Suppling, and it's affects on the Horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-23-2014, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by equitate View Post
Bsm (second method) is not for suppling per se, it is for creating balance/reactions to aids. The first actions are standing flexions done in hand. First, lifting the bit lightly in the mouth to create mobility in the jaw and a better balance. The second action is millimeters of lateral flexibity (at the atlas/axis). The third action is to calculated to be able to mobilize the jaw and extend the neck. Then those actions are done in hand in walk. Then when the rider mounts the mouth is more educated as to the use of half halts (demi arrets) and helps with balance/ease of the horse choosing to go forward, etc. The horse is trained progressively (and not in few days). (Lateral flexions are very the atlas-axis) and not focused on longitudinal flexion which comes over time and in motion).

Some information about how these actions cause the horse to use its body as a response: Philippe Karl Ecole de Légèreté - News: Taking over equestrian culture
This makes far more sense than reading straight feom Bauchers treatise. I was trying to figure out how on earth bending the head so far around could ever give the horse more balance... thanks for your input :)
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-23-2014, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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I do want to point out though that Baucher does say to keep the horses head vertical at all times. After these supplings have accomplished their goal of a totally liberated neck and jaw, he says the horse is then able to keep his head vertical, and indeed that any exercise performed while not vertical and soft on the bit is wasted.
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-24-2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so I'm on an actual computer now and not my phone.

I'm starting to feel like Baucher is more heavily into philosophy rather than practical application, or explaining his methods for practical use.

That said, I can see the use in his methods. I just can't put together how exactly one would practice them effectively. He does say in the beginning of the book, that precise timing and feel is necessary (as with all training) and his methods are for those who are already accomplished horsemen. In short, he speaks above my head. the language doesn't help either. There is a lot of French remeners and ressemblers that I have to mentally denote to 'the bit thing' or 'the haunches thing'.

I have read up on Phillipe Karl, even though he is a bit of a laughing stock in the Dressage world. I can't understand why, though. His philosophy is totally in line with Dressage.

Does anyone have any more practical sources? I want to learn as much as I can about classical dressage, and the philosophy part is great, but I'd like to get my hands on some real practical material as well.

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post #14 of 16 Old 02-24-2014, 05:13 PM
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Baucher is absolutely AGAINST keeping the horse vertical at all times, the horse MUST be in front of the verttical/open in the throat latch. The jaw is to be mobile (the horse chewing and swallowing) NOT to truncate the neck at all. What the progressive methods allow is a horse which is up/open/choosing to go forward/and in which the horse can easily go forward/down/out at any point.

His philosophy is really just based on working horses in hand, teaching the horse reactions/balance BEFORE mounting, then it is easier to work the horse under saddle>

Remember he was also the first person to systemize the teaching of equitation (the french cavalry manutal) as well.

For the best explanations of the french wording (i.e. mise a main/demi arret/etc) perhaps go to Decarpenty's book. The french riding language is quite rich, but it presumes a certain level of education for those who are training horses as well. Also another good book for clarity is that of Philippe Karl (of specific actions).

Thirty years ago PK's work would have been ignored chiefly because everyone rode horses up and open and actively. Now most are ridden compressed/low/closed from the beginning, and work in hand for intention is a dying art.

Practical uses: effective hh which change the balance of the horse/collect it, quick turns over fences, etc. Mobility of the jaw which allows elongating the neck/stepping through with the hind legs at any point (for extensions, for a less compressed posture in piaffe, for a longer stride between fences,etc), lateral flexibility for better abductor/adductor use in lateral work.
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post #15 of 16 Old 02-24-2014, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps there is some wording that I don't understand or that is translated wrong, but he does state in my book that the head should be held vertical after suppling and flexions are taught.

There might also be a similar although not quite equal word to 'vertical' that the translators mistranslated. I say that because while he says vertical, the corresponding picture of the horse is actually slightly ahead of the vertical.

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post #16 of 16 Old 03-11-2014, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for sharing these links and names, good reading material and a good question!
Personally, I believe suppling can be very beneficial to the horse physically and to the training, but only if it is done correctly. I have seen a lot of people "suppling" a horse, but it appears overdone, forced, and possibly even painful. (Makes me think of how I would feel if someone tried to force my body and my muscles into yoga positions or something I wasn't ready for)

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