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  1. #21
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    Hunters is dressage, western pleasure is dressage, any horse sport can be dressage because what is the definition of dressage? Training. All great hunters I've known can go in and do a second or third level test and do well. I'm talking A circuit hunters. Top of the lines. They are all trained based on dressage. My old barrel horse could go in and put in a solid 1st level test and probably could have advanced to at least 3rd if that was my goal. But my goal was a nice, supple, bendable, barrel horse that worked from his hind end. Unless you are talking that dressage is only for the upper levels say 4th and up then the bases of all horses that are trained well is dressage. I'm not once again a NH person but I have taught my horses a one rein stop. Is that exclusive to NH? No, it's something they spin into something new but it's an emergency halt if needed that I as a dressage rider have put on my horses for that just in case moment. It's all the same I'll say once again except they have put a cool new spin and added things to make people as people say "drink the kool aid".
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Because we field-board, one thing that's often noticed is how many people don't have a grasp of non-verbal "horsie language." This makes perfect sense when you realize many folks today only get to handle a horse in a stall/aisle/arena situation. The horse is not in a physical "conversation" with other horses or even his owner; he's just moving as he's told. They have not learned to "read" him. A person in another thread talking about misreading a tense horse was right on. For people who grew up with groups of outside horses every day, the messages their bodies send are received intuitively; for those who didn't, it's like having to learn a new language from Rosetta Stone.
    This comment really got me to thinking! Thanks so much for expressing it.

    Because I literally have zero memory of a life without horses (sat my first horse at age 3yrs) and worked professionally for over a decade with some sparky sort of performance horses (racing TBs and polo ponies), I guess I did observe and learn "horse language" without even knowing it.

    But as stated, so many people who did NOT grow up with horses in their youth and whose experience with horses stops with tv shows like Fury and MY Friend Flicka, they just don't get it.

    I recall one of the only times I boarded a horse in a public stable; watching this woman about 25 yrs old trying to teach her horse to lunge. After about an hr. of near trainwrecks and tempers rising on both sides, I decided to ask the woman if she would like me to help (actually, I wanted to use the arena and was scared to death to go into it with her there!).

    She looked at me like "good luck" and started giving me this big speech on how difficult the horse was, spooky, etc. etc.

    Now, I'm an ok hand with a horse, especially on the ground, but this was SUCH an easy fix...I moved about 2ft behind the drive line of the horse and shortened the lunge line. The horse moved forward, I praised. etc.

    The horse was lunging at a walk/trot in a happy mood and starting to respond to voice commands.

    To this woman I'd performed magic, and it was almost sad that she didn't get even the most rudimentary "language" of her horse. Sad for her AND the horse.

    I gave her a mini lesson on the drive line, where to position your body to block or unblock a horse...just THE MOST basic stuff.

    So this is where the "alternative" stuff comes in handy, and I'm glad to see it. I can separate the wheat from the chaff, and I confess I've learned a fair amt. (and when it works on my broodmares & stallion & weanling & yearlings, I consider it "true").

    I just think so many of these people who are drawn to the "alternatives" are drawn because they stress COMMUNICATION with a horse, as opposed to just riding. People are SO hungry for connection these days (just look at all the social media), and to connect with an animal like a horse, can be magical.

    And I think sometimes those of us who did that stuff when we were alot younger have forgotten to put the emphasis on it that we use to....and considering Dressage/dressage is suppose to be the ultimate in horse/person communication, I don't think such a thread or comment out of place on this board...


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  3. #23
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    So what would NH bring to the programs of Edward Gal, Isabel Werth, Carl Hester, Ingrid Klimke, etc? They seem to do all right without NH.

    Would Totilas have been be better if Edward had learned about NH principles?
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.


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  4. #24
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    Wasn't Karin Rohlf the one with the Dressage Pool Noodles?



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    There is and there is NOT dressage. Hunters? Not dressage. Western pleasure? Not dressage. Polo? Not dressage. Racing? Not dressage. Endurance? Not dressage. Natural Horsemanship? ??? Have I made my point?

    Oh, and Isabeau. Monty Roberts appeared before the Queen of England. Doesn:t make him less of a fraud.
    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    Well, technically it isn't dressage until the rider has an Independent Seat and they understand what they are trying to teach the horse.

    That rules out quite a few "dressage riders".

    Yes. Dandy, BUT there are still LOTS of folks (some taking regular training with International level riders) who are 'pursuing the discipline' without good horsemanship basics.

    For practical purposes, MANY people are 'doing' dressage who would not fit EC's definition of it.

    But I think that those horses are no less deserving of good treatment and good training. Even if their owner/riders "don't know that they don't know what they don't know," etc. The desire of dressage proponents to increase participation in the sport has assisted in the watering down of standards. Coupled with just the basic deterioration that has occurred to the modern human since they now sit down so much, think so little, and purchase so many prefabricated products.

    EC I think your stance might make more sense if I knew more BNT instructor/clinicians who would tell people "you don't ride well enough to do dressage." (or the equivalent) But VERY few do. I know of two I have seen who will 'tell it to you straight.' Most do not have the will or diplomatic skills. Nor do they feel they occupy a steady enough perch in the world to afford to take such risks.


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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    So what would NH bring to the programs of Edward Gal, Isabel Werth, Carl Hester, Ingrid Klimke, etc? They seem to do all right without NH.

    Would Totilas have been be better if Edward had learned about NH principles?
    99% of the world is not those folks. And those other 99% of horses deserve good riders too.

    BUT, since you asked, I am sure they have, at one time or another, wanted to have a horse with not so tight of a noseband and not so obvious of a spur mark.

    And Ingrid Klimke is a bit more open minded about these things.


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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    So what would NH bring to the programs of Edward Gal, Isabel Werth, Carl Hester, Ingrid Klimke, etc? They seem to do all right without NH.

    Would Totilas have been be better if Edward had learned about NH principles?
    Truthfully, I would like to see any one of them ride an upper level test without the double bridle. Not quite a naked horse but as close as one could get and not get thrown out of the dressage arena. Whoever made it a "rule" that you had to ride with two freaking bits in a horses' mouth and light contact or no on the curb rein, why is it necessary at the upper levels?
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy


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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    So what would NH bring to the programs of Edward Gal, Isabel Werth, Carl Hester, Ingrid Klimke, etc? They seem to do all right without NH.

    Would Totilas have been be better if Edward had learned about NH principles?
    Well I have a feeling that they did you basic horsemanship in the training of these horses. I have watched CA a few times on rfdtv. The basics are there and the same in most that he does. Such as mounting a horse for the first time. Don't most of us stand in the iron, lay over the horses back, touch all around before we just throw a leg up and over? If these riders broke these horses I'm sure they probably used this method, most trainers do. It's taught on CA to do this but it's nothing new. It's reading the horse as your preparing to mount. How about lunging, he has explained how to stand in a driving forward position and using body language to control the horse. He may word it different to make it sound awesome but don't we all do that in some way? Even these big riders? I know when i lunge my guys, which is rare, I stand behind the drive line and yes they know voice but they know my body language more than anything. To walk off I point with one hand in the direction to walk, to trot I'll raise my whip hand a bit (usually I don't use a whip) and to canter I raise my hand again to go back to trot I will touch the lunge line once and bend over a bit. They read us just like we should read them.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  9. #29
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    I just watched the video and was impressed that these guys and gals could take a mustang and in 120 turn them out into nice horses for either themselves or someone else. No matter what discipline you choose to ride, having that basic training, an excellent understanding of your horse from the ground and in the saddle, and having soft hands and seat are a goal all should try to reach.

    Was this something to be posted in the dressage forum, no, not really. But it was fun to watch.

    May all of you go out and enjoy your horses and continue your learning and build that precious relationship with your horses.


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  10. #30
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    Basic Horsemanship does not equal Natural Horsemanship. A simple search came up with several threads discussing abuse and Parelli.

    Horse training methods are like religion. Religion explains the unknown and tells one to be a good person. Then the $h*& hits the fan. Proprietary horse training methods aim for a good harmonic working relationship with your horse. But then it goes bad.

    I met a woman at my local yarn shop who is big into parelli. She went to Colorado for some week long confidence building camp. She was told her horse was crazy and they wouldn't let her ride him because he didn't stand at the mounting block. So. Is not standing while mounting a safety issue? Yes. However, you can't fix that in a week and she missed out on all the other stuff they could have been teaching because her horse was not "safe" to ride. They sold her a new parelli saddle. It doesn't fit her horse.

    My biggest issue with NH I think is the idea of getting the horse's permission to do things. I pay Angel's bills, therefore she has to put up with me. No options. Even for things she finds unpleasant (like shots).

    Bottom line, be kind to your horse. Set reasonable expectations and teach them using clear signals.


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  11. #31
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    I said that PP is all types of ridiculous. I do NOT consider him a NH at all. I don't know what to consider him except jerk.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  12. #32
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    But we are talking about dressage, the FEI discipline, are we not? Or are we talking about basic horsemanship 101, how to handle a horse, how to read a horse?

    If you aren't fortunate to learn that at the knee of your parent you should learn it from a good trainer, experienced and knowledgeable barn owner, a cowboy etc. If you are learning to ride and you just show up for an hour lesson and the coach is not, along the way, showing you these things, they are not doing a very good job. You learn as you go, picking things up from others.

    It's basic horsemanship 101, the stuff you learn when you first set foot in a barn, doesn't matter if you want to do dressage or jump fences or drive a carriage. If you can't learn this from the various coaches, barn owners, farriers, fellow riders, etc that that come into your life and would rather become a devotee of a guy in a hat, well go for it. It's a free country.

    If someone on a national team says "I played X games on foot with my horse and I think we got better test scores as a result" I will reconsider my position.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.


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  13. #33
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    Well I don't know. To me dressage isn't limited to FEI levels. When i ride a 1st level test at a show what should I call it? Or when I actually *gasp* take my greenie into his first intro class this spring what should I call it? I thought it was all dressage just different levels of it. I'm sorry but I believe basic horsemanship is and should be part of dressage. It's only fair to the horse that you can properly care for them and read them. If you are riding FEI levels and do not know how to read your horse or have basic horsemanship then there's a big problem IMO.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    Well, technically it isn't dressage until the rider has an Independent Seat and they understand what they are trying to teach the horse.

    That rules out quite a few "dressage riders".
    Ha! Good one!

    I dont think dressage begins until the horse is asked to do more than wtc with contact. Other disciplines ask a certain amount of on the bit too.

    I had a western guy say, "Isnt dressage with gaited horses going sideways?" I thought that was hilarious.

    So maybe dressage begins with lateral lol.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
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  15. #35
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    Basic horsemanship is part of dressage in that it is part of horse ownership (or ridership if you prefer). It is part of hunters, part of driving, part of endurance. Where did most of us learn it from. A guy in a hat peddling product or other experienced horse people.

    What these guys offer is merchandising.

    I just donèt see why it gets so much play on the DRESSAGE forum and why it is apparently the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.


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  16. #36
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    Well it my first post on this thread I said it's been done a million times. About tired of it really. I only kept going because of trying to explain that these people are only putting a twist on something that's been around for ages.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  17. #37
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    Mozart. ^^^ EXACTLY!
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Well perhaps we need to define what is the 'discipline of dressage.' In my corner of the world (where there are FEI riders, clinicians of all stripes, and educational opportunities abounding) 'the discipline of dressage' is defined most often as rides/trains with more advanced/FEI rider. Even if 'training' is only 1-2/year clinics.

    Not everyone who partakes of the 'discipline' can partake of a 'system.' Many people cannot commit to work with a trainer/instructor on a regular basis, but still they train/show/live dressage.

    As far as the 'benefit,' it is as I, and others, have already stated repeatedly. There is a HUGE lack of basic horsemanship. Folks who want, and acquire, a GP schoolmaster so they can p+p+1's, but who cannot, and are not interested, in learning to condition a response in a horse. They do NOT want to learn to 'read' a tense horse, they want a horse that is never tense and performs as reliably as a pop up toaster.

    They want to perform they do not want to learn. They do not want to struggle. They do not want to deal with feelings of incompetence, clumsiness, weakness, or steep inclines of learning.

    Thus, just like in the Show Hunter world, we have an ever increasing population of participants who wants their dressage served to them like a Big Mac.

    Dressage is becoming a product, not a discipline.

    Perhaps EH come's from someplace where all horse handlers are personifications of Xenophonic perfection? But where I live, I see people struggle on a daily basis to cope with their critters. And, though they lesson with FEI riders of substantial credentials, they are very often lost and frustrated on very basic issues.
    THIS! Exactly! Funny this should come up. One of my riders, grooming his horse in a melting snowbank today, got to ranting about how people nowadays enter the riding world subconscioulsy expecting their horses to behave like their CARS--predictably, mechanically, and safely. And oh-la-la, the surprise when they have to be prepared to work for that perfect test, that perfect round in all the ways you mention above!

    Once again, this may be a consequence of the lack of opportunity to really get to KNOW the "nature" of the animal on the ground, in the field, and among other horses. "Point and Shoot" is not the same thing.



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    A good portion of those pennies are overseas, so I am told.

    The system of 'horse shows' is a part of the problem. It is the main fuel which drives the industry. Be it the up down lesson kids at an H-J barn or whatever. I take the existence of the Intro tests as a huge sign of 'not-so-goodness.'

    I will relate to you a tale of one, very sweet little old lady, who participated in a BNT clinic I attended. BNT asker sweet lady what level she was at. Lady said she showed her critter Intro A-B, and was hoping to move up to training level next year. When BNT asked sweet lady to warm up a little, sweet lady demonstrated walk-trot. BNT asked to see canter. Horsey almost dumps sweet lady. Sweet Lady comments that "we really don't know how to canter."

    I doubt (very well known and respected BNT) would call themselves a 'snake oil salesman.'

    As for 'spending the time,' that simply is not in vogue in modern society. Life today is all about how you do not have the time. No time to cook. No time to parent. Work work. Busy busy. I am so stressed, I am such a victim of the modern day. Oh woe is me, poor baby.

    But that is exactly why 'basic horsemanship' is needed. In many disciplines, not just in dressage.
    "Moving UP to TRAINING Level?" Whoa, first time I've ever heard THAT one! Got something similar for you, though:

    Group lesson w/BNT from overseas. 2 out of 3 AA participants having trouble managing their horses IN AN INDOOR. Clutchy, breath-holding, tense which is making horses tense enough to spook at sparrows, etc. Their OWN horses, both of whom are average cold-blood crosses! One lady is water-skiing on the bit and finally can't even steer, let alone get her horse going forward. This person has been riding (and showing) for 25+ years. Spends TONS of money!

    BNT pulls her into the center of the arena, and gently and diplomatically attempts to point out her slipped-back leg, foot "home" in stirrup with toe pointing down, her eyes on ground etc. that is all causing her problems. And SHE SAID:

    "You just don't understand. That's not my problem--it's HIM! This is just the way I RIDE!!"

    BNT had no words. At least out loud, or in English. Fortunately.


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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    BUT, since you asked, I am sure they have, at one time or another, wanted to have a horse with not so tight of a noseband and not so obvious of a spur mark.
    Right...


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