Wow. I really never thought this thread wudda brought out so much emotion.
My laptop fried and I missed all the fireworks. Dang.
I for one have seen some very happy dressage horses, (I'd post a great vid but I haven't figgered out the new laptop yet) but I will also be the first to admit that most horses now are overworked to achieve a certain musculature at WAYYYY to early an age, and abuse exists in the dressage end as it does all parts of the horse world, I'm afraid. But the money aspect will always be to the shortcoming of the horse.
Now, I have also seen bridless and saddless dressage I was so impressed with I could just hardly believe it myself.
And the point about the horses not being at liberty per se was a good one, they ARE being worked, while they are riderless they are not at 'liberty'.
But the last one would fall in my definition of dressage, and the others would be a start, tho again I say impulsion shuddn't be from 'chasing' but more like from invisible 'pulling', which would be difficult to teach in any other way (than I know of) than the classical method.
While I am a roundpenner and train my own method borrowed heavily from GaWaNi PonyBoy (not speaking of 'our' ponyboy) and some others, and like the various versions of NH- IF DONE RIGHT
, I am still a classicalist myself when it comes to dressage, I don't even sit on anybody's back around here until they are three, and at some point the roundpen methods are not used as much and we progress to the classical methods (have Ingrid Klimke's books which I adhere to religiously) which I have yet to find a better way to what I want. BUT- I wish that last video wudda had more info and more stuff on it, (like maybe a levade or even piroettes(sp)?) because I really was more impressed with it. I could see beginnings in the first ones, but no where near like the last one. I was impressed with the last one, and that is coming from someone who thought I would never be able to train dressage from the ground in such a way, and that one inspired me. While I WOULD hafta to get on the back to fine tune it, I was still impressed with what I saw, it took roundpenning in the direction I would like it to go, if I could get my horses to do that from the ground, it would be a good start anyhow.
But then again, I am open minded, and willing to try new things, while having all respect due the more traditional ways as well.....