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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • This is fat boys neck (before)

    I am not unhappy with his neck shape at all--I tend to think something is 'unstuffing him'--just thought it fascinating since its only been a couple days I will have to take another look perhaps even try to take a picture.
    Redbud Ranch
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    • Dr. Ritter's blog is amazing.

      I followed his advice with warming up and it made a huge difference to how my horse went. In as little as one ride. Like many folk, I've been warming up at a trot, spending about ten to fifteen minutes on a loose rein and sending the horse forward and then slowly taking up contact and asking for more flexion and then collection. I've been doing it this way for years on this horse. It seems to take ages to get the horse swinging through her back and me warmed up and loose enough to ride her mahoosive trot and not cause her to drop behind the leg by being stiff and bracey. She doesn't work harder than she has to, and if she has to fight a stiff rider, she just doesn't go forward so its important to be loose and supple yourself.

      So I followed Dr. Ritter's advice of warming up the horse in the walk, pushing the walk forward, doing lots of suppling exercises in the walk, and when the walk is decent, asking for canter. She really loosens up in canter. Then, as Dr. Ritter suggested, I asked for a trot, and a more collected one at that. There it was. No stiffness. No arguments about moving off the leg. She just gave it to me, like she had been waiting for me to learn how to warm her up properly for years and said, "Finally! You got it!"
      Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

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      • 10-15 minutes is needed to warm up (in walk) because (studies have been done which show)it takes that long to warm up the synovial fluid to lubricate the joints (in europe some barns put the horses on a (loose) walker for 30 minutes before saddling. But that time also allows riders to become loose.

        Be VERY carful about 'pushing the walk'. Active is great, over tempo IS what causes the gait to become apparently lateral. LATERAL suppling exercises (circles/voltes/actual lateral work) is the basis for longitudinal flexion as well.

        "...... like she had been waiting for me to learn how to warm her up properly for years and said, "Finally! You got it!" " LOL, it is indeed the rider is usually the one who has to change, the horses are merely a reflection of us.
        I.D.E.A. yoda

        Comment


        • Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
          10-15 minutes is needed to warm up (in walk) because (studies have been done which show)it takes that long to warm up the synovial fluid to lubricate the joints (in europe some barns put the horses on a (loose) walker for 30 minutes before saddling. But that time also allows riders to become loose.

          Be VERY carful about 'pushing the walk'. Active is great, over tempo IS what causes the gait to become apparently lateral. LATERAL suppling exercises (circles/voltes/actual lateral work) is the basis for longitudinal flexion as well.

          "...... like she had been waiting for me to learn how to warm her up properly for years and said, "Finally! You got it!" " LOL, it is indeed the rider is usually the one who has to change, the horses are merely a reflection of us.
          Indeed! With me its deep stretching before I leave for the barn for 20 mins. Then at the barn with my horse its a warmup of lots of walking and some relaxed trotting out in a field, while I warm my self up with little neck stretches, arms, circling ankles etc... A canter or 2 and after about 30 mins we're ready. This is my horse - every horse is obviously different and the warmups can be tailored to each individual. For example if you have a hill nearby you can get a great pushing walk up and a nice balanced walk down, a little canter on the way to the arena and that may be all you need for a good warmup. The back releases tension and your horse gives you schwung.

          Comment


          • It has always seemed to me that the canter really loosens up the back for better trot work than just trotting - anyone know why that is, biomechanically speaking?
            "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
              It has always seemed to me that the canter really loosens up the back for better trot work than just trotting - anyone know why that is, biomechanically speaking?
              I believe it has to do with it being the gait in which the long back muscles are almost completely stretched and then relaxed. At the walk and trot these muscles contract unilaterally in conjunction with the hind leg on each side.
              Redbud Ranch
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              • O.K. Iv'e finally had a good long look at my guys upper neck-wither connection. He is ahem* just a bit fluffy at the moment (getting ready to be clipped this weekend). Anyhow it became very apparent while giving him his bath after my ride today that its not that the area between the neck and wither isn't narrower---its more defined--in other words the connection there is smoother and the wither is higher/more well defined---which is a blazing miracle since he wasn't born that way. This has actually been a recent development which I first noticed a week or so ago when I thought to measure him with a stick---he now stands one inch higher in front than behind when his posture is alert but relaxed. It makes since though because he was late maturing--more so than some of his sisters/brothers. He is also technically only been under saddle just now a little over two years--so in many ways he is ready for this. Still I can't help but wonder if isn't isn't the increase in back activity that is having this effect--perhaps we have even achieved 'horizontal balance' bordering on the beginnings of collection.

                I do feel like a kid in the candy store as it would seem in just a few short days he is has become much more consistently mobile in his jaw- poll-neck-spine. He is a smart little bugger though because before I even put the bridle on today he snorted about five times and began to lick and chew--it was kinda dramatic. In my ride today he was much more consistently into both reins and the place he was offering me to sit was really a gift-- I could really feel that wither rising up and the connection was lively but soft/light.
                Redbud Ranch
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                • Well, how is everyone doing?

                  I am a bit under the weather in more ways than one.

                  Sadly, the weather is much better than I am!
                  “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                  ? Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • Interesting on the blowing/snuffling. I found Walter Zettl's "Dressage in Harmony" on clearance at a tack store recently. At $8 I couldn't say no.

                    Mr. Zettl says (page 35 for those who wish to follow along):

                    "It is a good sign when the horse 'high blows' with every stride of the canter. This is a fairly loud snuffling noise the horse makes through his nostrils with each exhale and is together with every stride. It means the horse has relaxed completely. My teacher always said that we should praise the horse immediately so the horse will know that the rider wants him to feel good. When the horse does this during a dressage test, the judge should be impressed with the horse's relaxation and confidence. Now you can be softer in the rein contact. Don't miss the moment when the horse gives in; then the rider should give, too."

                    Good riding is good riding.

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                    • Can someone post a link to the Workshop page? I did a search and I can't seem to locate it.

                      Great thread......I'm still only 12 pages into it lol

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by KurPlexed View Post
                        Can someone post a link to the Workshop page? I did a search and I can't seem to locate it.

                        Great thread......I'm still only 12 pages into it lol
                        Here you go:
                        http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=368038

                        Comment


                        • I just want to say, without getting into a lot of boring details , that information in this thread has actually helped me immensely in my rides this week.

                          <- Me after my rides this week

                          Comment


                          • Just got


























                            Just got "Another Horsemanship", savoring each page. This thread has been amazing, please keep it going.














                            '

                            Comment


                            • At the risk of being boring I did want to mention something else--after a week of follow through (standing flexions, suppling excersizes, stepping over ect.) I noticed that my pony is not only more elastic in the connection, he spends more time being through and is much easier to get and keep on the outside rein. I also noticed he is spending considerably more time standing square-standing on all four legs (and not sprawled out as has always been his way--sometimes at disturbing angles). I noticed this effect both on the cross ties and out in the paddock. I also noticed that the slight filling he would sometimes get after a hard work has disappeared (his legs are tighter)---and he has worked hard all week on hard footing. I took some video of us---and the last thing I noticed was his sometimes "S" shaped tail (he carries his tail like this in the paddock too) seemed noticeably straighter and he seems to visible 'swing' more through the haunches. His tail swings like a pendulum in the video. I may have to order the book but am waiting for another to arrive.
                              Redbud Ranch
                              Check us out on FB

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                              • Thanks for the link. I too am having a lot of success with the little I know of this system. It's totally reinventing the way I have looked at contact/softness/forwardness/throughness and collection.

                                I've only been experimenting for a few days but the change is pretty remarkable. I had a lesson today and discussed with my trainer. I never mentioned the word "french". I simply discussed where I felt my issues were and how they effected the horse and I went on to explain what I had been doing for the last few rides. She was in complete agreement and liked what she saw during our lesson. It's not perfect but it's much improved from the balking and baby rears I was getting. It's almost like me setting my horse up in a way that he's able to actually use his body from behind without restricting him and at the same time guiding him into a contact that just more effective than what I was trying to accomplish. A connection which allows us to have a constant conversation.

                                I'm excited to go out and ride everyday and continue the dialog.

                                ETA: Goodpony: I've noticed the same thing with the standing square. Very interesting.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by KurPlexed View Post
                                  ETA: Goodpony: I've noticed the same thing with the standing square. Very interesting.
                                  cool!
                                  Redbud Ranch
                                  Check us out on FB

                                  Comment


                                  • "S" shaped tail means tension. A good colt starter will not get on a colt until that "S" shape is gone, especially if the bottom part is pointed. There really is something to a horse having a "swinging tail" and the saying that an animal having a "kink in it`s tail" means trouble.

                                    Comment


                                    • he has always done it since long before he was started--he curls his tail bone when you scratch his butt cheeks and in the paddock when showing off. I accept it as a part of who he is--though I DO agree it can show tension or crookedness (in his case I believe its more a demonstration of crooked than the tension--especially since he is high blowing and showing other signs of relaxation in his current work). Which is why I thought it really cool to see his tail swing so freely. For the most part its not "S" shaped under saddle--but can be more "C"- cocked off to one side when he is crooked. We are only just beginning to work on 'real' straightening. I think that is why I noticed it in the video---it was swinging in a larger freer arch than I have ever seen any horse---and I have 8 horses of my own!
                                      Redbud Ranch
                                      Check us out on FB

                                      Comment


                                      • What is an 's' shaped tail? Is it side-to-side or front-to-back?
                                        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                                        Comment


                                        • When I scratch his butt cheeks his tail bone shortens/kinks in a "S" shape from side to side--its not clamped down-again he has always done this since he was a tiny foal--his half sister does something similar but she is not started and wont begin work till next year. His tail has more mobility than I think is "the norm"--Ive owned lots of horses and his seems kinda unique. Its not over his back or anything like that.

                                          here is video of him last week: https://www.facebook.com/video/video...=4339666642816
                                          Last edited by goodpony; Oct. 22, 2012, 07:13 PM.
                                          Redbud Ranch
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