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Wanless video in Dressage Today

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  • Wanless video in Dressage Today

    From the DT website

    http://www.equisearch.com/horses_rid...wanless-video/

    Thoughts?
    Opinions?
    "Friend" me !

    http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

  • #2
    I'm totally going out on a limb here, so bear with me if I say something silly and completely wrong. I understand and agree with the importance of sitting evenly on the seatbones, but the method she describes all seems rather complicated. Then again, I am by no means a professional. I am also slightly lazy and prefer to make things as simple as possible . I would worry that doing this would make me very stiff on my horse. It seems like the constant tightening of my muscles would put on an invisible handbrake in my thigh, back, and shoulders making it difficult for my horse to go smoothly forward.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by IrishDeclan View Post
      I would worry that doing this would make me very stiff on my horse. It seems like the constant tightening of my muscles would put on an invisible handbrake in my thigh, back, and shoulders making it difficult for my horse to go smoothly forward.
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...&type=1&ref=nf

      This horse goes forward pretty well!! (Heather Blitz 'does' Mary's stuff, in case you hadn't heard.)
      "Friend" me !

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      • #4
        I'm from eventer land so there are probably LOTS of things I haven't heard . I was simply commenting based on how I thought it would effect my horse. I'm always looking to learn though, so perhaps you could share your opinion and explain this concept further to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by IrishDeclan View Post
          I'm from eventer land so there are probably LOTS of things I haven't heard . I was simply commenting based on how I thought it would effect my horse. I'm always looking to learn though, so perhaps you could share your opinion and explain this concept further to me.
          IME Mary's methods work best on less reactive horses.
          I wasn't always a Smurf
          Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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          • #6
            I think Mary Wanless is a kind of genius. This particular video distills and sums up a LOT of ideas, a lot of research and experience.

            People who do not like to use ideas in order to ride probably will find the video irritating.
            People who have natural talent will (as Wanless herself has pointed out repeatedly) find the video unnecessary--they already DO what is suggested here.

            I will use the ideas in teaching and riding,because they seem to show a better truth .
            Thanks, Mary and thanks Isabeau.
            one oak, lots of canyons

            http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

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            • #7
              I have taken a few clinics with her and found it a huge help.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by IrishDeclan View Post
                I'm from eventer land so there are probably LOTS of things I haven't heard . I was simply commenting based on how I thought it would effect my horse. I'm always looking to learn though, so perhaps you could share your opinion and explain this concept further to me.
                I am risking saying the wrong thing because I don't know where your 'starting point' is. But I'll give it a shot anyway.

                The riders torso should remain stable. Like a box with strong sides. The energy from the horse's motion should not distort the shape of the box. Especially, the muscles should be engaged strongly enough that there is no 'whiplash' of energy up the riders spine.

                The rider has to use enough muscle power to compensate for the motion that the horse causes in the riders body. That is the minimum.

                If you were to think of a rider made entirely of Jello, the rider would wiggle, jiggle, and, rather quickly, break apart. Most riders use a bit more muscle tone than jello. But not enough to stabilize them sufficiently. And not enough to prevent them getting hurt over time.

                The 'motion' of the horses back (that I think?) you are thinking of, would go through the riders hip joint. The hip joint is hard to feel (unless you have arthritis in the joint, in which case your 'feel' would be excellent(ly ouchy)!)

                I did a rough edit on the video of a symposium that Heather and Mary did several years ago where Heather rides several different kinds of horses. She rides them after the owners, so you can get a good comparison. I will have to find out when those videos are going to be available, because they are pretty interesting. And I think they could do a good job of answering questions like yours.
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Isabeau!! That was a great explanation. I never really thought about the hips absorbing the motion of the horse's back, but it makes sense. I tend to try to absorb the motion in my core which then probably destabilizes my torso. I think this would definitely be easier for me to visualize if I saw it being demonstrated on a horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by canyonoak View Post
                    I think Mary Wanless is a kind of genius. This particular video distills and sums up a LOT of ideas, a lot of research and experience.
                    Wanless could definitely win the most intellectual instructor's award. Her early writings in Dressage & CT required some serious studying time and even then much remained maddenly obscure.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by alicen View Post
                      Wanless could definitely win the most intellectual instructor's award. Her early writings in Dressage & CT required some serious studying time and even then much remained maddenly obscure.
                      Oh cool I didn't know about those. Do you know what specific issues had articles by her?
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                      • #12
                        I have applied elements of her biomechanics to my own riding (without direct instruction from her--but from trainers who've worked with her and reading her books) and had some very good results. I think that trying to do it all--at the same time--having never tried any of it--can result in a rider twisted like a pretzel and a very confused and tense horse. I started working on one thing at a time. My worst problem was my thigh/lower leg--too forward like a waterskier and heels not stretched down. My stirrups were too long so I was always reaching for them. So I shortened my stirrups up a couple of holes, and concentrated on getting my toes up (rather than heels down), and keeping thighs stretched down and back. Then I started working on my seatbone orientation working on a circle vs. straight lines. Then I started on my core and upper body, arms, etc. etc. And overall I've seen a huge improvement in me and my horse as a result. But it takes time, and most people cannot do it all at once. I am sure that in a clinic Mary is trying to throw everything she can at the rider so they have everything to take home and work on, because realistically people may not be riding with her on a regular basis to be able to break it down in chunks so she is trying to get it all in for them. It helps to have a regular instructor that teaches this methodology to work with on a regular basis so you can break it down, and start with what needs the most work and go from there.

                        My old habits do creep back in, and I have to remember my biomechanics on a regular basis, but it does work!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by IrishDeclan View Post
                          Thanks Isabeau!! That was a great explanation. I never really thought about the hips absorbing the motion of the horse's back, but it makes sense. I tend to try to absorb the motion in my core which then probably destabilizes my torso. I think this would definitely be easier for me to visualize if I saw it being demonstrated on a horse.
                          If you like, here is another short video shot at 'my' farm during a clinic. Here Mary is explaining a way to steady the rider's arms & hands and create a forward seeking force in the hands. She is trying to give the rider a way to stabilize their hands that does not pull backwards or brace against the horse(s mouth.)

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

                          Let me know what you think.
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                          http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                            Oh cool I didn't know about those. Do you know what specific issues had articles by her?
                            Sorry, no, it was eons ago -circa late 70's early 80's. And yes, I'm kicking myself for not having saved each and every magazine.

                            eta: I do have one essay 2/95 titled: The Small Pieces of Dressage, Balance over the Stirrup.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I haven't read all of the posts, but ....

                              .... the rider's spine should absorb the motion of the horse's back, not the hips. The hips of the rider should be "stuck" to the saddle, and that happens when the rider learns to keep the "three points" of the seat on the saddle. Those three points are the two seatbones and the bottom of the pelvic bone.

                              The rider actually has to use thigh muscles and their buttcheeks in order to keep ther butt in the saddle on a moving horse.

                              That's if they are trying to sit.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                                The rider actually has to use thigh muscles and their buttcheeks in order to keep ther butt in the saddle on a moving horse.
                                You've never seen a bareback rider with a totally relaxed, hanging leg, stick on good?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                                  I
                                  .... the rider's spine should absorb the motion of the horse's back, not the hips. The hips of the rider should be "stuck" to the saddle, and that happens when the rider learns to keep the "three points" of the seat on the saddle. Those three points are the two seatbones and the bottom of the pelvic bone.

                                  The rider actually has to use thigh muscles and their buttcheeks in order to keep ther butt in the saddle on a moving horse.

                                  That's if they are trying to sit.
                                  Are you sure? The worst thing many riders (including me) do is try to use too much "butt power" - the more you engage your "butt", the more you tend to pop out of the saddle. And most of us have muscle there, and are lacking strength and flexibility in other areas (core and outer thigh).

                                  And when using your thigh - it is really about engaging the OUTER thigh to keep the inner thigh loose and accomodating. Of course, most of us have plenty of power in the inner thigh and the butt, since those are some big muscle masses. But most of us are not so strong in the outer thigh to control our leg on the horse.

                                  Several years ago, I was at a biomechanics clinic, and the clinician got on a horse, lifted her legs totally off, and showed us that her hips absorbed the trot, and her legs were there for guidance and steering. No leg at all to sit the trot!

                                  If you take all the horse's motion in your spine, you're going to have some major back pain in a few years. However - I do think you are getting to the hips absorbing motion by "sticking" to the saddle - the horse's back moves, your hips move to stay in the saddle.

                                  Its been many years since I saw Mary teach, but she does do an interesting job of helping riders "find" those less used body parts. Engaging the core (bear down), identifying the pelvic floor (seat bones), etc. It may not be the only answer to riding more effectively, but it does help.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    You are all correct in pointing out that you cannot do this all of the time.

                                    This is a theoretical "still shot" of the base foundation.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The rider needs to learn how to use their butt in order to stay on and then refine the seat from there. The rider needs this early foundation in order to progress to the point that they can "open up the seat" and then begin to use the other muscles (core, upper/outer thigh). But the seat bones should always remian stuck like glue to the saddle, and those buttcheeks and thighs should come into play when they fall out of balance ... just for a moment, a "correction".

                                      Are you sure? The worst thing many riders (including me) do is try to use too much "butt power" - the more you engage your "butt", the more you tend to pop out of the saddle. And most of us have muscle there, and are lacking strength and flexibility in other areas (core and outer thigh).
                                      Below is what is called "opening up the seat" and that is what I consider the true foundation for schooling 'dressage'.

                                      And when using your thigh - it is really about engaging the OUTER thigh to keep the inner thigh loose and accomodating. Of course, most of us have plenty of power in the inner thigh and the butt, since those are some big muscle masses. But most of us are not so strong in the outer thigh to control our leg on the horse.
                                      I never said that the rider should use the leg to sit the trot. I said they need to learn to use their butt muscles and their thighs (back inner thighs and upper, outer thighs) and their back to sit the trot/whatever gait.

                                      Several years ago, I was at a biomechanics clinic, and the clinician got on a horse, lifted her legs totally off, and showed us that her hips absorbed the trot, and her legs were there for guidance and steering. No leg at all to sit the trot!
                                      The spine of the rider should "ripple" as it follows the motion of the horse's swinging back. Think "back-bends" and "belly dancing" ... I'm sure there are better descriptions than that but I can't think of any at the moment.

                                      Its been many years since I saw Mary teach, but she does do an interesting job of helping riders "find" those less used body parts. Engaging the core (bear down), identifying the pelvic floor (seat bones), etc. It may not be the only answer to riding more effectively, but it does help.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                                        .... the rider's spine should absorb the motion of the horse's back, not the hips. The hips of the rider should be "stuck" to the saddle, and that happens when the rider learns to keep the "three points" of the seat on the saddle. Those three points are the two seatbones and the bottom of the pelvic bone.
                                        The only way the rider's hips can "stick" to the saddle, is when the rider's hips absorb the motions; otherwise, her hips will be bouncing up and down. This is Physics.

                                        And I think, making spine to absorb the motions is the quickest way to have a broken down spine. Think about it: hips are so much more equipped to greater range of motion, which is inevitable when there is so much power underneath of us while riding, thus more equipped to absorb motions, than spine is.

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