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Piaffe & Passage Training

This is a discussion on Piaffe & Passage Training within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Cue piaffe and passage
  • Why does the passage of a dressage horse look different from the passage of the spanish riding school

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    09-18-2013, 07:44 PM
  #31
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
The point of the two videos wasnt to show which had a better piaffe, as neither are what are sought after in high level dressage shows, but both are extreme opposite ways of teaching it, whether those ibdividuals achieved the right thing or not. In georgia's video its clear she was just showing how to achieve a shortened trot, not really a dressage style piaffe, though close. While in the spanish one (I'd like to point out this is not done through any sort of fancy school, this is just guys getting their horses amped up for a parade teaching them to dance in place). They are not seeking a piaffe either, theyre just seeking a horse doin acrobatics and trying to look as flashy as possible. My reason for showing it is that the training style from the spanish group is very similar to what I see in dressage - a horse restrained from forward movement and force being applied to make them dance in place for purely cosmetic reasons. The only difference I see between the dressage trainers and the charro style trainers is thar in dressage they spend years of training building up to these skills and have clear rules and expectations on how the horse should use their body, while tge charros just throw any horse on a pillar with a bit strong enough to inhibit forward motion and beat em till theyre dancing.
Pardon my grammar my phone is awful. I don't think the tools are cruel, its how and why theyre used.
The charro "trainers" are nowhere near doing the same thing as haute ecole (Spanish riding school) or GP riders do.
There is absolutely no comparison. Sorry. I strongly suggest you do some research before comparing the two styles whatsoever.
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    09-18-2013, 07:49 PM
  #32
Started
I've done a lot of research and worked with some dressage trainers, I hope it was clear when I said tgey were nothing alike and clearly stated the differences, though im sure there are more I didnt list. My point was I'm not a fan of either.
     
    09-18-2013, 07:55 PM
  #33
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
The point of the two videos wasnt to show which had a better piaffe, as neither are what are sought after in high level dressage shows, but both are extreme opposite ways of teaching it, whether those ibdividuals achieved the right thing or not. In georgia's video its clear she was just showing how to achieve a shortened trot, not really a dressage style piaffe, though close. While in the spanish one (I'd like to point out this is not done through any sort of fancy school, this is just guys getting their horses amped up for a parade teaching them to dance in place). They are not seeking a piaffe either, theyre just seeking a horse doin acrobatics and trying to look as flashy as possible. My reason for showing it is that the training style from the spanish group is very similar to what I see in dressage - a horse restrained from forward movement and force being applied to make them dance in place for purely cosmetic reasons. The only difference I see between the dressage trainers and the charro style trainers is thar in dressage they spend years of training building up to these skills and have clear rules and expectations on how the horse should use their body, while tge charros just throw any horse on a pillar with a bit strong enough to inhibit forward motion and beat em till theyre dancing.
Pardon my grammar my phone is awful. I don't think the tools are cruel, its how and why theyre used.
I am a very low level dressage rider, no GP training or experience at all, but I am pretty sure the methods are not as similar as you would think, nor are they purely for cosmetic reasons. I truly hope not. If the horse is truly bending the hocks and lifting his front, the strength built from that is pretty impressive.
The very traditional old Spanish school use of the pillar for training would be introduced much slower, and a major difference is that the horse is not whipped, but "touched", or tapped. And the whip is an aid, and is used with very careful timing. It is not meant to create a fear reaction, which is about all I can see from the charro horses in THAT video.
     
    09-18-2013, 08:48 PM
  #34
Started
Which is why I mentioned the big difference is that in dressage they "spend years training building up to these advanced skills". Maybe I'm missing something but whats the practical use of piaffe? Just to build the strength in their hind end?
I'm a huge fan of what low level dressage teaches. It helps horses and riders learb to perform and listen to subtle cues and work more correctly with their body.
But this is just my opinion, but I don't see any need to have a horse performing skills like piaffe and passage. I don't mind frivolous training, any skill a horse learns that's sought after in the horse community will only help increase the horses value - so I have no problem with teaching horses constructive skills. My problem is using any sort of force to train skills that are purely cosmetic. I feel the same way about people using force to train their horse to lay down or sit or any other skill that's just a cool trick. If you want to train these skills, by all means do, but don't use force.
The biggest difference I see with dressage is the level of choice the horse has and the amount of force needed. Because they are taught so slowly they know how to respond to the bit and know how to collect themselves, they're just being taught to do it to a further extreme. They are responding to cues not desperately seeking relief. But, again, just my opinion, I feel reaching this level of control through force rather sad, not gratifying - to see a horse that submissive. Which is why I'm alright with using pressure type training for skills a horse needa to know to be a dubctioning member of equine society but my line is drawn when it comes to extremes in any sport. If you wish to seek these extremes at least do it without force. Without force may also be a slower path but the goal can be achieved just as well. Wheb I say "force" I mean through a method of pressure and release where the horse has no choice but to respond correctly or be subjected to discomfort or pain until they do.

But again - that's just my opinion and no one needs to share that if they don't want.
     
    09-18-2013, 11:11 PM
  #35
Trained
Punks, do you think a horse has any idea of what training is for a 'job' and what is 'cosmetic'. Performing the piaffe and passage for a Grand Prix horse is its 'job' just as chasing a cow is a cutting horse's 'job'.
I am surprised at your level of ignorance!

Have you seen a horse piaffe at liberty, in the paddock with no request from a human? I have certainly seen stallions at play, piaffing and VERY often showing the passage. Dressage hones in on these natural movements, and refines them.

You said the only difference between those hideous Charro 'dancing' horses and a highly trained Grand Prix horse is the fact that the dancing horses are trained quickly and roughly while GPhorses are developed slowly, building appropriate muscle etc.
I'd say that is an incredibly vast difference if it is the 'only' difference? Perhaps some research that is not PETA based will be of use to you before you next decide to come into the Dressage forum and give your opinion as gospel.
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    09-19-2013, 12:18 AM
  #36
Started
Maybe I am being ignorant, maybe the difference is bigger than it looks. While in an ideal world I know dressage horses can be trained at their pace and gently done, I guess I just don't see that very often.
Maybe most trainers aren't so bad, but the end result is not beautiful to me, it just makes me sad.
     
    09-19-2013, 12:45 AM
  #37
Weanling
There really isn't a "practical" use for passage. There is also no "practical" reason to ride a horse anymore. Horses do passage naturally. Haven't you seen a horse playing in his pasture do a few steps of passage? I have. It's stunning when they have that amazingly light and suspended trot, as they excitedly move about with their pasture mates. The human desire is to be able to ride the horse during this beautiful movement. The challenge is helping them to be strong enough to do it for an extended period of time and teaching them to do it when we ask them to.

Using a whip or a pole during training does not imply abuse. I carried a whip when I taught my horse to halt in hand. I did not hit him with it, but used it as an extension of my arm. I touched him on the chest with the whip to teach him to halt when I did. I touched him on the haunches to teach him to step forward when I did. The whip was no longer needed once he began to understand I wanted him to follow my body language. There was also lots of petting and praise involved.

Please don't assume something just because you have seen something similar. Ask questions or do some research. I'm by no means an expert, but I am the first one to ask a question when I don't understand something.
     
    09-19-2013, 01:25 AM
  #38
Showing
Kayty, you summed it up perfectly.

Purps, I really suggest that you research how piaffe is trained on a GP horse before you start comparing it to (shudder) charro dancing. The "dancing" is created through extreme fear and force. Piaffe is taught through many, many years of work and engaging the horse. If you look, there is a huuuuuuuge difference between "charro piaffe" (I use the term loosely) and a GP dressage horse. The charro horse is agitated, steps uneven, tense, and doesn't sink into his haunches and elevate the front. All he knows is "they don't beat me as badly if I pick my feet up high, and stay in one spot, ish" - for the dressage horse, it is the display of collection and the training to get to that point.
     
    09-19-2013, 02:03 AM
  #39
Started
On the subject of the Spanish Riding School, pillars and piaffe, I was of the understanding that they had discontinued the practise of using pillars to teach the piaffe as they considered it too stressful for the horses (read in an article on them not so long ago but unfortunately I'm not remembering the magazine I read it in - perhaps a British publication).
     
    09-19-2013, 04:00 AM
  #40
Green Broke
Chevaux, they have stopped using them!

Reading through this, I can see who have trained their horses to do piaffe & passage, and the people who haven't.

I haven't. I have barely had the chance to ride them. However I have been fortunate enough to see the training.

As with anything, its not what you use, it is how you use it. Same with bits and hands.

I use a dressage whip on my horse's butt to keep tempo (or a good crack depending which ass I was riding at the time!) and it isn't always something you can just ride from seat and legs. Why make the horse's job harder, when you can show them the tempo they should follow with a long whip or a bamboo cane?

OP, maybe when you want more information, phrase it in such a way that you want to educate yourself, not tie everyone with the same brush. There are many ways to skin a cat, and not everyone works the same way, but I tend to want to listen to people who have hands on experience and have taught this. Youtube videos show you want the rider/trainer wants you to see, not what goes on before or after.
     

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