A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

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A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by lightertouch on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:52 am

http://www.eclectic-horseman.com/content/view/55/33/

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by Cyndi on Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:21 pm

Very interesting article. I know next to nothing about dressage, but I do understand what the writer is saying.

Wouldn't it be great if a dressage "federation" was developed in which the original classical dressage training was used? One in which people could compete bitless?
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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by lightertouch on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:30 pm

I fear you do yourself an injustice Cyndi. Dressage is the art and science of good riding. It is striving for lightness, understanding, balance, co-ordination and partnership, under saddle or on the ground. Piaffe, passage, levade etc, are movements at the high end of the art. Most of us are on the scale somewhere, even if we don't call it dressage. I love it! cheers

As for the classical dressage federation - we're getting there slowly Smile The two best arguments I've heard for bits are 'refinement' and 'relaxing the jaw'. The former I feel most people can ignore - the level of expertise I think riders would need in order to warrant the refinement a bit offers is not far off Cadre Noir or the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Most of us hard-working amateurs don't need that much refinement, and are much more likely to accidentally hurt or damage the mouth. Relaxing the jaw I still don't have an answer for in the saddle. On the ground one can physically insert a finger in the mouth to achieve licking and chewing. It really does have an incredibly relaxing effect throughout the horses' body and mind, if there is any tension or anxiety in the horse.

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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by Cyndi on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:52 pm

I stand corrected Surprised I guess what I know next to nothing about is all the "high school" stuff, as well as rules and regulations for competition and all that. I like your description of it!! I love you I love you

Can you imagine a huge turn-around in the horse world?! That would be fantastic.
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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by FlorayG on Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:27 pm

All true and very sad that not widely known. I no longer consider myself a good enough rider to be able to ride my horse in a bit, which is the gist of this article - the bit is an item of extreme refinement in a highly trained horse. The California spade bit horsemen knew (Know? Are there any left?) all about this and a spade bit trained horse never, never had a mouth injury because the purpose of the spade bit is to transmit the swing of the reins to give the horse directions and the bit is never put in the horses mouth until and unless the horse can perform perfectly in the hackamore first.

As for 'relaxation of the jaw'...since when did a truly relaxed horse, or person, or ring tailed bobcat even, chomp and froth at the mouth when relaxed? A relaxed jaw is a still one, surely?
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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by lightertouch on Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:49 am

A still jaw can be relaxed, however it can also be extremely tense with gritted teeth and tight lips. Relaxation of the jaw in a normal, grinding, eating motion is hugely effective at releasing some or all tension in a horse. The neurological links are so strong - 'If I'm able to eat, there must be no danger, so I can relax.' I must stress licking and chewing is the act of relaxation - the horse should chew for a little while, then stop.

Please DO try this at home, I'd love some feedback: Gently insert a finger into your horse's mouth, as if you were asking her to open her mouth, or take in a bit. As soon as she starts to chew, remove your finger. Observe your horse - what do you notice during and after the licking and chewing?

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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by FlorayG on Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:10 am

Ah... you're not talking about the frothy slavering mouths we see on so-called 'dressage' horses, are you? You're talking about a few seconds release of the jaw, yes I agree. I wonder if the 'chewing=relaxed' thing has been taken to extremes in the same way as 'on the bit'? After all, stretching the topline evolved into rollkur. I hate seeing those horses dribbling through strapped up nosebands..ooh you've set me off again... bounce
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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by lightertouch on Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:34 am

Yes its fascinating the things that can go wrong from correct theory, through dodgy interpretation, to abysmal practice. Much food for thought for me as a professional! I saw a prime example of this at the weekend. An Advanced Level dressage rider held a clinic. She said all the right things, but when it came to teaching 3 people and demonstrating on her Advanced Level dressage horse... it was ugly. Still as least I know what I really don't want to end up doing! Its such a shame. And yes the dressage horse was dribbling through a flash noseband. Its so sad, she was proud she was able to ride him in a snaffle, instead of anything harsher!

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Re: A fascinating and illuminating article! Please do pass it on :)

Post by FlorayG on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:31 am

oooh bounce I hate those people bounce they make kids want to be like them and they think they are so great bounce because they can 'make' a horse do things. ooohh... bounce bounce Evil or Very Mad bounce
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