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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • What on earth are you all referring to when you
    say "German school"? What unique body building strength is expected as a rider?
    I'm lost totally.
    The late great Klimke eviscerated every upper level rider in his last clinic in LA for using too much hand AND leg aids. "remember you must use the LEAST amount of aid possible, he can feel a fly on him".

    Any ride I have AT ALL TIMES I adjust to use the least aid and make the horse listen to the lightest breathe on him.

    If it took great strength and force to ride a
    Baby, well for gawds sake, that's called RUINING the horse. Not much of a trainer would I be then for the lessons last a lifetime.

    And yes, the SRS is Spanish Riding School and surely they are NOT promoting the use of force or hauling on the reins or anything else that has been inferred here.

    So what do you all mean by the German school? Because I've never ever been taught to ride like that by anyone competent. Yeah, auction rider, ok. But I don't see any connection to the classical german riding that has made that country a powerhouse in international dressage for 40+ years.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by JeanM View Post
      Wow, this sounds like I could've been that rider. However, my clinic with P.B. was 15 or so years ago. Speed-trotting around and around and around the indoor. Can't say my horse or I got anything accomplished other than lots of sweat. He writes a good story, but in my experience, that's about IT.
      Soooo ditto

      Comment


      • "In the real world though this isn't always the case, not at the beginning of a ride. In the French school surely work with a young horse doesn't always start with the walk does it, every day? Think of a winter day with a brisk wind blowing up the horse's butt. Weeee"

        This is one of the beauties of knowing how to execute the counted walk, for when you get in time with the horses feet, then the horse tries to get in time with your seat and WAITS and listens to the rider instead of becoming distracted and taking over and doing what he thinks he needs/wants to do.

        On those kinds of days, I do some groundwork first, then I may ask for a counted walk, I may increase the tempo, then slow it back down, separating each footfall and getting the horse in tune to my energy and my seat............ And dependiing on the previous education of the horse, I may ask for shoulder in at the walk, some turns on the forehand, then turn on the haunches, even backing a few steps, then forward, and by then the horse is usually mentally with me and less likely to be thinking about blowing off steam or goofing around. If a rider can do a good counted walk, the horse can then let go of the feeling of confinement and is more able to stay mentally with the rider.

        Comment


        • As with ANY well known rider, it doesn't mean they can TEACH it. Regardless of the "school" they may lack the teaching ability to give others the benefit of their knowledge.

          I perhaps use the term "German School" because I actually rode there a few decades ago. THree different locations, several instructors and LOTS of WB horses. We were NOT taught "lightness" by any stretch of the imagination.

          WB's are perfectly capable of it, as are QH, TB, arabs, etc. It simply was not taught or emphasized. Huge, lofty, striding gaits were taught. How to create and ride them. Bold aids were enforced and not diminished. FORWARD was taught with POWER on the part of the horse. I was no slouch physically at the time but riding a forward 17.2h WB is no small task. THey knew it and would build us up for the task.

          That is certainly different than aiming for invisible aids and the idea of a centaur. "Driving seat" was part of my instruction in Germany. I don't recall those words being used in French school tomes. I could be wrong. I might have dismissed it there.

          "Driving seat" was discussed when I rode in England. They could tell I had received instruction in Germany.

          Any clearer?
          “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
          ? Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • "The late great Klimke eviscerated every upper level rider in his last clinic in LA for using too much hand AND leg aids. "remember you must use the LEAST amount of aid possible, he can feel a fly on him".

            Klimke also said that if he had any problems with the piaffe work, he would go and work with Manola Mendez, head rider at Jerez. So, Klimke was a breed all his own, having evented before he was a dressage rider and not shy about crossing over lines to learn from who he thought was the best.........even if that meant another school, another country. He understood about using the lightest aids as being a sign of good horsemanship but then, he was in a class by himself IMHO. I take it that what he was saying was that he wasn`t going to let himself get stuck in........ this school or that even though he was of German nationality and rode wbs.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
              I've had the opposite -before my horse's trainer kicked us out (and while, apparently, Fella was losing his mind) she, in short order, connected his front to his back, and taught him balance enough to WTC like a dream. He used to move like a pushmepullyou. Too bad they weren't compatible.

              Paula
              I really don't understand this; if this trainer/rider was so wonderful, she should have been able to "woo" your horse into doing what she wanted willingly...

              Any rider who can actually cause a horse to "lose his mind" is not much of a rider...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by stryder View Post
                I think it's important to have the horse started by someone with enough confidence to let them move. The horse that's consistently shut down, will shut down. duh. But how does a horse gain the strength to canter? Lots of lateral work. Canter departs. I think it's far better to do a balanced canter depart, canter a few strides, then go back to the walk to rebalance and regroup, then depart again, than to simply keep cantering on the forehand or off-balance.

                Counted walk and piaffe are two more ways to build muscle without cantering. Walk/rein-back transitions is another one.
                Indeed! At first WBs were bred from stock that was quite phlegmatic (we used to call them "dumbbloods"), and they were so safe for all the middle aged, female ammie DQ's. Most them only rode afew times a week and never went out of the arena, so they totally did NOT have independent seats.

                Now, with more and more TB blood in modern competitive WBs, you are seeing a lighter, more forward animal...

                But the riders (at least many of the ones I see) aren't keeping up. Most of these horses would go if the rider would just LET THEM GO! But the riders really can't ride that well and are scared. Period. Well, you DO have to be fit to be a good rider, much less influence the horses beneath you...so if you can't ride the "forward", maybe just stop asking for it?

                I recall seeing that video afew years ago where one of AnkyVG's horse "ran off" with her during a clinic or presentation or some public deal. She had to be captured by one of the mounted policemen.

                I watched that horse "run" and started to laugh...it was barely even a hand-gallop!

                I think alot of riders need to go out to a big field or track or such and feel what it's like when a horse REALLY goes forward...like REALLY!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by HSS View Post
                  OK, a few definitions.

                  What is counted walk?
                  What is ramener?

                  ...

                  Honestly, it must be nice to introduce all these riding concepts on the ground, another fun way to play with your baby, but once the rider mounts and the horse has to learn to cope with this new balance issue, all prior lessons (ie: In hand work would include turns on haunches, turns on forehand, shoulder-in, counted walk, piaffe. Lots of lateral work. The half-halt, reverse half-halt, halt, direct rein and indirect rein) lose most of their meaning. And I would venture to guess that about the time they become balanced enough to revisit these concepts, they would be ready to visit them the first time if they were started more conventionally.

                  I'm sorry, but some of this smacks of the Parrelli 7 circles of hell play list to me.


                  I am still laughing, HSS. To a classical French trainer, what I've outlined *is* conventional. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with Parelli.

                  But to your earlier question, French-style trainers use these techniques with all kinds of horses - Iberians, Arabs, TBs, American quarterhorses, appaloosas, paints, warmbloods. Even butt-high ones. And they work.

                  Oh, and when I said it goes pretty quickly, I wasn't referring to an afternoon.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by stryder View Post
                    The recent discussion has been focused on collection, but I would like to take us to lightness. What is the quietest, lightest conversation one could have with a horse? Does it work beyond (actually, below) the weight of the rein?

                    The beauty of collection and balance is that the horse is always ready to go - from piaffe to canter. But once that's working, what's next? Sure, one could become fascinated with collection and strive for higher degrees of it until the horse canters in place or even canters backwards.

                    But lightness is what we're chasing.

                    I started playing with an idea while leading. Lightly holding the rope just a couple inches below the snap. Walking along with my mare at my shoulder, could I maintain a constant connection? Not pulling forward and never letting my hand retreat. Not leaning on her, or letting the connection drop. What happens when I close my hand? Does she slow or stop?

                    I wanted to try it on the ground first, to eliminate the possibility that I would give off an involuntary, subtle cue with my seat or legs.

                    I learned it works. Closing my hand is enough, even with a halter.

                    That feeling - the combination of lightness and connection - is intoxicating.

                    Sure, we'll work on canter pirouettes and flying changes. But that's minutes, really. The rest of our time together is spent pursuing lightness, in the context of the connection. This study engages me - chasing the elusive centaur moments.

                    I'm following this thread with great fascination, because I just finished listening to "trailers" for Buck Brannaman's 7 Clinics series.

                    BB is well seeped in Californino/vaquero tradition, both in terms of pure horsemanship and in terms of using horsemanship as a cowboy.

                    Here is a video of him working in the Californio version of the double bridle...called a "two rein". Incidentally, BB is a BIG proponent of ground work and basically says you can teach a horse anything on the ground you can teach in the saddle.

                    When he talks about "release" (as in the Huntism "it's the release that teaches..."), he explains it as "TOTAL release...not going from 20 lbs of pressure to 10 lbs...that's not what I call lightness. Release of pressure means release of ALL pressure"...

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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                      I really don't understand this; if this trainer/rider was so wonderful, she should have been able to "woo" your horse into doing what she wanted willingly...

                      Any rider who can actually cause a horse to "lose his mind" is not much of a rider...
                      What can I tell you? She had an excellent seat, her horses were brilliant, she gave me insights about my riding, she completely made my horse crazy. It is what it is. She was good at some things and not at others.

                      Paula
                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                        What can I tell you? She had an excellent seat, her horses were brilliant, she gave me insights about my riding, she completely made my horse crazy. It is what it is. She was good at some things and not at others.

                        Paula
                        How can that be? If she was good she would be good at everything, with every horse, all the time. The fact that she wasn't meant she was crap at everything. Follow along.

                        A good trainer also follows a certain school by the letter, never experiments with anything, and turns out every horse brilliantly within minutes no matter the horse's personality, conformation and temperament, always using the same rigid "school". Anything less and the "trainer" or rider is crap.
                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                        Comment


                        • ROFL Perfect Pony! I needed some COTH sarcasm this morning.
                          www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                          chaque pas est fait ensemble

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by JeanM View Post
                            Wow, this sounds like I could've been that rider. However, my clinic with P.B. was 15 or so years ago. Speed-trotting around and around and around the indoor. Can't say my horse or I got anything accomplished other than lots of sweat. He writes a good story, but in my experience, that's about IT.
                            15 years go would have been spot-on, and the clinic was held at a very fancy, brand-new private farm in northeastern CT.

                            You describe it very well--very disappointing.

                            Comment


                            • Perfect Pony it was almost to early in the my allergy-med-induced morning for me to catch that. I had to read it twice!

                              Paula
                              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                              Comment


                              • OK, so now I "get it".

                                Although I'm not experienced in the French School, a lot of the concepts of use of the aids in their school have been disseminated to other schools, and somehow to me even though I've had the utter horror of being taught by those dreaded despicable driving seat crazy making Germans.

                                And even though I've used the same way of riding for every horse I've sat on- which included breaking Arabs for instance- the German way is only to ride those huge going warmbloods, which you have to hold up with all your strength because they are so dull and unbalanced, and for that you need the upper body strength of Aly Raisman or even Jake Dalton, matched with the pelvis of a porn star queen.

                                So, when one is told that they "ride like a German" it's a base insult, like a slap across the face, and a duel is necessary to retrieve one's honor.

                                When one ride's like a Frenchman, even though in the last 100 years maybe one woman has managed to make the international podium from that country, one is surrounded by angels soaring and birds chirping, and the horses go in total harmony, even with no reins, and even in the dead of winter with snow sliding off the indoor roof and they haven't seen anything but the 4 walls of their stall for 6 months, doesn't matter. And for a change, you can play all kinds of games with your horse on the ground, so that even though your body is getting less and less fit (remember dead of winter, couch, and chocolate?) your horse is parading about in piaffe and stunning every railbird who can bundle up enough to watch.



                                OK, I GET it!!

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by HSS View Post
                                  So what do you all mean by the German school? Because I've never ever been taught to ride like that by anyone competent. Yeah, auction rider, ok. But I don't see any connection to the classical german riding that has made that country a powerhouse in international dressage for 40+ years.
                                  They mean riders who "water ski on horses' mouths" and "push the horse into pain"(aka as "the bit.") In other words, crappy riders who use muscle instead of finesse. Everything light and wonderful is "French school."

                                  Originally posted by re-runs View Post
                                  Klimke also said that if he had any problems with the piaffe work, he would go and work with Manola Mendez, head rider at Jerez. So, Klimke was a breed all his own, having evented before he was a dressage rider and not shy about crossing over lines to learn from who he thought was the best.........even if that meant another school, another country. He understood about using the lightest aids as being a sign of good horsemanship but then, he was in a class by himself IMHO. I take it that what he was saying was that he wasn`t going to let himself get stuck in........ this school or that even though he was of German nationality and rode wbs.
                                  He was a great horseman who was in a class by himself in terms of skill and accomplishments. But the good horsemen I've known (three that I can think of right now and two are women ) are always looking for ways to get the best out of a horse and themselves. "Crossing over lines" or using tools from other "schools" is just not an issue with them. Because it's all about the horse.

                                  Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                                  What can I tell you? She had an excellent seat, her horses were brilliant, she gave me insights about my riding, she completely made my horse crazy. It is what it is. She was good at some things and not at others.
                                  Trainers who are competent riders can certainly make some horses crazy. You'll learn mechanics from these kinds of trainers and that's fine as far as it goes and as long as your horse can tolerate their program. But you won't learn anything about feel because that's just not in their vocabulary.

                                  And your horse wouldn't be the first draft cross I know of that put up with it ... put up with it ... put up with it... and then boom! said NO MAS! To these kinds of trainers, that's "crazy" and the horse is just saying "you're not listening to me, so I have to START SHOUTING."
                                  __________________________
                                  "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                  the best day in ten years,
                                  you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                  Comment


                                  • Ok so let me get this straight.

                                    Now we are saying that Buck good Anky bad

                                    He is somehow teaching French training? People seriously need to learn more dressage.



                                    Pauldwina your horse if I remember correctly was there to be started or re-ridden after issues. You trainer could not have taught a method in the time your horse was there. You needed a better horse starter cause it sounded like she sucked at that. She was just leading and having problems right? Yeah/no that sounds like sudo dressage to me.

                                    Last but not least, please do keep in mind that upper level riders (like Anky) actually use some of these methods and are far better at them then MOST people reading all of the books

                                    German training isnt purely one thing any more than the wb is only low/lazy/dumb.

                                    Like I said get out and ride more people

                                    Gereralizations exploded on here eh?
                                    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                                      How can that be? If she was good she would be good at everything, with every horse, all the time. The fact that she wasn't meant she was crap at everything. Follow along.

                                      A good trainer also follows a certain school by the letter, never experiments with anything, and turns out every horse brilliantly within minutes no matter the horse's personality, conformation and temperament, always using the same rigid "school". Anything less and the "trainer" or rider is crap.

                                      i know you are being sarcastic, but as i read this thread no one is even remotely saying this.... ? or did i misread something?

                                      Comment


                                      • Wow!

                                        I now know why my ENglish teachers were so insistent on "reading for comprehension".

                                        I wonder how many wars started this way?

                                        I don't see where anyone said the stuff you are saying, except you. I didn't read this entire thread so perhaps what you are referring to is on another page?

                                        I certainly have seen stupidity at clinics with followers of Nuno, the french school, the portuguese etc. Most of that seems to be trying too hard to produce too much for a crowd. Ego.

                                        No school is devoid of it. Riders and trainers should be, however, you would be amazed at how you can be pushed and goaded. Resistance is key to your longevity.

                                        I would love to see a description of rolkur and standard German fare that is light and airy und wunderbar! My German instructors would not appreciate it, I think. They prided themselves on precision and larger than life horses and riding, their ability to drill and produce. I am not saying that it is evil, just d i f f e r e n t.

                                        I thought this thread was an exploration of how it is different. My bad.
                                        “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                                        ? Albert Einstein

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
                                          GAP, the either/or is real.

                                          I know very few riders who persisting the "German" school who will let go of the horse's face!
                                          It is an exploration of what's different. But some people seem to keep bringing up the extremes of both sides and that it's not possible to use what's good from both. You're either too light with floppy reins or you're a puller -- one or the other.

                                          Yes, that is divisive thinking, in my opinion, and no one learns much from that kind of discussion.
                                          __________________________
                                          "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                          the best day in ten years,
                                          you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                          Comment

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