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French School "Workshop!"

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  • Well my book is here!!

    I have been riding the little mare this week, doing loads of playing with different contact, light, more firm, none at all. She really does need the "stabilization" lesson, she still wants to vacillate from really slow to really fast (corresponding to away from and towards the gate, lol), as well as being nappy towards the gate, so the biggest lesson right now is to go forward in a regular rhythm between my two legs.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading the book and hearing what it actually says!!
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      One thing horses like above all is consistency. Taking one balance, one "frame," and keeping it that way is a far more stable relationship with the rider than one minute one way, one minute the next, and this person will hold me up but that one won't or can't, and making it all into some kind of horsey rocket science. Many of their minds just can't take that, and in their confusion they just shut down with mental and physical resistances.

      Clean, neat, simple, easy, understandable; as many here have noted, the difference is often so dramatic because for the first time in his life, the horse can comprehend what to do! And, is not experiencing the aids as "white noise" or having to choose which pain to ignore, and which to submit to as the "lesser of two weevils!"

      Comment


      • SY I am on my phone and cannot type som long reply, but in many cases I have found the opplsite to be true. Too long in the same frame fries their mind and body.
        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sannois View Post
          Isabeau and that describes the horse I am working with to a tee.
          Today He really was quite unhappy with me making him do ground work and lunging for almost an hour.
          But surprise of surprises, he got foamy in the mouth, got out of my space in hand, and was very lovely and responsive on the lunge. and forward.
          What is it about warmbloods?? they get so sullen looking, he is a Belgian warmblood and I swear he looks like I am sending him to slaughter.
          No to put human terms on it, but I do find him a bit thick,
          It surprised me how non responsive he was to moving away from hand pressure behind the girth.
          I seriously have my work cut out for me.
          i will jump in and say that i know how y'all feel.... i am riding a 4yo Connemeara *pony* who thinks that conservation of energy is the most important thing.

          My trainers says there are no lazy horses - that being forward is just a habit. (ha! ) and by goly he can easily get my guy to waork as hard and as long (and happily too!) as he wants.... for me it is a bit more of a challenge. The only difference i see between my trainer and me (well besides he isa way better rider than me) is that he expects a certain reaction and gets it.

          me? i worry oh is he not feeling good? is he tired? am i out of balance? etc. when in fact i should just be saying "pony GO!"

          now that i try to emulate my trainer i am seeing much better response - altho i have a ways to go still......

          soo... all of that is to say - i believe it is rider expectation.....

          Comment


          • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
            One thing horses like above all is consistency. Taking one balance, one "frame," and keeping it that way is a far more stable relationship with the rider than one minute one way, one minute the next, and this person will hold me up but that one won't or can't, and making it all into some kind of horsey rocket science. Many of their minds just can't take that, and in their confusion they just shut down with mental and physical resistances.
            i agree with this *especially* with babies. once the horse has the basic understanding down then you can change it up and ask for different topline lengths etc.

            but for a baby i believe it is consistency about all that is key.

            one thing i have learned the hard way - just because there are (many) bad riders out there - it does not mean the theory itself is wrong or incorrect. i got trapped in that mind set and it did me no good.

            the issue is not the frame doesn't change - it is the hand holding the reins is pulling/yanking/etc.

            if the hand instead was giving or forward thinking the frame would be fine......

            i guess what I am trying to say is: don't judge a school by its worst riders - instead judge it by it best.....

            Comment


            • I agree that a young horse should remain in a steady balance, that is the reason for demi arrets (vertical hh). But it is NOT one frame. Longitudinally is PROGRESSIVE. The throatlatch closes (minimally more in degrees) as the horse shortens it base of support, but still should be itv with a mobile jaw. Taking 'one frame' would be the horse posing behind the aids, and is the last thing any french rider I know wants. A hh is designed to change balance, if the horse folds the hindleg joints more, the neck arcs but the horse still seeks the hand ifv.

              One 'frame' (esp in a greener horse) would indicate NO conversation with the mouth or the body of the horse (nor esp of the jaw...which is the center of lightness via the hyoid apparatus). The one frame closed posture (up or down) de jour shows the same incorrect presumptions. And both DO create resistances which reveal themselves in the quality of impulsion/stride length/purity of gait.

              The rider MUST be able to lengthen or shorten/lift or lower the neck as part of the continuem of the mind, the mouth, the body so as best to serve balance. Otherwise we are just doing bfm, which failed even him (until the chandelier fell on him!).
              I.D.E.A. yoda

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                I agree that a young horse should remain in a steady balance, that is the reason for demi arrets (vertical hh). But it is NOT one frame. Longitudinally is PROGRESSIVE. The throatlatch closes (minimally more in degrees) as the horse shortens it base of support, but still should be itv with a mobile jaw. Taking 'one frame' would be the horse posing behind the aids, and is the last thing any french rider I know wants. A hh is designed to change balance, if the horse folds the hindleg joints more, the neck arcs but the horse still seeks the hand ifv.

                One 'frame' (esp in a greener horse) would indicate NO conversation with the mouth or the body of the horse (nor esp of the jaw...which is the center of lightness via the hyoid apparatus). The one frame closed posture (up or down) de jour shows the same incorrect presumptions. And both DO create resistances which reveal themselves in the quality of impulsion/stride length/purity of gait.

                The rider MUST be able to lengthen or shorten/lift or lower the neck as part of the continuem of the mind, the mouth, the body so as best to serve balance. Otherwise we are just doing bfm, which failed even him (until the chandelier fell on him!).
                Let me clarify. Not necessarily one "frame"--more like one BALANCE. As in, it is NEVER OK to fall on the forehand, string out behind, get heavy on the hands or disobedient to the leg. Spell. It. Out. I maintain that with babies in particular this is easier to do with JCR's method--and the Western riders know this well and do many similar things. Ever wonder why they have 2 and 3 year olds doing lateral work effortlessly (in self-carriage, I might add) that the Germanic crowd claims takes 8 years? THEY ASK FOR THE BALANCE FIRST.

                Comment


                • Western riders know this well and do many similar things. Ever wonder why they have 2 and 3 year olds doing lateral work effortlessly

                  Coming from that discipline I can honestly say that if WP had anything to offer the dressage world we wouldnt have so many friggin lessons to switch.

                  They go sideways. Dont confuse that with lateral work.

                  I can still go back and make a 2-3 year old look great on the rail but dressage is a tough nutt to crack.
                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                  http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    Lateral work = going sideways = lateral work. The problem with "dressage" is they try to make out that all of this is some kind of quadratic equation. It's a rider moving his/her body to make a horse move his/her body & legs.

                    "One mind, any tack."

                    Comment


                    • Not exactly sure I would agree with the above statement---seems to me there is a pretty big difference between what is required for something like Leg Yield and what is required for Shoulder In. And neither seems remotely like Sidepass which is Sideways (as I understand it).
                      Redbud Ranch
                      Check us out on FB

                      Comment


                      • A balance (which is what I maintain also) is for sure what I want also. Falling onto the forehand is caused by the balancing rod (aka neck) being too low, or the chest allowed to drop. So agreed the horse should never be strong out/inactive/etc.

                        But that is not just a french method (which is even more methodical with its progressive mobilization of the jaw/flexions/fdo which I admire), it is any school with half a brain which wants to produce easy to ride horses which rides them up and open. And certainly the (traditional) germans ride the horse up and open from the beginning (americans when they first went to europe considered all the horse to be ridden at second level (which of course they were not), not down or onto the forehand (as we see throughout the world de jour). Most schools worked horses in hand, times have changed only because of the rush to sell/show horses imho.

                        And many of those traditional europeans also did some of the flexions (perhaps not to the same degree). And I even talked with Kisimov about the differences between those who followed Fillis (the 'big russian names' of the 60s), and how training has changed as well.

                        How quickly lateral work is introduced for me has more to do with the horse sustaining a steadily balance and the need for hh. Those which are reschooling take MUCH longer if they were ridden down/closed. 20-30 years there would have been NO discussion because everyone rode toward collection and according to the directives (of the fei).

                        And indeed there is a big difference between lateral work with PURPOSE THERAPUTICALLY and bend vs moving sideways w/o bend or crossing the legs behind rather in front.
                        I.D.E.A. yoda

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                          Lateral work = going sideways = lateral work. The problem with "dressage" is they try to make out that all of this is some kind of quadratic equation. It's a rider moving his/her body to make a horse move his/her body & legs.

                          "One mind, any tack."
                          Blech.

                          What kind of dressage horses are you riding?

                          Half halts, bending, suppleness, forward but with impulsion rather than speed, uphill lifting the wither, aids in order, all needs be done for it to be correct, and ya'll can just do that with big rowel spur (spit).

                          Its like ballroom vs line dancing.
                          ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                          http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • Well I have been reading the book and gleaning little tips and insights here and there, although to be honest none of it is at all revolutionary, so I guess how I learned has all the same roots in the French method.

                            I would like to say that I had the best ride on Miss Flora Bean ever tonight. I love this place in the training process (around the first 30 days or so) when they seem to just get it. She was incredibly balanced, no napping or silliness, just down to work. She was so good I did a little bit of canter in both directions, then took her on her first little hack around the property alone! I am just concentrating on balance and lightness and straightness. 30+ days undersaddle with me and she's already starting to read my mind, I love it.
                            On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by goodpony View Post
                              Not exactly sure I would agree with the above statement---seems to me there is a pretty big difference between what is required for something like Leg Yield and what is required for Shoulder In. And neither seems remotely like Sidepass which is Sideways (as I understand it).
                              Renvers, travers, half-pass, leg-yield, side-pass; they are all a horse moving on more than one track, yes? The only true differences are the direction and degree of bend in relation to the direction of travel. All of these, and others more archaic, were used as suppling exercises and ways of getting control of the horse's body since the times of the Sumerians.

                              Really, I over-simplified as a compensation to over-complication; everyone wants to believe what they do is special or "better" somehow, or innovative; but all of this stuff is really very very old, and it must be borne in mind that prior to the mechanized age, all the proofs of it were practical ones. If it didn't work, they didn't bother.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                                Well I have been reading the book and gleaning little tips and insights here and there, although to be honest none of it is at all revolutionary, so I guess how I learned has all the same roots in the French method.

                                I would like to say that I had the best ride on Miss Flora Bean ever tonight. I love this place in the training process (around the first 30 days or so) when they seem to just get it. She was incredibly balanced, no napping or silliness, just down to work. She was so good I did a little bit of canter in both directions, then took her on her first little hack around the property alone! I am just concentrating on balance and lightness and straightness. 30+ days undersaddle with me and she's already starting to read my mind, I love it.
                                That's awesome--sounds like you both are enjoying your learning and conversation!

                                Comment


                                • ?

                                  Are you all now comparing Dressage to WP?

                                  It could get more interesting if you bring up cowboy dressage and vaquero riding.

                                  Comment


                                  • Well if I want to close the gate and am too lazy to dismount I use side pass....nothing very innovative about that.
                                    Redbud Ranch
                                    Check us out on FB

                                    Comment


                                    • Try opening and closing a gate in the real world. Sidepass comes in real handy

                                      Comment


                                      • Goodpony, we can clink our virtual glasses together on that one.

                                        Comment


                                        • clink
                                          Redbud Ranch
                                          Check us out on FB

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