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Tineke Bartels tells it like it is

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  • Tineke Bartels tells it like it is

    http://www.bokt.nl/forums/viewtopic....f=11&t=1165166


    << Why are we in the Netherlands having so much success? It is a complex of factors. First it is the strength of the system of Sjef Janssen. He required top sport mentality of its people. You can overlook no small point: everything must be managed to the best possibility to gain maximum points.

    The Dutch dressage riders make sure to mainatin their own physical condition.. Imke, Anky, Adelinde and Edward stay busy doing this--and many other riders as well.

    You see that on this point United Kingdom follows already. There are countries which lag behind however also enough in this.

    In what Sjef and Anky also run first, and where we have all learned from them is learning theory . The manner of now well-established behavior modification used to train the horse.

    One question, one answer. That starts already in the basics.>>

    this is a wonderful article on what and how the Dutch have achieved success--and how long it has taken, and some of the major steps in the process.
    one oak, lots of canyons

    http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

  • #2
    I'm reading her book "riding horse with awerness and feel" and it is FANTASTIC
    Last edited by caddym; Sep. 4, 2009, 08:05 PM. Reason: typo

    Comment


    • #3
      I find some of those statements deeply troubling.

      Sjef's "mentality" is nothing I would want anyone to aspire to.

      And the now "well established behavior modification" -- well, it might be "well established" but also highly controversial.

      The Germans have been at the top of the sport for decades, now for a few months it's been the dutch, partly b/c the top German athletes (equine and human) were having various issues that kept them from participating, so hailing the dutch system as the most successful is in itself flawed.
      "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
        I find some of those statements deeply troubling.

        Sjef's "mentality" is nothing I would want anyone to aspire to.

        And the now "well established behavior modification" -- well, it might be "well established" but also highly controversial.

        .
        I'd REALLY recommend checking out her book.

        After reading the book, I think of the "mentality" as a reflection of how the dutch study the psychology of sport. The coaches of a variety of sport teams and scientisits work together to come up with ways to maximize thinking and concentraion.

        the equestrians also work with ways to understand the horses natural reactions to his environement.

        I'm not sure about any of this being controversial???

        Comment


        • #5
          [QUOTE=
          The Germans have been at the top of the sport for decades, now for a few months it's been the dutch, partly b/c the top German athletes (equine and human) were having various issues that kept them from participating, so hailing the dutch system as the most successful is in itself flawed.[/QUOTE]

          I do agree. (although I'm not sure who - if anyone - is hailing the dutch system as a "the most successful")

          I think that it would be smart for the US to try to learn from BOTH countries.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I quoted only one paragraph of a much longer, very well-conceived 'think piece.'

            The link to the whole article is above and babelfish does a fairly good job of translation.

            The mood of the piece is not egotistical or self-congratulatory, it is a description of what Tineke Bartels feels are the strengths of the current Dutch program, and why those are the priorities for now.

            Andrew McLean and his research into equine behavior has had a big influence on the way the Dutch train and think about training.

            The Bartels Book, "Ride Horses with Awareness and Feel" codifies a lot of those ideas and adds the personal element of real horses and situations.
            one oak, lots of canyons

            http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Two of the largest training components of the Dutch system are rider fitness and rider mental fitness, which means they are on very strict workout programs and also work with sports psychologists to overcome things like show ring nerves. Helped Andelinde enormously. It's not just fannying about on your horse for 20 minutes a day.

              I'd hardly call Dutch success something from the last few months. Their juniors have been at the top of the scoreboards for years, and those kids are moving into the adult rings, they took the European championships twice running now, etc. It's not just because Germany had lame horses that couldn't make it to Windsor last week.

              Like Sjef, hate him, whatever. His system works. Adelinde starts training with him, her score goes up 15%, etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                T

                Like Sjef, hate him, whatever. His system works. Adelinde starts training with him, her score goes up 15%, etc.
                because it is currently what the judges want to see - not because his system is correct in the traditional manner (ie follow the rules)

                the one thing i can say about the dutch - most of the rides i have seen are forced/crammed with little or no suppleness in the traditional sense and rarely any suppleness in the neck - the horses rarely reach into the contact nor do they become longer /shorter in the body during extensions/collection. .

                to me it looks like they have figured out how to dominate the horse to a high degree and gain access at the same time so they endup with flamboyant and accurate rides that look like the horses are robots.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mbm View Post
                  because it is currently what the judges want to see - not because his system is correct in the traditional manner (ie follow the rules)

                  the one thing i can say about the dutch - most of the rides i have seen are forced/crammed with little or no suppleness in the traditional sense and rarely any suppleness in the neck - the horses rarely reach into the contact nor do they become longer /shorter in the body during extensions/collection. .

                  to me it looks like they have figured out how to dominate the horse to a high degree and gain access at the same time so they endup with flamboyant and accurate rides that look like the horses are robots.
                  WOW- are you looking at the same stuff? I think you are terribly caught in your prejudice and don't really get the underlying philosophy.
                  There are nowadays a lot of world class riders that use parts or all of the dutch system- and do quite well. One is Carl Hester- who does believe VERY MUCH in speed control, suppleness and a horse that responds to the finest cues whilst using his back and from the neck to the tail- every inch. This IS the dutch system- if you hate Sjef that is your prerogative- but it was him essentially who thought it up...and then many excellent top riders began to assimilate it...Carl trains often in Holland- not with Sjef but folks close to that circle...and I know what that system consists of...first hand.
                  Thus I feel confident in saying that this IS the system for the future- Isabell is using it and many german up and coming riders are using it...
                  We'll all live to see it...trust my words. And if you go down the judge's angle again- complaining that today's judges see it all wrong...then I guess we are not talking about the same sport here...
                  "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "speed control, suppleness and a horse that responds to the finest cues whilst using his back and from the neck to the tail"

                    I don't know of any upper level rider, German, Dutch, Danish, English, American, or anyone else, who doesn't do this. That is a part of all advanced dressage riding - whether the person rides the horse up all the time or in different positions.

                    In fact, it just has to be like that. There aren't any chances to do things over during a GP test if the horse stiffened up or didn't respond to an aid.

                    And it's always been like that. Reiner Klimke rode like that, so did all the greats of the past. It's assumed they didn't because they aren't associated with rollkur, and because the performances looked different from today's.

                    What people who don't like Sjeff, don't like, seems to be, that he is associated with rollkur. People here have also complained about his hair, his blunt manner of speaking, and the assumption that he has a death grip on the FEI and the Dutch national federation, the judges, and just about everyone else in the world. And as the husband of Anky van Grunsven, he's doubly bad, because he's making her ride in that horrible way and abuse horses, etc etc.

                    I think people also see him as someone who doesn't care about the horses and pressures the horses too much.

                    And I think they see him that way, not because they really know that he is like that or that no other competitors are like that, but that they assume he's like that because he is associated with rollkur.

                    The problem at the bottom of it is rollkur. In many people's minds, Sjeff is rollkur and everything that is wrong with dressage competition today.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                      "speed control, suppleness and a horse that responds to the finest cues whilst using his back and from the neck to the tail"

                      I don't know of any upper level rider, German, Dutch, Danish, English, American, or anyone else, who doesn't do this. That is a part of all advanced dressage riding - whether the person rides the horse up all the time or in different positions.

                      In fact, it just has to be like that. There aren't any chances to do things over during a GP test if the horse stiffened up or didn't respond to an aid.

                      And it's always been like that. Reiner Klimke rode like that, so did all the greats of the past. It's assumed they didn't because they aren't associated with rollkur, and because the performances looked different from today's.

                      What people who don't like Sjeff, don't like, seems to be, that he is associated with rollkur. People here have also complained about his hair, his blunt manner of speaking, and the assumption that he has a death grip on the FEI and the Dutch national federation, the judges, and just about everyone else in the world. And as the husband of Anky van Grunsven, he's doubly bad, because he's making her ride in that horrible way and abuse horses, etc etc.

                      I think people also see him as someone who doesn't care about the horses and pressures the horses too much.

                      And I think they see him that way, not because they really know that he is like that or that no other competitors are like that, but that they assume he's like that because he is associated with rollkur.

                      The problem at the bottom of it is rollkur. In many people's minds, Sjeff is rollkur and everything that is wrong with dressage competition today.
                      Slick- you should write for a mag- could make you some money on the side....haha!
                      not everyone rides with a supple back...NOOO!!
                      Always and only - no way! go look and examine it again.
                      On the other hand the stuff you wrote about Sjef is right on the mark! and this is in my mind a terribly narrowminded childish way to look at a man who has with his knowledge and reading and analysis of the sport made more changes than anyone I can recall...hate him or like him...he's incorporated elements of the Baucherist school, he has analyzed the physicality of horses, he has identified a better 'breed' so to speak...there is a ton of stuff that this guy has done already- like him or hate him..it's a fact!
                      "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No not everyone rides with a supple back - and 'using the back' and a 'supple back' might not always be quite the same thing. A horse can still be very un-supple, yet be powerful, a horse can hold his back quite tight and flat, and be powerful, but not supple...this actually used to be very common.

                        But anyone who attempts to ride at the advanced level has to have a quick response to the aids from his horse, and the other things in the list.

                        There have been various 'fashions' over time - riding more upright with a flatter back, riding the horse upright and rounder, rounder back, schooling in a larger variety of positions....

                        The 'fashion' right now that many seem to dislike, is for an extremely energetic, somewhat 'exaggerated' looking performance. I think the 'exaggeratedness' of the performance isn't actually due to rollkur, but to a much more general approach.

                        I LIKE seeing an energetic performance. I LIKE seeing a horse go forward. But I think there needs to be a balance, and that that can be overdone. Where that line is people don't all agree on. But lately, I do see a slightly more tolerance for a very, very quick, energetic, even at times, exaggerated gait. I disagree when people confuse a horse's natural gait and its collected gait with 'exaggerated'...it's not so easy to see the difference.

                        I also don't think the 'strong', 'on the muscle' sort of performance, the strong contact, the tight necks, are due to rollkur; this is an old problem. Keeping a short neck during extended trot is not a new problem, neither are most of the things people complain about as 'new' (ie, caused by rollkur). Lateral walks as the horse stiffens up anticipating the piaffe passage tour, getting strong in the bridle, these are not new(ie, caused by rollkur). Neither is the 'big' front end and the unequal hind legs - sometimes this is true mobility of the shoulder and lightening the front, sometimes it is just dragging hind quarters and a 'fake' action. Is that new? No, that isn't new either.

                        Keeping a short neck in extended gaits is not new(ie, caused by rollkur). It has never changed THAT much. IT can't. I watched a clinic where a 'great' trainer had people try to do that - extended trot with a long low neck like a first level lengthening - all the horses started forging, they were so off balance. One cut its leg. This was a 'big name' very outspoken. It is not possible for it to change THAT much and that was never intended OR practiced by any of the 'old masters'. The angle of the throat and head change SLIGHTLY - this is all it can do. But yes,, actually, it should change. The outline does need to change, and sometimes it doesn't enough. But that is not new.

                        I also think the venues (the 'globalization' affects the type of facilities where horses compete) do not lend to relaxed horses. We expect to see horses that react to invisible aids and perform multiple tests in a few days without flagging or losing energy, yet we get surprised when a horse acts excited and tense in very closely built facility in the middle of an urban area, with all sorts of things around that aren't very horse friendly.
                        Last edited by slc2; Sep. 5, 2009, 03:26 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                          WOW- are you looking at the same stuff? I think you are terribly caught in your prejudice and don't really get the underlying philosophy..
                          ummmm...... ok..... i dont really care what the underlying philophy is..... what i do care about is that what is currently winning at topsport is a big change from used to win..... yes, the horses are very accurate and expressive - but at what price? they looked held together , forced, crammed, etc.

                          this is what i see as being the contribution of SJ - and no, in general i dont like it.

                          as for him personally - i have no clue, i have never met him, nor have i ever discussed his philosophy - with him or anyone else.
                          it seems to me you are advocating talking the talk and not walking the walk?

                          i know i am in the minority. doenst change the fact that most toprides leave me cold and sad. altho i will say that there are riders that leave me very happy.... i just wish those riders would be more rewarded ...

                          eta: i will say that Parzival is a great example.... a few years ago there were lots of bobbles, not quite as polished, etc .. but i could see the partnership and harmony... now after a few years of working with SJ her scores are phenomenal - but look at what happened to how she rides and how her horse goes.... way more held together and forced looking, less harmony, less partnership.... but tons of accuracy and expression!


                          i guess it all depends on what is important to you.... clearly to SJ getting the most points possible is important - and i give him credit for that. he is an excellent strategist...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You're not in the minority. A great many people complain that quality of work in upper level competition stinks. In fact I'd actually say you are in the majority.

                            I don't actually think the current situation is quite so irretrievable, nor do I think it's the product of rollkur per se.

                            I think it just takes the judges tuning their scoring a bit, to emphasize fluidity and relaxation over energy and excitement. I think the judges have to lead the way.

                            I do have a concern that when all the competitors reach a certain level, is the only possible next step to get into a very energetic, exaggerated style? Is competition creating an artificial criteria, because it can't do anything other than that? Usually, I don't think so, and usually I think things can continue to evolve and improve, and that we're not 'painted into a corner'.

                            Nor do I usually think that competitive dressage has to stay the way we are right now, or that getting to a less exaggerated performance is 'going backwards' or giving something up. I think it's possible to have impulsion, expression and activity, and still have the muscles working correctly, and have suppleness and fluidity.

                            Some years ago, everyone leaped up out of the saddle in 1 tempe changes. It seemed there wasn't any other way to do it. It was universal.

                            And then that changed. Everyone simply learned a better way. It happens. It evolved. It changed. Progress.

                            Many of the top performances have some really good points -- lots of energy, few mistakes, great covering of ground, fantastically difficult moments and figures in the freestyle, great cadence in the passage, much expressive movement. There is much there to be admired.

                            But what we are lacking in is the more fluid, easy motion...less cadence in the collected trot in some horses, shifting the balance over to just a little bit more fluidity in the judging. What I hope for is to get more of a balance in the scoring, and more of a trend toward letting some of these fantastic super horses with very expressive gaits, to come down a notch in excitement.

                            To have that happen, someone has to come out and ride that way, and just STUN people, and teach them it can be done. Until someone comes out and does that, the judges can't change what they expect or what they reward right now.

                            Can someone do that? Have we reached a limit? I don't think so, but...

                            No one is doing that right now. In a way, things are kind of stagnated at a current level with much the same riders and issues and questions for quite some time. I think in an odd way as much as things have changed in the last 6-10 yrs in dressage these things haven't changed...people have come along who do the same thing better, not a revolutionary change.

                            The judges can lead the way in how they score, but only if someone comes out and lights the light.

                            People I think are on the brink of doing that - Haddad and others could. I think it will happen. And they will push people and even the people who have been around a long time will change. They will change or they won't win.

                            At one point Sjeff told Anky vG that she had to score 30 points higher. She told him at that point that she couldn't improve that much, that she didn't know how she could at that point (this is in her autobiography). When you can't visualize something, it's pretty hard to visualize it, LOL.

                            Every few years we see a certain sort of trend come into judging and a certain tolerance of some faults in favor of other aspects. Judging evolves right along with horse breeding and everything else. Judges aren't perfect. They change too. But someone has to rock the boat.
                            Last edited by slc2; Sep. 4, 2009, 08:07 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You know MBM, it's funny but I was just going to tell you to look at Adelinde's ride at Windsor as a very harmonious and supple example of how her riding has improved now that she's under Sjef's tutelage. Compare it to her prior competitions and to me there's no doubt that all the things that you think are missing are finally there now.

                              And the other funny thing is.. even the judges agree with me on this!
                              Siegi Belz
                              www.stalleuropa.com
                              2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                              Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                seigi - actually, of the top riders i liked hers best.... but, i still think that she has lost something as she has progressed in her training... yes, for sure she is way more accurate, way more mmm.... polished i guess.... but for all that - she now looks "harder" in the saddle... she leans back, she appears to have a lot of weight in her reins at all times..... and, i think, from where i sit, the partneship isnt there....

                                so, yes, she is a perfect example of what i am talking about.... and maybe people dont see /feel what i do, that's ok... for me dressage is emotional as well as physical.

                                (i also think calling riders athletes is changing how we perceive riding)

                                eta: yes, of course the judges agree with you.... if they didnt we wouldn't be having this conversation... but even tho they are judges i can still disagree with what they reward.... and even among the judges there is differences in opinion... maybe not at that show, but in the world of judges there are differences..... and some are not happy with top sport.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  i think, as i think about this more.... what has really changed is the rewarding of accuracy/flamboyance over the core dressage "values" (engagement/suppleness/self carriage/reaching for the bit/throughness/a changeable "frame"including the neck)

                                  i am not sure if i am expressing this well.... and maybe i wont be able to get this across.... but , in the race for accuracy above all else i think we lost a lot.... instead of the horse looking like it is working in self carriage without the help of the rider, it now looks like the horse couldnt hold itself up without the rider......

                                  instead of the rider giving and letting go - it looks like they hold and cram and control every single muscle movement.

                                  for me this inst what dressge is supposed to be. the training should be so good that the horse looks like it is doing on its own accord what is asked of it.

                                  i give up i dont think i am getting across what i am feeling....

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I don't agree that this is a result of seeking more accuracy, which was always desirable and important. I think it's more basic than that. I think that the excitability, flamboyance, was developed for itself.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                      because it is currently what the judges want to see - not because his system is correct in the traditional manner (ie follow the rules)

                                      the one thing i can say about the dutch - most of the rides i have seen are forced/crammed with little or no suppleness in the traditional sense and rarely any suppleness in the neck - the horses rarely reach into the contact nor do they become longer /shorter in the body during extensions/collection. .

                                      to me it looks like they have figured out how to dominate the horse to a high degree and gain access at the same time so they endup with flamboyant and accurate rides that look like the horses are robots.
                                      PRECISELY....there is little or nothing classically correct in any of this, whether it's currently fashionable or not, it's a vile way of training. I hate that it's rewarded.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                                        WOW- are you looking at the same stuff? I think you are terribly caught in your prejudice and don't really get the underlying philosophy.
                                        then I guess we are not talking about the same sport here...
                                        No.. we are not talking about the same sport here .
                                        mbm wants horses to do dressage for the love of it..!?!
                                        the winners expect horses to do dressage because they are trained to do it (in such as way as to make both parties happy...)
                                        I have come to realize mbm does not like upper level dressage...
                                        It takes a lot of knowledge and talent to convince a horse (or a person) that hard work is fun.....
                                        * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
                                        Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
                                        NO! What was the question?

                                        Comment

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