I would hope the following will bring some insight to the members regarding rider v. horseman. Remember the old adage, even a monkey can ride a horse.
These rolkur/ldr forms of schooling methods do in fact, physically block the ability of the horse’s forehand to move correctly. These methods of schooling and riding the horse are 'reactively demanded' by the riders/trainers in such a manner and with such insistent forces, that the horses eventually succumb to the pressures and become submissive to that which is un-natural for them.
What encompasses the differences between demand and allow. The rider when demanding does not let the horse nor him/her self to be responsive, instead they both are reactive. On the other hand, a horseman will allow, through the extreme sympathetic responsive patience of the rider, the horse to be sympathetically responsive to the requests of she or he.
Before we continue let us show the definitions of these critical five words as they apply to the riding and schooling of the horse.
Demand means: “an insistent and peremptory request, made as a right”.
Allow means: “give or provide”.
Reactive means: “to produce a reciprocal effect, bodily resistance to an external stimulus, the tendency to oppose”.
Responsive means: “sympathetically responding readily to some influence.”
Sympathetically means: “acting with the same or similar feeling as another”.
The ‘attitude’ of the rider/trainer is the fundamental criteria one must observe in order to understand the restrictive nature of the particular rider/trainer.
Attitude means: “a settled opinion or way of thinking and the behavior reflecting this”.
The intrinsic requirement of the human horse relationship is the sympathetic response instead of the ever present and domineering demanding reaction. Therefore, in order to produce an equine athlete that is physically and psychologically free in the performance, the rider/trainer of horses is required to create and maintain a inner personal attitude of humility and integrity. This personal attitude will result in the rider/trainer demonstrating to the horse absolute trust and respect through the soft and supple body of the rider. All of the various body aids used by the rider/trainer will have no tension within them and the rein aids will not be depended upon by rider/trainer so that the contact will be able to be measured in ounces rather than pounds of pressure.
The rider/trainer who is a horseman will not take up the reins in such a manner as to apply pounds of pressure to the bit, but will instead use the fingers ounces of pressure to every so softly shake the bit instead of pull on it. Such a horseman will also ‘allow’ the horse not to take the bit in the jaws, teeth or tongue…allowing in this instance means that the horseman will not let the horse have bit control through the horseman’s sympathetic responsive actions rather than the demanding reactions of applied force.
We humans have chosen the position that we know better for our horses then our horses do and this schooling method which originates all the way back to Baucher, is a prime example of our egotistical pride preventing us from learning any new knowledge that arises which contradicts previous equine schooling methodologies. Generally speaking, we have been indoctrinated with schooling principles that are contrary to the functioning anatomy of our horses. Generally speaking, we have been indoctrinated with schooling mannerisms that are demanding reactions to the horse and we have closed off our eyes, ears, and bodies to the sympathetic responsive communication with the horse.
Anyone can ride a horse, few can dance with a horse. Dance requires sympathetic responsive actions by the rider, encouraging the horse to respond with like sympathetic responses, allowing the horse to appear to being doing the movements on its own. “Supreme Performance Through Supreme Freedom” ©