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Dressage VS. Western Pleasure

This is a discussion on Dressage VS. Western Pleasure within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Dressage half-pass quotes
  • Leg yield performed at western pleasure shows

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    08-06-2012, 09:54 PM
  #61
Trained
No I am using then in as they are intended. A leg yeild is when the horses head is away from the dirrection of movement and a half pass is when the head is in the direction of movement. Simple explanation but the just of it. The thing is I do know the difference and I can get my horses to do both. However I find that I use the leg yeild more then the half pass. That is why I was using it a bit more in some examples.
     
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    08-06-2012, 10:21 PM
  #62
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
No I am using then in as they are intended. A leg yeild is when the horses head is away from the dirrection of movement and a half pass is when the head is in the direction of movement. Simple explanation but the just of it. The thing is I do know the difference and I can get my horses to do both. However I find that I use the leg yeild more then the half pass. That is why I was using it a bit more in some examples.
Just to clarify, that's counter flexing the horse while leg yielding. It's a really good excerise to use if the horse is falling through the outside rein, or leading to much with the outside shoulder. I'm not sure how someone would accomplish that without rein contact, but I assume you use some contact for that exercise?
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    08-06-2012, 10:24 PM
  #63
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shasta1981    
...The only problem I see with that is that it insinuates a disconnect. To say that "easy dressage" is not "dressage" is presuming that you do not need the lowest of low levels in order to achieve the top which is not true at all...
By easy dressage, I do not mean low-level dressage. I mean dressage tips divorced from the system of dressage. This causes many of the terminology problems. As an example of a terminology disconnect:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
Keep in mind that there are different levels of collection...So when you stay you watch a top reiner showing and you are not seeing collection you are. If the horse was not collected he would be falling all over the place and loosing his footing...
If 'collection' means 'not falling over', then there really isn't a reason for dressage to emphasize collection, other than the understandable desire not to be squished when the horse falls on you. That is why I've used terms in this thread like balanced, easy-moving, relaxed, coordinated or collected GAITS.

If collected means well-balanced, flexible and athletic, then nrhareiner is correct - every reiner I've seen is collected. And I think this is how most western instructors I've seen use 'collection' - as the equivalent of balanced. If it means shifting weight to the rear and using the strength of the hind end to support weight and take the load off the front end, then all the reiners I watched were at least briefly collected - when there was a need for it. Dressage would value a collected gait - a trot or canter where much of the horse's rear power is supporting weight instead of driving the horse forward - the horse on the head of a pin concept, all that power ready to go in any direction, or no direction at all if the rider so chooses.

I usually think of a continuum running from extension to collection. Speed events value the former. Agility values the latter. Polo and barrel-racing mix them up (as does reining, I think).

Easy dressage separates the terms of dressage from the system of dressage, and leads to people who learn easy dressage at a clinic to say things like "Collect his head!"

As an analogy:

My mare was spooky to the point of being dangerous. The trainer I hired concluded she had never really been broke at all. The first part of breaking her was desensitizing her to things like lead lines touching her legs, etc. Now, I can read a book and watch a DVD and go out and 'desensitize' a horse. However, doing it RIGHT isn't something you do after reading a book. It requires you to judge how much stress the horse is feeling, and when to increase it and when to release.

I hired a woman who had spent 40 years with horses to do it for me. I consider it money well spent. I did lots of work under the trainer's supervision, and I've continued to work on Mia, but the change in her is tremendous. I think I can claim some credit, but the smartest thing I did was hire someone whose preparation included 40 years of work instead of watching 4 DVDs.

Easy dressage is the equivalent to easy training, and easy training has ruined many horses. I've watched enough DVDs and read enough books to understand my limitations as a trainer. Those who don't understand their limitations screw things up.

I have my share of dressage books well rated on Amazon. Most purport to teach dressage principles, but almost none actually discuss dressage as a system or how the end goals of the sport of dressage affect the beginning. It is like the heels / hip / shoulder alignment thing. That is good for some things. Not good for others. I've got plenty of books that say to do it, but none of them explain why it is good for some things and not for others.

Maybe I should switch 'easy dressage' into 'parrot dressage' - the unthinking repetition of stuff that is only good when it is understood...

Thanks to all for the discussion!
     
    08-06-2012, 10:58 PM
  #64
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    

Easy dressage separates the terms of dressage from the system of dressage, and leads to people who learn easy dressage at a clinic to say things like "Collect his head!"

Easy dressage is the equivalent to easy training, and easy training has ruined many horses. I've watched enough DVDs and read enough books to understand my limitations as a trainer. Those who don't understand their limitations screw things up.

Maybe I should switch 'easy dressage' into 'parrot dressage' - the unthinking repetition of stuff that is only good when it is understood...
I totally misunderstood. Yes! Agreed and well put!
     
    08-06-2012, 10:59 PM
  #65
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by core    
Just to clarify, that's counter flexing the horse while leg yielding. It's a really good excerise to use if the horse is falling through the outside rein, or leading to much with the outside shoulder. I'm not sure how someone would accomplish that without rein contact, but I assume you use some contact for that exercise?
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It is a combination of a lot of things. It is just one of many things. Some I am sure do not even have a name. I like to push the horses shoulder and him and bend their head and move them all over. Leg yeild and half pass are just part of it. A lot of counter arking spiril in and out and so on.

Yes in the beginning these things are done on the bit. Howeve as the horse advances the contact becomes less and less. Again these things are not done to make my reiners a dressage horse but are exersizes to help gain more control over every inch of the horses body. Most reiners spend the first 3-4 months never leaving the walk/trot and working on these things.
     
    08-06-2012, 11:18 PM
  #66
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
By easy dressage, I do not mean low-level dressage. I mean dressage tips divorced from the system of dressage. This causes many of the terminology problems. As an example of a terminology disconnect:



If 'collection' means 'not falling over', then there really isn't a reason for dressage to emphasize collection, other than the understandable desire not to be squished when the horse falls on you. That is why I've used terms in this thread like balanced, easy-moving, relaxed, coordinated or collected GAITS.
I think you are not looking at collection correctly in several ways. To be collected a horse is moving in an up hill mannor They are driving from the rear and yes they are balanced flexibe and so on. However with out collection a reiner could not do what they do. With out collection a horse would have a very hard time turning and stopping and rolling back and so on.
If collected means well-balanced, flexible and athletic, then nrhareiner is correct - every reiner I've seen is collected. And I think this is how most western instructors I've seen use 'collection' - as the equivalent of balanced. If it means shifting weight to the rear and using the strength of the hind end to support weight and take the load off the front end, then all the reiners I watched were at least briefly collected - when there was a need for it.
Which is the entire run. If a horse was not collected and they would be falling out in the rear in their circles and their run downs they are very much driving from the rear in ever stride. This is how you get that stop and that change of speed and even the very precise lead change in the middle.

Dressage would value a collected gait - a trot or canter where much of the horse's rear power is supporting weight instead of driving the horse forward - the horse on the head of a pin concept, all that power ready to go in any direction, or no direction at all if the rider so chooses.

Again this is no different then what is done is reining. Look at the horse in the speed changes from large to small circle. Look at the stops and rollbacks.

I usually think of a continuum running from extension to collection. Speed events value the former. Agility values the latter. Polo and barrel-racing mix them up (as does reining, I think).

Easy dressage separates the terms of dressage from the system of dressage, and leads to people who learn easy dressage at a clinic to say things like "Collect his head!"

While I am sure there are a lot of people who think collection comes from the head just like people think lead changes are a change of direction. However I have yet to find a true reiner who thinks either of these things are correct.

As an analogy:

My mare was spooky to the point of being dangerous. The trainer I hired concluded she had never really been broke at all. The first part of breaking her was desensitizing her to things like lead lines touching her legs, etc. Now, I can read a book and watch a DVD and go out and 'desensitize' a horse. However, doing it RIGHT isn't something you do after reading a book. It requires you to judge how much stress the horse is feeling, and when to increase it and when to release.

I hired a woman who had spent 40 years with horses to do it for me. I consider it money well spent. I did lots of work under the trainer's supervision, and I've continued to work on Mia, but the change in her is tremendous. I think I can claim some credit, but the smartest thing I did was hire someone whose preparation included 40 years of work instead of watching 4 DVDs.


Which is great. It would be nice of more people did that. However most not all of the trainers who put out these DVDs would have a hard time really training a competive horse. Which is sad really. They do what they do b/c people are willing to part with their money for a fast cheap fix.

Easy dressage is the equivalent to easy training, and easy training has ruined many horses. I've watched enough DVDs and read enough books to understand my limitations as a trainer. Those who don't understand their limitations screw things up.

I have my share of dressage books well rated on Amazon. Most purport to teach dressage principles, but almost none actually discuss dressage as a system or how the end goals of the sport of dressage affect the beginning. It is like the heels / hip / shoulder alignment thing. That is good for some things. Not good for others. I've got plenty of books that say to do it, but none of them explain why it is good for some things and not for others.

Maybe I should switch 'easy dressage' into 'parrot dressage' - the unthinking repetition of stuff that is only good when it is understood...

Thanks to all for the discussion!
That is why you go to differnt traines go to different clinics and not just show up and do what they say but talk to them ask questions and so on. I am in many ways very lucky b/c of where I live. I have been able to not only ride with many top trainers in different disciplines but also pick their brain ask questions and so on. There are some trainers I will not go back to or ask or give my money to b/c they do not like to answer questions and others will sit down with your for as long at it takes to answer your questions.

You will get out only what you are willing to put in. I see a lot of times a trainer will give someone information or exersize to do with their horse and the person goes home and try it for a day or 2 and conclude that it does not work. Yet if they kept up doing the work and work it correctly they would in time see that it really does work.
     
    08-07-2012, 12:08 AM
  #67
Trained
Wow!

I think I see it differently.

To me, movements like leg yield, half pass, shoulder in etc. are not 'dressage' movements. They are just movements, essential in my view to the training of any well rounded horses. I don't think doin leg yields and half pass means you are using dressage. Dressage isn't about the movements, it is about the way the movements are executed and the quality of the horses gaits while the horses executes them.

A leg yield performed by a cow horse or campdrafter is goin to be completely different to a leg yield performed by a dressage horse. In fact as a campdrafter we call it a counter arc, and it is a hugely important movement to master to improve turns and shoulder control while running next to a beast.

Every discipline has different end goals, and these movements are used in different ways to either arrive at your end goal or demonstrate your end goal.

They aren't dressage, they are simply maneuvers used to improve the training, obedience, suppleness and musculature of horses for their discipline.

Sorry about any spelling/grammar issues, on my phone!
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    08-07-2012, 12:09 AM
  #68
Trained
Forgot to add, these movents can be performed with or without collection as defined by dressage, ad can be performed with or without contact as used in dressage.
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    08-07-2012, 11:33 AM
  #69
Trained
It is a bit odd for someone like myself, whose first post on this thread rejected dressage as the basis for all riding, to argue that dressage gets to define what is or is not collected. However, with reining moving forward towards becoming an Olympic sport, and with the FEI involved in recognizing it, I think it is reasonable to let standing definitions remain in place.

"I think you are not looking at collection correctly in several ways. To be collected a horse is moving in an up hill mannor They are driving from the rear and yes they are balanced flexibe and so on. However with out collection a reiner could not do what they do. With out collection a horse would have a very hard time turning and stopping and rolling back and so on."

The FEI has a definition of collection for dressage. If it has one for reining, I missed it. And this is why definitions become important. On a scale from extension to collection, the horses you describe are closer to being collected than a race horse going flat out. But they may or may not meet the FEI definition of collection, and the reiners I watched did not during most of their performance.

To the FEI, at least, collection involves more than not falling down, or not falling out on a turn.

"Which is the entire run. If a horse was not collected and they would be falling out in the rear in their circles and their run downs they are very much driving from the rear in ever stride. This is how you get that stop and that change of speed and even the very precise lead change in the middle."

Collection does not mean driving from the rear with every stride. Race horses drive from the rear with every stride. So does a barrel horse. Driving from the rear with every stride is not the definition of collection. A horse doing a circle may or may not be collected. To the FEI, at least, it seems collection involves more than doing a circle without the rear falling out.

The FEI says (under dressage):
"F.E.I. DEFINITIONS OF PACES AND MOVEMENTS

THE CANTER...

D) The following canters are recognised: Collected canter, Working canter, Medium canter and Extended canter.

I) Collected canter. The horse, remaining "on the bit" moves forward with his neck raised and arched. The collected canter is marked by the lightness of the forehand and the engagement of the hind quarters: I.e. Is characterised by supple, free and mobile shoulders and very active quarters. The horses strides are shorter than at the other canters, but he is lighter and more mobile.

Ii) Working canter. This is a pace between the collected and the medium canter, in which a horse not yet trained and ready for collected movements, shows himself properly balanced, and, remaining "on the bit", goes forward with even light cadenced strides and good hock action. The expression "good hock action" does not mean that collection is a required quality of working canter. It only underlines the importance of an impulsion originated from the activity of the hind quarters.

Iii) Medium canter. This is a pace between the working and the extended canter. The horse goes forward with free, balanced and moderately extended strides and an obvious impulsion from the hind quarters. The rider allows the horse, remaining "on the bit", to carry his head a little more in front of the vertical than at the collected and working canter, and allows him at the same time to lower his head and neck slightly. The strides should be long and as even as possible, and the whole movement balanced and unconstrained.

Iv) Extended canter. The horse covers as much ground as possible. Maintaining the same rhythm, he lengthens his strides to the utmost, without losing any of his calmness and lightness, as a result of great impulsion from the hind quarters. The rider allows the horse, remaining "on the bit" without leaning on it, to lower and extend his head and neck, the tip of his nose pointing more or less forward."
By that definition, reiners don't do a lot of collected cantering. Or collected trots or walks, either. Nor should they.

When collection means balanced, or able to trot in a circle without their rears falling out, it makes dressage look stupid.

"Heck, Maybelle, I taught my horse collection last night! Don't know what those Olympic folks with their weird clothes are thinkin'..."

If ANY shift to the rear is collection, then I can teach a horse collection in 5 seconds.

It comes down to definitions. And while I reject the idea that dressage defines good riding, I also think the long-standing, recognized definitions of collected gaits ought to be allowed to remain.
     
    08-07-2012, 11:51 AM
  #70
Trained
Bsms you've hit the nail on the head. I agree with every one of your posts.
I'm not twlking about rinky dinking around on a 5 year old. My horse knows the aids, I don't need to train him on them. He knows the maneuvers, I don't need to school them either. He needs strength, stamina, fast twitch and slow twitch muscles, etc... which are what I develop in my rides to constantly be increasing his collection. It's like a body builder - he already has the muscles, we are just training to make the body more balanced, working on muscle groups which are weak. That is Dressage training, truly.

NRHAreiner a half pass is NOT in any way shape or form even describable as a leg yield with a flexed head. It's a travers on a diagonal line. A leg yield also has no bend whatsoever. Again, these are thing someone doing Dressage should know.
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