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This is a discussion on Piaffe! within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Should piaffe be taught on the ground or ridden
  • Western dressage piaffe video

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    06-08-2010, 11:28 AM

I know this is far beyond my skill level, but I've been wondering what are the beginning steps to teaching a horse to Piaffe? I mean, I can understand how to teach a Pirouette (In theory, never tried it) but the reasoning behind Piaffe eludes my thinking.

Like I said, This is far beyond my skill level and I have no intentions of trying it, I'm just honestly curious. I think if I tried it I would accidently teach something else lol
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    06-08-2010, 02:10 PM
The beginnings of short steps are a good addition to any medium level horse's repertoire. As the horse understands half pass, working canter pirouettes and the flying change it is important to also develop a range of motion in the trot, ranging from a "very collected trot" to the extended trot.
It depends on the horse what the best way to begin the piaffe is, whether it is undersaddle or in hand. A very collected trot is required in fourth level so it does need to be taught undersaddle, but with some more sensitive horses it is a good move to teach them without the weight of the rider.

If the piaffe is being taught as a trick, then it doesn't really matter how you do it, it will just be a trick. To develop correct piaffe can take years and requires a very skilled trainer that will neither make the horse nappy or too flighty and will be patient in not pushing the horse beyond what his body and mind are currently capable of.
    06-08-2010, 06:45 PM
As Anebel said, it takes a huge amount of time and patience, with countless ways to approach it!

I like this video of Jane Savoie working with a horse and rider on the beginnings of a piaffe. It gives you an idea of what to expect and what to look for.

Many people will also start from the ground up, others will even teach piaffe to horses that aren't even started undersaddle. It's the same idea as free-jumping a young horse, or longe-lining the horse - it gives them something to relate to and associate with when the movement is started under saddle. ~
    06-09-2010, 12:17 AM
Green Broke
A simple way my trainer sometimes puts it ( haha not that I'm at that level, I wish! But when she's talking to other people or I ask how) don't let them run through the front, but keep their hind end coming until they're so collected theyre piaffing. I've always been told that if you are your horse are completely prepared (after years and years of training) it should be relatively easy to get that step into piaffe.
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    06-09-2010, 12:36 AM
That video was awesome! I really injoyed watching it. I generally ride western but would like to get my horse into dressage and the video was very informative for me as well :)

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