ESI Q and A Forums Home
 Search       Members   Calendar   Help   Home 
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 

The German Training Scale
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
Danee
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007 02:29 pm
 Quote  Reply 
I have been think about the trainng scale a lot lately and what it means to me.  I think contact is more about finding that "sweat spot" where your horse is in tune with your seat more than it is about rein connection, although that is part of it too.  I wonder why straightness is so high on the scale? Why would and how could you ask a horse for schwung if it isn't straight?!!!

 

Of course, I would like to hear Dr. Deb's opinion, but I would like to hear from others as well- how do you struggle with the training scale and in what ways has it helped you?  How would you change it?

 

If Dr.Deb has written on this before and someone can point the way, I would appreciate it.

 

Danee Rudy

Pam
Member


Joined: Wed Mar 21st, 2007
Location: Lafayette, California USA
Posts: 146
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007 07:50 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Danee,

Have you read the "Woody Article" on this site under knowledge base?  Dr. Deb clearly points this out in order of priority:  1) calm  2) supple  3) straight  and    4) forward. 

What does the German training scale teach about the relationship of these requirements? 

 Pam

danee
Member
 

Joined: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 28
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Oct 13th, 2007 11:22 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Pam, I did read the articel and as soon as I saw your mention of it I do now remember that the woddy article was the one place that I saw someone who agrred with my wanting to put straightness befreo schwung- I read so much material I often have trouble rememnbering where I read what!

 

But still, I would like more elaboration on this subject.  I love riding bridle-less and I get a lot of "classical riders" telling me I'm screwing up our contact and thus will never achieve collection- which I find odd since we do have some collection- no not GP collection, but plenty for my horse's age.

 

I also find Rhythm odd- To get an even two beat trot for example- yes that should be near the bottom, but getting a perfect, set to a metronome 1, 2, 1, 2, regardless of wether you are in collection or extension, on the diagonal or a volte, and even during lateral work- now that is precision that I wouldn't expect until near the top!

There is also an inverse relationship between power and balance that doesn't seem to be directly addressed by the scale.

 

Pam asks what does the training scale teach is the relationship between  these requirements- well of course they are all tied together and inseperable.   I actually see it as building a little pyramid for a green horse and the pyramid grows through the levels- like stacking ground poles...  you can put two on the ground and one on top.  it makes a complete but tiny pyramid.  To go higher you must add more down below as well.

 

I guess I'm looking for a conversation on the training scale in general- how has it helped, hindered, inspired, or confused you?

Helen
Member
 

Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 147
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2007 01:04 am
 Quote  Reply 
From what I've read of Dr Deb's works, she doesn't entirely agree with the traditional training scale. One of the most helpful aspects of 'The Birdie Book' for me was the so-called 'Great Tree of Training', which consisted of 13 elements arranged in order, from the trunk to the upper branches, of how they occur in real life. The lower elements made up the trunk, from which branched the upper - as such, some of the upper branches didn't grow from other upper branches, but everything grew from the trunk. Elements which needed human interference, for want of a better word, were in red; elements in black, I believe, would almost offer themselves once the other elements were acheived. I am not sure if I'm allowed to post the list here, but the diagram and accompanying chapter in 'The Birdie Book' were very interesting.

Pam
Member


Joined: Wed Mar 21st, 2007
Location: Lafayette, California USA
Posts: 146
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Oct 15th, 2007 07:26 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Danee,

Quick question here:  Are you familiar with Mike Schaffer?  He is located in Pennsylvania - it looks like you are as well.

Thanks,
Pam

Annie F
Member


Joined: Wed May 2nd, 2007
Location: Princeton, New Jersey USA
Posts: 62
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Oct 15th, 2007 08:22 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Danee,

First, I think the scale covers good concepts, but implies a linear development process, which I don't agree with.  I think your idea of a circle is better; but training is iterative, so maybe a spiral is even a better image.

Second, it leaves out (or just assumes) other really important steps in training.  In addition to steps identified by Dr. Deb mentioned above, Dr. Nancy Nicholson (who has published a new book on the biomechanics of dressage) suggests attention and confidence as foundations for training.  Some of the other threads on this forum are directly addressing these two topics now.  A horse whose birdie is not with you or who is fearful cannot learn.

And third, it focuses totally on the horse, and ignores how we have to develop too.  Maybe this is fine for the "experts" who don't have any more to learn about horsemanship, but it does not work for me.  I also need to learn how to be calm, have confidence, and keep my mind with the horse.  I need to learn to be toned and responsible for my own balance in the saddle, yet be relaxed and "through" so I can feel what the horse is telling me.  I need to release my back and hips to move freely so my horse can move me.  I make tiny steps ahead now and then (and some steps back too, darn it!) in an iterative way.  

I also wanted to address your comment on rhythm.  It is VERY important and not just something to save for the higher levels.  At the higher levels, you should be able to transition between gaits yet keep the rhythm the same--that's something that I don't think is easy to achieve, as you noted.  But learning to keep an appropriate and steady rhythm within a gait is essential from the very start!  Without it, the horse cannot find balance and relaxation whether on the forehand or in working gaits or when collected.  Without that, he can't become supple, so cannot develop and use his muscles or learn to do proper transitions.  I think this is an important goal to set for ourselves as riders (or when we work from the ground) and for our horses.

Just my thoughts--and I'm not a trainer or advanced rider by any means.  I appreciate you asking the question!

Annie F

 

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Oct 22nd, 2007 07:10 am
 Quote  Reply 
Annie, your reply signals that you really have not carefully read the Birdie Book, or perhaps have not read it at all. The "Great Tree of Training" is founded upon Attention. Attention is not in the trunk of the tree; it is the roots.

All attempts to teach this material must be metaphorical, and, of course, the "Great Tree of Training" as set forth in the Birdie Book" is a metaphor -- a PICTURE that makes grasping the concept easier. A tree is one picture. A circle is another picture. If you had actually read the Birdie Book, you would know that there are other chapters in there that approach this teaching by using the image of a circle, and the image of a triangle. They are all teaching tools. Not everybody can or would grasp the concepts from the Tree, so I used several tools or pictures to try to connect with a wider variety of students.

A student is someone who actually reads the homework so well that they can repeat it -- so that it penetrates -- so that they begin actually living what the book says.

Argument about metaphors not only gets nobody anywhere, but is positively silly, as if the one who wishes to argue and contend has forgotten that it is a metaphor! This is like arguing with Jesus when he said, "the wind bloweth where it lists, and ye know not where." What's to argue? A person is going to say, "no Jesus, you should have said the water floweth where it will" --??!!

As to earlier posts in this thread, and Danee's original query: Danee, Pam is correct, I have absolutely no use for the German so-called "training" scale, or for "levels" in any way, shape, manner, or form, from either the dressage associations or from anywhere else. Levels teach you nothing and benefit your horse not at all (I never met a horse who had the least understanding of what 'level' he was at). Worse, "levels" have manifestly terrible social and psychological consequences for those who get suckered into believing in them. I try very hard to avoid even saying the word "level" in my teaching. Likewise, I'd like to ask you to try that policy on for size in your own life: just totally drop the concept.

What happens then? Why, you'll be out riding your horse. That's all. It's just you and him and God. And Danee -- that's all it ever is, or can be. All the rest of it, all the shows, all the costumes, all the rulebooks ever written -- all a complete mirage. You can get free of this anytime you want.

But you DO have to want to think and live independently, without caring one iota for anyone else's approval or disapproval. I hope you do want that, because without that, there won't be much basis for dialogue between the two of us (because one of us won't really be there in full). I once met a full-grown woman who told me she was looking for a man who would make her whole. She's had three unsuccessful marraiges -- so far. Get what I mean? Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

danee
Member
 

Joined: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 28
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2007 05:43 am
 Quote  Reply 
Dr. Deb, I understand where you are coming from completely and I want to assure you I am in no way obsessing over the training scale!  What I was looking for more than anything was an intelligent conversation ABOUT the training scale, because Lord knows, that isn't going to happen on too many other forums!!!  There are many people who claim to have been helped greatly by the scale, so even though it seems rather silly to me, I didn't want to write it off as stupid and forget about it.  I realize that the things that don't make sense are often the things we are missing, so I wanted to give the darn thing a shot before throwing it out the window.  Some things that I initially thought were ridiculous are now a big part of what I do (like using my ribs for bend like Linda Parelli teaches.)  Had I thought Linda looks goofy and never tried it, I would be missing out on something that has done a lot for me.  As far as levels- I've never seen the training pyramid as levels- intertwined qualities where some of those qualities are dependet on the qualities below them on the scale- it was just the scale itself and what was written where that really throws me off.

 

Annie, I don't know if you read the "birdie book" or not, but I'm wondering if you even read my post???  I don't know where you get the circle thing, and in my comment on rhythm I said right away that certain parts of rhythm are very important at the begginning- maybe I should have elaborated on that more.  You did however have some good contributions on how the training scale ignores the horse's mental/emotional state and that it also forgets about anything less than FEI level riders.

 

I was looking for an unbiased intelligent discusion on the training scale, but since it is "evil" I guess we won't!!! 

danee
Member
 

Joined: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 28
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2007 05:44 am
 Quote  Reply 
I have heard of Mike Schaffer but did not realize he is in PA!  Anyone know WHERE in PA?

Annie F
Member


Joined: Wed May 2nd, 2007
Location: Princeton, New Jersey USA
Posts: 62
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2007 01:05 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Danee,

Mike is near Quakertown, in Buck's County.  You can contact him via his website, if you wish.

Best,

Annie F

 

danee
Member
 

Joined: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 28
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Oct 27th, 2007 01:23 am
 Quote  Reply 
Thanks Annie!!!!


 Current time is 06:21 am




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez