The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Why use a cordeo at all?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:26 pm
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I think I've read most of the threads on cordeos but I can't find the answer.

I understand that the general belief on this forum is that the less tack you use the better (obviously saddles & bridles are necessary to ride on public land by law in some countries) so why use anything at all?

The only thing I can think of is that the cordeo is the closest you can get to the aids used on the ground and it makes the transition of communication from ground to ridden easier for both horse and rider.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Location: provincie Utrecht
you give yourself the answer.
It is wonderfull for yourself to see how far you are with the real connection and the cordeo can help you with that.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Excellent question :)
The cordeo provides you with a whole set of cue possibilities without having the danger of pulling the head or influencing the balance of the horse.

The balance instrument of the horse is between the ears, just as with us humans. If we nudge our pull your head, you loose balance. In dressage, it is all about balance. Very ironic to use reins with which we can mistakenly influence the head constantly.

With the cordeo you are safe to use and mistake as much as you want, without having the risk of messing op the horses balance with your 'rein' (one can still mess up with the seat of course).

When I speak of reins, I speak of reins attached to a soft form of bitless bridle. When using a bit (or two) the problem gets magnified much, much more of course.

For me personally, I use the cordeo for neck reining and for asking collection. There is a balance point at the base of the neck on which the cordeo can give the efect of the horse tilting his pelvis.
I use the cordeo as 'curb rein' and the reins on the soft De Pluvinel cavesson as snaffle reins. The goal is the be able to perform all exercises with the 'curb' only, in this case, with the cordeo only.
:)

Hope that answeres your question :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I think with traditionally trained horses and ponies growing up, I put tack on for Pony Club or for riding off the farm.
As kids collecting a pony from a far field meant a ride back in halter with one rope bareback, or riding without any tack.
So when we later see Hemphling or Lorenzo the Flying Frenchman or Pignot, or hear about a bitless bridle for the first time we see the possibilities because our previous flexible 'can do', 'why not', younger experience included this as standard.
We had discovered from our own natural interaction and involvement with our ponies as we grew up that tack was not essential.

It may have been different for those people who desparately wanted to be with horses but were only lucky to have contact in a riding school following a line of others in ever decreasing circles with teaching phrases of "kick on" or "pull up", those pupils might not have had opportunity to build trust or consider the alternatives.

Josepha will know if cordeo rather than no tack at all is necessary or an improvement.
Certainly meridians cross the withers and perhaps a cordeo touches in ways which amplify an intention? However to be effective, as with any training, teaching cues consistently will be of importance.

I have never learnt or taught high school dressage, but have ridden without tack galloping, jumping show jumps and cross country, have had my pony sensitive to my body and me to his so that turns, flying changes, halts, tempos were fluid and not concious effort for either.
However, I am not 14 to 16 years old now, I have to work with more gained reading knowledge and less physical flexibility.
I no longer trust my body to guess a sudden direction change and landing in a crumpled heap after "G" force dismount is not something which appeals to me to practice until I get it right and learn fluidity again, not sure through my 50's I have any fluidity.

But I am happy to sit tackless in trust in open fields, not a roundpen or arena, I do not feel enclosures offer my trust to a horse, only a semblance of security for me by reducing the horse's input and available choices of distraction to be with herd buddies.
(and my old horses would do a two trot pace and jump to leave my instructor's arena for the open fields when enough flat work had been done in their opinion, but they were great for lazy people who do not like to dismount or remount at gates, or use a fence or hedge line where a gate was rutted).


Horses know how to move, understand which leg must be placed down to allow another to lift and turn, are capable of passage, piaffe and pirouettes.

Humans have to be taught to be polite, to ask when a horse has a leg in a situation to respond without losing balance, to ride without interfering with balance, and humans are hand dominated, instinctively grip, push or want to take over all control by tapping gently with a stick or annoying with heels contantly nagging.

If I want to pick up a left foreleg, asking whilst a horse is stood with left hind resting may not allow an immediate offer of left hoof. Similarly, I cannot pull a horse left without upsetting balance unless the left foreleg is free to raise and move in that direction. So we break the question into move back one pace, now please give left front hoof.
Even without tack it is a wonder that horses allow us anywhere near them except at feed times.

Cues for any type of riding require consistant teaching, all may work.

Finding a way to initiate trust, harmony and joy of togetherness, human and horse, with an unhandled, untrained horse is surely possible without tack at all.
Riding when the horse permits will generate a unique set of cues from horse to rider and rider to horse in that partnership.
Some cues may be verbal, others will be a sit up or a breath in for halt and a breath out for walk on or can we go faster, these signals will work in general terms with special cues magical to each unique partnership.

Teaching the human to discard instinct and leave fear is the difficulty.
A neck strap or cordeo, even without cues may offer reassurance by giving the human hands something to hold and be occupied by.
It is not logical and we know that holding a rein does not remove gravitational forces or hold us in place on the horses back, at least we are less interfering with a neck strap than with a rein.

Do you think we should first teach with tack and then dispense with tack and progress without, or teach a horse from the beginning without tack and then gradually introduce it? xx

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:26 pm
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For me I think the ultimate goal is not to be able to perform various exercises from the cordeo (or "curb" only) but to do the exercises from the seat only. Long way to go mind, I'm just wondering whether the cordeo is a step I will take on the journey or not.

Quote:
Do you think we should first teach with tack and then dispense with tack and progress without, or teach a horse from the beginning without tack and then gradually introduce it? xx


I hope to buy a youngster (unbroken and preferably largely unhandled!) at some point in 5-10 years. My view is very much to do as much as possible without tack first, but I also appreciate that I may not always be able to control who handles my horse or how they do so and for that reason he needs to be adaptable whether that is being led with nothing, a cordeo, a halter or a bridle.

There is also the debate of should you need to sell a horse on, if it has say, only been clicker trained and never bitted, are you reducing it's saleability? Logic would tell me that a horse which has been clicker trained well will also work well without the clicker training (provided it's sympathetically handled) but I think that the best thing I could do by any horse is to give it a basic grounding in a bit, saddle etc and conventional lunging whether or not I choose to continue that training. Of course, if I do as much as possible without tack first so my horse already knows how to "lunge", attaching a line becomes a fairly logical step... ;)

There's the whole "I'd never sell" or "I'd find the right home" argument, but circumstances do change and I think that having a well rounded horse increases the likelihood of finding the right home first time. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
You have a namesake, she is Katie B Wade BSc NAC EBQ FBQ
Katie B Wade is a fully qualified and experienced animal behaviourist, working alongside veterinary clinics, rescue centres, societies, breeders as well as individual owners to assist with various aspects of animal behaviour and training. With professional experience handling, training, breeding and rehabilitating the competition horse, Katie went on to study a degree in Psychology and then on to specialise in Equine Behaviour with The Natural Animal Centre. Katie provides scientifically sound advice to the general public, building a bridge between academic research and practical horse ownership.

http://www.practicalhorsepeople.com
http://www.animalminds.co.uk
animalbehaviourist.blogspot.com
twitter.com/KatieBWade

Equally qualified is Jenni Nellist BSc(Hons) PgDipCABC covering Wales and Bristol, or South England
http://www.jenninellist.co.uk
http://www.horsebehaviouristinwales.blogspot.com


Clicker training from Gwen Santagate who inspired Lesley Pavlich is available online from Gwen's penzance horse website, or there will be a link from there.
You may find inspiration on any of their pages.
Among members here you have many who teach, train and share experiences.
http://www.alexbrollo.com
Holistic Horse is Colette Checa
http://www.equinissimo.com
Colette has worked with horses for most of her life starting as a groom and instructor; she obtained her BHS Horsemasters at the age of 17 and eventually owned and ran her own equestrian centre in Spain. She also has a certificate in Advanced Horse Knowledge and is a qualified equine behaviourist (NAC EBQ).

Jo is Jo Osborne http://www.joosborne.co.uk
too many qualifications to list here.

Lots of folks with and without qualified teaching expertise here on AND online or in person in the UK.

Which part of the UK do you live in?

I think I have been lucky to have had homebreds buried and now be with my last 3 horses, final decisions are so hard, yet necessary with pet ownership.

If I die first then I may request they accompany me on my journey rather than worry if they will be bitted, shod or left without access to shelter from sun, wind, wet ground, or without whatever their basic health requirements may be at the time, unless my dear husband really wants the work as well as pleasure of their company.

Lots of food for thought in the topic you started. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Quote:
For me I think the ultimate goal is not to be able to perform various exercises from the cordeo (or "curb" only) but to do the exercises from the seat only. Long way to go mind, I'm just wondering whether the cordeo is a step I will take on the journey or not
.

Just to clarify; the seat and body always comes first and foremost in the Riding Art whether your ride with one bit, or two, non at all, or with cordeo. Simply 'riding' without anything is not such a problem for most when committed to it. But really being able to correctly follow the complete gymnasium.. that's something completely different. However probably not impossible.
As yet impossible for me in any case. :funny:

The thing is, most riders have already to adjust their cues to actual seat and body aids when they start riding bitless. When riding dressage in the cordeo, your seat and body aids have to become even more pronounced. It's just that the cordeo gives your the opportunity to have extra cue possibilities without the possible negative effects reins can have.
If a rider can perform all the exercises of the gymnasium correctly without anything at all, other then the seat and body that would be wonderful :ieks: ! (And I'd take a clinic ha ha ! :funny: )
For I still need my cordeo not only for the gymnasium but also for the teaching.

Warm regards,

Josepha

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:24 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Quote:
But really being able to correctly follow the complete gymnasium.. that's something completely different.


And takes a lot of time in training horse and rider, always something to aspire to, grace, power, beauty. Classical Dressage ridden in only a cordeo is surely much more difficult than managing to ride across a meadow and follow a horses movement through his natural paces.

As I'm past 50 and I have never ridden as beautifully seated as Josepha, my goals are to enjoy as much as I can within my physical limitations, maintain the flexibility I have, even though it will never be the flexibility I had through my teens or twenties, without causing harm to my patient horses.
And I applaud the training abilities of the dressage AND members, truly inspirational, that is why the member list is growing. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Location: Belgium
ow Susie, I as only speaking about riding between fences :) I have never had the opportunity to hack out with just a cordeo. I would if I did not live within traffic... I'd love it!

And I do not know about my seat ha ha ! I have ridden so rarely the last 5 years that it proofs to be not as easy as it was 5 years ago! :funny:

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