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" Buck B Horsemanship"/Vaquero style/Bridle horse = Dressage?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
    MVP, thank you for a more thoughtful and better informed response than I gave. I agree I love all the groundwork aspects of the western trainers, and the focus on the horse being emotionally OK.

    I have an uphill Paint who needed a lot of work reaching into the bit, lifting her back, lifting her sternum and lenthening a rushy little trot. She's naturally catty (for her size) in a way that a warmblood never is.

    We worked on her way of going from the start, considering that more important than moves, and I've found that to be true, if the horse gets balanced and straight early in the process the moves come faster when you want them.

    My Paint would prefer to be a western horse and ride on no contact mostly off leg seat and voice. I trail ride her in a mechanical hackamore.

    However I find that her posture and her moves deteriorate with too much hackamore time because I cannot do the things with the snaffle that I would practice even on trails, stretch to the bit, lateral flexions, or balancing a rushy trot.
    And apropos of your last comment about losing things when you leave the snaffle. That's everybody. Western trainers will put a horse back in a snaffle as need be if they find that they can't get something done in the leverage bit or bosal that they were using. Brannaman talks a lot about there being "no shame" in stepping back for a bit in the type of bridle the horse wears. Meaning that some folks take the snaffle to bosal to bosalita and spade bit to spade bit alone as a one-way progression and the latter stages being pretty prestigious ones.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

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    • #22
      I've ridden in a couple Buck clinics and audited a few more. What I see as the differences are that his horsemanship is really for a working horse, not a show horse. A dressage horse's training these days seems just to prepare it for the show ring (yes, yes, I know it comes from preparing horses for war but we don't use them for that anymore). I know few dressage riders who cross train their horses if they are serious about moving up the levels (yes, yes, I know there are those who do, but I think that a large percentage do not).

      So while there's not the extended trot in what he does, there's the "long trot" that you'd use to get from one place to another efficiently. A walk is too slow. A canter or gallop will use up too much wind.

      Regarding the behind-the-vertical... I've seen that in some western "show" trainers, but I haven't seen that as a purposeful training goal in what Buck does. IME, his experience of worrying about where the head is at is that he's concerned about proper flexion. When the horse moves its head at the poll, it shouldn't twist, it should rotate with its face on the vertical plane. That is part of the horse's balance and to have the poll all twisted around sets him up to be unbalanced in the rest of his body.

      The horse needs to "jump" into whatever gait he wants. From a halt to a gallop if needed; from a gallop to a halt and all other options in between. It is about getting work done. If you've got a calf who wants to slip away, you've got to be able to jump your horse out to get it.

      I did always struggle with one of the exercises where you "disengage" the hind end and then come around with the front.

      He is all about balance, timing, and feel. If you have poor timing, your horse will fight you in order to keep his balance. You will have tension in the body, not softness.

      The ground work, to me, is more about developing a common language with your horse, developing your own sense of timing and feel, and understanding how when you ask affects how your horse moves. About learning to see what's going to happen before it happens because you can read your horse so well. It is about your horse moving (or not) depending on your body language. I can wave a flag all around my horses and they will do nothing if I don't have *intent* behind what I'm doing. Change my intent, change my body language, and my horse will react a different way.

      I've worked with another couple cowboys who work similar to Buck, with similar-but-different approaches. One focuses on the horse's attention and directing it where you want it to go and also getting it to you. Getting to this kind of detail with your horse can really prevent problems from happening because you'll know what's going on and will divert any issues by directing your horse's attention.

      One cowboy I worked with was probably more "French" in his approach and using rein aids. Lifting the rein was how to get a flexion and to get the horse to give to the bit, as opposed to some English trainers who suggest keeping the hands low.

      Another cowboy I worked with used a lot of pressure and release, but the release was really a long release and "soak" of information. Work on something, make a little progress, and then go away for a little while, go do something else, attend to something completely unrelated, and then maybe come back to the other issue after a while. He also was about getting the thing you want done but letting the horse do it his way as you work toward the goal.

      It seems to me that a lot of basics that are worked on by these cowboy-horsemen are a lot more in-depth and thorough than the English world will demand from their horses. How many dressage riders do you know who will tie a bunch of horses up next to each other and leave them there all day long? How many dressage riders will ride until they get a "wet saddle blanket?" How many horsemen do you think will put up with a horse being impatient while mounting or dismounting or being fidgety in the crossties or any other number of bad-manners things that English riders put up with?

      I think there's a lot to be learned from the vaquero-style of horsemanship and not all of it is under-saddle work.

      My thoughts are all rambling, sorry about that. I'm sure there's a lot more I could say and I could answer specific questions if you have them.

      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        Pocket Pony thank you! I guess to me, it seems some of it is definitely useful for all around Horsemanship/starting a horse. I think some of it is like Dressage. Still not seeing it explained as Dressage though. Perhaps it's just a regional thing? I always thought of Buck as an all around horsemanship/ranch horse type. Never occurred to me until out west that some would take him above Dressage trainers as to training a Dressage horse.

        I did post some questions to another poster about Buck's dressage background and if there is anyone who's trained a horse using a lot of his techniques to the more upper levels of Dressage.
        .

        Comment


        • #24
          The horsemanship and groundwork aspects of this kind of training are invaluable.

          If you want to see where aspects of dressage, western trail, and cattle work come together, check out working equitation as the Andalusian/ Lusitano people practice it. It's a competition with multiple phases including a dressage competition. The horses are more uphill than the typical QH and do cattle work more uphill, more like bull fighters horses. It's an interesting contrast both to conventional dressage and to the lower headed more downhill American stock horses. It's also the place you will see dressage riders cross training.

          And the speed obstacle courses are amazing.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
            The horsemanship and groundwork aspects of this kind of training are invaluable.

            If you want to see where aspects of dressage, western trail, and cattle work come together, check out working equitation as the Andalusian/ Lusitano people practice it. It's a competition with multiple phases including a dressage competition. The horses are more uphill than the typical QH and do cattle work more uphill, more like bull fighters horses. It's an interesting contrast both to conventional dressage and to the lower headed more downhill American stock horses. It's also the place you will see dressage riders cross training.

            And the speed obstacle courses are amazing.
            For those folks in the US east of the Mississippi, there are 3 WE shows in TN, PA and VA in April, July & August
            https://www.erahc.org/shows-events.html

            The organizers are a fun group of folks. You don't need an iberian horse to play in this sandbox....all breeds welcome.
            Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
            Alfred A. Montapert

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
              The horsemanship and groundwork aspects of this kind of training are invaluable.

              If you want to see where aspects of dressage, western trail, and cattle work come together, check out working equitation as the Andalusian/ Lusitano people practice it. It's a competition with multiple phases including a dressage competition. The horses are more uphill than the typical QH and do cattle work more uphill, more like bull fighters horses. It's an interesting contrast both to conventional dressage and to the lower headed more downhill American stock horses. It's also the place you will see dressage riders cross training.

              And the speed obstacle courses are amazing.
              So invaluable. I notice that my horse stands out and is looked at differently (in a positive way) from most of the others he is stabled with because I've done a lot of ground work with him. He's very sensitive and mindful. He also knows some tricks. Even simple ones people cannot fathom how he knows them. It's simple, just take the time.

              My horse will align himself properly at the mounting block and not move until I'm aboard and I say so. This, to me, is obvious and correct. I often witness other horses with no manners at the block and riders getting frustrated. It's because they need to take the time and thought. My horse was not born this way, and it did not happen over night. For some it just isn't a priority. It's only about the ride.

              I also ride him without a bridle and with a neck ring (just a stiff rope around his neck). I can't say it accomplishes much aside from me really focusing on controlling him with my body. It's cool that he's responsive and can perform decently without a bridle, but I can't get terribly serious with our work riding without a bridle. I think it's a goal and a novelty for me. I just wanted to see if it could be done and took it as a challenge.

              My horse is an Andalusian and our focus is dressage, but I'm starting to get interested in working equitation. There is a small club in this area, and I think it would be neat to try. What I like about the Iberian horses is that they are bred to be functional, IME.

              I think blending different methods from different disciplines and styles is a good thing and produces a well rounded mount. For example, I don't fully subscribe to natural horsemanship, but I've borrowed a few pieces of their training even though our focus is dressage.



              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post

                ......

                My horse is an Andalusian and our focus is dressage, but I'm starting to get interested in working equitation. There is a small club in this area, and I think it would be neat to try. What I like about the Iberian horses is that they are bred to be functional, IME.
                ......
                One of the current winners of WE is riding an oldenburg mare......so you don't need an iberian horse to be "functional."

                In the past, WB's were bred to be functional also. It is just that in the current horse market the European breeders de-emphasized that aspect and turned to marketing for the show ring.

                You can take a good WB an make it a "functional horse." It is just that the current dressage training does not focus on that.....it emphasizes show-ring craft. And some riders don't know any other system. I hope WE changes that. It is not "either/or"....you can be both functional and ride a dressage test.

                It is unfortunate where WB breeders are going because look at what happened to working dog breeds. Those breeders emphasized some "form" over function. (Look at GSD with hip displace, Bulldogs that can't be born vaginally, etc). Some horse breeds have gone there....look at WP for QH and the TWH.

                Post WWII, the European WB breeders "repurposed" their working breeds to be shown in the show ring of dressage where slowly TPTB have eroded the "functional" components of that test (like the jump at the end of the test, accuracy & precision of figures) to where we are now....eg., extreme emphasis on the gaits (comments of "more uphill", "more reach" "more crossing" (for HP) etc.

                In another thread I was dissed when I asked the question of why is it a pejorative insult to "treat dressage as a pattern class"......and I was promptly put in my place that "it is not dressage."

                I would counter that what is currently done in the show ring "is not dressage."
                Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                Alfred A. Montapert

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

                  One of the current winners of WE is riding an oldenburg mare......so you don't need an iberian horse to be "functional."

                  In the past, WB's were bred to be functional also. It is just that in the current horse market the European breeders de-emphasized that aspect and turned to marketing for the show ring.

                  You can take a good WB an make it a "functional horse." It is just that the current dressage training does not focus on that.....it emphasizes show-ring craft. And some riders don't know any other system. I hope WE changes that. It is not "either/or"....you can be both functional and ride a dressage test.

                  It is unfortunate where WB breeders are going because look at what happened to working dog breeds. Those breeders emphasized some "form" over function. (Look at GSD with hip displace, Bulldogs that can't be born vaginally, etc). Some horse breeds have gone there....look at WP for QH and the TWH.

                  Post WWII, the European WB breeders "repurposed" their working breeds to be shown in the show ring of dressage where slowly TPTB have eroded the "functional" components of that test (like the jump at the end of the test, accuracy & precision of figures) to where we are now....eg., extreme emphasis on the gaits (comments of "more uphill", "more reach" "more crossing" (for HP) etc.

                  In another thread I was dissed when I asked the question of why is it a pejorative insult to "treat dressage as a pattern class"......and I was promptly put in my place that "it is not dressage."

                  I would counter that what is currently done in the show ring "is not dressage."
                  I am not saying that the Iberian breeds are the only ones being bred to be functional. Please don't take that as an exclusive statement.

                  I do, however, agree that some breeds, such as Warmbloods are being bred for sport and certain preferences in the show ring. The idea of a sound mind or other characteristics are tossed aside in pursuit of the winning gait, or flash, or suspension, or whatever.

                  You can take any good horse and make it a functional horse. Some of us have different definitions of functional, so there is that.

                  ??????I can understand that some people simply don't know that they can blend methods or use techniques of other disciplines, but nowadays with access to the internet it is arguable that educating youself is easier.

                  Dressage is technically riding a pattern, I would think. You're given a pattern and you ride it.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Lunabear1988 View Post
                    Pocket Pony thank you! I guess to me, it seems some of it is definitely useful for all around Horsemanship/starting a horse. I think some of it is like Dressage. Still not seeing it explained as Dressage though. Perhaps it's just a regional thing? I always thought of Buck as an all around horsemanship/ranch horse type. Never occurred to me until out west that some would take him above Dressage trainers as to training a Dressage horse.

                    I did post some questions to another poster about Buck's dressage background and if there is anyone who's trained a horse using a lot of his techniques to the more upper levels of Dressage.
                    .
                    Some other disassembled thoughts.

                    At the "upper levels" of a vaquero horse (which I've seen only in a couple people...Buck and others nobody would have ever heard of), the riding is so beautifully refined and soft. The horses look relaxed and horse and rider seem as one. Now, granted, again, I've only seen a few of these riders and they have been clinicians, so surely there must be those out there who do not exemplify this type of riding yet who ride in a spade bit with grace and ease. I'm sure there are many more who bastardize it or who are rough or don't ride pretty. [Actually, coming back to type that I have seen it bastardized and it is ugly, just like bad dressage riding.] But, they don't get much for riding pretty in terms of adoration and accolades and recognition in the show ring. The end game is not to produce a show horse . . . yet. I'm sure this will be turned into a means to an end for showing at some point. After all, there's probably money to be made! Perhaps that's what western dressage or cowboy dressage will morph into.

                    I don't know that there's a lot of cross-over at the upper levels because it seems the end result is different, and the desired end result is different. The way dressage horses go in the show ring, while it may look pretty to most and an outsider might not see it, to me looks like a lot of tension. I don't know that I can articulate my thoughts well enough before my coffee to not start a big fight about it and I don't want to spend that much time on this thread. Basically I don't think the two can follow the same track. Some parts of what Buck does are useful for any type of riding at any level. But I don't think that an upper level dressage horse can be trained along the same path as a bridle horse. I'd be interested in being wrong and hearing about it from someone else (Ms. Staley aside, I don't know that she shows at the upper levels?). Plus, when someone starts on the path of the bridle horse type of stuff, an interest in competitive dressage might go out the window. At the "lower level" of doing ground work and working in the snaffle bit, it can be frustrating to realize the dressage tools you've learned and ingrained into your body aren't the same tools you'll continue to use. But the work is fascinating and you can spend a long time getting little details correct and putting good ground work into your horse.

                    As the bridle horse progresses, the tools are very different. Either bosal-snaffle bit or snaffle bit-bosal (I've seen both ways). Then smaller bosals, then bosalita and curb bit. Then curb bit and gradually moving up to the spade bit. The finished horse in the spade bit (or a horse in a curb bit) is ridden one-handed and is so light and refined. That's the very short and abbreviated version.

                    I remember watching a clinic once for this type of "vaquero-style" riding and I think everybody was an English-turned-western rider. There's a lot of interest in this style of riding because a lot of English riders don't like the system of dressage (in theory it sounds great, in practice maybe not and that could be a whole thread unto itself) but they want to have that harmonious feel and relationship with their horses. I don't know that dressage training cuts it when the end result is to get to the show. Anyway, back to the clinic. There was a rider trying a curb bit and really struggling with the two hands thing and the clinician was harping on her over and over again about using one hand. He was very firm and said that if she took both reins another time he was going to take the bit away from her and put the horse back in a snaffle. I've seen Buck talk to people the same way. Plain speaking, telling people what they are doing wrong and how to fix it. I've seen frustration, tears, people coming off, and I've seen people leave and not come back. There's not coddling of riders and telling them they are doing a good job and just collecting a check when the rider is not performing (it may end up that way in the long run, but not without solid attempts at fixing the problem). That doesn't mean that the clinicians berate everyone - all attempts are made to foster understanding and clarify instructions or help fix problems. But there are people who like to talk back or don't try or pretend like they try but don't.

                    Buck's clinics (and other cowboys I've ridden with) are long days of lots of participation and watching and learning. You may be on your horse for 3 hours. You may be on your horse all day and it is up to you to decide when to take a break for a little while and then get back on. Princess attitudes are not tolerated well. Everyone is expected to do their best and try. It is firm but fair, just like it is with the horses.

                    I think the people who gravitate toward working with Buck and other people of his style of horsemanship do it because whatever the status quo has been of their riding just isn't cutting it anymore. Either they've come to a problem that their trainer (or they alone) can't fix and they need help, or they like to think outside of the box and understand their horse better and what they may be doing wrong, or they are people who are just bored of the sand box and want to be a better all-around horseman/woman. And I think people like that aren't always the hard-chargers whose ultimate goal is GP.

                    But I could be wrong.
                    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post



                      I do, however, agree that some breeds, such as Warmbloods are being bred for sport and certain preferences in the show ring. The idea of a sound mind or other characteristics are tossed aside in pursuit of the winning gait, or flash, or suspension, or whatever.

                      My old farrier said that they were having the brains bred out of them.

                      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        pluvinel el I think the Euro dressage breeder scene has shifted to breeding for extreme function.

                        I mean lets face it.that's the human condition, right? To breed every last "popular/necessary" domesticated animal for either extreme form such as halter QH/Arabs, many dog breeds) or extreme function - beef cattle (not to be confused with the extreme form equine version, aka western breed halter horses), racing TBs, popular gaited horses like TWHs, WP QH, and now dressage horses. And of course there are trade offs every step of the way, mostly in the form of soundness, I suspect...

                        We cannot help ourselves. Maybe somebody should breed that trait out of humans?

                        and off on a tangent... I often wonder what the modern horse would look like if it had to go in the wayback machine, like 150 years ago, only with the advantages of the advancements in dewormers and nutrition and dentistry? Where things more more likely to revert to utilitarian form and function. I ponder these things more now that I have a fjord. If only because a fjord has an incredibly long history as a closed book/pure breed, and that line damn near disappeared before a post WWII resurgence, so that genetic pool is pretty limited. In short, it's everything we think is the problem with closed book breeds. And yet a fjord is hardy, sound and long lived. Probably because while it was a pure very small closed book, it was still selected for utilitarian reasons with a solid nod to survival skills. Proving once again, all we do is screw up what nature can fix (even if we - and I include myself - love the by products of our interventions).

                        Anyway, back to Buck B. I have adored him for decades and have found ways to incorporate his teachings in hunters, dressage and now driving. Like everything else, not everything works for every discipline or every horse, but overall I find more wins than losses in his methods. I also find disengaging the hindquarters to be an amazing tool for starting a young horse. It's the best pressure /release method I have used to teach a horse that I own each part of the body individually. Later we will get them working in harmony and move off my inside leg into the outside rein (or inside feather with the lash to outside rein). But first the horse needs to know at the most basic level what are the primary asks.

                        Also I think Buck's methods need to be looked at in the prism of the horse and the geography. Just as we "make" horses to fit our specific needs, horses in turn make our training methods. I don't think you can look at any region's historical approaches (Germany, France, American West coast, American East coast) without taking into consideration the conformation/temperament of the horse that generations of trainers trained before this modern era mixed up the pool.

                        In Buck's case that was a cowhorse naturally built more level or even downhill, the east coasters cut their teeth on TBs, Saddlebreds and cavalry remounts. Germany had their heavier WBS while France had a huge influence of a hotter, lighter Selle. Obviously good teachers adapt accordingly, but the roots of the method are developed by the horse they were most likely to train, and it's going to show up in the modern iteration of all of those methods.
                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                        • #32
                          Ground work is extremely important and I use it with all horses as needed...I like the TRT method because it is focus oriented. I don't want a dead broke horse, I want a focused one. I am using a lot of it on my PRE who just turned 4 and have already had success in four weeks. It uses a lot of the same principles but is geared towards a dressage horse. Moving the feet around, sending them sideways, moving shoulders etc. is important in a lot of disciplines.
                          Humans dont mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. Sebastian Junger

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by DMK View Post
                            pluvinel el I think the Euro dressage breeder scene has shifted to breeding for extreme function.

                            ...........
                            Extreme "function" in ring craft and what is currently being rewarded in the dressage arena.....

                            You want a trot....well, lets' get a TROT.....and you have infusion of hackeny blood (a carriage breed) into something that is under saddle.

                            Anky rides a horse what can't execute a halt.....this is a world champion who should be riding a "well trained horse".....but it is "too hot" to execute a proper halt.

                            Same as working dog breeds that cant' sniff their way out of a paper bag after the human intervention.....see where the arab nose has been bred to look like.

                            I am a firm believer that a horse has to have a functional education along with any "dressage" training.
                            Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                            Alfred A. Montapert

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Very interesting conversation. Thank you all for sharing your views..I think I will be ordering Buck's book. I think my views on it are the same but I will continue educating myself as always.

                              For myself it makes most sense to use the ground work and some elementary exercises but to use them with correct context in Dressage. I personally don't see Dressage as tension but think there is some bad dressage out there. But I also think I'm seeing some practicing Buck's exercises not totally as he intended. All we can do is continue learning no matter which path we are on.

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                              • #35
                                Seems like the cowboys are very good at marketing if you look at their web pages, DVD's, books, clinics!

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by AZ TD View Post
                                  Seems like the cowboys are very good at marketing if you look at their web pages, DVD's, books, clinics!
                                  I don't know that this is strictly "marketing......my opinion is that these "cowboys" are filling an unmet need.

                                  Why is this? Because the US dressage system.....led by the USDF.......continues to focus on "competition" vs "education and training."

                                  As my trainer said, "Things don't get better when you get on their back." So if you don't have obedience and understanding on the ground, it won't get better under saddle.

                                  I was boarding my horse at a "well known dressage training center".....that I guarantee everyone on on this board knows. A competition stallion comes down the aisle and it was "Get out of the way." Exceptionally rude animal.......but the behavior was allowed because of this horse's competition record.

                                  Years ago, I was trying to get the Region 1 Director to have a demonstration at the Region 1 meeting. There was NO interest.

                                  I know a successful GP rider, very nice person, rode at Wellington with international caliber riders, who does not know how to start young horses or remedy behavior problems.

                                  But give her a trained horse and she is a lovely rider.

                                  In addition, you have people whose focus is to want to develop a connection with their horse.....not competition......and these "cowboys" fill the need.

                                  Yes, there are some are "cowboy charlatans"......but there are others who are very good and fill a training void.

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

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Lunabear1988 View Post
                                    Pocket Pony thank you! I guess to me, it seems some of it is definitely useful for all around Horsemanship/starting a horse. I think some of it is like Dressage. Still not seeing it explained as Dressage though. Perhaps it's just a regional thing? I always thought of Buck as an all around horsemanship/ranch horse type. Never occurred to me until out west that some would take him above Dressage trainers as to training a Dressage horse.

                                    I did post some questions to another poster about Buck's dressage background and if there is anyone who's trained a horse using a lot of his techniques to the more upper levels of Dressage.
                                    .
                                    You need to see someone (including Buck) ride a finished bridle horse before you speak on this point about what he's making. I think you can find some of that on YouTube. And there are shows for these guys. A bridle horse can take close to a decade to make up. This is not less of a feat than making a Grand Prix horse, I assure you.

                                    So Vaquero/Californio horsemen (and I'd put Bannaman in this camp) are making very sophisticated versions of a working ranch horse. And dressage folks who make up GP horses are making very sophisticated versions of war horses. If you think that Brannaman is making a "ranch horse" in the sense of a Ford Focus-type horse that you just do a job on, you'd also have to think that dressage amounts to making perhaps a 3rd Level horse-- it can do WTC and has a flying lead change.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post

                                      So invaluable. I notice that my horse stands out and is looked at differently (in a positive way) from most of the others he is stabled with because I've done a lot of ground work with him. He's very sensitive and mindful. He also knows some tricks. Even simple ones people cannot fathom how he knows them. It's simple, just take the time.

                                      My horse will align himself properly at the mounting block and not move until I'm aboard and I say so. This, to me, is obvious and correct. I often witness other horses with no manners at the block and riders getting frustrated. It's because they need to take the time and thought. My horse was not born this way, and it did not happen over night. For some it just isn't a priority. It's only about the ride.
                                      I value this emphasis on "basic" training, too.

                                      And you know who made me really get detailed about it? Yup-- my sensitive, forward-thinking green Dressage Nugget.

                                      I did make my easier-minded show hunter think it was *his job* to line his body up with my toe (right or left) when I stood on something (a mounting block, my truck bumper, a stump) to get on. And I taught him that when he was tied, he was in "park," physically and then mentally. I made sure I could bridle him with his head low from either side and let me spray his forehead and clip his ears. Anyone could load him into a trailer. People thought he was just a nice horse. He was, but he was also explicitly taught to be so good on the ground because I had grown up around western horsemen who thought this was normal, kindergarten stuff for any horse to learn.

                                      But my current mare-- the Arabian/WB "goes like a wheelbarrow" horse mentioned above-- really upped my game. And now i say, "the hotter the horse, the better trained it had better be." The emphasis on the manners and focus on the ground makes this mare much easier and safer to train than she would be otherwise. I am a total believer in the value of excellent in-hand training for all horses. And I am now surprised by how rude and/or dull so many English show horses are. And having ridden English for a long time, I was guilty of not putting good-enough training into my horses on the ground.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post

                                        I am not saying that the Iberian breeds are the only ones being bred to be functional. Please don't take that as an exclusive statement.

                                        I do, however, agree that some breeds, such as Warmbloods are being bred for sport and certain preferences in the show ring. The idea of a sound mind or other characteristics are tossed aside in pursuit of the winning gait, or flash, or suspension, or whatever.

                                        You can take any good horse and make it a functional horse. Some of us have different definitions of functional, so there is that.

                                        ??????I can understand that some people simply don't know that they can blend methods or use techniques of other disciplines, but nowadays with access to the internet it is arguable that educating youself is easier.

                                        Dressage is technically riding a pattern, I would think. You're given a pattern and you ride it.
                                        Yes, but the only reason most folks on somewhere on the Western side of the country get to know about this is because those pros have monetized and grown their training and the Vaquero tradition this way. Sure, Brannaman is making a good living. And I'm not a fan of the 3 hour or even All Day clinic for one horse. But he believes he's doing what he does, in part, to help a huge number of horses who would benefit from the thoughtful kind of training he does that really does try to consider the horse's experience in his work.

                                        To your other point. I think dressage is pattern riding. What I imagine those Holier-than-thou Dressage Purists were speaking about is the way the patterns chosen for the tests at various levels have to do with a training system. Apparently they don't think the patterns used in Western disciplines have a progression and a purpose? If that were so, I assume they would concede that those patterns have plenty of value in them.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          mvp I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't saying "ranch horses" in a demeaning tone. Not sure where you are, but I'm out west and ranch horse is highly trained, highly valued horse out here. They start at 10k and go up from there in price.

                                          I'm just saying for me given any info I've seen, read, and anything anyone has posted on here, it isn't correct for my path. For where I'm going,I only feel comfortable incorporating small amounts of it here and there. I do not feel comfortable trying to converge his techniques too much into my riding by just going by what I think Buck means. I'm not looking to show but I'm looking to train up the levels in a more traditional way. This is because I have more access to knowledge though books, videos, instructors I trust. And instructors that I've seen move up the levels so I trust that they understand how all the pieces work together.

                                          I see nothing wrong with something devouted to Buck's methods if they see that to fit their needs and have instruction they trust with it. I'm seeing to many "Buck B" wanna be types that I don't think have full grasp of maybe what he's talking about it and don't wish to train with them.

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