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What does roundness feel like? How do you describe it?

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  • #41
    Dressage rider, I think you misunderstand what 2tempe means by "dropping the neck". The neck IS dropped in relation to the wither. Instead of having a kink between neck and wither, there is a smooth line from wither to the top of the neck at the base. That is the sign of the horse releasing the tension of the neck and reaching forward seeking rider's hand.

    As horses start to develop collection, the hind quarters engage and raise the back; the wither grow, which bring up the base of the neck.

    That is different from dropping the "wither". If the wither is dropped and/or the neck is raised in relation to the wither, the horse is holding tension in his back and neck and all thoroughness goes out of the window.

    What 2tempe describes is one indication of roundness. Once a horse release the neck, the rider should feel a power that comes from the hind quarter to be received by the rider's hands (assuming no other blockage preventing it that is).

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
      Dressage rider, I think you misunderstand what 2tempe means by "dropping the neck". The neck IS dropped in relation to the wither. Instead of having a kink between neck and wither, there is a smooth line from wither to the top of the neck at the base. That is the sign of the horse releasing the tension of the neck and reaching forward seeking rider's hand.
      That's not at all what I was thinking "dropping the neck" meant, but certainly from the beginning of roundness, and not needing to be extremely collected or full of impulsion the neck position should allow that smooth transition there. If that's what is intended by the phrase I agree.
      Originally posted by Silverbridge
      If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by netg View Post
        Huh. I guess my horse's withers aren't really up in my profile pic... given how uphill he already gets, I look forward to the day they really come up then.

        I think it has a lot to do with a horse's natural balance and shape, but there's a reason GP horses don't carry their heads below the withers...
        Yes, it does have to do with what LEVEL the horse is being ridden at. If the rider attempts to raise the horses head and neck when the horse's back and withers are not yet up. then the result is that the withers drop, and you lose the connection over the back from the bit to the hindquarters, and you are just riding the horse's head. The reason that a GP horse's forehand is elevated is because it is sitting (bending the joints in its hind end) not because the head and neck are raised above the wither. Read Gloria's description above.
        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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        • #44
          Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
          Yes, it does have to do with what LEVEL the horse is being ridden at. If the rider attempts to raise the horses head and neck when the horse's back and withers are not yet up. then the result is that the withers drop, and you lose the connection over the back from the bit to the hindquarters, and you are just riding the horse's head. The reason that a GP horse's forehand is elevated is because it is sitting (bending the joints in its hind end) not because the head and neck are raised above the wither. Read Gloria's description above.
          But it wasn't stated that it's for a specific level in the descriptions given - and lowering the head is NOT necessary to achieve roundness. For a horse who tends to be on the forehand and low in front, a roundness through the horse's whole body will raise the head, not lower it. The rider should never be trying to raise the head vs. trying to make the horse improve its overall balance. Yes, for some horses who want to raise their head and hollow the head will need to come down, but claiming that roundness involves a lower head than withers is incorrect, or GP horses would never be round.

          As I stated above, I have no objection to Gloria's explanation, which does not actually require that the head be lowered depending on the horse's initial head position prior to round, but explains why as the withers lift even if the head stays in the same position it will be lowered relative to the withers.
          Originally posted by Silverbridge
          If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

          Comment


          • #45
            How about feeling the horse's ribcage expand?

            Comment


            • #46
              I guess it would help to ask what level the OP is at?

              Filling up the leg IMO is starting at 2nd roughly, 1st if you are very lucky to have a handy carrier.

              Someone said the LY out of circles will give you the feeling of rounder, and yes I would say that its rounder because of the horse letting go and being soft but not yet the roundness of collection, and elevation of the wither...

              I think working lateral and figures that soft feeling is also round (baby round) and is good!
              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
              http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #47
                Oh and I agree with whatever was said about the neck going down first as you teach them, and the poll being lower... but again what level OP?! LOL

                This matters!
                ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  OP is very solidly at training level . Meaning, we started this adventure (both horse and I) in October. Rode my first test (Training 2) last weekend in our big show and broke 60. Trainer rode in January and had 2 68s. I felt like I was in the Olympics, but I waited a few days to watch my video as I knew the bubble would burst when I saw it . I cringe when I see the living proof of my stretchy "square," braced arms after the spook, explosive canter depart due to overuse of my right spur, my ruining of a perfectly excellent halt, and other such wonderful things . Haven't ridden in years, leased a jumper over the summer for fun/therapeutic reasons. He stole my heart completely, so I bought him and told him that he was switching careers immediately. He seems happy so far and I am overjoyed .

                  Here he is, in photos that clearly do not show "roundness" with me, no matter how it is defined!

                  http://s1325.photobucket.com/user/ri...43167814701404
                  Last edited by right horse at the right time; Apr. 8, 2013, 09:11 PM.
                  LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

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                  • #49
                    And when the horse is round and carrying himself, it feels like you have a ballerina under you. Light, willing, and able to move any direction you wish. Love it!
                    Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Relax those fore arms, let your wrists go straight or gently curved slightly in ward, and think foreward with your hands. Learn to regulate his paces through your body more than your hands, and relax those thighs, so your heel can come down. Do that all at once, and you will have a great picture.

                      I know. .... I've gotta be kidding. Yes and no!
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                      • #51
                        My advice is to print out this thread and re-read it in 6 mos. Understanding the feel of roundness comes in layers and you will appreciate many more of the descriptions after that time has elapsed.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          There's a feeling that I call "tall withers". All of a sudden your horses withers feel 2 or 3 inches taller. I didn't get to feel this until 1st level.

                          There's another feeling of "jello" when everything (first you feel it in the neck and then later you notice it more in the back and other parts), is like a big soft sponge that is really, really soft and pliable. I wish I was better at getting this feeling consistently.

                          But round, feels just that. Round. The back that you're sitting on feels round - from front to back, you're sitting on the highest point, but, it's not a point, it's round.
                          Last edited by PossumHorse; Apr. 8, 2013, 09:43 PM. Reason: add more

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by right horse at the right time View Post
                            I cringe when I see the living proof of my stretchy "square," braced arms after the spook, explosive canter depart due to overuse of my right spur, my ruining of a perfectly excellent halt, and other such wonderful things .
                            You need to extend the same generosity to yourself that you extend to your horse!
                            ... breathe & relax

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                              Dressage rider, I think you misunderstand what 2tempe means by "dropping the neck". The neck IS dropped in relation to the wither. Instead of having a kink between neck and wither, there is a smooth line from wither to the top of the neck at the base. That is the sign of the horse releasing the tension of the neck and reaching forward seeking rider's hand.

                              As horses start to develop collection, the hind quarters engage and raise the back; the wither grow, which bring up the base of the neck.

                              That is different from dropping the "wither". If the wither is dropped and/or the neck is raised in relation to the wither, the horse is holding tension in his back and neck and all thoroughness goes out of the window.

                              What 2tempe describes is one indication of roundness. Once a horse release the neck, the rider should feel a power that comes from the hind quarter to be received by the rider's hands (assuming no other blockage preventing it that is).
                              Perhaps I did misunderstand, though I still fail to see how a dropping of the neck is conducive to roundness... I would say that when there's a 'kink', you have a dropped neck - dropped at the base, near the wither, inverted to the poll. When that kink is smoothed out, the base of the neck has been lifted, the topline engaged. To me, that's the more important part when you're focusing on roundness. It's easy enough to crank a horse's head in and have a high poll with that kink, but the true indicator, as you say, is when that kink is stretched out and the horse is using those muscles near the wither, then in both directions along the topline - forward to the poll, back to the hindquarters.

                              I think we're both on the same page, just have different ways that we see what's going on.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Yes. I think we are saying the same thing, just different way of describing what is going on and what needs to happen. Talk about the confusion of dressage lol.

                                Anyway, the dropping neck is not necessarily universal correct - all depending on what the horses are doing: when the horse loves to be star gazers, there is a kink going upward from wither, so the goal is to lower that neck to remove the kink. On the other hand, if the horse loves to hang the head low toward the ground, there is also kink, except this kink is going downward. And then of course the goal will be to push that neck upward to remove the kink.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  To me roundness feels like a release in the neck, when the horse lets go of any tension that he's carrying there and carries himself in his body, if that makes sense...kind of hard to describe. For me, with roundness comes also a lightness in the body (perhaps "throughness" would be a better description?) where it feels like we are moving in harmony, with ease, kind of like floating...
                                  My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                                  "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    What a great thread! I loved reading everyone's different interpretations of the feeling of roundness.

                                    When my pony is REALLY round, I feel like I am sitting on a beach ball and like his hind legs are coming out of the middle of his belly, right under my seat, pushing up against me. He is light in the hand and suddenly I have "power steering" and am able to make tiny adjustments and use the lightest aids because he is balanced and attentive.
                                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                                    PONY'TUDE

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                      On the other hand, if the horse loves to hang the head low toward the ground, there is also kink, except this kink is going downward. And then of course the goal will be to push that neck upward to remove the kink.
                                      I just had to say I love that you said push instead of lift.
                                      Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                      If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                                      Comment

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