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  1. #21
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    http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/h...ttinghorse.jpg

    Okay so this is pretty interesting, so I will add it. I am stealing from our beloved Mr. Matson.

    This horse is turning right. If the rider turned herself right, she would fall off. Her horse is turning right, but her torso is facing left.

    This photo is at the extreme end of the mechanics, so I think it demonstrates it pretty well. What would happen if this rider had turned her shoulders/torso to the right at this exact moment?

    The same dymanics/mechanics/physics are at play on a larger circle and at slower speeds. But I think looking at this extreme could help clarify the RWYM 'fencing lunge' concept.



  2. #22
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    To my knowledge, the vertebrae (with connected ribs) of the horse actually have a little bump on one end that fits into a hollow spot of the next vertebrae ...

    Because of the interlocking nature of their vertebrae (along with the general shape and structure which is very specific to horses ... not the same in cows, dogs, cats, ...), the spine doesn't just bend sideways in a uniform manner. The spine actually sort of "corkscrews" into a bend. In order for that to happen the horse has to lower the 'inside' hind leg and reach well underneath himself. When that happens the outside ribs spring/bulge out to the 'outside'.



  3. #23
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    I think many of you are saying the same thing, though in the first glance opposite to each other. The confusion I believe, comes from which moment you are talking about:

    The natural trajectory of a moving object in a circle is flying straight off the circle (tangent).

    So keep that in mind. The circle or the corner, if you put mini-frames to the whole series, is ridden in a tiny straight line followed by a tiny bend.

    In that moment of tiny straight line, if you swivel inward, or god forbid, lean inward, you are in opposition of your horse, and in extreme case, like the one Isabeau posted, the rider is liable to fall off toward inside. In that photo, the horse is "ready" to make a turn, but he is still at the phase of "straight line", hence toward "outside".

    Following that straight line, a force is applied, to change the bend of the horse, and to change direction.

    In that tiny bend line. if you remains at your old tangent line, while the horse is bend to inside, again you are in opposition of your hose, and again, in extreme case, the rider is liable to fall off, this time toward outside.

    This becomes more obvious when you ride a young horse that does not have enough strength to compensate and carry you through the minute phase of disharmony between you and the horse, most notably in circles. In a young horse, the straight line is longer, and with consistent training, the straight line becomes shorter.

    Most of us riding mature horses don't think much about it, because we either are unconsciously doing it, or the horse is strong enough to compensate.

    To be in perfect harmony with our horses is ideal, of course. Is it doable, all the time? I very much doubt it, not for 99.999% of riders anyway. Honestly this is getting too much study and science... As we all know we can't ride with our heads - or I would be one heck of rider. sigh....



  4. #24
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    Without dragging out my math and physics books ....

    I'm pretty sure that when that horse's shoulders "drop" below a certain horizontal (to the ground) line, the dynamics change the equation, quite possibly by 90* (degrees), which is an entirely different ball game than the basic W/T/C on a 20m, 15m, or 10m circle and such.

    The "rate of change" forward/sideways being employed by the "engine", combined with the "rate of change" of the front legs going sideways changes the original dynamic by a lot.

    Note that her hips are still parallel to the hips of the horse.

    Where she breaks away from the "textbook" is in the shoulders, both hers and her horse's, when going for a 90* fast change of direction and dropping the entire shoulder structure of the horse, most likely below the original center of gravity.

    The only way to know for sure is to plug it all into a mutidimensional graphics program.



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    Without dragging out my math and physics books ....


    The only way to know for sure is to plug it all into a mutidimensional graphics program.
    The images of 'fencing lunge' and 'ice skater turning' are an attempt to give the rider a list of things to do, that will create the "multidimensional graphics" without pulling out the computer in the riding arena.



  6. #26
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    Sort of an "introduction to sports and your body" kind of thing?



  7. #27
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    I think that Sally Swift's barber pole analogy works better here. It is a simpler way of describing how the rider must keep her inside knee and outside seatbone and rein ON when turning in a circle. The body spirals. Simple.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    I think that Sally Swift's barber pole analogy works better here. It is a simpler way of describing how the rider must keep her inside knee and outside seatbone and rein ON when turning in a circle. The body spirals. Simple.
    Do you think SS 'spiral' is saying the same thing as the RWYM 'fencing lunge?'



  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Do you think SS 'spiral' is saying the same thing as the RWYM 'fencing lunge?'
    I don't know. I have a hard time using the fencing imagery to describe turning or circling on a horse.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    I don't know. I have a hard time using the fencing imagery to describe turning or circling on a horse.
    Ditto. But then I have a hard time comparing what that cutting horse is doing to a proper 10 meter circle. Love the relaxed drape of the riders left arm, though. Very cool.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicen View Post
    Ditto. But then I have a hard time comparing what that cutting horse is doing to a proper 10 meter circle. Love the relaxed drape of the riders left arm, though. Very cool.
    The cutting horse photo was just something I grabbed on a quick search, and it does not reflect the exact moment I would hope for. I was looking for something that showed an extreme turn. The photo does show that the rider's torso is not, in fact, facing into the turn. Which was what the OP was about, facing to the outside of the circle. This is what MW is talking about, the mechanics of the rider torso facing to the outside. Like the ice skater, who's torso points to the outside of the circle while their foot turns them the opposite way.

    In a large, slow(er) 20m circle it is going to be more subtle than a smaller, faster turn. But the mechanics of inside seat bone forward, outside seat bone back (which, if you keep the entire torso as a block or box, will turn the torso to the outside.)

    Also, there is exaggeration involved when attempting to teach people(new concepts.) Although it is quite likely, as Mary always says (many, many times over....) that the change (most of the time) feels a lot bigger than it looks. And if you took a video of a rider doing what, felt to them like, an extreme fencing lunge on horse back, you might likely see something that looks like just a (maybe barely) little change.



  12. #32
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    My green horse was being "opinionated" today and I was having a difficult time doing a 20m circle, popping her shoulders, running out, stopping. Thought back to previous lessons, looked to outside ear, and ignored her antics. Perfect(for my new to dressage, former hunter/jumper trained) circle!! I was so crooked, looking where I was going that I was throwing her off balance. By looking where I was going, I mean I was looking to her inside ear.



  13. #33
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    I turn to the outside and it works---horse is balanced and not running out the outside shoulder.

    You can also think of it as pointing your inside seatbone towards the horse's outside ear. This brings the seatbones closer to the spine, like in 11:00 and 5:00 (as opposed to 'neutral' at 9:00 and 3:00).

    I find this much easier for me to do turning to the left than the right.



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Yes I did go to the clinics at Saddlebrook a couple of times. Then we had Mary to 'my' farm for several years. Now I work with Lisa May, who is one of Mary's certified coaches. She is also Mary's age, and has made her own study of bodywork (Feldenkrais, I think?) and is very wise in her own right. We've given up on having Mary here for clinics right now. We can never fill them! But if we could get the people, we'd be very happy to do it again.

    As for the part I have bolded above, it is not procedural knowledge. It does not tell one how to proceed. It's rather like saying "when you are flying, you should feel like you are going to say up in the air and not fall." Which is true, but it does not tell me how to get from the ground up into the air, or how to make all the little corrections and adjustments that will help me stay up there. Or how to compensate for the fact that I lack wings.....

    Flying is surely not complicated when you are a bird. But for humans, developing flight was quite the trick. And still, it requires extensive detailed training to do it well.

    For many of us riding is as difficult as flying. We require knowledge just as detailed as if we were learning to fly.

    If someone is naturally more able to produce the mechanics of good riding, it might very well seem as simple a flying is to a bird. "Well you just jump off the tree branch, flap your wings, and don't fall." But for those of us that are less 'bird like,' it ain't that easy.

    I am an avid reader, so I will add The Inner Game of Tennis to my list. Always interested in a good book. Especially one that grows my brain.
    Yes, I get it better now what you are saying! I know I have a hard time describing how to do things. Just tell me what to do, not so much how. If I just have to figure out a way to make it happen on my own, it may take a few tries, but then I can really get it.



  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Are you still in NJ? I can give you Lisa May's email and you could try to get a lesson with her when she is in the area. Lisa is a sweet heart, and I can't imagine anyone not liking her.
    Yes, I'm in NJ - Actually you came over to "my" farm to pick up a young mare to trailer back to DC to train with Gabriel for a week a few months back.

    Did Gabriel bring you a foam finger from Gladstone?



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Are you still in NJ? I can give you Lisa May's email and you could try to get a lesson with her when she is in the area. Lisa is a sweet heart, and I can't imagine anyone not liking her.
    Lisa May used to ride in the MW clinics I rode in in MD and she would sometimes work with one of the riders while Mary was working with the other. She helped me more than Mary did.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Lisa May used to ride in the MW clinics I rode in in MD and she would sometimes work with one of the riders while Mary was working with the other. She helped me more than Mary did.
    I've ridden with Lisa May too and really liked her. She is effective and nice.

    What helps me on circles or turns is to think about pointing my belly button to the horse's outside shoulder.



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pony baloney View Post
    This brings the seatbones closer to the spine, like in 11:00 and 5:00 (as opposed to 'neutral' at 9:00 and 3:00).
    For good or for bad (probably good for horses and annoying for people), many years of equine association have strengthened my tendency toward literalness. Do you really mean to say that your seat bones move closer to your spine or that it feels as if the seatbones move closer to the spine?



  19. #39
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    I like to keep things simple and not over analyse too much. I keep going back to Dressage Today's June '11 issue with Laura Bechtolsheimer. She refers to physics and the broomstick theory; if holding a broomstick on your hand and it tips to the left your hand will automatically move to the left to keep the broomstick up. She states her upperbody is the broomstick and if it's tilting slightly left the horse will be naturally inclined to follow her weight to the left. She describes her position in bend, shoulder-in, travers and half-pass. She says in shoulder-in her hips will remain in the middle of the horse (always for every movement) and her shoulders follow the shoulders of the horse, she looks in the direction her shoulders are facing and just "checks" to make sure she's going straight. Essentially in all movements her eyes are following the horses eyes as well.



  20. #40
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    If you really want to simplify this... Most of us turn too much to the inside, which takes all our weight to the inside seatbone - we help our horse's fall in on the circle. The horse already wants to dip to the inside so we are already heavier to the inside following that dip.

    If you look slightly to the outside - you automatically weight your OUTSIDE seatbone, and actually become even on your horse's back. Try it with your eyes closed at the walk on a circle and pay attention to your seat bone. It is a very simple way to equalize your seatbones. Eventually, the goal is to keep your eyes between your horse's ears, but first we have to get our seatbones evenly onto the horse, and our horse evenly under our seat.

    A horse's spine has very little "bend" lateral - in reality on a circle, we move their ribcage to the outside to create the illusion of bend. And to do that, our seat must be centered and we must be able to ask the ribcage to slide over with our calf - it all sounds so easy



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