Trials and Tribulations of the Adult Beginner - Page 15 - The Horse Forum
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post #141 of 270 Old 11-26-2016, 02:01 PM
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that suggestion to get on all fours and try turning at different speeds creates a really funny mental image. humans are incredibly ungainly on all fours. when I was a 5 or 6 year old, I was so horse crazy I used to run all around the house on all fours, 'cantering' quite nimbly. now? fuggedaboutit!



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post #142 of 270 Old 11-26-2016, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
humans are incredibly ungainly on all fours.
I saw nothing ungainly in that video! lol I'm sure you were not referring to it.
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post #143 of 270 Old 11-26-2016, 03:02 PM
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you would have nightmares if you saw ME try that.!
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post #144 of 270 Old 11-26-2016, 06:09 PM
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Great post by @bsms .

Tinyliny, that video is just hilarious!! I could totally see myself as a child trying something like that, attempting to understand how horses jump. How does she not sprain her wrist or something? She must have just the right technique. I am sure she will have good form falling off horses too, preventing injuries. She could probably just land on all fours and bound off.
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post #145 of 270 Old 11-26-2016, 10:02 PM
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I had a lot of fun reading your journal the past few days. It's awesome to be able to see the start of someones horse journey, because that's one thing you can only do once :P I'll never forget my horsey beginning, and I'm sure you won't either. Congratulations on getting to lease Dragon, by the way. I've leased many horses in my life (One of them being an OTTB, who I was very much in love with) and in my opinion it's a fantastic thing to do. You don't have the burden of full ownership yet but you are able to have more freedom to do as you please instead of only waiting on lessons every time. I think quarter leasing her is going to be a good thing for you. Can't wait for future updates
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post #146 of 270 Old 11-27-2016, 07:50 AM
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My BFF and I understood how a bit worked , because we would tie a string to a pencil, and make my younger(but significantly larger) brother carry us around on his back with a BIT in his mouth!!

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post #147 of 270 Old 11-27-2016, 07:58 AM
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My BFF and I understood how a bit worked , because we would tie a string to a pencil, and make my younger(but significantly larger) brother carry us around on his back with a BIT in his mouth!!
I used a similar method to learn how a lunge whip worked My now 30-year-old brother still likes to tell that story...
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post #148 of 270 Old 11-28-2016, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Good question...I actually couldn't remember how much I wrote about Isabel before I bought her, so you sent me searching back through a few years of Horse Forum posts.


I didn't post on here very much before I had a horse, but I did remember asking for a few opinions when I needed to make the decision about whether or not I was going to buy her- and most people told me not to, for many good reasons- but I'm lucky things worked out well for us anyway!


This is the thread: https://www.horseforum.com/horse-talk...hasing-128042/


Also funny to remember that I was thinking seriously about building a barn at home then- my husband and I have prioritized other things so that hasn't materialized yet...

Thank you! It was lovely to read about the debate here and get some insight into how that all came together.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
For turning, there are two ways a horse can turn - straight and leaning. If you get on all fours and try to turn "straight", you will shorten your strides, particularly on the inside. With your knees and palms following the same track around a turn, you will go slower - but the vertical axis of your body will remain straight up and down.


However, if you try to turn faster and tighter, you will not be able to remain "straight". You can initially lighten your front and shove your hands a little sideways, turning your front end faster. If you keep increasing the speed and tightness of turn, then you will need to drop down and shove hard sideways. The book that pointed this out to me was written by a professor of mechanical engineering who also enjoyed riding horses. He pointed out that barrel racing horses do not collect to turn because that would make the turns too slow. They lower at the withers, typically.


...


Left on their own, horses rarely turn straight. I suspect if you measured metabolic rate versus turning, one would find a straight turn costs more, and so does the digging in turn. The "Momma Bear" turn would be to lighten the front a little and shove a little sideways. We don't have to lighten our front end since we only have two feet, but humans almost never turn "straight" either. If you tied a rope to a pole, and jogged around the pole with your shoulders forming a straight line with the rope, that would be "straight". And if you had not trained to do it, you would find it hard to do well.


None of this changes what you are learning. It is just that I jogged for 40 years before taking up riding and I find how I move and feel jogging correlates well to how I see horses move. I think it provides an insight into what the horse feels and how he adjusts when we ask him to move a certain way.

Thank you for the detailed commentary - it gives me something to think on. That said, while I very much agree with your point, I might be starting with a bit of a different assumption about what we're trying to do.

I strongly suspect that convincing a horse to turn straight-up with a bent body is much more for our convenience and possibly their own athletic development rather than their natural optimum solution (which I agree with what youíve wrote is probably a bit sideways). Much of what we ask horses to do for us doesnít have anything to do with the simplest/most natural movements and has a lot more to do with either what works for us or what develops their musculature and athleticism. Some of it seems to be inspired by the beautiful movements horses will make when playing (just as dance is inspired by joyful movements in humans) but the way we train them is more discipline than nature.

Heck, if you watch high-level eventing you will see that the same horse that turns perfectly straight-up/body-bent in the dressage arena then proceeds to turn slightly bent but still leaning when they get to the cross country phase - not to the extremes of a barrel racer, but still quite noticeably. The ability to bend their body appears to help them make the turns to line up for jumps, but the optimum solution is still to lean into turns. Your logic that it's most optimum seems completely logical to me.

The thing is I donít really see a problem with the fact we're training/working a less optimal route. Most of what I do when I exercise or show off my athleticism isnít strictly confined to the motions that I do every day or find most natural/easiest. This may be a little different for jogging/running - but simply put push-ups, ab-crunches, and stretching arenít motions Iíd do in my day-to-day to be efficient - theyíre things that develop my strength so that when I go to do body-focused activities Iím more fit/supple.

Thatís sort of the context in which I see most arena training. Itís a combination of developing the horse, rider, and horse/rider communication. I need to get her off my leg not because falling in on turns is unnatural or fundamentally wrong - but because doing it Ďthe hard wayí develops her muscles for other things and also if I want to get her lined up on a jump I need to be sure I can bump both her front/back end into line so we go over straight (also because Ďhorse balletí/dressage is something I may eventually be interested in). I donít really see Ďnaturalí as the bar for Ďgoodí when it comes to fitness/health.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
that suggestion to get on all fours and try turning at different speeds creates a really funny mental image. humans are incredibly ungainly on all fours. when I was a 5 or 6 year old, I was so horse crazy I used to run all around the house on all fours, 'cantering' quite nimbly. now? fuggedaboutit!
That isÖ strangely adorable and Iím honestly seriously impressed at her jumping ability. The thought of jumping high enough to get my feet over my head in any circumstance is pretty terrifying. That kid is seriously strong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uze View Post
I had a lot of fun reading your journal the past few days. It's awesome to be able to see the start of someones horse journey, because that's one thing you can only do once :P I'll never forget my horsey beginning, and I'm sure you won't either. Congratulations on getting to lease Dragon, by the way. I've leased many horses in my life (One of them being an OTTB, who I was very much in love with) and in my opinion it's a fantastic thing to do. You don't have the burden of full ownership yet but you are able to have more freedom to do as you please instead of only waiting on lessons every time. I think quarter leasing her is going to be a good thing for you. Can't wait for future updates
Thank you!

Yeah, right now the quarter-lease is really just so that I have more time to practice and really work on developing my riding ability. Itís still going to be pretty structured and Iím basically going to be doing lesson work in my off-time so we can focus on learning new stuff in lessons rather than just watching me try to figure out how to do things right. Iím very green to even really be leasing at this point (though I do finally feel Ďreadyí in the sense Iím no longer worried about the basics of managing a session by myself) so Iím quite happy with having a bit of structure and plan for what I should be working on.

My trainer has already asked me if half-leasing is something I will want to look at in the future and I told her that I would probably like to look at it once I get to the level where Iím competing. Eventually I *do* want to lease a horse in a way that will let me take them out and go hacking/trying other things - but I really need to be able to w/t/c reliably and just get a lot more hours on the saddle first. For now itís really just a way to get more training time in.
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post #149 of 270 Old 11-28-2016, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Cammey View Post
...Heck, if you watch high-level eventing you will see that the same horse that turns perfectly straight-up/body-bent in the dressage arena then proceeds to turn slightly bent but still leaning when they get to the cross country phase - not to the extremes of a barrel racer, but still quite noticeably. The ability to bend their body...

...The thing is I donít really see a problem with the fact we're training/working a less optimal route...
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the horse to work harder to perform a certain way. We do it for fast trots or slow ones, and we are asking the horse to work harder than he otherwise would every time we ride.

The ability to bend their body is much more questionable. Philippe Karl, in his book, Twisted truths of Modern Dressage, makes the case that horses NEVER bend their bodies (pages 30-32). Photos taken from above the horse, such at this one,



give reason to doubt any horse bends around our inner leg. That is one of those word pictures helpful for thinking about how we give cues, but harmful if we think the horse actually performs it.



We see the part of the horse in front of us and not the part behind. This does not mean a horse cannot turn "straight", just that he doesn't do it the way we pretend he is doing it.

I've also been told, too many times, that a horse who is not turning "straight" is unbalanced and more likely to fall. I've read supposedly authoritative books that claim a horse is not balanced or moving "properly" if it digs in.

I think the more we understand what a horse REALLY does, the better we can feel his motion and know how to ask him and train him.

It is kind of like with collection. If a horse bows its back up, rounding it, then instructions in books to contain the horse between the driving aids and restraining aids make sense. One might even postulate that a circle of energy DOES exist, and that having the horse bounce off the bit helps to do it. But if collection results from a horse moving like this,



then the energy is not cycling back to the rear, but being used to lift the front. And instead of trapping a horse between the driving and restraining aids, one is asking the horse to move forward and then divert the energy upwards in the front. Instead of squeezing the horse, you are diverting the horse.

That may not change how you and a great many others approach riding. Word pictures help us sometimes and distract us at others, and an image that helps one person might harm another. But for myself, the image of diverting energy upwards rather than holding it back creates a very different attitude and feel.

I don't have any interest in dressage and tend to favor long, flat strides for my horse. But I still find it helpful to think of my horse as having a firm, largely unbending lever for a back, and to think of asking him to change his foot pattern or stride rather than think of me shaping him. When I think of cues as "asking" rather than "controlling", I approach riding and training my horse differently. But if it doesn't help you, PLEASE toss it aside!

Last June, I asked my old college roommate the right way to use a certain piece of tack. "Out here," he replied, "there is no right way. But I'll show you what works for me." That is how I feel about HF. I can share what helps me, but I can't promise it will help you.
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post #150 of 270 Old 11-28-2016, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Great post by @bsms .

Tinyliny, that video is just hilarious!! I could totally see myself as a child trying something like that, attempting to understand how horses jump. How does she not sprain her wrist or something? She must have just the right technique. I am sure she will have good form falling off horses too, preventing injuries. She could probably just land on all fours and bound off.

well, she probably weighs about 40 lbs , and the footing is soft.

but, . . . as to some points raised by bsms, looking at that last diagram in his post, collection is really achieved by the horse lowering his pelvis. that occurs in part by the tucking under reflex, such as you'd see when the horse is pushing out a big poo, or you've poked him along his belly line. that is the abdominal muscles tightening, and is akin to us engageing our core muslces to lift the front of our pelvis to counter lordosis.
the other part is the horse 'dropping' his hind end , achieved by having greater flexion in the stifle and hock joints. a collapsing of the accordian folds of those stacked joints. the extreme of this is the horse sitting back and rearing.


no, the horse does not bend it's body like you might want to see from a diagram from looking down from above. but, the barrel of the horse DOES move from side to side . it must move somewhat to accomodate the forward movement of the rear legs. it is this swing of the barrel that you get yourself in tune with when you ride at the walk. to 'amplify' a walk, you get to feeling when the barrel swings right, for example. this swinging right means that the left rear leg is reaching forward. if you put YOUR left leg on at just that moment, you are saying 'reach MORE! with that leg" . . . then, if necessaery, you put your right leg on just as the barrel swings left (away from your right leg), and you will be amplifying the forward reach of the right hind leg.

when you get the hind leg to step bigger, AND you ask the hrose to restrain forward move,ment AND you ask the horse to put a little flex toward the inside with it's jaw, the horse will step not just furhter forward, but will reach a bit more under the center of its' barrel. it will take more weight on that inside hind leg.

this allows it to become physically able to lift up the inside FRONT (remember, this is at the walk I am talking about, and the walk rythm goes : hind right , front right, hind left, front left . .repeat), and place it more toward the inside, forming an arc, which is part of a turn or a circle. thus the so-called 'bend' on a circle.
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