• 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

Slowness and "Natural Rhythm"

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

  • Slowness and "Natural Rhythm"

    I recently had a dressage lesson on a horse other than my own with an instructor I've never ridden with before. In the past, every dressage instructor I've lessoned with has wanted me to carry a really forward pace, and has preferred an over-tempo to the horse being too slow. I do not ride at a high level of dressage (2nd/3rd level on my own horse) and most of the horses I've ridden in lessons were lower level--1st level or lower--horses. It was explained to me by these past instructors that they didn't want me to feel like the horse should constantly be running, but they were working to establish a push from behind and responsiveness to my leg aids. This made sense and I've had good success with it.

    With this instructor, however, it was the complete opposite. I felt like the horse was BARELY moving and she kept telling me I was going too fast and I needed to slow him down more. She kept referring to his "natural rhythm" and that he needed to be at that "natural rhythm" in order to work properly. The horse felt like he was falling out behind himself and I felt uncomfortable keeping a contact on the reins since there was no energy to contain in the bridle (this and the fact that she also kept telling me to give my hands forward and make a loop in the rein, which released all connection). The instructor kept telling me that if I could see the trot from the ground, I'd be able to see it was "very nice." But, to be honest, I would have been very surprised if the horse was tracking up.

    There were many other issues I had with the lesson, which included being told to do 10m circles on a horse with no flexibility or bend and who was not established in the outside rein at all. But the snail's pace and subsequent extremely short stride seemed to be the baseline of all the issues this horse had. The instructor said that "impulsion doesn't come from speed," which I'm aware of, but this horse didn't feel like he had either.

    I really like this instructor as a person (hence the alter), so I'd like to try and understand this line of thinking...I'm hoping you all can help me out! I asked lots of questions during the lesson to try and understand, but I really didn't get much else besides the above stuff about "natural rhythm."

  • #2
    I am of the camp that, particularly at low levels or younger horses, that too many people push these horses to carry a tempo/speed that is too fast and the horse is running forward with little balance. I like to establish a regular rhythum with the horse moving a bit slower to begin with and then add the impulsion as the horse gaisn strength, carrying power and balance. BUT I wouldn't be doing 10 meter sircles on a horse that was at that level.
    www.shawneeacres.net

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, on a green horse, sometimes you may have to go a bit slower than you normally would want the horse to go, just so you can help the horse feel in balance. I had this issue when I was riding a friend's Arab, who with every turn would panic about her balance and start running and stiffen up. So in a remedial case, I can see that, but only temporarily. I started asking for a little bit more as soon as some basic trust about the balance issues was established.

      Other than that, the motto is "forward, but slowly" - so as you said, not running the horse off its feet, but they've got to work to properly swing over the back.
      "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the replies! Both of those make total sense. I hope it didn't sound like I wanted to run the horse off its feet! I think my issue wasn't so much that I was going slow, but that I was going REALLY REALLY slow.

        I hope it's okay to post youtube videos which don't belong to me to compare the speeds...but maybe this could help? I want to see if my perception of "too slow" is wacky. **this isn't an attempt to insult the riders in these videos since they are doing a totally different discipline, they were just the best representations I could find in my search!**

        When I was going about the speed of the chestnut horse in this video, I was told I was going too fast and I needed to slow down to a "crawl". The horse in this video could have easily passed the 16.2hh+ horse I was on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9SUuj7PKiw

        The horse in this video is also trotting a bit faster than I was told to (if I went this speed, I was told I was rushing him): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf4HG57Cvgg

        ...I apologize in advance if I sound argumentative. I have a difficult time communicating about topics like this without being kind of blunt. The above responses totally make sense, I just want to make sure they make sense for the situation I was in as well

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm under the impression that this was not a green horse?

          sounds like an odd lesson to me.
          http://kaboomeventing.com/
          http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the only way we could REALLY give you advice is if you post a video of the actual lesson. Posting those "random videos" and saying they are faster than you were going may be your IMPRESSION of the speed you were going. Then again it may not, but without seeing what was going on in your lesson I doubt we can really comment
            www.shawneeacres.net

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is an example of what I mean by "slow" to allow the young horse ( a 4 yr old WB that had been under saddle for 3 months) to keep a rhythum and balance. THis is a filly we trained for the owner last year:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4MV7q6KPms

              And a 3 coming 4 yr old that we are working on relaxing the back and accepting the bit, she has a tendency to get short strided and quick:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UurTw0tZy84
              www.shawneeacres.net

              Comment


              • #8
                I wonder if it is a matter of speed vs. ground being covered. For example, when trotting, it feels like the extended trot is so much 'faster' but really you are just covering a whole lot more ground when the actual tempo should remain the same as in a regular working trot.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I laughed when I opened the first video and knew exactly where it was taken from my first glimpse of mountains. (And sorry, I have to share - one of my first horse shows, back when it was called C-6. Ah, nostalgia!)


                  Your description, including the loop in the rein, makes it sound as if you're dealing with a former stock horse person who has decided it'll be easy to do dressage. It's hard to tell without seeing your ride, but it's also possible the horse was more collected, and she was trying to get you to get him to pick up his feet more, without lengthening, yet without holding his head tight.

                  As I'm starting to work on more collection with my horse, I change the speed of my post, and use MORE leg as I slow his rhythm. I'm asking him to lift - legs, body. I don't tighten my reins, as I am trying to keep his neck long, and the loop in the reins may have been a request to make it *feel* that way to you. I also spiral in to smaller circles in order to get my horse using his hind end, when I don't want him bending off the inside rein turning, but rather shifting weight back to do it. It's very possible "stiff" to you was "weight not shifted back enough" to the horse.

                  So as others said - it's hard to say. It tends to sound like she just doesn't know what she's doing, but it could be that there's something lost in the translation and your perception of what's happening - as when you put two horse people together, with different experiences, translation errors happen all the time!
                  Originally posted by Silverbridge
                  If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Unfortunately, the lesson was not video taped. Though, I do have a pretty good feel of rhythm and stride and this horse just felt way slower than anything I've ever ridden, and his steps felt 2' feet long. I was able to allow him to step out a bit more a couple times and created a pace similar to the videos you posted, Shawnee. Not rushed and off balance, but with more step behind them and more impulsion. I've ridden horses that have a slower rhythm, but where you can feel the swing of them stepping up in the trot. I have one myself.

                    Any comments on the "natural rhythm" bit? The instructor seemed overly concerned with going so slow not because she wanted me to go slow, per se, but because it was the horse's "natural rhythm."

                    (not sure if this is relevant, but I just compared Shawnee's videos to a video I have from when my horse was still very green to compare the trot rhythms and they are very similar. So I don't think I'm completely off-base with how this horse felt vs. how he looked. I could be completely wrong, but that's always a possibility! )

                    Originally posted by netg View Post
                    t's hard to tell without seeing your ride, but it's also possible the horse was more collected, and she was trying to get you to get him to pick up his feet more, without lengthening, yet without holding his head tight.
                    The lesson would have made more sense if the horse was collected, so I can totally see that possible interpretation. Unfortunately, as someone who *has* ridden upper level horses who know actual collection and who is working on strengthening collection with my own horse, there is no way this horse was even close to the level of thinking of collection

                    So as others said - it's hard to say. It tends to sound like she just doesn't know what she's doing, but it could be that there's something lost in the translation and your perception of what's happening - as when you put two horse people together, with different experiences, translation errors happen all the time!
                    I guess I'm at the point where I really think 90% of what she said was total rubbish, but I like her enough as a person to hope I can be swayed to at least *understand* where she was coming from, even if I don't agree.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Balance is what matters. She may have been trying to teach you something specific (which is indeed the point of lessoning) or perhaps that particular horse responds best to being ridden in that tempo. Overall, I agree that a lot - and I mean, a lot! - of people think riding a horse over tempo and running it into the bridle is correct - it is not. It can be used as a tool but should not be your every day way of going, sadly, it often is used in place of skill and the horses suffer for it.
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      ---
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This issue came up in a clinic with a BNT. The professional who was riding in the clinic was totally shocked that the clinician kept telling her to slow down. She had ridden other horses with the clinician, and he had always told her to go more forward.

                        It was relatively easy for me in the audience to see what the trouble was. She had pushed this horse out of his rythmn and his front feet were going faster than his hind feet. Once she slowed the horse's forehand way down with the reins, she could then ask for the hind leg to be a little quicker.

                        That is not the first time I have seen gait impurities in young horses that have been asked for more tempo than they have the strength or balance to give. Another symptom that crops up is for the horse to straighten his hind legs causing the rump to pop up, and then the horse goes downhill like a wheelbarrow. Then the gait starts to get lateral.

                        So I agree with those who say it depends on what the horse is doing and what you may need to do in order to correct it.
                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with you, sounds like the instructor was off base.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                            It was relatively easy for me in the audience to see what the trouble was. She had pushed this horse out of his rythmn and his front feet were going faster than his hind feet. Once she slowed the horse's forehand way down with the reins, she could then ask for the hind leg to be a little quicker.
                            My own horse had the same issues with his front legs moving faster than his hind legs, so I thought this was what was happening and I just wasn't feeling it correctly. In this case, the instructor told me that I was making his hind end move too fast for his front end. Is that the same sort of scenario, just reversed? It doesn't seem that way in my head, but I don't know.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by halfhALTER View Post
                              My own horse had the same issues with his front legs moving faster than his hind legs, so I thought this was what was happening and I just wasn't feeling it correctly. In this case, the instructor told me that I was making his hind end move too fast for his front end. Is that the same sort of scenario, just reversed? It doesn't seem that way in my head, but I don't know.

                              I think that what happens when the hind legs go too fast is that they they straighten and go up and down rapidly like pistons or an eggbeater movement (lots of OTTBs move like that.) It can result in a lateral gait.

                              Either way, these gait irregularities develop as an evasion, usually because the horse is being asked for too much too soon.
                              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you are doing 2nd/3rd on your own horse, you certainly know enough to discern between 'forward,' 'balanced,' 'unbalanced' and 'too slow.'

                                I think the instructor was off base.
                                Donerail Farm
                                www.donerailfarm.com
                                http://donerailfarm.wordpress.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cyndi View Post
                                  If you are doing 2nd/3rd on your own horse, you certainly know enough to discern between 'forward,' 'balanced,' 'unbalanced' and 'too slow.'

                                  I think the instructor was off base.

                                  If the OP rides more than one horse, particularly at that level, then yes. But if no, then her judgement may be tempered by having spent most of her time developing the feel of just one horse.
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  ---
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'd say go with your gut feeling. If you don't feel like you made any progress during that lesson, maybe just hang our with the instructor for coffee (since you say you like her) rather than pay for a lesson .
                                    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I know a guy that trains just like this, so I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about. There's a specific reason they do it, some "great master" from 300 years ago said slow down and now they take it way too far. I know he'd done a lot of reading and was convinced he was right, but he still ruined a lot of horse's gaits doing it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo5jW...layer_embedded

                                        This is a clip from a lesson with Lendon gray. This horse has a very specific contection problem. Its my very first day ever riding with Lendon although I had riden my other horse earlier in the day. And this is the very very begining of the ride.

                                        I posted this as Lendon had me warm up much slower than I have ever done and this is much different than I have been asked to - the results were quiet good.

                                        I have a feeling though that your trainer is full of doo doo

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X