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Linda Hollingsworth-Jones licenced American Légèreté instructor reflects on some modern trainers and clinicians.

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  • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
    So yes, as I said above, and you quoted you are discussing the Hamburg Video, so perhaps reread my comments regarding hind end movement and engagement with that video (the one you and I are both talking about) in mind.
    I looked at the video. My time-stamp comments of the riding are stated above.

    I do not see issues with "engagement".....but there is a lot of variability in angles and horses that are far from the camera to get any sort of good evaluation of a lot of the riding.

    I picked sections that clearly showed riders in a large portion of the viewfinder.. So if there are specific horses that caught your eye to illustrate this lack of engagement, then please educate me....

    I don't claim to be a stickler for details and perhaps others see things I don't.....which is why I would like to have my eyes be pointed to EXACTLY what you are referring to.

    I don't see much difference in the "frame" of the PK horses with those of the Neckerman horses from 60 years prior.
    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
    Alfred A. Montapert

    Comment


    • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

      The reason for this is that there is a HUGE difference in what is currently considered correct in dressage vs what has been historically accepted.

      For example.....in this video (short of 30 sec) Josef Neckermann (Olympic medals at four different Olympics - 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1972) might currently be accused of riding an inverted horse with a dropped back.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NFjR1YCXI8

      So the question is WHAT we are discussing is important.....

      And so the discussion might be whether the opinions are based on what is currently considered "correct".....vs perhaps prior times from when PK's traditions comes from.

      For a longer vid or Neckerman....that represents the style of dressage that was accepted 50+ years ago.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDd8WAJoMPk


      That is fair. I don't see the horses in the videos linked here to have dropped backs. They are a leaner type than we see in the ring today, but their hind legs are being ridden correctly. I agree with ladyj that the PK (and followers) videos do not show an active, engaged hind leg.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

        I come from the point of view that I can learn something from any horse trainer.....including bad ones.....who teach me how NOT to do something.

        I am not an advocate of PK or his school of Legerete.....no one is saying his presentation is "exhilarating"....but there are approaches to his training that are interesting to a student of horse training.
        ...


        What I see in this thread is the slamming of an individual and not a discussion of horse training.

        I asked solooudinhere for examples of the the bad riding of the LHJ video to be explained....no one has commented on the video....

        All I see is just some generic dissing the rider and hand-waving about crappy riding.


        As far as a horse extending its frame, this is shown in the LHJ video as the horse reaches Forward-Down-and-Out several times during its training.....so again, lots of hand waving without refering back to the original video posted by OP.
        ...
        Traveling right now so can't comment on everything, but Thank you for your post Pluvinel. This has become an "emo" topic for some COTHERS. But that is par for the course in COTH and I didn't post the thread expecting warm and fuzzies replys.

        I will say that I don't bash competition dressage riders and at least at the clinics I haven't heard bashing and "holier than thou" attitudes. What I have personally experienced at the clinics is hard working students who find the method working for their particular horse and wanting to gain even more experience and more tools for their toolbox.



        Comment

        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
          ...


          I’m not saying PK’s training is bad.
          I think his format, his cult like attitude, his exageration are dissapointing and probably a little misleading as well.
          Hess has produced a lot of great riders and trainers, he didn’t need to come up with a Name for his school, some fancy bames for exercices and blablabla.
          ...
          I think we can all agree that PK was/is still a great trainer.
          He’s a traditionalist but he’s getting old.
          He tried hard but I don’t think his followers are up to par.
          ...
          Thank you as always, Alibi for your comments. While I don't worship PK, or anyone for that matter, and can definately see faults in his riding, I do believe this method he compiled from the ancient masters is useful for those who have hit a block in their work.

          Some of his riders are up to par. I have seen them in France and one of 2 in the states. But now we get to the age-old comment, but where are the videos?

          Here in the US rely heavily on vids and even social media to present ourselves. PK is of the old school in that he literally has put a lockdown on video representation except for the students of the clinics. I hope this will change and evolve as more people become licensed here in the states.

          And yes, I'll be the first to say PK needs to get with the times. I feel an American produced video DVD series of the method is sorely needed. Our culture here is different from Europe's and we need videos where the instructors are speaking english and not peppering their phrases with French terms that no one here understands. I mean, I get comments from our GMO here in the southwest questioning what Légèreté means and why not just call it French dressage! I just translate it as Lightness training, but you get my point.

          I think ultimately that in time many of these issues will be solved as more Americans get certified and out there teaching.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
            ...

            I don't see much difference in the "frame" of the PK horses with those of the Neckerman horses from 60 years prior.
            Watched these 2 vids 3 times, neither do I Pluvinel, neither do I.

            Comment


            • Hope I don't regret posting this, but since everyone is decrying the lack of good video...

              This is a public video from Youtube of a Master Trainer, one of the highest levels(not sure on the rankings exactly) and the ones who teach the Teacher's Courses. I actually know several riders who clinic with her, from TL to upper levels, though I've never met her myself.

              The horse in this video is unfortunately young, but shows an athletic Warmblood (rather than a stock horse or TB) who's training has been entirely within the Legerete school, not a retraining project that is often showcased elsewhere.

              I don't see anything wrong with this video.
               

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Samantha37 View Post



                That is fair. I don't see the horses in the videos linked here to have dropped backs. They are a leaner type than we see in the ring today, but their hind legs are being ridden correctly. I agree with ladyj that the PK (and followers) videos do not show an active, engaged hind leg.
                Please point me to where this lack of engagement is showing up. I just don't see any trailing hocks.

                And this is the PK video I'm talking about
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jps284rd2DI

                Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                Alfred A. Montapert

                Comment


                • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

                  Please point me to where this lack of engagement is showing up. I just don't see any trailing hocks.

                  And this is the PK video I'm talking about
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jps284rd2DI
                  You yourself pointed out some occasions when the lack of engagement shows up (stuck piaffe as the obvious example). The loss of balance/break of gait in transitions into and out of piaffe, multiple horses, around the 2-min mark being another.

                  Bay horse, wide behind in piaffe 3min.

                  That sort of thing.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by cnm161 View Post

                    You yourself pointed out some occasions when the lack of engagement shows up (stuck piaffe as the obvious example). The loss of balance/break of gait in transitions into and out of piaffe, multiple horses, around the 2-min mark being another.

                    Bay horse, wide behind in piaffe 3min.

                    That sort of thing.
                    This is why we have to be precise. I don't consider a "stuck piaffe" as lack of engagement.

                    A problem in piaffe is when a horse comes too far underneath itself in piaffe and then can't trot in place....which is what I think happened here. The horse willingly pushed forward when asked to exit the piaffe and go into passage.

                    I looked at the 2:00 mark and saw a passage....no trailing hocks.

                    I looked 10 sec +/- around the 3:00 mark and all I saw was a chestnut horse in collected trot.

                    My definition of "engagement" is the traditional definition of the pix in the old books with the angle of the front legs equal to the angle of the hind legs.
                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                    Alfred A. Montapert

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

                      This is why we have to be precise. I don't consider a "stuck piaffe" as lack of engagement.
                      That does not square with your own definition of engagement. Piaffe that sticks in front (with hind legs continue to sit) does not match front legs with the hinds. Piaffe that sticks behind but continues to march in front does not match behind.

                      Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                      My definition of "engagement" is the traditional definition of the pix in the old books with the angle of the front legs equal to the angle of the hind legs.

                      Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                      I looked at the 2:00 mark and saw a passage....no trailing hocks.
                      The proof of engagement isn't necessarily in one second, or in one step, but that the horse can move from movement to movement without falling out of balance. Check out what happens to that passage as soon as the rider asks for piaffe:

                      https://youtu.be/jps284rd2DI?t=120

                      Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                      I looked 10 sec +/- around the 3:00 mark and all I saw was a chestnut horse in collected trot.
                      Sorry about the bay/chestnut issue. Clearly I'm trying to go too quickly. The chestnut horse begins a piaffe-type thing that gets VERY wide behind here:

                      https://youtu.be/jps284rd2DI?t=180

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by cnm161 View Post

                        That does not square with your own definition of engagement. Piaffe that sticks in front (with hind legs continue to sit) does not match front legs with the hinds. Piaffe that sticks behind but continues to march in front does not match behind.

                        Again, precision in language....I don't consider this as representative of a horse that is not "engaged" but of a horse committing a deficiency when attempting to sit.

                        The horse moves forward freely with hind legs engaged. Just because it got stuck in piaffe (which PK spends way too much time in) does not negate the forward freely of the res of the movement.

                        Perhaps the horse did not have strength to produce the movement. It seems that the horses in this vid are not "finished" horses.



                        The proof of engagement isn't necessarily in one second, or in one step, but that the horse can move from movement to movement without falling out of balance. Check out what happens to that passage as soon as the rider asks for piaffe:

                        https://youtu.be/jps284rd2DI?t=120

                        In this video clip, which starts at 2:00, I see a piaffe that matches Article 415 of the FEI's rule for piaffe
                        1.1 In principle, the height of the toe of the raised forefoot should be level with the middle of the cannon bone of the other supporting foreleg. The toe of the raised hind foot should reach just above the fetlock joint of the other supporting hind leg.


                        If you continue to follow that clip, there is a lovely piaffe at 2:20 that ends when the horse breaks into canter....which is a rider error.

                        Sorry about the bay/chestnut issue. Clearly I'm trying to go too quickly. The chestnut horse begins a piaffe-type thing that gets VERY wide behind here:

                        https://youtu.be/jps284rd2DI?t=180

                        Yes, the horse is "wide behind"....but it attempted maybe 5 steps, which indicates this is a horse in training, not a finished horse.....it then steps briskly into a very nice engaged trot.
                        Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                        Alfred A. Montapert

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                          In this video clip, which starts at 2:00, I see a piaffe that matches Article 415 of the FEI's rule for piaffe
                          1.1 In principle, the height of the toe of the raised forefoot should be level with the middle of the cannon bone of the other supporting foreleg. The toe of the raised hind foot should reach just above the fetlock joint of the other supporting hind leg.
                          I think (not sure) you're looking at the grey horse in the background. I'm looking at who I think is PK and High Noon in the foreground-- the one that is transitioning from passage to piaffe and falls out of the passage and then boots into piaffe that travels over a lot of ground (relative to the current FEI rules for dressage).

                          And hey! Maybe all these horses are just too green/young/whatever to demonstrate how great the work actually is. That's the common explanation for every video on this thread. Incidentally, I wonder why we don't cut same amount of slack when we talk about currently competing GP horses (who are also exposed to the same foibles of strength/training/show nerves/what-have-you).

                          Comment


                          • I think that we simply have a different idea of what engagement behind looks like. That's ok, it just means there's not much to discuss, because we see engagement behind fundamentally differently. My way works for me, glad yours works for you.
                            Let me apologize in advance.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by cnm161 View Post
                              And hey! Maybe all these horses are just too green/young/whatever to demonstrate how great the work actually is. That's the common explanation for every video on this thread. Incidentally, I wonder why we don't cut same amount of slack when we talk about currently competing GP horses (who are also exposed to the same foibles of strength/training/show nerves/what-have-you).
                              That's what I find most interesting about this thread. Your "typical" dressage horse is torn to pieces when there is rider or horse error, due to lack of strength, still training or simply being ridden by an amateur who is learning what to do.

                              I know there's someone here that is also at my barn and she is highly displeased with the way most people ride. But most people are rank amateurs (including me!) and are doing our best, and sometimes that means some ugly moments.

                              And those ugly moments are then taken to mean that the trainer is bad, the training is bad and the program bad.

                              maybe it's just my minimal experience with them, but it seem most Legerete folks seem ready to put down and judge other riders and coaches.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Bewildered View Post
                                Hope I don't regret posting this, but since everyone is decrying the lack of good video...

                                This is a public video from Youtube of a Master Trainer, one of the highest levels(not sure on the rankings exactly) and the ones who teach the Teacher's Courses. I actually know several riders who clinic with her, from TL to upper levels, though I've never met her myself.

                                The horse in this video is unfortunately young, but shows an athletic Warmblood (rather than a stock horse or TB) who's training has been entirely within the Legerete school, not a retraining project that is often showcased elsewhere.

                                I don't see anything wrong with this video.
                                https://youtu.be/VYUFMJZ2HVg
                                It's a very nice free moving horse and she is a nice rider. Whether anything seen is 'wrong' depends on what training method you like. What I don't like about her riding and all the others (including PK) is all this hand jive they do. I'm not buying into the fact that it is demi-arrets or flexions.

                                I think what they do is somehow train the horse to lift up from the strernum to get that high level neck set. It's the opposite of what some of the deep and round crowd do, when they train their horse to get overly round until it becomes the natural head set for the horse.

                                The other thing I see (and don't like) is they do not use the outside rein the same way other schools do. I see them riding with an opening outside rein a lot. I also see them riding with wide hands. I don't know how one can connect a horse that way.

                                As for engagement, I don't know why we are not all on the same page about what that is. This is the USDF definition and the one I believe in.

                                ENGAGEMENT
                                Increased flexion joints of the hind legs during the weight bearing (stance) phase of the stride, lowering the croup relative to the forehand, enabling the back to assist in elevating the forehand, and providing a springboard for upward thrust/impulsion. Engagement is carrying power, rather than pushing power.

                                At canter and piaffe, there is additional flexion at the hip joints and also greater flexion at the lumbosacral joint, which
                                contribute to the horse’s ability to lower the haunches. Note: Engagement is not flexion of the hocks or “hock action”
                                when the leg is swinging forward (as seen most clearly in gaited horses and hackneys), nor does it describe the forward reach of the hind leg under the horse’s body.


                                I think PK and most of his more advanced students show engagement. Whether it is maintained or through the transitions varies. In fact, I think engagement is the goal of the PK school. His focus is on Piaffe and Passage as see it. When you get the horse to lift up in front in what is called Absolute Elevation, you are able to get the haunches to lower. With that, you get the dropped back and/or the look of just not moving through or pretty to the eye of most of us that don't like the method.

                                Lastly, with respect to the LHJ, while I don't like the riding done on that pinto pony, I did see some nice photos on her website. The photos were of driving and her doing other disciplines. That pony was not a nice mover and even the best of riders probably couldn't make it look good. The horse makes a huge difference in how a rider looks.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                                  This has become an "emo" topic for some COTHERS. But that is par for the course in COTH and I didn't post the thread expecting warm and fuzzies replys.

                                  I will say that I don't bash competition dressage riders and at least at the clinics I haven't heard bashing and "holier than thou" attitudes.
                                  Well, the piece you linked to in starting this thread comes across as a pretty good example of "holier than thou attitude" -- relatives of mine who practice their religion as a competitive sport could hardly match that article's level of righteousness. I'm not sure that many posts in this thread really deserve a gold star for disinterested objectivity, but I don't see any bashing and describing others as "emo" certainly isn't a preferred tactic for facilitating dispassionate discourse (NB: the accepted term for people on the internet with whom you disagree is "fat jealous losers"). Ultimately, it sounds a bit like the oppositional tone that developed in this thread was by design...

                                  Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                                  I feel an American produced video DVD series of the method is sorely needed. Our culture here is different from Europe's and we need videos where the instructors are speaking english and not peppering their phrases with French terms that no one here understands. I mean, I get comments from our GMO here in the southwest questioning what Légèreté means and why not just call it French dressage! I just translate it as Lightness training, but you get my point.
                                  The linguistic rigidity of the American dressage community isn't so great that there aren't plenty of ammies trotting around sandboxes all over the U.S. using big foreign words like "losgelassenheit" and "durchlässigkeit", so I'm not sure French is the stumbling block that is keeping this program from sweeping the nation. I suspect the disconnect is less about culturally tone-deaf 'Murcans needing high production values and English-only narration and more about the fact that there is simply zero evidence available to most riders who hear about this program to demonstrate any value that this program has that surpasses what a decent non-branded dressage trainer offers.

                                  Show me riders I want to emulate, teachers who have a knack for breaking down complex ideas, and/or horses that make my jaw drop, and I'll be interested in your program whether your videos are in French or Klingon. Even shaky cellphone video of some of these undocumented, more advanced/polished rides would go a long way in persuading the "seeing is believing" types. Sadly, most riders have at some point BTDT when it comes to trainers with big claims and excuses for why the observable evidence of their brilliance never seems to measure up, so I wouldn't hold your breath for "warm and fuzzy" reception on CotH or IRL until the method's observable substance starts to equal its style.
                                  Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post

                                    Well, the piece you linked to in starting this thread comes across as a pretty good example of "holier than thou attitude" -- relatives of mine who practice their religion as a competitive sport could hardly match that article's level of righteousness. I'm not sure that many posts in this thread really deserve a gold star for disinterested objectivity, but I don't see any bashing and describing others as "emo" certainly isn't a preferred tactic for facilitating dispassionate discourse (NB: the accepted term for people on the internet with whom you disagree is "fat jealous losers"). Ultimately, it sounds a bit like the oppositional tone that developed in this thread was by design...



                                    The linguistic rigidity of the American dressage community isn't so great that there aren't plenty of ammies trotting around sandboxes all over the U.S. using big foreign words like "losgelassenheit" and "durchlässigkeit", so I'm not sure French is the stumbling block that is keeping this program from sweeping the nation. I suspect the disconnect is less about culturally tone-deaf 'Murcans needing high production values and English-only narration and more about the fact that there is simply zero evidence available to most riders who hear about this program to demonstrate any value that this program has that surpasses what a decent non-branded dressage trainer offers.

                                    Show me riders I want to emulate, teachers who have a knack for breaking down complex ideas, and/or horses that make my jaw drop, and I'll be interested in your program whether your videos are in French or Klingon. Even shaky cellphone video of some of these undocumented, more advanced/polished rides would go a long way in persuading the "seeing is believing" types. Sadly, most riders have at some point BTDT when it comes to trainers with big claims and excuses for why the observable evidence of their brilliance never seems to measure up, so I wouldn't hold your breath for "warm and fuzzy" reception on CotH or IRL until the method's observable substance starts to equal its style.
                                    Let me apologize in advance.

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                                    • Originally posted by ToN Farm View Post
                                      Lastly, with respect to the LHJ, while I don't like the riding done on that pinto pony, I did see some nice photos on her website. The photos were of driving and her doing other disciplines. That pony was not a nice mover and even the best of riders probably couldn't make it look good.
                                      I think without the fixed arm that pony's movement would have improved noticeably.

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                                      • Originally posted by DressageD1va View Post
                                        My trainer apprenticed for 10 years with an Olympian, breeder, judge. She rides horses of all breeds and makes all of them love better.
                                        Love the typo (?) in the second sentence.

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post

                                          Well, the piece you linked to in starting this thread comes across as a pretty good example of "holier than thou attitude" -- relatives of mine who practice their religion as a competitive sport could hardly match that article's level of righteousness. I'm not sure that many posts in this thread really deserve a gold star for disinterested objectivity, but I don't see any bashing and describing others as "emo" certainly isn't a preferred tactic for facilitating dispassionate discourse (NB: the accepted term for people on the internet with whom you disagree is "fat jealous losers"). Ultimately, it sounds a bit like tuhe oppositional tone that developed in this thread was by design...

                                          Thank you for your comment x-halt-salute, however, it sounds like you are advocating the type of training the author is criticising in her article. I know you can't be doing that so please read it. It is not righteous writing at all but calling out really bad behaviour in some disciplines which I am sure you do not practise in your training.
                                          And if you read some of these responses from the beginning, some are quite emotional (thats a normal response for this forum. Nothing wrong with this, after all there are those participants who just do not agree with the method, and it is their prerogative to disagree and get emotional doing it) . But no, I am not calling people FJL's as you stated. That is a total insult and I would never ever label fellow COTHERS with that term as you mentioned. " It is dangerous this interpretation that you have of my comment".


                                          The linguistic rigidity of the American dressage community isn't so great that there aren't plenty of ammies trotting around sandboxes all over the U.S. using big foreign words like "losgelassenheit" and "durchlässigkeit", so I'm not sure French is the stumbling block that is keeping this program from sweeping the nation. I suspect the disconnect is less about culturally tone-deaf 'Murcans needing high production values and English-only narration and more about the fact that there is simply zero evidence available to most riders who hear about this program to demonstrate any value that this program has that surpasses what a decent non-branded dressage trainer offers.

                                          I worked as a groom near Munich and know those terms well, however most ammies I know are completely unfamiliar with them unless ride at a certain level and have spent time with a German trainer here in the states. No I respectfully disagree with you and believe that on a DVD destined to curious enthusiasts, it is best to keep terms simple and in the language of that country.

                                          Show me riders I want to emulate, teachers who have a knack for breaking down complex ideas, and/or horses that make my jaw drop, and I'll be interested in your program whether your videos are in French or Klingon. Even shaky cellphone video of some of these undocumented, more advanced/polished rides would go a long way in persuading the "seeing is believing" types. Sadly, most riders have at some point BTDT when it comes to trainers with big claims and excuses for why the observable evidence of their brilliance never seems to measure up, so I wouldn't hold your breath for "warm and fuzzy" reception on CotH or IRL until the method's observable substance starts to equal its style.

                                          Rightly so and I indeed said I didn't expect warm and fuzzy responses. The proof in your post
                                          Last edited by belgianWBLuver; Sep. 13, 2018, 10:34 AM.

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