Piaffe & Passage Training - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 10:56 AM
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The last thing that a handler wants to do is hold and whip the top of the croup (which causes the horse to stiffen the hindlegs and bounce higher). That action is reserved for horses which have gone too far forward and are not releasing. The first vid shows a horse restrained/lower/leaning over the forelegs, none of which is classical or a correct balance for piaffe.

The first thing (in hand) is that the horse simple goes forward (raises whip), and stops (drops whip). By using (vertical) hh the horse stays up/open (as in the second vid which is too compressed however), folds the hindlegs, start to quicken, reward. Nothing more. Gradually the handler asks for more whoa than go. Only a few steps, reward the change of balance, the folding of the joints of the hind legs, shortening of base of support by closing the hindlegs under (NOT the forelegs backward and straightened hindlegs like in that first vid). One can also use rein back (because it is a diagonal movement), and transition into piaffe steps (which is also a diagonal movement). Gradually the handler can TOUCH a legs (in halt to solicit a reaction). Reward. And then alternate, to get both hind legs.

However, the horse can be asked to move too quickly with too often a touch (second vid) for too long a period and the regularity is lost. (He does however touch the top of the croup when the horse is too sited. The hindlegs lose their will to step under with too compressed outline (like in that passage). But it is always a playful interaction of active/up/still seeking the hand.

Touching of the forelegs (either in the front or behind) can solicit more of a specific reaction, by it is not banging on them. I disagree that there is nothing to be gained by touching different spots on the leg (for a calculated reaction) in forelegs or hind legs. It can create amplitude (and reach in passage) in much the same way jambettes are use. Those that put the horse between the whip and a bamboo pole sculpt the horse by little reactions. THe stiffer the whip/poll the more for a sensitive horse, the whipper for a dull horse. No whacking on the top of the croup as in the first vid, that is the work of a novice imho.

Work in hand is used so that a horse many start (with simple walk/halt) first when it only wtC. Then it will have an in hand piaffe before the rider sits on it. Then the rider slowly takes over. Unfortunately many horses are never developed in this slow methodical manner, and it becomes about having to shape it more with the rider. And if the rider cannot ride an effect hh, horse much higher/folding hindlegs appropriately/horse ifV/ it is more difficult to start under a rider.

(Realize I have done work in hand for P&P for about 50 years, and schooled with those at the top of their work for this specialty.)

Last edited by equitate; 09-18-2013 at 11:03 AM.
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post #12 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 11:26 AM
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The OP was not "spewing all over the internet". She was doing EXACTLY what this forum is here for; asking a genuine question, expressing a genuine opinion, and asking for feedback. That is surely not so ugly that it needed the snippy reply it got.

If Clinicians close their doors because they fear that their work will be misinterpreted and then mis-relayed over the internet, by making it even less available, I think it may end up having the opposite effect; making it mysterious, and therefore people will create all kinds of assumptions, most of them incorrect.
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post #13 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 12:19 PM
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To jaydee - have you ever even seen a piaffe with your eyes plainly. I agree completely with equitate. Train a piaffe before you get an opinion. Train an "8" piaffe before you tell folks how it's done.

And most GP trainers have closed barns which do not allow persons to come in and observe the training of the horses. Clinics are niceties where everyone gets together for patting each other on the back. I've seen few GP trainers who get into any kind of training issues in front of spectators. I myself won't get into the knitty gritty when there are lots of people at the barn.
And it's because of stuff like this. If you don't understand, ask the clinician or the trainer. The last thing the sport needs is more bad publicity and THIS is why people think the sport is inaccessible - they are too afraid to open their mouths and ask a question. Clinics are apparently for learning, I heard once, and questions are an integral part of that. Not just blindly sitting there judging.
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post #14 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 12:20 PM
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I haven't read all the responses, just the question really. Personally I don't agree with it - Piaffe and Passage are purely cosmetic (IMO) and thus not worth using force to make a horse behave. I find hitting a horse on the legs to encourage them to lift their legs higher to be barbaric - sorry if that's extreme but I've seen the 'spanish dancing horses' training and have a horse who's so terribly damaged by this style of training. While in the Spanish styles they don't take the time or build up work that dressage riders do they still teach the horse the same skill with the same sort of force. I am NOT a fan.
This is the Spanish Dancing situation:

But part of your question was "is there any other way to train it?" - well I've seen a few trainers, Georgia Bruce is my favorite who use clicker training. She uses mostly shaping, meaning she rewards the horse for trying the right thing, as they get closer and closer to the right thing. Using no force
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post #15 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post

And most GP trainers have closed barns which do not allow persons to come in and observe the training of the horses. Clinics are niceties where everyone gets together for patting each other on the back. I've seen few GP trainers who get into any kind of training issues in front of spectators. I myself won't get into the knitty gritty when there are lots of people at the barn.
And it's because of stuff like this. If you don't understand, ask the clinician or the trainer. The last thing the sport needs is more bad publicity and THIS is why people think the sport is inaccessible - they are too afraid to open their mouths and ask a question. Clinics are apparently for learning, I heard once, and questions are an integral part of that. Not just blindly sitting there judging.
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It's not always possible to ask the clinician. It can be very crowded , and maybe they are not at a place to take a whole lot of questions.
That's why places like forums offer a great venue for knowledgeable persons, such as yourself, to explain WHY this method of training is used and is effective. You can either grace us with an explanation, or ignore what you think is not worthy of your time.

Last edited by tinyliny; 09-19-2013 at 12:55 AM.
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post #16 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'm well aware that a dressage whip can be used effectively and safely to teach the horse to lift his legs; but I had never seen a large plastic stick being used in such a manner.

Thanks Ninamebo and Jaydee for the great videos. Thanks everyone for your candid feedback :)
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post #17 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
To jaydee - have you ever even seen a piaffe with your eyes plainly. I agree completely with equitate. Train a piaffe before you get an opinion. Train an "8" piaffe before you tell folks how it's done.

And most GP trainers have closed barns which do not allow persons to come in and observe the training of the horses. Clinics are niceties where everyone gets together for patting each other on the back. I've seen few GP trainers who get into any kind of training issues in front of spectators. I myself won't get into the knitty gritty when there are lots of people at the barn.
And it's because of stuff like this. If you don't understand, ask the clinician or the trainer. The last thing the sport needs is more bad publicity and THIS is why people think the sport is inaccessible - they are too afraid to open their mouths and ask a question. Clinics are apparently for learning, I heard once, and questions are an integral part of that. Not just blindly sitting there judging.
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Oh, I'm sure its not because they are afraid their question will be taken the wrong way and they will be scolded, ridiculed, and told to mind their own business.

I came to this thread to read what the knowledgeable dressage people had to say about the subject. Myself, as a novice dressage rider, had a similar question. I saw who had posted and thought "oh good, I'll get a good explanation". Guess I was wrong.

OP- maybe you could try asking your trainer? I hope you get a kinder response, and not a "I am mighty GP dressage trainer, bow down to my overpowering knowledge, you are a dumb peasant, don't ask questions" response



Last edited by Lockwood; 09-18-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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post #18 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 01:33 PM
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Had OP come and legitimately asked a question instead of being distressed by the use of a common training aid I may not have found it so inflammatory.

If you want to know why barrel racers use tie downs, ask. Don't say "tie downs are cruel" and then be annoyed when you are thrummed off the thread.

A bamboo stick is used on the front legs that the horse learns to lift and become expressive in front. It is simply a touch and can make quite a noise. Much better IMO than using a thin whip above the hocks, or tapping the croup, creating bounce in an established piaffe. Some horses are more naturally expressive up front. Most must be moulded.
Until one understands the mechanics of collection and has trained multiple horses to GP it is tough to know what will work best. It's just another tool in the toolshed. Like LDR, a double bridle, and many other exercises which are available for use at any given time to improve a training issue, and are often misunderstood and judged based on no more than lack of asking questions and occasionally refusal to listen to logic in the answer. I find normally that those who come in thinking something is cruel are simply looking for justification, as has been seen time and time again in this and other forums. That is why I jumped on OP.
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post #19 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 02:05 PM
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Anebel - I was watching (real life) dressage competitions, working with dressage horses that were boarded on the yard I managed and taking dressage lessons when you were still a little twinkle in the sky!!!!
You cannot teach a horse to piaffe by knocking it on the legs with a cane to get it to pick its feet up and anyone that thinks they can is misinformed.
Simple as that
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post #20 of 62 Old 09-18-2013, 02:29 PM
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It is not teaching a horse to piaffe. In an established piaffe it helps to teach the horse to become more expressive.
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