• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

The aids for Piaffe; how do you ask?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The aids for Piaffe; how do you ask?

    We have been working on Piaffe/Passage for while now.

    I work with a number of different clinicians/trainers, I am getting some mixed messages regarding the aids for piaffe. one trainer wants me to do it one way and another trainer prefers another approach. Both methods appear to work and certainly both trainers are well respected, experienced trainers with a number of GP horses to their credit, but it is confusing for me, and I suspect for my horse as well. I am trying to work my way to common consensus of approach and aids.

    So I was wondering how to do you approach the piaffe, both to teach it and to ask for it.

    Fire away.

    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.

    www.knabstruppers4usa.com

  • #2
    Meaning you need help with starting from the halt or the trot? Teaching piaffe or passage first? Or more about the leg and seat aids? That has the biggest disagreement, and often depends more on how your horse learns and how you use your aids at other times (for clarity with the horse--to help it understand piaffe). I prefer alternating leg aids (timed with the hindleg as in all lateral work, etc.) that lightly encourage in the rhythm of the gait. Some have horses swing from this application, so they prefer both legs at the same time (I use that for passage, they use alternating for passage). I've never had my horses swing or rock.

    Some use a strong seat. I believe in a soft seat that allows for the back to come up.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

    Comment


    • #3
      I have limited experience, so take this with a grain of salt My instructor wanted alternate aids for piaffe, but upon reading an article from another trainer I used both legs at the same time in a rhythmical bump bump way but didn't let the horse go forward with my half halts. I also had to keep a very light seat. I found that worked better for me and kept the horse straighter. Also I had to remember not to hump the saddle....
      I approached the piaffe either from a collected walk or sometimes a really collected canter to walk to piaffe. I liked coming from a really good canter to walk as it made the horse really sit, and I had his back better that way.
      Last edited by Moogles; Dec. 18, 2010, 06:32 PM. Reason: Additional info

      Comment


      • #4
        I also start with collecting the passage, because that's generally easier. Just thing collected piaffe. In general, you're "supposed" to use both legs together. My other horses I had to alternate because that's what they understood. There can be some swinging, which is why you can have problems. This mare is so oversensitive I use both legs very lightly together and a little scooping motion with the seat. The idea is that it is a more collected passage aide, which would be both legs together.

        I also usually start them with the concept in hand on the ground just with a whip and asking them to jig/piaffe so they learn the concept. With my App, who never really had a a passage, the only way I could teach him the concept was to get ready for a gallop on the trail, then hold him back.

        I think as with many things, everyone does it a little differently, and different horses need to be taught in different ways.
        Last edited by Beentheredonethat; Dec. 18, 2010, 06:53 PM. Reason: add

        Comment


        • #5
          It all depends on the horse.

          Whether the horse has forward tendencies or not.

          For my horse it worked GREAT to WALK into the Piaffe. Asking him for more. Legs behind the girth and light seat. Voila! Piaffe.

          Medium trot to passage. Deepen seat. Voila.

          Now just a SLIGHT of more seat seat to move from piaffe to passage the lighten to come back.

          I have been told it is very horse / rider specific. Works for us.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks guys

            the alternating legs is one I had heard of in a discussion but neither of the two trainers I have worked with use it.

            And working in a lesson yesterday we definitely got a better result coming into it out of a collected -walk. The trainer I was working with didn't like the alternative legs idea at all, but he did have some interesting exercises to help build up the sit and lift.
            I guess it's a pretty individual thing and not many get to work at it and practice it so there just are not that many with experience.
            Plus of course some horses take to it easier than others.

            I like reading all the different ways people use to get it though.
            MW
            Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
            Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
            New edition of book is out:
            Horse Nutrition Handbook.

            www.knabstruppers4usa.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Supermodel has a tendency to swing her but out so I do the alternating legs to keep her straight. I cannot get the piaffe from anything other than a walk though right now. I just started asking for it this week and her walk is the best thing to ask anything from. The other gelding I got to try on prefers both legs slightly bumping behind the flap of the saddle. He'll do it from any gate just cause he's a show off and loves doing it. He'll piaffee for the little tots if they ask him correctly. Trainer just rolls her eyes and calls him show off with this huge smile on her face.
              Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
              Originally Posted by alicen:
              What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Melyni View Post
                the alternating legs is one I had heard of in a discussion but neither of the two trainers I have worked with use it.

                And working in a lesson yesterday we definitely got a better result coming into it out of a collected -walk. The trainer I was working with didn't like the alternative legs idea at all, but he did have some interesting exercises to help build up the sit and lift.
                I guess it's a pretty individual thing and not many get to work at it and practice it so there just are not that many with experience.
                Plus of course some horses take to it easier than others.

                I like reading all the different ways people use to get it though.
                MW
                It's never a one size fits all with training horses! Remember that, even if your trainer disagrees because they might not want to get out of the comfort of the box they've been living in for years. It's worked for them, so for some reason they don't understand exceptions.
                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the idea is to avoid the alternating legs if possible because it's not terribly correct and can cause problems, but in the end, you have to figure out a way to get to the result. Initially, you just have to get the concept across, which can be the hardest thing to do. Once you get them to understand, you can refine it.

                  And, through different aspects in the process, you will change the way you ask for it. A lot of people will start from the walk with someone on the ground tapping a whip on top of the butt. That works really well for some horses. Some horses will blow a gasket if you do that. I've done the walk, too, but try to get away from it most of the time because horses tend to look at it as a walking exercise more. I prefer them to "think" of it as a trot exercise, so do a lot of it from the passage, and as soon as I feel a loss of rhythm, back to passage. Also, if your horse is strong enough, or to get them strong, a good exercise can be piaffe, extended trot, piaffe. That really encourages the sitting and correct feeling of carriage versus making it a trick type thing, because they have to be correct to actually go to ext. trot. And, again, one of my favorite ways to get the strength and muscling memory for this is a good hill. There's nothing like riding straight down a hill on the bit to feel the carriage. Then, you gradually ask for a few trot/piaffe steps going down the hill. They are already sitting and carrying in the correct way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                    I think the idea is to avoid the alternating legs if possible because it's not terribly correct and can cause problems, but in the end, you have to figure out a way to get to the result. Initially, you just have to get the concept across, which can be the hardest thing to do. Once you get them to understand, you can refine it.
                    .
                    I don't believe that one is more correct than the other. It depends on which school or country people have trained in. There is no absolute. They both work very well. Just because you learned only one way does not mean it is the only correct way. You might want to get out more with other trainers.
                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I actually have gotten this from a lot of trainers, from many Olympic riders to Olympic trainers like Lindgren, Kyrklund, etc. The consensus seems to be the both legs together, and it makes sense as that's the same aid as for passage and trot. You wouldn't use alternate legs in a trot or passage. The piaffe is basically trot on the spot, so . . . the aides are basically the same. Technically, it is more correct. I agree with this.

                      That is not to say we ever do anything technically, and sometimes you just do what you need to do. I could never get one horse to passage without using alternate legs. But, I've never seen any recent top rider or any Olympic/WEG horse being cued alternately. So, that's where you want to be, ideally. I would be VERY surprised if someone said the alternate leg aides is a preferable or equal way of cuing. I saw the WEG almost 20 years ago and you did see some horses at the top level being cued this way. This was when Rembrant was the amazing best piaffer, and rarely did you see one on the spot, let alone in correct rhythm. You could tell because, instead of being the straight, SO much better piaffes we see now, you would see swinging side to side, or hopping. There was one horse who would put one leg in front of the other and rock back and forth.

                      So, what is it you want? If you just have a horse you want to get to a piaffe, then you do what you want to do. Who cares? It doesn't matter for most people. And I'm not being snarky about this. Truly who cares if you get the result you want. If you want to try to get to do it at the level of what would be more correct and understand why, then you would want to do it the way that is more "correct." Velvet--Are you really getting trainers that are telling you this is preferable or an equal option? Or has it just been a way to get the concept across when others didn't work? I am certainly not the be all or end all, but have been fortunate enough to be in with being able to watch a lot of people go through this process, so I'm just surprised.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just remember: There are many roads to Rome. And your horse will learn if you chose a method and use it consistently.

                        Much as you can teach a horse to "go" by closing your legs (dressage and most English disciplines), by shaking the reins (many Mexican and South American cowboys) or by clucking. Just be consistent. Reward when they are correct or make the effort and let them know (I use a sound like "a-a-a-a-a") when they are not right.
                        Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I know that, the question is

                          Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                          Just remember: There are many roads to Rome. And your horse will learn if you chose a method and use it consistently.

                          Much as you can teach a horse to "go" by closing your legs (dressage and most English disciplines), by shaking the reins (many Mexican and South American cowboys) or by clucking. Just be consistent. Reward when they are correct or make the effort and let them know (I use a sound like "a-a-a-a-a") when they are not right.
                          How you do YOU ask for it. Eg what method do YOU use.
                          You here being the plural you.
                          I'm interested to hear and learn all the various different methods people have used.
                          MW
                          Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                          Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                          New edition of book is out:
                          Horse Nutrition Handbook.

                          www.knabstruppers4usa.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've only ridden two horses at piaffe. One was definitely trained with alternating legs with half-halts at each leg. The other was more seat and half-halts with a tiny bit of both legs together. (Gads, I miss Anya. What a horse!)
                            Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                              You wouldn't use alternate legs in a trot or passage.
                              Who says?

                              Alternating leg aids would not be appropriate for an inexperienced rider who hasn’t learned to feel which hind leg is leaving the ground when. Or, the rider who may be able to tell where the hind legs are but has not yet developed enough coordination to use his/her legs in an alternating fashion.

                              For riders with good feel and coordination, they will be able to use alternating leg aids to gain more expression in the trot (or piaffe) by activating each hind leg independently or, if the horse is a bit lazy with one hind leg, to more effectively engage that leg. If the horse gets swingy in the piaffe, the rider is either using too strong an aid, too long an aid, or both.

                              One of my horses (who is a bit lazy) will actually suck back if I apply both legs at once. If I alternate my legs, he shows far better articulation of the joints and a much greater willingness to move forward from lighter aids. The horse can only push with one hind leg at a time, which is why the alternating leg aids are better with some horses. For the best results, you have to be empathetic to your horse and find what works for him.

                              The best trainers in the world do not always agree on the aids to use for a particular movement or even the equipment to use. I remember watching a Rudolph Zeilinger videotape years ago in which he says he never uses side reins when longeing a horse. About a week later, I read an interview of another trainer in Zeilinger’s league who said exactly the opposite. A certain amount of open mindedness is quite helpful when training horses.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Melyni,

                                To answer your question…

                                I have three methods for working half steps. In all three, I always put my horse in a shoulder-fore position before asking to encourage him to lower his hindquarters. After all, that is the crux of a good piaffe. You have probably witnessed horses doing “piaffe” but in a croup-high position which is not correct.

                                The method I find works well for a lazy horse is to develop a good quality collected trot, put him in shoulder-fore on the long side, give repeated half halts to make the trot as small as possible, and tap him in the hock area or, occasionally, on the croup. I give a firm half halt immediately before tapping him so that I am actually softening the rein aid in the moment I tap. As far as my position, I have both legs slightly behind the girth and am alternating the pressure based on which hind leg is about to leave the ground. I maintain a somewhat light seat and stay soft through my hips and lower back. As an earlier poster said, you don’t want to “hump” the saddle as this means you are actually tight through your hips which will block your horse. However, you don’t want to sit absolutely still either as that is part of the half halt aid. Imagine bouncing softly like a rubber ball in the saddle. I keep my reins short with my hands forward on the horse’s neck.

                                The second method is identical to the above except that I develop the half steps from a very collected walk. With a lazy horse, you may want to have someone on the ground, handling the piaffe whip.

                                Another method is to develop a good collected trot, halt, rein back half a step, and immediately ask the horse back into a hyper-collected trot. Use the whip as described above as you ask him to go back to trot. This method has worked well for me with horses that are a bit hot.

                                Your horse’s personality type is your best guide as to what method to use. And there are certainly other methods than those I just described. No matter what method you choose, be sure to praise your horse lavishly for even the smallest effort.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Very few riders are timed enough to do alternating legs. Let the horse find itself and the tempo/balance will tend to be better. Save the unilateral action(s) for piaffe pirouettes (to gain better use of one hindleg if needed).

                                  Ideally the horse starts to learn piaffe first in hand (and starts at the end of elementary work...first level), and in the end of medium levels control is slowly passed to the rider. For me, it is merely stretching down/back with both leg for piaffe (not into the horse), and tilting the pelvis to start it. Any touch with the leg(s) is to 'enflame' the energy. Ideally starting from walk (or even rein back). Why? Because then it is adding energy with hh/demi arretts keeping horse up/open, and the is a forward response (rather containing the passage into a piaffe, which is more likely to cause closing/incorrect use of forelegs). And why up/open? Because that keeps the hindleg joints compressing more effectively. Certainly once the horse learns piaffe/trot/piaffe it should be only from sitting up taller, posterior tilting the pelvis a couple of times and maintaining one's posture...but at that point the horse should be held by the seat alone (one could drop the reins and sustain the piaffe). A refinement rarely seen.

                                  A horse swings for one of two reasons: they are not straight or they are onto the forehand/closed or too compressed (and therefore the shoulder do not have freedom). Rarely are alternating legs going to repair this but rather mask the primary error.

                                  For what it is worth Remmie did not have an amazing piaffe, a light type horse with a steady tempo but little lift and especially little lowering of the croup (which was a big criticism of that movement by all judges). And he technique was somewhat modified after HB rode the horse briefly.

                                  There are some horses who work from passage back to piaffe, but those have rarely been worked in hand first, but it tends to create added tension.

                                  In any case, only a few steps in the first requests (in hand work first stop/go (halt/walk/halt/walk merely from lowering/raising the whip) and lots of reward for any effort. Then add energy, and always kept up/open. First slower, quicken as needed.

                                  Shoulder fore in piaffe is for keeping straightness, and gaining control of the inside hindleg. There is less possibility for the horse to 'escape' the effect of the (outside) rein as well. Same thing works for renvers AND it protects the groundwork handler as well. (It does NOT apply for travers).

                                  It is important that the lowering of the hindquarters is created by greater compression of all the hindleg joints. NOT by (as we often see) the hindlegs coming further under, if they are too far under the hindleg joints are not compressed properly and the forelegs are not straight but back under the girth (the goat on the mountaintop stance).

                                  It is also important where you touch with the whip to enflame. Certainly a ground person can touch above/below joints to create specific actions of hind (or fore) legs. But rarely should the handler/rider touch the top of the croup. That is to make the horse spring up (if they are very compressed/almost stuck), done too early the horse will become straight legged). It is important that the horse really understand the leg and its various placements before starting piaffe.
                                  I.D.E.A. yoda

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There are a number of trainers who don't like starting the piaffe in hand, which is why I made the comment about the value of staying open minded and exploring various techniques to see what fits *your* horse. Here is a quick quote relating to training piaffe in hand. It was made by the woman who works for Edward Gal:

                                    Nicole explained that "we hardly train piaffe in hand. We want to sit on them, keep them forward and ride the piaffe. Otherwise it feels like they are doing their 'trick' and you're not able as a rider to control their forwardness."

                                    The entire article is here:

                                    http://www.eurodressage.com/equestri...dressage-forum

                                    Again, there are several roads to Rome. Of course, my natural tendency would be to first try methods of proven experts such as Edward Gal.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      As I, and everyone else has said, there are many ways to an end, and every horse and every person is different according to what they can do and what works best for them.

                                      ideayoda--Just in reference to Rembrant, as I said, what I said was I remember when his was seen as "the best" piaffe, even though we look at it now and see it's not that wonderful, because he was SO rhythmic and no one else's was.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        It's all very interesting

                                        and I am really enjoying reading all the different thoughts and opinions.

                                        Please do keep em coming.

                                        MW
                                        Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                                        Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                                        New edition of book is out:
                                        Horse Nutrition Handbook.

                                        www.knabstruppers4usa.com

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X