse that she found at a mountain roadside rent-a-ride.He'd been abused not only on the trails, but with a BB gun. Poor guy is not blessed in the conformation department as well.

His neck was quite inverted, a result of years of pulling against whoever was yeehawing on him.

When my horse was laid up, I was fortunate enough to try to start some dressage training on this guy. We did many, many sessions of just walking (lots and lots of walking!), moving forward, giving, etc. It helped his neck a lot and he begun using his back. Some of our more advanced kids started riding him dressage as well and I think we've all learned just as much in "training" him as he has. He's a handy horse, dressage will never be his forte, but it certainly helped him move better and even changed his inverted neck.

Equibrit
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:22 PM
Dressage at the begining levels is the training that should take place for EVERY horse. Why would you even get hung up with calling it "Dressage".

slc2
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:35 PM
Dressage at the begining levels is the training that should take place for EVERY horse. Why would you even get hung up with calling it "Dressage".

If I hear once more that 'dressage means training', I think I'll run off to a buddhist ranch.

I'm not sure if the quoted statement is realistic. It perhaps should take place, in some people's opinion(that's probably debatable in any case), but most people don't train horses the way good dressage trainers train horses. It just isn't something one just does, without putting some effort into learning it or having never even been exposed to it.

It's a little like saying everyone who hits the dance floor should have the same basics as a ballet dancer. Suuure they should. Do they? Hardly.

Equibrit
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:12 PM
If I hear once more that 'dressage means training', I think I'll run off to a buddhist ranch.
It's a little like saying everyone who hits the dance floor should have the same basics as a ballet dancer.

Once more than?
Bull pucky !

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:37 PM
TRAINING. That better?

AnotherRound
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:21 PM
I went through 3rd level and achieved my Bronze medal on a 1/2quarter and 1/2paint tb cross that I home bred. When I started him in Dressage I was a novice rider, but, I had already seen enough abuse in training western pleasure to know that I didn't want to go that route with my youngster. Fortunately I found and worked with a couple of very excellent instructors along the way. Not only did my horse do well but when leaving the show arena for the last time he became a wonderful schoolmaster and taught several young riders confidence. He is still my "best bud".

I think this grade horse MUST have percheron in him somewhere.

Anyway, even if he doesn't, congrats on such a nice animal. Very satisfying, indeed, it must be, to have taken him along so nicely, and have him be such a great horse to so many. I agree about the instructors. They make so much happen, when they are good.

exvet
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:25 PM
How about you? How has dressage specifically improved your off breed?

Well it has kept my herd of welsh cobs and two arabs out of the Alpo can. Enuf said.

AnotherRound
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:34 PM
If I hear once more that 'dressage means training', I think I'll run off to a buddhist ranch.
I knew it!! Slick is going to the Himahlyas, to learn from the monks the secrets to training the Mongolian Steppe ponies for Eastern Dressage! I heard if you look on the Eastern Slopes for the Rare Blue Flower and find your way to the Temple at the Summit before the snows close the road for the winter, the monks will impart to you the Secret of Secrets, you can return with Wisdom we can all benefit from!! Don't let us down, Slick!! See you in the Spring!!

Just kidding. Thought your Buddist ranch sounded fun.

BuddyRoo
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:39 PM
My two cow ponies just moved to a VERY dressage-y barn. I wonder if they've noticed yet? Me? I keep having to reach for stirrups and feel like I'm trying to ride a recumbent bike, but I think it's going okay. Will keep ya posted. :)

Ambrey
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:41 PM
My two cow ponies just moved to a VERY dressage-y barn. I wonder if they've noticed yet? Me? I keep having to reach for stirrups and feel like I'm trying to ride a recumbent bike, but I think it's going okay. Will keep ya posted. :)

LOL. This is so funny. I saw a guy today who was riding a bike that was jointed at both the front and back wheels (very odd). I was like... how is that guy doing half passes on his bicycle?

BuddyRoo
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:44 PM
I haven't ridden in 4 mos so I suck anyway, and the girls are like, "WTF? Are you serious? Where are the jumps? This is crap. If we're not going to jump something, where are the cattle? What have you DONE?"

LOL

Stock breeds with previous lives in working cattle...then H/J. I know, I know. Now it's dressage. I'm trying to show them some culture.

BabyGoose
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:49 PM
After driving (driven dressage and combined driving events) my draft cross mare for the last few years, I have started riding her again. I would love to take her to some schooling shows. She may not be the perfect breed for dressage, but she has a great work ethic, and I am learning a lot from her. Here are some pictures of our progress this summer. I know it is hard to see much change, but I can sure feel a big difference in the way she is going even though we still have a LONG way to go.

May 31
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Babygoose/Riding%20May%2031/100_1737.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Babygoose/Riding%20May%2031/100_1738.jpg

July 9
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Babygoose/Riding%20May%2031/100_1901.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Babygoose/Riding%20May%2031/100_1895.jpg

September 6
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Babygoose/Riding%20May%2031/100_2250.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Babygoose/Riding%20May%2031/100_2273.jpg

Kaeleer
Sep. 18, 2009, 02:12 AM
In my yard, and regularly ridden by me, are:

1. A young WB who has a "straightness" issue, which is being resolved through correct training. His soundness is suspect, but when he does do a dressage show, the results are pleasant, and he's an honest and reliable jumper (when sound). Hold thumbs that the vet clears him today!

2. A TB who had forty starts on the track, has a short, thick neck and quite a fizzy disposition. Dressage has made him obedient, soft to the aids and laid-back. He was about to go Intermediate eventing when he injured himself in December, and I'm currently getting him fit enough to start eventing again. His dressage tests don't set the world alight but they're good enough for him to win at Novice dressage and for him to be really competitive in the jump-off at our showjumping competitions.

3. A warmblood who was actually bred and trained for dressage before he became a basket-case through stress, poor riding and poor stable management. He's just won his first Novice dressage show with my trainer, and offers are flying in on him (fortunately, his owner won't sell him). He is only schooled twice a week and the rest of the time he is hacked out, because it keeps his mind sane. He is diabolical as a jumper but quite fun in the country. Dressage keeps him supple and obedient to the aids, and helps keep his topline in shape as that's, conformationally, probably his weakest point. Our best schooling is probably done on hacks, as it's easier to stop him imploding on a hack.

My husband has a WB who was given to him because he is "insane". He used to throw himself over backwards and was a nutter in the warm-up ring. Bred in the purple from Jalisco and Quito lines (his dam is by Quito de Baussy, his sire by a Jalisco son), he is, ironically, swaybacked. Jumps like stink, but that mind was difficult to deal with. He is also hacked more often than schooled but his schooling is aimed at getting him straighter and strengthening his back, which we're very aware of, and also teaching him not to stick his nose up when we ask him to come back between fences. He's done two shows with my husband - one XC, one SJ - and was an angel at both, so we're still wondering if they sent us the wrong horse.

At the end of this month, a TB is coming to me as a schooling livery, because he has weak hocks and, consequently, has learned to pony around on the fore, and has developed unevenly. My mandate is to strengthen, engage and straighten him. I think that a fair amount of that will take place in the dressage ring, doing transitions, SI, TOQ, RB, TOF and HI.

Rusty Stirrup
Sep. 18, 2009, 09:06 AM
There have been several threads recently extolling the virtues of one type of horse or another for dressage, with spectacular and exceptional examples of quite unsuitable horses doing quite well.

It is said the exception proves the rule, and I agree- there are a few individuals in many off breeds that do exceptionally well, even up to national level competition, but the vast majority will never get there. However, since most of us will never own an olympic bred european warmblood started by Anky, and we have the horse we have, lets see how dressage has improved your "off breed".

Me? currently in my stable there are 3 off breeds:
1) a percheron/appaloosa/morgan cross who does a nice second level test. There is no doubt that dressage has improved on her training in general, as she is my family horse that anyone can ride, and the obedience demanded by dressage has made her safe even for 9 year old girls and 80 year old ladies to ride.
2)a purebred appy gelding whose training in dressage has made him a much more comfortable and obedient western pleasure and trail horse for his regular rider
3) a standardbred pacing mare off the track who has developed a rhythmic trot and has corrected her permenent inverted, one sided-ness through dressage, so far.

How about you? How has dressage specifically improved your off breed?

Dressage training (non-competitive-I call it classical, so sue me) has done just what it is supposed to for my horses. It makes them more beautiful, fit, keeps them sound and a pleasure to ride.

Equibrit
Sep. 18, 2009, 10:52 AM
I knew it!! Slick is going to the Himahlyas, to learn from the monks the secrets to training the Mongolian Steppe ponies for Eastern Dressage! I heard if you look on the Eastern Slopes for the Rare Blue Flower and find your way to the Temple at the Summit before the snows close the road for the winter, the monks will impart to you the Secret of Secrets, you can return with Wisdom we can all benefit from!! Don't let us down, Slick!! See you in the Spring!!

Just kidding. Thought your Buddist ranch sounded fun.

http://www.bauls.com/home.html

Roan
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:11 AM
My current 'project pony' is a FAT little halflinger that has only been used for jumping. He can jump the moon, but he's strong and VERY forward to the point where he will run away if he can. He's needed for Pony Club, so dressage he must learn!

This little guy just amazes me. I don't think anyone ever tried to really teach him anything that he needed to think about, y'know? He's just soaking it all up and he is super smart.

He's definitely not built for dressage and looks funny on the longe when I compare him to my mare, but he just screams, "CUTE!"

I've not been riding him long, but I've installed *some* brakes and power steering, he can bend -- little stiff to the right, but we're working on it -- and do a few respectable LYs. I've finally gotten him to stretch down a bit. Well, at least as low as his fat little neck will let him right now. His speedo pony TROTTROTTROT and head bobbing WALKWALKWALK is now getting to TROT TROT TROT and WALK WALK WALK, so I'm getting some real gaits out of him. He's a little lighter on the forehand, which REALLY helps because he sounds like a freight train from he|| when he gets going :)

I'm also working him in hand and on the long rein.

My goal for him by spring is to cut down the weight with work as much as possible, get him working on a snaffle in w/t/c with true correct gaits, and get him more supple. Hopefully he'll be able to do respectable lower level Pony Club dressage by that point.

Eileen

Tif_Ann
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:35 AM
Dressage has done wonders for my boy - we aren't sure of his exact breed, but based on conformation and what we know of his history believe him to be at least 1/2 spanish mustang, probably 1/2 paint. He was dumped at an auction at 6, half blind, full of scars (looks like he got tangled up in a fence), a stallion and completely unhandled. Spent three years in two rescues where he learned SOME ground manners, could be led but had a high spook factor and gave off a very aggressive/terror energy. When I got him three years ago he had no butt muscles, a completely inverted and thick neck, and was so spooky and intimidating that the trainer at my stables warned her students to stay away from him. He also carried his neck/head at about a 35 degree angle with a tilt to overcome his blindness and his entire spine was crooked at that point, and was so weak on his right side that the farrier had to lean him against a wall to do his left hind foot because he couldn't balance himself on the right hind (he's blind on the right).

I don't have his very first pictures online, but I wish I did. When I did start him under saddle we very quickly started working with a very good dressage instructor. In three years he's come so far she's actually using him as a case study in her new book that she's writing.

If nothing else, the difference in his spine and straightness is enough for me:

Pi four months into training (Nov 2006) - two months under saddle, check out that NECK! http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468150159@N01/2965019886/

Pi six months later - neck is coming down, muscles are starting to unbunch and get leaner - http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468150159@N01/2717064866/

Pi a little over a year after the first picture, fat and sassy because of winter but look at the neck: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468150159@N01/2717064814/

and Pi this spring, long and lean, his neck may be up but it's not inverted and it's not so stocky - http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468150159@N01/3930946681/

Pirate this summer after a trail ride: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468150159@N01/3930946651/

While you can see the changes in his muscling and carriage in pictures, you can't see the change in his work (I need to get some under saddle pictures). He's gone from completely unbroke and crazy, unable to go around the arena at a walk without dodging, spinning, etc., with his head straight up .... to today where we are doing fully collected w/t/c work, leg yields, etc. Our trainer just introduced rein back in our last lesson (yes, he has a backup for trails, etc, but it's not something we've worked as it's a second level movement and she firmly believes a horse needs proper carriage before you introduce rein back, they need to be able to lift and rotate the hips and not drag their toes) ... he's gone from being the scary horse to the resident love bug. I fully credit dressage with that, as the methods we've used have taught him to trust and help him learn to use his muscles and not fight them.

thatmoody
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:40 AM
Tif, that is a really sweet story :).

And Eileen, I just have this mental picture of one of Thewell's ponies trotting determinedly along :). Haffies are so cute, but such monsters sometimes!

CatOnLap
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:30 PM
Dressage training (non-competitive-I call it classical, so sue me) has done just what it is supposed to for my horses. It makes them more beautiful, fit, keeps them sound and a pleasure to ride.
__________________

Exactly. I have really enjoyed reading all about everyone's success stories. I especially appreciated Beasmom's honesty in that her early attempts at dressage did NOT improve her horse at first. I am sure everyone on this thread who has actually trained a horse on their own has had the exact same experience. I know I "ruined" my extremely patient quarterhorse/appy cross several times before he finally reached FEI levels. And correcting the mistakes I put into him so long ago has helped me learn how to correct those same mistakes when someone else puts them into a horse first now.

And thanks so much to my heroes Carl Hester and Reiner Klimke ( although Reiner- Ahlerich is beinning to smell a bit...)for making an appearance on MY thread! Oh the fame! I shall swoon now!

FatCatFarm
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:37 PM
Dressage training has done just what it is supposed to for my horses. It makes them more beautiful, fit, keeps them sound and a pleasure to ride.

Not to mention, supple, straighter, more balanced and patient. Heck, the same goes for me and my riding. ;)

grayarabpony
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:43 PM
Dressage at the begining levels is the training that should take place for EVERY horse. Why would you even get hung up with calling it "Dressage".

Because that's what it is. If you can get the horse straight and balanced and carrying itself consistently (and any sound able horse should be able to do that), you're doing better than most people riding dressage at shows.

FancyFree
Sep. 18, 2009, 01:15 PM
He's definitely not built for dressage and looks funny on the longe when I compare him to my mare, but he just screams, "CUTE!"

Roan I hope you will post a picture sometime. Halflingers are adorable.

meupatdoes
Sep. 18, 2009, 01:18 PM
I am sure everyone on this thread who has actually trained a horse on their own has had the exact same experience. I know I "ruined" my extremely patient quarterhorse/appy cross several times before he finally reached FEI levels. And correcting the mistakes I put into him so long ago has helped me learn how to correct those same mistakes when someone else puts them into a horse first now.


Thank you. So many people on these threads stridently beat the drum of Dressage Terrorism: you only get one chance to teach something, it must be taught perfectly from the first, once a horse learns an auto change he will never hold a counter canter, anything else is NOT DRESSAGE and not only is it not dressage now it will ruin your hopes of ever doing dressage correctly in the future, the horse must work six days a week to be properly schooled, etc etc etc.

I think these people have overinflated views of how correctly they ride.


None of my horses were started by an FEI level rider with an eye toward GP competition. On the horse I have had for four years, we have grown together. I taught him some stuff less than ideally (relationship to the contact), or with the criteria of a different show ring in mind (lead changes). Another horse comes from a western pleasure/backyard background.

We are all doing just fine. The hunter does a three loop counter canter serpentine quite nicely (but I thought he would never learn a counter canter after he learned an auto change??!!!) and as my understanding of contact improved, so did his. Despite the fact that they initially started in different disciplines (omg, NOT DRESSAGE!!), it has not been impossible or frustrating to try a different way. My hunter cruises around a little cavaletti course in two point on a looped rein one day and then schools counter canter serpentines in the same arena the next.

I am so tired of people acting like Dressage is this mysterious, inflexible gospel that is fraught with pitfalls that will have you incorrect and up the creek with no paddle for the rest of your life if you aren't perfect from day one.
This coupled with the apparent belief that no one else can ride a horse in a straight line unless they have been schooled in this Mysterious Gospel is just obnoxious.

CatOnLap
Sep. 18, 2009, 01:46 PM
Meupatdoes- firstly what DOES that name mean? sorry- off track on my own thread!

Dressage Terrorism!

Oh yes, the cry of the enthusiastic well marketed trainer- "do it my way or your horse will go to hell with you on him!"

Also the admonishment of those who are dangerous because they have "a little knowledge". Googling fools.

I also think that dressage, classical or otherwise, is somewhat different from regular flat schooling or simple training in that Dressage is a school of thought, with a fairly consistent training scale as a guide. I did hunter style and western style flat schooling for years before stumbling into dressage. The systematic training demanded by the training scale is really far more efficient than anything I had previously been taught and allowed me to think about a problem and come to a training solution even if I hadn't encountered that problem before.

Take the little standardbred. She came to me with behavioral and attitude problems and an inverted posture, a trend to pace, no canter whatsoever, a crummy trot and a boardlike stiffness to any request to turn or flex right. I have never rehabbed a pacer before and was told it is difficult to get them to stop pacing. Yes, it is.

Steinbrecht, says "ride your horse forward and straighten him". The training scale says forward, rhythm and relaxation first. The behavioral problems were severe and believe me, getting the relaxation and rhythm was anything but easy. But if I had attempted anything else, like, lets work on turning right, circles and flexing first, it was destined to bring out the dirty stops, kicks out, rears and bucks that she had already become very good at with previous riders. So we continue to work on just getting her to proceed forward and to relax. I actively work on rhythm because it helps the horse relax- they get sort of hypnotized by their own rhythm and are less likely to get bothered by details like rein contact. So forward we went- often at racing pace until she began to get rhythm and relax. Then as she relaxed, she would drop from pace into trot and would lower her head and slow down her tempo. THEN I could begin to ask for the next step in the scale- contact with the aides. Very basic. We went round and round the ring for ages to establish relaxation and stop her pacing. She hasn't paced in months. She is still often too fast in her trot tempo, but her rhythm is better and once she relaxes she slows down. Then we ask for big circles- the very first attempt at contact. Both directions. Stretching down, relaxed into bit contact and asking for a little bend. That is where we are now. Along the way she has spontaneously offered the most lovely canter steps and her trot is also becoming lovely at times. She softens and bends to the right sometimes now.

I am grateful to Goeslikestink, who reminded me that forward was the first step and gave me some additional tips with this little horse to help her focus on that first step.

You know, I am a person who could actually afford to go to Europe and shop for a made horse if I wanted to. But for me, the joy of dressage is in using it to bring young horses up from nothing and to give slaughterbound horses a fighting chance at life as a riding horse. That is what makes me happy- and I got all the way up to FEI levels in competing before I realized that competition was NOT making me happy.

Cielo Azure
Sep. 18, 2009, 02:31 PM
Thank you. So many people on these threads stridently beat the drum of Dressage Terrorism: you only get one chance to teach something, it must be taught perfectly from the first, once a horse learns an auto change he will never hold a counter canter, anything else is NOT DRESSAGE and not only is it not dressage now it will ruin your hopes of ever doing dressage correctly in the future, the horse must work six days a week to be properly schooled, etc etc etc.

I think these people have overinflated views of how correctly they ride.


None of my horses were started by an FEI level rider with an eye toward GP competition. On the horse I have had for four years, we have grown together. I taught him some stuff less than ideally (relationship to the contact), or with the criteria of a different show ring in mind (lead changes). Another horse comes from a western pleasure/backyard background.

We are all doing just fine. The hunter does a three loop counter canter serpentine quite nicely (but I thought he would never learn a counter canter after he learned an auto change??!!!) and as my understanding of contact improved, so did his. Despite the fact that they initially started in different disciplines (omg, NOT DRESSAGE!!), it has not been impossible or frustrating to try a different way. My hunter cruises around a little cavaletti course in two point on a looped rein one day and then schools counter canter serpentines in the same arena the next.

I am so tired of people acting like Dressage is this mysterious, inflexible gospel that is fraught with pitfalls that will have you incorrect and up the creek with no paddle for the rest of your life if you aren't perfect from day one.
This coupled with the apparent belief that no one else can ride a horse in a straight line unless they have been schooled in this Mysterious Gospel is just obnoxious.

Great post!

grayarabpony
Sep. 18, 2009, 02:37 PM
Steinbrecht, says "ride your horse forward and straighten him". The training scale says forward, rhythm and relaxation first.

Depends on the horse. Steinbrecht would certainly be correct with a lot of modern warmbloods. All they need is forward and a little bit of straightening.

With a lot of hot breeds, they get crooked, fast and on the forehand as a way to evade aids they don't understand. They get so crooked they can't even travel in a rythym. Surely you've seen horses that can't travel in a rythym until they're straight?

They're all different.

Equibrit
Sep. 18, 2009, 02:41 PM
Because that's what it is. If you can get the horse straight and balanced and carrying itself consistently (and any sound able horse should be able to do that), you're doing better than most people riding dressage at shows.

Teaching a horse to walk, trot, canter, bend and halt with a rider, is not dressage. It is BASIC work for ANY horse. Reiner, saddlebred, warmblood, tb etc etc.

grayarabpony
Sep. 18, 2009, 02:44 PM
Read again what I wrote. I said: "Straight, balanced and [the horse] carrying itself consistently." That is dressage. It is not trotting or loping around on the buckle (unless the horse is stretching through its back and the bridle). Walk, trot, canter, halt and bend are part of any training level test. That is also dressage.

CatOnLap
Sep. 18, 2009, 03:00 PM
I actually think your assumption comes out of oversimplifying the remark by Steinbrecht. He is also sometimes quoted as having said "Straighten your horse and ride him forward."
How can these two remarks be reconciled? He did not work with modern warmbloods, but more often with TB bred horses, who are generally considered a hot breed. So why would he say either?

Many greater dressage minds than mine and yours have discussed this topic. The general overview that I have come to know is that "straightness" is a dynamic concept in dressage that occurs only while the horse is in motion. You cannot have the horse straight unless he is moving and moving is a prerequisite to straightening, but the terms are relative. The two actions, that of going forward and becoming straighter or more aligned, are hand in glove and occur simultaneously. If your horse is more aligned, it is easier to relax and go forward, if your horse is going forward, it is easier to align him and relax. It is our poor linear minds who must classify things into strict stages which do not quite fit what actually happens with the horse.

Similarily with the training scale. The qualities sought are not achieved discretely before moving onto the next stage. Some version of the scale eliminate "relaxation" for example and some put rhythm before it or vice versa. But really, the various stages occur in an intertwined manner and sometimes simultaneously.

You go forward a little and become a little straighter in doing so, relax a little, get rhythm a little, take contact a little, which allows you to go more forward and develop impulsion a little, where you will need to straighten some more and so on... The stages are loosely grouped together but in fact some parts occur simultaneously.

So for a horse who is crooked, fast, on the forehand, etc? Yeah, you can straighten them all you like at the halt and it won't really help them in motion. You need a little forward to get a little straighter. Then the horse moves more efficiently and can go forward more easily and relaxes, and gets a little straighter, and so on.

What beginner mistakes I see most often with dressage riders are those who are in a hurry to get contact, bend and collection long before their horses are forward, rhythmical and relaxed. Many beginner dressage riders are unsteady in their seats and simply cannot ride a horse forward to his potential and so they skip that step and end up using shanked bits and other devices to try and control the forward part and to fake the appearance of collection. They often appear not to understand that without the relaxation of a lifted back, the alignment of the horse's body and a good steady rhythm, they are making their horses more crooked and less able to spring forward and their wish to do the fancy moves will be forever frustrated or result in a poor imitation of dressage.

Tif_Ann
Sep. 18, 2009, 03:09 PM
What beginner mistakes I see most often with dressage riders are those who are in a hurry to get contact, bend and collection long before their horses are forward, rhythmical and relaxed. Many beginner dressage riders are unsteady in their seats and simply cannot ride a horse forward to his potential and so they skip that step and end up using shanked bits and other devices to try and control the forward part and to fake the appearance of collection. They often appear not to understand that without the relaxation of a lifted back, the alignment of the horse's body and a good steady rhythm, they are making their horses more crooked and less able to spring forward and their wish to do the fancy moves will be forever frustrated or result in a poor imitation of dressage.

AGREED 100%!! This is a great paragraph, especially about the not understanding the concept behind it. I just had this discussion with a friend who is riding a green horse and really starting to push the "bend" which is, from the ground, a "headset" more than bend. Miss Green is currently in a martingale because she insists on going around with her head straight up (arab!) but my friend insists she's lifting her back. I rode Miss Green and really encouraged my friend to work more on the relaxation and rhythm - work on encouraging her to drop her head and go straight relaxed, rather than worrying about collection or a "headset" ... and encouraged her to work on "bend" as not just the neck forward, but the whole body, get her to move her ribcage off your inside leg while reaching down and forward, rather than worrying about where her head is or what the neck looks like....

not sure if it sunk in or not, but one can hope!

lizathenag
Sep. 18, 2009, 03:45 PM
I have a OTTB who I took off the track 7 years ago at age 6.

He has a bit of an anxiety disorder and sometimes gets very worried.

Our dressage training gives us something to do. He is less able to worry when he is doing a counter canter or s.i.

Roan
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:14 PM
Roan I hope you will post a picture sometime. Halflingers are adorable.

I have a video of him at the MOC Olympics this summer. He's swimming across the lake with his "regular" rider:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/video/video.php?v=103630743403

I don't know if you'll be able to see it. I didn't take the video, just posted it for the woman who did, so I can't really throw it on YouTube for everyone. It's marked "viewable by everyone" so hopefully you'll be able to see it.

I think I have some other photos of him somewhere. I do need "before and after" shots.

Eileen

Roan
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:24 PM
Tif, that is a really sweet story :).

And Eileen, I just have this mental picture of one of Thewell's ponies trotting determinedly along :). Haffies are so cute, but such monsters sometimes!

ROFL! We have two ponies out at the barn here who are splitting images of Thelwell ponies. They're not even related and they look alike.

Fritz is actually very well mannered. He's just very powerful, fast and forward. He scares kids to death if they're not up for it.

The hard part has been to install proper brakes because the kids just haul on his mouth to stop him. He's learning to listen to my seat and I've got him half halting and transitioning now. Soon as I get over this nasty flu I've gotten I might start working on his canter.

Eileen

Equibrit
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:32 PM
Read again what I wrote. I said: "Straight, balanced and [the horse] carrying itself consistently."

That is basic for ANY horse in any discipline. Why give it a fancy name ? Just do it properly.

meupatdoes
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:33 PM
Teaching a horse to walk, trot, canter, bend and halt with a rider, is not dressage. It is BASIC work for ANY horse. Reiner, saddlebred, warmblood, tb etc etc.


Read again what I wrote. I said: "Straight, balanced and [the horse] carrying itself consistently." That is dressage. It is not trotting or loping around on the buckle (unless the horse is stretching through its back and the bridle). Walk, trot, canter, halt and bend are part of any training level test. That is also dressage.

I really don't understand why

1. people training horses with an eye toward dressage performance are sometimes under the impression that their introducing straight, bend, turn, and RB to an equine is somehow More Exhalted and More Correct than other people who are introducing straight, bend, turn, and RB to an equine because they are doing it in an arena that has some letters on the perimeter
With the letters? It's DRESSAGE.
Without the letters? It's NOT DRESSAGE.

Horse doesn't give a flip and turns and RBs all the same.

2. people training horses at a higher level of dressage (and for some the 'higher level' is 2nd, for others up through 4th is 'just obedience' and we don't really get started until PSG) sometimes don't want people calling the straight/turn/RB version dressage. No no, that's just basic stuff. NOT DRESSAGE.

We have Training Level Basic Work Test 1, First Level Basic Work Test 3, Fourth Level Basic Work Test 3, depending on at which point whoever is currently doing the yammering determines you are allowed to call riding your horse around on a circle of predetermined size 'dressage'.

Any level lower than what they think is special enough to warrant the moniker "dressage" is NOT DRESSAGE.

3. Which brings us full circle to the group which has been insisting all along that there is straight/turn/RB and then there is DRESSAGE straight/turn/RB, and their Sisiphyan Striving Toward An Ideal at T4 is somehow more exhalted than somebody else's s/t/RBing because the Sisiphans are doing DRESSAGE and the other rider IS NOT.

4. At which point the upper levelers (you are upper level if you have at least one level below you) explain once again that it isn't dressage until you are riding upper level, ...

etc.

What is this need for a special dressage pedestal all about?

It is steering a horse around an arena for crying out loud.

Ambrey
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:58 PM
Any level lower than what they think is special enough to warrant the moniker "dressage" is NOT DRESSAGE.



It is steering a horse around an arena for crying out loud.

:lol:

You're forgetting. You also aren't doing DRESSAGE if your horse is not the right breed, if you are overweight, if your trainer is not approved by TPTB, if you don't score high enough, if you don't show, if you don't own German Made Leather Full Seat Breeches, if you ride in half chaps, if you wear spurs, if you don't wear spurs, if you ride in a field, if you use the wrong bit, if you use the RIGHT bit but your hands aren't educated....

and so on.

I believe that the only 5 people in the world doing REAL dressage have already posted on this thread ;)

goeslikestink
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:58 PM
Dressage at the begining levels is the training that should take place for EVERY horse. Why would you even get hung up with calling it "Dressage".

If I hear once more that 'dressage means training', I think I'll run off to a buddhist ranch.

I'm not sure if the quoted statement is realistic. It perhaps should take place, in some people's opinion(that's probably debatable in any case), but most people don't train horses the way good dressage trainers train horses. It just isn't something one just does, without putting some effort into learning it or having never even been exposed to it.

It's a little like saying everyone who hits the dance floor should have the same basics as a ballet dancer. Suuure they should. Do they? Hardly.


dressage means to school schooling is flat work as equibrit says
schooling is the foundation of all dispilines

Roan
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:58 PM
Okay, few pix of the halfie:

http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=1429606023/a=151241321_151241321/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

Yes, I'm fat and but I'm slowly losing weight :) Heck, I've got no choice now that we rent a house on the barn property and I'm done there doing *something* most of the day.

Eileen

FancyFree
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:06 PM
Thanks Roan! What a cutie. I enjoyed the video too, wondering if they were going to make it across okay. Swimming is the one thing I haven't done with my horse but would like too. We have trouble crossing our creek. :lol:

Roan
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:19 PM
Thanks Roan! What a cutie. I enjoyed the video too, wondering if they were going to make it across okay. Swimming is the one thing I haven't done with my horse but would like too. We have trouble crossing our creek. :lol:

Katie, the rider, said she was scared to death. Fritz just plowed on through -- he's like that.

Eileen

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:25 PM
*edit*

grayarabpony
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:27 PM
I actually think your assumption comes out of oversimplifying the remark by Steinbrecht. He is also sometimes quoted as having said "Straighten your horse and ride him forward."
How can these two remarks be reconciled? He did not work with modern warmbloods, but more often with TB bred horses, who are generally considered a hot breed. So why would he say either?

Many greater dressage minds than mine and yours have discussed this topic. The general overview that I have come to know is that "straightness" is a dynamic concept in dressage that occurs only while the horse is in motion. You cannot have the horse straight unless he is moving and moving is a prerequisite to straightening, but the terms are relative. The two actions, that of going forward and becoming straighter or more aligned, are hand in glove and occur simultaneously. If your horse is more aligned, it is easier to relax and go forward, if your horse is going forward, it is easier to align him and relax. It is our poor linear minds who must classify things into strict stages which do not quite fit what actually happens with the horse.

Similarily with the training scale. The qualities sought are not achieved discretely before moving onto the next stage. Some version of the scale eliminate "relaxation" for example and some put rhythm before it or vice versa. But really, the various stages occur in an intertwined manner and sometimes simultaneously.

You go forward a little and become a little straighter in doing so, relax a little, get rhythm a little, take contact a little, which allows you to go more forward and develop impulsion a little, where you will need to straighten some more and so on... The stages are loosely grouped together but in fact some parts occur simultaneously.

So for a horse who is crooked, fast, on the forehand, etc? Yeah, you can straighten them all you like at the halt and it won't really help them in motion. You need a little forward to get a little straighter. Then the horse moves more efficiently and can go forward more easily and relaxes, and gets a little straighter, and so on.

What beginner mistakes I see most often with dressage riders are those who are in a hurry to get contact, bend and collection long before their horses are forward, rhythmical and relaxed. Many beginner dressage riders are unsteady in their seats and simply cannot ride a horse forward to his potential and so they skip that step and end up using shanked bits and other devices to try and control the forward part and to fake the appearance of collection. They often appear not to understand that without the relaxation of a lifted back, the alignment of the horse's body and a good steady rhythm, they are making their horses more crooked and less able to spring forward and their wish to do the fancy moves will be forever frustrated or result in a poor imitation of dressage.

What I am saying is that Steinbrecht's advice works for many warmbloods bred for dressage. And, actually, I happen to think that it works for hotbloods too, thus my comments about crookedness being a hindrance to rythym. Most hotbloods already have the forward, the energy is just not being used in the most efficient way possible.

Why do you think I'm referring to straightness at the halt? There is no need to reconcile going forward and straightness in the horse. That doesn't make any sense to me.

I don't have a "poor linear mind" that puts things into strict categories. I don't know where you got that from either. Nor am I a beginner dressage rider (by a long shot), but I do see many of those mistakes you described occur all the way from training level tests to Olympic gold medalists.

I was lucky enough in my teens to get on a horse that went correctly for me because she was being ridden by a very good rider most of the time. I didn't have to worry about any of the mechanics, because the horse's responses were automatic. Riding that horse was amazing! She was an Appendix Quarter horse who was an ex-racehorse and had been off of the track for about a year I think. Later on I rode horses with no dressage training and struggled like everyone else, but I lucked out again because my instructor's instructor (who I took some lessons from too) was an amazing rider from Europe who has an affinity for hot horses. I learned a lot from both instructors.

Once you get everything together -- the forward, and the straightness -- everything falls into place quickly if the rider and the horse are communicating well. Repeating that harmony can be the hard part. Sometimes I think the only way to get consistent results with a really hot horse is not to care how they go. The rider has to be the ultimate Zenmaster.

grayarabpony
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:31 PM
That is basic for ANY horse in any discipline. Why give it a fancy name ? Just do it properly.

So it's not dressage until you start doing tricks? which is pretty much what they are once the horse is going correctly. That doesn't make any sense.

A dressage horse, even at Training Level, does not go like a hunter, or a reining horse, or a Western Pleasure horse. Getting the horse to go correctly (yes, by Dressage standards) is the hardest part of dressage training.

meupatdoes
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:50 PM
A dressage horse, even at Training Level, does not go like a hunter, or a reining horse, or a Western Pleasure horse. Getting the horse to go correctly (yes, by Dressage standards) is the hardest part of dressage training.

As somebody who has actually switched horses over to dressage from both the hunter and the western pleasure disciplines, I did not find it all that difficult.

Maybe I am a genius, or maybe my and my hunter's previous foundation was actually good for something. I was not responsible for the western pleasure horse's foundation, but again, maybe my (inferior hunter) foundation was good enough to put a decent Training/First level ride on an inferiorly foundationed horse.

At any rate I never felt like all of a sudden I or the horses were doing things entirely differently.

Of course it remains possible that I am doing it all wrong. Many a COTHer has insisted thusly before.

spotted mustang
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:52 PM
I knew it!! Slick is going to the Himahlyas, to learn from the monks the secrets to training the Mongolian Steppe ponies for Eastern Dressage! I heard if you look on the Eastern Slopes for the Rare Blue Flower and find your way to the Temple at the Summit before the snows close the road for the winter, the monks will impart to you the Secret of Secrets, you can return with Wisdom we can all benefit from!! Don't let us down, Slick!! See you in the Spring!!

Just kidding. Thought your Buddist ranch sounded fun.

I liked Batman Begins, too :)

slc2
Sep. 18, 2009, 06:06 PM
'dressage means schooling'

dressage, however, doesn't mean just any schooling. It is, in fact, rather unlike schooling a hunter, a polo pony, a western horse, or other types of horses.

Even if 200 years ago dressage meant 'training' it actually meant 'a very general sort of training' and was applied to everything from chinchillas to children.

Dressage schooling is different from western, hunter, or saddle seat schooling. Oh no, I'm sorry. It's the same. Except for the tack, the aids, the goals, the style, the methodology, the theory, the results, and the horse. But other than that, it's the same.

Switching from hunters to dressage does actually require relearning, effort, and change to one's habits, unless it's just a tack change and nothing else.

Hunt seat is only 'easy' at the lowest levels, same for dressage. If one isn't really going much like a hunter, and then isn't really going much like a dressage horse, it's pretty easy to switch.

grayarabpony
Sep. 18, 2009, 07:20 PM
As somebody who has actually switched horses over to dressage from both the hunter and the western pleasure disciplines, I did not find it all that difficult.

Maybe I am a genius, or maybe my and my hunter's previous foundation was actually good for something. I was not responsible for the western pleasure horse's foundation, but again, maybe my (inferior hunter) foundation was good enough to put a decent Training/First level ride on an inferiorly foundationed horse.

At any rate I never felt like all of a sudden I or the horses were doing things entirely differently.

Of course it remains possible that I am doing it all wrong. Many a COTHer has insisted thusly before.

I don't think you're a genius. Sorry.

Did I say that hunter riders don't ride their horses, or that the riding was "entirely different"? Why no I didn't. Dressage riding requires more accuracy with regard to forward and straight at the same time than hunters do riding on the flat, that is all. I say that is all, but it's still a big difference in practice.

It is entirely possible that you are doing it all wrong, since you are responding like this. Or you're just being kind of a smarta$$?

goeslikestink
Sep. 18, 2009, 07:53 PM
'dressage means schooling'

dressage, however, doesn't mean just any schooling. It is, in fact, rather unlike schooling a hunter, a polo pony, a western horse, or other types of horses.

Even if 200 years ago dressage meant 'training' it actually meant 'a very general sort of training' and was applied to everything from chinchillas to children.

Dressage schooling is different from western, hunter, or saddle seat schooling. Oh no, I'm sorry. It's the same. Except for the tack, the aids, the goals, the style, the methodology, the theory, the results, and the horse. But other than that, it's the same.

Switching from hunters to dressage does actually require relearning, effort, and change to one's habits, unless it's just a tack change and nothing else.

Hunt seat is only 'easy' at the lowest levels, same for dressage. If one isn't really going much like a hunter, and then isn't really going much like a dressage horse, it's pretty easy to switch.



i do mixed events so actually school my horses to those events
in french the word drssage is and does mean schooling--------

schooling is flat work trianing most basic foundation of all disipilines

meupatdoes
Sep. 19, 2009, 01:41 AM
I don't think you're a genius. Sorry.

Did I say that hunter riders don't ride their horses, or that the riding was "entirely different"? Why no I didn't. Dressage riding requires more accuracy with regard to forward and straight at the same time than hunters do riding on the flat, that is all. I say that is all, but it's still a big difference in practice.

It is entirely possible that you are doing it all wrong, since you are responding like this. Or you're just being kind of a smarta$$?

Have you ridden a course of 3' jumps before?
I'm just wondering because of this comment:

"Dressage riding requires more accuracy with regard to forward and straight at the same time than hunters do riding on the flat."

Well, maybe on the flat the hunter ride has more room for leeway, but when you turn "on the flat" into "riding a four inch wide track to the center of a jump and being accurate enough with your straightness and control of the stride to arrive within 6 inches of the desired take off spot", then suddenly forward and straight takes on a new meaning.
"Accuracy" takes on a whole new meaning in hunterland.

And where does one prepare one's hunter for this jumping performance?
Why... on the flat.

Maybe you have actually switched 15 horses from one discipline or another into a dressage career, and you can switch at will from a hunter ride to a dressage ride to a western pleasure jog, and hey, that's awesome, but I get a feeling that a lot of people in this forum who tout how Special and Different dressage is have very limited experience at doing anything else.


As for Slick, why would you think that I would ask my horse to canter any differently when he is in his hunt seat saddle as in his dressage saddle? The aids are the same. Do you honestly believe that when I pick up the canter at A intending to courtesy circle and head up the outside line I do so differently than when I pick up the canter at A intending to do a 10m circle at K?
As for tack, he responds the same whether I'm in the hunt saddle, the dressage saddle, or bareback. A slight 'holding' of the back, as an example of one aid, and he whoas. Period.
The aid is the same, and the response is the same, no matter what tack I am in. It comes in handy to shave 6" off the stride to make a line fit, and it comes in handy to return to the working canter after a lengthening as well.
(Actually, my dressage trainer was amazed at how well that horse responds to seat when he first asked us to do lengthenings and shortenings. I was like, "Well, ...how else do you think we get around a course? He has to 'hear' my seat when I'm in two point!")

Once again I fail to understand why some dressage riders need to feel like they are doing something fundamentally different -and so much BETTER- from everyone else.

grayarabpony
Sep. 19, 2009, 07:27 AM
Get over yourself. :lol: I've evented through training level (3' 3", and much wider than jumps in the hunter ring I might add) and schooled 4' jumps many times.

Spare me the lecture on how hunterland is just like dressage. There's been plenty of hunter rounds with the horse on its forehand, pinned very well. And no, horses don't run around on their forehands crosscountry. Not the good ones anyway.

slc2
Sep. 19, 2009, 07:35 AM
"As for Slick, why would you think that I would ask my horse to canter any differently when he is in his hunt seat saddle as in his dressage saddle?"

That's what I'm saying. He canters the same way under the hunt seat saddle as he does in the dressage saddle. That's my point. There you go. That's why I think people shout 'they're the same!!', because they don't understand the differences that are supposed to be there. The horse should be cantering differently, in fact, in dressage vs hunt seat.

Having done hunt seat, western, saddle seat and dressage, I think those 'styles' are very, very different from dressage, in fact, when done the way they're supposed to be done. While there are similarities, a saddle seat horse that is made to go like a dressage horse, isn't doing saddle seat any more. A hunt seat horse that goes like a dressage horse isn't doing hunt seat any more. Trying to make all the horses go the same, is misguided, but a lot of people do it...and they beat their chests and shout louder than everyone else, so they're 'right', especially in bulletin board world.

At the very lowest levels, when doing nothing, when not following the style of riding OR doing dressage, saying they're 'the same' is, I do think misguided. It means one fails to understand and perform the riding 'style' AND one fails to understand and perform dressage.

The assumption being made in the above posts is that people who think the riding styles are different, MUST also think that dressage is somehow better.

I don't think that. You're assuming that. I don't think that. Saying something is different means I think it's different. And that's all I said. It's different. YOU'RE accusing people of meaning it's also better. All I said is that it's different. All I BELIEVE is that it's different.

You are talking about 'riding styles' that originally came from a utilitarian use that have evolved into a show ring style. They have quite sharply evolved away from the FEI sports, including dressage.

I think eventing, show jumping and dressage have more in common as far as how they are schooled, but there still are a lot of differences in how one prepares for eventing, show jumping and dressage competitions, and the more specialized and advanced they get, the more different they get.

For a GREAT many people, 'dressage' means the same kind of flat work they do in ANY riding sport. And they get really teed off on bulletin boards if anyone says anything different, LOL. To them, they glory in the fact, it HAS to be the same for all types of riding, that's what makes it 'good' in their eyes.

Done correctly, done the way it is supposed to be done, yup, dressage is different. Putting black tack on a horse and saying one's doing dressage, isn't quite the same as actually doing it.

And if a person doesn't THINK dressage is any different from any other kind of riding, they won't DO it any differentlly and they will avoid anyone who doesn't agree with them. So they will continue to believe that.

In Europe, and in fact in quite a few places in the world, they don't have any of our American 'styles'. In some cases these styles are only just now getting popular in other countries. And quite often, when these styles are 'shipped abroard' they are done very differently than they are done here, with more of a 'dressage method', especially in countries where they traditionally just didn't have anything else.

egontoast
Sep. 19, 2009, 08:05 AM
it's interesting what sorts of topics get people all fired up.:eek:

I have trained my chinchilla to piaffe but I'm not sure if it's a REAL piaffe or just my chinchilla being silly in the field. After all, we skipped second.

meupatdoes
Sep. 19, 2009, 09:06 AM
"As for Slick, why would you think that I would ask my horse to canter any differently when he is in his hunt seat saddle as in his dressage saddle?"

That's what I'm saying. He canters the same way under the hunt seat saddle as he does in the dressage saddle. That's my point. There you go. That's why I think people shout 'they're the same!!', because they don't understand the differences that are supposed to be there. The horse should be cantering differently, in fact, in dressage vs hunt seat.



No, the AIDS are the same.
My AID to give him the canter depart is the same.
I am not asking for the same canter, I am asking him to canter (giving a canter depart cue) the same way.

What I then DO WITH the canter with my subsequent aids is different.

Whether I am riding him huntseat, dressage, or bareback, I can use my AIDS to ask for a longer, flatter canter or a shorter, rounder canter.

If I lighten my seat a touch and give him more freedom with my hips in EITHER saddle, he will lengthen and flatten his stride. If I 'slow his back down' with my seat and add a little leg in EITHER saddle, he will take shorter, rounder steps. The aids are the same.
Even when schooling in the dressage saddle, I ride him in different frames. We start off in more of a 'hunter' frame. Then I ask for a more elevated frame. Then we do a stretchy circle. And so on.
I do the EXACT SAME ROUTINE in the hunter saddle.

The AIDS ARE THE SAME, and I use them to elicit different ways of going from my horse as part of fine-tuning his responses and gymnasticizing him.
No matter what saddle I am riding in.

Or do you just give a "canter" cue and then the horse automatically canters around carrying himself the rest of the way on his own? You still have to use a combination of (the SAME) aids to maintain the canter how you would like it. Ideally, if you ride well, you will change your canter around during your ride to school different things. You will use the SAME AIDS to elicit many different ways of going from the horse. Unless you just canter around Exactly The Same the whole ride.

Do you just ride your horse in one Correct Dressage Competition Frame the whole time? You never stretch him back and forth like an accordion? You never ride him in the longer (more huntery) frame at some points of the ride because it's NOT DRESSAGE? You don't ever say, "Hey, bud, you're getting a little short in your neck here so let's do this with an extra long neck for a couple times and then come back a little."? Conversely you don't ever say, "Hey bud, you're getting a little flat and away from my seat, let's do some transitions and ride you a little extra short for a longside to bring you back."? Every movement, every moment is ridden in the We Are Doing Correct Dressage Frame, of which there is only one?
Good luck with your stretchy circle scores then if you can't spool him out and reel him in.

But wait Slick, if you DO gymnasticize your horse, which frame is "Correct"? At what point are you doing dressage? Clearly there is only ONE Way Of Going that is DRESSAGE, so which is it? Is the stretchy circle trot not dressage because only the high, roundstepping trot is?



So, Grayarabpony, ignoring the whole, "eventers can ride, hunter people can't" flavor of your post, according to Slick's logic here, you use DIFFERENT AIDS when you are riding cross country as when you are doing your dressage test. Not the same exact aids just eliciting different ways of going, because as a good rider on a schooled horse you can ride his neck long, short, or anywhere in between, but DIFFERENT AIDS. Do you find that to be true? Your canter depart cue is different out of the box than it is at A?
Your "shorten and lift" cue is different on the way to a jump than coming out of a lengthening at K?
You taught your horse two dictionaries of aids in order to be able to compete in multiple phases of eventing?
Or you use the same exact aids (only one dictionary) and you ride well on a well-schooled and thoroughly gymnasticized horse so you can pick whatever frame you want to go in at the moment (and by the way it's straight too) no matter what saddle you are in?
If somebody hollered at you across the cross country course, "OK, now change the game plan for 30 seconds and do a 8 quality shoulder in for 15 steps" you would be totally SOL because both your dressage saddle and your dressage aids were in the tack stall back at the ranch?


The whole point of riding a horse well is that you use your aids to elicit different things from him. Someone can stand on the side of the ring and say "Head up, head down, neck long, neck short, stride longer, stride shorter, true bend, counter bend, etc." and they can't stump you because no matter what they say your well-schooled and gymnasticized horse can do it in a snap.

There is never Only One Frame, or Only One Way of Going no matter what discipline you do. You need the whole menu to make a horse, -ANY horse- even if you only demonstrate a few select dishes for a particular judge. And in order to have access to the menu, you need a UNIFIED and WELL-SCHOOLED set of the SAME aids that you can APPLY at whim to elicit all the dishes on the menu.

That, in my book, is riding.

grayarabpony
Sep. 19, 2009, 09:49 AM
Paranoid much, meupatdoes? I didn't say hunter rides can't ride, I said I've seen hunter rides I didn't like (as in on the forehand) pinned well. For that matter, I've seen dressage tests scored well that I didn't like either.

Nor did I say there was only one frame for any kind of riding.

You've missed my point, and sadly I guess you'll never get it, on this board anyway. Good luck.

meupatdoes
Sep. 19, 2009, 09:59 AM
Paranoid much, meupatdoes? I didn't say hunter rides can't ride, I said I've seen hunter rides I didn't like (as in on the forehand) pinned well. For that matter, I've seen dressage tests scored well that I didn't like either.

Nor did I say there was only one frame for any kind of riding.

You've missed my point, and sadly I guess you'll never get it, on this board anyway. Good luck.

What on earth does "I've seen some judging I disagreed with in a couple different disciplines" have to do with this thread? If that is somehow related to your point then I really have missed it.

Equibrit
Sep. 19, 2009, 10:40 AM
In Europe, and in fact in quite a few places in the world, they don't have any of our American 'styles'. In some cases these styles are only just now getting popular in other countries. And quite often, when these styles are 'shipped abroard' they are done very differently than they are done here, with more of a 'dressage method', especially in countries where they traditionally just didn't have anything else.

That is just downright stupid.

slc2
Sep. 19, 2009, 10:41 AM
That's your answer to everything. :lol:

CatOnLap
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:59 AM
What I am saying is that Steinbrecht's advice works for many warmbloods bred for dressage. With a lot of hot breeds, they get crooked, fast and on the forehand as a way to evade aids they don't understand. They get so crooked they can't even travel in a rythym. Surely you've seen horses that can't travel in a rythym until they're straight? .

As I previously said, the concept of having to be either totally straight before getting forward or totally forward before proceeding onto straight is an artefact of the human tendency to arrange things in a linear fashion. It is only when we are talking/writing about these things that we have to put one or the other first: in practice they are intertwined.


Why do you think I'm referring to straightness at the halt?

Because you said above “they can’t travel in a rythym(sic) until they’re straight”. If the horse has to be straight before going forward, it must be at the halt? Again an artefact of the linear thinking that we humans do on the page. Obviously you intended to imply that you are going forward first, since you talk about the horse traveling fast while you are trying to straighten him. So we agree.


And, actually, I happen to think that it works for hotbloods too, thus my comments about crookedness being a hindrance to rythym. Most hotbloods already have the forward, the energy is just not being used in the most efficient way possible.

Well, of course, it works for most horses, or it wouldn’t have become such a successful system. But this statement appears to contradict what you said about the subject earlier. (first quote) Again, I think you are agreeing.


I don't have a "poor linear mind" that puts things into strict categories. .

You have personalized a general remark, taken it out of its contextual sentence and used it as a reason to argue. The remark is not directed at you, which is why I used the pronoun “we” to indicate all humans. If you are human, your mind will tend to work in this linear way when using (esp. written) language to communicate. You have provided excellent examples in your posts, so I am assured you are human. If you were a horse, written language would be a poor tool for us to communicate with. The “whole body language” we use with our mounts allows simultaneous and not linear, communication of the “forward concept”, the “rhythm concept” and the “straightness concept”.


Once you get everything together -- the forward, and the straightness -- everything falls into place quickly if the rider and the horse are communicating well. Repeating that harmony can be the hard part. Sometimes I think the only way to get consistent results with a really hot horse is not to care how they go. The rider has to be the ultimate Zenmaster. .

Quite agree. I find dressage very meditative actually. With the green, reactive or spoiled horse, one must remain unflappable and concentrate on basics. They may race around on the forehand ignoring all aides at first, as you say, whether they are hot, warm or cold blooded. Plenty of forward. Now try a little straighten. The horse will relax and find a rhythm, or will find a rhythm and relax, or all simultaneously, in any case they do eventually slow down and start being a whole lot easier to ride, easier to straighten and THEN you can think about contact and the aides. Too many beginner riders on green horses are scared to death of those first stages and immediately apply the (sometimes severe) aides to slow the rhythm and stifle the natural forward. And so we come back to “dressaging” the horse you have, and the one you have created.

slc2
Sep. 19, 2009, 04:25 PM
"Slick's logic"

No, meupatdoes, that's all YOUR logic. I don't believe or practice any of the heinous stupid things you are accusing me of believing or practicing, as usual. :lol::lol:

Pony Fixer
Sep. 19, 2009, 06:41 PM
So I'm gonna guess that for a large part of the US at least, we have no choice but to "dressage what we have". No problem with that, so long as you realize that you will likely not be going to the Olympics or even the CDI in your area.

We can all learn something about riding better (refinement of aids, seat, etc), and all horses can learn to go better (training scale, etc).

But, as many have said, it is a heck of a lot easier on both the person and the horse, if a few things come into play:

1) The person has a good instructor/trainer. Doesn't necessarily have to have fancy credentials, just imparts good basics. Seat to hand, longe lessons, no gripping, straight and balanced, yadda yadda.

2) The horse should have some sort of athletic conformation that allows it to easily carry itself more on the hind leg and elevate the forehand. This is going to be easier for some types than others. WB have been bred to travel this way, and so by and large it is easier for them. But, you can find horses of any breed that have a long sloping shoulder, are built uphill, etc. to "do" competitive dressage.

Personally, I started dressage as an eventer on an OTTB. I had minimal dressage training (a few lessons/month), but tons of hunt seat/jumper/CC type instructors. You can guess what kind of "dressage" I was riding. It wasn't good. And I don't mean bouncing/pulling, I just mean I didn't "get" the whole point of the dressage thing. Then I moved on to a DraftX. At this point I had fallen in love with dressage and wanted to only do that. Unfortunately, I had purchased this horse as a yearling when I thought I would event and foxhunt forever. So I dressaged what I had. I got GOOD instruction and lots of it. We competed successfully to 2nd level with scores in the 60s, and it was tough on both of us at the end. If I could go back to this horse knowing what I have learned in the years since starting him (a decade), I bet he could have gone a bit farther with less anguish to us both.

The next horse was a Morgan/Dutch X who had already competed to 3rd, albeit inverted. After 2 years of re-training for him and more instruction for me, he was high 60s at 3rd and I got 4th level Silver scores too. He was also not the ideal build, despite being half WB--he really was a committee horse! But he improved, and I continued to learn.

So now I have a new young thing, and it all seems so easy. Now, tell me, is it because I have learned so much in the last 10 years of active dressage "study" (and by this I mean I have been taking about 3-4 lessons/week for years) that I can now effectively "dressage" a horse at the lower levels, or is it because he is bred to the hilt, uphill, naturally wants to be through and engaged, etc, and so is just built for the end game?

Likely it's a little of both. I can basically just steer this guy around the letters, make some baby mistakes in a test, and still score a 69-70%. He just "came out of the package" with half the training scale already loaded. And I can now recognize this and not hinder it. Do I think it's gonna be easy to get him to FEI? Dunno. But I think it will be easier than I've ever had it so far!

Sithly
Sep. 19, 2009, 06:48 PM
And so we come back to “dressaging” the horse you have, and the one you have created.

Very well said. :yes:


There is never Only One Frame, or Only One Way of Going no matter what discipline you do. You need the whole menu to make a horse, -ANY horse- even if you only demonstrate a few select dishes for a particular judge. And in order to have access to the menu, you need a UNIFIED and WELL-SCHOOLED set of the SAME aids that you can APPLY at whim to elicit all the dishes on the menu.

Bingo. Yet another point upon which my western trainer and my dressage trainer agree. Fancy that. :lol:

rugbygirl
Sep. 19, 2009, 06:55 PM
I'm not really a very good rider, and certainly no trainer...but I have been at this Dressage thing for a little while now.

The way I have seen it...it's a lot like music, learning to play an instrument (something I know a lot about). I started playing trumpet on a POC old Yamaha with a major dent in the tuning slide. That actually didn't matter at all until I'd been playing about a year.

Much like my Clydesdale...get us some fantastic instruction, and I sort out my riding while she goes in nice working gaits and willingly goes from letter to letter. That's...that's all I needed riding at my level. Sorting out position and hands and independent seat and rhythm...even my Clydesdale could give feedback on those things.

My second trumpet was a secondhand Yamaha, still the base model, but no major dents. It had a mouthpiece suited to my embouchure. It lasted the next seven years, while I went from my grade 1 Conservatory until the end of Junior High School.

That's what I reckon my current Thoroughbred is. He's got no real talent for Dressage, but he's a nice-moving FORWARD horse. He's swingy and willing, and it isn't difficult for him to round up under a rider. I'm still sorting out pretty basic things as a rider, but my COACH was the one who finally said that I'd outgrown the Clyde as a rider. If I wanted to keep improving, I needed more horse under me, and she is very satisfied with this one. He won't go past 2nd, not even for a really good rider, but he'll DO 2nd and get me there.

My current trumpet is a Bach, their top-end model, which is hand-fit. It resonates in my hands when I press the valves, and sings when I'm playing well. A truly brilliant sound, perfect for the Symphony and Wind Band pieces I played Lead in.

Maybe that's what a warmblood is for Dressage. I know that right now, I won't appreciate it, any more than my 7 year old self would have appreciated my Bach.

spotted mustang
Sep. 19, 2009, 07:10 PM
That is just downright stupid.

it's also downright right-on, at least in Germany. There are no hunters or pleasure or equitation or whatever styles there. In any decent barn, when you first start out, you learn to ride in a dressage way. Regardless of whether you move on to jumpers or dressage or xcountry or endurance or even western.

My jumping instructor over there would yell at us between jumps, "dressurmaessig reiten!" (ride dressage)

Equibrit
Sep. 19, 2009, 07:26 PM
To imagine that other countries need to import "American Styles" is downright stupid. There is a reason there is no hunters, or pleasure or equitation in other countries.

spotted mustang
Sep. 19, 2009, 07:47 PM
so we all agree!

BuddyRoo
Sep. 19, 2009, 08:16 PM
snork!:lol:

EqTrainer
Sep. 19, 2009, 08:29 PM
I tend to gather up "off breeds" but I have to add the caveat that I select horses of the sporthorse type and movement, so I am not really sure that it counts. I am very uninterested in how a horse is bred and very interested in what it can do. I find that conformation, for the most part, tells the truth in the long run. So I gravitate towards a type and not a breed.

I like how TB's think so most of my horses have been TB, if not all, at least partially. The exception would be my QH, who is a full-blooded QH, not an appendix, but again is the sport horse type. He doesn't even look *a little* like a QH, and certainly not a foundation type or halter QH although that is what he is. He's really a freak.

I cannot really say that I dressage the horse I have... it's more like I choose the horse and plan to do dressage w/it. Sometimes they surprise me and end up being hunters. I do have plenty of clients whose horses I dressage, that I did not choose, and so I guess that counts :lol:

I am all for dressaging the horse you own tho'.. as long as you are willing to examine the horses abilities and not push it past what it can do - and clean up the mess if you make that mistake. The longer I do this, the less intolerant I am becoming of people who want to do the deal with a horse that never will be able to; break it down and then want to get rid of it and start again. This time, perhaps heeding the warnings they were given.. perhaps not. It's disheartening.

grayarabpony
Sep. 19, 2009, 10:00 PM
What I meant is that it is hard for a horse to stay in rhythm when it's travelling crooked, because the horse can't stay in balance.

I don't use the halt to straighten the horse, because I think it can end up ruining the halt on a sensitive horse. One of my horses (the little pony) is hotter and more sensitive than the TBs I've ridden, and now I ride the halt with her only when she's relaxed. In fact, I use the halt to relax her (as in, drop the reins, pet her, let husband pet her head) after reading about pony89's mare and realizing that I needed to do something that "drastic" with this pony, so she'd feel like she was really getting a reward.

I think there are lots of horses who don't need any straightening to travel in a good rhythm (my gelding for example), but I think there are others who do.

meupatdoes
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:13 PM
"Slick's logic"

No, meupatdoes, that's all YOUR logic. I don't believe or practice any of the heinous stupid things you are accusing me of believing or practicing, as usual. :lol::lol:

I wrote, "By Slick's logic here, you use DIFFERENT AIDS..."

This was in response to your saying, "It's the same. Except for the tack, the aids, the goals, the style, the methodology, the theory, the results, and the horse. But other than that, it's the same." Which, maybe I am just unable to read, but that indicated to me that you were saying the aids were different.

But now, of course, that whole 'different aids' thing isn't your logic.


Oooooookay.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:31 PM
What I meant is that it is hard for a hard to stand in rythym when it's travelling crooked, because the horse can't stay in balance.

:confused:

Huh?

FancyFree
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:05 AM
I think it is suppose to be it's hard for a horse to stay in rhythm when it's travelling crooked because the horse cant stay in balance.

I could be wrong though. :lol:

Long Spot
Sep. 20, 2009, 02:22 AM
There is never Only One Frame, or Only One Way of Going no matter what discipline you do. You need the whole menu to make a horse, -ANY horse- even if you only demonstrate a few select dishes for a particular judge. And in order to have access to the menu, you need a UNIFIED and WELL-SCHOOLED set of the SAME aids that you can APPLY at whim to elicit all the dishes on the menu.

That, in my book, is riding.

Know it's already been quoted, but thought it should be repeated. In any discipline, you can see the horrid and the good. To use only the horrid as an example and then back tracking is taking a cheap shot.

2WBs1TB
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:11 AM
Dressage at the begining levels is the training that should take place for EVERY horse. Why would you even get hung up with calling it "Dressage".

If I hear once more that 'dressage means training', I think I'll run off to a buddhist ranch.



Dressage means training....

and I'm rubbing Buddha's tummie for luck.





ok, has Slick left yet? :D

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:23 AM
I think you have to tap your head at the same time

dressagemeanstrainingdressagemeanstrainingdressage meanstraining

or try this

dressagehasmilitaryroots

That oughta do it

meupatdoes
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:24 AM
I think you have to tap your head at the same time

dressagemeanstrainingdressagemeanstrainingdressage meanstraining

or try this

dressagehasmilitaryroots

That oughta do it

Well, they were trapped in a fort on a mountain top, obviously.

Maybe the buddhist retreat will be on a mountain top.

Pony Fixer
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:52 PM
I think you have to tap your head at the same time

dressagemeanstrainingdressagemeanstrainingdressage meanstraining

or try this

dressagehasmilitaryroots

That oughta do it

Once again, I think I love you! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

flea
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:37 PM
When we started eventing my mule, her movement really improved. Even her western pleasure was nice and she won the State 4H show (for mules) 2 or 3 times after that. Of course, isn't that what dressage is supposed to do? Improve horse for their intended use, not always an end in itself.

Thomas_1
Sep. 20, 2009, 02:08 PM
If I hear once more that 'dressage means training', I think I'll run off to a buddhist ranch.



Do you know what happens when SLC turns Buddhist and becomes totally absorbed with the computer she is working with?
.........................................

She enters Nerdvana. :lol:

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2009, 07:01 PM
Don't forget to pack your tranquilizer gun!

O-O-M is just Moo backwards.

Thomas_1
Sep. 20, 2009, 07:09 PM
Holy Cow. ;)

Slc's off to a Buddhist Monestry to retrieve the errant beast.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 21, 2009, 12:40 AM
Buddhists HAVE ranches?

nhwr
Sep. 21, 2009, 05:00 AM
You have never traveled to the coast over Mt Tamalpais then?

Very nice Buddhist ranch on the west side of the Mt Tam, below Muir Woods :yes:

slc2
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:09 AM
Don't kid yourself. Even the deer know where those places are. On opening day (hunting season), I once saw a herd of dozens of deer running straight to 'Song of the Morning Ranch' (or whatever it was called) in upper Mi. They looked like an army drill team running next to the road, LOL. When I got there, the deer were lying all over the front lawn. The fishermen used to stand on the other side of the river and yell over, 'Hey YOGI! Where's BOO BOO!'

egontoast
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:10 AM
I think they are called bude ranches.

grayarabpony
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:01 AM
As I previously said, the concept of having to be either totally straight before getting forward or totally forward before proceeding onto straight is an artefact of the human tendency to arrange things in a linear fashion.
Er, that is not my tendency though. Perhaps a shortcoming of yours? or that of the royal "we"? ;)



Because you said above “they can’t travel in a rythym(sic) until they’re straight”. If the horse has to be straight before going forward, it must be at the halt? Again an artefact of the linear thinking that we humans do on the page. Obviously you intended to imply that you are going forward first, since you talk about the horse traveling fast while you are trying to straighten him. So we agree.
That you came to this conclusion is perhaps an artefact [sic] of your linear thinking. What do you think travel means? I don't believe it ever means standing still. A horse can travel and still not be moving rhythmically, of course. Why would anyone think otherwise?

Sure, the rider half halts before bending. However, slowing a horse down still doesn't put him a steady rhythm. (And please spare me the lecture about how adding the word "steady" changes everything, because it doesn't. I just added it for emphasis.)




Well, of course, it works for most horses, or it wouldn’t have become such a successful system. But this statement appears to contradict what you said about the subject earlier. (first quote) Again, I think you are agreeing.

Apparently you don't know what I'm thinking since you don't appear to understand my posts.



You have personalized a general remark, taken it out of its contextual sentence and used it as a reason to argue. The remark is not directed at you, which is why I used the pronoun “we” to indicate all humans. If you are human, your mind will tend to work in this linear way when using (esp. written) language to communicate. You have provided excellent examples in your posts, so I am assured you are human. If you were a horse, written language would be a poor tool for us to communicate with. The “whole body language” we use with our mounts allows simultaneous and not linear, communication of the “forward concept”, the “rhythm concept” and the “straightness concept”.
You used that example in a response to my post, of course I'm going to assume it's directed at me -- that in spite of royal "we". Why you think that language can convey anything but a linear concept is puzzling.




Quite agree. I find dressage very meditative actually. With the green, reactive or spoiled horse, one must remain unflappable and concentrate on basics. They may race around on the forehand ignoring all aides at first, as you say, whether they are hot, warm or cold blooded. Plenty of forward. Now try a little straighten. The horse will relax and find a rhythm, or will find a rhythm and relax, or all simultaneously, in any case they do eventually slow down and start being a whole lot easier to ride, easier to straighten and THEN you can think about contact and the aides. Too many beginner riders on green horses are scared to death of those first stages and immediately apply the (sometimes severe) aides to slow the rhythm and stifle the natural forward. And so we come back to “dressaging” the horse you have, and the one you have created.

A refreshing change from the tone of the rest of your post, even though I believe I detect a reference to certain poster on this board in there. :rolleyes:

Roan
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:26 AM
. . .
That you came to this conclusion is perhaps an artefact [sic] (sorry, forgot you are Canadian) of your linear thinking.. . .

Just what kind of a slur is that supposed to be and what the he|| does one being Canadian have to do with this?

Eileen

grayarabpony
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:39 AM
It wasn't a slur. Canadians typically use the spelling artefact and Americans use the spelling artifact.

Get a grip.

Since Catonlap was so kindly pointing out my spelling error of the word rythym, which I can't ever spell....:rolleyes:

Enough of this. This little group of "we" (and yes, everyone knows what that means, if they've been reading the boards for very long) is a total waste of time.

Roan
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:11 AM
It wasn't a slur. Canadians typically use the spelling artefact and Americans use the spelling artifact.

Get a grip.

Sorry, but you are wrong. Canadians do not "typically use the spelling artefact". Artefact is the British variant. Artifact is the Canadian and American variant. If you know some Canadians who spell it in the British way then they are the rare exception, not the rule.

Here:

http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm

If you are going to make a general, sweeping comment about a country's people, either have facts or qualify it in some manner.

And yes, I am Canadian, and I went to school in the 70s and yes, we learned it as "artifact".

Eileen

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:13 AM
GAP, get firefox, it has built in spell check ;)

Roan
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:18 AM
GAP, get firefox, it has built in spell check ;)

I agree. I used to have problems with "rhythm", too, but after FF corrected me for the zillionth I can actually spell it now :)

Love the spell checker.

Eileen

meupatdoes
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:22 AM
Wait, where is this built in firefox spell checker?

I have FF too but can not spell rythmm for the life of me.

See?

It just let me get away with that.

Roan
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:26 AM
Wait, where is this built in firefox spell checker?

I have FF too but can not spell rythmm for the life of me.

See?

It just let me get away with that.

Did you add it to the dictionary misspelled, by any chance? It should underline misspellings in a red dotted line -- FF underlined "rythmm" when I replied to your post.


Eileen

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:29 AM
I believe there's an option to shut it off. Maybe all those underlined words made you angry and you turned it off in blind rage?

I feel like doing that sometimes ;)

In FF3, options, advanced, general- "check my spelling as I type."

I believe Opera and Chrome also have it.

grayarabpony
Sep. 21, 2009, 01:41 PM
Sorry, but you are wrong. Canadians do not "typically use the spelling artefact". Artefact is the British variant. Artifact is the Canadian and American variant. If you know some Canadians who spell it in the British way then they are the rare exception, not the rule.

Here:

http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm

If you are going to make a general, sweeping comment about a country's people, either have facts or qualify it in some manner.

And yes, I am Canadian, and I went to school in the 70s and yes, we learned it as "artifact".

Eileen

OK, then CatOnLap misspelled artifact. I'll edit my post. Not that it matters, everybody mispells things. In fact, I probably just mispelled mispell. Now that proves that we are human. ;)

Believe me, I don't have anything again Canadians. :lol: That's silly.

CatOnLap
Sep. 21, 2009, 01:53 PM
Hmm, please move your arguments to a thread on dictionaries maybe?

Honestly, the use of the word "sic" is simply proper professional writing when one wishes to indicate that the quoted spelling is as it appears in the quote, whether right, wrong or unfamiliar. It does not necessarily mean the word is mis-spelled ( yes, "spelt" is also correct spelling) but the poster choses to personalize this detail and many other general remarks for their own purposes.The Oxford dictionary defines "sic" as meaning: "thus used or spelt, confirming the form of quoted words."


I am schooled in Canada and at my schools, they taught us the form "artefact", but they also taught us to look in a dictionary if we were unsure. So both the Webster American Dictionary and the Oxford English will tell you that both spellings are correct.

Sheesh. I thought we were talking dressage?

CatOnLap
Sep. 21, 2009, 02:05 PM
Oh yeah, and the subject of whether rhythm and tempo are the same is a topic for another thread.

It kind of starts like this:

Tempo- the speed or rapidity of movements, including the rhythm, for example: waltz tempo.

Rhythm- the pattern of long and short, or accented and unaccented beats in a sequence.

Greater dressage minds than we have debated that one too!

Roan
Sep. 21, 2009, 03:30 PM
. . .

Sheesh. I thought we were talking dressage?

Maybe instead of "ODG" we should be saying "ODA" -- Old Dead Artifact/Artefact :D

Eileen

Moderator 1
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:10 PM
Yes, how about we all drop the spelling debate and get back to the main topic. ;)

Thanks!
Mod 1

AFierceArmadillo
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:24 PM
So...

what has dressage done for the horses I ride? It makes them stronger and more sensitive, and that's good for any discipline. As a constant rider of "other people's horses," I do what I can with what I have... so that even the western-bred 16hh QH whose legs are all of 3hh can be improved with dressage. He's NEVER going to do more than maybe first level well, because of his conformation, but he's stronger, goes forward, and is easier for his slightly older owner to control... which is all my goal has ever been! She loves him, but I want her to love riding him.

What had dressage done for me? It's made me more effective and aware of the influence of my body on the way my horse moves. I switched to dressage after a few scary falls, and I stuck with it because I felt it gave me more control over my horse. I feel better and braver doing everything now, because I know my seat and my foundation are more solid.

When things fall apart for me, I go take a dressage lesson (or 150) until I get it right... and every horse I ride, from the Chincoteague ponies to the OTTBs and QH, goes better. So no... that stocky QH is never going to be as flashy as the gigantic WBs, but he will be miles better than the fat pasture ornament who couldn't trot for half an hour!

grayarabpony
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:57 PM
Honestly, the use of the word "sic" is simply proper professional writing when one wishes to indicate that the quoted spelling is as it appears in the quote, whether right, wrong or unfamiliar. It does not necessarily mean the word is mis-spelled ( yes, "spelt" is also correct spelling) but the poster choses to personalize this detail and many other general remarks for their own purposes.The Oxford dictionary defines "sic" as meaning: "thus used or spelt, confirming the form of quoted words."


Yeah, right, whatever. :lol:


Oh yeah, and the subject of whether rhythm and tempo are the same is a topic for another thread.

It kind of starts like this:

Tempo- the speed or rapidity of movements, including the rhythm, for example: waltz tempo.

Rhythm- the pattern of long and short, or accented and unaccented beats in a sequence.

Greater dressage minds than we have debated that one too!

Again, whatever. :lol: I think it's kind of funny when I tell about my experiences and someone tells me that I am wrong in my thinking and tries to twist my words around. No, I certainly don't think I'm any great dressage rider, or even a very good one (passable is how I'd grade myself when I'm riding well) but I do have a good depth of knowledge, because of the teachers and the experiences I have had. Well, you don't have to listen to or believe me, it matters not one whit. There is certainly more than one road to Rome, and different things work for different horses and riders.

I know what the definitions of tempo and rhythm are, thanks. I did not say that they were the same thing.

Have a good day.