The horse was moving forward - but yes, behind her leg, which is a concept not a reality. But the cure for that is not for the the horse to be more forward, its for him to learn that the leg means *engage* NOT go faster. He is not *resisting* the forward aids, he is answering them in the way he has been taught to do.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree. For me the horse must answer the lightest forward aid with a surge in energy/forward. Once that is established I can use the half halt to rebalance and get to the hind end. But the horse must have no loss of energy and must not suck back (or kick out) at the aid. If that happens, I go back and refresh the lesson on the forward aids and how I want instant reaction and happy energy. This horse is not there, either due to pain or other reasons.
I guess I should use the word impulsion. Because yes the horse was physically moving forward but not in any way I would describe as having impulsion. I always revert to the word forward but it is probably more correct to use impulsion in describing what I want from the horse.
I think the answer is both.
You can go forward in one instant asking for that reaction but in a milisecond be asking for straightness as well.
I too would make sure the forward was correct and not worry about contact for a beat and then gradually use bending/flexion/contact to gently pull the weeds out of the body so to speak :)
And if I'll be riding I-1 this summer, then that must make me roughly 2nd level in Germany (by your trainer's conversion factor). What does that make you?
He has been very testy about the left rein, and since the video was taken, the chiropractor said that his neck was out on the right side. He adjusted it, and since then, my horse has been happier about it. Now, we can work on impulsion with more consistency once the straightness is solidified on that side.
Thanks so much for the feedback!
On rare occasions I have used draw reins and achieved the result I wanted with them. It sounds like the people who say "draw reins will cause x, y and/or z issues" don't actually know how to use them properly. Given the prevalent misuse of draw reins that's not really surprising.
I didn't get to see your videos, but from everything you've said it sounds like shoulder-in and shoulder-fore could be your best friends right now. ;)
Personally, I wouldn't use them because they pull down on the bars of the mouth. For the same reason, I never ride with my reins wide, and my hands down low. I want the reins and bit to act on the corners of the mouth, not on the bars of the mouth.
I know my horse will curl back and evade in a way I don't want to ask of him with draw reins. I prefer side reins, because attached high up near the buckles (on a jumping saddle) of the girth, near the elastic, they mimic your hands, only they are steady and the horse can rely on them and move in a healthy, round manner, developing their topline (on the longe). Sometimes my trainer will put a side rein on a rider during a lesson, so the rider learns where to keep their hands while the horse is useing his back and bend correctly, but personally draw reins don't ask the horse anything I want to encourage.
I have to smile. I read the original post and some of the first page. I probably shouldn't comment because I didn't see the video and have never used draw reins. Sounds like the OP has a healthy, fit, young horse who is discovering he is healthy and fit.
I'll turn to a running martingale when necessary for a short time. Especially if the horse is not consistant or fighting above the bit. Use side reins on the longe (never when ridden) but usually, forward, straight and calm, with a pinch of time do wonders. Sounds like the horse is developing as he should to me. JMHO
Your trainer is the best person to tell you this. They're used only while the horse is being ridden under saddle, wearing a bridle fitted with a snaffle bit and regular reins.
I think that in another thread initiated by the OP, the problem was discussed, and many agreed that not only was forward part of the problem, but also the matter of connection versus roundness.
Draw reins can unfortunately give a rider a false impression of round, when the basic principle of the quality of the connection is flawed. There is forward, and there is forward. ;)
<The first segment of this video may be informative for you.
Just wanted to say thanks for posting the video link.
I think Catherine Haddad is a lovely rider. For those who don't know her - http://internationaldressage.com/ She's just recently; Jan-2013; after 20 years training/showing in Germany moved to Wellington.
OP - GOOD LUCK! Horses - everyone is right. everyone is wrong. blending seems to be the key. : ) keep us posted.