behind the vertical?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 85 Old 05-28-2019, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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behind the vertical??

Hello,

I know people have discussed 'roll kur', and touched on behind the vertical in threads I've been on before, but I am still confused at the apparent contradictions... from a non-dressage point of view it looks like a huge one, at any rate.

It prompted me to ask again, when @SteadyOn posted an eg on another thread. I thought that one of the big principles & rules were that a horse should not be behind the vertical, should have it's nose forward of that line if anything. But the vast majority of what I see is riders 'btv'. And much of them are top riders, like this eg, who is apparently an Olympic gold medal rider, yet virtually this whole ride, she has the (obviously unhappy about it) horse quite obviously, significantly btv.

Can you explain the discrepancy?

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
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post #2 of 85 Old 05-28-2019, 09:30 AM
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First thing Charlotte says in that video. Horse is getting tired, he's tense. You can see that clearly. That's a pretty common reaction once they get tired. I know with my horse, once he starts backing off my hand and pulling down like that, I need to stop.

He gets better as Charlotte trots him and he relaxes more, though he still does not fully relax. I didn't watch to the end, but it was getting better. If you look at other videos and photos of Charlotte, most of her horses travel fairly open.

It takes lots of strength and balance for them to travel in that level of collection and maintain an open throatlatch. Modern warmbloods are not bred to sit the same way a baroque style is, and their thinner necks allow them to bend more. Baroque style have a much easier time sitting while remaining open because of they are built, but also they have thicker necks and throatlatches.

Would it be nice if a horse was 100% in front of the vehicle? Yea. Is BTV a symptom of a weakness? Ya, usually. But sometimes it's not the most important thing if the horse is otherwise relaxed forward, soft, and happy. There's a difference in degrees. Rolkur isn't the same as being a little deep. What Charlotte's horse is doing is nowhere near Rolkur. A couple degrees deep isn't something to be up in arms about is everything otherwise is harmonious.

There's also a difference in training styles and schools. Some schools want forward first. Some want balance first.

Plenty of bad dressage riders and trainers, but Charlotte isn't among them.
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post #3 of 85 Old 05-28-2019, 10:34 AM
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Fully agree with what @ApuetsoT posted.

If one looks carefully at the horse and CD response, one will see the horse tucking and dropping his head and CD response is to give more rein, resulting in the horse moving his head out and down, then CD lift up, causing the horse to bring his head up. At the same time, CD is encouraging with her body (posting, legs, seat) for a slight bit more forward which helps him to bring the head more up and out. Also, one notices CD asking for some give in the bridle by giving on the outside and asking him to give on the inside rein. This keeps him thinking and also encourages the horse to soften to the bit, stretch the outside a bit, and again come a bit more forward.

All the above has the horse by the end moving much softer, with more impulsion, and not ducking to avoid the bit.


CD is encouraging a young horse to come fully onto the bit while softening and moving freely forward. This is a young horse, who is just learning the basics.


Compare that to Rolkur when the rider is forcing the horse on the bit while tucking the nose to the chest.


Charlotte is doing the opposite by not allowing the horse to become too deep and overbent, all without the use of any force. She is gently guiding and teaching.

CD (IMO) is one of the most sensitive, intuitive riders in Dressage and an excellent example of correct Dressage.
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post #4 of 85 Old 05-28-2019, 10:39 AM
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Previous two posts cover it all.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #5 of 85 Old 05-28-2019, 02:59 PM
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I realized this is not in fact a young horse learning the basics, but a horse that Charlotte does not own and has not ridden prior to this.

Thus in the first video posted on this thread, she is trying to relax the horse after having him work (correctly) for her in collection.

This video shows the horse trying to do correct work with CD on some advanced collected exercises.

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post #6 of 85 Old 05-28-2019, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks for the explanation guys. Just questioning, as it seems contradictory against something that seems like a fundamental. I didn't mean this to be about 'CD' or this horse specifically, just that that was just the most recent, obvious eg of it I'd seen. I was also not trying to imply I thought she was a bad eg - obviously wouldn't be so successful if she were of course. I did also watch with the sound off, so I didn't hear any explanations about it from her. Seems it was a good eg to have posted, as you've given me a better understanding of why this can be accepted/acceptable with young, lesser trained &/or tired horses. I'm not seeing where she's "not allowing the horse to become too deep and overbent," tho AA - it seems he couldn't have been much more so in some of it?

Anyway, as it was not meant to be all about that particular eg, first to the vid you posted AA - I'm not sure what you're saying about that one. Is that the same horse? And is it because he's new to the 'advanced collection' that he's 'btv' in this one? So then I went youtubing & CD's actual Olympic ride, while nowhere near as extreme at all, is mostly 'btv' as are so many other 'top
egs I see - has it just become a more acceptable thing generally, or are there other reasons, for not tired or green horses to do this?

Perhaps it's due solely to my relative ignorance about dressage, but the things that tend to 'catch my eye'(& put me off) the most are that horses are so often 'btv' looking uncomfortable, that there is almost always a lot of bit chomping and spit foaming & running from mouths, and often lots of tail swishing - tho I did notice the absence of tail swishing in the CD egs btw.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #7 of 85 Old 05-29-2019, 03:58 AM
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The first video, I dont think the horse looks unhappy at all. I think he looks focused and like he's thinking and trying. There is nothing I see that makes me think the horse is unhappy. I think CD is doing a great job of riding him. Part of the issue is this is a downhill horse and when he hits the contact, he tends to fold behind it to make it easier for himself, rather than carry himself.

I dont think he ever got that behind the vertical, yes he got deep but it wasnt from being pulled against, it was from the hind end bringing him deeper, not from Charlotte blocking the front or pulling him behind. It's a very tricky, tough thing to fix and this isnt a horse she has in training. It is a horse she was given to ride.

I dont think tail swishing is necessarily an indicator either, some horses have more attitude and opinions than others. It doesnt mean a rider is rougher, some horses have more attitude and naturally carry more tension than others. Tense horses are harder to get relaxation from and it doesnt happen over night. I think when people are learning they think top riders can just fix everything and because they're great the training is perfect. It isnt. It takes time to get relaxation from a tense horse, same as a horse that tends to over fold it takes time to fix those issues too. And fixing the is all in the delicate work of timing and feel. Foam and saliva can be from relaxation or from tension, depending. In Denmark judges want to see a lot of white from the horse's mouth, a dry mouth to them is a sign of tension.

I think the most "judgey" people are the ones learning who are trying to figure out what they're seeing without understanding or experiencing. So kudos to you for asking questions, rather than condemning. I respect that.

I think the emphasis now is more on throughness and a horse being over the back. If you look at videos from the 70s and 80s those horses are not behind the vertical but they're not really over the back. I'd always rather see a horse a bit behind the vertical but over the back vs in front of the vertical and not over the back.



Charlotte talking a bit about this mare. This mare tends to get behind because her hind end over powers the front end and so she tends to tuck behind, rather than sit and carry herself. It takes time. Especially on powerful, big moving horses. I think people expect everything to be fixed in a matter of minutes and that just doesnt happen. It's really hard to organize and ride these horses. I think people have an idea in their head of what it should be and just think every minute is like that and dont realize the amount of work it takes to reach that ideal. And every horse and what they need it different. And unfortunately many horses dont follow the text book and require a bit more innovation. Id start watching around 4min in

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post #8 of 85 Old 05-29-2019, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanteDressageNerd View Post
The first video, I dont think the horse looks unhappy at all. I think he looks focused and like he's thinking and trying. There is nothing I see that makes me think the horse is unhappy.
The constantly chomping, spittle running, the tenseness in his neck & face... is what gives me the idea.

Quote:
I dont think he ever got that behind the vertical, yes he got deep but it wasnt from being pulled against, it was from the hind end bringing him deeper, not from Charlotte blocking the front or pulling him behind.
If he wasn't btv, then I actually don't know what that means. I had thought it meant that the horse's nose is tucked in closer to his chest, poll down, rather the poll being highest and the nose being vertical to, or further in front of the forehead? But perhaps it's not that they're btv but why they are doing so that's a prob? I can see she was not forcing him. Perhaps therein lies the confusion.

Quote:
I dont think tail swishing is necessarily an indicator either, some horses have more attitude and opinions
Egs such as that last vid you posted, which I did think that horse looked quite happy doing his thing. But real tail swishing - eg. when youtubing, came across a 'top' guy - Carlos somebody - who's horse was... swishing up a storm! That one seemed an extreme eg of that! I just wonder, that it is acceptable for a horse to have such a strong 'attitude' about the work that's asked of him. But maybe it's ...see below...

Quote:
when people are learning they think top riders can just fix everything and because they're great the training is perfect.
Yes. I do try hard not to assume stuff, which is why I'm asking, but now you've said it, I do think that probably came into it a bit at least. I picked on 'headset' though, because it seems to be one of the fundamental 'no-no's' but that most do, including in top comps. The 'mouthing' the bit constantly & foaming also seems only to be a 'thing' with dressage riders. I wonder why the big difference in beliefs there.

Quote:
I think the most "judgey" people are the ones learning who are trying to figure out what they're seeing without understanding or experiencing. So kudos to you for asking questions, rather than condemning. I respect that.
Yeah well, I do try to understand different opinions & experiences, rather than judge. My mother says I've always been trying...
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #9 of 85 Old 05-30-2019, 10:44 AM
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I'm going to try to address some of these concerns, keeping in mind your original question was related to btv compared with Rolkur.

1) btv is not always caused by the rider. Often, it is the horse that gets btv because of a body weakness or training issue. It is Very Hard for a horse to stay in a collected frame for any length of time. The horse has to be strong enough to carry itself in the upper level frame. Going btv is only one of many indicators that the horse is not Confirmed in a particular frame.

In the first video posted, the horse was not able to carry itself in the proper frame, and CD was nearly continuously lifting the horse up. (ways and means as I posted in my first response)

Btv can and does happen at moments in time. Think about if you were doing a very strenuous athletic activity; would your head remain in exactly the same position all the time? Horses are no different. During a test you will see a horse head change somewhat. This is to be expected. What a judge is looking at has more to do with the position of the neck and back, because they are looking at the carriage of the horse, the muscle development and engagement of the horse, not if the horse's nose moves back slightly for a moment.

Finally, btv is much more emphasized in beginning riders, because new riders may try to "pose" their horse like an upper level horse instead of understanding that the development of the upper level frame is a long process that involves strong muscle control.

I love the video the @DanteDressageNerd posted of Charlotte riding (assessing) Finotina. Not only is this a gorgeous, big moving horse, but if one looks carefully, an observant person can clearly see CD (who has never sat on this horse before) immediately moving this young talented mare in a more forward, upward frame. CD is testing the horse and learning, in only a few minutes, what knowledge the horse has and how far CD can push the horse a bit to test her abilities. This is why she says she'd love to try a flying change but "doesn't want to get in trouble" because CD knows the mare is not ready for that and CD doesn't have time to school it properly.

Compare the horse going much more forward and uphill with CD than the mare was moving under the warm up rider.

Charlotte is in a league of her own...
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post #10 of 85 Old 05-30-2019, 10:59 AM
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The above got long, lol!

2) tail swishing is not always a sign of unhappiness or pain. Rarely to I see tail swishing in upper level Dressage to mean that. Tail swishing for pain, discomfort or unhappiness with their work is a completely different movement. I will try to describe, but hard without video...

I commonly see horses in Dressage "count" with their tails when doing things like one tempi changes. If you see a horse moving their tail in a regular pattern in time with the movement (like the beat in music) that horse is focused, not unhappy. Those types of horses do really well in musical rides, as one can often see the horse keeping time with the music.


The other example of a tail being used by a horse is during a transition. One will often see a horse move the tail up or to the side when the rider does a half-halt. The horse is thinking "ok, somethings coming!" The problem comes in when the horse always moves the tail to one side, IMO that is a pretty clear sign that a chiropractic adjustment is needed.


A horse that is angry or unhappy/in pain will swish the tail as a warning. The tail will not be in rhythm with the music or with the movement, but instead will be noticed after a time period of the same movement. For example, a person riding a horse in posting trot circles, over and over and the horse gets bored or irritated and begins to swish the tail in warning to the rider that they have had enough. If the rider doesn't stop, the horse may escalate to bucking or (in the case of a Shetland I once had) the horse will just stop and refuse to go on.
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