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Col. Podhajsky's own words

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  • Col. Podhajsky's own words

    I was reviewing the Col.'s book and since we choose to disagree on many points, I thought it would be appropriate for us to remember what a Master said and rode.

    Col. Podhajsky’s words:
    1. The face must never come behind the vertical, as in this case the horse would be over bent and not go sufficiently forward.
    2. The poll, however, must be the highest point of the horse’s head regardless of his conformation.
    3. This points to the necessity of sufficient freedom for the head in the extended paces.
    4. It must be emphasized that the correct position of the head cannot be obtained by strong action of the reins, which would only shorten the neck.
    5. The position of the head is the means, the paces the object, of dressage. The correct position of the head will be the result of contact and balance, both developed by riding briskly forward, and will make it easier for the horse to follow the commands of the rider given through the reins.
    6. The rider should aid his horse to understand him; this means that the horse should never be afraid of the aids and that the rider has sufficient patience to be sure his horse understands what is demanded of him. (I would rather rider ask and not demand) The
    rider must have an exact understanding of his aids and their effect, and must make use of them intelligently; he must not allow himself to be influenced by his feelings.
    7. The ultimate objective of training must be to guide the horse with invisible aids.
    8. In spite of this, few riders today are sufficiently expert in the art of classical riding to perform the movements with invisible aids. Rather, they may often be seen presenting their horses while working the hands and legs and swinging their bodies. (Words
    written in 1967 are still true today)
    9. When the leg is correctly applied, the heels should be low, and the muscles of the calf tightened, so that the horse…
    10. If the rider leans forward while his seat remains in the saddle he will drive the horse’s forelegs into the ground and prevent the hind legs from coming under the body.
    11. Experience has taught that the rider should never push more with his legs than he can control with the reins, or hold with his hands more than he can absorb with his legs and seat. This gives the individual measure of the degree of the aids. Most riders will have an inclination to hold more with the reins than they can control with their legs; therefore, the rider must always work from rear to front to ensure that the horse does not take too firm a contact with the bit.
    Ask and allow, do not demand and force.

  • #2
    wait...who is "we" cause I agree with every word he says here?
    ...don't sh** where you eat...


    • #3
      Business must be really slow these days.....
      Siegi Belz
      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


      • #4
        Great stuff! Haven't read it in years but is spot on.
        “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
        ? Albert Einstein


        • #5
          Originally posted by spirithorse View Post
          Ihorse understands what is demanded of him. (I would rather rider ask and not demand)
          my guess is the word demand was translated incorrectly. . .

          for example, the french verb demander means ask not demand and is often mistranslated (causing international incidents!)
          A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


          • #6


            • #7
              Source of all quotes, please - book/s and pages.


              • #8
                for example, the french verb demander means ask not demand and is often mistranslated (causing international incidents!)
                Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger


                • #9
                  I'd love to see citations as well, but can I ask for a second whether anyone disagrees with anything that has been asserted here?

                  The only thing quoted that I don't remotely get is

                  5. The position of the head is the means, the paces the object, of dressage.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for posting this Spirithorse, I enjoyed reading it and try to emulate his instruction.


                    • #11
                      OGP, I don't get that either. I'd also like to see the sources, since I think I have all of his books.

                      I wouldn't put it past Spirithoss to do a bit of creative editing.

                      The head doesn't "motate", the body & legs do. The head & neck help balance the whole. Col. P and Seunig knew that.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                        I'd love to see citations as well, but can I ask for a second whether anyone disagrees with anything that has been asserted here?

                        The only thing quoted that I don't remotely get is:
                        5. The position of the head is the means, the paces the object, of dressage.
                        Skipping over the citation question, I would rephrase this one as:

                        [Improvement of] the horse's gaits is the point of dressage. The position of the head is the means by which this is accomplished.
                        Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                        No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


                        • #13
                          spirithorse wrote: (I would rather rider ask and not demand)

                          The thing is, in a competition the rider doesn't want to ask and have the horse say "no".


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alicen View Post
                            spirithorse wrote: "...to be sure his horse understands what is demanded of him..." (I would rather rider ask and not demand)

                            The thing is, in a competition the rider doesn't want to ask and have the horse say "no".
                            doesn't matter anyway, if the OP is quoting Podhajsky, I agree with Lisathenag, the meaning in the original german may not be the same as the english word used, "demand". There are numerous other citations on the web where his words have been relatively mistranslated and led to a poorer understanding of what can only be really taught on the horse, in the ring...

                            The german verb likely used "verlangen" can have a variety of meanings depending on the context, ranging from "to desire" through "ask" and on to "claim" or "demand". Old Alois might just have easily meant "that the horse understand what is desired of him". Any interpretation by the reader reflects more on the reader's desires or demands.
                            If it ain't broke- TRAIN IT!


                            • #15
                              Why not demand (I assume when you put in parentheses on number 6 that was you)?

                              Also, why did the font change to italics? Thank you for quoting Podhajsky, but I think he would have appreciated more clarity between the brain and the rein.
                              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                              • #16
                                <pulling the good Col. off my bookshelf to review again..... each time i gain something more >


                                • #17
                                  C'mon, Reverend, cite your sources the way a GOOD researcher does. Which book, which edition, what page?


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                    <pulling the good Col. off my bookshelf to review again..... each time i gain something more >
                                    Just had mine off the bookshelf a few weeks ago.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                      <pulling the good Col. off my bookshelf to review again..... each time i gain something more >

                                      Mine lives on the bedside table. Fortunately it is a paperback because I'm on my third version.


                                      • #20
                                        Hey, Spirithorse! Citations, please! Which book, edition, page? You know, Col. P wrote more than one book and I'm a busy person...