Hi everyone! Great discussion! I have to say I cringe anytime I hear the word "frame." This implies a head-set. Why are we fixated on the head when the energy of a horse starts at the other end? When I look at a horse's picture, I look at the flow of energy. This begins with the horse taking weight on his hind quarter, stepping underneath his body, rounding through his back, and flowing forward, through. When I see this, I don't even have to look at the head and neck - he is on the bit.
I know this may seem like semantics, but frame to me implies a cookie-cutter, stiff, stuck position. There is no energy flow with "frame." You are completely right to observe tension with concepts like head-set and frame! Because that is exactly what is happening! A great resource is The Principles of Riding. This outlines great dressage concepts (like the training scale). So, it doesn't matter if the sport is Eventing or upper level Dressage, the point of all this is the training concept.
Dressage is like watching a work of art in motion - when done properly there is suppleness, ease, forward motion, and beautiful energy. It is poetry! It is also attainable on an horse and with any rider.
Last edited by aynelson; 09-10-2009 at 12:27 PM.