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lacy859
Jun. 19, 2006, 11:52 AM
OK, i've recieved some feedback from my trainer on this, but i want other suggestions. My horse has a much harder time bending when traveling to the right, and does not take as much of hold of my left hand as he does the right. He also legs yeilds much better to the left than to the right. When circling, he likes to fall into the circle when traveling right. Soundness-wise he is ok (for him, who is older and has some arthritis). He wings with both front legs but worse with the left front. He also is less willing to step under himself with the left hind and instead likes to swing it out, but after getting after him he steps under much better.
His main job is being a hunter, but after some soundness issues last year my eventer vet suggested that we start crosstraining with some dressage to strethen the backend area. He has consistantly gotten much better than he was before any of the dressage work, and I'm sure that most of the flexibility problems he has are more instilled from habit rather than from pain. He does get his hocks and him left fetlock injected once a year. So, can anyone think of any excercises we can do to become more flexible and workable through our left side?

BornToRide
Jun. 19, 2006, 12:25 PM
Well that's very common in horses in general as most are right side dominant like people. This means they right side is stronger and longer and the leaft weaker and shorter, hence the resistance to bend to the right on the circle.

Basically you will need to work on strengthening and stretching the weaker left side so your horse will become more even left and right. Any exercises that will encourage your horse to do this will be good.

not again
Jun. 19, 2006, 01:03 PM
Get your horse checked out by your massage person and chiropractor. There are a couple of very basic things that could be causing this familiar problem which are not training issues.

Valentina_32926
Jun. 19, 2006, 02:45 PM
20 meter circles - use outside leg in time with squeeze (then release) on outside rein as you "sit" in posting trot. Outside leg gets him to step underneath himself, outside rein get him "round" on that rein. Intersperse that with squeeze/release on right rein - but only AFTER you get him round on outside rein and LOW in the neck. Be sure rider doesn't sit forward - but post almost straihjt up and down. OPnce he can get and maintain this then "loosen" him up by a quiet squeeze/release on alternating reins - jet getting him to ned thru the neck. Be sure he "bends" around inside leg but do not pull back with reins - use your arms like side reins (elbows to waist) and use inside calf at girth inside. Be sure your shoulders alighn with horses.

Tonja
Jun. 19, 2006, 02:53 PM
It’s always a good idea to first rule out any painful physical issues the horse may have.

If the horse is sound, resistance to bending is often caused by tension or imbalance. The rider can help the horse soften to the bending aids by riding in a correct, forward, relaxed rhythm while encouraging the horse to reach forward for the bit on the hollow side. Resist the temptation to force the horse into a bend with the reins.

The following aids work together to help the horse bend:

The rider increases the weight on the inside seat bone.
The rider turns his body slightly toward the inside (think of turning a piano stool).
The rider’s inside leg remains at the girth, as a post which the horse bends around, and/or to help prevent the horse from cutting in on the circle. The outside leg is a few inches back to keep the haunches from swinging out. The seat and legs send the horse forward into the bend.
Gently ask the horse to look in with the inside rein while giving sufficiently with the outside rein. This is a bending aid only and not a steering aid! As the horse bends the rider goes back to a neutral contact on both reins. Don’t hold the bend.


I hope this helps.

slc2
Jun. 19, 2006, 03:37 PM
you think your trainer is wrong?

ps, don't follow the directions from tonja to get a bend, yo uwill have an unbalanced horse and cxreate more problems than you solve.

lacy859
Jun. 19, 2006, 08:28 PM
I don't think my trainer is wrong, or my vet, both of which have given me suggestions similar to what the above posts have said. I just wanted to see what the response would be without any lead ins. I'm getting the chiro to hopefully come out next week, i finally got the number from a woman at the barn, and he is suposed to be funomenal.

sm
Jun. 19, 2006, 08:58 PM
along with everything else suggested check the saddle, it may not let him free up the shoulder on that side. Actually, that would be two things: saddle and uneveness across both shoulders.

egontoast
Jun. 19, 2006, 10:35 PM
funomenal.

priceless!:lol:

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 20, 2006, 03:59 PM
All horses have a dominant side, just like people. One side is concave (left) and one side is convex (right.) Consistent good dressage training can make a horse more ambidexterous over time. No training or not so good training will just make the horse even more one sided.

Even with good training, it does not happen over night. The soft tissue on the horse's side needs to stretch so that the rib cage can swing out away from your leg to give you the correct bend. It is like physical therapy and results are accomplished over time.

An older horse with years of incorrect training and age related soundness issues will have a more difficult time changing his habitual way of going.

Leena
Jun. 20, 2006, 04:14 PM
I second Eclectic's comment on this.

With my mare who was pretty green, it took a good 6 months to fix most of it.
I found it is stiffness, but because of this, she was loosing confidence in the circle, like loosing her balance.

Lunging was very good to build up her balance and then help a lot to get ler left side more supple.

Good luck !

in_the_zone
Jun. 20, 2006, 06:45 PM
ps, don't follow the directions from tonja to get a bend, yo uwill have an unbalanced horse and cxreate more problems than you solve.

What's wrong with Tonja's advice assuming that all this is done working forward? Would you share your suppling exercises that you would use to straighten please?

physical.energy
Jun. 20, 2006, 08:08 PM
What's wrong with Tonja's advice assuming that all this is done working forward? Would you share your suppling exercises that you would use to straighten please?

There is nothing wrong with Tonja's advice! You are on the right track with the chiro and if you can find a good massage therapist that would also benifit. It is difficult though without seeing the horse going to give the most helpful suggestions. One must get to the root of the problem before coming up with the correct solution.

JackSprats Mom
Jun. 20, 2006, 08:20 PM
I have a youngster who shows the classic baby stiffness on one side....first off don't panic. As others have said its pretty normal, like poeple, to be one sided.

One of the things I'm working on right now to help my guy is counter flexing on a 20 meter circle ie on a circle on the right rein, counter flex him so he is bent ot the left for a few strides, straighten for a few, then flex again. In both directions.

Also take care when you ride to ride each movement correctly. Its very easy to get into the habit of allowing a horse to fallout through his shoulders on a bend and the earlier you catch this the straighter and more supple you'll make your horse.

Good luck with it :)

sabryant
Jun. 21, 2006, 03:57 AM
What's wrong with Tonja's advice assuming that all this is done working forward? Would you share your suppling exercises that you would use to straighten please?

The first thing that is wrong, is that if she gives sufficiently with her outside rein, the horse will most likely pop his outside shoulder out as his next evasion to not bending his inside hock. The second thing if you don't hold the bend and put the inside leg into the outside rein and give, only, after he gives his inside hind, you've done nothing to help the horse to supple. This is not done with pulling or yanking but with a rock steady rein to receive the inside hind. Once you receive it...he bends his hock and gives up his back and the evasion...then you can give immediately. This teaches him something. Otherwise it would take you 20 years to supple up that inside hind. This requires a lot of steady, core strength.

If you are not an accomplished rider, I would not suggest the flexions to the outside either. It tends to swing the haunches to the inside creating more evasion. However, if you can keep your inside leg on to avoid the haunches swinging inside while you flex to the outside, then your aid is correct. Good luck.

goeslikestink
Jun. 21, 2006, 04:11 AM
well i have said it so many times i am bllue in the face

stop riding how you write -- learn to give -- thats you you give on the side you strongest at normally the side you write with -- then horse will stop avading you --

as born to ride has quoted --

in_the_zone
Jun. 21, 2006, 08:36 AM
The first thing that is wrong, is that if she gives sufficiently with her outside rein, the horse will most likely pop his outside shoulder out as his next evasion to not bending his inside hock. The second thing if you don't hold the bend and put the inside leg into the outside rein and give, only, after he gives his inside hind, you've done nothing to help the horse to supple. This is not done with pulling or yanking but with a rock steady rein to receive the inside hind. Once you receive it...he bends his hock and gives up his back and the evasion...then you can give immediately. This teaches him something. Otherwise it would take you 20 years to supple up that inside hind. This requires a lot of steady, core strength.


Gently ask the horse to look in with the inside rein while giving sufficiently with the outside rein.

Ah yes, I overlooked the part noting giving with the outside rein. Ya, I would agree that's a definately nono. I assume Tonja was talking about flexions, which assumes a solid outside connection so that shoulder doesn't go anywhere.

I would also suggest to the original poster leg yeilds to the left get a better outside connection and strengthen the hind. Also, shoulderfore right and renvers left if you can do it correctly. Practice a lot of changed of bend also; serpentines and bendy lines.

Edited to add: Ride into your corners and don't forget to give with the hand! Good luck to ya.

Tonja
Jun. 21, 2006, 10:39 AM
Quote sabryant:

The first thing that is wrong, is that if she gives sufficiently with her outside rein, the horse will most likely pop his outside shoulder out as his next evasion to not bending his inside hock. The second thing if you don't hold the bend and put the inside leg into the outside rein and give, only, after he gives his inside hind, you've done nothing to help the horse to supple. This is not done with pulling or yanking but with a rock steady rein to receive the inside hind. Once you receive it...he bends his hock and gives up his back and the evasion...then you can give immediately. This teaches him something. Otherwise it would take you 20 years to supple up that inside hind. This requires a lot of steady, core strength.

Quote Tonja:

Gently ask the horse to look in with the inside rein while giving sufficiently with the outside rein.

If the horse is asked to bend to the inside, without ANY give of the outside rein, the horse will not have room to bend. The neck will become constrained and the hind leg will have no place to step. The horse needs to be able to reach into both reins. The inside rein has to be given sufficiently (but only sufficiently and this is a very small amount) for the horse to be able to bend but it is not given so much that the shoulder can ‘pop out’ or the contact is lost.

In regard to holding the bend; holding – continuing the aids without releasing when the horse responds appropriately – only makes the horse dull to the aids.

Karoline
Jun. 21, 2006, 05:31 PM
Tonja is talking about having a spiral seat when riding circles and not blocking the turn with the outside rein . She is not saying to drop the contact, but to swivel your torso slightly to allow the bend to happen. Think of where your shoulders and hands are when you ride a bicycle on a circle (this is a great exageration) your outside shoulder/arm/hand is slightly forward off your inside shoulder. Same in the circle on the horse.

And yes, your weight is on your inside seat bone, weight on the inside of the bend, your shoulders follow the horse shoulders your hips follow your horse haunches.

And you want to ride your horse from your inside leg to your outside rein and maintain an elastic contact. Not pull, not hold. Giving.

And you definitely need core strenght in order to carry your body in balance.

Other suggestions for exercices to increase flexibility and suppleness:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/insiderein_051005/index.html
http://equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/shoulderin_051704/
http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/eqlilofore277/index.html
http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/straighten_080803/index.html
http://www.equisearch.com/advice/expert/dttrust02/index.html
http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/eqproblems733/index.html

You might want to buy Sally Swift "Centered Riding" books, they give very basic and easy to apply information and exercices for both horse and rider.

goeslikestink
Jun. 21, 2006, 06:08 PM
just re read it ot --

try not going on cirlces till you have the horse underneath on both hinds up the strtaghts of arena -- work horse to get comfy on the s triaght to build mussles up on both sides of legs and work the hocks under neath

as if hocks arnt under neath will show up front end as it isnt following through


pracitce in straight line down side of school -- once mastered in walk and trot then you can ask for half 20 mrt cicles going large first so not to put strian on the hocks straight off -- so start going large half cirlce up top end of school and tha gain at bottom change rein then come back to trot
walk

then ask for 20mr whern mastered your signals --
the thing is some times horses prefer one leg more than the other so be varied in what you do dont let him atispate or do yur thinking for you

sabryant
Jun. 21, 2006, 09:10 PM
Quite frankly, I disagree with both Karoline and Tonja

I don't bend much the horses head and neck at all with this kind of problem. I make an isosceles triangle between the hands (really the backs of the shoulders with the hands down low and, at least, as wide as the horse's ass. Sometimes even wider depending how long the reins are) and the bit. Then I bump with my legs (sometimes using an small tap with the whip behind the leg) to put the hind up to the bridle. Once horse releases the hind over the back and to the bit, then you can give. If you give (the rein) for nothing, you get nothing. I rather like to make it a clean, swift aid rather than a bunch of nagging aids that don't get the message across until forever. If you don't give a horse a place to step (bit,) he will never learn where to step. If you are constant with the intermittent contact, you will get constant intermittent stepping through of the hind legs. Get the job over and done with and go on. A horse much perfers this type of aid (a clear, concise aid) rather than a bunch of nagging aids. Once he understands where to put his haunches, you won't have to deal with this problem of him evading the connection.

Tonja
Jun. 21, 2006, 10:21 PM
Karoline wrote:

Not blocking with outside rein
________________________________________
Tonja is talking about having a spiral seat when riding circles and not blocking the turn with the outside rein . She is not saying to drop the contact, but to swivel your torso slightly to allow the bend to happen. Think of where your shoulders and hands are when you ride a bicycle on a circle (this is a great exageration) your outside shoulder/arm/hand is slightly forward off your inside shoulder. Same in the circle on the horse.

And yes, your weight is on your inside seat bone, weight on the inside of the bend, your shoulders follow the horse shoulders your hips follow your horse haunches.

And you want to ride your horse from your inside leg to your outside rein and maintain an elastic contact. Not pull, not hold. Giving.

And you definitely need core strenght in order to carry your body in balance.

You might want to buy Sally Swift "Centered Riding" books, they give very basic and easy to apply information and exercices for both horse and rider.

That’s a good explanation,Karoline. :cool: I second Sally Swift’s book, Centered Riding.

sabryant
Jun. 21, 2006, 10:45 PM
If you don't, during the timing of your aids, block the outside rein, you allow the horse to run away from your leg aid or run out of his outside shoulder. There ARE times that you have to block the outside rein. Horses, in particular the OP's horse, is obviously not elastic in one direction. He needs to become elastic and the elasticity isn't going to happen by giving the outside rein because by giving it, you take away the very place that you are trying to teach him to step If he has no place to step he will never learn to bend his inside hock. The bending of the inside hock is what creates the elasticity of the outside rein.

mbm
Jun. 21, 2006, 11:31 PM
i've had super luck with using circles to help the horse bend..... i use cones to make sure that the circles are very circular. and then i ride forward with even contact giving on the heavier rein. the circle itself will create the bend and the horse will "give" to the bend. i work inside leg to outside rein and i use enough o/s rein to not allow any shoulder popping.... but i have found that it is in the opposite direction that the shoulder will pop .

give your horse enough time to develop the ability to bend... basically it is elongating the mucles just as you would if you wanted to bend down and touch your toes but were short a few inches - it would take time to get the flexibility to be able to do it....

i do not do anything with my hands other than have steady receiving hands and hh if the tempo gets too fast..... so i ride with with even contact (giving on the heeavy rein) and i make sure that the horse is forward with even active tempo.

Karoline
Jun. 22, 2006, 12:03 AM
Sab, I want to clarify that there is never a moment when you drop the contact, you absolutely always have contact on your outside rein but its a live contact as opposed to a static "holding" contact. In your shoulder mirroring your horse' shoulder, you do not loose the contact because all your are doing is allowing the arc to happen. You ask the horse to stop dropping on the inside of the circle by driving him from your inside leg into your receiving outside hand. And the outside hand is a giving, breathing hand- some people use a knitting or sponge-squeezing analogy.

Also, we are not speaking of having the neck come in, that would not be bend that would be lateral flexion, we want to see the eye lash of the horse, no more.

You can do some leg yielding on the circle spiraling out to get the horse on your outside rein and off its inside shoulder. You can do it going down the centerline, when horse falls on shoulder, do leg yields in opposite direction for a couple of steps.

What also blocks the horse is pulling on the inside rein, which is something that a lot of amateurs do because they are trying to create bend by pulling the neck in, or they pull to stay on the circle. Usually you see the inside hand drop, pull back towards the knee or groin. And the rider also hangs on the outside rein so the horse twist its neck, shots its haunches out and pretty much cant go forward.

This is stuff that I have had to work on extensively because I was the queen of dropping contact, and this approach works very well to supple the horse and teach the rider to have even contact in the rein but have a spiral seat when needed: circle, corners,etc...

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 12:36 AM
Karoline, And what is this little girl with a stiff horse suppose to make of understanding "live" contact. This is what you get AFTER you supple the inside hind. How do you get there?????????? I'm sorry, but it is not via little, "gentle bending" exercises!! Nor am I recommending force. But it sure doesn't happen the way you and Tonja have described.

Tonja
Jun. 22, 2006, 01:15 AM
sabryant wrote:

...And what is this little girl with a stiff horse suppose to make of understanding "live" contact.

As the rider is able to get the hind legs to swing more evenly in rhythm so that the horse reaches forward for the rein on the hollow side, the contact becomes even, elastic and ‘alive’.

Sabine
Jun. 22, 2006, 01:43 AM
sabryant wrote:


As the rider is able to get the hind legs to swing more evenly in rhythm so that the horse reaches forward for the rein on the hollow side, the contact becomes even, elastic and ‘alive’.

Tonja- that's all good and nice and sounds like a good weather report- except= tell me how the rider is supposed to get the hind legs to swing more evenly-- we are talking about most likely physical blockages in the rear end- that make it harder for this horse to do that.
Now you can pray and hope that eventually he lets loose and becomes more even- which sometimes actually can happen after a long and thorough warmup- but most likely- some PT and other aids are needed to remedy this problem- including setting up a training scenario that helps with 'obliging the horse' to step into the contact evenly...via some of the techniques SAB explained...you can not get there- unless you use some methods- my dear!
Once you ARE there- you can ride like you describe- that's just fine.

The biggest challenge in training is: YOU HAVE TO AFFECT CHANGE!
This can be done in short increments or in seconds of direct aids- but in order to make something happen you have to do something..outside of your comfort zone.....just hobbling along hoping for the best does not cut it in my book and does not create REAL results....plus it can take a year to solve a simple problem such as the one described.

goeslikestink
Jun. 22, 2006, 02:45 AM
whoa -- haha look try to think of it as a change of direction -- well thats how the horse sees it -- so dont let him antispate --

Karoline
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:32 AM
Is what I would ask. The answer is that it either not ridden correctly consistantly, ie the rider is blocking the hind leg, blocking the bend without realizing it, or the horse has such physical problems and it needs to be gymnasticized to be able to be straight first, and then slowly exerciced to be able to stretch and bend.

If its a rider issue, then its a matter of riding correctly and understanding that it takes time for the horse's body to adjust to new demands on its musculature.

If my horse falls on the inside of the 20 meter circle as the OP mention, riding inside leg/outside leg, doing spiraling circles, using the leg yield on the circles are all easy ways to get the horse using his inside hind leg. You do a few steps, you reward. And you accept that it will take a few days/weeks/months to see a consistant change. And you do things like figure 8, serpentines start with few and build up as the horse becomes more supple. TTT: things take time.

I would not want to compromise the straight line elbow to bit by lowering my hands and widening them.

Perhaps as an upper level rider and trainer you can be a little more creative with solutions, but for an amateur on a slightly older horse, I think the method Tonja and a few other posters outlined are a safe course of action that does yield results.

Sabine
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:52 AM
Is what I would ask. The answer is that it either not ridden correctly consistantly, ie the rider is blocking the hind leg, blocking the bend without realizing it, or the horse has such physical problems and it needs to be gymnasticized to be able to be straight first, and then slowly exerciced to be able to stretch and bend.

If its a rider issue, then its a matter of riding correctly and understanding that it takes time for the horse's body to adjust to new demands on its musculature.

If my horse falls on the inside of the 20 meter circle as the OP mention, riding inside leg/outside leg, doing spiraling circles, using the leg yield on the circles are all easy ways to get the horse using his inside hind leg. You do a few steps, you reward. And you accept that it will take a few days/weeks/months to see a consistant change. And you do things like figure 8, serpentines start with few and build up as the horse becomes more supple. TTT: things take time.

I would not want to compromise the straight line elbow to bit by lowering my hands and widening them.

Perhaps as an upper level rider and trainer you can be a little more creative with solutions, but for an amateur on a slightly older horse, I think the method Tonja and a few other posters outlined are a safe course of action that does yield results.

Karoline- you are well-meaning and perpetuating failure with your post....how many of those have you trained out of that bad habit???
PLease be realistic. I don't want to sound mean or accusing or agressive- but I do beg to differ- what you describe is taken out of a text book and makes me wonder if you ever ride???
It also has no value to the OP - in the sense that it does not give actual advice on how to get out of this problem.

Sad reality is that problems like these need some deliberate and decisive training- if only for a couple of days- to get the message across. You are telling the OP that hoping for change is going to work...how can you justify this and make yourself sound like you have been through this and done this before...???

Sorry - I don't get that. I think we have to be honest enough to relate to the OP and give 'useable ' ways of solving the problem...

bowing out...

Karoline
Jun. 22, 2006, 04:16 AM
Is that you do not even recognize riding 101 advice. This is not even dressage advice, it is simple riding.


You are getting tiresome with your implications that anyone who does not agree with you must ride a hobby horse.

The precise reason I can respond to this post is because it is a situation that most ammies run into because getting a horse straight and flexible and supple is hard work, especially for those of us who have older horses. Mine are 18 and 22 now, my departed one was 12 when he passed.

I am not telling the OP to hope things will change, I am saying that improvement can be slow to manifest depending on the horse age, degree of soundness and stiffness, but if she takes her time, and rides him correctly and consistantly she will see an improvement.

And it is safe and easy to apply by an amateur. Which is why I recognized that Sab is a trainer and GP rider and she may approach this differently.

Frankly nothing I write is rocket science, I find it sad that you would think one would have to go to a book to explain something that is -again- riding 101. All I had to do is think about my lessons and my trainer's explanations and voila.


And TTT is what my trainer lives by.

lstevenson
Jun. 22, 2006, 12:48 PM
Karoline- you are well-meaning and perpetuating failure with your post....how many of those have you trained out of that bad habit???
PLease be realistic. I don't want to sound mean or accusing or agressive- but I do beg to differ- what you describe is taken out of a text book and makes me wonder if you ever ride???



I hate it when people say things like this to people who have the guts and integrity to stick to classical principles.

Sabine, the things in the books DO work, if you do them correctly.;)


To the OP, your horse is simply lazy or weak with his right hind leg. Do excercises which engage the right hind leg. Leg yield left, shoulder in right, spiriling in on left circles, and spiriling out on right circles. You might have to tap with your whip some to make him make an effort, but when he is using the hind leg better, he will bend better.

mbm
Jun. 22, 2006, 01:15 PM
one thing that i have observed over time is that most ammies dont have the timing, balance or knowledge to use "come to jesus" moments or "hard" riding effectively. to be able to make a dramatic point takes finesse if you are going to do it without doing more harm that good.

mostly ammies do too much or not enough at the wrong time or etc.

so i think it is far better to give ammies skills that they can use that will work. the methods outlined above by tonja, myself and caroline, are the ones i have used on my mare. we have recently made large progress since i found a trainer that trains in a more traditional manner.....

traditional methods work and better yet - it works for anyone. :)

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 02:16 PM
mbm

Ammies need to get to those instructors who can teach them those "moments" that you speak of above. A lot of time in the saddle with a good instructor, who is as vigorous about teaching you as you are about learning to ride, will improve your riding and the horse a lot faster than a book. I have found a lot of well meaning instructors will say to their students, "oh you need a chiro, you need to have his hocks injected...etc," because they lack the knowledge to really teach a horse/rider to train effectively. Developing the proper muscles corrects a lot of these problems very quickly. I've had many students that have come to me and say, gosh, I never need the vet or the chiro and my bills have gone to zero since I've been working with you. Developing the correct muscles, getting on the right track quickly can avoid a lot of the problematic anomalies seen in horses and to which instructors use the chiro/vet as crutches for their lack of knowledge.

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 22, 2006, 02:25 PM
mbm

Ammies need to get to those instructors who can teach them those "moments" that you speak of above. A lot of time in the saddle with a good instructor, who is as vigorous about teaching you as you are about learning to ride, will improve your riding and the horse a lot faster than a book. I have found a lot of well meaning instructors will say to their students, "oh you need a chiro, you need to have his hocks injected...etc," because they lack the knowledge to really teach a horse/rider to train effectively. Developing the proper muscles corrects a lot of these problems very quickly. I've had many students that have come to me and say, gosh, I never need the vet or the chiro and my bills have gone to zero since I've been working with you. Developing the correct muscles, getting on the right track quickly can avoid a lot of the problematic anomalies seen in horses and to which instructors use the chiro/vet as crutches for their lack of knowledge.

Yes, and there are always those fabulous instructors' barns where sooner or later every horse blows a suspensory. ;)

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 02:36 PM
EH,

In my entire teaching/working career, I've had one horse blow a suspensory. So poohey on your statement!

mbm
Jun. 22, 2006, 02:55 PM
mbm

Ammies need to get to those instructors who can teach them those "moments" that you speak of above. A lot of time in the saddle with a good instructor, who is as vigorous about teaching you as you are about learning to ride, will improve your riding and the horse a lot faster than a book. I have found a lot of well meaning instructors will say to their students, "oh you need a chiro, you need to have his hocks injected...etc," because they lack the knowledge to really teach a horse/rider to train effectively. Developing the proper muscles corrects a lot of these problems very quickly. I've had many students that have come to me and say, gosh, I never need the vet or the chiro and my bills have gone to zero since I've been working with you. Developing the correct muscles, getting on the right track quickly can avoid a lot of the problematic anomalies seen in horses and to which instructors use the chiro/vet as crutches for their lack of knowledge.

i agree with you. i think that most trainers dont have the foundation and experrince to teach let alone train horses and riders in a manner that results in happy progression for both.

the internet is difficult becuase we dont really know how anyone rides unless they post videos..... i also think that there should be a certain responsibility to those posting that post only what the "average" ammie could accomplish becuase otherwise folks go home and try various methods that they are not skilled enough to perform.

i have seen many many "top" trainers that ride very aggressively and the horses revolt. the entire ride is spent with tails wringing going backwards around the arena etc etc. these trainers do not teach this to their students.... in fact they teach complete opposite.

luckily i have found a trainer that teaches as he rides and sticks to the tried and true metnods that work with all horses. is SUPER exciting and for the first time in a long time i dont see a huge differrence between what is being taught and what is in the standard texts and what the trainer does.

and the horses & riders florish.

to the OP please take into consideration your own skills and your horses background before embarking on a journey. if you trust your trainer listen to him/her.

i know from experience that it takes time and effort to build proper muscle and flexibility in the horse - and it can be accomplished in the manner addressed above by the more "traditional" responses.

good luck!

:)

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:03 PM
EH,

In my entire teaching/working career, I've had one horse blow a suspensory. So poohey on your statement!

I'm not sure why you took my comment personally. Of course, I hadn't realized that you were patting yourself on the back either. :lol:

My point was that to tell an amateur that a good instructor is necessarily one that does not tell his students to get a vet check when appropriate is not sound advice. In my entire training/working career, I have seen many an instructor who would prefer that the student spend his/her limited funds on lessons and training than on the vet. And I have seen more than one farm with very effective instructors that do not rule out physical issues where appropriate and the result is a lot of lame horses.

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:24 PM
EH

I think I can tell the difference between a gait anomaly, improper muscling, stiffness, and a real lameness problem that does require a veterinary visit. I have also seen the trainers who keep A LAME horse going for the lesson fees. Sorry, that is not my way of doing things. More frequently, I see the instructor who blames his/her lack of knowledge on the horse's need to see a chiro/vet when, in fact, it needs proper training.

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:54 PM
EH

I think I can tell the difference between a gait anomaly, improper muscling, stiffness, and a real lameness problem that does require a veterinary visit. I have also seen the trainers who keep A LAME horse going for the lesson fees. Sorry, that is not my way of doing things. More frequently, I see the instructor who blames his/her lack of knowledge on the horse's need to see a chiro/vet when, in fact, it needs proper training.

Again, I didn't realize that we were talking about YOU. :no:

Tonja
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:54 PM
Dressage isn’t just about ‘doing whatever it takes” to get horses to perform movements in spite of their weakness or discomfort. Dressage is about learning to master and effectively apply the basic training principles in a way that develops the horse to its full potential, harmoniously within its nature.

What Karoline, mbm, lstevenson and I have described is simply the application of the basic riding principles. It is more valuable for riders to learn to use these basics correctly than it is for them to try short cuts because the correct application of the basics works with all sound horses. If the aids are not making an improvement in the way the horses is going then either the rider isn’t applying the aids appropriately or the horse has a weakness or some painful physical issue that needs to be looked into.

Flexibility can take time to develop, especially when it involves strengthening weak muscles.Shortcuts come with a price.

slc2
Jun. 22, 2006, 03:56 PM
i read all the posts, tonja, tell me where sabryant's principles depart from the ones you espouse.

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 04:06 PM
EH

One last thing before I have to git! What is it u mean about don't take it personally? It isn't personal to you, but it was personal to me because you headed your post with a quote from me. Then proceeded with your hyperbole about how all these horses, at a good trainer's barn, end up with suspensory injuries which was positively an intimidation, on your part, to the ammies and why they should not ride with a good instructor...as if this is what will happen to your horse if you go to a good instructor!

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 22, 2006, 04:34 PM
EH

One last thing before I have to git! What is it u mean about don't take it personally? It isn't personal to you, but it was personal to me because you headed your post with a quote from me. Then proceeded with your hyperbole about how all these horses, at a good trainer's barn, end up with suspensory injuries which was positively an intimidation, on your part, to the ammies and why they should not ride with a good instructor...as if this is what will happen to your horse if you go to a good instructor!

My goodness, you're paranoid!! :eek:

I simply thought your post went too far in advising that bad instructors who don't know how to teach tell their students to call the vet.

Obviously, that's wrong. Good instructors will, of course, tell their students to call the vet when appropriate. There are just as many bad instructors out there who will not refer their clients to a vet when necessary.

I can't possibly imagine why you should get your knickers in a twist over that.....:lol:

lstevenson
Jun. 22, 2006, 04:43 PM
i think that most trainers dont have the foundation and experrince to teach let alone train horses and riders in a manner that results in happy progression for both.



:yes: I definately agree with you there. (And then out come the gadgets)

goeslikestink
Jun. 22, 2006, 07:40 PM
well in my opnion-- if the horse was unsound then sound then issues with what was or wasnt then circles are going to put more strain on legs regardsless of whose right or wrong --

so the answer is to build up the mussles in leg on the straights first beofre even attempting circles get him going on the straight in a straight line and work both reins and get hocks under neath not one for one but two--

work both sides till mussles have compensated injury or wahtever so he can then build up his weight and yurs -- and help him to get his hocks underneath

once done that -- for a while with lots of varied work both sides so horse then becomes balance -- the do the blooming cirlces but go large before going small -- take it stages

if you had an injury would you run and jump or dance before you leanrt to carry you self -- dont thinks so

Equa
Jun. 22, 2006, 10:07 PM
Once you've ruled out serious physical issues (by a vet) basic dressage work - including and especially 20m circles - is the best tool to gymnasticise and strengthen your horse. If you just do straight lines at least do them off the wall. The best advice I ever received about bending (from a Rudolph Zeilinger protege) was to rethink my understanding of bend to see that the horse bends by allowing his ribs to swing to the outside of the curve, rather than contracting the inside. It stops us wanting to pull and contain with the inside, and encourages us to let the energy flow to the outside, which we contain and direct.
(Chiros and massage people will always find something wrong (ish). I don't give them my money any more.)

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 10:13 PM
EH

I am paranoid as I've been attacked and misquoted on this BB more than a few times. Fact remains, I see a lot of horses having their hocks injected and weekly chiro appts needlessly. I like to think that good training is a chiropractic adjustment in and of itself.

mbm
my training and background is very traditional. I just may not ride with the poll the highest point every second. I see reasons to loosen that joint along with all of the other important joints a horse needs to loosen in order to be a total athlete for traditional dressage. Is not the poll/thoatlatch a joint that needs loose tendons/ligaments/muscles in the same way you ask the other joints to bend? Why make all the other joints bend/fold yet have the poll/throat latch joint ever open? What is non-traditional about making ALL of the joints bend/fold/supple? It just seems logical to me. Tradition or no traditions.




My goodness, you're paranoid!! :eek:

I simply thought your post went too far in advising that bad instructors who don't know how to teach tell their students to call the vet.

Obviously, that's wrong. Good instructors will, of course, tell their students to call the vet when appropriate. There are just as many bad instructors out there who will not refer their clients to a vet when necessary.

I can't possibly imagine why you should get your knickers in a twist over that.....:lol:

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 10:18 PM
Istevenson

It is amazing to me that you can slam Sabine like this and in the next breath tell the OP to fix her horse with First and Second level exercises.




I hate it when people say things like this to people who have the guts and integrity to stick to classical principles.

Sabine, the things in the books DO work, if you do them correctly.;)


To the OP, your horse is simply lazy or weak with his right hind leg. Do excercises which engage the right hind leg. Leg yield left, shoulder in right, spiriling in on left circles, and spiriling out on right circles. You might have to tap with your whip some to make him make an effort, but when he is using the hind leg better, he will bend better.

sabryant
Jun. 22, 2006, 10:34 PM
Nice post Equa!



Once you've ruled out serious physical issues (by a vet) basic dressage work - including and especially 20m circles - is the best tool to gymnasticise and strengthen your horse. If you just do straight lines at least do them off the wall. The best advice I ever received about bending (from a Rudolph Zeilinger protege) was to rethink my understanding of bend to see that the horse bends by allowing his ribs to swing to the outside of the curve, rather than contracting the inside. It stops us wanting to pull and contain with the inside, and encourages us to let the energy flow to the outside, which we contain and direct.
(Chiros and massage people will always find something wrong (ish). I don't give them my money any more.)

lstevenson
Jun. 22, 2006, 10:41 PM
Istevenson

It is amazing to me that you can slam Sabine like this and in the next breath tell the OP to fix her horse with First and Second level exercises.



:confused: Uhh... Why is that so amazing to you?

EqTrainer
Jun. 22, 2006, 10:56 PM
Sigh.

This horse does not take the rein in question in EITHER direction, not just going to the right. Think about this. You don't just correct this when it's the outside rein, or when it's the inside rein. You always have to be aware as to which rein the horse is not stepping in to.
It's just that when its the outside rein, the rider thinks he is on it. So convenient, so misleading, so wrong. The problem is always the same, regardless of what direction you are going in, and you have to fix it even while riding in the other direction. You have to fix it all the time.

In the beginning, people have to learn ride the horse to step into the rein contact equally (and horses have to learn to step into the rein evenly). The idea of riding them very straight rather than jumping right into bending (and the equally baffling spiral seat theory, where the rider supposedly contorts her body into the shape of a pretzel, that is actually based on when the horse is IN COLLECTION and is up in front of you, and the very miniscule movements from the rider that bend it, NOT people in this situation) gets them thinking about both sides of the horse and what is going on underneath them.

Regarding what happens if your outside rein does not go forward when you bend the horse? His frame gets shorter and he curves into the outside rein, around your inside leg. You do not have to advance the outside rein for the horse to do this. The biggest evidence of this is to ride a spiral of decreasing size and see what happens if you advance your outside hand. The horses frame gets longer and longer and he CANNOT perform the smaller circle because he is now just too long and strung out to do it. He is following his nose around, rather than turning his shoulders. However, if you spiral in off your outside aids, the horses frame gets shorter and he is capable of staying on the smaller circle. In this way the horse becomes more gymnastic rather than more on the forehand.

It is hard enough to teach people to not drag their horses around on their inside rein; I cannot imagine telling them as beginners to put their outside rein forward, people as a rule can barely stand to hold onto it and keep it steady. The very first fix I usually have to work on a new student is to teach them to use their outside rein/aids effectively. Almost all of them are dragging their horse around on the inside rein while their outside hand floats forward and the horse lays on their outside leg. They protest, they have been taught the spiral seat! But the proof is in the horse, who is meandering around the arena. Horses that have not been taught to step equally into both reins first and then bent by curling around the inside leg while supported by the outside rein/aids are hell to keep straight and I always just go back and retrain the basics that every three year old just undersaddle should know. You can always tell the ones who have been ridden with that outside rein coming forward.. the shoulder pops and the horse is never engaged. They are impossible to ride accurately this way. When the horse is correctly bent and stepping into the outside rein you can put them anywhere, it's power steering at its finest and the possibilities become endless. Perhaps you have to experience it to know what it feels like, to emulate it. There are so many things that cannot be conceived of until you experience them!

Equa
Jun. 22, 2006, 11:19 PM
Totally agree. even contact both reins. The contact is not about the mouth, it is about what is happening in the whole body. The bend is contained by the contact not constrained by the reins.

mbm
Jun. 22, 2006, 11:43 PM
for me, when i ride circles the o/s rein (i am thinking here becuase i dont really pay attention) seems like it would advance a 1/2 inch or so.... just enough to give the horse room to bend.

while i havent trained any beggining riders in a long time what i have seen at various clinics is that once folks get past a certian place, most will take a death grip hold on the o/s rein and the horse *cant* bend ....

there are times that i use the o/s rein in a firm manner to keep the shoulder in line..... but once the horse is back aligned i go back to the regular contact.

we wont know what the correct answer is for the OP unless we see pics of the horse in question evading. but you cant really go wrong by acticvating the hind end and doing circles (once you know that it doenst have any injuries to keep it off the cirlce) i never was before, but i am a believer of circles now :)

Sabyrant - I wasnt commenting on your methods of riding... (being traditional or not) .. i was trying to be VERY general in my comments to avoid friction with anyone. :)

Karoline
Jun. 22, 2006, 11:49 PM
Where are your students shoulders on the circle? If they are lined up with the horse's shoulder then while you have contact , the outside shoulder/elbow/arm is positioned ahead of the inside shoulder (of the rider). I dont think anyone is suggesting extending the outside hand and having a big loopy rein, that would give you zero way of controlling the bend and no place to receive the horse.

I spoke with my trainer today, and she let me know that speaking of a giving hand (in english) may give the impression of no contact. I have also used breathing, living, elastic, perhaps that communicates better the idea that the contact is always present (?)

I believe the term spiral seat was coined by Sally Swift who did not invent the concept itself, obviously. I am probably not doing it justice. I will say that if you are contorting like a pretzel, you are not doing it right. The spiral seat is the beginning of being able to isolate your aids it works to avoid the kind of situation you describe where an ammie overuses/pulls/etc. the inside rein or pulls back on the outside rein.

Another way of saying this I have heard was Jane Weatherwax (I Judge) saying "think you are on a swivelling bar stool" and the "look at your horse's tail" to teach a rider who was not accomodating the circle with her own body. But that does not address the risk of the rider to get their hips all over the place and collapse on the inside.

BornToRide
Jun. 22, 2006, 11:56 PM
Untrained humans are not able to step on the ice and do a triple Axel tomorrow, heck they could not even perform a single most likely.....undeveloped horses are the exact same way.

The whole idea about Dressage is to develop and condition the horse's musculature correctly so he/she will eventually be able to perform a canter pirouette. At first level it is expected that the horse has received the conditioning needed to perform the required movements at that level, but not more. I think riders often forget how much time it can take for a horse's muscles to develop properly AND that process is different for each horse!

In addition, a horse can ONLY ever be as straight as its rider, no ifs and buts about it. :yes:

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:01 AM
Where are your students shoulders on the circle? If they are lined up with the horse's shoulder then while you have contact , the outside shoulder/elbow/arm is positioned ahead of the inside shoulder (of the rider). I dont think anyone is suggesting extending the outside hand and having a big loopy rein, that would give you zero way of controlling the bend and no place to receive the horse.

I spoke with my trainer today, and she let me know that speaking of a giving hand (in english) may give the impression of no contact. I have also used breathing, living, elastic, perhaps that communicates better the idea that the contact is always present (?)

I do not want to see their outside shoulder in front of their inside shoulder.

I do agree that we are talking about establishing an elastic connection into both reins. I just don't agree that the outside hand (or anything else) comes forward for the horse to bend. The horse is not a bicycle, we turn his shoulders, not his nose. Just the logistics of this concept alone makes me want to scream - inside leg at the girth, inside hand passive, outside *leg* back and down (hip must stay back for this to happen!), outside *hand* advancing? Aieeee!

I worry that people who are taught this will never feel the horse curl around their inside leg and reach up/out onto the outside rein.

But I totally agree that the outside rein is not a death grip or like a siderein - but when retraining a horse who has been allowed to slither past the outside rein/aids it sure can feel like that!

Karoline
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:14 AM
I am hoping someone clearer then me can explain this to you because it is the most basic of instruction, so I must be butchering it for you to not get it.

If my shoulders are the horse's shoulders, then on a circle my inside shoulder is slightly back and my outside shoulder slightly ahead and it has to be otherwise I would not be aligned with the horse and my outside hand would be blocking the bend.

Completely agree on all the other aids. Which is why I am thinking you do ask for a spiral seat but you likely call it something very different.

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:26 AM
I am hoping someone clearer then me can explain this to you because it is the most basic of instruction, so I must be butchering it for you to not get it.

If my shoulders are the horse's shoulders, then on a circle my inside shoulder is slightly back and my outside shoulder slightly ahead and it has to be otherwise I would not be aligned with the horse and my outside hand would be blocking the bend.

Completely agree on all the other aids. Which is why I am thinking you do ask for a spiral seat but you likely call it something very different.

Nope, I know exactly what you are talking about, I just disagree. I don't think the horse is properly turned like a bicycle, there are no handle bars. I keep my outside shoulder back in line with my inside shoulder, I don't advance my outside shoulder past/over my hip. That would make me unstable and piss my horse off when I "dropped" him <LOL>

I know that the spiral seat is taught, I personally think it is a BIG misunderstanding that the outside comes forward for the horse to bend and that the horse would be blocked if you don't. I don't, and the horses bend just fine. I do, however, keep the outside contact alive, I want energy coming thru on both sides. I think a big difference here might be that I don't want my horses to bend thru their *neck*, but thru their whole body, so that I could barely see their eyelashes on the inside.

Here is a pic - my shoulders are in line and my hands are at the same horizontal plane but the horse is clearly bent to the inside.

But it's ok, we can disagree!

Tonja
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:29 AM
If the rider maintains a fixed rein length with a horse that is contracted on its left side and then tries to bend the horse to the right without allowing room for the left side of the horse to stretch forward and elongate, the only way the horse can bend to the right would be to scrunch the right side of its body short.

If the rider helps the horse bend to the right by encouraging the horse to stretch and reach forward with its left side, the left side gets longer and the rider needs to allow enough room for the horse to reach forward with the left side into a continuous light elastic contact. I hope that it’s clear that I have not been talking about dropping the contact of the outside rein.

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:30 AM
When I look the the Mueseler's drawings (Mueseler's Riding Logic)the rider's shoulder always appear to be aligned with the horse's , which means they are slightly turned from the waist, yet held squarely, on a circle.....page 110 , bending to the right, although I have the German version of the book. It maybe on a different page in the English edition.

lstevenson
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:39 AM
When I look the the Mueseler's drawings (Mueseler's Riding Logic)the rider's shoulder always appear to be aligned with the horse's , which means they are slightly turned from the waist, yet held squarely, on a circle.


Yes, that is correct. Your shoulders should be in line with your horse's shoulders. The horse's shoulders don't turn very much in a regular bend though, but in a shoulder in the rider should turn their shoulders to the inside (to the same degree as the horse), while staying on the inside seat bone.

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:41 AM
But what do you see when you look at pics of *people* actually riding horses? I think CdK teaches the spiral seat but you never see him DOING it!

Am sitting here, flipping thru books of the worlds finest riders - right now its Arthur Kottas - and if he is turning his outside forward it is SO SUBTLE that you cannot see it in these pics. And it is not seen in his hands, which are right next to each other, and his outside elbow is over his hip.

"The Athletic Development Of The Horse, by CdK" Page 98, Arthur Kottas doing a shoulder-in. Page 64, Elizabeth Ball (what IS her married name now?!) doing an extended trot on a circle. Her outside shoulder is back, hands together in the trademark CdK position. In fact, her outside hand looks possibly a hair back.

Karoline
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:47 AM
I think the bicycle terminology is what is creating this vision of the horse turning his neck in. Its meant to give a visual aid to starter rider to not be stiff and rigid. If you read my posts, I tried to be clear that the outside rein creates the bend and that there is contact. And I agree with seeing just the eyelash, I mentioned that in an earlier post as well.

I just did a bit of searching and found this quote from a Shumacher article it may be clearer then all my words put together:

I think your horse is lovely.

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/bendcontrol_061404/index.html

"The position of the rider determines the position of the horse. Schumacher describes the rider's bending aids as the "twisted seat." Your inner seat and leg are relatively forward, and your outer seat and leg are a bit back. Your hips are parallel to your horse's hips and your shoulders are parallel to his shoulders. The quiet strength of your position controls your horse's bend."

If you seat in that manner, you have to spiral your torso slightly so that your shoulders are aligned with the horses.

Anyway, you are right that its ok to disagree, I just think in this case it may be my inability to communicate clearly something very basic.

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:53 AM
I think the bicycle terminology is what is creating this vision of the horse turning his neck in. Its meant to give a visual aid to starter rider to not be stiff and rigid. If you read my posts, I tried to be clear that the outside rein creates the bend and that there is contact.

I just did a bit of searching and found this quote from a Shumacher article it may be clearer then all my words put together:

I think your horse is lovely.

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/bendcontrol_061404/index.html

"The position of the rider determines the position of the horse. Schumacher describes the rider's bending aids as the "twisted seat." Your inner seat and leg are relatively forward, and your outer seat and leg are a bit back. Your hips are parallel to your horse's hips and your shoulders are parallel to his shoulders. The quiet strength of your position controls your horse's bend."

If you seat in that manner, you have to spiral your torso slightly so that your shoulders are aligned with the horses.

Anyway, you are right that its ok to disagree, I just think in this case it may be my inability to communicate clearly something very basic.

Well thank you, he was brought to the barn to be sold and that was the first time I had ever ridden him. He was a hunter <LOL> but he liked dressage well enough as you see, fun horse.

I really think you are being very clear, I understand exactly what you are saying, because I struggled with that idea when I was taught it and then eventually discarded it as I found that rather than asking the inside hind for more engagement/the horse coming up and filling the outside rein, when I did the spiral action the horses frame got longer and the inside engagement and accuracy were lost. So I quit doing it.

I DO think that when the horse is up and working there is a sense of the outside rein being very elastic, and that it has been interpreted that the hand comes forward. I know it is written everywhere, I just find that I don't ride that way, and neither do the people I admire and emulate. I guess I just think its one of those things that got lost in translation somewhere and we are stuck with the idea <LOL>!

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:54 AM
I

"The position of the rider determines the position of the horse. Schumacher describes the rider's bending aids as the "twisted seat." Your inner seat and leg are relatively forward, and your outer seat and leg are a bit back. Your hips are parallel to your horse's hips and your shoulders are parallel to his shoulders. The quiet strength of your position controls your horse's bend."

If you seat in that manner, you have to spiral your torso slightly so that your shoulders are aligned with the horses.

This is also how I learned it from James Shaw (Tai Chi for the Equestrian) - he describes it as imagining your belly button pointing to the outside ear of your horse while turning your shoulders squarely slightly to the inside at the waist. This allows the rider to square up the hips with horse's hips and the shoulder's with the horse's on a circle or bend. Works really well for me - horsey complys very nicely each time unless I overdo it , which happens ;)

sabryant
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:56 AM
oh mbm, give me a break...in one or more of your posts you asked the OP to listen to Tonja and Karoline, the traditional people. It was clear to me what you were advising.

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:57 AM
BTR, when you do that, do you feel that you are just maybe creating enough core resistance to stay in position? I really think that this whole idea is a misinterpretation of how you use your middle body to stay stable (not collapsing into the bend). When I do what you describe, I don't actually turn my shoulders, but it creates a firmness and tone in my core, as if the two actions were resisting each other to keep me in place.

Karoline
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:06 AM
He uses the belly button instruction to ensure that the outside seat bone stays in the saddle that the hip stays in place and the leg stays long. And the shoulders turn originates in the waist. Do you think perhaps it is trying to actually move your shoulders that feels so off? And the rotation is very small though when you learn, for your body to understand how to do the movement you can exagerate it.

sabryant
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:07 AM
You have it just backwards here, Tonja. It is the bending of the inside hock that is important. Not the giving of the outside rein. This allows the horse to elasticize his outside arc of his body on a circle.



If the rider maintains a fixed rein length with a horse that is contracted on its left side and then tries to bend the horse to the right without allowing room for the left side of the horse to stretch forward and elongate, the only way the horse can bend to the right would be to scrunch the right side of its body short.

If the rider helps the horse bend to the right by encouraging the horse to stretch and reach forward with its left side, the left side gets longer and the rider needs to allow enough room for the horse to reach forward with the left side into a continuous light elastic contact. I hope that it’s clear that I have not been talking about dropping the contact of the outside rein.

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:13 AM
I don't know. I do know that the concept of the outside aids/outside rein was never hard for me to learn (believe me, other things were <LOL>) I actually do not remember a time that I did not ride that way. I remember reading about it, and trying it, and feeling the frame lengthen and the neck want to overbend and the horse distinctly gave me feedback that he did not care for what I had just done. I asked my instructor at the time and she said to forget about it as it was not an issue for me. Hmmmm, what did that mean? But seriously, I think it is something we are told that is really not quite what it seems to be.. like, inside leg *at the girth*. No, it's not really at the girth, but because of our pelvis position, it is more forward than our outside leg. But really, NOT at the girth.

When I started actually teaching I realized that we say all kinds of things that are really not accurate.. "stretch your leg down" "heels down" "sit up tall!" it may FEEL that way but that's not actually what is being done when the rider is effective. I don't take too much as written in stone anymore, after all, it is all an interpretation of how it *feels* to someone else.

sabryant
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:13 AM
I realize I should have said not "giving" but rather should have said "allow room"...all the same to me

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:19 AM
Ahhhhhh... just had a moment...

let's see if I can type it out...

I think it is because the horses shoulders move to the inside to straighten him that the outside rein length does not need to change to bend him. He is alreayd filling the rein, when the inside hind leg engages he comes up against the outside aids that are already there and here are the beginnings of collection. The horses body does not need to lengthen to bend, it can also step up and into the outside aids, which eliminates the need to lengthen the outside rein to bend.

When I bend a horse, I expect their frame to stay the same or even get shorter from the extra activity of the inside hind. When I *stretch* a horse I expect his frame to get longer. I do give the outside rein forward to stretch.

When you use the spiral seat, does the horses frame get shorter/stay the same or longer when you bend it?

Karoline
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:26 AM
You said:

"I remember reading about it, and trying it, and feeling the frame lengthen and the neck want to overbend "

"When you use the spiral seat, does the horses frame get shorter/stay the same or longer when you bend it?"


At least for me, I do not want the frame to lenghten the neck to overbent. I want my horse to step under more with his inside hind leg and I want to see his eyelash on the inside of the circle. And I want him to be round not spread out. So while I am in a spiral seat position my outside rein is short - but the contact is elastic. My position and my rein allow for the bend to happen. I do not block or hold. My rein is not longer, my position is different, it allows the bend. If I did not spiral my shoulder would be back and I would be pulling the outside rein back.

If my horse is strung out I will be told to shorten your reins, re-balance your horse.

We are talking about a 20 meter circle here. And a horse and rider working an honest first level.

Sabine
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:30 AM
When I started actually teaching I realized that we say all kinds of things that are really not accurate.. "stretch your leg down" "heels down" "sit up tall!" it may FEEL that way but that's not actually what is being done when the rider is effective. I don't take too much as written in stone anymore, after all, it is all an interpretation of how it *feels* to someone else.

Now you're talking...it's too hard for me to precisely describe how I ride a circle- I know that quick releases are needed for the stiff side to become supple and that those are done in minute increments...I know that I don't think when I ride- I intuitively seek inside of me the balance with the horse and the rythmn- from that I evolve everything- when I ride a circle I change nothing other than that I travel the shape of the circle- I initiate it and stay on it- while essentially riding the same way I ride when I ride straight except that I adjust my balance to the horse's balance and the two of us travel the circle line.

It greatly helps to draw out a circle in the beginning, and when you are inexperienced and the horse is young, it can be very hard to put it all together...in the end it is always a function of balance and rythmn.

egontoast
Jun. 23, 2006, 07:05 AM
Some of you classical purists might be surprised to know that Walter Zettl says to keep the outside shoulder back on the circle. I have seen him teach this and I was also taught this from a long time student of his. I have had 'outside shoulder back' yelled at me numerous times ! It was different from what most other coaches had taught me.

But it's always good to keep an open mind and if you experiment while sitting in a chair, you'll note that it is a lot easier to engage your inside seatbone when your outside shoulder is kept back(straight). Try it. There can be a tendency to weight the outside seatbone if you swivel the shoulders.

Like most things, I think there is more than one way that works. There is no absolute right way. You do what works and follow your trusted coach's system.

sabryant
Jun. 23, 2006, 10:13 AM
Your shoulders should always be in alignment with the horses shoulder but your outside elbow should remain at your side and not giving to the inside rein when you make an aid with your inside leg. Zetl may have said keep the outside shoulder back because your shoulder was giving forward and out of alignment to the horses shoulders....a common error when learning dressage.

egontoast
Jun. 23, 2006, 10:20 AM
S, I was not taught by him. He was teaching people of different levels and no,he did not teach that you align your shoulders with the horse's shoulders.

Tonja
Jun. 23, 2006, 11:08 AM
In a bend, the outside of the horse’s body is longer than the inside of the horse’s body. The outside snaffle ring is in advance of the inside snaffle ring and the hands have to match that position in order to maintain continuity in the contact. We can see this in the photograph EqTrainer posted, http://praha.planetsg.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=11364&d=1151033167 . (http://praha.planetsg.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=11364&d=1151033167 .)In this photograph, the outside snaffle ring is in advance of the inside snaffle ring, her outside hand appears slightly in advance of her inside hand and her outside arm appears soft while, in this case, her inside arm appears to be actively working backward.

The bend in the horse can be made by actively shortening the inside of the horse’s body or encouraging the reach of the outside of the horse’s body (but not giving it so much freedom that the horse gets discombobulated). If the rider lets the outside rein more than sufficient to just see the inside nostril rim (or eye lashes) or so much that the contact changes then the rider is doing too much and the shoulder will ‘pop out’.

If the outside of the horse is already scrunched and the rider bends the horse to the inside without allowing the outside of the horse to stretch forward sufficiently then the only way for the horse to bend would be to make the inside scrunch more than the outside is scrunched.

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 11:42 AM
He uses the belly button instruction to ensure that the outside seat bone stays in the saddle that the hip stays in place and the leg stays long. And the shoulders turn originates in the waist. Do you think perhaps it is trying to actually move your shoulders that feels so off? And the rotation is very small though when you learn, for your body to understand how to do the movement you can exagerate it.

When I do turn my belly button slightly to point to the horse's outside ear this is what happens to my seat:

-My inside seatbone comes slightly forward and the outside slightly back which creates exactly what you described here:

The position of the rider determines the position of the horse. Schumacher describes the rider's bending aids as the "twisted seat." Your inner seat and leg are relatively forward, and your outer seat and leg are a bit back. Your hips are parallel to your horse's hips and your shoulders are parallel to his shoulders. The quiet strength of your position controls your horse's bend."
Schumacher I think talks about "twisting" because that's almost what it feels like - you put your pelvis in a different position than your shoulders and you actually do twist at the wait to achieve the correct alignment. IOW word the rider needs to mirror in his body the correct bend in the horse on a circle with his shoulders and hips.

The slight turn at the waist also allows the reins to adjust for the turn WITHOUT altering the rein length. The reins need to allow for the horse's bent or it won't happen. By turning the shoulders squarely slightly to the inside from the waist the outside hand will come slightly forward allowing for the strtch of the horse's neck towards the bend.

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 11:49 AM
Your shoulders should always be in alignment with the horses shoulder but your outside elbow should remain at your side and not giving to the inside rein when you make an aid with your inside leg. Zetl may have said keep the outside shoulder back because your shoulder was giving forward and out of alignment to the horses shoulders....a common error when learning dressage.

Yeah, I would suspect something similar - outside shoulder back as a general concept makes no sense when you look at it from a logical and biodynamic point of view.

sabryant
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:10 PM
We'll just have to agree to disagree Tonja. This would not be the way I woud train a dressage horse. My hands are equal in their positioning and if I give a rein, it is the inside rein. It is the horses rib cage via the inside leg that is bent and elongates the outside of the horse...horse bends this way rather than by allowing room in the outside rein.




In a bend, the outside of the horse’s body is longer than the inside of the horse’s body. The outside snaffle ring is in advance of the inside snaffle ring and the hands have to match that position in order to maintain continuity in the contact. We can see this in the photograph EqTrainer posted, http://praha.planetsg.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=11364&d=1151033167 . (http://praha.planetsg.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=11364&d=1151033167 .)In this photograph, the outside snaffle ring is in advance of the inside snaffle ring, her outside hand appears slightly in advance of her inside hand and her outside arm appears soft while, in this case, her inside arm appears to be actively working backward.

The bend in the horse can be made by actively shortening the inside of the horse’s body or encouraging the reach of the outside of the horse’s body (but not giving it so much freedom that the horse gets discombobulated). If the rider lets the outside rein more than sufficient to just see the inside nostril rim (or eye lashes) or so much that the contact changes then the rider is doing too much and the shoulder will ‘pop out’.

If the outside of the horse is already scrunched and the rider bends the horse to the inside without allowing the outside of the horse to stretch forward sufficiently then the only way for the horse to bend would be to make the inside scrunch more than the outside is scrunched.

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:31 PM
I think you both may be talking about the same thing. Your hands will still remain in the same position, but when you squarely turn your shoulders at the waist your outside hand will be slightly more forward than your inside one, even though you have not moved your hands . The change comes from your upper body, not the hands.

Tonja
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:37 PM
sabryant, I don’t think we disagree on this point as much as you think. We both agree that the horse’s ribcage is bending, causing the outside of the horse’s body to elongate. Room is made to allow for this bend when the rider’s shoulders follow the horse’s shoulders in the bend, while making sure contact is maintained.

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:43 PM
Hello, paging Tonja and sabryant, paging Tonja & sabryant......my comment seems to have been overlooked :D

Tonja
Jun. 23, 2006, 12:56 PM
Thank you, BornToRide! :yes:

mickeydoodle
Jun. 23, 2006, 01:29 PM
We'll just have to agree to disagree Tonja. This would not be the way I woud train a dressage horse. My hands are equal in their positioning and if I give a rein, it is the inside rein. It is the horses rib cage via the inside leg that is bent and elongates the outside of the horse...horse bends this way rather than by allowing room in the outside rein.

In true bend and especially in collection when the horse is on the outside rein, the inside bend is within the length of the outside rein. The inside "scrunch" is indeed more than the outside. The bend is within the outside rein!

BornToRide
Jun. 23, 2006, 02:10 PM
I also think that as usual, there's too much emphasis on the reins - true bend comes from the seat, not the reins.

slc2
Jun. 23, 2006, 02:18 PM
sure btr, tell us how you teach your green and just backed horses to bend without ever using your reins.

giving the outside rein is something to do in very limited situations and very, very much knowing the problems it creates. it is, otherwise, the very best way to get the horse crooked and the shoulder incorrectly aligned in the circle, and it is not something i'd encourage most people to do as they use their outside rein far too little and their inside rein far too much anyway.

in general, i feel sabryant is more practical and less possible to confuse students and more likely to keep them on the right track. the other methods sound good, but lead to a lot of bad riding.

slc

Tonja
Jun. 23, 2006, 03:28 PM
I agree slc, that the word “giving” was not a good choice to use because it created the wrong image in the minds of a few people and that image is not what I had intended.

Karoline
Jun. 24, 2006, 04:40 PM
I was the one who used that word first in this context:

"And you want to ride your horse from your inside leg to your outside rein and maintain an elastic contact. Not pull, not hold. Giving."

Keeping it to elastic would probably have been more helpful but I was trying to really emphasize the difference between pulling or holding and having a hand that is generous.

What would be more appropriate besides elastic?

While I am very proud of my english, it is still a second language.

Tonja
Jun. 24, 2006, 07:01 PM
Thanks for your willingness to take the fall, Karoline, but I beat you to it in post #5! :winkgrin: Some mistakenly took “giving sufficiently” to allow the bend to mean “completely giving away” and then, for some reason, got stuck on the word “giving” even after numerous clarifications. :rolleyes: Most others seemed to have figured out the intent of what I had written but I think in the future I could still be more clear.

BTW, your English is just fine! :yes:

Karoline
Jun. 25, 2006, 03:43 PM
And by the way, I bought yesterday the "Basic Training of the Young Horse" by Reiner Klimke for a friend of mine who is a first time horse mom -baby connemara- and if you have it please check page 70 the section entitled "riding curved lines" and "turns and riding through corners".

Besides everything else he writes about how to ride a circle and create bent, which is pretty much what you said Tonja , he says: " ....the outside shoulder (of the rider) is taken forward a little in order to stay parallel with the horse's shoulders. The rider should be in a similar position to that when riding a bicycle, using the same actions and distribution of his body."

BornToRide
Jun. 26, 2006, 01:53 AM
Now isn't that what I said all along too??!! :D This is a great book btw, one of my other Dressage bibles.....:winkgrin:

Karoline
Jun. 26, 2006, 04:10 AM
And, I might keep this copy and buy her another one. I have another Klimke book autographed by him around the time he passed away. But this one has much more data I can relate to.

BornToRide
Jun. 26, 2006, 02:07 PM
What is the title of the other one?

EqTrainer
Jun. 26, 2006, 02:14 PM
And by the way, I bought yesterday the "Basic Training of the Young Horse" by Reiner Klimke for a friend of mine who is a first time horse mom -baby connemara- and if you have it please check page 70 the section entitled "riding curved lines" and "turns and riding through corners".

Besides everything else he writes about how to ride a circle and create bent, which is pretty much what you said Tonja , he says: " ....the outside shoulder (of the rider) is taken forward a little in order to stay parallel with the horse's shoulders. The rider should be in a similar position to that when riding a bicycle, using the same actions and distribution of his body."

That paragraph says two different things entirely. Hence my apprehension of the written word, describing the act of riding.

First he says "taken forward a little in order to stay parallel with the horses shoulders". Ok, let's look at that. Where you sit on a horse is pretty darn far back from their shoulders. At least a foot. So you are to advance your shoulder a foot to keep it lined up with the horses shoulder?!!! But no, the words were "a little". Well, a little gets you nowhere even CLOSE to staying parallel with the horses shoulders. So what does he really mean here? The next sentence says you should be in a similar position to that when riding a bicycle" - that would mean your outside hand would go waaaayyyy forward to turn, and your inside rein would come wayyyyyy back?!! Again, not likely.

Ok.. so now one of you find a pic of RK steering a baby horse around like a bicycle! I bet you cannot, because I bet he didn't do it...

people SAY one thing and DO another all the time. Natural riders don't even KNOW what they are doing up there, let alone be able to explain and describe it in terms other people can understand. I bet WAZ just finally noticed one day he did not do that, so stopped teaching what he did not do <LOL>

lstevenson
Jun. 26, 2006, 02:29 PM
First he says "taken forward a little in order to stay parallel with the horses shoulders". Ok, let's look at that. Where you sit on a horse is pretty darn far back from their shoulders. At least a foot. So you are to advance your shoulder a foot to keep it lined up with the horses shoulder?!!!



Umm.. I think you are misunderstanding the idea of parallel with the shoulders. It doesn't mean "in line with", it means if you draw a line through the horses shoulders, and you draw a line through the riders shoulders, those two lines should be parallel. Not neccessarily next to each other, but parallel.

Your horses shoulders only turn a little. So your shoulders only need to turn a little.

Karoline
Jun. 26, 2006, 04:08 PM
The paragraph in its entirety, perhaps it will be clearer to you. Tonja, LStevenson have already tried to explain the matter of degree, but it may help you to have the entire Klimke set of instruction. Unless you have the book, can read p.70 and save me from typing.

EqTrainer
Jun. 26, 2006, 04:13 PM
Nope, it's ok... I got it... or I don't... just rode two horses and at no time did my outside shoulder come forward to bend them. I'm gonna stick w/WAZ. Thanks anyway!

Karoline
Jun. 27, 2006, 12:08 AM
I love WAZ instruction, book and tapes. Its very clear and peaceful. Enjoy your ride.