Classical Dressage Bit Question

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Northern Peregrine, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Then why is this most of what i see when i go to a dressage comp.?

    Almost all of our lower level horses at TBs. And almost all Olympic standard dressage horses are warmbloods. Almost everyone is riding the same breed horse.

    Yep, totally agree. But this is what is being taught and done because getting the head in seems to be a priority.

    I'm not hiding anywhere. And i'm not bitching about it. I'm just putting my point of view across of what i see. I'm sorry if i offended anyone.

    I don't blindly follow any method. I don't think most people do. I prefer this to modern dressage because i see it as better for the horse, based on what i have seen, read and taught. And yes, i have strong feelings about modern dressage, because i don't agree with the techniques. And i get passionate when discussing it and modern dressage.
    But don't for a second think i am that blind that if i see something with classical dressage i don't like, that i will defend it and still do it just because it's classical dressage.
    (i havne't found that yet, but just saying for eg)

    To me, the end does not justify the means. Yes we all want light, happy horse. What's important is how we get there. And what we end up with will differ according to what training you use.
  2. Talkingshell

    Talkingshell Well-known Member

    Sure I'll let you know how it she hasn't taught me before, she is willing to give this a go because of my hearing impairment.

    That will be interesting...she said she could use diagrams for the geometry part, she said she would love to give it a try and see how we go, good on this lady!
  3. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Kymarie, if someone promotes something, I think everybody has a right to “interrogate” them as you call it. Why should opinions and statements be accepted without questioning? Unfortunately, sheep are often led astray…and in comes the Parelli-itis comment.

    Cornflower, Myst's comment that you quoted answers your query about why you see that at a dressage comp. If an instructor teaches you to saw at mouths, get a new instructor. A good instructor will not make "getting the head in" a priority. Softness and suppleness comes with a rounded frame which is different to getting the head in.

    As for the comment about breeds - you have taken my comment out of context, I was referring to your comment about the movement you see in "modern" dressage as opposed to classical (WB's vs Baroque breeds).
  4. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    hmmm i wonder how much of my riding is "modern" and how much is "classical" and whether i use techniques that people find cruel or something?
  5. Kateee

    Kateee Guest

    god stockyard is awesome! :D

    PMSL at the "racist" comment, didn't know equestrian sports were a race. :}
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2010
  6. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    lol Heifer...I am sure you will always find someone who thinks any technique is cruel :D ...and I think I use some classical methods without really knowing it. There are 2 ways I can work my horse (he doesn't get confused!) - what I think people call "classical" and "modern". Depending on how he feels depends on which method I use - both get me the same results by the end of the session. I might add that I have to be very careful with both methods that he is working properly as either method can do more harm than good if done badly IMO (haha...the whole hollow back and on the forehand arguments). Both methods have been promoted by different instrucors and both certainly have helped :)
  7. Leighchel

    Leighchel Active Member

    Wow this thread is still going on...:}

    for dressage i believe the basic training scale works (this is my opion) if you dont have rythem sorted there is know way you could be doing leg yeild and shoulder in properly! i still have probems with rythem i have gone back to basics with pushing him forward half halting lots of trot walk trot walk canter.. long and low work... then toward the end of flatwork when i think he is listening i will ask for some lateral movents.

    I have copied and pasted a breif thing on the dressage scale and a sinario for anyone who would like a read

    1- Rhythm: It is the result of mental and physical relaxation. When the horse is relaxed, he is able to step into the natural rhythm of the four natural gaits: walk, trot, canter, and the rein-back. The walk is a 4-beat movement, the trot 2-beat, the canter 3-beat, and the rein-back 2-beat. A horse that trots in rhythm is trotting in a clear 2-beat rhythm in a steady tempo. There is good rhythm and bad rhythm: Good rhythm is when the horse?s canter is a true 3-beat, bad or incorrect rhythm is when it becomes a lazy 4-beat. Rhythm faults in the walk are when it comes close to 2-beat, and in the trot when it resembles a lame, hopping horse.

    2- Suppleness: A dressage horse is ultimately an athlete, and every athlete requires a certain degree of flexibility. Suppleness is the looseness and flexibility of the horse?s body. There are two types of suppleness: longitudinal and lateral. Longitudinal suppleness is the looseness of the horse?s haunches, back, neck, poll, and jaw, giving him the ability to swing forward while remaining fairly on the bit. Lateral suppleness is the degree to which a horse can bend his body and neck sideways, either to produce a circle or to move sideways.

    3- Contact: When the horse is accepting the rider?s hands, seat, and legs, it is said that he is offering good contact. Many people mistake contact for the horse being on the bit. That is not necessarily true and denotes riding with the hands alone. A horse moving under a rider is in contact with his seat, legs, and hands. Good contact is when the horse accepts and responds to seat and leg aids while maintaining a round outline with a mouth that is relaxed and accepting the bit. You can point out good contact when the horse?s back is raised, his quarters engaged, his poll the highest point, his jaw relaxed, and his nose a hint in front of the vertical (That is also a sign of good riding and training).

    4- Impulsion: Free-flowing energy initiated by the rider, causing the horse?s back to swing, his quarters to engage, and his forelegs to articulate is impulsion. Good impulsion is mirrored through a horse that appears to have an innate desire to go forward with active, lively steps. How far the horse steps underneath his barrel and how much he engages his hocks are both measures of impulsion. Basic training regulates the horse?s engine so that impulsion becomes second nature to the horse and the rider does not have to push all the time.

    5- Straightness: Horses are naturally crooked, so straightening them is the job of the rider/trainer. For example, many horses canter with their quarters slightly in. Crookedness is caused by uneven lateral suppleness, i.e. one side stiffer than the other, and a weaker hind leg. Good training focuses on developing both sides and hind legs of the horse equally, which eventually leads to absolute straightness. A horse is truly straight when the hind foot steps in the line of the front foot (or sometimes a little deeper to the inside in the event of collection).

    6- Collection: The pinnacle of the Training Pyramid, collection is the ultimate goal for the dressage horse. When all the previous elements are present, collection just happens! Collection involves the lowering of the croup, lightness of the forehand, and shorter and higher steps. Collection is possible in the walk, trot and canter, and is achieved by collecting exercises and refined by little half-halts. A rider on a horse doing a great collected canter feels as though he/she can let go and the horse would still maintain perfect rhythm and self-carriage without any interference from the rider.

    Training Scenario #1: Let us assume you have been trying to teach your horse shoulder-in. As you trot up the long side of the arena, the trot becomes sluggish, the horse stiffens, offers you the neck instead of the shoulder, and goes above the bit. It is a mistake to jump to the conclusion that the horse is resistant. Okay, he may be resistant, but not necessarily due to stubbornness. Let?s examine all the things that went wrong:

    The horse lost impulsion caused by lack of response to the rider?s leg (no contact) and/or tension of the back (no suppleness). No suppleness and contact lead to no impulsion.

    The horse became stiff in the neck and jaw means an absence of suppleness.

    The horse went above the bit means an absence of contact with the rider?s hands, legs, and seat, also leading to loss of impulsion.
  8. valdez

    valdez Well-known Member

    Not always has classical dressage been the "nice" way to train. Just like other methods there have been people who have not had an always positive influence on training classically. see below (i am not classical bashing, just giving food for thought)

    The effet d'ensemble

    Baucher wished to "annul the instinctive forces" of the horse. To do so, he gradually applied both driving and restraining aids at the same time, until he was using a great deal of spur and hand, his theory being that they should cancel each other out and the horse should stand still. The horse is not allowed to escape the aids, and finally realizes that he is dominated, submits, and is "tamed". This technique was termed the effet d'ensemble.

    Until people seek out for themselves a method that appeals to them, they have to experience methods they dont like in order to start searching for something they do feel comfortable with. Not all riders will be exposed to such differing methods to be able to make a choice, why do you think riding is learnt over a lifetime!!
  9. Kymarie

    Kymarie Active Member

    Kymarie, if someone promotes something, I think everybody has a right to ?interrogate? them as you call it. Why should opinions and statements be accepted without questioning? Unfortunately, sheep are often led astray?and in comes the Parelli-itis comment.

    Hi i agree but the way it is been done.That is what i am questioning As said not all horses are the same. and as for the parelli-itis comment, 60% of the horse industry are sheep that is why it is such a big business. People follow fashions, trends, new ways, old ways (methods) but at the end of the day it is their choose to follow, not anyone elses and saying names underminds the promoting something that is not questioning or asking questions.

    I have enjoyed this posts on the subject just dont want to see it go like everyother post re different ways GETS DELATED because it gets nasty because a group of postees are not liking a way of doing something with horses. thats all.

  10. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    A quote from an article in The Horse Magazine (Chris Hector) - Rotterdam:

    "The Dutch mare, Exquis Nadine looks very pleasent with Hans Peter Minderhoud. crisp, active, engaged, that is until they go for the extended trot, and we see the current Dutch variation on this movement: first you jack the horse's head and neck right up and hollow the back so the front legs wave dramatically then send it racing across the diagonal. It doesn't matter that the hind legs trail equally dramatically, seemingly judges can't see that, or cannot see that the rhythm cannot be true when one half of a diagonal travels further than it's pair..."

    This is "modern" dressage and it starts from the top so how do we expect to see good things at the lower levels??? I agree with Cornflower, there does need to be a revolution in attitudes about what is "good dressage" and what is "claytons dressage".
  11. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    I am a little confused by this comment, could you explain what you mean (sorry :eek: )
  12. madcow

    madcow Guest

    what photo? I can't find any photo's?

    I wonder what 'style' my riding is? (no one answer that!LOL*#))

    Ah penny just dropped! Is CFC the same person that was Diabolical on here?:confused:

    Cornflower- I've done a few dressage comps lately and havn't seen a single rider sawing on a horses mouth? A few young prelim ones behind the verticle yes
  13. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Completely agree.

    With the comment about the breeds, i meant more like if you have 2 WBs, one trained classial, the other modern. They will move differently.

    Eg, from Double Helix's post,
    You would not see this in a classically trained horse.

    Heifer, i have read enough of your comments to know you are not a cruel rider by stretch of the imagination :)

    I think there is a great deal of confusion with what classical dressage is. People think it's all to do with baroque breeds (andalusians, lippizaners etc) and doing the spanish walk and airs above the ground. Yes, that is all part of it, but it is so much more.
    It's a complete training system that is quite different to modern dressage. And it is completely different to classical German dressage.

    If anyone is interested, as with any training method, it really is best to grab a book or DVD about it, and do some homework. Because until you have it outlined for you and shown to you (pics or video), it's hard to imagin what it is all about. And i for one, would hate for it to seem like something that is unachievable or only for those that don't want to compete etc.
    It's something for everyone, at any stage of riding, on any horse at any stage of its education.

    Silvia Loch has written some good books, and DVDs.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  14. Talkingshell

    Talkingshell Well-known Member

    Yes there is photos on page 6 so you have to really go back and find it LOL:)*:)*
  15. madcow

    madcow Guest

    Ta found em.....**)
  16. Kymarie

    Kymarie Active Member

    SMR i was refering to the orginal post and contents "That Parelli-itis comes to mind" ??? that PK has the same following like parelli, i don't think so besides you don't have all the ropes to go with the method ha ha. i am just saying name calling is not nice of fair. I don't want to get into a debate about promoting something as i thought you where not allowed to on the forum.and besides people are coming forward with great contents on the subject that are quiet educational.
  17. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    MC - you leave yourself open for cheeky comments :p Lucky for you i have my dumb brain on today and cant think of anything LOL
  18. valdez

    valdez Well-known Member

    I also agree, I just dont like to see anyone bagging out others for their choices (not aimed at anyone in particular)
  19. TB4Me

    TB4Me Well-known Member

    Unfortunately 'good dressage' often goes hand-in-hand with 'good riding', which is sadly not something you can buy or learn from a DVD.
    This is where an excellent instructor makes all the difference, but then it seems (generally) you don't need high level results or demonstrated riding and teaching skills to declare yourself a dressage instructor.
  20. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    instructor is SO worth while - but never to afraid to question their methods/techniques and get multiple opinions etc.
    When choosing an instructor i choose one who has first and foremost acheived mroe than me!! and secondly rides the way i would want to ride.
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