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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • Originally posted by re-runs View Post
    " 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?
    This is what I am just beginning to understand now and it has increased the level of trust/harmony in our partnership. It is very much about 'not hindering' the horse in a thousand different ways. What I mainly see happening is his increased desire to work and work well---working as one!

    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?
    Yes, I have one. Its not the sound so much as being able to discern what is said--my hearing sucks. I only have one working ear and human hearing wasnt meant to be that way. The ear that works doesnt work so hot anymore either---I do ok in direct conversation but thats is about it. What I need is a bluetooth device rather than FM system. I am ok with it--like I said, while I see one door closing another is opening---or at least this is what I tell myself. I feel lucky we made it this far as my boy has mastered all of the basic movements he will ever need so we will continue to make progress---as a matter of gaining strength and refining skills.
    Redbud Ranch
    Check us out on FB

    Comment


    • Originally posted by goodpony View Post
      It is very much about 'not hindering' the horse in a thousand different ways. What I mainly see happening is his increased desire to work and work well---working as one!
      And that took you how many years with your pony again??

      After my lesson yesterday I realized this is my big challenge with Flora. "Training" her is the easy part. She learned her leads in one day, leg yields in one day. She learns everything fast and easily. But her general nature is not to be a partner, but to be a leader. I obviously have something I need to learn in life and that's why she came into my life, but learning it is going to take a lot longer than I expected!
      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
        And that took you how many years with your pony again??

        After my lesson yesterday I realized this is my big challenge with Flora. "Training" her is the easy part. She learned her leads in one day, leg yields in one day. She learns everything fast and easily. But her general nature is not to be a partner, but to be a leader. I obviously have something I need to learn in life and that's why she came into my life, but learning it is going to take a lot longer than I expected!
        Well, he was born here--so if you count from day one---about 7 years He has been under saddle technically about 2 1/2 years. I think they are all different and develop at different rates---he was truly a late bloomer physically and mentally (had the attention span of a flea)---its only just recently things have really started to come together.
        Redbud Ranch
        Check us out on FB

        Comment


        • Originally posted by re-runs View Post
          " 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?
          Yes this^^
          I keep this rhythm through the spooks or his losses of focus with my young one. To do this, I hum a song that matches his cadence at the trot or canter. Even during a lesson this humming helps me keep a consistency and "feel" through the mouvements. If I am totally not getting a mouvement at the trot or walk I'll briefly close my eyes. This really helps in my decontracting my body and feeling through the problem.

          Comment


          • If I'm working my mare in hand or on the longe, I've found I learn more if the light is really low. If I'm there alone with her, I don't usually turn on the arena lights. The near darkness sharpens my senses of hearing and touch. I can hear when the cadence is even and footfalls become softer as she comes into balance.

            For whatever reason, I tend to lose my balance when I close my eyes. But very low light accents other parts of our work. My touch is softer and more consistent.

            Comment


            • I totally agree with the use of the Hearing sense for you. When I can hear the footfalls as I'm lunging or working in-hand AND when I can hear his regular breaths at each gait - walk, trot or canter I get a real sense of his relaxation during the work.

              Comment


              • There is a big difference between the "I" (International) judges of the old days and their replacement equivalent, the "S" judges of today.

                The old "I" judges were almost all military men, not by intention, just that most of the well-established methods of riding were founded in the military. The requirements for getting the "I" judges card included *integrity* as a very important aspect of judging in an effort to keep a true understanding of correct training alive.

                I think that the integrity aspect has been lost to some extent, if not a large extent. The military disciplne and the consistency of training methods seem to be getting lost.

                Those schools expected, and demanded, that riders learn to ride properly before they begin teaching the horse. Properly entails the development of the Independent Seat. The seat must be developed and then the hands have a foundation to work from where they can be used indepoendently of the seat.

                One has to have this in order to shoot a gun from the back of a horse and actually hit the target. That means that many, many people have learned to ride with an independent seat. Yes, some may be more refined or talented naturally, but lots of not so naturally talented poeple have actually developed a fairly correct seat.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                  There is a big difference between the "I" (International) judges of the old days and their replacement equivalent, the "S" judges of today.
                  I have found the"O", "I" and "S" judges to be quite good---its the "L", "R, and 'r' judges that I tend to stay away from. Its also the reason I dont do many schooling shows--because its mainly "r"s judging. In other words the higher the designation/recording--IME--the better the judging.
                  Redbud Ranch
                  Check us out on FB

                  Comment


                  • Just admiring the photo collage of the Nicole Weinauge
                    clinic in Pennsylvania this past Sept. Link is from youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymv2I...layer_embedded


                    It looks like she has one western rider - horse starts out in a western curb bit. Towards the end of the collage horse is wearing a double bridle. Perhaps she found it easier to do the ground work and or flexions in a double ? Or simply to ride the horse in a double was better? ... Thats my guess anyway.

                    I have never practised dressage in just a curb. Its has always been either a snaffle or eventually a double bridle. In Spain and Portugal amongst the Doma Vaquera and the Rejoneador riders, they ride their "finished" horses in uniquely a curb - much like the old masters did back in the Rennaisance times - but always start them as young ones in a simple snaffle.
                    Interesting !

                    Comment


                    • The in hand work/work in a double bridle is to introduce two different reactions/response. It will be interesting because most of those riders are accepted into the (three year) course. (And my student's horse was used by one of the riders, and he was able to illustrate all the (re)actions!)
                      I.D.E.A. yoda

                      Comment


                      • goodpony, I only rode under "I" judges (didn't have the "O" and "S" equivalents then) because I seriously wanted to be tested on what I was doing correctly or not.

                        And I started with my very own $500.00 appoloosa named Chuckles. I had ridden many horses over many years, but she was the first one I actually owned.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                          I totally agree with the use of the Hearing sense for you. When I can hear the footfalls as I'm lunging or working in-hand AND when I can hear his regular breaths at each gait - walk, trot or canter I get a real sense of his relaxation during the work.
                          As an almost deaf horse person I can tell you that I feel more coming through the lungeline than I can hear--but it does not take hearing sense to keep an 'global view' of cadence, balance, relaxation and thoroughness (coming from behind)--the rhythm you can feel as well as see. I dont know why but my eye is almost always drawn to the heartgirth area as a focal point while lunging with an outward view of balance and frame--something to do with the center of balance I guess. I do not spend much if any time at all actually lunging---once they are fit for under saddle work.
                          Redbud Ranch
                          Check us out on FB

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                            If it would please the Mods. to make this post a "sticky," that would ensure that people looking for materials for deeper study can find them here, and just might save someone in quest of "lightness" the 15-year journey to find it that I took.

                            I have listed the following books, which I have found of value, by only the title and author's name since that's the easiest way to find them on amazon and other online booksellers. Be warned; they range from a few cents to over a thousand dollars, and many are now out of print though still obtainable:

                            School of Versailles: Classical French, pre-Baucher, the basis for the FEI rules that still pay them lip service, and the riding practiced as closely as possible by the Vienna School:

                            SCHOOL OF HORSEMANSHIP, Francois Robichon de la Guerinere. (Still the Bible!)

                            THE COMPLETE TRAINING OF HORSE AND RIDER, Alois Podhajsky. (Vienna school training recipe--flawless & enjoyable)

                            MY HORSES, MY TEACHERS by Alois Podhajsky. Autobiography of one of the 20th century's greatest master horsemen. The feeling and philosophy behind the training; fabulous!

                            The life, work, methods, and controversies of F. Baucher:

                            FRANCOIS BAUCHER: THE MAN AND HIS METHOD, Hilda Nelson. Rare, expensive, exhaustive--read it if you can find it!

                            ANOTHER HORSEMANSHIP, Jean-Claude Racinet. The alpha and omega, indispensable, ultra-accessible manual for beginners. Hard to go wrong with this! You will know right away if it's going to work for you or not.

                            RACINET EXPLAINS BAUCHER, Jean-Claude Racinet. Pretty much reprints JCR's famous series of articles that appeared in the early 90's in D & CT magazine. Buy it, study it, leave it lying around, and contemplate it endlessly . . . if you're a professional trainer, you just might get a rep as a miracle worker; but be careful!

                            Any of Jean-Claude's other books will be of interest; WHAT THE HORSES HAVE TAUGHT ME connects the flexions of Baucher with osteopathic manipulation, a tangent JCR pursued passionately in his last years. Of interest mostly to massage therapists or those whose horses have NQR problems nobody can diagnose. Seen it done, helped him do it, some miracles; some wrecks. Make up your own mind . . .

                            Versailles School/Baucherisme Synthesis: Modern French System, In chronologically descending order, more or less:

                            ALEXIS FRANCOIS L'HOTTE: THE QUEST FOR LIGHTNESS IN EQUITATION, Hilda Nelson. Great historical context read, includes a valuable translation of L'Hotte's "Questions Equestres."

                            BREAKING AND RIDING, WITH MILITARY COMMENTARIES, James Fillis. Ancient collectible book which can be picked up cheap! and has almost everything you'll need to know, by L'Hotte's Russian friend and disciple. Wonderful flavor of that time in history when the horse was a matter of national security. Makes the connection between academic equitation and outdoor riding.

                            ACADEMIC EQUITATION by General Decarpentry. If you only get one book, this would be one I'd consider strongly. French Classical (Versailles) School overtly, Baucher hiding in plain sight. Recommended!

                            THE WAY TO PERFECT HORSEMANSHIP, Udo Burger. Eventers take notice! Commonsense synthesis of theory and outdoor practice to make up the competent XC horse.

                            HORSEMANSHIP & HORSEMASTERSHIP, United States Cavalry School, edited by Gordon Wright. The French origins of the "American Forward Seat," includes flexions & exercises.
                            The only book we had, or needed, when I learned to ride.

                            2 more pertinent books for jumping riders who want to truly understand the history and evolution of form and function:

                            REFLECTIONS ON RIDING AND JUMPING, W. Steinkraus.

                            THE AMERICAN JUMPING STYLE, George H. Morris

                            For the Western-interest rider who would like to understand the historical connections between ancient tribal horsemen, the conquests of Europe, Spanish horsemanship coming to America, the gaited connection, and ultimately the California Vaquero and modern Western riding, highly recommended is:

                            CONQUERORS: THE ROOTS OF NEW WORLD HORSEMANSHIP, by Deb Bennett

                            20TH-Century Modern Masters of our own time:

                            DRESSAGE: THE ART OF CLASSICAL RIDING, and everything else written by Sylvia Loch. Portuguese/French connection.

                            REFLECTIONS ON EQUESTRIAN ART and CLASSICAL PRINCIPLES OF THE ART OF TRAINING HORSES, Nuno Oliveira. Indispensable, timeless books by the 20th century's acknowledged greatest equestrian artist. Deeply human, contemplative, incomparable. Not to be missed!

                            CLASSICAL HORSEMANSHIP FOR OUR TIME, and anything else by Jean Froissard. Second only to Racinet's books for pure, distilled, accessible theory. Some of the writing is dated in ways that will make you howl or cringe, but well worth having in your collection.

                            Purely Inspirational (Philosophy and meditation, more than hard technique):

                            DRESSAGE FOR THE NEW AGE, and anything else by Dominique Barbier. A "great artiste" a bit in love with his ego in a very Gallic way, but in love with the horse more. For the "woo-woo" rider!

                            RIDING TOWARDS THE LIGHT, and the rest of the series by Paul Belasik. Marvelously real-world inspirational writing on riding and training. Suspect he is more of a rider/trainer than a teacher, but it doesn't matter. Delicious stuff for a winter night by the fire with a cup of hot cider.

                            That's pretty much what's on my shelf now; if you can read French, there are many others you can access, including the works of Faverot de Kerbrech and others. If anyone has a book or article they found worthy on this subject, by all means add it to the list I've started!

                            Remember--all roads lead to Rome!

                            Good Riding.
                            Bump!

                            Comment


                            • On another forum I occasionally lurk at, one dressage rider made the comment that lightness in the dressage horse was neither correct nor desired and went on to further explain that the horse should be encouraged forward into the contact and while the contact should then feel elastic, it should not be light. You should really feel the horse in the reins. The poster equated lightness with a horse evading the contact or being behind the vertical. This was the way I was trained many years ago, but as I've been thinking about lightness for the past four or so years, I hadn't thought about dressage in the above manner for a while.

                              When I was working in this system, it didn't really do much for us. We got well stuck around Second Level. I don't know if it was because of my rubbish riding, my horse's conformation, or both. My horse is a Shire-TBX. She's powerful behind but I would say her balance at the front end is on the horizontal, in that TB way. It would have been nice for dressage if she'd gotten a high neck set from the Shire side, but she didn't, and got the lower TB neck set. If you add that to a powerful hindquarter, she easily falls on the forehand. In a training system that was encouraging her to take a firmer contact, I spent years struggling to get her to lift the front end. Only when I switched to training that encouraged lightness did she begin properly taking weight behind and elevating up front. I'll probably never know if this is because the system made more sense to me and I was able to train it better, or if it made more sense to the horse, or all of the above.

                              Just rambling, really.
                              Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

                              Comment


                              • That dressage rider on the other forum is full of cr@p, and doesn't understand the meaning of self-carriage. Light contact isn't the same as no contact. But it sounds like you know that already!

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                  That dressage rider on the other forum is full of cr@p, and doesn't understand the meaning of self-carriage. Light contact isn't the same as no contact. But it sounds like you know that already!
                                  This is the question Im trying to better understand---'how light should light be?" Featherlite? It seems the contact my guy is willing to offer ranges between Elastic-almost Rubbery---to Feather Light- Whisper Light.

                                  I kinda like the Rubbery Feel, Whisper-Light feels a little scary for me because its feels like I must trust implicitly and ride completely off my seat which is just a little out of my comfort zone. If that makes any since at all.
                                  Redbud Ranch
                                  Check us out on FB

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by goodpony View Post
                                    This is the question Im trying to better understand---'how light should light be?" Featherlite? It seems the contact my guy is willing to offer ranges between Elastic-almost Rubbery---to Feather Light- Whisper Light.

                                    I kinda like the Rubbery Feel, Whisper-Light feels a little scary for me because its feels like I must trust implicitly and ride completely off my seat which is just a little out of my comfort zone. If that makes any since at all.
                                    It makes very good sense. I don't think there's such a thing as too light, as long as there is two-way transmittal. Think of two dancers. A couple that's well-tuned and paying very close attention to the other can communicate with feather-light contact, or less. Each dancer is responsible for his/her own self-carriage. If one is distracted, perhaps more contact is required. But if it "works" with feather-light contact, can you do less?

                                    It is a matter of trust - from both the rider and the horse. Rider needs to trust that horse is listening, and horse needs to trust that rider is listening.

                                    Comment


                                    • I personally don't think there is such a thing as too light so long as there is a connection. In any case, the rider in question seemed -- insofar as I could understand it -- to be making the argument that unless there was some kind of weight in the rein, the horse was avoiding contact. I also think that heavy contact = correct is commonly taught on both sides of the Atlantic, as it was pointed out by a fellow livery that the way I ride must be "western" (I'm originally from the US, so that must be it), because I have a feather-light contact and if her horse were ridden in that "relaxed" manner, he would take off. Hmmmm...okay.
                                      Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

                                      Comment


                                      • Love French dressage. The closest thing to riding a horse at liberty.
                                        Cindy Bergmann
                                        Canterbury Court
                                        559-903-4814
                                        www.canterbury-court.com

                                        Comment


                                        • i would say - it is the wrong question.

                                          The question is: what are the hind legs doing? because if the hind legs are not working the contact can be what ever weight you want and it wont matter.

                                          so as along as the rider is riding with a forward feeling elastic connection and activating the hind end - the connection will be whatever the horse needs it to be at that moment.

                                          the critical thing here are:

                                          are the hind legs active?
                                          does the rider have a forward feel?
                                          is the rider recycling the energy thru the whole horse?
                                          is the horse forward and reactive to the aids?

                                          those are what matters.......

                                          Comment

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