Originally Posted by Spirithorse
Karen Rohlf says, "You ride Freestyle, inside the Finesse." Meaning all your movements and aides are so subtle, light and can be isolated independently that the only change is that you ask your horse to pick himself up and carry himself in a different posture....which increases the difficulty. And if you were to drop your reins in the middle of Finesse work, the horse would maintain gait, speed, direction, remain balanced and stay in emotional control and the rider would remain balanced, focused, and calm.
And that sounds like a horse that has been trained using normal training methods UNTIL it IS supple to the aids.
Just as a horse has no clue what to do with a bit put in it mouth or understand what rider leg contact is BEFORE it is taught by training the meaning, I think any sort of attempt at freestyle before finesse ( or in other words knowing the basics) is like putting the cart before the horse.
Only through improving the basics and adding a degree of difficulty does the horse become free enough to ride a good freestyle.
When I was competing, freestyle was my speciality and I got most of my 10's in that event. Full knowledge of what you are doing built on training,trust and the horse's ability to react to the slightest indicator results in"freestyle" within finesse and ride that is effortless.
I fail to see how any of that can be built riding aimlessly around in a halter is going to achieve that.