What gaits carry/don't carry impulsion. - Page 2

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What gaits carry/don't carry impulsion.

This is a discussion on What gaits carry/don't carry impulsion. within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    01-20-2011, 01:07 AM
Shasta - Wiki is not reliable at all. It can be edited by anyone, so I could go edit the page and change it to say that impulsion only exists when the horse is upside down and in a pool.

In terms of impulsion being impossible at the walk... How else do they expect the horse to move? Have these internet experts ever seen a dressage test being ridden by someone with half a clue?

ETA: I don't have a wiki login. I was going to do it just for sh!ts and giggles. Sigh.
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    01-20-2011, 01:13 AM
If you want to know if there is impulsion at the walk, ride a Foxtrotter or Tennessee Walker! There is definitely impulsion at the flat walk. The whole horse is nodding and animated and you feel a lot of power there.

I will put the disclaimer that I am not a dressage person however.
    01-20-2011, 01:16 AM
I would like to ask- how does impulsion differ from collection?

In my mind impulsion equals power. Collection is putting a wall in front of the power to contain it. Is that an accurate analogy?
    01-20-2011, 04:28 AM
Green Broke
Impulsion is the power that you contain between leg and hand. Collection is asking the horse to sit back on its hocks and shorten up, to come even rounder and use that energy.
    01-20-2011, 09:53 AM
Ha! Chiila I have to say that mental image is pretty funny. =)

Weird I don't have to login to wiki. Here is what is there:

There are competing definitions of impulsion. The 2007 USDF rule book defines it as "...Thrust. Releasing of the energy stored by engagement. The energy is transmitted through a back that is free from negative tension and is manifested in the horse's elastic, whole-body movement.[1] The classical dressage trainer Nuno Oliveira described impulsion as, "...a mental and physical state of the horse to obey the rider's demands as fast as possible, to move forward, and to maintain his forward impulsion without support from the aids..." and ""Impulsion means to maintain the energy within the cadence."[2] Another definition is that "[a] horse is said to have impulsion when the energy created by the hind legs is being transmitted into the gait and into every aspect of the forward movement. A horse can be said to be working with impulsion when it pushes off energetically from the ground and swings its feet well forward."[3] The USEF states, "Impulsion is the term used to describe the transmission of an eager and energetic, yet controlled propulsive energy generated from the hindquarters into the athletic movement of the horse. Its ultimate expression can be shown only through the horseís soft and swinging back to be guided by a gentle contact with the riderís hand."[4]
In competitive dressage circles, impulsion is defined by the German Training Scale, which states that impulsion is only possible in gaits having a moment of suspension, such as the trot and canter, but not the walk.[3] This is the current position of the USDF. Others differ, however. Oliveira described impulsion as necessary at all paces: "If your horse goes from walk to trot without changing the head and neck position, the walk had good impulsion."[2] Outside the world of competitive dressage, impulsion is considered necessary at all gaits, encouraged in gaited horses,[5] and in horses used for western riding.[6] Impulsion at the walk is encouraged and judged in many lower level dressage and combined driving competitions that do not necessarily follow the current trends in international judging.[7]

And this is e book they reference [3]: The Principles of Riding, The Official Instruction Handbook of the German National Equestrian Federation.

Again, I don't see how walking is not impulsion. Just reposting for Chiila who could not see this.
    01-20-2011, 10:00 PM
Oh Shasta I could read it, I was just going to actually edit it. You have to login in to edit it, and I just CBF'd for that lol
    01-20-2011, 11:58 PM
Oh I see! Haha! Too funny. You're bad! =)
    01-21-2011, 07:20 AM
I try to be lol.
    01-22-2011, 01:08 AM
In my opinion impulsion and suspension are two completely different things. Impulsion everyone has a grasp on here- the drive between your seat and legs to your hands. Suspension is the period of time where the horses feet areoff the ground, is it not? Why then, is there all the confusion? Someone mentioned Germany possible believe that.. I would not doubt it. **Germany has many a corrupt beliefs when it comes to riding.**

**I don't mean all Germans, simply that Germany, in its self tends to lean towards false beliefs. It's like an incorrect religion.
    01-30-2011, 11:04 AM
I wrote that.

It is a correct statement.

However, most will not listen, they just start shouting, that is wrong.

Dressage judges have for a very long time, been instructed to use the term 'marching' or 'active' for the walk, as in 'needs to march more' or 'good marching quality'. The well trained dressage judge STILL avoids the use of the word. They are trained not to relate 'impulsion' to the walk. Why is this? Because technically, there is no impulsion at the walk. There is only impulsion in gaits with a period of suspension.

Today, many people use the word 'impulsion' to mean only 'forward' or even, 'obedient', as in, 'when I use my leg, he goes forward eagerly'. That at all times, the horse eagerly wants to go forward. That even in a halt, there is a feeling from the rider of the horse's eagerness to move on. That is how Nuno Olivera used the word in his writings. This is even found in the USEF dressage rule verbiage, such as in the training level test, where the word 'impulsion' is used.

Of course, 'forward' is absolutely necessary. 'Forward' is a 'baby' version of impulsion. 'Forward' is a prerequisite for impulsion. So is obedience.

Because there is a trend to use dressage words for all types of riding, and so to generalize and homogenize their meaning, and because many non-dressage instructors want to add dressage riders to their customers, there has been a general 'erosion' of the actual, technical meaning of a lot of terms for dressage.

If you try to go for the more correct meaning of the word, you're making people look bad. People who use the term in the more generalized sense, or even, don't understand the difference between 'forward' and 'impulsion'.

In most cases, it doesn't matter. Most people never move up. Something like 92% of the dressage tests ridden in the US are at Intro and Training level, and at those levels, if you call the desire to go forward, 'impulsion', who cares. What difference does it make? None.

Impulsion becomes more and more important as the rider tries to move up. It is developed through training, by using half halts to 'contain' the forward energy and as some people call it, 'recycle' the energy to the hind quarters. Others refer to a 'circle of the aids'. That is why impulsion is referred to as 'contained energy'.

A horse can very easily be 'forward' and not have 'impulsion'.

When a horse has correct 'impulsion', it creates more 'suspension' in the gaits. Suspension does not refer to lift or elevation or even bending of the joints, but to the amount of time the horse's feet are completely clear of the ground and not weight bearing.

In the walk, there is always one leg on the ground, meaning, that whenever one leg leaves the ground, another leg is then on the ground. There is no 'leap' or 'bounce' in the walk.

Even so, the walk is ridden very much like the other gaits, with half halts, with energizing the horse to move forward actively. However, because the walk does not (cannot) have impulsion, it's a delicate matter to train in the walk without destroying its qualities.

Many say that this is all completely nonsense and the walk can have impulsion and forward=impulsion.

That's fine, but then why were judges so carefully trained to make a distinction between 'forward' and 'impulsion', and why do so many people fail to make the leap from the lower levels? Maybe because they don't understand the difference.

With actual impulsion, in the more technical sense, the rider is able to make a half halt, and it can be visibly seen, how it effects the angles of the hind legs and haunches. It has a visible, immediate effect.

I'm not writing this to change any minds. I'm writing to explain the meaning of the words and why I stated that.

People will think what they want to think. And especially with the generalization of dressage words, the proper meaning is being eroded even in dressage. Too, if someone has never gone up the levels, they're unlikely to understand that the 'circle of the aids' (except for being able to repeat the theory) and the use of 'contained' energy to make the more difficult work possible.

However, it's good to think about, how different the walk is from the trot and canter, and to remember when schooling to be careful not to make it an impure gait or slow, dragging gait.

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