Control is control. You MUST have control of the hindquarters and the forequarters regardless of what dicsipline you are doing. Very few disciplines actually require a forehand turn but if a horse can't do one I would bet they don't go far. If you can't yield the hindquarters you can't change leads or help a horse get in position. I don't have much experience with dressage horses but I would bet if you ask even a low level horses to yield its hindquarters it would do so very easily. You don't have to disengage the hindquarters to have control of them but you have to have control of them to disengage them.
Thanks for replying, Kevin. I agree completely about the necessity of control, and thanks for laying out the distinction between a yield and a disengagement - I think I was blurring this line in my thinking.
I think you have misunderstood me.
We don't say sidepass. The closest movement to this western movement is the full pass but is never asked for in any level of dressage. This does not mean that it cannot be practiced. If done right it requires a skilled horse/rider for errors can creep in very easily. I'd never heard of a full pass before! Just got done YouTubing it, and I see what you mean about the difficulty and the potential for error.
Regarding the turns. I didn't even address them but there is both a turn on the hind and a turn on the fore. The turn on the forehand was removed from any level as it was felt that it puts the horse on the forehand and was not going in the direction of a lighter forehand. This is exactly my concern about going about gaining hindquarter control the way most horses I've ridden are taught - block forward movement, pin front hooves to the ground and swing hindquarters around, crossing hind legs. No motion, just turning the hindquarters around a stationary forehand from a standstill. I definitely see how that over-loads the forehand - not what I need at this stage of the game.
The turn on the hind is the most established turn that is both asked for in competition and in training as it leads into so many other moves.
I on the other hand, I actually feel the the turn on the forehand IN MOTION is one of the most important moves you can train your horse to do for only a supple horse can do it well. Trying to get a mental image of a turn on the forehand in motion - would haunches-in be the start of such a maneuver? I have seen upper level horses ridden down the center or quarterline, switching from haunches-in left to haunches-in right and back... Sorry if I'm being dense...
The other thing that is different is that the term disengaging the quarters, is almost a swear word in dressage for ENGAGING the hind quarters is the goal...NEVER disengaging them.
How about looking at it this way. To meld together all the above posts, yes, you never want to disengage anything. Without forward, you cannot develop impulsion, and there's nothing to collect. Instead of thinking about disengaging one part, think about manipulating different parts to accomplish what you're trying to achieve. You can move the butt and shoulders around all day and never lose forward momentum. If you learn leg yield, shoulder-in and haunches-in, there's a zillion combinations of things you can do with them to move your horse's shoulders (shoulder-in) and hind end (hanches-in) as much or as little as you want. You can work them into circles, serpentines, anything you want. The one rule is always allow for one stride of straight before changing from one bend to another. These movements can all be done at the walk and then at the trot assuming you can sit it. I'm still working on that one myself.
Never-never-never kill forward when doing dressage. A shallow leg yield with more forward that sideways is better than a deep one that kills the movement. Same with shoulder-in and hanches-in. Start shallow and move deeper as you horse develops the muscle and balance necessary to complete the exercise. I actually haven't done turn on the forehand for the very reason you mention. My horse is not very forward, and I don't want to do anything that makes him think about standing still. For now, all our exercises involve forward. We're just now getting to where he's forward enough to where I finally have something to collect.
Sorry, I'm rambling now. To me it sounds like your thinking about the two movements you first mentioned are correct. Start with things that involve forward.
Thanks very much, Puck!! I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind!
Dressage is about Rhythm, Relaxation, Contact, Impulsion or Schwung, Straightness and Collection. Everything else is just tricks. The reason that the tricks are asked for is to confirm that the horse has correctly developed the aforementioned 6 qualities. If you are so worried about training the tricks, then you are training a trick horse, not a dressage horse.
Thank you, Anebel. Part of my problem, I'm sure, is breaking away from the mentality that one trains what they want to do. So many people I know want a turn on the haunches, for example, so they train a turn on the haunches cold turkey rather than developing up the training scale and gaining each quality in general.
Thank you again, everyone. Sorry if I'm a bit dense; this isn't an issue that I've seen discussed in great detail before.