The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:36 pm 
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Location: northern, Illinois, USA
Wow! That is really great! I hope that I can get my horses that willing! :clap: :clap:

Ivy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:13 pm
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Location: Slovenia
Wow, Titum is really an elastic horse! :ieks: He's amazing :applause:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:29 am 
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Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
Is it ok for a horse to do a back crunch with a rider onboard? He offered it out of the blue. Not sure if I should click it? Is it ok for his body??

Here is Wallie's first day trying front and back crunches. He was a natural, as usual.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSlaFLI7m5w

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:50 am 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Thanks all for the lovely comments on Titum - I will tell him that you liked his stretches. :smile:

Kali, that is so fantastic. Wallie is such a total delight and it´s so nice to see how he tries and tries and tries. But then the front crunch is an alltime favourite my horses, too. Titum likes it so much and offers it again and again while I am busy with other things like feeding hay.

Well, just wanted to say is that I love your instructional videos with Wallie and Zoey, they are great! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
What a good video!
I am glad I got to know your site through this forum!

You guys are doing really well.
Fantastic!
:applause:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:12 am 
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Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
Thanks Romy and Anne Marie. Wallie offered a bunch more front crunches today and seems like he might be thinking about using them to make it easier for Zoey to jump up on his back bareback. He's a very sweet pony and Zoey is a really good match for his temperament.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:30 pm 
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Location: northern, Illinois, USA
I have a question. Jackson now does the front crunches easily and he offers it all the time. My question is: Are the horses doing any damage to themselves with the front crunches? I read an article about parking out and they said that it is bad on the horses front leg tendons.

Does anyone know anything about this? http://www.gaitedhorses.net/Articles/Pa ... g101.shtml

Thanks,

Ivy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:31 am
Posts: 45
ivyschex wrote:
I have a question. Jackson now does the front crunches easily and he offers it all the time. My question is: Are the horses doing any damage to themselves with the front crunches? I read an article about parking out and they said that it is bad on the horses front leg tendons.

Does anyone know anything about this? http://www.gaitedhorses.net/Articles/Pa ... g101.shtml

Thanks,

Ivy


My humble guess/opinion is that as long as the horse does it freely and is not forced so that he can controll how far he takes the excercise then he should be fine. I wouldn't do the excercise with a rider on his back though.
If you give rewards for the excercise and he does it very often then maybe give him less rewards.

/San

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:06 am 
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Location: Slovenia
I assume that horse's joints on this picture:
Image
are in similar position as there are our knee joints in this exercise:
Image

I have never heard this exercise could be bad or harmful ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Location: Alberta
I am not a scientist, so I can't say for sure, but unless you are a very light person with a very large and strong horse, I would refrain from mounting a crunch. What I mean is that I would refrain (and not to say that everyone else should refrain as well), and I'll tell you why! :D

I look at Tam's obeisance, which he does quite beautifully now, and he does not (or perhaps cannot...I'm not sure) raise his back in that position to protect himself from the weight of a rider. As well, the front legs are not in a good position to support extra weight. Being stretched out in front, with the back essentially dropped, I would worry about straining something either in the front legs or the shoulders or the back.

When Tam bows (a one knee bow, with his head up), his back is arched upward slightly, and he's firmly supported on his knee, and there is a shoulder-supporting straight line described by his foreleg. The other leg, is of course extended out in front is unable to act as a support. I have mounted Tam's one-knee bow a few times now, but it is rare that I do it, and I do not use it as a means to mount every time. It is not the best weight supporting position, but I think it's somewhat better than an obeisance.

I do not think that I would even sit an obeisance (ask Tam to do it while I was in the saddle) for the same reasons as above...at least not now. Perhaps when he's ten years old or so...and if he is very strong in his body, completely healthy and completely finished growing. But while he is still possibly growing, I will continue to be extremely careful how much stress I would put on his joints and tendons, etc. But to me, sitting an obeisance seems too close to sitting a horse with a dropped back in any movement...and with a dropped back, the horse cannot protect himself from the weight of a rider.

So I'm only thinking about cautioning here...I don't know the relative sizes of everyone...and if you have a small child with a stocky and well built pony, then I don't know that any harm could come of it - rather, it's just something to be mindful of so that one can be aware to watch for hesitation or any kind of objection from the horse...they will tell you if it's uncomfortable if they have been allowed to have that kind of voice. :yes:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 4:58 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Swa and I learnt the back crunch, but I am wondering if the horse is always supposed to stand square (his hindlegs equally next to each other) performing this exercise? Swa can have his hindlegs in really weird positions and he also never stands square. As standing square means that the weight is equally divided over the legs, I thought it would not be bad to take this as an extra requirement for doing the back crunch. What do you think about this?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:04 pm 
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It always depends on what you want to achieve by the exercise. Since I would teach it to be a stretching exercise, I would see a square stance as the final goal. Thus the stretching can come to full effect.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:44 am 
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Location: The Netherlands
Thanks!
So do you see a square stance as the final goal, or would you start with standing square and then evolving it into the back crunch?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:47 am 
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Sorry for the late answer :blush:

missRivendel wrote:
So do you see a square stance as the final goal, or would you start with standing square and then evolving it into the back crunch?
Basically I wouldn't care how I get there, as long as I do get there without too much frustration of horse and human. That means setting up the training progress for success.

If a horse goes into a back crunch easily, one might be tempted to go along and train the movement deeper and deeper, as the early results are very reinforcing for both sides. Problems may arise though, when you want to change a certain element or prerequisite of the movement at that stage. You might need to go back a few steps in the training progress and that might get the horse frustrated.
So in an ideal world I would know all of the steps and prerequisites that lead to the final behaviour and I would follow that plan in my training. In your example that would mean: first start with standing square, then with the back crunch movement ;)
But then again it depends a lot from horse to horse. The most linear, straight-forward path is not always the most logical to the horse, as our mare Lily has proven at many occasions :green:

If you are already knee-deep into teaching the behaviour, you can always try to use the sandwich method. Train standing square and back crunch separately. Then combine them by asking them in direct succession.

Hope this was of any help?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 4:58 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Yes it was, thank you! :yes:
And now again new questions pop up in my head. I like the sandwich idea, as the back crunch with standing square is asking a lot of effort from Swa. He has huge difficulties with standing square. His hind legs always have the weirdest positions and naturally I never see him standing square. So it is a very good idea for us to train those two exercises seperately and combine them later on.
Now I still have to find out how to get Swa into a square position. Until now I try to gently touch his hindquarters and leg. He tries lots of things like backing up and targetting with his nose, and now and then he accidently stands square. I don't think he's getting it yet. So maybe I should find another method, but I have no clue what method.


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