The Art of Natural Dressage

4: Pesade and Levade
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Author:  Pamela [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4: Pesade and Levade

Hi jessie,

no wonder you don't understand me clearly enough - i could explain it a lot better in german :sad: . unfortunately i don't have a video of this so i have to try to specify it a bit better.

when we started this exercise we used the cavesson or a bit. malcolm was in "on the bit" position and the reins gave the signal to lift his head and neck upwards. it is absolutely ok when the frontline lefts the vertical position and the poll openes. what is an absolute must is that the horse understands to move its weight backwards so you never have to fear that you lose the horses back and produce an unhealthy movement.

if you proceed this way you do not have the problem that the horse catapults its forehand upwards and then carries the weight with the hindquarters. its exactly the other way round. at first it transfers its weight backwards, "sits down" and the lifts the frontend easily. hope this was a better description?!?! :blush:

Author:  jessplum [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4: Pesade and Levade

i think that i am getting the picture alot clearer. i will have to work out how to accomplish this without a bridle though, as my challenge is to do everything without anything on him. :cheers: :cheers: totally liberty. but i think that i can sort of think of a way to do that. i will just have to do it in incriments :kiss: thankyou for that advice, it was very helpful for me. :friends: :love:

Author:  Karen [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 4: Pesade and Levade

Pamela, I did it almost exactly the same way with Tamarack. When I started to ask him to rear, he would fling his head in the ugliest attempt (Jesse, he was really FLINGING his head and not just raising it), so I stopped asking for it and decided instead to use other behaviors he already knew, to help strengthen the haunches - to ask him instead to sit back and learn to bend his hocks. He already knew how to lean back from our training the bow.

I decided that what we should do is to work on a very correct levade or pesade...whichever comes first is fine with me. So we started working on sitting back on the haunches, and after a couple of months his front feet will occasionally leave the ground...but leaving the ground at this point isn't the goal's just working on his muscle memory to set himself up properly, to bend his hocks and sit into a lightening of the forehand without any excited head flinging.

I have used a combination of three behaviors he already knows. Two of these behaviors are the key to almost all the collected exercises...ramener, and Goat On A Mountain Top. The third behavior is to lean back when I ask. I also use my hand on his chest, or I use the cordeo in a soft back and up motion.

So Jesse, you can work on all these things. With such a young horse, please, please take your time. If he offers to rear freely, take it gladly, but for weighting the hocks purposely, take it slow. Simply teach him for now to allow himself to be leaned back. It is a matter of trust - just as much as a horse allowing us to lie them down or to bow - if they willingly allow you to manipulate them in this way, then you have the cornerstone for rear whether it's levade or pesade. Both must be performed calmly.

You have loads of time with such a young horse, so just see where it goes! In liberty work, each horse chooses his own favorite exercises...and the fact that you have so many horses to play with is enviable to say the least!

All of your work in lateral movements, and in the lengthening and shortening of the gaits, will of course also help with strength and muscle building - which will also help result in the lightening of the forehand, offers of suspension, etc. It's ALL good! :applause: :applause:

Author:  Karen [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 4: Pesade and Levade

You can absolutely teach and reinforce ramener without any headgear. Coupled with the GOTM (Goat), you have the key to a lovely pesade once they learn to sit back. But those two exercises will also give you the keys to so many other collected movements. Raising the head in ramener can be done with luring or a little upward pressure with the cordeo. The same positions you achieve in the pesade or levade will also do amazing things for your Spanish Walk...making it much more light, silent and beautiful. A horse can reach more upward and outward with the front legs.

I"ve posted this video a gazillion times already, but here it is again...a lovely levade that clearly illustrates the sitting posture:

Without any headgear, you also cannot micromanage the horse's head (something I was very prone to doing) and therefore, if the horse needs to bring the nose in front of the vertical to be comfortable as they develop the exercise, they can.

And hey Jesse, as my friend Paul told me (and you are already doing - you are smarter than I am!!!) DO NOT neglect the extended gaits. Between the extended gaits and the collected work, lies that lovely suspension!

Author:  Leigh [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 4: Pesade and Levade

Man, I love that Branderup video -- especially w/the picture above them. Beautiful.

Pamela, thanks for your description about how conscious you were about getting Malcolm to lift in his shoulders by leaning back on his haunches -- this is something that both my horses are offering, especially Stardust, and I hadn't thought about how to use it with such precision.

Now all we have to do is crack the GOTM code...hah!



Author:  jessplum [ Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4: Pesade and Levade

thankyou so much for that Karen, that was great. i am very careful with his as he is a baby, it is so hard. i am walking a thin line! ;) but he is so eager and offers everything i just think about. he is so connected with me, it is hard not to just run with it. i started with him because of his physical disability. he had contracted tendons and bandy legs when born, he has so many muscle problems, it is frightning. you may notice him stumble alot in his videos. everything locks up! i have him on special herbs, richly mixed with vinegar, and he is really improving, but i also have to exercise him and start teaching him to use his musces correctly. his hindquater as the worst. and i cannot even believe that he can rear. but i am happy that he has offerd this because it is strenthening the muscles and tendons. i do not do large rears mush, i try to just encourage the small, more collected ones. i have started on ramener, but i am a little concerned as he is having difficulties in bringing stretching his pole, i am so glad that i am not forcing it, as i think that this area has been physically effected the most. when i call him sometimes he cocks his head like a blind horse, and it scares me. we are working on trotting out alot to build his muscles and the laterals we are taking slowly, because he does lock up, but i have noticed that since starting the laterals, his patella does not lock up nearly as much.

anyway. for moving down to help mum, they told me that i could pick any one of the young horses as my personal baby (like i need another horse) so i have picked bandi, as i think that he needs the care for the rest of his life, and i dont expect he will ever be able to be ridden. but he loves this, and he has such a brain for it, so bandi now has become my special baby. i will try to get a video of what we are doing with ramener, laterals, trotting out, and levade. i want to get ome advice, i am scared to get it wrong with him as he is physically reying on me to get it right!

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