The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:05 am 
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Yes, I do remember this! I loved it and still do.

Sometimes though, just cruising along with the flow, I arrive at a bit of still water where I can rest for a bit and assess... and sometimes realize that there's one specific bit that's missing which is holding up the flow.. all the other bits are there but can't cohese without a vital piece that I'm just not getting, so have a bit of a loss of direction,... aimless drifting. Not that that's not okay.. double negative sorry.. what is my writing coming to??! :oops: Aimless drifting with Sunrise is a joy these days, and there's always other stuff going on.


I really appreciated your clarity in explaining the steps as separate pieces... and the reassurance that comes, not from having an ABC layed out, but from knowing that it doesn't HAVE to be any set way.. that it will all come together in the end when the pieces are there.

I find like you do, it does all eventually come together.. but sometimes, not without a bit of searching on my part, and some help from my great friends~! :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:24 am 
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Oh Sue, I agree 100%! And I still search for bits here and there. There is not a week goes by that I don't find some new piece that is missing or that we never even thought of, and that just happens by some happy accident.

Tam will be the first horse I have ever had that will have a true extended trot, and that is all because of little bits, here and there, tossed into some training-stew made without any recipe, and getting lucky that it just comes together and ends up tasting like you really know how to cook.

So are these metaphors? Allegory? I can't remember.

Anyway, they are fun :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:05 am 
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I just have to say here... Ellas horse HAS extended trot.. without any training. Arrrgh!@ am I jealous? Moi? :lol:
And a horse I had as a kid, had PIAFFE! and School canter, totally untrained. Oh if only I knew then what I had on my hands.. I just thought it was pretty cool having a horse no-one else could ride. :lol: He was a quarter horse/Tb cross, TWO YEARS OLD when I got him and started riding. :oops:

So... there must be so many different ways and different routes, because every horse and every human and every combination starts from a different place. It's so useful being able to see the ones who're doing it, so we can break down the elements and find the way to success.. what is it that this horse does that allows it to do XYZ..

Which is why of course I love looking over your shoulder. :D

Now.. if you just want to know anything about how not to be afraid of anything, how to open gates, doors and taps (horse proof ones..), and how to purr like a cat.. just ask Sunrise and me.. these are our fields of expertise. :lol:

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:30 am 
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Quote:
I just have to say here... Ellas horse HAS extended trot..


Do you have it on video? If not can you get it on video?

I was watching extended trot videos on youtube today...because I wasn't quite sure Tam was doing it correctly (that is, I was guessing it was correct because it was looking quite pretty!) and thinking, OH! HE DOES HAVE IT!...well, he WILL...but more than the wonderful things everyone works really hard for, it seems the coolest things are those that pop up when you least expect it, sending you scrambling backward in the training diary in your mind (a scary and messy place in my case!) so you could try to catalogue all the components you trained to "accidently" allow it to happen.

See, I never had a "cool" horse as a kid. Well, one, sort of who could out-trot anyone and could rear up and kick out on....oh my....Comanche had a standing capriole, didn't he? And a Pasade. Comanche was a very plain looking little 14.2 hand something or other...he was my riding horse and my Dad used him to pull tamarack (funny, that...) logs out of the bog in the back forty.

:lol: :lol:

Yes...get it on video so Ella can look back one day and say..."how the heck did we get that to happen?". I want to see it! I will get Tam on video too!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:26 am 
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:lol: :lol: Comanche had a standing capriole, didn't he? And a Pasade.

Exactly!

How the hell we got him to do that?????
Well.. we don't! He just does it.. has ever since the day after the day he was born! He sticks his tail up like a banner and TROTS! It's beautiful! He has the lightest scopiest trot anyway, then when something gets him excited, wow! He just flies into extension. But how??? And getting it on video??
Actually, I think you see just a couple of steps of it in his vid playing with Miro. Rosie also does it, so does Brodie, but Harlequin's the best.

Dr Deb talked about correct versus false extension in the clinic I went to recently. She said lots of horses you see (winning!) in dressage comps aren't doing a correct extended trot.

Just looking at my notes again..
So.. to LENGTHEN STRIDE - many horses incorrectly just lengthen step without lengthening stride. Step is the distance between placement of right hind and left hind . Stride is distance between left hind and next strike of left hind - it requires more thrust more energy. Very very hard work to lengthen step and stride at the same time. So.. correct lengthening, the actual step should be the same, but with far more impulsion, upthrust, so that the horse is carried forward further with each step.

This is what Harlequin does! :D He's trotting out, as normal, then without changing his diagonals positioning, he crunches himself up, lifts his shoulders and flings up his tail and starts BOINGING. REally! this guy has springs in his feet! So powerful. :D

Dr Deb's advice on the key to lengthening.. collection, impulsion.. then energy UP without stress up. Sounds just like an AND recipe doesn't it? 8)

Sorry if I"m rabbiting on stuff you know. :oops: I needed to revisit my notes and you've just prompted me..

Thanks! Sue

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:54 pm 
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But I DON'T know this stuff! Really! I can see it in my head, I can look at videos, I can look at photos, but I sure don't know much about the mechanics of it, so thank you! I know that suspension (boing!!!) is part of it, but I have/had no clue how to get it.

I think if Cisco ever has it, he will arrive at it in a fairly traditional (suspension plus impulsion , etc) way as he's not too keen on targeting...but Tam gets me all excited the way he figures things out...puts elements together. Like he learns single words and comes the day he speaks a sentence that wasn't memorized and he blows me away.

So sometimes he's ahead of me in knowledge, then I need to catch up on some reading to find out how it's acheived traditionally,etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:12 am 
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Oh.. I was so lucky to get to Dr Deb's gait analysis clinic.. but I'm afraid a lot of it was wasted on me.. because i'm so ignorant of all this stuff.. I needed a pre-clinic clinic! :lol:
I did learn stacks though.. highly recommend it if you ever have the chance.

I think the important thing with this extended trot is teaching the horse that you don't want him to arrive at a certain point any faster.. you don't want him thinking he has to race to get somewhere. It really is the "showing off" gait.. all impressive, HEY LOOK AT ME! So you don't want him thinking forward to where he's going.. you want him bunching up, lowering his haunches, raising his withers, high flexed head set, so that he is PUSHING down at the ground with every step.
Harlequin, we can see this PUSHING action even in his normal trot.. whereas the other horses are very flat by comparison. We can also see, when he's trotting together with Sunrise.. looking at the "V's" that his legs make, it's actually quite a small angle.. showing that his step length is shorter by comparision. Her V's are bigger. But, he covers more ground with each step, because of the BOING! So.. looking at his legs, he appears to be going slower than Sunrise, but then you look at the ground, and actually he is keeping pace, or leaving her behind (!) while giving the impression of little effort.

I bet you'll see this difference between TAm and Cisco too if you can get them both trotting together.

:D

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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 Post subject: Problem?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:54 am 

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http://mare-and-bear.deviantart.com/art ... w-91929897

He's doing something odd with his feet...I think =/ is this from lack of experieance?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Yeeha! Sunrise and I achieved a very respectable looking back crunch today, really low hip angle. Now I have a question:
Where is the best place for her head position when she's stretched out like this?
Seems she gets into the lowest stretch when she holds her head about knee height and stretches her neck forward.
Appreciate some advice...
Sue

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:43 am 
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It is interesting. Tonight I am reading here and there and keep coming across things that are related to things Belle does naturally. Here: she is a saddlebred. Now, while she has not done anything "saddlebred" oriented in years, she is certainly able to park out and I am sure I could suggest that she extend that and she'd respond quickly. Would the focus then be to develop from high headed saddlebred park out to similar leg position but with the lowered head and body changes that should naturally accompany that is not pushed? Would that be a back crunch? Or am I missing more?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:16 am 
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Here is a picture of a back crunch and an Obeisance which is labeled as a bow, that is also called a front crunch. How is that for confusing? :D

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=479

(scroll down to the C's)

I think a head up position is good for the back crunch...if your horse already parks out, you already have the back crunch!

Then you can try luring to ask the horse to lean back from the back crunch into the obeisance, or you can do what I did, and use the cordeo to cue leaning back. This took awhile for Tam to figure this out, but by rewarding the tiniest try that didn't involve moving his feet, he soon began to explore the possibilities of leaning back. So I asked him to lean back, but I also used a treat to lure him to lower his head (which I think they HAVE to do anyway to get in that position.

If you can lure them from between the legs (make sure they are balanced and won't fall on you), you can get a very pretty obeisance with the forehead nearly on the ground.

To further complicate things, I never have taught Tam to do the back crunch (parking), but he has a really nice front crunch (obeisance). He figured out he had to move his hind feet back in order to stretch down. I don't ask for any specific head position with him, other than to lower it and lean back. He doesn't put his forehead on the ground.

My issue with Tam was that he would knuckle over one or both font legs while leaning back/down to reach the treat. So I saw this video of Kabir (Bettel is on the forum)
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=muQ5te0lB ... re=related

And I saw how putting the hands on the top of the legs could help to keep the knees from bending. So I tried it with Tam and it worked! Tam has a workable (not necessarily beautiful) obeisance. But the hand on the leg has really become the cue now.

Cisco has only a rudimentary front/back crunch. He hasn't yet seen the point in doing it I guess! He has his own way of doing things, and where he'll concede an occasional one or two knee bow (totally his choice of course), obeisance seems not to interest him, and in his personal opinion, the back crunch is mostly useful for peeing and not much else. :rofl: :rofl:

I have this little video of Tam that has his obeisance in it:

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=z2r6U_3wDGI

In that video, I use pointing a lot...I don't do that anymore...it was confusing Tam! That video was from last March...we've learn a little since then!

(Post edited after causing crunch confusion! Thanks Romy!)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:09 am 
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Edited to diminish the crunch confusion, so I just leave the explanations and pictures here.

When I talk about back crunch I mean this:

Image

...stretching the hind legs out behind the body (by walking forwards with the front legs and leaving the hindlegs where they are) and when I speak of front crunch (or here is another video of front crunches when Titum had just learned them) I mean that the horse leans back down from the back cruch position. That is, he lowers his front end so that the angle between the frontlegs and the ground becomes smaller. That´s also the way it is explained in this sticky and in our encyclopedia.

P.S.: Here is a fantastic picture of front crunch, starring Erika and Akrém:
Image


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:26 am 
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Eeeeek! Yes Romy! Thank you...I had it backward. I never could get them sorted out in my mind which is why I prefer to call them different things!

It never made sense to me to call it a back crunch if they are leaning forward, and a front crunch when they are leaning backward! :rofl: :razz:

I edited my post above, so hopefully it now makes sense. Does this mean you have to edit your post too? I'm sorry!!!

Does my post make more sense now? Or is it still confusing?

But thank you!!! :kiss:

The obeisance (see? I can avoid calling it front or back) requires a little parking out for some horses, or for those like Tam, then can just move their feet out of the way while they begin to lean down.

I think I'm still confused! Need sleep! :yawn:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:50 am 
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Thanks, Karen! No, now it is not confusing anymore and I also edited your quote out of my post so that there will be even less confusion. Oh, and I placed pictures as well, so now I hope that everything is clear.

What is always confusing to me is the term bow, because this could mean so many things. It could be front crunch, it could be bow on one knee (compliment) or it could be something coming from back crunch where the horse also leans back but does not decrease the angle between frontlegs and ground that much (thereby hollowing the back and stretching the shoulders) but where he takes his head between the legs, bowing up his back. If I ever use the word bow, I refer to the latter exercise, but I try to avoid it completely as it seems that everyone understands something different by it. :smile:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:08 pm 
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Actually the back and front crunch for me are quite clear in describing the exercise for me. 8) In the front crunch you stretch the front quarters and the shoulders, while in the back crunch you stretch/crunch the back and hindquarters.

For me it became really puzzling back in the NHE forum when they were talking about crunch and bow - because what part was being crunched? Only when they added pictures as an example, I could spot the difference. :D

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