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My use of Cavalletti schooling

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  • My use of Cavalletti schooling

    Last edited by spirithorse; Jan. 13, 2011, 04:08 PM.
    Ask and allow, do not demand and force.

  • #2
    In my humble opinion this is complete poppy-cock. That horses is no more using it's self properly than a man in the moon. You would be better off letting the horse go over the cavalettis in a halter with a rope and you bareback. That horse knows more than you do on where it is supposed to be and how to use it's body over obstacles it's called instinct.

    At some point you will get over your ego and your inventions and truly listen to your horses. I still contend that pressure on the nose can be just as damaging and pressure in the mouth and the uneducated rider can be hell on both.
    Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
    -Auntie Mame


    • Original Poster

      Last edited by spirithorse; Jan. 13, 2011, 04:15 PM.
      Ask and allow, do not demand and force.


      • #4
        But if your method is correct, then why do you and the horse look like that?


        I'm not trying to be rude, I just don't understand...


        • #5
          Exactly what response are you looking for people that blindly fallow you in your misguidedness. It's not just the women here that think that for lack of a better word think you are a nut. It is pretty much every text ever written about horsemanship that disagrees with you.
          You have yet to put up a picture or video of you riding correctly much less riding correctly in any of your inventions. News flash you did not invent the bitless bridle it's called a hackamore. And people that jump and use cavalettis ride correctly in it all the time. And they look better than anything that you have posted.

          I find it to be foolish that you keep posting rules that you, yourself cannot fallow or apply to your own riding to inform other about correctness. I think I will go out now and teach people to jump out of planes. I have read the rules for competitive skydiving so now I will invent a new parachute and start teaching people.
          Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
          -Auntie Mame


          • #6
            You do know that you can brake a horses nose by putting pressure where your bridle puts pressure on the horses face. That area of the horses face is way more fragile than the bars.

            My retired horse has been used to train first responders for trailer accidents and the first part of training is not to put chains or ropes through the halter and over the nose because untrained hands can and do break horses noses. That area is sensitive fragile and the only way that a horse can take in air. It is an area to be protected not pulled on by inexperienced hands.
            Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
            -Auntie Mame


            • #7
              Originally posted by spirithorse View Post
              Interesting that you folks insist that the back is hollow. I really believe there are those who do not understand the affects caused by a hollow back.

              If the back is hollow on a horse the angles of the fore and hind legs will not be the same nor will the length of stride be the same, so the impact of the footfall will be irregular. This grey horse's angles are the same and the length of stride was the same, and his footfall was in time. The spread and height do not negatively impact the horse's ability nor hollow its back.
              Again, it is YOU who do not understand the EFFECT that sitting against the motion and on the loins of the horse in such a chairseat has on the back of a horse.

              I don't believe that anyone was saying that the cavalletti's alone were the cause of the hollowing - it is the horse protecting itself from the rider's incorrect position. It is amazing how closely the quintessential rendering of a horse with a hollow back mirrors this horse's back.

              Also, the idea that horses cannot achieve parallel legs with a hollow back is false...google search hollow back and you will be presented with a myriad of photos showing a hollow back, yet parallel cannon bones.

              Horses can also tighten neck muscles for a variety of reasons - some to relieve bit pressure - but usually you see an over-developed under neck...You can clearly see on this particular horse that the back is hollow and the horse is raising its head and neck and even the tail is held out and tense...all showing a very tight and hollow back...the OPPOSITE of what is supposed to be occurring in cavalletti work.


              • #8
                Also, if you're responding to comments made in another thread, wouldn't it make more sense to respond there instead of creating a whole new thread?

                So is the cavalletti photo a photo of you doing the "martingale experiment" you described, or is that an example of what you are identifying to us as correct riding and movement?


                • Original Poster

                  Last edited by spirithorse; Jan. 13, 2011, 04:15 PM.
                  Ask and allow, do not demand and force.


                  • #10
                    SH is "waterskiing" on the horse's nose over the cavallettis. The reins have plenty of tension in them between the noseband, the martingale and his hands. SH's back is rounded, his feet in front of his point of balance, "feet on the dashboard" style. No way he is taking responsibility for his own balance over the rails. He's making the horse's job harder, not easier.

                    The horse is tense over the neck, not relaxed as he insists. A telescoping neck allows an elastic connection over the back. This neck is not telescoping forward and downward, it is contracting upwards. It might telescope forward and downward if he wasn't holding himself up with the reins. But this "moment in time" does not show that.

                    SH, your "touch, hold, release" is nothing more than a half-halt, something every dressage rider becomes familiar with, though most uf us advance to implementing a half-halt with our core muscles. The release is the most important part of the half-halt. You should try it some time.

                    Your explanation of the use of the martingale is gibberish. It you would learn to RIDE in balance, use your limbs in harmony with the horse, not in opposition, you'd achieve the outcome you seek. Unfortunately, you are unable to see your faults, unable to see the flaws in your theories, unable to see that YOU don't ride like the pretty engravings you decorate your website with.

                    You, sir, are the person unwilling to learn. Learning is harder than clinging to your erroneous theories. You will never change, and will keep insisting that you have the Holy Grail of Riding and the rest of us are fools.

                    Whatever, Dude.


                    • #11
                      spirithorse wrote: If the back is hollow on a horse the angles of the fore and hind legs will not be the same nor will the length of stride be the same ... .

                      It is quite possible for a horse to have front and hind leg parallel movement while being hollow and moving with stiff, shortened strides.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spirithorse View Post
                        On another thread, there are negative posts regarding the image of my grey 'schooling' cavalletti, and with a martingale.

                        So in response to ideayoda (So, the grey horse caveletti clearly shows a horse which is hollow in the back and pushing out behind just as the horses he criticizes are as well. Interesting too as an aside because the FN books also shows how to use caveletti correctly...and too high and too wide causes a horse to struggle in the back, especially when the rider is behind the balance.)

                        Interesting that you folks insist that the back is hollow. I really believe there are those who do not understand the affects caused by a hollow back.

                        If the back is hollow on a horse the angles of the fore and hind legs will not be the same nor will the length of stride be the same, so the impact of the footfall will be irregular. This grey horse's angles are the same and the length of stride was the same, and his footfall was in time. The spread and height do not negatively impact the horse's ability nor hollow its back.

                        The height of the cavalletti being the highest point is to effect a larger range of motion in the shoulders and hips. The "pushing out behind" is not a push but rather a picking up of the lower hind leg using the entire muscle structure of the hip region. This facilitates increasing the suppleness of those muscles and the muscles in the lumbar region.

                        The spread is determined by the horse's natural stride. The combination used for the grey was established by the ability of the grey. This height of cavalletti is not used on a regular basis but rather incorporated into the mid-height cavalletti work so that the horse will make a pass at this height two or three times in a mixed use with the mid-height and only will this height be done once a week [if necessary].

                        Now, as for the martingale. Here is the answer I provided an individual who 'politely' inquired as to why I used it.

                        Let me start with saying that I really never liked the use of martingales because they were misused. If set lower, to much pressure on the bit and if set high, [under the throat latch as in racing] they are of no value.

                        Well, after I invented the bitless bridle in 1988, I discovered that the neck muscles of the horse are use to avoid the pressures of the bit. In other words, on the bitted horses that I put SB on, they would tighten the neck muscles and overbend at the poll and go behind the vertical without me pulling on them. Since the pressure in SB originates at the poll and is in ounces, I found that I needed to teach the horses to relax the neck.

                        At the track I discovered the racing yoke and decided to test my theory that I had created regarding how the horse uses the neck. My theory was that the horses tighten the neck muscles during the process of trying to relieve the bit pressures; and that this tightening actually blocked correct useage of the muscles over the withers and thus the shoulders were restricted and that combination actually created a hollowing of the horses' backs.

                        I put the yoke/martingale on and tested for placement height that would effect muscle relaxation in the neck. Well, I found that if the top of the rings are 6 to 7 inches below the throatlatch, when the horse raises its poll higher than that same measurement above the wither, it would relax the neck muscles, but from the withers forward. When this relaxation occurs you can feel the shoulders rise up and the forehand lighten. I also discovered that this relaxation of the neck 'allowed' the horse to rise its back and thus thoroughly engage its hindquarter.

                        So for the past twenty-two years I have been demonstrating this to riders. It works every time on every horse, if the rider is willing to 'allow' the horse the opportunity to relax and supple up.

                        I have found that if one 'correctly' schools bitless that the results for horse and rider are easily transfered to the bit. However, the mere placement of the bit does create some resistance in the horses' necks.

                        Teaching riders to 'correctly use the martingale with the bit has shown that the same affects are created, though not to the maximum results of bitless. The secret to 'correct' riding with the bit and martingale is to not have constant bit pressure but rather a touch/hold/release process, which helps the horse to maintain the relaxed neck muscles. And by the way, I was schooled this way...it is nothing new.
                        I have read ideayoda posts in another forum and they are incredibly informative and helpful. IF I am correct, I believe she is also a dessage dressage thus I tend to believe her thoughts about the horse being hollow.

                        Bitted, bitless, hackamore, rope halter: all can be painful and produce a defensive, hollow horse if use in a bad manner, with bad hands, with poor riding, poor training. Same goes for standing martingales, running, German and this version of a racing martingale.

                        I agree with all others in regards to rider position during the cavelleti photo photo in question. Very much a chair seat and with weight on the horses lower back. During cavelleti training, I feel that that the riders seat should be light, not seated down on the horse. You want the horses back to be able to move and raise. You do not want the horse protecting itself from a riders weight over cavelleti.


                        • #13
                          So I have to ask, WHY do you ride in an exercise saddle, knowing that it puts you wrong on the horse, making the work harder for both of you?

                          If this is the BEST photograph you have available to demonstrate your theories, I'd hate to see the rest of them!

                          Funny that so many horsemen, using "conventional" schooling, have come up with better results than yours. Yet you feel the need to reinvent the wheel. I don't get it -- but then I'm "unwilling to learn" (from you).


                          • #14

                            this horse is hollow all day long, with even footfalls. That took 2 seconds browsing dreamhorse to find.

                            If the back is hollow on a horse the angles of the fore and hind legs will not be the same nor will the length of stride be the same, so the impact of the footfall will be irregular.

                            That is just nonsense. Utter hogwash. the world is round, SH, your horse- is not.


                            • #15
                              So who is going to take me up on my sky-diving lessons. I promise that I will have photo stills of me up in a week if I get any takers. Oh and by the way if you all tell me i'm nuts I promise I will delete all of my sky-diving posts. And I will even buy a bitless bridle to unlock all of the secrets of the equine. Then I will teach my horse to talk like Mr.Ed and then Rocco (my horse) can take flying lessons. Ok I see that I have taken this joke to far. Now back to Spirithorse and wak-a-do theories.
                              Last edited by ginger708; Jan. 13, 2011, 04:36 PM. Reason: To add content
                              Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
                              -Auntie Mame


                              • #16
                                My opinion on the martingale in this situation is this:

                                In the photo provided (http://www.hartetoharte.org/Cavallettis__3_.jpg), it is evident by the changes in rein angle that the martingale is in effect. Thusly, the martingale is effecting pressure on the bit/nose, which causes tension in the horse's neck and poll (leverage point). It has to, it is simply a matter of biomechanics (read: Tug of War by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann). The mouth/jaw must brace against the pressure the martingale is exerting, thus the neck must also tense and brace. Hence the outlined and tense muscle at the top of the grey's neck. It is also evident there is a lack of topline muscling directly in front of the withers of the grey. The reason being is the horse is not lifting from the BASE of the neck, which would create topline muscling in that area (or at the very least, the visual appearance of lift) via the use of said muscle. If the neck is tight and the horse is not lifting from the base of the neck, it is not possible for the back to be loose (as both areas - dorsi and neck - are intimately connected and tension in one transmits to tension in another) and thus allow for the horse to engage its hindquarters properly. The horse's tail is held up and tense as well, rather than flowing out relaxedly from the back, indicating a tense back, which is a contraindication of engagement. Furthermore, I do not see abdominal muscles really being engaged and the horse appears to be moving level as opposed to uphill. If his neck and back is not loose, supple, relaxed, his hind cannot be engaged, plain and simple.

                                ETA: SH there are times I do agree with your opinion (to an extent) but this is definitely not one of them. On that note, I did not realise initially the grey in the photo was yours, until this spinoff thread.

                                Granted, I am still a student (aren't we always?) and maintain an open mind to learning, but your martingale theory does not make sense with the basic biomechanics of the horse.
                                ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                                ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                                • #17
                                  Thanks, 4xhoof, for preserving the original wisdom of SH for posterity.

                                  Where did he go? He couldn't stand the heat in the kitchen, cuz the kitchen's on FIRE!

                                  ginger, I'll sign up -- but first I want to see YOU skydive with your new parachute design, OK?


                                  • #18
                                    EXCELLENT explanation, Naturalequus! I do hope Spirithorse didn't stomp off before taking note. Very scholarly!


                                    • #19

                                      waiting for the inevitable post on other forums where SH bemoans our collective stupidity and unwillingness to subscribe to his rhetoric.


                                      • #20
                                        Well, THAT was weird.