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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Honestly just curious...

What does it teach the horse???

How many of you agree with doing that type of riding before more refined stuff???

Freestyle is basically riding in a halter, no rein contact, and level 1 you start with just the halter/reins with casual rein, level 2 its riding with 1 carrot stick still casual reins, then level 3 is two carrot sticks and not using reins.. level 4 is bridleless. Ermmm Spirithorse can explain it better LOL
 

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There is no substitute for good training. To me this is not good training.

Riding freestyle or bridleless is not something you train. It is the end result of good solid training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
nrh - I was JUST thinking about what you said before I read your post. My goal is to be able to ride most of the horses I train bridleless in teh end and I know theres other ways of acheiving it.
 

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Yes I can explain this LOL! The reason for Freestyle riding is to 1) give the horse an opportunity to express himself in a very free kinda way, 2) teach the rider to use FOCUS, 3) teach the rider to have an independent seat and not reply on their reins/hands/legs, 4) to build confidence and impulsion in the horse, 5) to teach the rider to stay out of the horse's way, 6) to work toward the ultimate test of freestyle riding, bridleless!....I could go on.

It's important to ride Freestyle before Finesse so that, as Karen Rohlf says, "You ride Freestyle, inside the Finesse." Meaning all your movements and aides are so subtle, light and can be isolated independently that the only change is that you ask your horse to pick himself up and carry himself in a different posture....which increases the difficulty. And if you were to drop your reins in the middle of Finesse work, the horse would maintain gait, speed, direction, remain balanced and stay in emotional control and the rider would remain balanced, focused, and calm. Freestyle is SO important!
 

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Karen Rohlf says, "You ride Freestyle, inside the Finesse." Meaning all your movements and aides are so subtle, light and can be isolated independently that the only change is that you ask your horse to pick himself up and carry himself in a different posture....which increases the difficulty. And if you were to drop your reins in the middle of Finesse work, the horse would maintain gait, speed, direction, remain balanced and stay in emotional control and the rider would remain balanced, focused, and calm.
And that sounds like a horse that has been trained using normal training methods UNTIL it IS supple to the aids.

Just as a horse has no clue what to do with a bit put in it mouth or understand what rider leg contact is BEFORE it is taught by training the meaning, I think any sort of attempt at freestyle before finesse ( or in other words knowing the basics) is like putting the cart before the horse.

Only through improving the basics and adding a degree of difficulty does the horse become free enough to ride a good freestyle.

When I was competing, freestyle was my speciality and I got most of my 10's in that event. Full knowledge of what you are doing built on training,trust and the horse's ability to react to the slightest indicator results in"freestyle" within finesse and ride that is effortless.

I fail to see how any of that can be built riding aimlessly around in a halter is going to achieve that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmmm this gave me something to think about


I understand what Spirithorse is saying but after reading what spyder said it deffinately made A LOT of sense.

Keep it going :D This is interesting.

I can say in defense the riding around in a halter usually has a purpose .. usually some pattern of sorts.
 

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If you can't get lateral and vertical flexion, in three gaits, doing all the appropriate yields, transitions, etc. in a halter first you should not put a bit in the horse's mouth.

If the horse is ridden Freestyle BEFORE Finesse, Finesse becomes much easier...for horse and rider.
 

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If you can't get lateral and vertical flexion, in three gaits, doing all the appropriate yields, transitions, etc. in a halter first you should not put a bit in the horse's mouth.
Why?

What is a logical reason you CAN'T teach the above with a bit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to say something about the bit.


Linda used a bit for Allure, he couldn't be ridden much in a halter in the begining because she could really get control over him. So technically thats not true.

Im on both sides here.
I can see that getting all teh basic aids and stuff through CLEAR communication through the bit before dropping the reins. Like I was just PMing spyder. Usually it goes focus, seat/legs, reins if needed.. so If they cant get it even with the support of the reins. Its gonna be hard for the horse to understand it when you have absolutly no contact. Idk if im making since I have a thought process going but I cant seem to get it down.
 

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If you can't get lateral and vertical flexion, in three gaits, doing all the appropriate yields, transitions, etc. in a halter first you should not put a bit in the horse's mouth.

If the horse is ridden Freestyle BEFORE Finesse, Finesse becomes much easier...for horse and rider.
I have ridden worked trained and shown quite a few reiners and I find this thought to be very very short sighted. Finesse comes from working properly the bit properly used adds a very subtle cue that adds to the finesse that you can not get with just a halter.

If what you are saying was really true then what you get as an end result in a finished reiner would not exist as NO reining trainer I have ever seen would even think about working a horse in just a halter.
 

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If the horse is ridden Freestyle BEFORE Finesse, Finesse becomes much easier...for horse and rider.
Pure bovine manure

Rather that rewrite I am going to post what I said to HorsesAreForever...


You cannot make a song without an understanding of the notes or combination of the notes.

Assuming you are going to do a freestyle to music and one part is very dramatic followed almost immediately by a soft portion. To do a dramatic movement to complement that first part and expect the horse to follow a cue from you to collect, or go to a softer movement after he has to be instantly on the aids to make it effortless.

If YOU are following that piece of music as you ride you do not want to make obvious or rough aids so you need the quietest aids that in time almost become second nature BECAUSE the bond between you and the horse was developed over time and with training. This is the finesse.

So you could argue it is finesse within freestyle as much as you can ague it is freestyle within finesse...they actually become one.
 

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Couldn't agree more Spyder. A horse is challenged to learn the finesse and then after they know what is expected of them, then you can relax them into the freestyle. And frankly, teaching finesse with a halter would be about like squeezing a horse in through at cat door. Halters are, by nature, unprecise. You will never find an upper level dressage horse or reining horse that has been ridden in only a halter.

That being said, you say
"If you can't get lateral and vertical flexion, in three gaits, doing all the appropriate yields, transitions, etc. in a halter first you should not put a bit in the horse's mouth."
I say that it doesn't matter what you put on a horse's head, it's what you put in their head that matters. You cannot achieve finesse without training and there is absolutely no training happening with a horse wandering around aimlessly in a pen with a passive rider.
 

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The closest that I come to "Parelli Freestyle" is riding an extreme greenie on a very loose rein to let him get his sea legs without worrying about bit pressure too much between turns, and warming up on a very loose rein for the first few minutes of a ride before taking up the slack and asking the horse to work a little more. Always with a bit. I probably could ride Scout in a halter, maybe bridleless on a brave day after a solid warmup, but I've never tried it, and I know I couldn't have on my first ride on him and had any brakes at all.

I see benefits galore for the rider to working without reins (independent seat, riding back end forward, not leaning on the reins, not fussing with the horse's head, etc.), and I see that it is helpful for greenies or out of shape horses to acclimate to the aids in steps at first. However, some of the most finessed riding and horses I've ever seen came by it as a by-product of "normal" training (whatever that is anymore). To me, starting out bridleless is like teaching the cool by-product without the months/years of education behind it. Maybe its a "Build it and they will come" kind of thing... :wink:
 

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there is absolutely no training happening with a horse wandering around aimlessly in a pen with a passive rider.
Ya that is what the neighbor girl learned when she tried riding my reiners. She could not cue them correctly and my one mare just stopped. Would not move. If she has been human she would have had her arms crossed just standing there.
 

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nrh - all I could see was a horse on its hind legs and crossing the front just like a human hahahaa
Well that is about what she did. Sara was riding and it lasted all of about 10 min the first time and then Cassie just stopped and refused to move. Like if you can find the right spot to cue me I will move until then I will just stand here.
 

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Good luck in getting Spyer do anything without an understanding of the seat and aids. I can however ride him bridleless if I chose for there has been many a time I cantered and simply dropped all contact....he just kept right on trucking.

On the thread about schoolmasters I posted, Kelly Horsemad posted she got a passage because she gave the wrong aids on the only schoolmaster she rode....lol...that was on my horse...LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LMAO! I can see myself doing that! Accidently getting passage, or Piafe.. and thinking.. "okay...well, thats the button for that... now how do I get a simple canter!!" :p

I accually rode a level 2/3 dressage horse, when I was thinking of selling chance a while back, and the normal canter cue for my mare was the half pass for this horse. I was like 'Why am I going sideway now?!' Or at some point I was getting haunches in im like oh my this is different. I couldn't seem to go in a straight line LOL Oh it was fun. After a few tries I got it but then the girl got on and made it look EFFORTLESS. I started working on my leg aids and such after that!
 
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