Why is Puissance basically Dressage? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-18-2014, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
In correct!

The first round of a Puissance has six or seven large fences. All fences count in the first couple of rounds. Each round a fence is removed and the rest made higher and wider until there is a smaller first fence, which I believe now still counts if it is knocked down, the triple bar and the wall.

Some riders have a horse that 'specialises' in Puissance but no order does just those classes. You often find that after such a class the rider will take the horse in a speed class where the fences are lower, so it is not worried about the stress of large heights.

As for dressage, agreed that show jumpers are well schooled, but in a different way to pure dressage horses. Most are ridden frequently in draw reins, they can lengthen and shorten a stride easily from the rider's seat and the rider can put any of his horse's feet on a dime!

Going into a big wall the horse is kept on a shorter stride until three or four strides away from the fence whereby most riders allow them to move faster and longer, though not stretched out.

Not a class I particularly like!

That sounds so awesome. Where does one even go to do Puissance? I've been riding in Los Angeles since January and I havn't been to one Puissance class.

I've been to shows at flintridge, burbank, and thermal, and not one.
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-18-2014, 07:44 PM
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I love jumping, but I sure wouldn't want to devote myself to Puissance - for the horses' sake. They are physically not designed to be jumping heights that extreme on a regular basis, and they are the ones who would be paying for it later in life - not the adrenaline thirsty rider.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-18-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saranda View Post
I love jumping, but I sure wouldn't want to devote myself to Puissance - for the horses' sake. They are physically not designed to be jumping heights that extreme on a regular basis, and they are the ones who would be paying for it later in life - not the adrenaline thirsty rider.
agree with this as well
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-19-2014, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by horsecv View Post
That sounds so awesome. Where does one even go to do Puissance? I've been riding in Los Angeles since January and I havn't been to one Puissance class.

I've been to shows at flintridge, burbank, and thermal, and not one.

They are only held at major shows, one class during a meeting and in the UK I can only think of two shows that hold them and both are indoors. Horse of the Year and Olympia.

Thos is because they are a strain on horses! It is a high for the audience more than the riders.

You will find that some riders will take the wall at a slight angle so if the horse does hit the top the 'bricks' jam and do not actually fall.

Many years ago I watched an Irish rider, Tommy Wade win the Puissance on a Connemara Dundrum that was only 15.2
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-19-2014, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
They are only held at major shows, one class during a meeting and in the UK I can only think of two shows that hold them and both are indoors. Horse of the Year and Olympia.

Thos is because they are a strain on horses! It is a high for the audience more than the riders.

You will find that some riders will take the wall at a slight angle so if the horse does hit the top the 'bricks' jam and do not actually fall.

Many years ago I watched an Irish rider, Tommy Wade win the Puissance on a Connemara Dundrum that was only 15.2

I see, Doesn't sound very productive to pursue "Puissance" as you main discipline/equestrian sport then.

From what you guys are saying it seems like Dressage is the best "discipline". You guys make it seem like showjumping is 90% dressage and barely any actual "jumping".

I have a lot of trouble with timing when it comes to jumping, my horse usually gets too close to the obstacle and does a choppy jump over. Are you guys saying if I was a kick ass dressage rider that would help resolve the timing issues as well?
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post #16 of 25 Old 05-19-2014, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by horsecv View Post
I see, Doesn't sound very productive to pursue "Puissance" as you main discipline/equestrian sport then.

From what you guys are saying it seems like Dressage is the best "discipline". You guys make it seem like showjumping is 90% dressage and barely any actual "jumping".

I have a lot of trouble with timing when it comes to jumping, my horse usually gets too close to the obstacle and does a choppy jump over. Are you guys saying if I was a kick ass dressage rider that would help resolve the timing issues as well?
That's basically it. 90% of the time you're riding your course, you aren't going over a fence in that instant.

Take ANY top showjumping horse and stick a dressage rider on it, and that horse will perform a good [not excellent, but good] dressage test. The reason they're showjumping horses and not dressage horses is that they love to jump. Dressage education helps the rider make sure that horse and rider are both SAFE. Yes, you CAN jump with a horse that's flat, hollow and not using itself. You CAN jump with a horse that you can't set to a rhythm and a length of stride and get to a good takeoff spot. But it isn't SAFE, and it isn't a smooth, relaxed course, so it isn't PRETTY either.

The thing with novice jumpers is that a lot of them [myself included for quite a long time] think they can just point their horse at a jump and the horse will do the work to get ITSELF to the spot where it wants to take off from. Yet more think that fast is best, especially in the jumpoff.

I don't know if he's got any videos online but one of the jumping riders I admire the most is a wonderful man called David Dobson. His horses never look like they're going anywhere fast, but he always and consistently gets the fastest jumpoff time and very rarely takes a rail. This is because they are SO well educated and trust him SO much that they will jump from any line, over any obstacle he points them at. He gets the shortest line, and never wastes a millimetre of distance. His rounds are beautiful to watch. I once watched him compete in a show where the course was so technical that he was the ONLY rider to go clear, and one of the other competitors in the class was an Olympic silver medallist. He went clear on both his horses then had to ride a jumpoff against himself!

A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-19-2014, 04:25 AM
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You would never be in pocket if you only jumped Puissance! It is a German name for High Jump, and as said, very few are held each year in comparison to other show jumping competitions.

Learning 'pure' dressage is a dedicated art.

Show jumping is different to dressage in the way the horses are schooled on the flat.

Any time you get on a horse and rode in an arena is basically schooling it, that to many is dressage. I agree it is but in a different way.

A comparison would be a sprint runner and a long jumper. Both have to be able to run but the jumper need not have the perfect style needed for the sprint.

As for not seeing a stride, that comes with experience. (You'd certainly need that for Puissance!) get your instructor to put a place pole so the horse takes off in the correct spot. Learn when you are riding on the flat, to see how many strides it takes to get to a certain spot in the arena, learn to lengthen and shorten your horse's stride so going from A to B you get six strides and next time by shortening you get seven or lengthening five. You can do this in an arena or on a trail.

Do lots of grid work so the horse learns to lengthen and shorten. It is all practise. The main thing is to have fun and be at one with your horse.
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post #18 of 25 Old 05-19-2014, 12:05 PM
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Not sure if this might give info on shows in LA that might have a Puissance class
http://www.langershows.com/laec/index.php

Certainly having knowledge of dressage at low level that will help you train your horse to shorten and lengthen a stride and create more impulsion through collection will make him more competitive if the jumping ring in any class
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-30-2014, 04:47 PM
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I just wanted to toss in my bitcoin. To the OP, for your trainer to say puissance=dressage is not correct. However, everyone who has noted that show jumping is dangerous, if not impossible, without dressage, is absolutely correct. Dressage is so much more than prancing around to music. Only freestyles have music, and those are rare, especially at the lower levels. Dressage is the foundation of all riding. For a horse to do anything, from barrel racing to jumping to western pleasure, dressage is the basis. It is both a science and an art that teaches you to ride properly and how to control your horse's body and movements, making it possible for them to collect, lengthen, use their back and hindquarters, bend properly, etc. that is necessary if you want to do anything well. In jumpers, for the couple minutes you spend on course, you only spend a few seconds in the air. How well your jump goes is entirely dependent on you taking the horse to the fence and setting them up for success. If you just sit there and look pretty and hang on over the jump, at the best your horse will get lucky and make it, at worse will start refusing, running out, or crash through the fence. Also, I would recommend you expand your horizons and just go for show jumping in general if jumping is your passion. I have been to a LOT of shows and have never once been to one that offered puissance as a class. It is very uncommon at the lower levels, and to be competitive at the top level where it is seen occasionally, you're going to be riding agains Grand Prix riders, and have to have a horse and the riding skills to clear sometimes 7'. The average Grand Prix course is in the 5' range.
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post #20 of 25 Old 06-03-2014, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
Take ANY top showjumping horse and stick a dressage rider on it, and that horse will perform a good [not excellent, but good] dressage test.
I don't think this is true anymore. I see plenty of national-level show jumpers going around a course completely hollow and rushing all their fences. Yet they still manage to compete at that level. Doing dressage might be better for the horse in the long run, but it's not necessary to win like we've always been told.
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