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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • #41
    Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
    The German school puts the horse in motion first, and works to achieve balance from there; this method works best with, I'm fond of saying exclusively with, WB's.
    Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
    Many of the French school who train horses will not even take on a horse who is not naturally forward
    Speaks to the notion that you adapt the training to fit the horse, not the "school" you think is best, no?

    Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post

    The thing I do not love about the first video is that the most of the horses have no real implusion - not like Oliveira's horses.
    In their forward or lateral movements most seem like they are not using themselves. The riders release the reins and often have no contact at all - this is a falicy that is often committed under the name of classical dressage or the French school.
    If I had to watch 95 minutes of that, I'd poke my eyeballs out with a manure fork. I watched a few from the site you posted. Very nice.
    __________________________
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    the best day in ten years,
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    • #42
      Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
      I'll put on my fire suit now - Ugh just struggling into it
      OK now its on...

      The thing I do not love about the first video is that the most of the horses have no real implusion - not like Oliveira's horses.
      In their forward or lateral movements most seem like they are not using themselves. The riders release the reins and often have no contact at all - this is a falicy that is often committed under the name of classical dressage or the French school.

      I'm a classisist but I believe in impulsion - In today's terms: Uta Graf, Paul Belasik, Catheine Henriquet, etc...

      Ok Flame suit off
      What she said.
      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
      chaque pas est fait ensemble

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      • #43
        "A note on tack fitting: See those horses in the video bridled without a noseband? One of the first things we do is get rid of any noseband that you can't put 4 fingers + under; in order for the horse to relax, yield his jaw and chew the bit, he MUST not have his jaws restrained by any tight noseband. As you see here, many people just take the noseband off entirely."

        YES !!!! Thank You Swamp Yankee !!!!

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        • #44
          Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
          The German school puts the horse in motion first, and works to achieve balance from there; this method works best with, I'm fond of saying exclusively with, WB's. The French school actually does a great deal of the early work at the WALK, hence exercises like 4-track shoulder-in and especially "counted" walk, and are not above working even at the halt with spoiled or phlegmatic horses who first need to understand the effet d'ensemble. In the French way of thinking, if your horse has no forward mind (I like that post above), and no balance at the halt or walk, things will only get WORSE at trot and will be hopeless by canter. The right feel is like "riding the clutch" at a red light in a nice sports car!

          Darn this is exactly the same BS I was given by the so called french school trainer who totally ruined my youngster: he is not balanced enough for trot, so he should not trot; he is not balanced enough for canter, so he should not canter. Never mind in the beginning of the training, no horse has the balance required to achieve lightness.

          I would like to know how any living things can be proficient in anything without actually doing it. Tell me how any rider can become proficient at posting trot without trotting a horse, learn how to sit that canter without cantering the horse, or hell, how a human baby can learn to run without actually taking that first step of running.

          One year in her barn and I got a horse back who is afraid to trot or canter. Sure, he excelled in leg yield, shoulder in, and haunches in - on the ground. It was another 10K, two other trainers, and two more years before all the bad training can be undone, and he finally realizes, "wow, it is actually OK for me to move out, and it is actually OK if my trot and canter is not perfect."

          So after three years, 20K, of fiasco, I finally have a horse who has the balance that should have been achieved in the first year.

          There is goal; and there is process. Don't mistake the end produce as the path to achieve the goal.

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          • #45
            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
            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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            • #46
              "The riders release the reins and often have no contact at all - this is a falicy that is often committed under the name of classical dressage or the French school."

              Done well, the horses are very conscious of the communication that is there, through the reins, even though they might be draped, it is called IN-direct fee/communication; feel from a distance. It is the same communication that occurs when you are 50 feet away from your horse in the pasture and he`s got his head down grazing and you move your shoulder a certain way and the horse raises his head and comes to you, no ropes or longe line there, no trick, it is because you understand how a horse operates and he knows that you know so he is glad to play along. It is the same communication that you have when you are leading your horse with a float in the leadrope and it is both of your responsibilities to make sure the ("drape") float stays there, yet you have better communication with your horse than if you had no slack in the lead...It`s possible because you can use the mental part of horse training and your horse understands you.

              Besides, there is something to be said for holding the horse with your seat. (Think canter pirouette)

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              • #47
                Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post

                If you want to make an upward transition, you relax your hand contact ("open the door" forward) while closing your legs to urge the increased gait; I don't understand why you would want to increase hand pressure when you're asking the horse to go forward; as Racinet would say, that's like hanging onto the hand-brake at a green light while pushing the gas pedal! The entire point is to stop mixing the "go" and "stop" signals so the horse has clarity--and is not pushing into pain.
                Well, I don't really want to. But when I relax my hand and ask for an upward he rushes in the same gait that he has been in. With more contact, I get a light, springy upward. What should I do to correct that?

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                • #48
                  Paula, you are really lucky to have found a good french school trainer. I still have faith in the concept and believe that the great french school trainer will produce a great horse; I will just have to be extremely cautious about whether they can walk the talk. At this time, I believe it is much easier to find a great German school trainer, who will not engage all the crazy stuff we all object, than a semi-OK French school trainer, who knows how to achieve lightness with real life practices. After all, the woman who worked my youngster has been working closely with a clinician who worked directly with Nuno Oliveira for years.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                    I'm a classisist but I believe in impulsion - In today's terms: Uta Graf, Paul Belasik, Catheine Henriquet, etc...
                    Oh, I think its sinking in a little somewhere in that peanut brain of mine... the Henriquet videos are *stunning* and thank you for sharing. As I watched I thought of that clip of Uta Graf doing the piaffe in a hackamore that some had posted months ago. Would the people mentioned (Graf, Belasik, Henriquet) be the "modern" French people? Even though Graf is 'German' (or I always stuck her in the German box in my brain)?

                    Where would the more mainstream types like Jane Savoie or Ingrid Klimke fall? I am beginning to sense a spectrum from the very light French school to the very "german(?! I might get in trouble for that one)" round and deep school. Do they interact and to what degree?

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                      Again, what is important here is neither dogma, just the outcome for the horse. Jean-Claude would be the first one always to say, Do What Works! And we totally believe in impulsion too--but we add it AFTER we have balance.
                      Right, enough with the dogma, can we please see a video?

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                        Well, I don't really want to. But when I relax my hand and ask for an upward he rushes in the same gait that he has been in. With more contact, I get a light, springy upward. What should I do to correct that?
                        Sounds like he's not understanding that an upward transition is what you want. I would work a lot on walk to halt, halt to walk, making sure you DO release when you want him to walk from the halt. He needs to know that hand means "whoa," legs mean "go." If I had him I'd work him with a little effet d'ensemble and counted walk to get him off his forehand first, but that's something you have to be taught, or at the very least digest Jean-Claude's book and then go experiment.

                        Once you've got him more balanced (and responding to a mental signal, not a physical discomfort!) you proceed with halt-trot, walk-canter, etc. The biggie to remember is that GETTING HEAVY (downhill, pushmepullyou) is NEVER acceptable. Come back to the walk and fix it!

                        A horse will virtually ALWAYS react to whichever stimulus he finds stronger; so if he's moving forward off your leg but getting heavy on the bit, he's ignoring the bit in favor of the legs. At least he's forward, things could be worse! Work on complete separation of "whoa" and "go" and report back here with the results!

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                        • Original Poster

                          #52
                          For those of you who remember all this flexion of the jaw and separation of the aids stuff as good old-fashioned white-bread flat equitation (read, anyone doing eq. pre-1980!) get thee to Amazon and pick up a copy of Gordon Wright's old "Cavalry Manual of Horsemanship and Horsemastership" and enjoy the lower levels of all this presented with crystal clarity.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                            Darn this is exactly the same BS I was given by the so called french school trainer who totally ruined my youngster: he is not balanced enough for trot, so he should not trot; he is not balanced enough for canter, so he should not canter. Never mind in the beginning of the training, no horse has the balance required to achieve lightness.

                            I would like to know how any living things can be proficient in anything without actually doing it. Tell me how any rider can become proficient at posting trot without trotting a horse, learn how to sit that canter without cantering the horse, or hell, how a human baby can learn to run without actually taking that first step of running.

                            One year in her barn and I got a horse back who is afraid to trot or canter. Sure, he excelled in leg yield, shoulder in, and haunches in - on the ground. It was another 10K, two other trainers, and two more years before all the bad training can be undone, and he finally realizes, "wow, it is actually OK for me to move out, and it is actually OK if my trot and canter is not perfect."

                            So after three years, 20K, of fiasco, I finally have a horse who has the balance that should have been achieved in the first year.

                            There is goal; and there is process. Don't mistake the end produce as the path to achieve the goal.
                            There are people who misunderstand, misinterpret, and misapply these methods no less than others. Reminder to all: If it's not working, don't do more of it, harder. Do something ELSE! (That about covers the $20K . . . ) BTW, did you check out that trainer's references, and ask ____if she really trained with her, just clinic'd, or was just name-dropping. There's one notorious asshat running around CT dropping all kinds of names who can't ride in a boxcar with the door shut; always check out what people are claiming, especially if you think it's full of holes! Caveat emptor!

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Yes. I know that trainer - I've known her for a while before I sent my boy there, and used to call her my friend. I met the clinician at her barn - even did one clinic with the clinician, some in hand work on my youngster while he was there. I have to admit, it was cool to be able to get my boy to leg yield, shoulder in, haunches in, even baby half pass on the ground. I don't believe those things were waste.

                              However, I almost cried when my boy came home, and I found him to have lost all the play and the fluidity in his gaits he used to exhibit as a baby (we bred him). He was depressed; he had that "noooo, I am not supposed to goooo" look on his face. This is a horse that gives his heart out, and he really learnt that when someone was on his back, he should stay at walk.

                              To give a perspective, when he came back and we sent him on to another trainer, she had to equip herself with a crop and a pair of spurs. Right now, after working with other trainers, and, my god, thanks to Sarah and Clayton Martin, I finally can get him to go into trot/canter with a slight shift of my weights alone. Three long years... His trot work has improved much; his canter still needs much work, but darn, at least he will go.

                              Anyway, I'm rambling. It is no one's fault other than hers and mine. She is a liar but I should not have eaten up all her BS. Funny I don't normally think of myself as a fool. My husband turned out to be a lot more astute than I was. sigh...
                              Last edited by Gloria; Sep. 5, 2012, 08:08 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                In the first video posted by Alicen, why do the riders' reins have to be so floppy and sloppy? It looks to me like in the effort to have lightness in the reins, the floppiness actually contributes to bumping the horse in the mouth every stride - so while the riders may not be pulling back per se, they don't look to be doing the horse any favors, either. To me those horses don't look happy and forward-thinking in their work.

                                I will say that reading this thread helps me understand a long-ago former barnmate - this was how he rode. Long, floppy reins, low-hanging bit, very loose or no noseband. I never understood what he was trying to achieve, as he never worked with any trainer. Perhaps he did do some reading and tried to figure it out on his own?

                                I'm very interested to understand if the floppy reins is de rigueur for this type of training? I didn't watch the whole video so maybe missed something. I'd be interested in seeing a video of a schooling session for one rider, showing a progression from start to finish with warmup, progression through the gaits, etc.
                                My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                                "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  "Floppy reins," "looped," whatever you want to call them is only a momentary thing, done to check that you truly have self-carriage and the horse is holding himself in collection--it's a test, a proof. It's also when people tend to snap the bragging-rights picture.

                                  With regard to the original video someone posted of J-C R's clinics, please note that these were clinic horses of the most ordinary kind--in some cases, having their very first experience. "Backyardigans" like you and me! When you watch Henriquet, you are watching one of the best in the world now living; obviously, there's a difference there . . . as well there should be!

                                  For those with a taste for biography, history, and more in-depth theory to get your teeth into on a dark and stormy night, here's Racinet's other most-indispensable book:

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Racinet-explai...m_cr_pr_sims_t

                                  He has several others; including one published posthumously.

                                  Good reading is also to be had in anything by General L'Hotte or General Decarpentry--if you can read it in the original French, so much the better; if not, just look at the photos, they say it all anyway. You will note that the horses are all TB's, and the good General is riding with what we nowadays think of as "jumping length" stirrups . . .

                                  Delighted to see that Hilda Nelson's "Baucher: The Man and His Method" is now quite the collector's piece--I'd better stop loaning THAT one out!

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by Mouse&Bay View Post
                                    Oh, I think its sinking in a little somewhere in that peanut brain of mine... the Henriquet videos are *stunning* and thank you for sharing. As I watched I thought of that clip of Uta Graf doing the piaffe in a hackamore that some had posted months ago. Would the people mentioned (Graf, Belasik, Henriquet) be the "modern" French people? Even though Graf is 'German' (or I always stuck her in the German box in my brain)?

                                    Where would the more mainstream types like Jane Savoie or Ingrid Klimke fall? I am beginning to sense a spectrum from the very light French school to the very "german(?! I might get in trouble for that one)" round and deep school. Do they interact and to what degree?
                                    I enjoyed Belasik's books greatly, and went to one of his clinics expecting to see some great stuff. Wow, what a disappointment! Trying to have one leg in each theoretical camp, he mostly got a lot of nothing done in an entire day of people pounding sand around and around an indoor--in one case, a poor girl on a TB near the end of her rope, almost in tears, couldn't put him on the bit AT ALL and was being hauled downhill through his transitions--Belasik did NOTHING to help her! I had to forcibly bite my lip and sit on my hands to keep from taking her out behind the barn and fixing it in about 30 seconds--the horse was all but crying out for her to get the hell off his mouth but P.B. was so busy hearing the sound of his own voice spouting The Zen of Physics that he ignored her. I was so pissed off and disillusioned . . .

                                    Which brings up another point. Until you're very expert with both methods, and I mean like a decade or more of experience on a lot of horses, don't try "cherry picking" methods and combining them. I suspect a lot of people do exactly that which messes up a lot of horses! Teach them one thing or the other, don't try to change it up. BTW, it is perfectly possible to ride "light" with lightly stretched reins. Been doing it my whole life!

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      The vid imho are not horses in self carriage but posed (artificially high with no clear next step). (And it was always a discussion when watch jrc). A horse MUST seek the connection with the hand, be able to follow it fdo when the jaw is mobilized. The flexions are progressive as well.

                                      That said, by changing balance, the horse which does not willingly 'go' (which is MANY horses de jour), using demi arrets can them put them literally and figuretively into a connection where they will CHOOSE it.
                                      I.D.E.A. yoda

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                                        Sounds like he's not understanding that an upward transition is what you want. I would work a lot on walk to halt, halt to walk, making sure you DO release when you want him to walk from the halt. He needs to know that hand means "whoa," legs mean "go." If I had him I'd work him with a little effet d'ensemble and counted walk to get him off his forehand first, but that's something you have to be taught, or at the very least digest Jean-Claude's book and then go experiment.
                                        Is this what you mean by effect d'enseble? "Baucher wished to "annul the instinctive forces" of the horse. To do so, he gradually applied both driving and restraining aids at the same time, until he was using a great deal of spur and hand, his theory being that they should cancel each other out and the horse should stand still. The horse is not allowed to escape the aids, and finally realizes that he is dominated, submits, and is "tamed". This technique was termed the effet d'ensemble."

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                                          I enjoyed Belasik's books greatly, and went to one of his clinics expecting to see some great stuff. Wow, what a disappointment! Trying to have one leg in each theoretical camp, he mostly got a lot of nothing done in an entire day of people pounding sand around and around an indoor--in one case, a poor girl on a TB near the end of her rope, almost in tears, couldn't put him on the bit AT ALL and was being hauled downhill through his transitions--Belasik did NOTHING to help her! I had to forcibly bite my lip and sit on my hands to keep from taking her out behind the barn and fixing it in about 30 seconds--the horse was all but crying out for her to get the hell off his mouth but P.B. was so busy hearing the sound of his own voice spouting The Zen of Physics that he ignored her. I was so pissed off and disillusioned . . .

                                          Which brings up another point. Until you're very expert with both methods, and I mean like a decade or more of experience on a lot of horses, don't try "cherry picking" methods and combining them. I suspect a lot of people do exactly that which messes up a lot of horses! Teach them one thing or the other, don't try to change it up. BTW, it is perfectly possible to ride "light" with lightly stretched reins. Been doing it my whole life!
                                          I'm sorry and quite shocked you had such a negative experience at a Paul clinic. I have had an entirely different experience and can honestly say the man changed my life.
                                          www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                          chaque pas est fait ensemble

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