Piaffe & Passage Training - Page 5 - The Horse Forum

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post #41 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 06:43 AM
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When piaffe is started from a shortened trot rather than forward from walk (or rein back) it is an action against the horse (hold/restrain). Ideally it is started (in hand or secondarily ridden) from forward aids and (vertical) half halts. There are SO many ways to have the basis be problematic for future development, and so many ways to approximate it well enough for most viewers.
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post #42 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 07:19 AM
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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.
Most GP trainers where? Canada? May be. Around here (MD/PA/VA) - definitely not. Good trainer has nothing to hide, and knowledgeable client (and when you pour bunch of money into training or/and lessons you better educate yourself before doing so) has no problem with spurs or whips or any other equipment when used correctly.

And BTW, I've never heard people screaming "cruelty" here about any dressage (or eventing, or show jumping) reputable trainer, whether on my local forums (4 of them), or talking to people in person. And yes, we have plenty of trainers around here who show (or did show in past) on GP level.

All I'm saying, blunt generalizing is NOT a good idea...
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post #43 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 09:01 AM
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The discussion seems to have gone away from what the OP began with - Firstly she never came on the forum and screamed out that the horse was being abused - she was slightly concerned with the method being used and asked if there was no other way to train a horse in Piaffe.
I'm not sure when this idea for knocking a horse on its legs with a cane began but its not something I've ever seen done in all the time I've been around dressage trainers and riders - though I have seen people work horses on the ground using a whip to just lightly tap them forwards and encourage the legs to move beneath them - which I've already stated.
To maybe give an answer to the OP - training in Piaffe from the saddle only IMO does not need to involve someone on the ground banging the horses legs
What it does need is a horse that's already fit and muscled to perform collected work because Piaffe (and then Passage) are at the extreme end of that ladder. If a horse has sufficient impulsion and lightness of the mouth when you 'squeeze' all that energy together and hold it the result is that the legs rather than being able to stretch out forwards to move forwards will raise upwards - in simplicity the horse is either walking or trotting on the spot
If a horse is forced into this by too much pressure - spurring, hitting or too much resistance - jabbing hard hands - it will not be a relaxed easy action but a strained, tense, fearful one
If the horse understands collection and has the level of fitness for the job then it should be possible to introduce piaffe by asking for a forwards movement with light alternate leg aids behind the girth - your right leg to his right leg/right hand supports right front leg other leg and hand remain neutral the repeat for left asking for one step at a time so the horse isn't tempted to rush forward or go vertical if it gets confused
I personally don't like the idea of knocking the legs to get a higher action - that doesn't mean that I know nothing about dressage or have never taken a lesson with a good instructor. To me that's on similar lines to using rolkurr as a 'tool' or someone using draw reins or some other artificial aids to force a horse into outline rather than spend the time schooling it properly and have the horse in the right level of fitness for what you're asking.
I am also not a teenager - nor will I ever see 50 again!! I've been riding since I was 4yrs old and through the UK Pony Club BHS and systems.
As you can see my old horse still has a reasonable idea of what a piaffe is - and in this pic of her on the left (compared to a fit horse/rider in current training on the right) she hadn't done any dressage schooling for 7 years and has arthritis (as do I) so we were both very rusty this was at walk and only for 2 strides because of that - but she still remembered what was being asked of her. No whip, no spurs.
I'm rather disgusted at this attitude of calling some people ignorant - and unnecessarily rudely too in some cases - because they haven't spent a lifetime around dressage horses, don't agree with certain practices or have a different opinion.
It might also be helpful if some people actually took the time to properly read and understand what others have posted rather than making their own wrong interpretations of what they think they've said
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post #44 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 09:42 AM
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Thank you Jaydee! That taught me a lot. I only rode dressage for about a year at a barn with 3 different trainers. I left when I felt it wasn't what I wanted out of my riding.
I've heard of people training the way you describe, but to be honest I've never seen anyone actually take the time to train it that way. At the barn with the 3 trainers all were competing in upper level of dressage and I did see them crosstie a horse held with a curb bit, whipping the legs that weren't going high enough. I also saw them doing that for each other on the ground. The used twisted curb bits in this training and then moved them down once the horse "got it" so they could compete.
While I've heard of gentler methods, I've never seen it. To me, if the horse is taught something like piaffe or passage using the method you described or is taught through positive reinforcement (though I think the +R horses should spend more time building the muscle tone to do it more correctly) then I'm not bothered by it. I guess I just havent seen that very often! But I did leave the dressage world pretty quickly after what I saw, maybe I didnt give it a fair chance.
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post #45 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I was simply inquiring if there are other known methods. I'm not suggesting that what I witnessed was cruel or anything; I'm just curious if there are other methods that I might find more appealing, and now I know that there are other ways.

Thanks Jaydee and others for your input.
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post #46 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 01:03 PM
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I have seen this done on a few Dressage Clinics that were broadcasted. Never live.
You can encourage your horse in this way. HOWEVER, I notice that so many Dressage horses get a minimum of turnout and spend too many hours stallbound, like couch potatoes.
Dressage movements takes a great deal of built up muscle to perform without hurting the muscles of the horse.
I would advise riding the heck out of your horse cross country, and cross train to build the muscles that you need. Then, when you ask for collection, the horse can perform it. Anabel has pictures of her Dressage horse jumping x-country this summer, and this is good exercise for a Dressage horse.
When I see a horse do a semi-rear when a crop is used, I think the horse is trying to avoid a punishment. IMHO, this isn't Dressage.

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post #47 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PunksTank View Post
Thank you Jaydee! That taught me a lot. I only rode dressage for about a year at a barn with 3 different trainers. I left when I felt it wasn't what I wanted out of my riding.
I've heard of people training the way you describe, but to be honest I've never seen anyone actually take the time to train it that way. At the barn with the 3 trainers all were competing in upper level of dressage and I did see them crosstie a horse held with a curb bit, whipping the legs that weren't going high enough. I also saw them doing that for each other on the ground. The used twisted curb bits in this training and then moved them down once the horse "got it" so they could compete.
While I've heard of gentler methods, I've never seen it. To me, if the horse is taught something like piaffe or passage using the method you described or is taught through positive reinforcement (though I think the +R horses should spend more time building the muscle tone to do it more correctly) then I'm not bothered by it. I guess I just havent seen that very often! But I did leave the dressage world pretty quickly after what I saw, maybe I didnt give it a fair chance.
You've generalized your entire opinion because of your one experience with some really crummy "trainers" - no, you haven't given dressage a fair shake..
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post #48 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 05:28 PM
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Exactly JDI.
Punks, comparing what you saw in a single barn over a 12 months period with Charro horses and coming to the conclusion that all dressage horses are trained this way is a gross generalisation. I've seen western riders beating the bejesus out of their horses .... So ALL western riders must do this, therefore western is a terribly cruel way of riding. Get my drift?
You say you have only seen 3 GP riders and have never seen a horse trained up in a progressive manner. That would be due to your incredibly limited experience in the area as I would say a very sizeable portion of the dressage community trains in this positive manner. Same deal with any equine sport, you have both ends of the training spectrum in any of them but it is enormously unfair and yes, IGNORANT to go raving about the whole disciple being poorly trained. Not to mention the discussion of it being pointless at the higher levels.
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post #49 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 05:58 PM
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I have been informed now, and have learned that there are sone dressage trainers who are good. I'm glad to know this. But I think saying that I was raving about how terrible dressage is is quite a stretch. While I compared what I saw to charro training I also listed the differences. Sorry if I saw the differences less extremely than you do. I am entitled to my opinion, I have learned and changed my opinion a slight amount, but I was far from anything you said. I'm not insulting dressage nor calling it abusive, I guess the worst thing I called it was uneccessary at that high level - I find low levels of dressage to be seriously valuable for all horses. But you're right the same could be said for any sport.
I will agree that my opinion was based on far too limited of sources - but it is my opinion and its not nearly as extreme as you seem to think I'm saying. You're seriously over exagerrating what I'm saying and ignoring the parts that seem to agree with you.

Also- the pointt of the video wasnt to compare GP dressage trainers to charro trainer. The point was to show a video of what the OP was describing with someone on the ground whacking the legs of a horse. I don't care how slowly its trained whacking their legs to get a more exagerated response is not acceptable to me.
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post #50 of 62 Old 09-19-2013, 06:08 PM
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I also never said anything about all dressage being bad or all trainers being abusive - I was finding an example similar to what the OP described. But I ALSO showed a horse taught the skill using the complete opposite style of training - funny how no one acknowledged that other than to say it wasnt good enough.
I don't think I ever said all dressage trainers are like charro trainers. I mentioned that in the training I've seen and heard about its similar - but the difference is the amount of discomfort/pain is far less with the dressage trainers and they take the time to build the muscles rather than just beat their horse into it.
In fact we're all saying the same thing. The only thing I'm saying differently is that I don't care to see it.
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