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  1. #801
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    Merely turning the thumb outward should help to mobilize the jaw, and 'flip the nuchal ligament' left or right which creates flexion/positioning. But the above comment was speaking to even bending/turning (in which flexion created by 'turning the key in the lock' is combined with an opening rein. Sorry if the concepts seem mixed. Lateral flexibility (at the atlas/axis) always preceeds bend and both proceed longitudinal flexion.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  2. #802
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    Merely turning the thumb outward should help to mobilize the jaw, and 'flip the nuchal ligament' left or right which creates flexion/positioning.
    Savoie makes a clear distinction between left/right flexion at the poll and jaw effects. When you talk about "mobilizing the jaw" could you please be more specific as to the kind of movement, because I'm supposing, maybe wrongly, that grinding of the teeth might be construed as a sort of jaw mobilization.



  3. #803
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sannois View Post
    I am reading and re reading.
    Fantastic. Ideayoda, it is like a wonderful clinic with you!
    Bet you are awesome to ride with!
    Really! And I much appreciate your doing most of the heavy lifting here!

    Delighted this thread is still going!



  4. #804
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    Jaw mobilization is (caused by) a light action (or hh) on the corners of the lips which causes the horse to 'taste the bit' and to chew and swallow. Singular action (of the inside rein) causes light lateral flexion (in millimeters) as well. This action affects the hyoid apparatus as well. It is felt as lightness in the hand. When the horse chews it pulses saliva out of the parotid glands, if the tongue thrusts then it creates soft foam part of which should drip toward the chin (because the horse is lightly ifv...if it is only on the lips the horse is held vertically). If it thrusts too much w/o swallowing it creates too much foam. If it produces saliva (a good thing) but does not chew, the horse will often blow its nose or cough because it is inhaling some of the saliva. All those things are information about the character of the contact. Grating the teeth is sliding the teeth against each other, and have never heard that be a jaw mobilization but a tensioned action.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  5. #805
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    Thanks for the clarification.



  6. #806
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    Whoa....Slow breathing...we are talking of nuances. That is what horsemen pick apart and study in depth.

    Those terms (flexion laterally, bending through body vs neck only, flexion longituidnal, mobile jaw, etc ) are imho very necessary to speak of creating/controlling straightness. And I agree that many horses are not 'through' often because the neck has been 'taken out of the mix' or more likely because the root of the neck is manipulated w/o concern for the body. Circles ARE a suppling exercise (THE suppling exercise) and the reins form the walls of the funnel...as are steps onto circles (ie sf/si/r) and from a circle (t) or yielding to the leg (where the horse is more bended vs LY per se where the horse is too straight through the body). Those exercise are cornerstones in perfecting with straight(ness).

    Ideally truckated neck bend never happens, but the fact is the horse needs to learn where the edges of the funnel are (first straight on/whole arena as we have previously discussed), and sometimes the horse looses balance/falls over a shoulder. So, we must ask why.

    When a horse is truly straight there IS flexion (at the atlas) because a horse is a trapezoid. Align (perhaps with opening rein/or turning inside thumb over) and funnel straight ahead is job one. A green horse is 'positioned straight' when the inside fore/hind are aligned, a trained horse is 'positioned straight' when the outside fore/hind are aligned (because the horse is capable of more lateral flexibility..ie 6m volte) and sustains bend throughout the body. Bend (through the body) allows for axial rotation (hips) and that is what allows the shoulders (which are only hung in a sling of muscles) to be controlled, thus creating straightness and eventual amplitude (which is the result of straightness). If this were not true we would never need to ride a curved line or any lateral work at all?

    Certainly energy must be added to sustain straightness (ride the horse forward make it straight), but balance is a key component as well.

    And that is where the question arises: What rider actions create the horse being steadily 'to the bit'/light/up/openwith steady tempo/uphill balance. Rider's actions create horse's reactions.
    From my own experiences I have already answered your last question. I guess you just don't want to see it.



  7. #807
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    the horse will often blow its nose
    For a time my young horse would often blow out his nose (more of a short snort--maybe once or twice) when he was ready to begin working in earnest. This was always my signal that he was ready to get down to business. More recently he has been letting me know he is ready to proceed by raising/rounding over his topline and reaching out/down in a more cadenced rhythmic walk--this is on a loose rein during the walking phase of our warm up. If I just finger the reins enough to feel his mouth he is definitely 'mouthing' the bit softly. He still does his snorts occasionally as we proceed in trot work. He is very "Jowly".



  8. #808
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodpony View Post
    For a time my young horse would often blow out his nose (more of a short snort--maybe once or twice) when he was ready to begin working in earnest. This was always my signal that he was ready to get down to business. More recently he has been letting me know he is ready to proceed by raising/rounding over his topline and reaching out/down in a more cadenced rhythmic walk--this is on a loose rein during the walking phase of our warm up. If I just finger the reins enough to feel his mouth he is definitely 'mouthing' the bit softly. He still does his snorts occasionally as we proceed in trot work. He is very "Jowly".
    re: snorting.....i am taught that this is a sign of submission and relaxation and should be rewarded with a pat or a "Good Boy" - if you watch european vids they say they are "blowing the tension out" : )



  9. #809
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    Sorry greypony. I just find the discussion needs endless interaction and refinement of terms between horsemen. ah well....

    There is a difference between soft snorting in time with the gait which indicated the lungs are being lifted in the sling of muscles and the horse is relaxed, and the blowing nose moments. The blowing nose is created because the saliva is being inhaled rather than swallowing. The good news is that there IS saliva, the further news is that the horse needs to chew/thrust the tongue and swallow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseerat View Post
    ...I'm going to continue exploring this and see where it leads me. I may end up continuing my usual spiral seat and nix the sliding rein, but it's fun to try! (I like that term 'spiral seat', never used it before!)
    Imho there is an important place for both. The former is a consitancy in riding, the later is for allowing telescoping (in millimeters or to allow the horse to be horizontal in fdo). It is not either or, but when and why imho.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  10. #810
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    Opening inside rein (greener horse by actually a smidge of opening/more developed horse only by turning thumb more outside with fingernails pointing upward) assists in even bending.
    This is perhaps the most important (at this point!) thing I've learned from this topic (oh, some 20 pages ago). This whole thread has made me aware of my horse's jaw/poll, relating to flexion, rein aids, proper response and immediate release.

    It's not about "bending" as we're so often told. It's not about pretzeling the horse's neck and body. Riders are instructed to "squeeze the fingers," "bend the elbow," open the hand to the side (by your knee?), and a host of other rein hand applications in an attempt to circle.

    But really, how often are riders told to lift the bit UP, to speak first to the horse's LIPS to initiate flexion? You can't have proper bending without flexion first... so why are we often riding the horse's head/neck/body, without first communicating to the lips, jaw and poll? As Ideayoda said a few posts ago, lateral flexion precedes bend.

    Since I have been thinking *first* about "moving the horse's mouth," it's amazing how proper bend just follows... lifting my inside hand slightly, I feel the horse chew and flex, then willingly yield to my light inside leg and offer inside bend. It's a more sophisticated kind of communication-- I request, and he delivers. Even on a green 4 y/o.

    When riders think too hard about "bending the body," without first mobilizing the jaw, it seems they end up pulling the head around and kicking with the inside leg (guilty, I've done it too, but not anymore!). The horse is pronounced "stiff" and "resistant," when he really is struggling to maintain his balance, and/or confused about the rider really wants.

    And when working in hand, the relationship between soft jaw flexion and true bend is especially evident, because you don't have a rider's inside leg to ask the horse... you have inside flexion and a whip...but even with limited whip aid, I've seen the horse's body willingly bend after flexing the jaw/poll (while keeping the base of neck steady).


    I agree with Sannois... this thread has been almost like a clinic! And I would love to take a lesson with Ideayoda, or Swamp Yankee!
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



  11. #811
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    AJ, it does speak to the fact that the (5) rein effects (or the 8 rein holds) are no longer taught routinely to the student. It is unfortunate that how to properly use a hh (to create folded hindleg joints) is rarely taught.

    (PS AJ, I routinely clinic in Lex every six weeks...contact Shiela Woerth..love to have ya').
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  12. #812
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post

    There is a difference between soft snorting in time with the gait which indicated the lungs are being lifted in the sling of muscles and the horse is relaxed, and the blowing nose moments. The blowing nose is created because the saliva is being inhaled rather than swallowing. The good news is that there IS saliva, the further news is that the horse needs to chew/thrust the tongue and swallow.
    I now think he was actually doing what you say blowing out saliva. Because his snorts were very brief and not the "high blowing" you get in the working gaits. His snorts were more brief--more of a snort-snort immediately followed by softening in his jaw. I have heard other explanations for his behavior---but this one seems to fit. As I mentioned he is a very "jowly" fellow but one that is constructed such that he is very easy to put on the bit---but only recently has come "through" as we have progressed in our training. The "difference" is amazing.

    He first gave in the poll, then trunk, then haunches--and all three of those "releases" came at different times (but close together-as within the same week)--they now come more often and with much more consistency. And I am still in awe--as I have never quite identified what I was doing that he would give/release in such a palpable way. As I mentioned his new 'signal' is offering a more rounded supple back during the walking phase of our warm up. A 'good day' is when we walk out of the barn in his "good walk". OR If I wait for it we can often transition into a longish-level (open) frame that maintains a swinging back. Most recently he has begun to yield to the contact by “pushing off from the bit.” As a result, he has come more into self-carriage and becomes light in the hand.



  13. #813
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    The blowing nose is created because the saliva is being inhaled rather than swallowing. The good news is that there IS saliva, the further news is that the horse needs to chew/thrust the tongue and swallow.
    do you have any links or whatnot about this? I have read far and wide but have not heard this - altho i haven't really thought of *why* they do it - it has always been seen as a sign of submission and, like i said - is praised as a good sign that the horse is at a certain point along the path of unconstraint....



  14. #814
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    Sorry greypony. I just find the discussion needs endless interaction and refinement of terms between horsemen. ah well....
    I think perhaps you just have to see the method used in person to know what I am talking about. The method works and is NOT anything outrageous. But clearly it's Dutch and not French as I have seen the French school described here. The method starts with the assumption that most horses will travel crooked (especially in a circle, which is true, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot, depending on the horse) and is just a very direct and "easy" way to allow the horse to be truly straight and through. I put the "easy" in quotes because it does require an independent seat and soft hands, something most ammies do have to struggle with somewhat because of fewer hours in the saddle.



  15. #815
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    AJ, it does speak to the fact that the (5) rein effects (or the 8 rein holds) are no longer taught routinely to the student. It is unfortunate that how to properly use a hh (to create folded hindleg joints) is rarely taught.

    (PS AJ, I routinely clinic in Lex every six weeks...contact Shiela Woerth..love to have ya').
    You know - since I returned to the states I have yet to find a dressage instructor who does teach teach these rein concepts. Even in Europe!! Henriquet teaches them, the course of instruction at Saumur. I first learned them as a groom many years ago with D. Jose D'Atayde.
    But rare here in the states - save maybe with B. Drummond or the like...

    I sense I may need to budget a trip to Lex sometime in the future !!



  16. #816
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    "do you have any links or whatnot about this? I have read far and wide but have not heard this - altho i haven't really thought of *why* they do it - it has always been seen as a sign of submission and, like i said - is praised as a good sign that the horse is at a certain point along the path of unconstraint...."

    I remember many years ago in a clinic with Major Anders Lindgren, of him speaking of this. He said horses should be allowed as much time and as long a rein as possible to clear the pipes before work begins. He made a point of saying that horses NEED to be allowed to do this at the beginning of a work session.

    He also said that, when they do it a certain way.........it meant that they didn`t like something.

    Also, I think if a horse has only been under saddle for 30 days, nose in the air might be the horse just trying to find its balance and if so, I wouldn`t be making a big deal about it.

    I would recommend Von Ziegners book to all those with young horses just under saddle.

    Learning to read a horses emotions is a BIG part of learning to work with horses, riding and training.

    There is head in the air, and then there is head in the air, there is snorting and then there is snorting. One has to understand where the horses is coming from and what the horse is exhibiting through its body language and the signs may not be all that much to the untrained eye but the meanings might be totally opposite and mean a lot to the horse how the person deals with it.

    It`s the little things that means so much.



  17. #817
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    Two more questions I've come up with:

    1) Where did "wide and low" hands come from? Why is it taught? What is the theory behind it?

    2) Regarding head in the air...presumably head in the air = back down and head down = back up. That is an overly simplistic comment, but let's go with it. Has anyone ever discussed muscle balance and the importance of muscle balance? For example, in people, it is important to balance abdominal and back muscles - too much development of the abdominals can lead to pain in the back if the back muscles are not equally developed. Also think of how one-sidedness works against us in riding - whether it is from our own bodies or from the horse's. So we work to balance our horses laterally, but what about longitudinally? We are always working toward the ideal of the horse engaging his abs and lifting his back to carry us biomechanically efficiently. But, we don't purposely work him in the other direction - is that because his natural inclination isn't to work with his back up, so he's more often than not developing that opposing muscle group?

    Perhaps that's a topic for a new thread - just something I've always wondered about. Maybe I'm not even making any sense!



  18. #818
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    I remember many years ago in a clinic with Major Anders Lindgren, of him speaking of this. He said horses should be allowed as much time and as long a rein as possible to clear the pipes before work begins. He made a point of saying that horses NEED to be allowed to do this at the beginning of a work session.

    He also said that, when they do it a certain way.........it meant that they didn`t like something.
    My current instructor was a student of Lindgrens my former instructor (when I was a young adult still riding hunters) was a Student of Victor Hugo-Vidal who judged both H/J, Equitation and was an "S" Dressage Judge. I do not know who my earliest instructor trained with but she for sure drilled us in basic dressage including the various rein aids and the timing of the footfalls in the basic gaits prior moving onto to any sort of jumping---wish it had all sunk in then!.

    My guy is a pony--he is very clever at letting me know when Im not living up to expectation. He is my best instructor. I believe his mother speaks five languages. I also loved von ziegners book.



  19. #819
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    1) Where did "wide and low" hands come from? Why is it taught? What is the theory behind it?
    Wide(r) hands with steady even contact with both side of the bit (while leaving the horse up/open/ifv/active is a fairly traditional way of 'funneling' a young horse straight ahead. It is VERY important however that the 'tray' they are sitting up is help by upper arms which are vertical (part of the trunk)/thumbs up/steady trunk (light seated). Where is LOW/wide come from? Because low hands work solely on the bars (rather than the corners of the lips), the horse 'gives' to the hand quickly because of the pain. They however give at the axis/third vertebrae longitudinally. And once the horse learns to break the neck hh no longer work to fold the hind legs, nor allow for self carriage. Basically low wide hands is just crude riding w/o regard to the horse's mouth.

    As a way of moving 1 head in the air with the chest dropped would hollow the back, 2 horse seeking the bit/arching out to the hand would be folding hind legs/lowering croup/lifting chest and withers, 3 Head down (more than horizontal) while moving is riding a cusp of a connection which can easily be lost. 41 Head dropped w/o a connection would easly drop chest/push with hind leg 4b head down/horse broken over/neck compresed/leverages belly and lumbar areas into lifting but w/o a swinging back/so hindlegs straighten rather than fold and croup is not lowered.

    So WHY lift the horse (of even rein back) in hand? Because if the horse is high enough it HAS to fold the hind legs, put a leg in each corner, and when that happens they choose to 1 move forward 2 mobilize the jaw 3 seek the hand 4lift the chest (at least temporarily).

    Has anyone ever discussed muscle balance and the importance of muscle balance?
    Absolutely, this is the heart of traditional training. It is written about in most old treatise, but particulalry by Seunig and an old german vet named
    Udo Burger (which is the basis of present day works by Gerd Heushmann)

    .....his natural inclination isn't to work with his back up...
    I disagree. When horse is working free they DO lift their chest/fold their hind legs, it gives them the greatest freedom. We are merely trying to copy nature with us on their back.

    Wonderful points to discuss. And WHY the traditional school works so effectively.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  20. #820
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodpony View Post
    He is my best instructor.
    This is so true! I was talking to Perfect Pony the other night and was saying that while we have a goal for how we want the horse to go - forward, supple, soft, straight, balanced, etc. - the horse tells us how he likes to be ridden (body position, contact, etc.)



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