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Raising the base of the neck
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danee
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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 07:09 pm
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Last edited on Thu Nov 22nd, 2007 01:47 am by danee

Helen
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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 08:16 pm
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Going by what Pauline has said, that would be a matter of practise and patience - at the moment your horse physically cannot obtain or sustain a higher level of lifting.

Is that on the right track?

Also, just to clarify, the muscle shown bulging here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erreeffe/135790363/in/photostream/
Is the other that Pauline was talking of? It is often seen in dressage horses, no?

danee
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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2007 02:02 am
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Last edited on Thu Nov 22nd, 2007 01:47 am by danee

Helen
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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2007 04:24 am
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Still, going by the answer to my previous question and the rest of the discussion, you just need to keep going on the track you are on; no one has mentioned any 'cue' to give to ask for higher lift. I still say that from my current understanding, you need to continue working on your collection and straightness as you now have it, and the lifting of the base of the neck will be a by-product of that, not a goal.

Just throwing out there what I would think; it could be completely off-base. :)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2007 06:33 am
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Danee, so long as you continue to insist that you DO know and that you HAVE understood Woody, True Collection, and the other materials, the more you armor yourself from any benefit here.

You have many confusions, and they become more obvious every time you post. Since that is the case -- instead of saying, "of course I understand", "anyone who looks at my horse will agree that I'm doing OK" -- what if I have looked at your pictures, Danee, and find merely average work from a rider who does not really understand collection, release, softness, balance, or contact?

Likewise, again, so long as you say "well most of the people involved in dressage MUST understand what it is to make a horse straight", then you will not be able to make the very progress that you desire. For the fact of the matter is that they do NOT understand -- in other words, Danee, I am advising you not to turn to that world as your standard for excellence. It will play you false every time.

What you originally wanted to know, I have understood from the very first post. What you are asking -- about "when can I raise the head" -- is discussed even in Podhajsky, an author whose riding I do not much admire. Even there; in other words, your question has been asked many, many times before, by other students, better than yourself.

But, as I said, even though I understood what you were really getting at, I did not answer it in the first post. Why do you think that would be? It is like what they say about buying a Porsche, Danee: if you need to ask the price, why then, you can't afford it.

I, of course, also asked this question. My teacher answered it to me in the same way. He said: "When Painty has to fill in for you a little bit less, Debbie, it will happen all by itself."

I don't really expect, Danee, that this saying is going to have a big effect on your consciousness. In my own case, it took more than a year for it to penetrate and have the effect that my teacher intended. Nevertheless I include it here as a kindness to you; perhaps you're a better student than I am, and a better student than I take you for.

In lieu of that, however, we can tell you in biomechanical terms: you must never raise the horse's poll higher than the strength he has in raising the base of the neck justifies. If you raise the poll higher than that degree permitted by the strength a horse has to raise the base of its neck -- on that day, and in that hour and moment that you try it -- the base of his neck will instantly fall out, and you will be left with nothing more than a horse gasping for breath, gasping in pain, struggling to retain its balance and rhythm, and well above the bit. -- Dr. Deb

Obie
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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2007 08:24 pm
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I've heard this statement before; "Placing the head at the optimal height is a matter of tact; the rider should feel when the elevation of the neck and withers creates the maximal engagement of the pelvis. I like this one.

Linda-

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 06:08 am
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Helen - Yes, the photo on your link is showing the splenius - in some horses it will look as though it tapers to a point a little closer to the shoulder.  'Yes' also to your other remarks - you are on the right track.

Best wishes - Pauline

danee
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 03:35 pm
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Last edited on Thu Nov 22nd, 2007 01:48 am by danee

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 07:04 pm
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Danee, I want you to think about this quotation from C.S. Lewis:

"Any man who says 'I'm as good as you'....isn't."

When I go to see my teachers, I don't say much, because I'm not there to try to justify myself or to teach them, or to offer them anything. I ask a few questions perhaps -- key questions -- and then I think for a long time about the answer that I receive. I chew it over quite a bit, because I believe in my teachers -- they are offering me something that might have more to it than would meet the eye just at first.

Danee, you have been answered here very eloquently by Pauline, and more directly by me. But you're still trying to tell me how "good" you are. This makes me doubt that you are really ASKING anything. 

When you've thought about that C.S. Lewis quote, then maybe I will be able to help you. Shy of that, I don't think it will be possible. I'm not interested in just talking for talk's sake. -- Dr. Deb

danee
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 01:11 am
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Dr. Deb,

It is utterly amazing that "correct" dressage existed before you- how could it?  Maybe it didn't.  Maybe Painty was the first and the best and the others were unaware of their own ignorance.  How can anyone do it without you?

If only more of us would give up not only our egos, but every last speck of dignity and self respect- because only than are we worthy to talk to you.  If only you were in front of me so I could wash your feet with my hair- than maybe I could prove my desire to learn.  Only than could I hope to smell the dust of your amazing foot prints.  It isn't at all posible that maybe you dont know the answer to the questions I"ve posted- we all respect that you are all knowing.  No human could ever intimidate you.  It must be me in my pathetic ignorance...how could I possibly understand an article after reading it five times.  After all, you wrote it- it must be so far above me that I can only look up and dream.  My poor horses will be nothing more than week mangled skeletons for eternity.

Hear me pray,

Amen

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 01:25 am
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Danee, your immaturity is showing. Would you like me to do you the favor of removing your post, or shall we leave it up?

Not only I, but others here, have given you much time and attention in an attempt to answer your questions and concerns. You do not understand what you have been told, as I have said, perhaps because I haven't explained it well enough; but also perhaps because you haven't really devoted the attention to the material that you claim you have. I feel also that you are muddled through trying to make what is said here "fit" with other things you have been taught. As I mentioned in my previous -- this will not be possible -- they will not "fit".

It does look very much like the corn is being wasted when it is "thrown" into the ground at planting time. We have to give up that corn and not eat it. But when we do that, we get back a crop a hundredfold. What this parable means, Danee, is that you, and everyone else who hopes to succeed, has to give up everything they think they have before there is room for the teacher to put anything new in.

I wish you would put as much effort into study of this parable as you put into defending yourself. So long as you continue to defend yourself, you declare that you are unwilling to give up anything that you think you have. By this, you armor yourself against gaining the very understanding that you seek. Then we must ask -- to quote the famous Dr. Phil -- Danee, how is that working out for you?

When you've thought about this a little more, you may want to post again. You'll be welcome when you come back with the attitude of a student. -- Dr. Deb

danee
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 03:24 am
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Danee, I want you to think about this quotation from C.S. Lewis:

"Any man who says 'I'm as good as you'....isn't."

 

I still think you need to listen to your own quote- you are the one who is so sure you are better than I.  Maybe you offer me nothing because you have nothing to offer- how am I to give up any previous knowledge I have, when all you give me to replace it, is 'read it again', or go 'study more.'

I have read Woody and True Collection over and over.  I've gotten out of it what I've gotten out of it and reading it yet again probably won't make any lightbulbs come on.   Pauline gave a VERY good discription of what collection looks like - it agrees readily with my previous knowldge, so maybe, just maybe, I know one or two things that are correct even by your definitions.

I have completely "started over" more than once and I am very willing to do that again for good reason- but I see no good reason, and even if I did, I would start over and do what exactly?  You have not really told me what it is I'm lacking understanding of.  I post a few times and you know my whole set of equestrian skills and knowledge?  I've learned a heck of a lot on my own or through literature or by observation and experimentation.  I've laid my ego to the side to learn form people Ive detested.  There is nothing wrong with me as a student.  If you give me a real reason as to why you think I am misinformed in my equestrian knowledge, or have no concept of relaxation, straightness, release, etc, than by all means I will lay out the red carpet you demand- but don't crown your self by simply knocking my accomplishments out from underneathe of me.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 04:25 am
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Danee, once again: you cannot be a student until you are willing to empty yourself of what you think you have; in other words, you have to stop clinging to and attempting to defend what you think you know, because, indeed, you yourself have indicated, by the very fact that you came here supposedly to ask questions, that you do not know.

You have asked me to give a specific list of all that you do not know. This would be difficult because extensive. And it is not necessary. You are asking me to thump you, when I have been trying rather hard not to thump you.

The essence of the problem that I'm trying to articulate, Danee, is that you see, hear, and understand "on the surface". You're bright enough to be able to grasp a fairly technical description of what the physical body of the horse is doing, but without really understanding what it means. Like many people, you're ambitious to learn and practice "movements" in order to display whatever level of technical expertise -- but you fail to see how much you are calling on your horse to fill in for you.

In the same way, you mistake "success" in terms of prizewinning, being on an Olympic team, or being recommended by other competitors, for mastery. When I have mentioned this in previous posts, you make no response to it, which makes me believe that you have not heard what I said. Yet this is the most important part. I am really only interested in mastery.

But let us begin at the beginning, for I am willing to go on with you despite the defensiveness, cattiness, and pettiness that you have displayed in your last several posts. And there are two possible places for us to start. One is the area of the horse's physical body, and the other is the area of its inner life. You have correctly stated that Pauline's descriptions of collection are exact and beautiful. It is now necessary for us to examine what ACTUAL impact such descriptions have in your own practice.

Specifically, would you describe for me please what the relationship is between a horse's inner state of equanimity and the shape of its topline, contrasting its physical appearance when it has deep inner equanimity vs. when the animal has lost its inner "okayness".

You may also add comments regarding other physical aspects of the horse besides just the topline, for example its breathing, the shape and action of the tail, ears, eyes, etc. In other words, I would like to hear from you a description of what a horse looks like when it is "okay" vs. "not okay".

I need you to be as brief as possible and as directly to the point as possible in your reply.

Thanks for hanging in there, and I'll look forward to something pithy. -- Dr. Deb

 

Sam
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 05:08 am
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Danee,

Please listen to Dr Deb as she speaks only the truth, and comes from a place of only the best intentions for us and our horses.  For us to learn and totally understand our horses we MUST let old beliefs die and as Deb said to me very early on, first we must know ourselves.  We may not like what we discover, but is completely our choice to change or not. 

Dr Deb

Thanks for your awesome guidance.

Best Wishes

Sam

danee
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 06:00 am
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WOW  I'm suppose to desribe the horse's body language in regards to its emotions and be brief!  I'm game.

I'm going to  put this in catagory form to be more brief, but these lists are far from complete...

Horse OK: 

~Relaxed convex out line          ~long neck             ~soft eye,blinking                 ~loose muzzle/relaxed lips   ~movements slow (can be ear movments, eye movements, tail etc while ridden)  

Horse NOT OK:

~shortened neck/jams neck into shoulders     ~raised poll    ~hollow neck and back    ~muscles tight on back  ~eyes wide OR glazed over (sometimes eyes half closed when in constant pain)   ~fast/quick movements (again ear, eye, tail included along with gross motor movements)  ~tight lips  ~clenched teeth  ~over developed underneck if often in this state  ~flared nostrils

 

I won't get into behavior details- like a horse not wanting to look directly at you or bulging shoulder as he looks away, etc or my attempt at brevity will fail pathetically!!!

Last edited on Tue Nov 20th, 2007 06:02 am by danee


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