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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by re-runs View Post
    Horses live by movement. We are still learning how important that is to a horse, physically and mentally (also sociaily, for horses are herd animals and are troubled when they cannot satisfy that need). I think in this way, we are doing better at understanding........do we follow the advice? We now have to contend with lack of space like never before. There was a time when horses were kept predominately on large open pastures, period. Now they are kept in turn out paddocks at best and that is called "living outside 24/7". It ain`t the same as being in a herd, running up and down hills and eating a natural diet.

    I do not want to get off the subject and go down a tangent but, I DO have to say that after studying barefoot trimming with some very respected professionals at the front........I now look at a horses feet as four little hearts, that with every step, pump blood all through the horses body and that it is ESSENTIAL for good health, the way the Creator/nature/evolution designed them, they need to MOVE. Movement is why horses will change their minds about who is moving them and the mental changes and thus physical changes that happen when horses are allowed to move certain ways such as untracking the hindquarters and shoulder in. It is how they are wired.

    You just cannot keep horses like lab rats and expect them to stay sane and thus healthy. Each and every person who touches that horse should have a knowledge of a horses physiology and what is important holistically to answer the needs of that species in order to keep it healthy. Instead we approach horsemanship in the opposite way........we buy a horse and then hire someone to do our thinking for us. I read an excellent quote the other day, it something along the lines of "Instead of spending $ 3,500 on the purchase of a horse and $ 500 learning how to ride it, perhaps it should be just the opposite, ..........it would be better to spend a few bucks on a horse and the majority of the expense learning about it." Which has pretty much been my motto, all of my life. I have always had cheap horses, even competed and done quite well on them (mostly OTTBs) and I have spent heaps of years and invested even more piles of money learning about them but..........THAT is what I have horses for........they facinate me!
    I agree with everything you said here, 150%, and am coming to realize from reading COTH how very fortunate I am that all my horses, both in work and retired, do indeed live out and run up and down rolling green hills in a herd, barefoot. My place is where a lot of vets send them when they've thrown in the towel--and a surprising percentage of them come back 100% to the work they were doing before. "Dr. Green" is still the HORSE'S "drug of choice." But you need open space, time and patience.

    At this time I'd like to ask everyone please to return the focus of this thread to the French School training methods; if your horse has physical problems, there are infinite numbers of threads that address those questions over in "Horse Care." It goes without saying that some problems derail training; but that's not what we're talking about here. S'il vous plait!

    Comment


    • NSH, My guess would be that the work gave his body new options and they gave him more room to reach underneath your center of gravity so he may be hitting.

      You may need to change how you are trimming or shoeing.

      Do you have some good eyes on the ground to help? SOmeone who can ride him so You can see?
      “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
      ? Albert Einstein

      Comment


      • He has never forged before and it wasn't until I unlocked his jaw that he started forging. I wasn't sure if the unlocking actually unlocked his back/hips, etc., that then allowed him greater reach under neath. I was really wanted to know if anyone else had experienced such a result. Is this a good result or does it mean that I did not excute the Flexing of the jaw correctly? Your giving guidance on this thread, so give me so guidance, give your experience, don't dismiss my question to another thread.

        If the softing of the jaw resulted in a more supple back and therefore more reach, then I might have to have my farrier watch me ride and see if we need to make a change.

        my horses are out everyday and on hills. I also cross train doing hill work.

        I don't understand the two posts following my initial one. I followed the advise given and I reported my results. Now apparently it's physical!!!!

        Comment


        • Forging is considered a fault in dressage--a Rhythm error caused by the horse rushing onto the forehand usually in tension . In this type of rhythm error the front leg is so overburdened that it cannot leave the ground and move out of the way of the hind leg. The toe of the hind leg then touches the heel or the sole of the front leg on the same side. In other words, forging is always an indication of a loss of rhythm and balance.To restore rhythm/balance you either need to quicken the front or slow down the hind legs--Usually its the later.
          Redbud Ranch
          Check us out on FB

          Comment


          • Goodpony, in all fairness, a horse being introduced into a different sort of work doesn't mean they are forging due to the reasons you gave.

            I have gotten horses in who have been held and pushed and when you set them to go forward and ask for self carriage they can begin to forge until they figure it out.

            Also a farrier can shoe based on what is going on when they arrive or what has developed over time. When you have a change, which this reads, the horse doesn't go instantly into perfection.
            “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
            ? Albert Einstein

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by nsh View Post
              He has never forged before and it wasn't until I unlocked his jaw that he started forging. I wasn't sure if the unlocking actually unlocked his back/hips, etc., that then allowed him greater reach under neath. I was really wanted to know if anyone else had experienced such a result. Is this a good result or does it mean that I did not excute the Flexing of the jaw correctly? Your giving guidance on this thread, so give me so guidance, give your experience, don't dismiss my question to another thread.

              If the softing of the jaw resulted in a more supple back and therefore more reach, then I might have to have my farrier watch me ride and see if we need to make a change.

              my horses are out everyday and on hills. I also cross train doing hill work.

              I don't understand the two posts following my initial one. I followed the advise given and I reported my results. Now apparently it's physical!!!!
              Sounds to me like he's suddenly started tracking up! And not being used to that, the breakover of his front feet isn't happening quite quick enough. Try lifting his withers a bit which should encourage him to get his front end out of the way; he should work it out himself shortly, but at your next shoeing ask your farrier to roll his front toes and shoe him a little behind the toe behind!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by goodpony View Post
                Forging is considered a fault in dressage--a Rhythm error caused by the horse rushing onto the forehand usually in tension . In this type of rhythm error the front leg is so overburdened that it cannot leave the ground and move out of the way of the hind leg. The toe of the hind leg then touches the heel or the sole of the front leg on the same side. In other words, forging is always an indication of a loss of rhythm and balance.To restore rhythm/balance you either need to quicken the front or slow down the hind legs--Usually its the later.
                Wot? "Always?" Lots, many, TONS of times it's a shoeing problem! In this case though, I think the horse may indeed be making the said "rhythm error" because having unlocked various parts of his top line, he is suddenly able to travel farther with his hind feet, IOW track up more. Make sure you ride at a good, marching, 4-beat walk and unless it IS shoeing his problem will work itself out soon.

                Comment


                • "At this time I'd like to ask everyone please to return the focus of this thread to the French School training methods; if your horse has physical problems, there are infinite numbers of threads that address those questions over in "Horse Care." It goes without saying that some problems derail training; but that's not what we're talking about here. S'il vous plait!"

                  Ok, getting back to my comment above on "movement" which can easily segway back into our discussion on the French School because the French say "balance before movement" but what if now we learn that movement is essential for the whole french package, especially the flexions, to work more completely in helping the horse "let go"? I agree that the old school is better because people lived by the horse for daily function so people lived closer to the horse but, we have now the advantage of scientific study which can contribute to the whole picture and explain "why" things work.

                  Would it be a terrible thing to expand on what Baucher knew and what JCR tried to learn through his vet friend, Dr. Giniaux ? I don`t think JCR thought that horsemanship ended with either of them. Like all good horsemen, they were still searching and like Tom Dorrance used to say, "it takes more than one lifetime."

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by nsh View Post

                    I don't understand the two posts following my initial one. I followed the advise given and I reported my results. Now apparently it's physical!!!!
                    nsh, the two posts after yours didn't have anything to do with your post. They were involved in a separate conversation.

                    I don't know the answer to your question, but do wonder where he is in the shoeing cycle. Was he recently done? Or is he due soon and perhaps his toes are a bit long?

                    Comment


                    • more likely the rider is blocking with the hand thereby slowing the front/creating tension/forcing the horse onto the forehand--- leading to a horse forging that has never forged before. Would this not also be a rider error--failure to separate/release the aides? So lets roll his toes rather than address the underlying balance issue---you have really got to be joking.
                      Redbud Ranch
                      Check us out on FB

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by re-runs View Post
                        "At this time I'd like to ask everyone please to return the focus of this thread to the French School training methods; if your horse has physical problems, there are infinite numbers of threads that address those questions over in "Horse Care." It goes without saying that some problems derail training; but that's not what we're talking about here. S'il vous plait!"

                        Ok, getting back to my comment above on "movement" which can easily segway back into our discussion on the French School because the French say "balance before movement" but what if now we learn that movement is essential for the whole french package, especially the flexions, to work more completely in helping the horse "let go"? I agree that the old school is better because people lived by the horse for daily function so people lived closer to the horse but, we have now the advantage of scientific study which can contribute to the whole picture and explain "why" things work.

                        Would it be a terrible thing to expand on what Baucher knew and what JCR tried to learn through his vet friend, Dr. Giniaux ? I don`t think JCR thought that horsemanship ended with either of them. Like all good horsemen, they were still searching and like Tom Dorrance used to say, "it takes more than one lifetime."

                        That would be very interesting!

                        Comment


                        • Exactly right...

                          Originally posted by mbm View Post
                          fwiw, i think that there are instances of the various issues in horses ... but NOT the endless numbers that people nowadays seem to think....

                          what works for the majority of horses and what has worked for ages is correct feeding/training/riding..... the problem is that people nowadays want instant results... and i guess they cant stand the idea that *maybe* it is them... so instead of looking to themselves they get a new saddle/the chiro/smarpaks/etc etc etc...

                          all of this is just nonsense for the MAJORITY of cases. get a real pro in the saddle and most of the issues melt away.

                          i guess as someone who is anti marketing i just dont buy into all the current fads for the quick cure....

                          i also believe in the tincture of time.
                          The same with people. They have a pill or something that will fix it for them.
                          I am 100 percent in agreement with your last line.
                          And being a total minimalist myself I do not hold to the fads and instant quick fixes.
                          I have used a chiro for a tb who was seriously messed up, but not one time, over the course of a year. And it changed his life.
                          I have never been a supplement junkie. The last barn I was at there were people who had ridden maybe 2 years bought a horse first time and drove the barn owner crazy with concoctions and additives and constantly changing their horses diets. NEver took any lessons and always blamed the riding problems on the horses diet.
                          Oh and yes greyarabpony is correct..back to your regularly scheduled thread!

                          Comment


                          • Sorry if my question derailed the thread!!! My mare is barefoot, her stall door is open to a 40x40 paddock 24/7 since there isn't tons of turnout at the farm. I spend tons of time on the ground with her (since she was 2) and I know when she is going into heat before she does. I asked the question because using the flexions and riding her (to the best of my knowledge) in this different fashion, she relaxes mentally and physically before the end of the ride (during her heat). I was just wondering if there was more I could do for her to help her. Again, I apologize if the question was misunderstood.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by nsh View Post
                              He has never forged before and it wasn't until I unlocked his jaw that he started forging. I wasn't sure if the unlocking actually unlocked his back/hips, etc., that then allowed him greater reach under neath. I was really wanted to know if anyone else had experienced such a result. Is this a good result or does it mean that I did not excute the Flexing of the jaw correctly? Your giving guidance on this thread, so give me so guidance, give your experience, don't dismiss my question to another thread.

                              If the softing of the jaw resulted in a more supple back and therefore more reach, then I might have to have my farrier watch me ride and see if we need to make a change.

                              my horses are out everyday and on hills. I also cross train doing hill work.

                              I don't understand the two posts following my initial one. I followed the advise given and I reported my results. Now apparently it's physical!!!!
                              so have you put him on the lunge and watched what he is doing?

                              Generally i will say that GoodPony is right - forging is usually that a horse is running and on the forehand....

                              so i would want to see what is happening - you may just need to Half halt more to get a bit more weight behind.....

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by re-runs View Post
                                "At this time I'd like to ask everyone please to return the focus of this thread to the French School training methods; if your horse has physical problems, there are infinite numbers of threads that address those questions over in "Horse Care." It goes without saying that some problems derail training; but that's not what we're talking about here. S'il vous plait!"

                                Ok, getting back to my comment above on "movement" which can easily segway back into our discussion on the French School because the French say "balance before movement" but what if now we learn that movement is essential for the whole french package, especially the flexions, to work more completely in helping the horse "let go"? I agree that the old school is better because people lived by the horse for daily function so people lived closer to the horse but, we have now the advantage of scientific study which can contribute to the whole picture and explain "why" things work.

                                Would it be a terrible thing to expand on what Baucher knew and what JCR tried to learn through his vet friend, Dr. Giniaux ? I don`t think JCR thought that horsemanship ended with either of them. Like all good horsemen, they were still searching and like Tom Dorrance used to say, "it takes more than one lifetime."
                                Well, they WERE searching, it DOES take more than one lifetime, and they may well have BEEN onto something. I read the book, watched JCR do many manipulations, and as I said elsewhere I saw some effects both positive and negative.

                                I stopped short of trying to do the manipulations myself, as I felt I didn't know enough and had no interest in taking up osteopathy as a trade. I think the Natural Horsemanship people who speak of "braces" are onto the exact same thing; JCR called them "contractions" or "blockings." Whether these are actually phenomena of force, mass, mental resistance or simply spasms would have to be addressed by a veterinary osteopath or chiropractor at the very least; I do believe the flexions can and do release such.

                                One aside; I HAVE seen people overdo it with flexing and make a horse into a behind-the-bit rubberneck. This CAN and DOES happen when people do too much, or incorrectly,
                                or have not been properly taught. It is the primary problem people had then and now with Baucher's "First Manner."

                                However, I have NEVER, not even ONCE, not EVER heard of anyone getting in any kind of training trouble whatsoever using the "Second Manner," the one taught be JCR: Hands without legs, legs without hands, separation and moderation of the aids and optimization of orders. You can ONLY improve any horse's way of going using this!

                                Comment


                                • Thank you for the very good posts. I had someone watch me today and I believe those who said he was running were correct. When I unlocked him, I also stopped allowing him to hang on my hands. My thinking was.... what's the point of unlocking him if I then still allow the cause. So today instead of going to my hands when he wouldn't listen to my HH, I put him into a shoulder-in and asked for more engagement with his hind end. I'm very happy to say I had the best shoulder in I have ever felt. When he couldn't lean on my hands, I all of a sudden felt him rebalance himself with weight on his hind end. It took him 3/4 of the long side to figure it out, but once he did, it was heaven. The person watching me couldn't believe the change. I could tell it clicked.... no pun intended. He was butter and my abs hurt.

                                  I didn't hear the forging at the trot and only a couple times at the walk. I find the Action of flexing and the Reaction of the horse very interesting. I never would have thought such a simple exercise could release a horse in such a manner. I also find in interesting the effect it had on me, making me ride with my core, seat, and maintaining my own balance. It was very hard for me NOT to go to my hands and I could tell by his rushing he really wanted me to hold him.

                                  Comment


                                  • Very well done NSH. Nice report.
                                    Redbud Ranch
                                    Check us out on FB

                                    Comment


                                    • So here is a question for the French folks..... the release that you get when doing flexions, is that the same kind of release you get from asking the horse to cross their hinds (ie leg yield) and/or connect themselves?

                                      for example: when we ask for the horse to step over and across we get (if we did it right) immediate "yes" response -> release of the neck/chewing/ relaxation of the poll/jaw/etc.... is is one of the most important things to teach a horse when they are just getting started.

                                      once the horse learns this then you teach them to connect themselves, chew, release, etc when you use your inside leg.

                                      so.... is the french release the same as what i am describing?

                                      Comment


                                      • Guess that depends upon whose work you follow as french or bsm or bfm. The release for the first action (lifting the bit in the mouth/staying high/light/etc) and the second (mm of lateral flexion) is mobilization of the jaw. With a third action it is greater lateral flexibility (greater degree at atlas/axis) it is chewing as well. All can go into fdo actions, but very slowly and always fdo (but usually to horizontal).
                                        I.D.E.A. yoda

                                        Comment


                                        • So glad you asked.

                                          "So here is a question for the French folks..... the release that you get when doing flexions, is that the same kind of release you get from asking the horse to cross their hinds (ie leg yield) and/or connect themselves?

                                          for example: when we ask for the horse to step over and across we get (if we did it right) immediate "yes" response -> release of the neck/chewing/ relaxation of the poll/jaw/etc.... is is one of the most important things to teach a horse when they are just getting started.

                                          once the horse learns this then you teach them to connect themselves, chew, release, etc when you use your inside leg."

                                          What comes from the Vaquero tradition and Tom Dorrance`s teaching with his inspiration from Baucher and Beudant is.......in the groundwork, when we ask the hindquarters to untrack......the horse finds his own release when he straightens out. Physically, the true release is in the ribcage while stepping across, which in turn is a release to the poll and thus the jaw (explaining just in mechanical terms, which I do not like to do........you are addressing the whole topline, not just the head). The chewing you will see, even while IN A HALTER is a MENTAL release of tension. The fact that the horse will lick and chew without anything in it`s mouth shows that this kind of a release is much more complete than just manipulations of the bit.(It is said that the horse is digesting a thought) Since what a person really wants to do is address and communicate with the horse mentally, and of course ALL resistances (braces/blocking) start in the horses mind, THIS is the place to help the horse make the change. Yes, manipulations such as the flexion do have a "let go" reaction but when asking the horse to step over, and the horse finds it`s own release, the horse has learned something .....it found it`s own way out and it not only gives the horse confidence but it is a whole body release, as Tom would say.....".ALL the WAY down to the FEET."

                                          "From the feet to the mind, from the mind to the feet." = THROUGHNESS.

                                          Now......a word of caution, what you release for, is what the horse learns to do. IF you somehow end up where the horse is releasing longitudinally, then that is what you will get first and what we are really looking for is a release LATERALLY (so there are a couple of details one needs to look out for (feel for and develope their timing). If you let the horse first release longitudinally, then that is where you run into problems where the horse later overbends, later might learn to get behind the bit, bends in the third vertabrae.

                                          So we get back to which is better?............

                                          Balance before movement? (French school) mechanical and somewhat mental.
                                          Addressing the horse through the flexions with the knowledge that through the PHYSICAL manipulations of the jaw and poll the horse lets go somewhat.

                                          Movement before balance? (German School)
                                          Addresses the horse physically but somewhat mentally through the knowledge of the horse`s biological need to move in order to relax and let go.

                                          Balance and movement together? (Vaquero tradition as taught by the Dorrances and Ray Hunt)
                                          Communicates with the horse through small MENTAL exercises that if done correctly, appeals to the horse because it works with the horse biologically as a species in the capacity of self awareness, both horse and person meet in the middle to establish a lasting mental impression of what each of their roles will be to one another. By leveling the field, with a mental exercise of understanding, each gains confidence in the other.

                                          Comment

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