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French School "Workshop!"

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  • An important part that was left out (it was only a partial quote) was what preceeded it: "There are several very useful exercises that strengthen the horse's hind legs. These are stirrup-stepping, posting on the inner hind leg, and the "half-halt, half-halt, yield & go" exercise. This link is talking about 'tests of the (hind) legs' and how to get them. It is part of srs (de la guerinere) focus.

    And some other traditional teachers do teach this as well.
    I.D.E.A. yoda

    Comment


    • re the quote posted by GP -

      i cant see how aggressively stepping on one stirrup while the hind leg is in the air will do anything to compress that hind leg... if anything it will put the horse off balance and make it touch the ground faster, with a straighter leg. .

      HHs done well rely of good timing and the horse having good reaction to the aids.... however usually they are done with the hind leg grounded/just becoming grounded as this is when the leg can compress. (?)

      As an example: my 4 yo who can be a bit of a tank, can become very light and will HH with just a whisper - but only once he is working well.... if he isn't no amount of aggressive stepping would be of benefit.

      Comment


      • Stirrup stepping has to do with timing of the belly swinging/the straightness/the timing of a hh (whether it is lateral/diagonal/bilateral). Only read the link once, but imho it is not clear. It is NOT about 'agressive' stepping, but rather 'bulking the calf' (and also where the leg is).
        I.D.E.A. yoda

        Comment


        • Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
          First position is one of the most basic principles of training (campaign school not even haute ecole). It is the basis of being able to straighten the horse and of lateral flexibility before longitudinal flexion. (esp. well defined in Seunig/Podhajsky).
          Ahh... I have issues with the word 'basic.' It is rather like saying to someone "staying up in the air is one of the most basic principles of flying." We need
          another word that is not so easily confused with 'simple,' or 'primary.'

          According to my computer's dictionary

          • offering or consisting in the minimum required without elaboration or luxury; simplest or lowest in level
          • common to or required by everyone; primary and ineradicable or inalienable

          I do not expect a low level rider to be able to execute "first position" on a horse. Certainly not to be able to 'feel/tell' whether the horse's body is aligned so.

          First Position may be an essential tool, but I would be wary of referring to anything so subtle as being basic.
          "Friend" me !

          http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

          Comment


          • Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
            Stirrup stepping has to do with timing of the belly swinging/the straightness/the timing of a hh (whether it is lateral/diagonal/bilateral). Only read the link once, but imho it is not clear. It is NOT about 'agressive' stepping, but rather 'bulking the calf' (and also where the leg is).
            Oddly I was just reading this article this morning that talks about some of what you are describing. Just for the sake of interest here is a link: Straightness

            Just a few relative points....
            The ribs and the undercarriage of the horse hang from the spine. Swing is the action requiredto co-ordinate the limbs. This is why we can sit in the middle and still influence any leg,because the legs themselves swing in a harmonious relationship with the oscillation of themiddle section of the horse.
            Not only do the legs swing from the horse’s torso, but also the torso makes way for them totravel forward. A hind leg is free to swing forward when it is relieved of weight. So the horseswings its belly to the outside when the inside hind leg is coming forward and visa versa. Ofcourse, the outside hind leg is in contact with the ground and is thrusting backwards, so thisleg is in a position where it can carry the weight of the belly over it.
            When the belly of the horse swings to the outside, a space is made under the rider’s insidesitting bone and leg, allowing the sitting bone and leg to sink deeper towards the ground onthat side. Next, the oscillation swings back like a pendulum and lifts the sitting bone and leg.There is an up beat and a downbeat inside the general bounce of the trot movement. Therider’s pelvis and leg pedal up, down, up, down, alternately.
            the aid is applied downward and is achieved through dropping weight as opposed tosqueezing. Weight and the momentum to drop through the seat bone and calf are freelyavailable, while a squeeze needs to be manufactured through unnecessary effort.
            Redbud Ranch
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            Comment


            • Goodpony, your last post is an excellent description of one approach to handling weight and swinging through each stride.

              But, there is an additional use of the aids that can truly enhance what the rider is doing and actually help the pony (horse) even more in the development of swing and actively using the hind legs with suspension.

              For me suspension is a large part of what helps keep a pony sound over years of use.

              The seat can actually be used on the upswing to help lift the pony's back.

              The seat has to be developed in order to do this. The rider actually uses the three-point seat (two seat bones plus pubic bone) combined with the inside upper rear thigh muscles and the buttcheeks. This is the "velcro" seat. The buttcheeks combined with the inside back thigh muscles actually wrap themselves around the saddle.

              Instead of weighting the inside, think of lightening the outside.

              It is always easy to let gravity do the work, but the rider is asking the horse to defy gravity (by developing more suspension) and it is much easier for the horse if his rider helps with that, rather than not.

              Does that make sense?

              Comment


              • "Upswing" would be different depending upon what gait you are talking about...but really only applies to canter. One hindleg on the ground/withers go up; diagonal pair/level horse; one fore leg on the ground/withers dropping; suspension/going uphill. So when you the rider be 'used', at best in the suspension into uphill, but it must still be a touch of lightseat/tall posture with a breathe of posterior tilting of the pelvis.

                I must stay that I disagree with the use of the back of thigh. If the rider 'uses' the thigh they would have a less stable seat because it would be a pinching action. The rider should stretch from hip to heel, 'feathering' into the heel. It is that stretching which causes the rider to 'adhere' to the saddle elastically so that the touch of the calf can support the seat (if needed).
                I.D.E.A. yoda

                Comment


                • one thing i have learned over time - when someone makes things more opaque and confusing instead of making things more understandable and clear - this usually seems to indicate a lack of understanding of said topic.

                  and this goes for any topic you want - riding, accounting, horticulture, etc.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by mbm View Post
                    one thing i have learned over time - when someone makes things more opaque and confusing instead of making things more understandable and clear - this usually seems to indicate a lack of understanding of said topic.

                    and this goes for any topic you want - riding, accounting, horticulture, etc.
                    Yes but some folks are also "geeks" and cannot explain something in a clear concise matter - even though they have a good command of the subject.
                    I use to see Henriquet in this light - I mean, come on, 8 pages to explain shoulder in one of his earliest books? By the time I finished reading it I needed a "verre du vin"!!! Happily he has made much progress (along with great editors) in his later books.

                    Comment


                    • well.... perhaps in that case it was more of a matter of him trying to explain something that he didn't clearly understand himself at that time (whatever finer point of SI he was getting at) because "usually" once someone understands something they are able to come up with an elegant and clear way of describing it. I have only read his in hand book which is clear and concise.

                      fwiw, i am a science geek and good writers are able to take very complex issues and make them understandable to lay people. I think trainers should be able to do the same.


                      i also instinctively distrust folks who go into laborious and minuscule detail about things.... usually (but not always) it seems to indicate a lack of understanding on their part and at that point i want to see them ride

                      oh and i also distrust anyone who takes the classical body of knowledge and puts their name on it

                      of course the above is only my POV at this time - perhaps as i become more educated that will change.

                      Comment


                      • Eight pages is barely enough to explain GOOD shoulder in. S.i. is the aspirin for almost all errors. And about one out of ten prepare it well. How many horses do you see reaching/abducting the outside shoulder or showing axial rotation with the inside hind????
                        I.D.E.A. yoda

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by mbm View Post
                          i also instinctively distrust folks who go into laborious and minuscule detail about things.... usually (but not always) it seems to indicate a lack of understanding on their part and at that point i want to see them ride
                          Agree! I never train or work for someone I have not spent a little time with beforehand, to see them work with or ride horses.
                          However writing can be really difficult and it takes time for many trainers and instructors to hon thier talents into a clear and concise manner.
                          Henriquet, Karl, and de Bragança have all vastly improved in their clarity over the years.

                          Comment


                          • As always working on several things at once but the above 'dynamics' Im really interested in mastering. My guy just happens to be in a 'good place' to explore some of these ideas a little further--and may just help us on your journey.

                            Yesterday I spent time playing around with some of the ideas presented in the article (s) and it really clicked--I was able to really hone into the oscillations and timing in a good way with positive effect. And maybe more importantly I found I could really connect the timing of weight/leg aids with the action of the swinging belly/hind legs--all very interesting stuff.

                            As Ideayoda mentioned as well as the article mentions I think the key point to Stirrup Stepping really seemed to be (at least for me) in allowing gravity/weight to "bulk the calf" rather than actively Stepping into the stirrup or 'squeezing' (though i have tried this too--but for a different reasons). Interestingly I could feel action of his stiffer side in a very useful way.

                            If i try to grip/flex any part of my seat/thigh my guy tenses--simple as that. If instead I 'influence' the action within the 'motion' of the swinging back I find I have greater control/influence of the steps as well as generate more of a 'velcro seat'.

                            So when you the rider be 'used', at best in the suspension into uphill, but it must still be a touch of lightseat/tall posture with a breathe of posterior tilting of the pelvis.
                            Another interesting point with respect to how we the riders use our whole bodies to influence the horses gaits/movement (below mainly has to do with leaning back which I understand is not what you are saying, but might be useful to others--(I found yesterday I became so focused on what was happening below the belt that on reflection I think I may have allowed my upper body to shift slightly backwards with respect to maintaining a vertical orientation (not a big shift but a subtle shift--but what the hay-Im just learning):

                            1) The closing of the leg is, in any case, associated more with impulses travelling down than from squeezing. The whole body springs, and the whole body is the most basic of aids.

                            2) First, a vertical orientation (rider) allows the torso to land over the top of the legs. The legs engage, that is the joints bend under the weight. They act like shock absorbers, softening the jarring both on the horse’s back, and on the rider’s back.

                            3) leaning back creates relentless horizontal forces, which exaggerate the downbeat. The torso has limited support below it, so it tends to be jarring down into the horse.

                            4) leaning back tends to lock the pelvis, making it impossible to use it to guide the swing of the horse’s back.

                            5)Vertical is the go, and a very slight tucking under of the pelvis to encourage the forward lengthening of the stride.

                            6) The spring of the rider must take the horse with him.
                            All from Richard Weis Again
                            Im very interesting in learning more about how the rider 'leads the horse' --when you ride a little horse it becomes even more important--like I mentioned in another post-very small subtle shifts in balance seem to have a tremendous effect.
                            Redbud Ranch
                            Check us out on FB

                            Comment


                            • Anybody who has ever seen a basketball player hold the ball with five fingers on one hand (actually the thumb and two, three or four fingers) has seen the basic principle of what I am talking about.

                              As it pertains to "the seat", this type of action does not have to create a pinching action. It can be refined and used as a 'suction' action.

                              ETA: this is an exercise done in the sitting trot. And practiced fairly often when the trot is going well. The rider's seat must be "open" in order to do this correctly.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                                Eight pages is barely enough to explain GOOD shoulder in. S.i. is the aspirin for almost all errors. And about one out of ten prepare it well. How many horses do you see reaching/abducting the outside shoulder or showing axial rotation with the inside hind????
                                fwiw, its not the number of pages it is the clarity of what is being written.....

                                and, as a dyslexic i totally "get" that writing well takes hard work! that is why i said if what is being written confuses and obfuscates rather than clarifying - i want to see them ride.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by goodpony View Post
                                  ...If i try to grip/flex any part of my seat/thigh my guy tenses--simple as that. If instead I 'influence' the action within the 'motion' of the swinging back I find I have greater control/influence of the steps as well as generate more of a 'velcro seat'....

                                  Im very interesting in learning more about how the rider 'leads the horse' --when you ride a little horse it becomes even more important--like I mentioned in another post-very small subtle shifts in balance seem to have a tremendous effect.
                                  I experimented with the inner-back thigh also and got immediate tension from it even on my big not so sensitive (yet) guy. Interesting. I too enjoy seeing how a small shift or usage of the body can greatly influence the horse.
                                  When I ride I tend not to think about these nuances in usages but this thread has really brought up my consciousness level. I'm really learning how sensitive my horse actually is at his level and how to make him even more so.

                                  Comment


                                  • This article always comes back into mind - remember? the Bettina Drummond interview regarding Oliveira. The conversation on the different ways he utilized his back (about halfway down in the article) and seat for different results amazes me. I really should read this once a week as a reminder...
                                    http://eclectic-horseman.com/content/view/52/92/

                                    Comment


                                    • thinking about the seat - one thing i have noticed and that has totally been on the plate so to speak with my little guy - is that when he is working correctly (for his age etc) the changes in his body really allow for me to somehow "slot in" or maybe "around" him... the entire feel is so different - it literally feels as if w were one and not two.... and everything gets so minimal... if is fascinating to me to feel such a gigantic difference between horse using itself well and not.

                                      i think a lot of he stuff about how a rider needs to use their body really only can work if the horse is using its body in a way that allows the rider "in" otherwise i think most of it is lost in translation - so really the focus should be on getting the horse to use its body to let the rider in.

                                      hows that for obfuscation and non clarity ?

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                                        This article always comes back into mind - remember? the Bettina Drummond interview regarding Oliveira. The conversation on the different ways he utilized his back (about halfway down in the article) and seat for different results amazes me. I really should read this once a week as a reminder...
                                        http://eclectic-horseman.com/content/view/52/92/
                                        Oliveira is one of those riders that i learn massive amounts of applicable info jut by watching his videos.....

                                        Comment


                                        • Obfus...what?
                                          No but in all seriousness - I totally agree It feels like you bothe are one!

                                          There is another thread which talks about lateral work in warmups currently going. And it really stresses the fact that a good quality warmup is so essential to having the horse relax and focus enough to become one with his rider and visa versa..

                                          Comment

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