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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • I took a lesson with my German instructor last night. Straight from Germany too!

    She said paraphrasing here, "Ack! Don't let her get so heavy! Give the reins a bit before you half halt and make her lighter! I want her downward transitions lighter."

    She says lighter all of the time.. Its so confusing with that german accent


    Some of the idiotic postings on here are either just that or from 100 years ago so the times are a changin.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • Ps I wouldnt pay a dime for ANY method to yell at me to use more leg more leg more leg like that.

      If you have to say more leg 100 times to me then either I have lost my hearing aid or you should stop and tell me why my more leg isnt doing shite.
      ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
      http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • Prejudiced? Mais non! C'est mon plaisir!

        Ok, my french is probably horrendous these days.

        Here are the nuts and bolts of it.

        Half a lifetime ago I was taking a lesson in England. I was riding a PONY! Nice little animal owned by a lovely elderly woman who lent it to the school in exchange for board and lessons I think. We were working on collection and I brought the little guy into piaffe to everyone's surprise except my own. NOT because I was so incredibly accomplished but because I had no idea of the import of what I had done. Certainly I had seen it often enough and ridden it on horses of the high school. I simply thought this lovely little pony had been trained to do it.

        His owner was thoroughly pleased! She had been watching in the gallery! All of the instructors had come to watch as I was encouraged and asked to do it again.

        Now, as an instructor and trainer, it is easy to find students who can afford an expensive horse with fabulous gaits. More difficult to find those who can ride them with relaxation and focus. Still, there are plenty of folks who will happily step up and ride their horse for them, compete and with great success.

        THere are a larger number of people who find such horses physically challenging. They NEED a smaller horse so their gaits are usually a bit less flamboyant although probably just as correct. They can and do want to ride their horses in competition and do well too! I find their horses more likely to stay sound over the long haul and less likely to bolt with them to another parish destroying their confidence. I enjoy working with them.

        There are those whose pocketbooks won't stand up to the purchase and insurance of a fancy warmblood or trained horse. I work with their "off breeds" quite happily! They are fun and it continues to make the journey new again.

        I love what I do. I want to help others have FUN at this and if they wish to compete and win as well.

        Yes, the emotional demands are huge. Still they come close to the fear factor that sometimes grasps someone who has had a bad experience with a horse that is clearly beyond their ability.

        I have chosen my direction and I think it a good one. It should be educational, enjoyable and rewarding!

        Horses who don't do well with a more forceful approach can be reclaimed with a "different" system. I know few who fail so miserably with this sort of handling that improve under another system.

        There ya have it.

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

        Comment


        • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
          There are those whose pocketbooks won't stand up to the purchase and insurance of a fancy warmblood or trained horse. I work with their "off breeds" quite happily! They are fun and it continues to make the journey new again.

          I love what I do. I want to help others have FUN at this and if they wish to compete and win as well.

          ...

          I have chosen my direction and I think it a good one. It should be educational, enjoyable and rewarding!

          Horses who don't do well with a more forceful approach can be reclaimed with a "different" system. I know few who fail so miserably with this sort of handling that improve under another system.
          horsefaerie, you sound like the kind of person I'd love to take lessons from!
          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

          Comment


          • Sorry, late back to the thread.

            Re: "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."

            He was with her about 3 months and she made huge improvements in his movement. He was a trail horse who thought he had two legs but was being relentlessly pursued behind by another two legged horse. She really effectively re-educated him on the lunge to the point that he will choose to canter at liberty and had begun to canter under saddle. She is classical. Indeed, it was when she attempted to ride him that she had issues. He bucked, he spooked, he just wasn't doing well with her at all.

            Paula
            Last edited by paulaedwina; Sep. 11, 2012, 10:45 PM. Reason: "...on the lungs" corrected to "...on the lunge".
            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

            Comment


            • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
              Prejudiced? Mais non! C'est mon plaisir!

              Ok, my french is probably horrendous these days.
              Well ... my French is non-existent, so you could have called me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I wouldn't know any better.

              Horses who don't do well with a more forceful approach can be reclaimed with a "different" system. I know few who fail so miserably with this sort of handling that improve under another system.

              There ya have it.

              Eh?
              I was thinking the difference between the French and German schools (stated very broadly) is balance first, then forward vs. forward first, then balance. Not forceful vs. non-forceful.

              Force will always produce a tense horse. Lack of parameters (as close as I can come to the opposite of force) produces an undisciplined one. Neither is desirable. The loose reins, stiff posture and somewhat hollowed horses found in part of the video someone posted way earlier in this thread might be easier to watch than someone hanging on a horse's mouth. But neither is what we're aiming for, eh?

              PS -- I ride Arabians. Gotta love those "off breeds."
              __________________________
              "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
              the best day in ten years,
              you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

              Comment


              • Thank you Swamp Yankee for the list of educational materials.

                May I add to the list:

                Horseman`s Progress by Vladamir Littauer

                A good overall history of horsemanship with overlapping chapters on the history of dressage, early teachers/the manege, the artistocracy, the cavalry, Baucher vs. D`Aure, James Fillis. A good book to give a person the overall picture of how we got from "there" to "there" and how the French school fits in and came about.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by mp View Post
                  Well ... my French is non-existent, so you could have called me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I wouldn't know any better.



                  I was thinking the difference between the French and German schools (stated very broadly) is balance first, then forward vs. forward first, then balance. Not forceful vs. non-forceful.

                  Force will always produce a tense horse. Lack of parameters (as close as I can come to the opposite of force) produces an undisciplined one. Neither is desirable. The loose reins, stiff posture and somewhat hollowed horses found in part of the video someone posted way earlier in this thread might be easier to watch than someone hanging on a horse's mouth. But neither is what we're aiming for, eh?

                  PS -- I ride Arabians. Gotta love those "off breeds."
                  Oh well Arab people are crazy.

                  That's why Ive owned so many
                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                  http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • Ya know, I am playing with you all. Not serious by golly!

                    I thought it was obvious, but gosh you are all pretty amazingly thin skinned.

                    I just gave a riding lesson this morning to one of my working students. She is a complete beginner, and not young, and not brave, and forget balanced or able to grip anywhere. On my beloved and cherished schoolmaster. This horse was at GP when a mysterious injury ended his career. Not the usual beginner's horse, but he LOVES to teach and does it like everything else, beautifully.

                    I never once said "more leg!" or "drive him forward" or any of that crap. In fact, I taught her the walk trot transition aid- the correct one- the one that comes by simply bracing your pelvis a little bit and sitting up, the invisible one, the effortless one. Why? So she wouldn't lose her position in the transition, and because it's so easy, so simple that it makes riding easier. Easier!! My words to her: "Just use enough aid so he hears you, no more."

                    She hasn't any real hand contact as her hands are pretty unsteady and the reins are pretty long, still the horse carries himself so nicely, with his beautiful arching neck and his beautiful impulsive movement. Where does that all come from? It's his gift to the rider, that's where, because he is enjoying himself and he knows he is loved and he is very generous if you are grateful for his help.

                    That's what I call a nice picture, I don't care what the level.

                    I'm not going to discuss the "lightness" of Anky because I just ate lunch, but she absolutely advocates hands without legs, legs without hands. About all she has right, but there you are.

                    I was trained from inception of riding by Europeans, Calvarymen mostly. I was trained from the inception of dressage by Europeans, Germans mostly. I never heard such crap in my entire life as has been cited here by supposedly German trainers. Some of the worse riding I've ever seen in my life has been in Germany. Also some of the best.

                    I admit, I no longer take lessons from anyone but the SRS. The reason is that I don't understand a single word any American trainer has to say. Nothing coming out of their mouths make any sense to me at all. Just took a PC lesson from a well recognized S judge. I have absolutely no frickin clue what on earth he was talking about- except when my horse was completely unengaged and unconnected it was considered excellent. And he was gushing over the harmony displayed throughout. And he derided my German training- maybe he's French school? All the riding I saw I thought abysmal, but I was expecting no less.

                    I haven't shown much in a long time, but the last show I went to I didn't see one horse I thought was well ridden. I'm not talking scores here, but a rider that doesn't bounce and pull and a horse with something called impulsion. Not even going to go near engagement, because without a seat there is no engagement to be had.

                    I don't know how much more classical one can get than the Spanish Riding School. Any one of those beireters forget more in one day that I will every know, I am in awe of their mastery and training skills. They are the best trainers of riders and trainers than anyone I have ever seen- throw whatever big name down on the table you can think of- I've been there and they don't cut it next to any of the SRS. If that is the German school I'm fine with it.

                    But that doesn't mean that the French have nothing to contribute to the conversation or that I am uninterested in this thread- I think it's the best one I've ever read on this board.

                    And SY- thank you a million times over for the bibliography. Cool that a few of those books are already on my shelves.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
                      Mbm, you must be joking.
                      well, i was trying to be silly...

                      anyway, i am not a trainer - altho i train my own horses. i am a student.

                      but it is unfair to paint all "German System" trainers with the same brush just as it is unfair to paint all "french system" trainers with the brush used by the folks in the first vid posted.

                      i train with a german system trainer who is not what you describe. <shrug> i get that there are many bad trainers out there. but not all are. that is what i meant by opening your eyes and getting around more....

                      Comment


                      • Thanks for the list of books, Swamp Yankee! I'm always looking for more horse books.

                        Comment


                        • Swamp Yankee, great list of books. I had all of them and then some but lost them all with the storm. The only one I replaced was [drum roll] De La Gueriniere. Actually one of my students replaced it for me.

                          Pocket, thank you for the compliment!

                          Mbm, have you ever had a lesson with a good french trainer? It might be more different than you think.

                          I can not recommend Stephen Clarke highly enough and he is neither French nor German but he is VERY good should you be able to find a clinic close by.

                          HSS, it is difficult to see a really good ride at a show. I tell myself that it is nerves. The SRS is fabulous but they too have their faults IF you are talking about a discussion that includes all sorts of various disciplines.

                          Oh and btw, I am not thin skinned but menopausal plus.
                          “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                          ? Albert Einstein

                          Comment


                          • RE: In fact, I taught her the walk trot transition aid- the correct one- the one that comes by simply bracing your pelvis a little bit and sitting up, the invisible one, the effortless one.

                            Funny you should mention this. That classical trainer I mentioned-the one who made my horse crazy (the same horse BTW I just came from hacking around the 80+ acre farm trails on a bareback pad) -taught this to an extent. She is SRS -SRS is what I think of as classical. Anyway, the first time I rode one of her horses and she said to hold my breath/tense my stomach a bit to halt I was very skeptical that such an aid would do the trick. WOW. It was so cool. That is a button she installed on Fella and he still has it, I don't ever want to lose it, I love it. I had never experienced it before. I'd experienced sitting up, stopping the motion of your seat, drawing back on the reins, but I had never ever experienced that invisible tense your stomach downward transition.

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

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
                              Prejudiced? Mais non! C'est mon plaisir!

                              Ok, my french is probably horrendous these days.

                              Here are the nuts and bolts of it.

                              Half a lifetime ago I was taking a lesson in England. I was riding a PONY! Nice little animal owned by a lovely elderly woman who lent it to the school in exchange for board and lessons I think. We were working on collection and I brought the little guy into piaffe to everyone's surprise except my own. NOT because I was so incredibly accomplished but because I had no idea of the import of what I had done. Certainly I had seen it often enough and ridden it on horses of the high school. I simply thought this lovely little pony had been trained to do it.

                              His owner was thoroughly pleased! She had been watching in the gallery! All of the instructors had come to watch as I was encouraged and asked to do it again.

                              Now, as an instructor and trainer, it is easy to find students who can afford an expensive horse with fabulous gaits. More difficult to find those who can ride them with relaxation and focus. Still, there are plenty of folks who will happily step up and ride their horse for them, compete and with great success.

                              THere are a larger number of people who find such horses physically challenging. They NEED a smaller horse so their gaits are usually a bit less flamboyant although probably just as correct. They can and do want to ride their horses in competition and do well too! I find their horses more likely to stay sound over the long haul and less likely to bolt with them to another parish destroying their confidence. I enjoy working with them.

                              There are those whose pocketbooks won't stand up to the purchase and insurance of a fancy warmblood or trained horse. I work with their "off breeds" quite happily! They are fun and it continues to make the journey new again.

                              I love what I do. I want to help others have FUN at this and if they wish to compete and win as well.

                              Yes, the emotional demands are huge. Still they come close to the fear factor that sometimes grasps someone who has had a bad experience with a horse that is clearly beyond their ability.

                              I have chosen my direction and I think it a good one. It should be educational, enjoyable and rewarding!

                              Horses who don't do well with a more forceful approach can be reclaimed with a "different" system. I know few who fail so miserably with this sort of handling that improve under another system.

                              There ya have it.

                              Eh?
                              This has been precisely my experience as well; thank you for posting. It was to bring together those of like mind, and the curious, that I began this thread. People need to know there IS "another" horsemanship, which has the power to transform the relationship between many horses and riders from adversarial to sublime. It is available to those, like the great trainers of the past, who are willing to dedicate themselves rigorously and with great honesty to the higher good of the horse. And at this time I'd like to dedicate this thread to two of the best with whom this unworthy student once had the privilege to train:

                              The late Capt. Aleksej Vukolov (La Guerinere & Vienna lineage)
                              The late Jean-Claude Racinet (dean of the Baucherists; perhaps the LAST true Baucherist we will see).

                              The kind of training these men received is not equalled in our world today; nor will be their understanding. The horse will never again occupy the place in history that he did during their lives and times--when he was still the province of the military horseman. Read their writings, and preserve them for future generations. Teach them even to the limits of your (imperfect!) understanding. That's the only way this stuff has a prayer of being handed down. Guard their legacy carefully!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                                This has been precisely my experience as well; thank you for posting. It was to bring together those of like mind, and the curious, that I began this thread. People need to know there IS "another" horsemanship, which has the power to transform the relationship between many horses and riders from adversarial to sublime. It is available to those, like the great trainers of the past, who are willing to dedicate themselves rigorously and with great honesty to the higher good of the horse.
                                Well I think this thread has been fun, even with some of the purists and condescending and judgmental attitudes.

                                I learned basically the Littauer method growing up and starting/retraining horses. I came to dressage haphazardly, but I have found some of the techniques pretty awful for the horses, at least from what I have seen. Anyway, I like experimenting and reading and trying different things.

                                But fwiw, I just had the BEST ride on my just started 3 year old by falling back to my old forward seat, H/J methods I don't know enough about the "French" method to say how effective or horse friendly it is. Does Littauer come from the French method?
                                On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by mp View Post


                                  I was thinking the difference between the French and German schools (stated very broadly) is balance first, then forward vs. forward first, then balance. Not forceful vs. non-forceful.
                                  i thought so too until i asked upthread what folks would do with a horse that thoughts standing still was better than moving... and it seems the unanimous response was FORWARD FIRST!

                                  so there ya go.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post

                                    Mbm, have you ever had a lesson with a good french trainer? It might be more different than you think.

                                    I can not recommend Stephen Clarke highly enough and he is neither French nor German but he is VERY good should you be able to find a clinic close by.
                                    and btw, I am not thin skinned but menopausal plus.
                                    i ride with a trainer who is very "french" Germanic (trained with Theodorescu & Grillo) he is all about a giving hand & lighter and lighter aids.... etc etc - exactly the OPPOSITE of what you keep saying a german system trainer would be

                                    i will say i have ridden with what is being portrayed as "German" and that is why i am riding with who i ride with - so i get the criticism - but feel that saying ALL is a bit much....

                                    i am, as i have stated - a student. what i believe now is very different than even a year ago let alone 10 years.... my goal is to learn how to train to the best of my ability

                                    i am fascinated with Nuno and learn something each time i watch a video of him.

                                    i also would LOVE to learn in hand work but dont have anyone to learn that from.

                                    <shrug>
                                    Last edited by mbm; Sep. 11, 2012, 10:54 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                                      This has been precisely my experience as well; thank you for posting. It was to bring together those of like mind, and the curious, that I began this thread. People need to know there IS "another" horsemanship, which has the power to transform the relationship between many horses and riders from adversarial to sublime.
                                      i agree with this 100% there is a better way than pull and kick - it is also available to those that work better in the germanic system - the key is not whether you want to study German, French or something in between . It is finding an educated trainer and *that* is the biggest issue of all! we don't have educated trainers available and that is why we see so much sucky riding.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                                        Well I think this thread has been fun, even with some of the purists and condescending and judgmental attitudes.

                                        I learned basically the Littauer method growing up and starting/retraining horses. I came to dressage haphazardly, but I have found some of the techniques pretty awful for the horses, at least from what I have seen. Anyway, I like experimenting and reading and trying different things.

                                        But fwiw, I just had the BEST ride on my just started 3 year old by falling back to my old forward seat, H/J methods I don't know enough about the "French" method to say how effective or horse friendly it is. Does Littauer come from the French method?
                                        Yes!

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post

                                          So, which JCR book are you talking about? (OP was typing at the same time as me...would it be JCR's "Another Horsemanship"?
                                          Yes, that little book.
                                          Ring the bells that still can ring
                                          Forget your perfect offering
                                          There is a crack in everything
                                          That's how the light gets in.

                                          Comment

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