The stages of Training to Reach Collection - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 55 Old 06-22-2013, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I looked at the pictures of BSMS horse traveink along on the trail... with a hollow back an head up ... well for 5 years you have been riding but your horse could benefit greatly from traveling with a lower head and a relaxed frame.

And FWIW I never learned from one person only to adopt a rigid way of breaking in every horse. I learned from several people and from several horses. Quite honestly you train the horse under you... and that is how you train.. not according to someone elses rules.

Not many classical OR western trainers start a young horse in a rawhide core bosal and mecate. I did.

Allison Finch gets it. So does Tinyliny.. and a few others. I see a bit of Dressage SPORT haters here.. too bad. I am not suggesting nor was it my intent with this thread to get into the business of training a horse for that discipline.

My point was only that every horse can benefit from training and this is what it can look like as any horse learns how to better carry himself.

I have seen trail horses who in their work achieve the full collection depicted in the top image. Certainly not for the entire ride but at various points in the ride.. to both the horse'and rider's advantage.

Does every horse need to do 1 tempe changes? No. But most horses would benefit from knowing how to do a flying change. Does every horse need to do an extended trot and transition to a piaff? No. But every horse benefits from being able to go from a trot to a walk in a balanced frame without leaking all their weight out on the forehand. Does every horse need a sliding stop? No. But every horse would benefit from learning how to go into a stop without falling apart onto their front end.

Why you ask? One is that learning these things actually makes it more comfortable for both horse and rider. The other is that an unbalanced and stiff horse is more prone to injury.

But... they are all YOUR horses. You get to do what you want. You get to be you.

If you want more then the staged diagram shows what it looks like or how it can look. Whether Iinterested in the sport of Dressage or as a person interested in helping their horse be a better ride... training can achieve that.

Having thousands of miles under my seat on many different horses I can say to this day I never just went for a ride. Every ride was a chance to train and improve my horse and my skills. Most of that training btw was out across the land and not in an arena.
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post #52 of 55 Old 06-22-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
I looked at the pictures of BSMS horse traveink along on the trail... with a hollow back an head up ... well for 5 years you have been riding but your horse could benefit greatly from traveling with a lower head and a relaxed frame...I see a bit of Dressage SPORT haters here.. too bad.
You don't know as much about horses as you think if you describe this:

as an Arabian with a hollow back who needs to lower her head. Of course, being on her back, I can feel the difference...but few people with Arabians would expect her to walk thru the desert with her head any lower. I know a lot of folks with Quarter Horses who ALSO expect their horses to act interested when traveling thru the desert. We prefer to go out WITH our horse instead of ON our horse...

Further, the idea that a lowered head relaxes the back is false:

"The horse’s neck, stretching out to reach the bit, is a perception commonly associated with the lowering of the neck but the concept is in opposition of the muscular work actually achieved by the upper neck muscles when the neck is lowered. Creating a functional horse, athletically ready to perform, should definitively be the aim of all training techniques. However, appropriate body coordination does not result from metaphors that envision the stretching or telescopic action of the neck. These theories are fairytales. They mean well, in the sense that they wish to create a horse’s physique that functions effortlessly, but they are theorizing that the neck muscles work in a fashion that does not even come close to reality."

Stretching the Neck

Nor have I seen anyone on this thread indicate a hate for the sport of dressage. I've made it pretty clear that I respect the sport and that I think the training scale the sport uses has a valuable function. I do not think, however, that a scale designed to reach collected gaits applies to every horse used in any way, nor do I think you need to train a horse to the 4th level in the scale before teaching them to back up.

I am truly done with this thread. Ride your horses any way you want. Why learn from science? If a table is balanced when the weight is equal everywhere, then a horse must be...
christopher and FaydesMom like this.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #53 of 55 Old 06-22-2013, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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A table is balance because it is stationary and balanced when on a level surface with all four legs the same length.

If you want your horse to move like a table.. oh wait.. tables do not move... they are stationary and balanced when on a level surface with all four legs the same length...

The only way to balance on an uneven surface or when only two legs or one leg is on the ground is to shift weight around.. or take the potential energy of the table and turn it into kinesis and vectors will show you where the weight needs to be to keep it from falling over............... Oh wait.. that would in a horse be balance and maybe shifting weight to the rear to better move forward without falling over... and that requires training.. maybe even d.r.e.s.s.a.g.e....

Arabians can travel very nicely without a hollow back and head high.. as can Quarter horses (assuming relatively normal physiology) and still be interested in their surroundings.

Look.. just because you don't want to do this with YOUR horse and will find anything you can to support avoiding it and then point at it and say "Science" just means you want to see it one way.

FWIW not every horse is your horse and with your vast knowledge and experience both training and riding I am sure you realize this.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #54 of 55 Old 06-22-2013, 11:24 AM
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Very interesting thread!! I will have to come back when I have more time to read! :>)
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post #55 of 55 Old 06-23-2013, 05:50 PM
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Now I'm no expert, probably more on the novice side of things.. but to me Dressage is used to increase the athleticism of a horse via suppling, lateral movements, and riding the hind into the hands so the horse can learn to better carry himself.

These aren't basics to a lot of horse riders, trainers, or horses.

Dressage isn't just to "look pretty" or "piaffe around the arena." Even in the sport, there are multiple levels to which your horse starts out accepting contact and eventually can learn to yield from pressure, spring from its hocks (I believe they call that loading the hocks,) softly lead with its shoulder to move laterally, transition cleanly without falling into the canter or jumping into it. The higher the level, the more the horse increases its athleticism.

But aside from the sport, these supplying techniques help the horse to do its job better.

I have been to quite a few barns within my limetime and I just don't see happy horses. I see rushing horses, hollow horses, stiff horses, etc.

Now when a trainer takes the time to use techniques that Dressage utilizes, which I believe reining may also utilize (I'm not a reiner) the horse becomes a well rounded athlete.

I used to not do any sort of dressage supplying with my horse and he was literally a giraffe. We are nowhere NEAR the upper levels of dressage but in the time I've spent with him, and the time his current person has spent with him.. he is better on trails, he is much more eager to work, he has built a hell of a topline and muscle in other places, and he's in great health.

That is why it's so helpful to cross train because your horse gains skills and becomes more of an athlete insetad of a stiff, stressed out, horse.

So in a nutshell: If people took the time to follow the scale and utilize the concepts taught in Dressage, they'd have happier horses. They wouldn't have to have all those contraptions or have a strung out horse.

And I'm not saying "It's BETTER" or whatever.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 06-23-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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