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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • ...
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • Yes Please..

      Let us do what mbm says.
      There is so much valuable information to be shared it would be a shame not to do so. There is something for everyone, I have no "School" preference. I consider myself a rank Novice in the finer points of Dressage. I will use what makes the horse soft relaxed attentive and willing.
      I have ridden with some excellent Dressage trainers over the years, with a german background, and the two that stood out the most were never the Crank and spank type or never screamed more leg more leg.
      Oh and thanks for the book suggestions, I will begin the hunt.
      Carry on! And let us remember we are all lovers of horses and the fine art of Dressage!

      yep. and i wish (silly i know) that we could all drop the negative , bashing talk and instead focus on what we ALL have in common - our love of the horse and dressage in particular.

      we could all learn so much from each other if we just left the negative stuff at the door.
      Last edited by Sannois; Sep. 18, 2012, 07:09 PM. Reason: Add quote

      Comment


      • Showing my ignorance

        even further. There is a lot of talk of In hand work.
        I believe that this horse I am working with is so stuck in his feet even on the ground it will be a challenge. A simple request to move over in the isle is met with a sluggish slow response.
        Can you suggest some inhand exercises?

        Comment


        • The reason a horse is 'stuck to the ground' is because they are onto the forehand, too low, not reactive. A couple of thoughts even before mounting, even before work in hand. Walk and halt along a wall (with a halter), if the horse does not go, reach behind your left side and touch the horse (where the spur would touch) with a whip. Walk/halt/walk/halt. Turn, face the horse, it should step back IF you walk toward it. Immediately, and in a big way. Then, if you lunge, do it on a smallish circle so that the hand with the caveson faces the head, the chest faces the horse, the whip points at the croup. Ask the horse to go, touch with the whip if it does not.

          Now, as to in hand work. First is ask the horse to mobilize the jaw (by lifting it up with vibrations...roughly to the point of the hip...but higher if it does not react...even to the point it steps back....get its brain IMMEDIATELY). Do the slight lateral flexions (while high/light), the greater ones, then asking the horse to chew fdo. If you can do all this, start with a turn on the forehand, ask the horse to moblize the quarters.

          Remember the whip is used progessively in ANY case. Touch, lightly vibrate, LIGHT A FIRE (MEAN IT). Any horse learns this VERY quickly, and the handler needs very little if they FOLLOW THROUGH ROUTINELY. And even moving over in the cross ties should be immediate IF the horse is FOCUSED on the handler...and that is YOUR choice, not the horses.
          I.D.E.A. yoda

          Comment


          • Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
            There is only one old(er) PK book, and he himself he has moved on from lungeing/driving.
            Well, besides the apparently solid gold long-lining book, there's a 2010 re-issue of The Art of Riding: Classical Dressage to High School: Odin at Saumur, but still pretty unavailable in the US unless some of these high-priced used sellers really have copies.

            Too bad, looks very apropos to the discussion:

            documents the training and development of the Lusitano stallion 'Odin' according to traditional French classical principles, from young horse all the way up to High School. The book covers: * The requirements of balance: collection and conformation * The philosophy of Academic Equitation: the language of the aids - seat, hands, legs * Exercises for lateral flexibility: work on one and two tracks * Work at the canter: counter-canter, flying lead changes, tempi changes * Collection: piaffe, passage, pesade * Canter pirouettes: preparation and development
            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


            • Also, remember that most of the dogs had HELP. Their own teaches and then the lesser people who assisted.

              Doing it by yourself is very difficult and a wonderful achievement because of it.
              “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
              ? Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • odgs. I really dislike autocorrect. It is not educated in dressage.
                “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                ? Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • Thank you..

                  Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                  The reason a horse is 'stuck to the ground' is because they are onto the forehand, too low, not reactive. A couple of thoughts even before mounting, even before work in hand. Walk and halt along a wall (with a halter), if the horse does not go, reach behind your left side and touch the horse (where the spur would touch) with a whip. Walk/halt/walk/halt. Turn, face the horse, it should step back IF you walk toward it. Immediately, and in a big way. Then, if you lunge, do it on a smallish circle so that the hand with the caveson faces the head, the chest faces the horse, the whip points at the croup. Ask the horse to go, touch with the whip if it does not.

                  Now, as to in hand work. First is ask the horse to mobilize the jaw (by lifting it up with vibrations...roughly to the point of the hip...but higher if it does not react...even to the point it steps back....get its brain IMMEDIATELY). Do the slight lateral flexions (while high/light), the greater ones, then asking the horse to chew fdo. If you can do all this, start with a turn on the forehand, ask the horse to moblize the quarters.

                  Remember the whip is used progessively in ANY case. Touch, lightly vibrate, LIGHT A FIRE (MEAN IT). Any horse learns this VERY quickly, and the handler needs very little if they FOLLOW THROUGH ROUTINELY. And even moving over in the cross ties should be immediate IF the horse is FOCUSED on the handler...and that is YOUR choice, not the horses.
                  I had used this method on my TB with great success.
                  I have not done any of this, other than lunging with this horse, partly because I felt it was unfair to the horse when he rider remains so inconsistent with working him.
                  I need to light a fire under her.
                  When you say use the whip and mean it, I am assuming you mean Crack him good instantly, I had him nice and Hot off the leg a year ago, But now since I am working with him again owner has let it all slack, she is afraid to use the whip and nags with leg and he has shut her out.
                  I can fix all this, but the real trick is retraining her and getting her to stay with the program.
                  I keep telling her it is very unfair to him that she does not work consistently. I am enjoying working with him. He is my new project, she would rather have me ride him all the time.
                  But it is not always possible for me.
                  I thank you for your input ideayoda.!

                  Comment


                  • Rehabbing a horse is like peeling an onion. ONe layer at a time.

                    If there is rearing involved I ride without a bit until they can accept one.

                    Putting one of these horses on the longe may require a second person so they don't wind up trussed like a turkey.

                    Saddle fit, feed, and equipment must be as perfect as possible so as to limit the possibility of harm.

                    Often times just grooming will provide a starting point. Vets may be called.

                    Work in hand sometimes requires a helmet. Sometimes a longe whip, a buggy whip or a dressage whip. Whichever produces the least anxiety and then some horses cannot handle you carrying a whip or a line at all. Go for bright colors or employ duct tape to change the look of it.

                    Keep sessions very short, lots of praise. If the horse is very nervy I use a tsk tsk, much like a clicker to develop focus faster.

                    I may ride bareback in a noseband to eradicate all bad memories. Teach basic riding stuff. I may use an Aussie saddle and three reins if necessary. I am not fond of a double but may use a pelham in a similar way. (I can hear the shrieks of heresy now).

                    Again I chunk things down to itty bitty bites for horse and rider. Stay firm but no tension or punishment. Like SY said, develop what is offered. I have studied La Guerinieres plates and found I have come to understand most if not all of them and why he used them. I have adapted his work to suit my own ideas and always keep my eye on the horse being one day in the show ring. If I get hit by a bus, the horse will have a much better chance of a good home.

                    I want to relax the horse and am very aware of my breathing. Sometimes cones and obstacles help the process. Whatever works.

                    I like SI and HI as suppling tools. Some of these horses will not tolerate flexions in the early work. Way too intense. They key is calm, firm patient. I bring the horse to me.

                    So much of this is about your eye and your sense of what you see. You adapt and bring the horse to you.
                    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                    ? Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sannois View Post
                      I can fix all this, but the real trick is retraining her and getting her to stay with the program.
                      I keep telling her it is very unfair to him that she does not work consistently. I am enjoying working with him. He is my new project, she would rather have me ride him all the time.
                      But it is not always possible for me.
                      The handlers are always the horses 'problem', and the savior. Horses literally look for guideance and confidence. Clarity is everything. And instantly the handler relaxes if they have to be intense. It is never agressive, but always measured. If the handler has to go beyond a whip vibration it should be rarely, and not twack/hold. Listen, reward, and barely have to touch.
                      I.D.E.A. yoda

                      Comment


                      • Well

                        Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                        The handlers are always the horses 'problem', and the savior. Horses literally look for guideance and confidence. Clarity is everything. And instantly the handler relaxes if they have to be intense. It is never agressive, but always measured. If the handler has to go beyond a whip vibration it should be rarely, and not twack/hold. Listen, reward, and barely have to touch.
                        I agree with you, but with this guys attitude and dullness it will be interesting to see if he "Gets It" right off the bat.
                        Will report back. I am actually excited to see what prevails!

                        Comment


                        • The easiest way to get their mind (beside the above) is to teach jambette. It seems to light their pilot, gets their willingness!!!!
                          I.D.E.A. yoda

                          Comment


                          • How is the person around the horse? Do they have enough presence to get noticed? Are they not "sure" around horses? It can be as simple as how one carries themselves. Horses NOTICE because awareness is wired into them, it is what keeps them alive when there are wolves trotting across the tundra a half mile off. A wild horses instinct will tell them if the wolf is hungry or they are just passing through by the wolves movements and carriage. If a horse will notice those things about a wolf trotting a half mile down the valley then......How much is a horse noticing of the person standing next to them?... QUITE a lot..., even if the horse is partially shut down from being handled by clods all its life. They FEEL your energy. A person has to look inside themselves and see what their horse sees/feels about them and that is where the changes have to start. It is always about us and how we need to change to fit the horse, not the other way around. And that is why no "method" or "technique" really gets to the center of the problem.

                            I don`t mean the person has to be loud and boisterous to get the horses attention, you may only trigger the horses fight or flight response by doing that. A person has to approach the horse in a way the horse will respect,.... "they know when you know, and they know when you don`t know." As someone else said in a previous post, "you can`t fool a horse."

                            How much will it take, how little? If the person has to use a lot at first to get the horses attention, the idea is to get to the place where it it takes very little......that is what lightness is. Lightness is a way of BEING, not just how much it takes to move a horse over, or how much leg or rein to stop and go. Lightness comes from feeling of the horse as the horse... is for sure, aware and feeling of you,..... timing your requests..... and the release that needs to follow and be predicatable to the horse.

                            "You want to get the horse to where the horse doesn`t weigh anything." Tom Dorrance. THAT Sounds like LIGHTNESS to me.

                            Now, if one person can ask the horse to move over and get the proper response, it doesn`t mean that the owner will get the same response, in fact, the owner may even get the same dull response because that is their way of operating around their horse. Good chance that if the owner doesn`t take the time it takes to change, they are going to dull the horse right up again.

                            Comment


                            • Speaking of different schools, I found that this article by Bettina Drummond on Nuno O. interesting.

                              http://www.eclectic-horseman.com/content/view/52/33/

                              Comment


                              • Really great post, Re-runs.

                                Another thing to focus on is, does the horse really understand? A horse is learning all the time--it's paying minute attention to the handler's body language, and looking for the cues that predict what will happen to it.

                                Most of these cues we give below the level of our conscious awareness. They are a shift of weight, a tiny lift of the hand, a glance or even a blink. This is what constitutes our "energy." The horse is watching it or feeling it all the time. As we all know, they can feel a fly, and as we may not realize, they'll notice if we wet our lips. (In fact horses, like dogs and people, will lick their lips as a sign that they are anxious and trying to calm themselves.)

                                Beyond this, many many times we ASSUME that the horse understands the cue, when it really doesn't. Inconsistent, sluggish, anxious or angry reactions to a request are usually interpreted as resistance or stubbornness. They are far more likely to be confusion.

                                If there are two handlers, the horse can certainly learn different cues from each handler, and offer different reactions. This is called context. The entire environment is context, a horse may load happily in one trailer and refuse to go near another one (even of the same brand!). The weather is context, the flowerpots at the door, etc etc.

                                Humans are very good at generalizing learning from one context to another--we learn to use a pen, and immediately we can write with a pen or a pencil--we generalize the concept and recognize a writing instrument and things we can write on quickly. Animals are not good at this. It takes them longer to figure out that the same cue means the same thing in all circumstances. So when you teach a horse to move his haunches over by simply lifting your hand, you need to change the context and repeat your cue--five different places is the rough rule, but may be different from horse to horse--so that the context changes but the cue and reaction remain the same. Through the consistency of the cue-reaction while the environment or context changes, the horse learns thoroughly to understand the cue.

                                The reason we have to make sure the horse really does understand is because it's easy for us to assume it does when it doesn't. We don't and won't ever know the entirety of what the horse is paying attention to, but we can be sure that most of it is not us or our conscious cues (unless the horse is really well trained and the handler is excellent). When a different handler gives different cues for the same behavior, the horse can CERTAINLY learn more than one cue for the same thing--but if you use the SAME cue for more than one behavior, than the horse always has to guess what you want. It will use other context then to try to guess--"ok, she's pressing her leg at the girth--that could mean shoulder in or it could mean bend while going straight--but she's got her weight to the inside so it maybe its shoulder-in." Not that the reasoning is that clear for the horse, but you can see that if the rider doesn't realize her weight is to the inside, but thinks the horse understands the outside rein as a aid when it doesn't, the horse may well guess wrong.

                                A dull horse becomes dull, as Re-run implies, because the cues are inconsistent, it's never rewarded for any consistent reaction, and therefore it has no CHOICE but to become dull or go mad.

                                The most anxiety-provoking, stressful situation for any living being to be in is to have no consistent connection between cue, behavior and outcome, particularly when the outcome may be unpleasant.
                                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


                                • You know, I should add that this applies to people, too, and I think it's one reason some people lose interest in animals or a particular animal. If you give cues and don't get the reaction you expect consistently, it's discouraging. You know, on some level, that the communication isn't there. People tend to blame the animal, but it doesn't really matter--when you feel you can't communicate, you give up eventually. There's no reward in it, it's just frustrating and discouraging.

                                  Horses experience this all the time. It would probably help us to think about our own feelings when we're frustrated with a horse that doesn't respond as we think it should, and consider that the horse is equally baffled.
                                  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


                                  • I just wanted to thank you all for a very interesting and informative read so far! And also, thank you for providing a recommended reading guide -- Another Horsemanship is on its way.

                                    I'm old(er) and don't have the strength to drive my horse around the arena -- I'd rather work out a way where I can be light with my asks, he can be forward and willing but look to me for guidance with minimal interference. What you folks have been describing sounds exactly like my cup of tea!

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
                                      odgs. I really dislike autocorrect. It is not educated in dressage.
                                      gotta keep an eye out before clicking =)

                                      Comment


                                      • MelantheLLC said,

                                        "A dull horse becomes dull, as Re-run implies, because the cues are inconsistent, it's never rewarded for any consistent reaction, and therefore it has no CHOICE but to become dull or go mad.

                                        The most anxiety-provoking, stressful situation for any living being to be in is to have no consistent connection between cue, behavior and outcome, particularly when the outcome may be unpleasant."



                                        I don`t mean to be plugging Eclectic horseman magazine again but.........

                                        there is an excellent article this month on Learned Helplessness by Dr. Stepan Peters (neuroscientist) and Martin Black which explains just what MelantheLLC is talking about in her post above.

                                        Applies to people just as much as it does to horses.

                                        Worth a read.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by MelantheLLC View Post
                                          The most anxiety-provoking, stressful situation for any living being to be in is to have no consistent connection between cue, behavior and outcome, particularly when the outcome may be unpleasant.
                                          OMG, tell me about it! I actually worked for people like this - the rules changed every day. Some days we would be "punished" because the rules changed and we didn't know it. We would get reprimanded for not making a decision (micro-managers made us ask a question about EVERYTHING), yet then when we would make a decision, we invariably made the wrong one. No matter what. It was exhausting and mentally draining and it made all of the employees shut down, NOT try harder, which is what the bosses wanted. It was really eye opening for me when I likened my experience as an employee to a horse's experience in learning and being rewarded and "punished."

                                          Consistency is key. The same rules should apply all the time. Reward and praise for good effort. I really try hard to do the right thing in this manner, but I will admit it is difficult to do.
                                          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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