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gottatrot 01-15-2011 11:36 AM

Spontaneous Dressage Movements
Or: why I will never teach my horses advanced dressage.
This is meant to be slightly humorous and tongue-in-cheek.
While I think every horse benefits from lower level dressage, I am not sure I would ever want to teach very hot horses how to do upper level movements. Riding hot horses out on the trail, we have seen some very interesting things happen when they get too excited, but yet are well-trained enough to be controlled from galloping off. For instance, if one of our horses has to be held back to a canter at a spot where we usually gallop, she will start doing one-tempi flying changes over and over. This is not very fun if you are on a narrow trail or on rough ground. If another horse is held back from the others at the trot, his motion gets shorter and he starts getting more and more collected. The farther the other horses get in front of him, the more collected he gets until he is doing passage. Which means eventually you have to shout ahead for everyone else to wait up or you will never catch them. Another mare throws in the capriole as a way to gallop off without a person being able to stop her. She seems to be in a controlled trot, then shortens in a split second and next thing you know you are flying through the air. With no ground under your horse's legs, it is impossible to keep her from thrusting her back legs underneath her as she springs off into the gallop. She is learning not to do this by having the rider put a bend through her body when she feels too collected - she can't leap off when she is bent.
So to me, the more movements a horse knows, the more crazy evasions will pop up when your horse gets over-excited on the trail. :-) I shudder to think what would happen if the mare who caprioles knew also how to courbette and pirouette at the canter.
I guess it proves that what they say is true; every dressage movement is something a horse will do on its own naturally at times.

Kayty 01-17-2011 08:19 AM

Hmmmm not sure where you're going with this one! The top dressage horses are usually the hotter types ;)
As for teaching them 'advanced dressage movements' making them more dangerous... think of it from the other end - if you have the skill to teach the horse the more advanced movements, you're going to have a hell of a lot more control over that horse than someone who has done no, or very little dressage. The horse will be far more responsive to seat, leg and rein aids than your average horse. So if that particular horse is very hot, you are better off to have it highly trained than staying at low levels when on a trail. A horse will misbehave whether it is dressage trained or not, and as you said, a horse will perform those movements off its own steam without having ever been taught the movements.

JessXxX 01-19-2011 05:09 PM

haha this made me laugh I just have a picture in my head of something like the thellwell riding school pictures but with all these dressage horses hehe so funny!

corporate pride 01-19-2011 10:46 PM

my lazy ex eventer now turned dressage horse gets hot doing dressage but you got to half drag him to get tacked up, and he almost runs you over to get back to the paddock afterwards.

he will spontaneously do elevated extention trot, or canter through trot poles like he wants to jump....he's an ex eventer because he wouldn't jump! LOL

he was feeling good last night :)

xXEquestrianBalletXx 01-21-2011 08:40 AM

This is a neat post. Mostly because I have a hot horse too, and she does many of the same things. tempi changes, sidepass, piaffe (the most collected trot, where the horse does not move forward.) etc. I love it! lol however it is difficult getting my position correct enough to get her to listen well, being not as experienced as.. well... experienced riders:]

equiniphile 01-23-2011 08:09 PM

I know exactly what you mean!! On Excel's first trail ride, I held him back to a walk on the way home (or tried) and when he found out he wasn't going to get to run home, he alternated between an almost-in-place canter and a piaffe. Lol, gotta luv em

Zeke 01-23-2011 08:26 PM

I know what ya mean! I was riding a horse from my barn the other day who Spanish walks when he rather not walk and can do a levade if you aren't careful with your back-up cue. Needless to say I avoided backing up and had to sit many bouts of Spanish walking until he gave in and decided to work.

He will also stretch like a cat in the cross-ties and undersaddle haha. The more tricks you teach em the more crap they can pull on you!
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raywonk 01-23-2011 08:46 PM

i think this is cute. you should see what my WP horse can do when you ask him to go to the center of the ring and do horsemanship. he is a nut. and we are sopose to be low and slow. HAHA

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