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

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  • #81
    Originally posted by madams747 View Post
    .......

    ....... You will see a bit of everything from lateral work to collection, to extensions. And there's no tail wringing, hard eyes, pinned ears or other signs of discomfort or unhappiness. I would compare it to watching a dressage master - yes, different saddle but the unity and beauty are just amazing.

    I ride my mare in both a Wade tree Western saddle and a Schleese Obrigado. The only thing that changes is what kind of boots I put on I get the same movement, sternum lift, etc. But as I said before, my goals are not competition related, and possibly the OP's goals are more that direction.
    This is my point to the OP and why I asked what were her goals.

    The work taught by BB is very applicable to all horses if you want to develop a nice riding horse which you take into a dressage test to demonstrate your harmony and the first directive of the dressage rules,
    DR101 Object and General Principles of Dressage
    1. The object of dressage is the development of the horse into a happy athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the rider. The horse thus gives the impression of doing, of its own accord, what is required. Confident and attentive, submitting generously to the control of the rider, remaining absolutely straight in any movement on a straight line and bending accordingly when moving on curved lines.

    However if you want to show in what is now becoming "Big Lick Dressage".....then that is a whole 'nother ball game.





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

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    • #82

      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

      Ok good to know. I've been watching some folks work on perfecting disengaging haunches for years, and when they get to moving the shoulders its really on the forehand. Not necessarily BB followers but people who have mixed western horsemanship and dressage.

      We don't have strong Vaquero teachers around here.
      I have the 7 clinics series DVD's, and BB has an exercise on one of them, that involves slowly walking toward the horse, while asking for half circles in front of you, while you are walking forward. Hard to describe. Ask the horse to do a half circle in front of you, back and forth, while you slowly walk forward. It's really hard, at least for me. The horse is supposed to move back and forth, smoothly.

      I have discovered, that when I put too much pressure on my mare, and walk forward too fast, she will squat back on her haunches and roll back to the other direction. I think that when I mess up like this, she just exaggerates what she thinks I want/what's supposed to happen. I think in that exercise, she is supposed to engage to the turn, but not to the point of roll back.

      So many things on the BB info are so subtle. You have to study every small thing he does. I starting to think that some of his cues are just like "I have a little more weight on this hipbone now" kinds of things, or even "Good horse has learned to read my mind!"
      “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

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      • #83
        Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post


        I have the 7 clinics series DVD's, and BB has an exercise on one of them, that involves slowly walking toward the horse, while asking for half circles in front of you, while you are walking forward. Hard to describe. Ask the horse to do a half circle in front of you, back and forth, while you slowly walk forward. It's really hard, at least for me. The horse is supposed to move back and forth, smoothly.

        I have discovered, that when I put too much pressure on my mare, and walk forward too fast, she will squat back on her haunches and roll back to the other direction. I think that when I mess up like this, she just exaggerates what she thinks I want/what's supposed to happen. I think in that exercise, she is supposed to engage to the turn, but not to the point of roll back.

        So many things on the BB info are so subtle. You have to study every small thing he does. I starting to think that some of his cues are just like "I have a little more weight on this hipbone now" kinds of things, or even "Good horse has learned to read my mind!"
        I have certainly seen western horses turn on their haunches yet still be heavy on the forehand and downhill in front.

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        • Original Poster

          #84
          I find this thread so interesting on so many levels! I do think some aren't understanding my question at it's core, I could reframe it but from being an avid reader of Coth, I know that when people are passionate about something they have a harder time reading something objectively. I get it, although I do enjoy a more open minded conversation.

          Either way it's always fun to discuss and try to learn something from any side of the conversation

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          • #85
            Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

            I have certainly seen western horses turn on their haunches yet still be heavy on the forehand and downhill in front.
            Can you show me an example?

            I don't see how that's biomechanically possible.

            I will say that I don't know enough about who the western folk want the horse to plant his inside hind foot and spin on that (for most of a circle). I know they don't want to pirouette. There is good reason in the working ranch horse's repertoire for staying still with his hind end. If he moves forward, he has allowed the cow he is holding to move forward down the rail as well, and that's not what's desired. Perhaps these horses built downhill still look downhill to you? I would imagine, however, that they are lifting up their front end in order to turn on their haunches just like more uphill-built horses do.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

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            • #86
              You guys be the judge......
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqyV9kGQpEc

              This isn't BB, but for discussion's sake....

              This cowboy is not doing dressage when he is on his horse.....but in my eye, he rides the "dressage horse" with more empathy towards the horse than the "dressage rider."
              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

                #87
                pluvinel not sure who either of the either riders are, I can't see the video super clearly but don't come to the same conclusion from what is in that clip.

                Anyways, what does that have to do with any of this discussion?

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                • #88
                  Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                  You guys be the judge......
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqyV9kGQpEc

                  This isn't BB, but for discussion's sake...

                  This cowboy is not doing dressage when he is on his horse.....but in my eye, he rides the "dressage horse" with more empathy towards the horse than the "dressage rider."
                  Really?

                  You see how the western guy rides his own horse? His way of riding the spin... Ouch, wouldn't want to see him training it.

                  I really don't see whatever you are talking about.

                  And I don't understand the point you are trying to make with this.

                  You like BB and prefer western training? Why don't you concentrate on that instead of bashing dressage in general.

                  Life feels better when we talk and do stuff we like and appreciate.
                  Last edited by alibi_18; Feb. 17, 2019, 06:48 AM.
                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
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                  • Original Poster

                    #89
                    pluvinel I absolutely think Buck B is a LOVELY, talented rider. Hands down. And growing up riding Western, I think Western riders are just as capable of riding well as anyone else...

                    I've seen great Dressage riders, I've seen some awful ones. I've seen great hunter jumpers, I've seen some awful ones. I've seen some great barrel racers and some awful ones.

                    This isn't a dressage vs Western riding thread. This was some people in my area every much believe that Buck B or Vaquero riding IS Dressage. I see similarities, sure. Could some of it be used with a dressage horse? Sure... If you follow the system soley then will you get an upper level Dressage horse? I can't see how you would. I haven't seen anyone do it anyways.

                    It just really seems to me that while you can incorporate some into your training, it's best to really understand what you are doing. As with most things.

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                      You guys be the judge......
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqyV9kGQpEc

                      This isn't BB, but for discussion's sake....

                      This cowboy is not doing dressage when he is on his horse.....but in my eye, he rides the "dressage horse" with more empathy towards the horse than the "dressage rider."
                      So glad you posted that video. I had seen it awhile back and I, too, though the western rider gave the dressage horse a smoother ride. Didn't love seeing him ride the horse in a leverage bit two-handed. But maybe that was because the dressage rider would have the easiest time not being asked to ride only with his left hand. I'll bet the mouthpiece was broken, too.

                      Really interesting, too, to compare the spins and pirouettes produced by each rider on each horse. I raise this since I had a question about how a western horse can do a "turn on the haunches" and also be on the forehand. I thought the cowboy got plenty of lift from his level-built horse in his spin. The dressage rider left the horse a little lower in front (sometimes) and he started to get that "coke bottle" spin that you don't want. I do think part of the problem with the coke bottle spin (center of rotation slips forward to the horse's barrel and is no longer around the hind end, is that they do lean down on those front legs when they are on the ground for longer than they should.

                      Meh, I think that's just a rider not familiar with how a reiner must go.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                      • #91
                        Originally posted by Lunabear1988 View Post
                        pluvinel I absolutely think Buck B is a LOVELY, talented rider. Hands down. And growing up riding Western, I think Western riders are just as capable of riding well as anyone else...

                        I've seen great Dressage riders, I've seen some awful ones. I've seen great hunter jumpers, I've seen some awful ones. I've seen some great barrel racers and some awful ones.

                        This isn't a dressage vs Western riding thread. This was some people in my area every much believe that Buck B or Vaquero riding IS Dressage. I see similarities, sure. Could some of it be used with a dressage horse? Sure... If you follow the system soley then will you get an upper level Dressage horse? I can't see how you would. I haven't seen anyone do it anyways.

                        It just really seems to me that while you can incorporate some into your training, it's best to really understand what you are doing. As with most things.
                        I do think that folks have a real advantage if they live in an area where they can see many Vaquero-type riders. Same goes for seeing top-end dressage trainers and riding as opposed to those who are less educated. If you aren't comparing the top of each style of horsemanship, I don't think you are talking in an apples-to-apples way.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                        • #92
                          Originally posted by Lunabear1988 View Post

                          Buck B sure seems like a gorgeous, thoughtful rider who incorporates some Dressage into his training. I've seen lovely lateral work from him. But watching from what I've seen, it's not the same as training up the levels. It looks like how to train a very nice ranch horse or all around horse. I see merit in a lot of it but I can't understand how some see that as "Dressage" itself. Some even say that Buck has it figured out more than anyone in the actual sport or the ODG of Dressage.

                          Personally for me, I think I'll use some of the ground work and a few things here in there but I prefer to stick with a more normal dressage approach.

                          I'd love insight though! I do enjoy Buck B but as said am not a hardcore fan so I'm sure there are those who have insight.
                          Ok, after seeing this thread over a couple days, I'll bite.

                          Lunabear, I think it all comes down to how you define dressage - do you mean:
                          • produce an excellent riding horse, that can get through a training/first level test? or,
                          • develop a horse's gaits to its maximum capacity in terms of elasticity, suspension, impulsion, and collection? (consistent with the contemporary standards of FEI dressage.)

                          Because I would guess that Buck and his peers can certainly do the former, but likely not the latter (without guidance on how to do that).

                          I'm currently moving my mare up the levels (schooling third level now, with FEI capabilities and goals), and the overwhelming emphasis in my training is not about figures, or obedience, or teaching movements - it's about developing more activity, more elasticity, more thrust, more collection, more from her natural athleticism. I do almost no "dressage movements", unless they are part of the exercise (i.e., we do shoulder in not because that's in the test, but because it develops engagement, etc.).

                          I don't imagine Buck and peers place much emphasis on developing the gaits in this manner in their training. If the goal is to ride a nice first level test, I'm almost sure they could produce that - any remotely talented trainer could. It's pretty straightforward stuff.

                          An example - I have a friend that rides quarter horses (mostly western, but I think the type of saddle is largely irrelevant). She is a beautiful, tactful, sensitive rider, and wants to do dressage. Unfortunately her understanding is about that of a training/first level rider - develop a connection, the horse must be forward, then you ride your pattern accurately. She doesn't understand that that is only sufficient at first level - the horse must develop more thrust and sit in order to succeed above that. She thinks (like many not in the sandbox) that its about teaching movements (changes, half-pass, etc.,) and if riding those correctly, the necessary thrust and sit will naturally come with it. She doesn't understand how much emphasis is put on actively developing those gaits, independent of the movements you would need to ride a test.

                          I've seen "western" trainers train nicer lower level horses then some "dressage" trainers, so at the lower levels, I think it doesn't really matter. A nicely trained riding horse is pretty discipline un-specific. But I have yet to see a non-dressage-developed horse (with the possible exception of working equitation horses) that I thought could go into an FEI ring and be successful. (It is entirely possible that I'm wrong, and, if motivated, Buck could develop that kind of horse.)

                          In all, I think if your goal is to ride above Second level dressage, I would never train with someone who doesn't specialize in it (save the rare jumper trainer that has ridden and competed in FEI level work - less common in the US than overseas). They just wouldn't understand the importance of developing (or even how to develop) the non-test components of dressage (why it's not just a head set, why it's so much more than riding an accurate figure/movement).

                          Anyway, I hope this addressed some of your question, in-eloquent as I may be!




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                          • Original Poster

                            #93
                            Feathered_Feet yes I'm going for your latter point. I thought your post was very eloquent!

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                            • Original Poster

                              #94
                              mvp I agree being in an area where it is around is helpful.

                              I still would think it's simply similar to dressage.

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                              • #95
                                Feathered Feet nails it, IMO.

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                                • #96
                                  Yes.

                                  With the caveat that many lower level dressage riders don't develop the gaits either.

                                  By which I don't mean just trying for the biggest trot. I mean reach and rhythm and cadence and eventually suspension to your horse's ability. My coach does work on this. I've watched a lot of horses make progress in their overall way of moving. Including horses with average gaits get more correct, even if never flashy.

                                  But I see other riders already working on things like half pass trot, flying changes, collection as they understand it. Horses they've been schooling for five years in some cases. Horses with natural talent. But the horses still move like green uneducated horses in terms of the quality of gaits.



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                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                    Yes.

                                    With the caveat that many lower level dressage riders don't develop the gaits either.
                                    And that's why they are lower level riders, and often stay there. They don't understand or know how to develop their horse's gaits.

                                    By which I don't mean just trying for the biggest trot. I mean reach and rhythm and cadence and eventually suspension to your horse's ability. My coach does work on this. I've watched a lot of horses make progress in their overall way of moving. Including horses with average gaits get more correct, even if never flashy.
                                    Correct riding will have that effect on gaits. Just doing corners properly is one big thing to understand. I ride my friend's horse a few times per month, and as good as she is as a rider, she has no clue yet on how to do correct, let's say to reach higher level, corners. We have the same trainer, so she'll get there, but it is details like that that separates riders. At least, she understands and sees the difference, she's just not skilled enough in her half halt yet to produce good corners.

                                    But I see other riders already working on things like half pass trot, flying changes, collection as they understand it. Horses they've been schooling for five years in some cases. Horses with natural talent. But the horses still move like green uneducated horses in terms of the quality of gaits.
                                    I see this as a circle where you do some movements, come back to basics, and learn some more movements, then back to basics again, then you understand the reach of each movements, then your basics are even better and then you progress substantially from novice to intermediate rider and then you go back to basics and so on... Same goes for the training of the horse. That's how you get 7yrs old to PSG and up.
                                    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                    Originally posted by LauraKY
                                    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                    HORSING mobile training app

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                                    • #98
                                      ...bearing in mind that the modern day well bred dressage horse has a lot of the thrust, impulsion and elevation bred into him. Not all horses are even capable of it.
                                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                                      • #99
                                        Originally posted by Lunabear1988 View Post
                                        pluvinel I absolutely think Buck B is a LOVELY, talented rider. Hands down. And growing up riding Western, I think Western riders are just as capable of riding well as anyone else...

                                        I've seen great Dressage riders, I've seen some awful ones. I've seen great hunter jumpers, I've seen some awful ones. I've seen some great barrel racers and some awful ones.

                                        This isn't a dressage vs Western riding thread. This was some people in my area every much believe that Buck B or Vaquero riding IS Dressage. I see similarities, sure. Could some of it be used with a dressage horse? Sure... If you follow the system soley then will you get an upper level Dressage horse? I can't see how you would. I haven't seen anyone do it anyways.

                                        It just really seems to me that while you can incorporate some into your training, it's best to really understand what you are doing. As with most things.
                                        I haven't read every page but here are my thoughts on your first post and the one I quoted. (I read MVP's post and I feel it is right on.)
                                        I have ridden with Buck a few times and with his SIL a few times as well. I've also ridden with Ellen Eckstein who is a dressage trainer who rode primarily with Tom Dorrance.

                                        I absolutely hear your question about contact and also the leg cues for turning horses. The first clinic I rode in with Buck I noticed the leg cues for turning were EXACTLY opposite what I had been taught, inside leg at the girth outside leg behind the girth. It confused the hell out of me. For a while I actually switched my legs (if THAT wasn't an exercise in self discipline, it took forever and I never got totally solid at it.) I've kind of settled somewhere in the middle where whatever or wherever my leg is on a horse they need to yield, which is basically what it's all about anyway right?

                                        As far as contact, you are correct in that he doesn't want a horse truly "in your hand" as we generally think of it. The 'soft feel' is indeed, very very soft. I've also come to ride my horses very soft but also 'there'. With a regular cavesson. It's been a thing with me that if I need more than a regular cavesson I need to fix what is going on.
                                        There is a good book/dvd called "Bringing it Together" which addresses a lot of what you are asking. It's short but sweet.

                                        Ellen (Eckstein) teaches that picking up a contact is the first cue for a horse to move forward and encourages that first movement to be with the hind leg. As it gets refined it basically asks for more engagement just by a slight lifting of the rein later on.

                                        It's really cool, thought provoking stuff. It's made me think outside of the box much quicker. I'm definitely more of a 'journey' kind of person with goals rather than a goal person no matter how I get there. I have three homebreds that I have started and brought along this way. The groundwork is invaluable and there is always a higher level of responsiveness to be attained. Bottom line, Buck's philosophy is always to "get to the feet". If you can't control the feet you can't control anything else. Do as little as possible and as much as necessary. Always offer the horse the good deal first.
                                        We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                                        www.dleestudio.com

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                                        • Originally posted by DLee View Post
                                          I absolutely hear your question about contact and also the leg cues for turning horses. The first clinic I rode in with Buck I noticed the leg cues for turning were EXACTLY opposite what I had been taught, inside leg at the girth outside leg behind the girth. It confused the hell out of me. For a while I actually switched my legs (if THAT wasn't an exercise in self discipline, it took forever and I never got totally solid at it.) I've kind of settled somewhere in the middle where whatever or wherever my leg is on a horse they need to yield, which is basically what it's all about anyway right?
                                          On that bass-akward leg cue topic. I know, right? It's so hard to do what Brannaman (and some of his students who have taught me while mounted) do if you were taught to ride as we were!

                                          But here's my take on that: IMO, the sliding your inside heel way back is not about an aid on the horse's abdominal line on the inside. That is where I see these tall men touching their short horses with a spur. The point is not about touching the horse with the spur back there Rather, I think that leg position is about making absolutely sure that the inside sitting bone is light and off the horse. Remember that lots of western riders want to kick their feet out in front of them. If you had contact in your inside hand and had that same toe out in front of you, chances are, you'd be resting hard on that inside sitting bone. Your knee might not be straight and locked, but I'll bet you have some tension in that leg and are bracing against the stirrup a bit. And if that is so, your sitting bone does not feel like something a horse wants to relax his back into.

                                          I discovered this just by doing as I was instructed with a pretty good, nice-guy of a student of Brannaman's who was local to me when I lived in Oregon's Willamette Valley. I knew that this was one piece of his training that was too far off my over-all goal for my dressage horse. So I tried to figure out a way to ride here and get the right turns done without kicking my heel back. What I did worked ok. But then coming from English world, I have pretty good awareness of my sitting bones and how to move my leg in a way that does, or does not put weight on a sitting bone. I talked about it a bit with the pro and, being a nice guy, he didn't tell me I was way wrong about the "real" aid or effect accomplished by moving that inside leg so far back. But I explain all this so that you are aware that I'm just making my own hypothesis about it.

                                          If I ever get a dedicated bridle horse project (and a guru to go with it), AND if I learn why this inside leg way back is logical or worth doing, I'll let you guys know.

                                          The armchair saddler
                                          Politically Pro-Cat

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