The Highest Point Poll - Page 2

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The Highest Point Poll

This is a discussion on The Highest Point Poll within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    09-11-2010, 02:05 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
I just googled dressage pictures, and I must say, it really is hard to find one that fits the OP posted definition. While some of the horses appear to be swinging freely through the back, and noses are slightly in front of the vertical, their poles are not the highest point. It really is maddening. I can see why it's so confusing for people to understand when it's so hard to find.

This is what you are referring to however both this and the one below are correct.

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    09-12-2010, 08:44 AM
Originally Posted by ridergirl23    
Ya, all the riders who win that I know have their horses head the highest point... When I roached my mares mane and it was growing out it made her neck look like she was on steroids (lol) so it made her look like her head was curled in (even though it was on the vertical) so I scored low...
But I always wonder... what about horses with really big necks? Like, renas neck is kinda big, so sometimes her neck is a little over her pole (this was a while ago, before we got her sitting on her butt more) and what happens if your horse has a MASSIVE neck? You shouldnt just crank their head way up should you? Because that can't be correct...
When judging whether the poll is the higest point of the neck, you look at the skeleton not the muscle or fat on a crest.
    09-12-2010, 08:51 AM
Originally Posted by Spyder    

This is what you are referring to however both this and the one below are correct.

Neither of these are examples of correct (by the FEI and USEF Rules) riding, but neither is an extreme case of wrong. This I think is a large part of the problem, riders have not been educated on how to assess the work, instructors, trainers and judges (who are supposed to be holding up these ideals) reward incorrect work and the cycle repeats itself.

Rider 1: Poll ot quite the highest point-result: hollow back (look behind the saddle), look at the right diagonal...can you see how the left hind leg is not stepping under enough based on how far forward the right front has reached? Swishing tail is ALWAYS an indicator of an uncomfortable horse.

Rider 2: Behind the vertical, probably due to the tight curb rein, swishing tail and overall a picture of a lack of relaxation.
    09-12-2010, 09:01 AM
Originally Posted by ridergirl23    
I think they mean besides the neck muscles.Thats the definition I use, if the bone is above the pole it is wrong, but if theres just a little crest above the pole but the horse is moving through itself properly then its fine.
Remember that a little not the highest point is still not the highest point . What's that saying? Almost does not count except in horseshoes and hand grenades.

If a horse has a normal neck (not cresty from insulin resistance or some other issue or being a stallion) it is not correct for the crest to be higher than the poll.
    09-12-2010, 09:11 AM
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
I agree, neither of those pictures show the poll as the highest point, that's what confuses me...people saying this is correct, and yet the rules saying the poll being highest and.....ugh
To see examples of correct work these days you have to look very hard. All the works of the masters such as Podhajski, Richard Watchen, Museler, Bengt Ljungouist Coach of the 1976 US Bronze Medal winning Dressage team and namesake of the BLM Championships here on the East Coast, Egon von Neindorf. For more modern examples Anya Beran, Eril Herbermann, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. I have a recommended reading list for my students posted on my website. Also, I posted the same question to the UDBB and there are some great pics of the masters posted there.
    09-12-2010, 09:16 AM
Originally Posted by MaggiStar    
My horse rounds her neck so her highest point is not her poll but about a quarter way down her neck? She is on the verticle but can tip in behind it if not ridden string frim behind
Do you have a knowledgable trainer at home that you can work with? What you are decribing is a classic sign of incorrect work. It is a sign of a horse being ridden from front to back (head pulled in, see-sawed down,) rather than back to front (the horses hind legs step actively into a elastic contact from the rider).
    09-12-2010, 09:19 AM
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Here let me help :P It does also matter on the moment of the picture, the "pushing" phase will show a bit more nose "in front of the vertical", while the suspension phase the head will be closer to vertical. My horse is a bit cresty naturally, but in the muscling of the neck it is clear that the horse is not creating roundness purely from the 3rd vert. His neck is evenly round.

And a decent photo of a horse bent at the third vert.

I just want to clarify, have you posted these as examples of correct work or incorrect?
    09-12-2010, 09:27 AM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Honestly I think dressage is one of those disciplines that is highly subject to individual tastes. I was recently watching a 2nd level rider school an ex-grand prix level horse. While I was standing there trying to decide if the horse I was watching was truly working through from behind, another rider walked up, uttered something under her breath about how the horse was behind his leg and stomped off. 2 seconds later another rider came by, remarked how fluid the horse was moving and she left. A minute later, another remark on how the horse was swinging through his back but was sucking back a hair.

Guess my point is, it's all relative. All breeds are built differently. A horse who's neck ties high into a horse's shoulder will most likely be ridden on a far shorter rein than a horse who's neck ties in lower. What might appear to be a short leash might not be one at all. I'm honestly not sure if the "fakers" are winning or not because with the upper level horses, I really can't tell who's the real deal. It easy to see at the lower levels who's pushing and who's pulling. Since it all starts there, hopefully the lower level judges and trainers are doing their part to push the art of correct riding. I do my best to train my own horse correctly. That's all I can do.

The problem is it is not relative. There is only one correct way of riding because every horse no matter how conformed is still in the end a horse. The old masters knew this and there are still those that hold to those ideals today. The FEI and USEF rules are absolutely clear, not a bit ambivilant about the definition of correct work. And in the end the horse is the best judge. Swishing tails and hollow backs and short necks and behind the vertical are the horse trying to communicate their discomfort.
    09-12-2010, 09:29 AM
Follow this link for examples of correct work.
    09-12-2010, 12:10 PM
Green Broke
Thank you ithorse for clearing that all up! I always wondered how the cresty horses were supposed to do that! Lol

I'm glad you mentioned any beran, I am reading her book right now! I like her techniques and excersises.
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