The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Location: Germany, Black Forest
Josepha and Karen: Thanks for the nice welcome back :)

I'll post some fotos in the photo section right after writing this post.

Karen, thanks a lot for your reassurance and your interesting insights in your work. I also engaged myself in "Legerete" a little bit, saw a clinic with Bea Borelle for example and there are very helpfull ideas indeed!

I'll report how things go!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:19 pm 
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Location: Germany, Black Forest
Ah, I want to add one thing: I also visited a clinic with Susanne Lohas (pupil of Philipe Karl). I asked here abotu bitless riding and she said (like you say Karen): "we use the bit mainly to relax the jaw. But if you ride bitless, the jaw is much more relaxed anyway..." :applause:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:07 pm 
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That is so cool!!!

I know a few people high up in the dressage community that would disagree. I have been banned from direct posting on some discussion lists purely because I am bitless. So it is always nice to meet those people that are open minded. :yes: :yes:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Location: Slovenia
Quote:
"we use the bit mainly to relax the jaw. But if you ride bitless, the jaw is much more relaxed anyway..."

That is exactly what I was thinking when I was reading through your ''question'' and the answers. If there isn't any annoying piece of iron in horse's mouth, there is no tension toward it. And therefore we have nothing to relax.

I would also think that trainers who are strictly saying that there is no collection without the bit, they have very different training techniques than ''we'' do. With ''we'' I mean people who take enough time to prepare horse for collection (or just relaxation in the poll, it doesn't really matter here) from the ground first and then gently, gradually ASK for it also in the saddle and not DEMAND it right away.
If you work/play with him without a bit on the ground first, show him how to move in all those directions and to seek for self carriage, he then won't need bit to relax anything. Through nice and energetic play he will easily learn to get round and drop the head, but in the training of classical dressage horses this part is missing, isn't it.

So I still think, if somebody says something is not possible... Maybe it really is impossible, from his point of view. But maybe there is also another way, the alternative one, that will help me to reach my goal ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Location: Belgium
I would go so far as to say that I find it amazing that some horses are able to collect underneath their riders who ride with a bit as if it has an important function for the horse to be able to collect.
While in fact all horses can collect if they want to, obviously. That is what one should, in my view work most on; inspire your horse's mind set to want to collect... and then when that happens; try not 'to be present' and disturb... bit or no bit.

Therefore I remain that the most important 'muscle to train' to receive collection is the ego 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:55 pm 
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I want to add something I heard someone say when it comes to riding bitless versus with a bit.

With a bit, you put your signals on the lowerjaw... with a bitlessbridle, you put your signals on the top of the horses head... the upper jaw.
A bitless bridle gives the signal first to the neck second to the mouth.
A bit works first in the mouth and after that on the neck.

This I can get, and I still would like to focus on a bitless bridle because I felt like it was a directer connection to the neck (from there the back...), whilest a bit has to be interrupted by putting a signal through the mouth.

But, that same person said that the problem with the bitless bridle was in fact the 'reaction time', a bit would work faster and directer.

And that, I don't get from it all.
All I can think of is that a bit works heavier then a bitless bridle and in that way a horse would be reacting as quickly as possible on it, while with a bitless bridle you give it more of an option.
When you ride properly with a bitless bridle, The horse will react as promptly as possible, because in our case... the horse wants to :yes:

So...

well something that has been running around in my mind like crazy.

Would love to hear what you guys think of it :yes:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:37 pm 
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exactly the whole point:

The horse wanting and finding it out for himself to get where he wants to be vs
just doing everything to get a way from the iron on his bars....

With one being black and the other white and then all the grey shades in between.

and then there are those who only work and rider with cordeo... :green:

collection and correct movement has nothinh to do with a bit or reins...
It has everything to do with the horse's mind and body and whether or not a rider is in the way or isn't and is even helping (that is why it is called aids and not commands... people get that confused though).
It's just that people have found out they can que horses with help of reins and a bit into collection sometimes. But the truth is, it has nothing to do with that at all.

And to be quite frank, I haven't seen so much real collection in my life, since the start of the whole bitless and natural dressage thing on the internet.
I think in 20 years I might have seen once or twice a horse reeally collecting... the rest was all just curled up horses walking crooked and on the forehand.
In my experience, all those people speaking about needing a bit for collection... first check them out: are their horses collecting?
99% they are not. If you have felt real collection, you know that it involves leaving room in the front and keeping your body under control.

Tell me, how many have you have seen a horse really collected under his rider in the regular stables where you come?
there you go. First show me a collected horse, then talk to me about the bit.
Either way... the discussion ends :green:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:48 pm 
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I've seen many horses collect.

None of them had a bit, almost none had a rider on their back...
it was just at liberty and in play...

after research this, this forum is were I ended up :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:53 pm 
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:applause: :kiss:

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