you are thinking of these things too literally, too much as if they are engineering equations.
Of course your legs don't 'create' energy. Of course they make the horse create the energy. They 'ask ' the horse. but, in that sense, they are the start of something.
and , if there is no reason for the hrose to NOT respond by speeding up, moving in a more forwardly energetic trajectory, then that is what you'll get. ...NO, do not actually speed up, is what 'compresses ' generated energy. it contains it, and slows it , pauses it, and 'gives' it into the hands or seat of the rider.
The problem is that people DO believe these things literally, as your last two sentences show.
My legs do not "make" the horse create energy. They only ASK the horse to create and use energy. The European theory of equitation is so pervasively based on the idea that the human provides the mind and the horse provides the muscle, that experienced riders find it almost impossible to write without reverting to that thought.
"if there is no [physical] reason for the hrose to NOT respond by speeding up, moving in a more forwardly energetic trajectory, then that is what you'll get
I added physical, because the assumption seems to be that the horse REQUIRES a physical cause to create an effect.
...As soon as a person is prepared to follow his horse, his seat will come automatically. His only problem then is the eternal one of the educationalist and the politician - that of getting what he wants out of his subject. This is an art, not a technique; it is a skill, not a science. When to give in, when to press forward; when to exert authority and when to withdraw it - these are moments whose recognition cannot be taught by rule of thumb. They can only be recognized by the sympathetic - by the person who is not entirely engrossed in his own welfare...
...A good horseman can assuredly talk to his horse through the bit just as well as I can talk to mine through his neck. The only drawback is that he has less encouragement to do so. It is too easy to transform a request into a command. It is too easy for Man to be supreme. - Adventures Unbridled - Moyra Williams 1960, my emphasis added
If one rides the mind, then one is forced to persuade. How does one get a horse to think, "I want to do what my rider asks of me?
I think it starts with listening to the horse. He has no incentive to talk to someone who refuses to listen. And once one listens, and the horse opens up, one can then start making "mutually acceptable compromises". The horses gets some of what he wants - all of it sometimes, none of it sometimes, and part of it sometimes. But he also has to give the rider what the rider wants in order to also get what he wants.
Over time, if the rider makes good decisions and is fair, the horse will have good reason to listen. Wouldn't you want to listen to someone who almost always has good ideas, and who wants you to be both safe and happy?
...Ridden by neck-aids, the horse is a free individual. It cannot be forced. It can not be controlled, but it can and does have to be guided. It has to have everything explained to it, and its cooperation has then to be won over. If it is asked to do anything absurd, it will merely say, "This fool rider does not know what he is talking about," and go its own way. It is hopeless to try riding by neck-aids until one has learnt the horse's language... - - Adventures Unbridled - Moyra Williams 1960
Of course, that is a life-long process. Bandit and I are total beginners. After 7 years with Mia, and 2.5 with Bandit, I am just beginning to seriously consider what is possible if one tries to work WITH the horse rather than DIRECT the horse. For the first time in my riding life, I'm seeing possibilities
. I'm seeing Bandit SOMETIMES do things based on my desires before I've asked him, or do them in contradiction to my cues - a horse who understands what WE are trying to do and who is pulling his weight as a partner.
But is also means I need to accept that, like a politician, I often will fail to persuade my followers to follow. It means I need to be ready to adapt my plans. It means I won't always get what I want. And for safety's sake, I may sometimes need to intervene, very forcibly. But IF it is for safety's sake, then I think Bandit will understand.
...There is another thing to be considered with regard to the horse's character - it loves to exercise its powers, and it possesses a great spirit of emulation; it likes variety of scene and amusement; and under a rider that understands how to indulge it in all this without overtaxing its powers, will work willingly to the last gasp, which is what entitles it to the name of a noble and generous animal... - On Seats and Saddles, by Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars in the Imperial Austrian Service (1868)
That passage has become huge in my thought. I am just beginning to learn how to ride.
"NO, do not actually speed up, is what 'compresses ' generated energy. it contains it
No. It is used. All of it. It never, ever "slows it , pauses it, and 'gives' it into the hands or seat of the rider
". What the horse apparently does is increase the stride and uses the extended front part of a given stride to SLOW - to dissipate the energy it first created. On the front legs, he takes smaller strides, with higher impact pressures, and vaults the front higher.
It doesn't compress or contain energy. It doesn't return to the horse, nor is it made available to the rider. The energy available to you for the next stride comes from the horse's effort.
Note: That is not entirely true. There is an elasticity to muscle that CAN receive some of the "slow-down" energy of a stride and bounce it back out in the next one. But that is automatic and happens to some extent with every stride a horse ever takes. Primarily, the energy for the next stride is from the horse's muscle.
Mia used to sometimes jump sideways. It was rather disturbing for someone who rides around cactus, and even Mia eventually gave it up. But she could jump sideways 6 feet without me doing anything, and with no prior warning.
She sometimes jumped invisible threats. She eventually gave that up as well, but it is one of the reasons I tend to lean forward so much. I just never knew when we were going to jump something in her mind. It has taken me a long time with Bandit to start giving up my worry.
Horses excel at explosive power. The explosive power that comes in the next stride, and the one after that, primarily comes from new energy created by the horse. I don't need to urge Bandit to create some energy, then store it up, then create some more, then store it up, and eventually have a horse who is ready to do a walk-canter transition. If BANDIT wants to transition, we will. Smoothly, on his part.
I don't need to store Bandits energy over a 10 second period to get a horse who is able to do a 180 degree turn that will nearly rip me out of the saddle. Bandit can do that any time he wants.
The challenge, of course, is how to get HIM to want what I want.
His only problem then is the eternal one of the educationalist and the politician - that of getting what he wants out of his subject. This is an art, not a technique
PS - Excellent video,
. Less than 60 seconds, and it shows how that approach to riding should be done. But it doesn't answer what Littauer didn't explain - WHY would I want to use constant contact?