They are extremely hard on the horse's body and take it takes years of conditioning and training to get a horse to the point where they can actually be able to hold their body in order to execute them properly without doing any damage.. so DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.. at least, not without professional help. I sure didn't!!
I was able to do a piaffe on the stallion I used to ride, and at the most basic level, I just thought of creating a "wall" with my aids, while asking him to keep trotting. That is as basic an explanation as you can possibly get, but the aids are really much much tougher. You have to "grow taller" in your saddle, ask the horse back on its hind end, and use diagonal aids to keep asking the horse forward... very complex.
The passage is kind of just an extension of this.. the horse keeps moving forwards with a higher, "springier" stride.
Again, this is about as basic as I can possibly get. I'd write a novel otherwise :P Hope this helps a tad?
Wow, passage and piaffe are movements that take years of training and conditioning of both horse and rider. I have a friend that does competetive dressage and she takes about a year to complete a level and you don't see passage and piaffe in the tests until the upper levels. More power to ya if you can teach your horse to do it like a trick. It takes huge amounts of collection and power from the horse in order to do it well and very precise aids from the rider. I watch upper level dressage in awe after working with the horses I've worked with. It takes alot of time and consistency in training to achieve the great communication you see between dressage horse and rider! :)
I saw the Lippizaner (sp?) Stallions when it came to NYC this past October. The movements they do take years to do. There was this one rescued stallion, that was able to learn, what took years, in a couple of months times.
The 3 year old stud was getting the hang of it, but I guess it will take many more months for him to be performing it flawlessly, or close to it.
But each horse has its own learning process. Some can take months, where others take years.
Horselover, I think it would be cool to teach Janie that, I'm sure it will help in whatever discipline you do with her. Atleast she'll know where her feet are, and that could help too when you jump (not sure, but I would think it would)
Yeah your right it would help with her picking her feet up. Gosh I feel overloaded! I can't focus on one discipline! :) I like the dressage collection and movements, thrill of jumping, excitment movements of reining, and boy I can't choose!
I am a dabbler :) I like to do a little bit of everything. From doing that, I have found that I am very interested in reining, and realized that the level of discipline and training required to do reining well will be able to carry over to other disciplines as well. Nothing says you have to stick to one.
I am a generalist by nature - I like to try and do everything, and know a little bit about a lot. I guess that is why I became an elementary school teacher also :) That and having show season off. :)