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 Post subject: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Pesade and levade
Rearing in collection

***
Duration

I just found a video on youtube (duration in rearing, from minute 01:03) and thought that it would be a nice new task for Titum and me to work on that. The man in the video seems to work with his whip as a target, but I wanted to ask if maybe someone has other ideas how to train it. First because Tit has just learned to rear more round lately and I don't know if I want to encourage a hollow back again more than necessary and the second thing is that he isn't that fond of following the tiger in a rear, so it would take us ages. ;)

What helps in our case to make the rears slower and longer is when I stand next to him at the height of his ribcage and bend my knees a bit, like mentally pulling him backwards. :funny:

Any other suggestions?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:18 pm 
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I noticed that often people stand beside the horse's shoulder touching the horse during the rear. Maybe that could work as a signal for the duration?
I could imagine it does support and give more balance to the horse even. Bit like when one stands on one leg, just touching with the small finger a wall does help to keep the balance much better.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:13 am 
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I would like suggestions on this as well. Also any suggestions for getting the rear lower or improved in general!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:45 am 
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What I did with Blacky, is a combination of things. So pick and choose! 8)

First of all, Blacky knows that when I start counting out loud, he should try to keep up that specific behavior longer. I taught him the counting when we taught him not to touch food if there wasn't a click first. First you accept when he only turns his head away one second, but then you start asking for a longer no-touching, which you can communicate very easily to your horse by starting to count out loud. The first x time you reward right after one, then when that goes well, you only reward when you've come to two etc.
When you start asking more seconds, sometimes your horse won't keep up the behavior (dive back to the food, get down from rearing, get up from the bow etc.), then you just ask the behavior again and start counting from one again. Very soon they learn that it's easier to hold that exercise than to start-stop-start all the time.

However, if he isn't physically able to hold the exercise longer, he will have no choice but to stop all the time after x seconds, so it's something you ('re forced to 8) ) build up slowly!

So with Blacky's rear, I asked him to rear and then started counting and when he went down again I asked him to go up again, counted two seconds and rewarded. He can now do 4 to 5 seconds on a good day, 8) and I don't need him to stand much longer so we don't really train that for now.

Another thing, just like Romy experienced, is that a reeeeaaaaly slow rear strengthens your horse a dozen times as much as a quick tossing back the head and lifting the forelegs along. That's what Blacky did in the past, and it was quite ugly. :roll: :wink: As I wanted him to do a collected pesade and not a hollow-backed rear, I started giving him lots of preparational signals with my body before I actually asked for the rear to go up. So indeed bending my knees , pointing to his hindlegs in order to tell him to bring them under his body, sagging further through my knees in order to tell the same to his hindlegs, and only then (after ten to twenty seconds of preparing like this) when Blacky looked really ready and collected in his hindquarters, I would lift my hand and ask for the pesade - and reward immediately for the slightest upwards lift! So no need to go all the way up for now, as the collection comes from a good start and that actually is the most tough part for the horse. When you click for collection like this, it's also an opening to the levade, which is only possible if your horse really has learned to be extremely conscious of his movements while lifting off, and strong enough to do the initial lift out of his pelvis, very collected.
I think I did that for quite a long time, the big preparation and only a small rear to top it off, in order to really get the rear to be a collected and conscious process, also because I was as much interested in the pesade and the levade!

However, you can't slow your preparation phase up too much, because at some point your horse will stand forwards so much with his hindlegs (collected), that he then really needs to lift off with his frontlegs, because otherwise he 'locks up' his frontlegs because he starts leaning on them too much. Then you get a mountain goat posture which is great in itself, but doesn't lead to a pesade that easily because most of the bodyweight is on the frontlegs then.

Now he really thinks about how to go up and does it way more collected (he has a nice pesade in the Youtube video on Haute Ecole) than before when it was very fast and hollow. And slowing the pesade down also gave us time to do things in that pesade, like the laufcourbette and the real jump courbette. When he still was in the hollow-backed-fling the head up phase, he simply didn't have any control over his hindfeet and wouldn't have been able to do anything more than just keep balance with them.



(And now I come to think of it, let's turn this into a sticky on rearing/pesade/levade! :D )

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:24 pm 
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Quote:
big preparation and only a small rear to top it off

Why are things so obvious when someone else says them? Thanks!

I initially asked for the rear by jumping up and down. Since I can't hold my jump this signal ian't really working for me, but it was an excellent way to teach it since he understood it pretty well.
I"m slowly changing it to a lifting of my hands and tapping his crest in front of the withers. This gives the same verticle-ness without me having to hover. :wink:

I don't work on it often though because rearing has already become his ground work default. "I'm confused- I know! I'll rear!"

How about backing into the rear? Has anyone played with that much?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:35 pm 
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danee wrote:
How about backing into the rear? Has anyone played with that much?


Yep, Titum does this all the time at the moment, it´s one of his favourites... but as I have never done this with him on purpose, I have never consciously compared the effects of that to how he does the normal rears without running backwards first - I only know that he takes his hindlegs much further under his body when he has gone backwards before. I will watch it more closely and report what I will see later. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:54 pm 
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I know of a method of asking the horse to back up fast in order to teach him to rear as a kind of protest against the backing up, but have never used it myself, because backing up is a tricky exercise when it comes to the emotions of your horse, especially when the backing up is only done on cue and if you use quite some energy in order to get your horse to back up fast enough that he goes up. Going up out of such a backing up often also is out of protest against the backing up.

Then over time you lower the energy and the horse will realise that backing up doesn't have to be associated with negative emotions or feeling under pressure, but I think it's risky to connect rearing with frustration, especially in the beginning when teaching your horse to rear. If later the horse becomes frustrated during training, rearing quickly becomes a (risky) default behavior as the horse in the past has learned that this behavior is connected to that feeling.

I have thought about using the back up in order to collect Blacky for the pesade, but never really have used it like that because out of the back up Blacky would only get up by tossing his head back and lifting his frontquarters with a hollow back. Maybe now he is more collected in the rear, he will be able to back up collected and then rear out of it, but as I would like to see the rear more as a forwards exercise (because of the jumps etc.) I don't think I'll try it with him. But I can imagine that some horses who already back up nicely collected, get a better rear out of that too. Just be careful that you don't place your horse under too much mental pressure by sending him back into a rear all the time.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:10 pm 
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That´s exactly why I would not ask for backing up and then rearing. In fact, I hardly ever ask for backing up at all, only if he stands in the way and I need him to move one step or two. But Titum loves to walk backwards very quickly. I am reluctant to reward this, but sometimes I do - he just does it so nicely.

In the last weeks he has started to combine backing up with rearing - I have never asked him for that and also our rear cues are only a suggestion and no pressure (except for the pressure of being asked at all). I wondered if I should ask him not to do this, but then I think if that´s what he wants, it can´t be so wrong or unpleasant for him?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:00 pm 
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Evita also did the backing up and rearing for a while.. and suddenly she didn't do it anymore... I guess indeed let the horse decide but keep your body language in mind.. if you are not 'backing up' yourself ;)

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 Post subject: Re: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:47 am 
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Sunrise is right at the beginning of rear work. She's not a very "reary" sort of horse, unlike Rosie (for whom rear used to be a fifth gait! ;) ) or Harlequin who thinks it's a fun way to torture smaller horses. So her rears are very small, but I'm very pleased with the level of controlled effort she's putting in, without resorting to tossing her head up....possibly because she never HAS gone up as a result of fear or inescapable pressure. She's doing it by leaning back onto her hindlegs and crouching a little, then lightening up her front end, then lifting. If I support her by standing beside her, and moving slightly back with a hand on her chest, she will start with a half step back and nose flexed towards my hand before lifting, and this seems to have really helped her to have control over it. So.. this is what "backing up before the rear" means to us. :)

I used a target the first couple of times to show her where I wanted her to be, but then tossed it away, because it made her just reach up with her neck, and be too stretched out to achieve the lift. Luckily, she'd understood what I was asking, even though she couldn't do it this way, and so when I asked again with just my hands lifting as the signal, she responded!

Sue

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 Post subject: Re: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:53 am 
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I have a really abandoned the attempt of a rear with Tam for now, because I want to spend as much time as possible on the correctness of the movement...because he is leaning more towards a levade than a rear, I thought I would work instead on shaping the hind end more towards sitting, rather than the front end lifting.

It's not REALLY a sit...but a bend of the hocks and the hind legs well under him is my goal. He's a bit confused by it at the moment because I'm literally asking him to back up (really, lean back), lift up (raise the base of the neck) and do a Goat (bring the hind legs under) all at the same time as I'm adding a brand new cue for it all...touching the whip to the top of his butt. But darn, he's trying so hard. I'm rewarding for very tiny tries at the moment to keep him happy and to keep him from being worried. He will pop his front end off the ground a few inches now and again, but I'm really ignoring it. I'm just watcing what his haunches and hind legs are doing.

Funny thing is, in playing around with Cisco, I tried it with him too, and he's actually getting it faster than tam. That really surprised me. The hardest thing for Cisco is to keep his head down. He really wants to throw it up as if he's going to rear. So I hope by convincing him that I only want the set up, and not the actual rearing up, that he too will see that he can keep his head down and perhaps even ramener. I would rather have all the elements that go into it very correct, than have the actual movement. But I think that once the set up is perfectly in place, we can then work on lifting the front feet again...but in a much more controlled way.

Still...tiny tries. But I think as a strengthening exercise, just setting up for a levade (like you are doing Sue!!!)...whether or not one actually does one or not...is a very good muscle and balance exercise!

Now if either of my horses showed me they would like to rear up like Titum, I would not worry about set up at all...that is a lovely, fantastic movement in itself...with balance and self control built in...but neither of my boys is quite that agile that they can stand up so high and straight...and then possibly move it forward??? In my dreams!

So I figure if it's levade they want, then we'll work on making it a proper one!

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 Post subject: Re: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:29 am 
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Karen wrote:
Now if either of my horses showed me they would like to rear up like Titum, I would not worry about set up at all...that is a lovely, fantastic movement in itself...with balance and self control built in...but neither of my boys is quite that agile that they can stand up so high and straight...and then possibly move it forward??? In my dreams!
Just inserting the link to Titum´s recent rearing video here, so that other people will know what you are talking about...

Quote:
So I figure if it's levade they want, then we'll work on making it a proper one!
That´s great. And although I like the high and long rears that he is offering at the moment, they do have the cost of not being as correct as I would like them to be. Titum has phases in which he prefers different rears and we are just coming out of a period with more levade-like low rears where he first places his hindlegs under his body, then lifts one frontleg and then slowly stands up with the other. When he is in an energetic mood, he even adds a little ramener. Unfortunately in the high rears he forgets all about that, as you can see in the video where he pulls up his head and hops upwards. But I think with time he will learn to combine the good things of both movements and take some duration from the high rears over to the levade-like rears and some correctness the other way. :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:05 pm 
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I think if a horse's head is free to do as it needs in such a high rearing, then they would use it just as Titum does. Don't you think?

I can't imagine it any more "correct" than it is, although if it can be, then Titum will show us how it's done!

Doesn't this remind you of Titum (see link) - but even more magical since you are free in a pasture and not in front of a crowd with lights and noise? There is a peace in watching Titum, because we know it's come about through play and not a concerted training effort with a specific goal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmu7GzoSl44&NR=1

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 Post subject: Re: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:22 am 
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The horse on the video backed into his rear and I really didn't like it at all- especially since he backed IN his rear which I really don't want.

So my update: My presignal has pretty much became my signal- I gather myself up and he rears. While I will try to cut this out later he rears for just about everything right now and I like it because he has gotten so much more balanced and noticibly stronger. :applause:

When I ask for a cantr or back up I gather myself up as a presignal to prepare for those manuvers since they both erequire the horse to shift his weight and lift in front. Well, Rave is confusing both of those for rear. For now I don't mind because at the slightest gathering on my part creates a huge gathering onhis part ( :applause: again :D )

One day I wanted canter and he kept rearing. Eventually he figured out what I wanted but still had rear onhis mind, and he gave me a perfect one step of a canter pirouette- jack pot!!!! Our footing is bad so I have not gotten to play with this much, But I am confiednt that he will figure it out quickly once we can play with it more.

Thank you AND!!!! I would NEVER be getting this stuff with my horse if it weren't for you guys!!! All along you've been saying how simple it is and I never 'got it'. Well, I'm finally starting to!!!

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 Post subject: Re: 4: Pesade and Levade
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:45 am 
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YAY Danee!! :clap: :clap:

Pictures??

I also don't get too excited about mixed cues. It all gets sorted out in the end. At least it has so far.

But to me, if a horse can move his feet at ALL while rearing (like Titum can...my horses so far can't), then which direction he goes can be shaped later. Simply having the agility to walk even one step while on two legs would be a wonderful abiltiy to play with!

Have you done it under saddle as well, or is this what you're referring to?

I love to ask CIsco to rear up under saddle. I still have to set him up (I cue a partial Goat from the saddle) for it, or he steps backward in preparation for it. If I ask him to step under he keeps his feet still. So far though, he hasn't figured out to set himself up. I must be missing something in my cuing. I will work on it!

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