DiDi - Whither goeth SHe? - Page 10

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DiDi - Whither goeth SHe?

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    03-02-2011, 04:09 PM
You're distracting me from the Daily Show! :)

No horse at liberty is carrying 8 stone+ (at least!) on their back, obviously. The justification for the dressage frame is basically that the horse is bringing his hindquarters underneath him and using his his back muscles so he can carry and balance the rider's weight more easily. When they start breeding horses who know instinctively how to carry a rider, I'm definitely buying one. ;) Until then, most horses have to be trained how to do it.
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    03-02-2011, 04:23 PM
Yes, a horse must learn to adjust himself in order to carry a rider, BUT the adjustment is NOT in lowering his head! Why would it be? Lowering his head simply puts him on the forehand. Putting a horse on the forehand causes him to break down.
    03-02-2011, 04:27 PM
As I age so my riding life comes to an end. I found DiDI who had been schooled for two years to do riding club events. She'd been cub hunting, done some jumping and a few basic club competitions. She's a pretty horse with a delightful temperament.

There is a gap in DiDi's story namely the first few years when she was in Ireland. Both her breeder and his son had died unexpectedly and I suspect the herd of horses went to auction. I'd like to know what happened in that period down near Cork. Uncertainty, lack of routine, would have freaked DiDi out.

When first she arrived in Wales she went from dealer to dealer - because she is good looking. With hindsight, all this was not the right upbringing for her.
She can be skittish to trust out in on the lanes and it took me some time to come to terms with that reality. It became apparent that I was getting too old to take the chances - hence the route to dressage - which is not my game at all.

So now, how can we help her find her role in life? She's got a good chance to live longer than me and I don't want to think of her as a brood mare.
    03-02-2011, 04:35 PM
I had this great website that explained the physiology of this stuff very well but I don't seem to have bookmarked it.

*Of course* the horse can lower his head and lug around on his forehand. The horse can also put his nose in the air, invert his back, and run around on his forehand. Horses at liberty do not move in collection all the time. For a few brief seconds they will, in play, fight, or flight, but they don't hold it. But to carry the rider and not break down, they should be carrying the weight on the hindquarters and thrusting forward from the rear. One way -- not the only way, but one way -- to get them to do this is create energy in the hindquarters and then contain it with the bridle. If the horse is giving to the bridle and recycling his energy, he'll flex in the poll.
    03-02-2011, 04:52 PM
We'd know a lot more about how a horse actually carries itself and the rider if we got round to fitting pressure sensors on the feet. The technology is probably already in existence.

But I think it unlikely that a short necked cob, with a broad chest, bags of bone and a fair gap between the front legs - ie as per my old horse Joe - carried himself in the same way as a warmblood. They grow the muscle under the neck rather than on the top. Joe was bred to pull as well as carry.

I still reckon that by trying to reschool him to the classical way of carrying himself at the age of 13 , is why he became so difficult. But I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. - Another story.
    03-02-2011, 04:57 PM
Flex at the poll, NOT in the neck, & a supple JAW for the communication with rider.

One doesn't properly ride the horse's head, but does "ride" the hindquarters/seat of impulsion.
    03-02-2011, 05:03 PM
Either get Claire to sort out her own fears or find someone to ride her who isn't afraid of her. Most horses are capable of learning how to be less skittish in the right hands. If she has a basically nice temperament, she is well able to learn how to be a trusting horse. She just needs people who can show her life isn't very scary.

Northern, that's what I said.
    03-02-2011, 07:27 PM
Silver, I know: I was showing you that I agreed with that part of your post.
    03-02-2011, 07:33 PM
Didi & dressage: sounds like she is suited for it and has a decent rider, or she wouldn't have gone as far as she has as fast. I'm not a huge fan of dressage, but I'm not hearing anything that makes me think she is a failure at it. Of course, I'm typing with a sore wrist after Mia bolted during my dismount today, so what do I know about horses? Nothing broken, though, so round 2 will come Friday. Hope nothing breaks then...

I guess the shame of it to me is that it sounds like you can't enjoy riding Didi, but aren't really ready to give up riding. That makes a tough call. Pushing 53, I'll keep Mia. If I were on the far side of 60, I'd probably sell her...and then bawl like a baby. Is selling an option? There has to be a sensible horse around who would love a stroll to a pub and offer friendship without the tension.

From my perspective, this isn't the thread to debate dressage on. It isn't a sport for me, not even if I were much younger and had a suitable horse. I cringe when I watch it, so I doubt I can ever understand it as a sport or as a way of training.

A horse can be a wonderful horse and a poor match at the same time. My forearm aches, so I'm going to take some aspirin and wish both Barry and Didi the best - together or not. I wish I could offer wisdom, but all I've got is sympathy and the confidence that Barry Godden will figure out what is best for both of them!
    03-03-2011, 06:27 AM
DiDi is part of my life and without her there would be a big gap. Which is what horses do to some people, me especially. She was bought to fill my days in retirement

The problem with dressage in general is that not many people properly understand the theories behind it and then along come fashion and short cuts which add to the confusion. Being someone who rode for many years on a long loose rein, forward style, believing the most important thing was that the horse carried me safely, I come from the opposite side of any discussion.

Sadly the one thing DiDi doesnt do well, ie behaving like a Gentleman's Riding Horse, means that I have to find her another role in someone else's life. Hence I have to poke my nose into something I don't uderstand that well. I am trying to learn and, from time to time, the HF helps me understand.

DiDi will in due course be passed on. The only question is to whom.
I have to find someone who has similar ideas to my own, otherwise my Girlie will soon find her self strapped down tightly with leather and being shouted at. In such a home, she will not last long, especially when they get the whip out.

In the meantime, as long as when I turn up she trots over and gives me a lick of welcome and a look asking "Where the heck have you been?", all is acceptable. Bearing in mind how many good horses are being discarded these days, DiDi has got it made and if she does well, that's great. If she doesn't, then we had a day out together.

If only I could find the key to her skittishness then all might come right.


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