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Those Germans Are So Smart!

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    01-10-2012, 10:42 AM
  #21
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
Hm.
I suppose if it was written on a piece of paper, we could write them all on top of one another and do them at the same time ...
This is kind of what I'm driving at.

For riding, I don't consider myself Western or English. I tend to prefer western, but my horses have short backs and tall withers - good luck finding a saddle. I have one that mostly fits the two larger horses.

My favorite is Australian, but as I play around with it more, I'm getting better responses from my horses riding my Aussie saddle in a more forward seat...not jumper style, but much more forward than western.

And my new mustang is a short-backed, 13 hands BLM pony. He's always been ridden in a western saddle, which may explain his grouchiness when mounting...even my Arab saddle hits his hips. So he is now being ridden exclusively with my Bates jump saddle. The first time I put him in it, he bolted as soon as my butt hit the saddle. We did 3 laps at a gallop, 3 at a canter, then he slowed, shook himself, and seemed to say, "Hey, this works!" He is now acting quite happy with the jump saddle - but that requires me to practice things I hadn't done in over a year. His trot is un-post-able - his little legs move like a sewing machine needle, while his back rolls around like a drunk sailor on the second night of shore leave. It makes practice a two-point...interesting.

So do I ride western, English, Aussie? Or am I just confused?

In any case, when I go out to ride, I usually have an objective in mind - for either me or the horse. Warm-up depends on what I'm doing. We'll always start at a walk, so I can stretch my legs and the horse can settle. While both of us start to relax, I'm checking the horse for responsiveness to cues - seat, leg, reins, in that order. That may require a little remedial work. I'm also checking to see if my straight lines are straight, and my turns coordinated (which seems more accurate a term for my use than collected).

Impulsion comes afterward. I don't ask or want explosive acceleration at the start, although I sometimes understand a horse being nervous about something new. But after straights and turns at a walk, we'll go to trotting (usually with plenty of turns). I don't normally care for much collection, but 'gathering' himself and getting ready for sharp turns and sudden acceleration comes at the end. By that time, I figure I'm past the warm-up stage and into the real riding stage.

About 80% of my riding is bitless, so technically I rarely want him 'on the bit'. But a bit is an input device, as is a rope halter with reins, as are seat & legs...and I always want him "on the aids" or "on the cues" - listening to my input and responding. That is a part of our walking warm-up, and sometimes tells me I need to focus for a while on getting him to listen to my legs.

For my riding, I leave impulsion near the end, and collection isn't exactly on my list. The rest seems to be something you would be checking and working on every moment of the ride.
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    01-10-2012, 10:44 AM
  #22
Trained
Rhythm is first. It's basically getting the horse going forward (which is different from impulsion) and evenly, not speeding up or slowing down. Along with this the horse needs to go on a line and not be falling in and out on a circle (this is different from straightness).
Relaxation is that the horse is accepting the aids and responding to them without tensing up. This leads into the next step...
Contact is where the horse who is going rhythmically forward, on the aids and relaxed takes the bit forward and down. He is moving from back to front and this connection leads to...
Impulsion or schwung is the feeling of the "bridge" over the back. The horses steps become lighter, more defined and the beginnings of self carriage are felt.
Straightness then has to do with our ability to keep the horse moving on train tracks, but with a bend. Lateral work helps us to get the horse straight and strong.
Finally is collection, of which there are many degrees. It is with the development of increased impulsion and straightness that the horse becomes strong enough, coordinated enough and in enough self carriage to shift the weight over the hindlegs and become "packaged" from back to front. This is a constant process... second level is the first place where collection is seen, but the frame and the collection is far less than a GP horse... through the levels the horse is constantly strengthened and the degree of collection increased.

If we understand the scale, it is infact in the correct order. It is just important to realize that the development of the horse is continuous and constantly improving each step to increase collection.
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    01-10-2012, 10:53 AM
  #23
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Rhythm is first. It's basically getting the horse going forward (which is different from impulsion) and evenly, not speeding up or slowing down. Along with this the horse needs to go on a line and not be falling in and out on a circle (this is different from straightness).
Relaxation is that the horse is accepting the aids and responding to them without tensing up. This leads into the next step...
Contact is where the horse who is going rhythmically forward, on the aids and relaxed takes the bit forward and down. He is moving from back to front and this connection leads to...
Impulsion or schwung is the feeling of the "bridge" over the back. The horses steps become lighter, more defined and the beginnings of self carriage are felt.
Straightness then has to do with our ability to keep the horse moving on train tracks, but with a bend. Lateral work helps us to get the horse straight and strong.
Finally is collection, of which there are many degrees. It is with the development of increased impulsion and straightness that the horse becomes strong enough, coordinated enough and in enough self carriage to shift the weight over the hindlegs and become "packaged" from back to front. This is a constant process... second level is the first place where collection is seen, but the frame and the collection is far less than a GP horse... through the levels the horse is constantly strengthened and the degree of collection increased.

If we understand the scale, it is infact in the correct order. It is just important to realize that the development of the horse is continuous and constantly improving each step to increase collection.
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I always took rhythm as being impulsion, but being constant.. so, if I'm in a working trot, the rythm stays the same, not the horse slowing or running off with you.
Now its been better explained and what they really mean.. better understanding.

Is that scale every time you ride, or something you work on over a period of time?
     
    01-10-2012, 10:54 AM
  #24
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
This is kind of what I'm driving at.

For riding, I don't consider myself Western or English. I tend to prefer western, but my horses have short backs and tall withers - good luck finding a saddle. I have one that mostly fits the two larger horses.

My favorite is Australian, but as I play around with it more, I'm getting better responses from my horses riding my Aussie saddle in a more forward seat...not jumper style, but much more forward than western.

And my new mustang is a short-backed, 13 hands BLM pony. He's always been ridden in a western saddle, which may explain his grouchiness when mounting...even my Arab saddle hits his hips. So he is now being ridden exclusively with my Bates jump saddle. The first time I put him in it, he bolted as soon as my butt hit the saddle. We did 3 laps at a gallop, 3 at a canter, then he slowed, shook himself, and seemed to say, "Hey, this works!" He is now acting quite happy with the jump saddle - but that requires me to practice things I hadn't done in over a year. His trot is un-post-able - his little legs move like a sewing machine needle, while his back rolls around like a drunk sailor on the second night of shore leave. It makes practice a two-point...interesting.

So do I ride western, English, Aussie? Or am I just confused?

In any case, when I go out to ride, I usually have an objective in mind - for either me or the horse. Warm-up depends on what I'm doing. We'll always start at a walk, so I can stretch my legs and the horse can settle. While both of us start to relax, I'm checking the horse for responsiveness to cues - seat, leg, reins, in that order. That may require a little remedial work. I'm also checking to see if my straight lines are straight, and my turns coordinated (which seems more accurate a term for my use than collected).

Impulsion comes afterward. I don't ask or want explosive acceleration at the start, although I sometimes understand a horse being nervous about something new. But after straights and turns at a walk, we'll go to trotting (usually with plenty of turns). I don't normally care for much collection, but 'gathering' himself and getting ready for sharp turns and sudden acceleration comes at the end. By that time, I figure I'm past the warm-up stage and into the real riding stage.

About 80% of my riding is bitless, so technically I rarely want him 'on the bit'. But a bit is an input device, as is a rope halter with reins, as are seat & legs...and I always want him "on the aids" or "on the cues" - listening to my input and responding. That is a part of our walking warm-up, and sometimes tells me I need to focus for a while on getting him to listen to my legs.

For my riding, I leave impulsion near the end, and collection isn't exactly on my list. The rest seems to be something you would be checking and working on every moment of the ride.

You ride a new sort. I call it Wesausglish.
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    01-10-2012, 11:03 AM
  #25
Trained
Every time I ride that's my checklist, in order. Over time its the same thing, always building up each step.
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    01-10-2012, 03:36 PM
  #26
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Rhythm is first. It's basically getting the horse going forward (which is different from impulsion) and evenly, not speeding up or slowing down. Along with this the horse needs to go on a line and not be falling in and out on a circle (this is different from straightness).
Yep! This is where rhythm and tempo come in. You need to get your horse forward - that's always first. Rhythm is the pattern of footfalls. Then comes tempo, the rate of repetition of the rhythm.

I always ask for Indy to move forward and free first, letting him stretch, then I pick him up into the contact and shift his weight to the back while keeping him forward. Like a few people have already said, transitions within the walk and into the trot really help to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Relaxation is that the horse is accepting the aids and responding to them without tensing up. This leads into the next step...
Honestly, this one comes naturally (at least with the horses I've ridden) after rhythm. Once you establish your forward rhythm, your horse becomes relaxed and lifts his back and "sneezes" and all that good stuff. Anebel brought up a good point about the horse responding to the aids without tensing up. Especially in transitions, I find myself having to ride them more than once because my horse loves to get hollow and not use his back! That is a reminder to me that he probably isn't very relaxed when I'm asking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Contact is where the horse who is going rhythmically forward, on the aids and relaxed takes the bit forward and down. He is moving from back to front and this connection leads to...
Contact. Contact is misunderstood to just be "a feel of the horses mouth". Sure that's right, but it also should mean "connection". My definition for connection is exactly what Anebel said, "moving from back to front". Your horse is now rhythmical, relaxed, and you have a feel of his mouth. He is most likely round and lifting his back, and now you have to capture that energy from the engine (hind end) in the front. That's what will lead us into impulsion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Impulsion or schwung is the feeling of the "bridge" over the back. The horses steps become lighter, more defined and the beginnings of self carriage are felt.
I don't really have anything to add to this. "Self carriage" was a good word to describe impulsion. Impulsion is what is felt when the horse is moving from behind and beginning carrying himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Straightness then has to do with our ability to keep the horse moving on train tracks, but with a bend. Lateral work helps us to get the horse straight and strong.
Amen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Finally is collection, of which there are many degrees. It is with the development of increased impulsion and straightness that the horse becomes strong enough, coordinated enough and in enough self carriage to shift the weight over the hindlegs and become "packaged" from back to front. This is a constant process... second level is the first place where collection is seen, but the frame and the collection is far less than a GP horse... through the levels the horse is constantly strengthened and the degree of collection increased.
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Perfectly explained :)


Hah! And all while Anebel's on her phone! ;) Thank you for explaining it better for everyone. This is what I'm talking about.
     
    01-10-2012, 07:46 PM
  #27
Trained
I only ride one horse, my own. So here's how I would stack them as to how it works for this particular horse.

Rhythm

Relaxation - I'd put this one first, but I find the rhythm is what actually accomplishes a good part of the relaxation. A good rhythm, no matter what the rein length, seems to get him focused and stretching forward.

Impulsion - Once he's relaxed, get him moving along ...

Connection/Contact - ... into my hands, start putting him together

Straightness - To set up for half halts. No straight, no half halt

Collection - Via the aforementioned half halts.
     
    01-10-2012, 09:05 PM
  #28
Trained
Just to add a bit of fuel to the fire - I ride in accordance with the scale that Anebel explained - however we must also note, that many of these 'steps' go hand in hand with one another. Rhythm and relaxation, you can't have rhythm if the horse is tense, but you can't have relaxation if the horse does not have rhythm. You can use these steps interchangably and work on them as one entity rather than two seperate steps.

Straightness is another difficult one. You won't get straightness without impulsion - try keeping an old school horse with no rhythm or impulsion, straight on a 20m circle. Not easy until you get that old nag going forward, as soon as you get some impulsion in the gaits happening, the horse 'magically' becomes straight.
     
    01-10-2012, 10:05 PM
  #29
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Straightness is another difficult one. You won't get straightness without impulsion - try keeping an old school horse with no rhythm or impulsion, straight on a 20m circle. Not easy until you get that old nag going forward, as soon as you get some impulsion in the gaits happening, the horse 'magically' becomes straight.
Right - but let us not confuse impulsion with regular free, forward movement!

I've always said, "A forward horse is a straight horse!"
     
    01-10-2012, 10:33 PM
  #30
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