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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    Robby, I'm a visual learner too. But I really like purp's idea of thinking of the different trots as separate gaits. I think what it helps with is having/teaching transitions from one trot to the other. When you're watching the very best riders (WFP, Jung, et.al) those transitions are a big part of what is separating them from the pack.
    Like I said earlier, whatever works for you is what you should develop, as long as everyone is aligned around expectations ... and as long as what you do is fair to your horse. I haven't (or at least don't think I have) suggested transitions or distinctions within the gait are unimportant. I very much understand that they are. I am trying to communicate the importance of load-bearing architecture and engineering, that the pattern of movement is consistent throughout (whether it's 7 distinct gaits to you or 1 gait spoken in 7 different accents for me), and that understanding and training from the perspective of biomechanics, as opposed to aesthetics, yields preferable results. That probably contradicts the idea of visual learning, doesn't it? But not really. After all, I still look at visual landmarks to validate the biomechanics.


    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl
    As well as I.
    Progression happens slowly sometimes. ; )
    I'm not even kidding, I went into a chicken/egg scenario when I made the comment on reins, which basically said "You have to start somewhere!" It started getting wordy(ier) and taking me down a different path, so I axed it, but I wish I'd have left it in. Why? Because I think you've started in the right place - forward. Even if he's not stepping through his tracks, you have the right amount of energy to mold and strengthen. If we didn't start there, it would be "Every day I'm shuffling" for all of us!

    Based on the video you posted, I'd say you're in a place where with just a little more emphasis on strengthening he'll soon be confirmed in the position and correctly prepared to progress.

    My one piece of advice to help you in this effort (I've just made this thread about you!) would be: when he moves backward from the contact slow him through your hip so that his hip can balance, then just bring your hands slightly closer together for a step to see if he'll take the increased energy you've created from behind into the length of rein you've defined.
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post

    now this is an interesting lesson to be learned.
    I knowingly hyper flex.
    If you were to follow the axis allowed by a vienna rein. There is a specific axis for which the horse will follow to remain "on the bit". As that axis becomes lower, the horse moves into a hyper flexed position.

    If the horse were to lower and not become hyper flexed it would (as it moves downward) slowly come out of the contact.

    Kind of like the idea of "stretchy trot". American judges like our horses to come off the bit and move their neck quite far out and down. There is a point at which they are no longer on the bit at all during that movement (i.e. usually once they have dropped below the line of their elbow).
    Where as in Europe I have been told that the movement is judged more true.

    *****
    I really appreciate having Robby explain to follow the line of the mandible instead of the nostril. That is something I've never done. I've always looked at the point of the nose.
    You're right - that's a very interesting lesson and concept to consider. I could buy into it completely as long as the back end is doing the driving.
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robby Johnson View Post
    Like I said earlier, whatever works for you is what you should develop, as long as everyone is aligned around expectations ... and as long as what you do is fair to your horse. I haven't (or at least don't think I have) suggested transitions or distinctions within the gait are unimportant. I very much understand that they are.
    OK, I re-read! I thought I'd included a qualifier around my original statement on the aids used ... I thought it was clever too - a volume control on the radio. Apparently I self-edited. Mea culpa!
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.



  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    honestly....I let my trainer who is a FAR better dressage rider than me get on for a ride or two! I kid you not. I'll break them start them and when they are ready for that step...hand the reins over...and then continue on

    I've also find lunging in sliding side reins can really help teach it. You have to work them well on a lunge line...sending forward etc....but the sliding side reins are a nice way for them to sort out the contact as they give right when they should, are as steady and consistent as can be and there is no rider screwing up their balance on their back. Long lining can also be very effective. Both lunging and long lining have the added benefit that you can see the whole horse as well as feel them. I sometimes think people forget about the benefits of this type of ground work.
    for those who might not understand--
    A slide rein is the same as a vienna rein. It's a GREAT tool. Probably my favorite.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  5. #85
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    So I agree your biggest problem is he just doesn't have enough activity behind.

    At any time, you should be able to put on a little leg, and feel the hind end push more. It should be a very obvious change from a very small amount of leg. I would start to establish this the first few steps he takes after you get on. You should get the quality of walk you would have if you were out on the trail and turned for home--free, forward movement, where he feels like he wants to take you somewhere. You can do this on a long rein if that's how you normally warm up. But I would be very insistent that he move off a light leg, and would quickly escalate the pressure after asking "nicely" (kick or tap with whip). Don't settle for less than that free movement- if he feels at all "sticky" as for more. If he trots when you increase the aids, thats fine, just gently bring him back and ask again. He'll probably at some point during the ride go back to his lazy walk, that's pretty normal, just repeat.

    After establishing that at the walk, I'd repeat at trot and canter. Some horses do better getting this concept if you give them a loop in the rein, I'm OK with that when first starting (if he carries his head way up, a little rein to correct that is fine since a dropped back is counter productive). Just remember forwardness has nothing to do with tempo, it has to do with the push from behind. It should feel easy, again like he's the one wanting to take you somewhere, and if you were to put on a little leg he'd happily give you more.

    Once he's moving more freely, or at least thinking about going forward, I'd go on to rapid transitions between and within gaits. I'd go back and forth in the trot, making it a little shorter and a little longer every 5-10 strides. Not a true lengthening as you'd see in a test, but just enough that he begins to understand there are "gears" within the gait. When he changes gaits, he needs to maintain that forward and pushing. Don't accept a prompt transition and then allow him to drop behind your leg in the next few strides-- a lot of horses will do this, especially in downward transitions. I would also do trot-halt-reinback-trot transitions. The goal should be prompt upward transitions moving off a light leg, and smooth downward transitions where he continues to move forward once he gets to the slower gait.

    Until he's moving off the leg, I wouldn't be too focused on his head. Don't let him lean on you or go around like a giraffe, and don't let him run around on the forehand totally out of balance.. But as long as he's balanced, focus your attention on the degree of activity going on behind. You need energy to be present before you can direct it.

    Once the forwardness is there (and it shouldn't take that long to establish if you're diligent) you can begin to focus more on the straightness and lateral suppleness. I love bend to counter bend while on a circle, serpentines, riding "squares" (i.e. turn on haunches at each corner), counter canter loops, and leg yields (make sure to do a few quality steps and then go forward). Spiral-in and out is a great exercise, but I usually do a couple steps in and then a few steps forward. If you go to fast, you'll just unbalance them.



  6. #86
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    Agree Purp....if they curl are are super senstitive, the sliding side reins can be too much but I've found if you switch to a nice rubber bit like the Duo it typically isn't too much but you have to be quick to do a transition or send them forward if they curl. I do lots and lots and LOTS of transitions and push them forward but not chase. There is a lot of waiting them out. I'm MUCH better in hand than I am under saddle.

    Never thought to use a neck stretcher with side reins. What do you consider a "german neck stretcher"? I'm assuming it is like a Chambon? I use a de gauge (lunging) on one horse who has back issues (it can convert to a Chambon)....it really does let them go in that nice long and low way and work across their back (you do need to send them on and keep them working with the hind end) but it isn't something I've used on a truly green horse.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post

    Think of it like a long stick (the neck) and a short stick (the head.) The short stick is fixed at, say, 90° to the long stick. If the long stick is horizontal to the ground the short stick will be vertical. If the long stick starts tilting down the short stick goes behind the vertical but the angle/axis where it is attached to the long stick HAS NOT CHANGED it is still 90°.

    When a horse is deep with a correct angle (non hyperflexion) in the axis because the neck starts getting close to horizontal the face plane will go behind the vertical. Lift the neck without changing the axis angle and the face is no longer BTV.

    THIS!!
    Thanks Subk! You helped me figure out what I do. lol.

    This is what I was trying to explain about the american stretchy wrongness.

    and, ok, whether it's correct terminology or not, I put my horses in that BTV frame. Whether it's hyper flexed or not I am clueless to the description. But it works for me and my youngins.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    Robby, I'm a visual learner too. But I really like purp's idea of thinking of the different trots as separate gaits. I think what it helps with is having/teaching transitions from one trot to the other. When you're watching the very best riders (WFP, Jung, et.al) those transitions are a big part of what is separating them from the pack.
    I agree. I think it helps me understand that there will be a TRANSITION from one trot gait to the next. Just like a trot to canter and then canter to trot. And in practice, we prepare for them the same way...as if they were another gait.

    And also, Snoopy gave me a thumbs up. (SCORE!!)
    With that--I'm done.
    Goin out on a good note.
    adios!
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post

    now this is an interesting lesson to be learned.
    I knowingly hyper flex.
    If you were to follow the axis allowed by a vienna rein. There is a specific axis for which the horse will follow to remain "on the bit". As that axis becomes lower, the horse moves into a hyper flexed position.

    If the horse were to lower and not become hyper flexed it would (as it moves downward) slowly come out of the contact.

    Kind of like the idea of "stretchy trot". American judges like our horses to come off the bit and move their neck quite far out and down. There is a point at which they are no longer on the bit at all during that movement (i.e. usually once they have dropped below the line of their elbow).
    Where as in Europe I have been told that the movement is judged more true.
    OMG I'm being such a nerd. Thank you for making my Friday afternoon thought-provoking! I had another thought - if the fulcrum point for lowering the neck is at C7-T1, the flexion at C1 does not have to/should not increase as the head gets lower to the ground. The only way to achieve this is to increase flexion in the lumbar spine, which will result in a more active step "through." Imagine your horse wrapping himself around a horse-sized physio ball.

    Have a fabulous weekend! Your video makes me want to pack my half-chaps and helmet and come to DFW!
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.



  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post

    Never thought to use a neck stretcher with side reins. What do you consider a "german neck stretcher"? I use a de gauge (lunging) on one horse who has back issues....it really does let them go in that nice long and low way and work across their back (you do need to send them on and keep them working with the hind end) but it isn't something I've used on a truly green horse.
    here ya go everyone! So all know exactly what equipment we have been referencing.

    Lungie Bungie
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Team-Frederi...item7916da9116

    neck stretcher
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/neck-st...lbdl45tuok01n4
    (I just saw that they sell an over sized. For reference, the horse in the video has the standard size as long as it will go...)

    vienna/slide rein
    (the picture doesn't really show what it does. It's usually non elastic. It hooks ANYWHERE. from the side rings, through the bit, to between the front leg--wherever you want to put it to get what you want from your horse) It allows them a certain AXIS to work on. They can move up and down but they have to stay on that allowed axis.
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/vienna-...FQjhQgodaHYAmA

    regular old school doughnut side rein
    http://www.smartpakequine.com/side-r...FZCDQgodIB0A3w
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robby Johnson View Post
    OMG I'm being such a nerd. Thank you for making my Friday afternoon thought-provoking! I had another thought - if the fulcrum point for lowering the neck is at C7-T1, the flexion at C1 does not have to/should not increase as the head gets lower to the ground. The only way to achieve this is to increase flexion in the lumbar spine, which will result in a more active step "through." Imagine your horse wrapping himself around a horse-sized physio ball.

    Have a fabulous weekend! Your video makes me want to pack my half-chaps and helmet and come to DFW!
    Dear Robby-
    You have earned your spot in the nerd station with Reed. Congrats.

    Come visit any time!! You know I've always been a Robby fan.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  12. #92
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    Ok, before the brain trust disbands two things:

    1. Thank you for the Master Class. Wonderful! The videos and discussion are really helpful and very thoughtful.

    2. For a step by step video of how to start a horse reaching deep check out the riders in the first race horse challenge. I can't remember the name of the rider on a gray, but he's demonstrating what we're talking about with a real greenie. As I recall, one of the points was to get the horse moving forward off the leg on a loose rein first, then gradually taking a little contact. Then increase contact gently, hold a couple of seconds and then slowly release following the horse as it reaches for the bit.
    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


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  13. #93
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    Frugalannie- You're thinking of Eric Dierks with Brazilian Wedding. Here's the video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnqCQSogJsk



  14. #94
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    Those neck stretcher things are NOT good for horses that already curl the neck. Just a warning.

    My guy has a long neck and very open throatlatch, so he will overflex easily. It does NOT help him engage to work 'deep' as referenced above...in fact he needs to be ridden the opposite way. I'm constantly 'bumping' him back up, pushing him forward from behind and envisioning 'lifting' his front end.

    The low-deep-round is great for SOME horses, but not ALL.
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  15. #95
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    2. For a step by step video of how to start a horse reaching deep check out the riders in the first race horse challenge. I can't remember the name of the rider on a gray, but he's demonstrating what we're talking about with a real greenie. As I recall, one of the points was to get the horse moving forward off the leg on a loose rein first, then gradually taking a little contact. Then increase contact gently, hold a couple of seconds and then slowly release following the horse as it reaches for the bit.
    nope.
    That's just the problem. You can't say:
    step 1. do this
    step 2. do this

    This is one reason why there are classes of riders. Some riders are REALLY good with young horses. Other riders are REALLY good with 4* horses, and so forth.

    Greenies are hard...errrr or at least different. You have to know what is happening before it is happening to keep them in balance. Keeping the balance before it is lost is what keeps these young horses from becoming worried about their job.

    Yes, you take rein and give rein, give a bump with this leg or just stay with steady leg contact. But the time to take and give correlates DIRECTLY with what is happening within the horse's balance and brain.
    *Which rein is he hanging on OR ABOUT TO hang on?
    *Which shoulder is popping out?
    *Which hind leg is lazy?
    *Which side of rib cage is stiff?

    And all of those factors change per second. So we can't just say, "increase contact gently and then hold for a few seconds".
    The dynamics just don't work that simply and you have to know just how much you can ask and when you should just lay off.

    The rider has to be a step ahead of the young horse the entire ride. It's a very technical and thoughtful process.

    It all comes down to ... drum roll please ... feel.

    Kadi Eykamp had a GREAT description for the horse.

    Horses are like backing up trailers. You use the same aids for every type of rig but they all back a little different.

    I love this. For example:
    1. I can back a bumper pull like a champ. I think I might be the champion bumper pull backer, actually. For reals.
    2. My golf cart and poo spreader are super sensitive and I jack knife that sucker all the time. It's waaaay too sensitive.
    3. I can't back my gooseneck if my life depended on it. It responds too slowly. I get the loser award for that one.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


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  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by leahandpie View Post
    The low-deep-round is great for SOME horses, but not ALL.
    This is absolutely true. I have two green OTTBs right now...and a 3 year old that I will start this summer. Of the OTTBs one I work deep and one I do not (well...I don't have to as she is already there...so I guess it is really more that the focus is different). They are built very different and are very different rides. I suspect, given the way she is built, that my 3 year old will likely not be one who we work deep (she will probably be deep naturally). Her uncle....we did and still do...but she is built like a rubber ball and just looks round but I'll know more when she get's going. As a 3 year old any way...we will mostly just put on some turning and breaks and get out on the hills hacking. (maybe go hound walking).
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Feb. 15, 2013 at 09:21 PM.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  17. #97
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    Best. Thread. Ever.

    Y'all are brillant and I'm sending this link to all of my students.

    And reading and rereading it myself over and over.


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  18. #98
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    QUOTE=purplnurpl;6838462]
    The rider has to be a step ahead of the young horse the entire ride. It's a very technical and thoughtful process.

    It all comes down to ... drum roll please ... feel.

    [/QUOTE]

    Purp- you have done a good job explaining on this thread.

    Better than I could have ever. I do much the same with youngsters, start on the lunge line, teach basic concepts on the ground, and eventually, when they are ready, ride them deep and long (just like your video) to legnthen the neck and use, stretch through the back. However, when subk maybe? asked how that is accomplished, I thought about it and realized I have no idea how to explain it. So kudos to be able to articulate!!!



  19. #99
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    Big_Gray_Hunter, thank you! That's who I meant.

    Purpinurple, Sub-K, Robby and BFNE, thanks for correcting the impression that there is an absolute answer. You both are awesome at explaining and creating an understanding of the process.

    I take heart in Jimmy Wofford's bon mot: Riding is simple: It's just not easy.
    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  20. #100
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    Forgot to post this last night.

    For all you stretchy trot circle haters: http://dressagecurmudgeon.blogspot.c...ipples-on.html



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