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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • Posted by horsefairie:

    Well, several times when I offered horses I trained for sale or had riders and trainers come to try the, they could not ride them!

    I drape my leg. If you hop on and KICK you will meet some serious resistance. OR you will get the ride of your life. If you pull on their mouth and squeeze with the leg at the same time there is no telling what will happen. If you attempt to stop the horse with the reins, nothing will happen or tremendous collection depending. If you try to turn the horse with just the reins, the horse will continue straight ahead with his head turned.

    If you let me explain how to ride them a big smile will come across your face. Light, forward and pleasant!
    I have had several "I" judges comment on this sort of trained horse, and their view of this is that if your horse is so specialized that only you or some rider with you on the ground giving instructions to said 'lucky' rider, then this is not a very well-trained horse.

    A rider that hops on and kicks is not a well schooled rider.


    • One of the biggest problems with great riders and their abilty to communicate what they do to get there, it is so often lost when their students begin teaching their school.

      This is true of all the arts.


      Because the master's teach with full understanding, so when they use words, they often use them differently at different times and then fill things out for better understanding.

      Most students do not do very well trying to emulate their master's teaching method.

      That is also one of the reasons that the masters often recommend books other than their own. The same material said differently is so important to really understanding the basics. And the basics are the true foundation for great riding. The rest is basically conditioning.


      • French method clinics in the midwest?

        Just wondering if anyone knows of any being held near KC.

        An aside - de Kunffy got on my cross country TB mare many years ago & she changed biomechanics pretty quickly to become more supple. Have respect for his talent.


        • I have heard people say de Kunffy, "Rides like a monkey", which, after having that pointed out, I might say I can see what drew such a comment. He is not a big person at all; he is short and slight. He hops on an 18hh WB who is not paying attention to anything but what he wants .... de Kunffy is but a knat on the horse's back, not even noticed. De Kunffy, looking like a monkey, begins with sending the horse forward and leaning over the shoulder he says, "Hello", to the horse. Horse brings one ear back and says, "Oh", who are you?".

          He had that horse working nicely on the aids within maybe ten minutes all told. Then he quit and walked the horse out, telling him what a good boy he was.


          • Well, BP, I can say with all certainty that you have no idea what the horses I've trained are like.

            I could care less what your I judges say for a few reasons. #1 there is a conflict of interest for some judges that has NEVER been addressed in that they breed WBs and draft crosses and judge them as well. Hmmnn.

            I have seen some good judges in so far as the show they are judging was a success, score a horse that reared and balked in a movement with a 7. No one opens their mouth about this silliness. I do take note.

            If you have to refer to UNNAMED judges to make a point on this thread you are really reaching.

            I honestly have known dozens of judges over the years most of which do not follow the french school and many who know little or anything about it. Some of those put it down so I don't have much use for them.

            Now my students do quite well in the shows. We don't mention influenced by the french school on our entry form so year end awards etc are well within our grasp and have been. By your I judges description there are many international horses that would be improperly trained, uh, Totilas for one.

            I'd prefer some real discussion to your sniping. I don't think I know you so for Karma's sake why don't you snark at someone else.
            “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
            ? Albert Einstein


            • Jessica Ransehousen, Jergen Mainzer, Bengt Lundquist, Karl Mikolka, Fritz Weiss ...

              I think two are (rather, were) German, one Svede, one Austrian and I actually have no clue what Jessica is.

              Although I had shown under a few, it is against the rules to talk to the judges. Or at least it was.

              So, any conversation I had with these people was either from the back of my horse during a clinic or later when i got invited over to someone's house for dinner and conversation on theory.
              Last edited by BaroquePony; Oct. 26, 2012, 07:52 PM.


              • And you ask them this question all of the time? WHY would you do that? How many horses have YOU failed to ride that it is so important to you?

                I only asked it once because I can ride a horse trained in the German school or in Great Britain and trained by a number of BNT's. I wanted to know (about 30 years ago)why we had so few derbies. I think that is the correct term. That was the reason that I was given.

                However, some BNT's cannot ride a light horse that does not need pushing and pulling. That resists being held up. Just bad riding no particular school.

                My you get sidetracked easily.
                “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                ? Albert Einstein


                • horsefairie,

                  When Jergen Mainzer got on my thoroughbred I told him he wouldn't "need those spurs". They were blunt Prince of Wales spurs.


                  • Oh, and horsefairie, I didn't ASK them 'that question', I overheard them saying it to another rider about their horse. Have heard that said more often than one would think about various riders and their horses, most often riders who tend to tell everyone else how 'easy' things are.

                    When one is speaking of "Schools", they are speaking of very consistent programs and the learning and development processes follow a very specific trail (path ....), both in the types of horses used and the style and rythm of the training program.

                    Once one steps away from these well regemented programs things really begin to unravel very quickly.


                    • Why..

                      does everything have to turn into a one upsmanship contest on the Dressage Forum???
                      This thread has been so constructive.


                      • (BaroquePony, Jurgen Mainzer was my first dressage teacher in 62-66 (and I was his first student here!!! Miss him a lot!)

                        JR was mainly taught by a dane (for her first olympics...as were her horses) and later a german.

                        A good rider can get on horses from all the schools (french/german/scandanavian/portuguese/spanish/even western/ss/etc) and ride them...that said...all the schools used be in search of lightness and self carriage.
                        I.D.E.A. yoda


                        • Forgive me Sannois, some days I just can't ignore people who seem to stalk me with crap. I do not wish to say things are easy, but they are simple and often over thought and judged before anyone puts in the work to get there.

                          For that "sin" BP pounces on anything that she can. It is annoying. I do my best not to pounce on people but actual theories. And why. I have been doing this for more than fifty years and taking the work from the ODGs and applying it to training all manner of horses and riders.

                          THe horses have taught me what works for me and my students. If it didn't work I would discard it. Now others have gently assaulted me for not being quite the purist I used to be. Honestly? People have less time and seem to want to spend a few hours a week to learn something that I rode a minimum of 18 hours a weeks to learn. THen spent about 30 hours a week perfecting it. Yet, I know the horse decides how long it will take to learn something. I don't believe it can be rushed. Repetition with generosity and clarity works for me. My personality does well with that. Perhaps not for others. Most people I have taught are not looking for theory and don't want to know the difference between a flexion and bend. The horse knows more about it than they do.

                          I thought these threads were for theory not personal attacks. Time to use the ignore button.

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


                          • PS It is not against the rules to talk to the judge in any other country, and here is not either, but you either have to ask the TD first, or have the show finished. Imho it has more to do with all the disciplines that our national body handles vs one in other countries.
                            I.D.E.A. yoda


                            • A rider who follows a teachers method or technique with only become technologically as good as the teacher unless they learn to look through their own eyes, then they have a chance at becoming more than just a craftsman. Horses understand when you come from where the horse is at, because not every horse fits into a slot or a catagory, so neither a method or technique will work on every horse the same way. If a person continually looks through a beginners eyes and observes as much as they can, spending much time with the beasts and learning their language, coupled with as much exposure to the best teachers that they can afford, then they will get a better idea of what a horse is.........mentally and physically. Only then when they have gathered years of experience and observation can they begin to influence a horse in the way the horse will understand. Working with the horse in a clear and educated way and understanding the way an equine physically and mentally operates is the only real way of putting a horse at ease, 'they know when you know". Therefore the only real pathway to lightness is by garnering as much education as a person can take in, both from many mentors but mainly from the horse itself and that means hours upon hours just watching horses interact with eachother, being fully obsorbed in ones daily life surrounded by horses. Living in the moment but taking mental notes along the way to add to a persons overall knowledge.

                              I prefer the journey not of becoming just a craftsman but to becoming an artist, a trail less traveled, and for that, I know that I must get many nods, not from a trainer, but from the horse itself.


                              • One has to become a craftsman, technically proficient with control of their body/etc, before they can become an artist (although there are a handful of people who art artist because they are touched by God and are born with timing/feel). Reiner is an example of a rider who 'honed his craft' to a perfected level and eventually it transformed to artistic!
                                I.D.E.A. yoda


                                • Originally posted by re-runs View Post
                                  Therefore the only real pathway to lightness is by garnering as much education as a person can take in, both from many mentors but mainly from the horse itself and that means hours upon hours just watching horses interact with eachother, being fully obsorbed in ones daily life surrounded by horses. Living in the moment but taking mental notes along the way to add to a persons overall knowledge.
                                  I think true horseman have an 'inner eye' for not only how the horse behaves, reacts, responds, but also how it functions and moves. It wasn't really untill I became deaf that I realized how much I was missing 'feeling' wise in my personal approach to riding/training. Through that increasing silence I have found many deeper levels of conscious 'feeling' awareness. For me while one door is closing (ability to utilize mentorship) I am finding another door opening in 'awareness'. Im not a great rider/trainer or anything like that (and dont pretend to be)---but I can see where this life change has changed my perspective on what is real horsemanship. I am now mostly reliant on my little horse 'as teacher' and I feel like I am coming closer to becoming true "student of the horse" now than in the last 40 years or so.
                                  Redbud Ranch
                                  Check us out on FB


                                  • Another quote from Nuno O " It is necessary to have great skill in order to arrive at the equestrian plateau. However, if tact is lacking, all the skills in the world are useless." So true.....
                                    Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


                                    • Originally posted by Baseerat
                                      This is very interesting to read this. I often ride with earplugs so I can tune into the horse better. I had the idea to do this because I am horrible at receiving instruction. I tend to 'listen' to the words someone is instructing me to do, and tune out the horse. When I'm 'listening' the the horse, I often get inspired by the intuitive correct riding I accomplish.

                                      I usually have lousy rides with my instructor because I am straining so hard to hear/apply what she is saying....I think this is probably a huge issue for a lot of people---trying to think fast and make changes on the fly and still harmonize with the horse. My pony is also virtually sound proof---he is almost non-reactive to most loud sound stimulus--I do not react, so neither does he. Today for example when I was riding out my daughters 27yo pony shot out from under her when someone began shooting off rounds----my pony never flinched at the noise, but did become startled by my daughters pony when he shot forward. I do find its a test of trust issue at times. I also suspect if I were to ignore all visual stimulus (outside influences ect) he would spend far less time finding trolls in the bushes. Im told (but not truly tested) that closing your eyes can also increase body awareness---and it is true what the say about losing one sense causing a corresponding increase the acuity of another.
                                      Redbud Ranch
                                      Check us out on FB


                                      • " I also suspect if I were to ignore all visual stimulus (outside influences ect) he would spend far less time finding trolls in the bushes. Im told (but not truly tested) that closing your eyes can also increase body awareness---and it is true what the say about losing one sense causing a corresponding increase the acuity of another."

                                        Keep in mind that the horse always knows where our focus is and gets lost when we do not have a place in mind to go, in other words, if our eyes are not out ahead of us giving direction. Horses are very aware of where we are intending to go, and sometimes spook or take over when there is not a map with directions for them to follow, an open space (created by the riders focus) out ahead of them. The way to instill confidence is to give a horse a place to go. I agree though, that on a trusty campaigner, it is great practice to shut your eyes so as to feel more acutely the movement of the horse. Horses LIVE by their rhythm and their play with gravity, which transfers to balance, so should the rider. An awareness of the rhythm will tell a rider when to do what to help the horse adjust it`s balance and not hinder the horse, which encourages trust; for a herd of horses always tries to move as a unit for protection. Horse and rider as one.....and isn`t that every riders goal?


                                        • GP - do you use two way radio when you have a lessons ? i am not sure how much hearing loss you have, but that might be a big help?