The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 2 of 65 FirstFirst 12341252 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 1289
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mp View Post
    Amen. I understand the intellectual need to discuss German vs French and the differences in training. But you still have to ride the horse. And they're all individuals.



    *ding-ding* IMO, you can't do anything -- French, German, classical, whatever -- if you have no forward energy to work with.



    Can someone tell me what this means? I see this term used a lot. Is having horses that are "light, straight and balanced" the only requirement? Lots of longe line work in lessons? Trainer doesn't compete?

    Enlighten me, please.
    If we want to keep this discussion training-focused on the actual, "using" specifics, best we not get bogged down in the unwinnable circular argument about what is "classical." It has been defined many ways; some say only the teachings of La Guerinere, or only that used by the Vienna School, or only the techniques used in Renaissance-era equitation which would completely eliminate the whole of the "modern" sport, etc. Some of the German persuasion think Baucher's style is heresy; even some Frenchmen (Comte D'Aure and his partisans) rejected Baucher politically even while they used his techniques covertly! This question has been around since the 1830's and has never been resolved to anyone's satisfaction . . .

    So let's stay focused on technique! Now, there seems to be a bit of dissent as to what "forward" and "balance" are defined as here; for my money, "forward" means a willing forward impulse, meaning the horse has his "engine" engaged and wants to go. This is NOT to be confused with speed, or actual "gait over the ground." What we are very specifically NOT doing is putting the horse into a trot or a canter and then trying to balance him after the fact when he starts out on his forehand. We balance him FIRST before initiating the upward transition. Here are the signs to look for:

    Relaxation of the jaw
    Elevation of the withers (rocking his weight back)
    Engagement and willingness to move off your leg

    Notice we are not looking for "firm contact" here. Do not EVER confuse this state of "between" hands and legs as "behind the bit." "Behind the bit" is actually "behind the leg," e.g. "sucking back," and not at all a light horse who is willing to leap forward off your spur if you asked him to.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2006
    Location
    Nor Cal
    Posts
    1,962

    Default

    Forward is a condition which originates in balance.
    I was taught that the most important lesson you can teach a young horse in its first 30-60 days under saddle is 'forward'. Once forward has been established the rest is about helping the horse to reestablish its natural balance under the rider. Only when natural balance has been achieved can any further training proceed. By natural balance I mean the horse moves rhythmically (with energy and tempo), swinging (with Elasticity and Suppleness), and with consistent contact with the riders hand. As the horse regains balance and allows himself to be straightened the quality of the balance continues to improve. The horse comes more on the riders aides and the last resistances in the poll, trunk, haunches are lost.

    with respect to separation of the aides--I wonder how many riders are aware of when they send conflicting messages--I know this is something I work on repeatedly with my instructor.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2003
    Posts
    4,601

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
    If we want to keep this discussion training-focused on the actual, "using" specifics, best we not get bogged down in the unwinnable circular argument about what is "classical." It has been defined many ways; some say only the teachings of La Guerinere, or only that used by the Vienna School, or only the techniques used in Renaissance-era equitation which would completely eliminate the whole of the "modern" sport, etc. Some of the German persuasion think Baucher's style is heresy; even some Frenchmen (Comte D'Aure and his partisans) rejected Baucher politically even while they used his techniques covertly! This question has been around since the 1830's and has never been resolved to anyone's satisfaction . . .
    What I thought. Depends on who's using the term.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2012
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Many threads on dressage training will sooner or later come around to focus on the topic of "forward", mainly because without forward movement not much can be accomplished.

    I come from a place where "forward" is a mental state of mind, not so much a physical occurance because if you don`t have a "forward thinking" horse, you will not really have forward OR any genuine throughness.

    When we do come from a place where "forward" or anything else we do with a horse is dependant on his mental state; mainly because any action starts in the brain, as a thought, then I think we understand horses a lot better.

    When we ask the horse to step under it`s body shadow with its hind leg, changes happen in the horses mental state, IF it is done correctly. The old dressage masters knew this,..... the cowboy Vaqueros knew this VERY well, and all training started with such. The old masters used it, not only with their groundwork but, with the use of the shoulder-in when mounted. To soften the horses rib cage by asking the horse to step under, the movement helps the horse to let go of it`s defenses. When a horse is not forward, it is mostly a defense, not laziness, as many people think.

    So the starting point of any work should begin with asking the horse to step under and across behind, from the ground. When the ribcage is soft, the jaw will come too, and thus the poll.......and the focus and mind of the horse will aslo come and then, there won`t be the resistance of "not forward", "shying", "distracted" that you hear so much about.



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Posts
    3,505

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mp View Post
    What I thought. Depends on who's using the term.
    Yep! Like when the term LDR is used and you see this nasty overly round animal pulled by the curb to the chest vs. a horse nicely rounded and a soft hand.

    If the horse is going nicely we can put down the books
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Posts
    695

    Default

    Fascinating thread and a great read - thank you all for your insights!

    Can I ask how the French school of thought would teach forward differently from the German? Are there videos/other resources available that I should look at to learn more?



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2007
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    2,590



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
    Posts
    2,169

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by re-runs View Post
    When we do come from a place where "forward" or anything else we do with a horse is dependant on his mental state; mainly because any action starts in the brain, as a thought, then I think we understand horses a lot better.

    To soften the horses rib cage by asking the horse to step under, the movement helps the horse to let go of it`s defenses. When a horse is not forward, it is mostly a defense, not laziness, as many people think.
    Very nice comments. Thanks!

    Also, we should add in "confusion," because many if not most "resistant" horses that aren't in pain are confused because they feel unable to find a way out of defensiveness. Nothing they do works to relieve them of the pressure, and they try a lot of things, a number of which we don't like. So we up the pressure, of course, still without consistently releasing it, and eh voila, a resistant and/or lazy and/or "not forward" horse.

    That's why it's so important to release the pressure at the precise moment the horse offers what you asked for, and release it clearly, so the horse understands.

    As a horse becomes more "trained," meaning it not only comprehends the simple, single aids, but has a rider it can trust to apply and release them in a way that makes sense to the horse, then you can add more subtle variations, ask for an "upgrade" in performance--and know that the horse will be confident enough to accept it and even enjoy himself. Horses LOVE consistency. It makes them happy and calm. They love to know that when they respond accurately to a clear, simple aid, they can affect what happens to them.

    The whole idea of "submission" is backwards. The horse isn't "submitting" to the aids. It's understanding what to do to get the pressure released, and thus is willing.

    When they can't affect what happens to them, or they get an inconsistent response from the rider, this creates worry.

    It's the difference between having a boss or parent who says, "Wash the dishes" and then leaves you alone while you wash them, and someone who stands over your shoulder telling you that you left a speck, you aren't drying them right, who yanks your face back when you glance out the window, who picks up your arm and shoves the dishrag between your fingers as you try to reach for a plate, then yells at you when it slips and breaks.
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2010
    Location
    Land of Enchantment
    Posts
    828

    Default Mains sans jambes - Jambes sans mains

    Quote Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
    ...
    Separation of the aids (hand without legs, legs without hand);

    Release of the aids (when the horse responds, aid ceases)

    Moderation of the aids (action and reaction in proportion)

    Optimization of orders (BALANCE is the key to everything)

    Resulting in:

    "Liberty on parole" aka self-carriage in collection.

    ...

    Here we go . . . .
    I am enjoying reading your thread thank you for starting it. I heard that term everyday while working as a groom for at several barns in France and Portugal and Germany.

    I do think however that it is primordial, before one can really understand these terms and the correct usage of the aides, that we ourselves be really supple and physically fit enough to understand how to use our own bodies. We must know how to isolate parts of our body and to control them separately or together to apply an aide correctly.
    This is a huge challenge for dressage riders (especially novices) and when we start to progress and become effective at controling our bodies and emotions only then can we really "feel" and communicate with our horses.

    Mileage in the saddle, yoga, pilates, martial arts, whatever but we must get there to be effective in riding to lightness.



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Posts
    3,505

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alicen View Post




    You are bad alicen

    If you can restrain yourself from ALWAYS trying to half step the video actually shows some extreme versions of something that is good... But its turned from ice cream to a blizzard at that farm
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2003
    Posts
    4,601

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alicen View Post
    Oh my.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2007
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    2,590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post



    You are bad alicen
    Well, people, find me something else.

    Like mbm said "nowadays, i rarely read theory now i want to SEE theory in action then i want to DO it myself.... "



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse&Bay View Post
    Fascinating thread and a great read - thank you all for your insights!

    Can I ask how the French school of thought would teach forward differently from the German? Are there videos/other resources available that I should look at to learn more?
    The German school puts the horse in motion first, and works to achieve balance from there; this method works best with, I'm fond of saying exclusively with, WB's. The French school actually does a great deal of the early work at the WALK, hence exercises like 4-track shoulder-in and especially "counted" walk, and are not above working even at the halt with spoiled or phlegmatic horses who first need to understand the effet d'ensemble. In the French way of thinking, if your horse has no forward mind (I like that post above), and no balance at the halt or walk, things will only get WORSE at trot and will be hopeless by canter. The right feel is like "riding the clutch" at a red light in a nice sports car!



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2012
    Posts
    302

    Default

    MelantheLLC...........

    You GET IT!


    "Also, we should add in "confusion," because many if not most "resistant" horses that aren't in pain are confused because they feel unable to find a way out of defensiveness. Nothing they do works to relieve them of the pressure, and they try a lot of things, a number of which we don't like. So we up the pressure, of course, still without consistently releasing it, and eh voila, a resistant and/or lazy and/or "not forward" horse.

    That's why it's so important to release the pressure at the precise moment the horse offers what you asked for, and release it clearly, so the horse understands.

    As a horse becomes more "trained," meaning it not only comprehends the simple, single aids, but has a rider it can trust to apply and release them in a way that makes sense to the horse, then you can add more subtle variations, ask for an "upgrade" in performance--and know that the horse will be confident enough to accept it and even enjoy himself. Horses LOVE consistency. It makes them happy and calm. They love to know that when they respond accurately to a clear, simple aid, they can affect what happens to them.

    The whole idea of "submission" is backwards. The horse isn't "submitting" to the aids. It's understanding what to do to get the pressure released, and thus is willing.

    When they can't affect what happens to them, or they get an inconsistent response from the rider, this creates worry.

    It's the difference between having a boss or parent who says, "Wash the dishes" and then leaves you alone while you wash them, and someone who stands over your shoulder telling you that you left a speck, you aren't drying them right, who yanks your face back when you glance out the window, who picks up your arm and shoves the dishrag between your fingers as you try to reach for a plate, then yells at you when it slips and breaks."

    Love this by the way:
    "There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in."



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Posts
    3,505

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alicen View Post
    Well, people, find me something else.

    Like mbm said "nowadays, i rarely read theory now i want to SEE theory in action then i want to DO it myself.... "
    No its true! I agree.

    I think the half step training is fine in the video... But just all that is being done Like passage is the only thing a horse needs to do dressage? And on a horse that is clearly not fit.

    The levels are clearly attempting to help keep a horses progression on this side of normal. I have no problem with early collected steps. BUT STEPS AS IN A FEW!

    That video should be the type of work someone does for a few minutes here and there (or not at all until the level it is required).
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2010
    Location
    Land of Enchantment
    Posts
    828

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
    The German school puts the horse in motion first, and works to achieve balance from there; this method works best with, I'm fond of saying exclusively with, WB's. The French school actually does a great deal of the early work at the WALK, hence exercises like 4-track shoulder-in and especially "counted" walk, and are not above working even at the halt with spoiled or phlegmatic horses who first need to understand the effet d'ensemble. In the French way of thinking, if your horse has no forward mind (I like that post above), and no balance at the halt or walk, things will only get WORSE at trot and will be hopeless by canter. The right feel is like "riding the clutch" at a red light in a nice sports car!
    Many of the French school who train horses will not even take on a horse who is not naturally forward, as, at best, it is difficult to achieve forwardness in this type of horse. However, many times you can see that horses who evade the forward aides, tend to learn more effectively with work in hand. Then when they "understand" forwardness it is easy to translate to riding them.
    These people "the Henriquets" are French classisists in every sense of the word but like others, have been able to apply their methodes to many different breeds of horse. Enjoy...
    http://www.henriquet.fr/english/fram...vaux_catherine



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    The video someone so kindly linked shows very clearly exactly what we're talking about and the results that can be gotten (and it doesn't take 10 years!) with just about any sound horse. BTW, I am not affiliated with Sugar Creek or the video producers, I most often just work with my own horses unless a boarder wants some help or has a question.

    A note on tack fitting: See those horses in the video bridled without a noseband? One of the first things we do is get rid of any noseband that you can't put 4 fingers + under; in order for the horse to relax, yield his jaw and chew the bit, he MUST not have his jaws restrained by any tight noseband. As you see here, many people just take the noseband off entirely.

    The other thing we do is let the bit hang such that there are no wrinkles, or one mild wrinkle if conformationally necessary, in the corner of the mouth but NEVER the bit pulled up to the point where there are 2 or more. Otherwise, for all practical purposes the horse never gets any release. I believe both of the above are in and of themselves major causes of resistance due to pain (I can elaborate as to why if anyone's interested) and for the life of me I don't understand why so many (both hunter and dressage) trainers are doing the 2-wrinkle thing these days; I've never heard an actual rationale for it beyond doing it because every one else does!

    From a functional standpoint it is just plain incorrect.

    Many QH's, who were Western-broke first, find this way of riding easily compatible with what they already know, as long as they weren't artificially induced to peanut-push and cramp up their gaits, and even that is fixable.

    It is worth noting that Baucher's method specifically evolved to make the TB's and Anglo-Arabs then becoming fashionable for both civilian hacking and the military more rideable. This includes, famously, some extremely sensitive and difficult horses, the kind who utterly refuse to tolerate working in any ongoing discomfort. My old QH eventer was one; German seat a la Museler would get you a rear over backwards . . . Racinet's method made him a happy boy working to the age of 30 after a long career over fences!

    BTW, if you've ever read the books of the late Nuno Oliveira, his riding was of this camp as well, with minor variations.



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
    No its true! I agree.

    I think the half step training is fine in the video... But just all that is being done Like passage is the only thing a horse needs to do dressage? And on a horse that is clearly not fit.

    The levels are clearly attempting to help keep a horses progression on this side of normal. I have no problem with early collected steps. BUT STEPS AS IN A FEW!

    That video should be the type of work someone does for a few minutes here and there (or not at all until the level it is required).
    This IS the kind of work someone does for a few minutes. The video was a collection of very heavily edited clips from what appears to be several clinics. People bring all kinds of horses to clinics, and Jean-Claude would take 'em as they came as did Baucher before him. Yes, it goes without saying that proper preparation for any High School work includes a horse properly conditioned and fit, preferably made that way outdoors over natural country. But that, regrettably, is not everyone's reality today as we all know.

    Addressing the "half-steps" etc: First, achieve understanding and balance. Then, add impulsion, though I prefer to call it "amplitude," a little at a time. What restricts this process is that you must add impulsion WITHOUT blowing the balance!!
    Should your horse fall on his forehand, go against the bit or suck back behind your leg, transition down immediately and back up to Square One. They learn what is wanted very, very quickly and one of the beautiful things about it is you don't need to POUND them around and around that old 20-meter circle for endless miles trying to "put them together." They're "together" when you move away from the mounting-block; and that means not only schooling, but going out on the trail, moving off with hounds, or even (gasp!) stepping on the trailer since you brought up work in hand!

    The "levels" of the USDF/FEI are irrelevant here; they simply do not apply. If you want to show, you show your French School horse in whatever class you can present him to advantage; but the competition training-tree or progression is not applied or enforced in this training. Apples and oranges!



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2010
    Location
    Land of Enchantment
    Posts
    828

    Default

    I'll put on my fire suit now - Ugh just struggling into it
    OK now its on...

    The thing I do not love about the first video is that the most of the horses have no real implusion - not like Oliveira's horses.
    In their forward or lateral movements most seem like they are not using themselves. The riders release the reins and often have no contact at all - this is a falicy that is often committed under the name of classical dressage or the French school.

    I'm a classisist but I believe in impulsion - In today's terms: Uta Graf, Paul Belasik, Catheine Henriquet, etc...

    Ok Flame suit off



  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    BTW--Baucher's famous last words on his deathbed were conveyed not to Jean-Claude Racinet (though he'd have liked that!) but to General, then Colonel, L'Hotte of the Cadre Noir.

    As Racinet explained it to me, "Always This" means: squeeze the rein with a fixed hand like crushing a clump of dirt in your garden. "Never this"--like pulling on your boots with boot hooks or opening a drawer. Very easy-to-remember definition of the fixed hand.

    Someone above noted the need for rider fitness and a truly independent seat--Jean-Claude it must be noted was a member of the French Army jumping team first, and was fond of saying that if you can't jump a 3'6" vertical with no reins, no stirrups and your arms crossed behind your back, don't even think about riding the High School. And he held me to it!

    In the video it's mentioned that many of Jean-Claude's old students don't teach--this is one major reason why. The methods can also be the razor in the hand of a monkey if they are misapplied by riders who are still using strength of any kind just to stay on. You may want to test yourself, at least over a cross-rail or two or bareback, to see if you think you qualify . . .

    Belasik, Henriquet, et. al. are not pure Baucherists; Oliveira had knockdown dragout debates about whether he actually was or not! Again, what is important here is neither dogma, just the outcome for the horse. Jean-Claude would be the first one always to say, Do What Works! And we totally believe in impulsion too--but we add it AFTER we have balance. German school does it the other way around. All roads lead to Rome . . .



Similar Threads

  1. French School "Workshop!"
    By SwampYankee in forum Dressage
    Replies: 348
    Last Post: Feb. 15, 2013, 12:10 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: Feb. 22, 2010, 08:12 AM
  3. "Old School Products" spinoff--Remember when horses...
    By pintopiaffe in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Nov. 3, 2009, 04:37 PM
  4. Replies: 21
    Last Post: Oct. 2, 2009, 02:55 PM
  5. "Angle Irons" - the "old school" kind?
    By Vandy in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Mar. 15, 2009, 09:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •