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Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 12:15:41 +0200
From: Shelley Liddell firstname.lastname@example.org
To: Craig Stevens email@example.com
Subject: Re: Schooling a Horse to Grand Prix Level in
1: What are your warm up methods.
Craig Stevens wrote:
I don't always warm up the same all the time and it depends on the level of the horse. With new horses in training or young horses I longe the horse first and then work in hand and then ride. If time is short I skip the ride. Sometimes I skip the in hand but I rarely skip the long with a new horse. If it is a horse I have been working for awhile I sometimes just start in hand for a minute of two and then ride. I use long and low at the walk and under saddle as the number on way to prepare for work and for also on the longe. I use no side reins or any artificial running reins or aids. I do on occasion use spurs but that is very rare and always carry a whip.
Very interesting. I consider the warmup to be vital for a correct training of the horse afterwards. So that's why I was curious Liz Deen Sly's fiancee Gavin Scofield likes Liz to walk the horse round the school(Liz on foot) and then do a lap running beside the horse, he reckons that the horse warms up much easier without riders weight and also the rider is warmed up before getting on top. I see lots of people go round in circles for ages at a relentless fast trot with their horses on the forehand and call this warm up.
2. Does your riding change when you ride different types of horses, i.e. I have always been told that you ride Iberians different to the way you should ride a warmblood, but personally I ride my WB like I used to ride my andy, no difference at all.
Craig Stevens wrote:
I agree with you. the tact is a little different but this is so from horse to horse any way. The "I ride the horse different school of thought" is a way of avoiding answering some of the results that the Iberian trainers achieve in such a short period IMHO. The would say of Nuno that his way didn't work on warmbloods-nonsense. It is an easy way to excuse styles that are not effective(such as the modern popular methods of training) also interesting as many people say that riding a Andalusian is very different from riding a WB. The only difference I have found is that its is much more comfortable to ride a Andy. I find that WB and TBs have great canters but very uncomfortable trots.
3. Do you teach Spanish walk before passage or after? Here in Spain the bullfighters teach the passage after the Spanish walk. They then apply the Spanish walk aids in trot and get a type of passage (no it is not a Spanish Trot) This is what has me confused as the resulting passage would not come from collecting the trot as the traditional passage does. I am nowhere near passage at the moment, but it is something that has been tickling my curiosity why would they be doing it this way.
Craig Stevens wrote:
I don't as a matter of course teach the Spanish Walk or trot to all horses. I generally teach the passage from the piaffe, but I have also taught the passage first and then the piaffe. I think this is a decision based on the individual horse and the riders inclination. Which ever way you go you should get to the other way ASAP. I have not used the Spanish walk to teach the passage as I do not see a reason to do it this way. I would not say I would not do it but there must be a reason. I also tend to think of the Spanish walk as a trainers vanity much of the time. Sometimes it is very useful for a horse but many times it impresses the humans much more. I am not above doing a show off thing like that but then it is for me and no the horse. My current adventure is to teach the Spanish walk directly from the saddle and not start it on the ground. This is interesting. It does perfect the rein aids.
What rein aids do you use, is it left rein for horse to raise left leg? I have taught my horses Spanish walk for fun, I taught it to my mare when she was pregnant to prove to the Spanish (who keep mares for breeding purposes only) that mares can also learn Spanish walk the same as stallions in fact she had a better Spanish walk than many stallions, the elevation of the front legs was very good and the walk rhythm (sp?) was regular. It took me lots of carrots and 3 days to teach her. I also have taught my WB again to prove that not only Andalusians can do it. He also has excellent elevation and regularity but with him I have only taught from the ground as I don't want him to ever do it in the show ring and he is the sort of horse that is a natural show off and would be capable of doing it by himself in the middle of a test. Here in Spain (as i imagine the same over there) the riders leg aids are diagonal, left leg on the horse raises horses right leg.
4. You say you work mostly in snaffle, the "classical" bunch I thought mainly used to use curbs and rode with loose reins, do you ride in snaffle with a contact (like the Germans) or with a lighter contact.
Craig Stevens wrote:
IMHO the better trainers don't do this. The curb bit is not a necessary bit. The old masters did not use a snaffle but a cavesson and curb instead. I guess I am not that old yet though;-)
The loose rein thing is usually over done. I do it to show off sometimes for people who are intelligent enough to know that is what it is, but most of the time I use an demi-tension on the reins. That amounts two about the weight of the rein but the reins are not bagged. The idea of contact that most people use is much too heavy and so they train resistance into the horse. that is why flash nose band and such are necessary.
People use way too much hand and leg. The less force you use the more power you have over the horse. It also takes the training issues out the physical and into the mental where a human can win. Any use of force is poor when it is physical. Horses are stronger and faster they can always win on that level, but on the mental plane we kick their butts:-)
It is better to control the horses mind rather than his body. He can control his own body better then we can and so let a horse brain do the horses job. When you control his mind then you always get his body, but the opposite is not true.
Funny, the Spanish who call them self high school trainers used to train their youngsters with a Curb and cavesson with a metal insert with a serrated edge (serreta), then they went on to do it with a snaffle and the serreta and now they are down to the plain old snaffle.
from another post by Shelly;
I don't see that flash nosebands are a big problem if fitted properly. A cavesson can also be abused. I have seen cavessons shut so tight that horse has problems breathing. What about the saddle? What sort of saddle, conventional dressage saddle? or the sort that the Spanish and Austrian's School's use?
Craig Stevens wrote:
Flash nosebands are only necessary when you block the mouth. A loose nose band is what I prefer. I have no mouth problems with any of my horses. Anything can be misused even a snaffle. Longeing cavessons should be a little tight as they are stronger if loose.
I have no particular saddle preference. As long as the horse is comfortable. I like as little padding as possible. I use a Beloire saddle that I had custom made for me in France. I love it, but I ride in close contact saddles. Many of the dressage saddles I don't like because they are too padded and hold you in a position and many sit you a little too far back.
Comfort of the horse is first then the rider... if the saddle works for both no problem. I think people make too much of a big deal about tack. It keep the tack shops busy though.
You also had asked about spurs.... I agree they are to refine the aids. My biggest objection to them is that the people who wear them know little or nothing about their use. There is nothing written about the spurs in English that would inform them about how they are used. Spurs are for stopping, suppling and collecting a horse not to make them go...
Yes, on stopping I only have to slightly touch my horse with the spurs and he will stop. In fact I have been experimenting lately with different types and lengths of spurs (over the years and 3 different horses I have collected a few different varieties, long, short, average length, with blunt rowels and with a plain wheel). And have found that average length spurs with no rowel were what works best. I suppose every horse is different.
Craig Stevens wrote:
If they really made a horse go then the would be worn by every jockey at the track. The fact is that a whip makes a horse go far better than the spur. Is that why whips are banned from the competition arena (they are in Spain). In teaching I always immediately de-spur any rider. I were my spurs in the Iberian fashion when I wear them.
Excuse me, what is Iberian fashion? Here the Spanish spur does not look like a European Spur, it is larger and longer.
Craig Stevens wrote:
The other way makes no sense to me. They seem more a fashion than a practical thing.... with correct use of the natural aid there just is no purpose for them.(ed. note: Iberian fashion is when the spurs are worn low on the heel rather than on the traditional spur rest which is above the ankle of the rider)
From "Michael J Stevens" <firstname.lastname@example.org
name withheld writes:
Michael, getting me to use my inside rein only is like getting a non-believer to believe in UFOs. I have seen the damage and stiffness arising from its misuse.
But I wasn't suggesting one should mis-use the inside rein. So many people are frightened of the inside rein these days, but they don't care how hard they pull on the outside rein. Pressure on the outside rein is not good either. It goes unnoticed because the horse doesn't immediately bend his neck and look wrong.
It is in cases where the horse is taking an incorrect contact on the outside rein that it should be yielded to frustrate his dependence upon it. In these moments you usually need some sort of contact, and that is provided by the inside rein - not the rider pulling back, but the horse stretching to find the bit on the inside.
If you are unable to get the horse to stretch on the inside to take a contact on the inside rein it can indicate that the inside hindleg is managing to avoid carrying its fair share of weight. This is common if you have a one-sided horse, where, when you ride towards the hollow side you do nothing to straighten him if you ride on the outside rein. It must be the inside rein, otherwise he will always find a way of leaning on the outside, and avoiding using the inside hindleg.
Riding on the inside rein can therefore be used as a test, and it can be continued until it is possible to get the horse to take a proper contact. Riding on the outside rein is for the straight horse who already knows how to carry weight properly on the inside hindleg.
Will go out and give it a bash on my own horse, but I am warning you I am not converting!!
No, I didn't imagine you would!
I have used the inside rein in various ways on stiff horses but would never use it on a horse that is well schooled and supple.
It is wrong to think of using the inside rein. It is knowing when it is right to yield the outside rein that is important, and getting a feel of when the horse is carrying himself on the inside hindleg rather than letting the weight escape outwards for you to support in your outside hand.
From: Catja <email@example.com
Subject: Re: Dressage Music
Original post quoted:
My favorite riding recording is Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints. I'd love to hear what other recordings people on the list like to ride to!
I don't mind riding to classical music (not vocal!) or soft and gentle modern songs, but anything aggressive makes me go off the rocker - and doesn't help the horse to relax, either (Ever shared an arena with a bunch of teenagers? Grrr!!!)
For Quadrille the (admittedly horrible) marches are best, I found (the FN publishes them) - I'd hate to listen to them, but they ARE the right rhythm for trot/canter work.
I love to have music is when lungeing. Most titles are about 3 minutes long, so you can do transitions/changes of rein at regular intervals without having to watch the clock... Very helpful!
(ED NOTE- this is a rather heated discussion, but I thought the historical stuff may be of interest.... It is a bit flaming, but I hope you enjoy it... it appears with permission from both parties)
Ok...you asked for it... from " Richtlinien fur Reiten und Fajren, Band 11 " Sec.1(4) The new masters up to Steinbrecht and l"Hotte "One of the early teachers in Berlin and Schwedt was E.F. Seidler... advocated unconstrained forward movement as the basis of an even contact on both reins, and relative elevation of the forehand...He attacked the French circus performer Baucher for teaching his horses to trot and canter backwards. The Prussian Louis Seeger...denounced Baucher and called him the "gravedigger of classical riding". Seeger was trained at the Spanish Riding School and was the favourite pupil of the famous Max von Weyrother. In 1844 Seeger published 'The System of the Art of Riding'".
ed. note...the Berlin school was founded in 1817...and had nothing to do with the Spanish School...
Seeger is the Spanish Riding School read your own material. This is the same line using the same old argument which is totally out of context... you don't know your history.
Did Seeger and Seidler understand the term circus trick? Not in the way that you are using the term. I must have missed him being called a "circus trainer." I do not see the term used. Only that he was a performer in the circus. The circus at that time was not what it is today. It was a major exhibition center in the heart of Paris which was run by a horsemaster by the name of Franconi. It was a legitimate way to exhibit the art and was the only place one could ride professionally other than in the military. Secondly, this is a misquote... it is not "gravedigger of classical riding" but the "gravedigger of French riding" though the two terms were almost the same, as the French school was what the German masters were trying to imitate. They misunderstood what they were imitating.. I would suggest you look at the book "Baucher a man and his method" to get a clear understanding of the period before you make assault on something you know little about.
General L'Hotte who is mentioned is a master who was trained by Baucher and was most favorably received. As were many modern masters in both schools. It is interesting that Baucher's development of the modern seat is omitted and also omitted was that he was the first to do flying changes at every stride. His influence far exceeded his critics. Of course the comments were made about his first method. Which used flexions, which by the way are used by many German trainers now a days. In addition the current long and low fad is also a modification of the Baucher's methods...
from: "The Complete Training of Horse and Rider in the Principles of Classical Horsemanship" "Chapter 1, Review and Principles of Riding Section 1, Historical Review
"There is no need to discuss Gueriniere's teachings in detail in this work...because they are applied unaltered at the Spanish Riding School and may be seen there in daily use. Plinzner...overbent his horses, as Baucher did, and destroyed any forward urge. Plinzner was a student of Steinbrecht, who is the father of modern German riding... Steinbrecht was a student of Seeger... this is all SRS line of masters. To them they were the only ones who new the "true" classical riding... the only thing dumber than their belief that they had the "true" religion is your bind conviction based on limited reading and experience. You have never studied Baucher and so you have an opinion which is based on a bias not on facts... Secondly I am not a Baucherist in first manner, but lean toward his second manner, but in fact I follow the teaching of the school of Versailles more so than Baucherism. I know the approach. It is not a good one not because it does not work but rather because it works too well. You have to really know your stuff to avoid getting into trouble with it.
The next section refers to Plinzner and not Baucher. His followers made excuses for his methods because he trained horses for Emperor William II of Germany who had a whithered arm and had to ride with one hand. James Fillis was introduced to Bauchers' methods in France...He....found many followers among riders...without doubt Fillis was a great artist, but interested more in the field of circus riding than in the field of classical equitation, in which all movements are based on the laws of nature. The proof of this is shown in the many unnatural movements, which he practiced such as the canter on three legs, the canter backward, and the Spanish walk. In 1913 Fillis died as forgotten as his teacher Baucher.
This is again a very biased view. Fillis was not interested in classical equitation as the authors definition was that the only true religion was a la SRS. Fillis was also not more interested in the circus, this is a comment not supported by fact as much as the wish of the author. Fillis developed the manual for the Russian Cavalry. His influence is not only not forgotten but is still strongly felt and demonstrated at the Olympic level by the Russian team....
...The object of the classical art of riding is to train a horse not only to be brilliant in the movements and exercises of the High School, but also to be quiet, supple and obedient, and by his smooth movements to make riding a true pleasure".
Both the French and the German school in fact did that and both are very classical... According to Durand, the head of the French National Equestrian Federation. The French school is the school of Versailles with baucherism grafted on.... The masters of the French school have since the 1850's practiced both schools and freely borrowed from their Baucheristic and classical roots.
ed. note: Gueriniere developed the selle a la francaise which is used today at Saumur and is now the universally established natural seat.
I am sorry to embarrass you, but the selle a la francaise is used to day which you tout as the universal seat is not a seat at all but is the saddle which he developed. The seat that de la Gueriniere used is not longer taught at Saumur. The Danloux seat is what is being taught at Saumur and is the name of the head of the school in the 30's. The seat is also called the modern rational seat...
Look you are certainly intitled to your opinion, but you don't even know your own argument very well...
from: Advanced Techniques of Riding: The Official Instruction Handbook of the German National Equestrian Federation "Antoine de Pluvinel (1601-1643)...was known as the best french rider of his time. He taught the croupade, ballotade, capriole and the corbette."
ed. note: Notice the Berlin School was founded in 1817.
I have never met a man so arrogant as to be able to call FOUR of the greatest riding masters in the world "ignorant". They certainly were not ignorant but they were definitely biased as you are. As to whether these people would qualify as the greatest of all times is very debateable. That they were masters and were great in their time is a fact. That they had an influence was also a fact. That Baucher has had a greater influence is also a fact.
The rest of this post is an example of twisting the facts to make a point that is not true and now is a emotional and not a rational attack on something the author knows little about. History has always be the servant of those who want be the only shining start in the heavens... This argument is like saying that only Christians are God's people and Jews are not worthy... it is a snap judgement and not worth of anyone who has half a brain...
Who are you to spread your bastardized form of classical riding, other than someone who wishes to make a nickel?? There are many shades of white. There is, however, only one shade of black. Your shade of classical riding seems to be a cross between cute circus tricks and some sort of west-coast- pyramid-zen-voodoo kind of thing. Your shade of classical riding seems to be neither popular nor practiced by anyone but you and has been denounced since 1620.
Again ignorance rears its ugly head... Not only am I not the only one who practices this form of riding, but its popularity is on the rise, because it puts people in touch with the art in ways that are not only easier for the rider but for the horse. The SRS method frankly does not work very well on many of the hotter breeds. Much of the bias that exists against dressage today is the result of bad SRS training on high strung horses...
It was the conclusion of the US Army's Mounted Service School which trained military instructors that, the French method should be the foundation of all riding as if the rider was started any other way, they would be ruined... Baucherism did not exist in 1620 and Pluvinel method of training is not used any more by anyone. Neither the seat nor his methods are carried on by much of anyone. His principles in training however are still used. I can see you also have not read Pluvinel...
The magic of classical riding is that it has existed since the time of Pluvinel. The communication between a human and an animal is truly magical But please do not attempt to describe your form of 'magic' as classical riding.
Of course, the obvious return on this is the same... Do not claim that the SRS is the only true classical riding. It most definitely is not and in fact it is itself a old fashion way of training. This does not mean either good or bad, nor effective or ineffective just limited.
I am also no bright-eyed Walt Disney fan of the Spanish Riding School. I am a fan of the pure classical riding that has existed since the 1620's. A riding system that has remained true and pure and clean despite numerous attempts to dirty it.
Nice try but no cigar... the facts don't support your narrow view of history. It would be worth your time and others to actually read the original texts of the old masters instead of swallowing the conclusions of other authors...
If you hope to be considered intelligent in educated circles in riding then you must study much more. If you choose the SRS way that is fine, it is certainly your right and a noble privilege to uphold such a tradition, but see it for what it is... Read Seeger, Steinbrecht and (god forbid) Baucher. They all say the same thing.... There is only one classical school. Methods may differ because men and horses differ. Do not use your narrow view as a club with which to beat an unsuspecting audience....
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