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"4-Beat" Normal Canter -- And Galope
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DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2014 08:31 am
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Kevin, it may have been ignorance, but I think you're being blind to the fact that your ignorance  has been CAUSED by something, and that something is that your life as a horseman is embedded in the "culture" of 20th-century North American horse practice. This is why you have seen so little mention of galope: because the people who write for most of the horse magazines, and the editors of the magazines, and the authors of the books, and the editors of the books, and the authors of the Pony Club and 4H Manuals, are themselves ignorant. They have the same historical depth or knowledge of the past as the child -- or adult -- who thinks John F. Kennedy lived hundreds of years ago, does not understand or appreciate the evil of Hitler, and thinks that people who speak a language in addition to English are un-American.

Now, if you want to amend your own (professed) deficits in this area, that will be easy. All you have to do (to begin with) is obtain the following books, which are older works which have been re-printed complete with the original plates, and which are readily available through Amazon or the like on the Internet:

(1) Antoine de la Baume Pluvinel's "Maneige Royale" (The Royal School), 1626.

(2) William Cavendish (The Duke of Newcastle) -- "Une Nouvelle Methode de Dresser une Cheval" ("New Method of Horsemanship"), 1743.

(3) Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere's "Ecole de Cavalerie" (sometimes translated "School of Horsemanship" but more properly rendered "The Practice of Horsemanship"), 1751.

It sounds as if you already have my "Conquerors", wherein these books are discussed; but it also sounds to me as if you're the sort of student who would appreciate seeing the originals. All were originally written in French, but all the reprints are in English translation. You should also be sure to TAKE THE ILLUSTRATIONS LITERALLY -- they were the Chilton's Auto Repair Manual of their day, meant to be taken as INSTRUCTIVE DIAGRAMS in which every detail counts -- just like taking apart a carburetor.

Have fun. -- Dr. Deb

Bryna
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2014 09:02 am
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I'm following this conversation with great curiosity. I've never heard of a galope (and no question, lol, that I've been steeped in a culture of North American horsemanship). But upon reading about it in this thread, I thought to myself, "why have I not heard this gait?" I've considered the possibility that I have and simply didn't notice, but when I question myself on the matter, I can very clearly hear the difference between a gallop and lope, and not just in the timing. I mean, some gallops are obviously slower than others, but I can't bring to mind any incident in which I heard a gallop that I would have called truly collected, or a canter that sounded like it had an extra beat in it (of course I've heard of the WP '4-beating', but I've never spent time around western pleasure horses, certainly not close enough to hear something traveling that slowly).

So my question is, is it probable that I have heard it, and just missed it? Or is this something that must be taught, rather than something a horse is likely to do on it's own, either in the pasture or under saddle? I will say, and maybe this is part of the discrepancy, that when I think about it, horses are much more likely to long trot and then gallop in the pasture than lope/canter. And even when starting a young horse, most, the first time you ask them to lope off, will either start scrambly or at a gallop, unless you ask them the first time out riding in the desert or something, or the rare unusually well balanced and collected colt. So perhaps the galope is something that does need to be taught, just like the lope often is, and simply requires more collection, and perhaps a different manner of asking?

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2014 12:26 pm
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Bryna, it's just a question of your inexperience. There is a lot of talk in your post....not always sure you know what the meaning of the words actually is. This is what I'm getting at with the 'multiple guess' question in the other thread: we need to take each term separately and get its meaning completely clear in your head before any discussion can possibly be profitable, or even sensible.

I suggest as a first step in learning about the galope that you go to YouTube and enter search terms such as 'Peralta Brothers bullfight', 'Rafael Peralta', 'Angel Peralta', 'mounted bullfight', or 'rejon bullfight'. You should also do this at http://www.youtube.es.com.

Then go to YouTube and search for videos of Nuno Oliveira -- there are lots of them.

Finally, go to YouTube and enter search term 'Freddy Knie Sr. Pirouette'.

A few hours viewing these world masters will help to cure anyone's blindness. -- Dr. Deb

Liz Sugar
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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2014 12:22 pm
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A picture of Valegro showing suspension - I hope.

Attachment: Valegro.jpg (Downloaded 389 times)

mandm245
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 Posted: Mon May 5th, 2014 03:20 am
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Never seen a horse suspended at the trot? Google standardbred trotter. These beautiful, well built, incredibly willing horses are often overlooked and sadly looked down upon by many in fact almost all disciplines. Especially due to the fact that most cannot achieve a true canter until they have had years of training and muscle development. What most can easily learn to do is galope. Unfortunately because is it a rougher ride and it commonly thought of as incorrect these wonderful horses are often never given a chance. What a shame.

Pintado
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 Posted: Tue May 6th, 2014 01:06 am
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I've never ridden a standardbred at the canter, but I've watched one fellow run around in turnout at play. Yes, amazing trot, with moments of pace when he gets really fast. But the interesting thing is that his canter also tends to look a bit "lateral" at times. It is still I think a three beat gait, but the timing between the footfalls alters a little so that legs on one side seem to be moving more in unison than in a normal canter, as if the pace footfall is affecting the canter. I don't have video of it,unfortunately, and no idea of what it feels like to ride. I haven't seen any other horse do this, but haven't seen that many standardbreds at play.

Jeannie
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 Posted: Wed May 7th, 2014 08:51 pm
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgicT7gTpyY

Well there is this, Jeannie

Dorothy
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 Posted: Wed May 7th, 2014 09:01 pm
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An interesting video clip that makes me pose the question 'is there a difference between trot on the spot and piaffe'?

Jeannie
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 Posted: Sun May 11th, 2014 09:21 pm
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Can the horse passage when the walk gets collected enough that it is somewhere between a walk and a trot, but hasn't turned into a trot yet? Have wondered about that, Jeannie

Jeannie
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 Posted: Wed May 21st, 2014 09:58 pm
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMLUWeJZwwo

It seems that the horse goes into a "mini passage" without breaking into a trot at times ( at 6:17 perhaps) and a "gentle passage" at a slow trot later. Makes me realize how much the amount of energy the horse has coupled with the precision of the foot placement affects the flow of weight, and how it is all a continuum, for the horse anyway.
                          Jeannie

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2014 01:02 am
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Been wanting to get time to reply to this thread for a month, folks -- just too much work and too much time on the road. Finally there is the opportunity.

First, to Pintado: Yes, your observation is correct -- many times, with a horse that has either been taught to pace through use of hopples, or else is a 'genetic pacer' never hoppled -- the canter is problematic. To get the animal to canter at all often requires very strong flagging. It is helpful to enroll such a  horse in Buck Brannaman's colt class, where it will be vigorously flagged around in company with a large number of other horses, which seems to help 'set an example' for the reluctant canterer.

The 'pacey canter' you observe is due to the animal coordinating as for a canter but not putting quite enough energy into it to 'clean up' the paceyness. The horse may need to be allowed almost to flat-out gallop for some time before any attempt can or should be made to create a more comfortable, more rideable, slower canter. Pacers and also gaited horses learn that pacing and/or gaiting costs them less energy and less effort than cantering and this is why, to begin with, they are reluctant to change into canter. However, after years of not cantering or not cantering very often, it also begins to give them physical pains to canter, which conspires to increase their reluctance.

As to the Albert Ostermaier video: I do enjoy this old boy because he is self-deprecating if anything and has a perfectly infectious sense of humor and lightness. I have film of Ostermaier that I often show in classes that documents his successess, as well as his mistakes, over more than a 50-year period, that is to say, with many different horses. He is not ashamed to show mistakes -- because no horse is a total mistake, merely that some come out better than the others. He is a fine example of a person who loves horses, who was for a lifetime engaged with horses, who invented different ways of solving training problems, who was not afraid to go against the German system or complain loudly (and even somewhat effectively) about the roughness and crudeness that has infected and taken over the dressage world since the 1970's.

In the Ostermaier video you may observe him riding the American Saddlebred stallion Patriot. My experience with ASB's is that they are very high IQ; also, they are the only breed of horse that I know of that has natural passage. They also have the disadvantage that they will very readily tighten up in the back and hollow out esp. at the trot, and hence Ostermaier's comment about 'you have to ride somewhat over this horse' or why he is not 'sitting into him'. What works for a broad-backed Andy will not work for an ASB.

Ostermaier was an absolute master of two things: one, having the horse be 'with' him at all times. He did not talk about Birdie of course, that being my own invention, but that is what we are talking about here. O. laughs about the horse not running back to the barn -- and getting it all done by praise, sugar & carrots -- judiciously applied of course -- with no wires, no straps, no overcheck, no coercion, no roughness; just friendship between man and horse. The man is the teacher; so is the horse in this partnership.

Observe the absolutely killer transitions in and out of the piaffe; this is another Ostermaier specialty, and he does it so well that you'll almost miss how important it is unless you look -- watch that last 'up' transition again and again, I advise you.

We also, of course, admire Nuno Oliviera and the clip cited is an absolutely wonderful example of how to use the walk, with all three classes of lateral work, to prepare a horse under saddle for piaffe and passage. Many people misunderstand any clip of a famous horseman to be showing 'what he did at the show'. Neither Ostermaier nor Oliviera gave a rap for any type of show. What you are seeing in Ostermaier's case is a man playing with a stallion. What you are seeing in Oliviera's case is a man asking questions of a stallion.

There is something -- and even with all my biomechanics I do not fully understand it -- about the half-pass and/or traversale movement that just tickles horses into wanting to passage. I have found this with every horse I ever took that far in training, and so we see it also here in the Oliviera clip. But watch what Oliviera does! He inquires, tactfully, in the shoulder-in; he performs 'the rose' on the circle, altrnating between shoulder-in and haunches-in; he takes the horse in renvers through some corners; and then you can almost hear the horse say, 'may I please trot?' and when Oliviera hears this, he lets him trot, and the trot that comes out -- the first three steps -- are soft passage the first few times. He then repeats this, in different combinations of half-passing movement at the walk, over a three-day period, until soft passage emerges pretty reliably. Then he comes half-pass in the canter and upon the down transition out pops a passage that is a little more than soft passage, that is, a little more vigorous, a little higher action.

Upon those occasions when preparation at the walk might have, but does not, elicit soft passage, Oliviera halts and asks the horse to step back three and then try again. He does this also when he wants to see a little effort at piaffe. Note that in neither the piaffe nor in the passage do we have what we would see at a dressage show, the reason being that this horse is just learning -- these are the first three days of showing him that piaffe and passage are what is wanted, and of opening up the doors so that these movements can and will emerge.

So a question about a 'difference' between a 'stepping piaffe' vs. 'real piaffe' is a good example of confusion on the questioner's part. When is a piaffe a piaffe? When is a passage a passage? The dividing line must always be fuzzy; the horse has to start somewhere. In this clip, the animal is just beginning to get his coordination and balance together so that he can perform with a man on his back that which he could easily perform in a pasture at any time.

For my part, I love it when the horse reaches the stage where the collected trot blossoms upward into a soft passage, and as I have utterly zero interest in bringing horses to dressage shows, I am inclined to leave it there. If my horse becomes passionate or excited about something, he has on occasion 'blossomed upward' still further, into a sharp or show-type passage, a terre-a-terre, or a levade. Normally I do not need to ask for that much energy, as my purpose has to do with pleasure riding. LIkewise, as to piaffe, Ollie started to offer that last year, and from the first it was a vigorous, elastic-feeling effort.

We've recently had some lameness issues, plus as I said I've had to be out of town quite a bit this year, so I've had to let piaffe and passage rest for the time being. But I am not worried about whether Ollie will express them later this year, when I can get back to serious riding. I also intend, of course, to get a photographer out there as soon as possible to document Ollie's achievement.

And as to that old pacer....bear in mind that Ollie's 'passage' and 'piaffe' are done in a 100% lateral pace and not a trot. Where does that fit into the show mentality and the show spectrum? Nowhere of course. How does it fit into the kind of thoughtful, individually-tailored training, which can also certainly be called 'the daily experiment'? Perfectly of course. About this, our teacher Tom Dorrance said: "To me, that's really living." -- Dr. Deb

Jeannie
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 Posted: Mon Jun 2nd, 2014 09:22 pm
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Hi Dr Deb, thanks for your insights on the videos. I have learned a lot by watching the Oliviera video, a lesson of a lesson, by seeing why he does what he does, and why he stops when he does. I was trying to get a collected walk the other day and could feel how his front legs were lifting just so when the horse said, " I have to trot now", so was thinking it must be hard for them to maintain that walk for long.

         Ostermaier talks about the four kinds of piaffe in one of the videos posted by Kallisti, which I am enjoying. He talks about the classical piaffe, the dressage piaffe, the bullfighting piaffe and one other which I didn't get the name of because of the audio, maybe someone else picked it up, but it was one where the horse has an exaggerated side to side motion which has to be done under conditions where the horse won't slip.

I received the 7clinics with Buck Brannaman for Christmas, and after watching all of them several times, I had one of those"oh" moments where you see something and understand it on a different level than you had before, that is that what he does is teach the high school.

                                                         Jeannie

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Jun 2nd, 2014 10:52 pm
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Right. A lot of people unfortunately let the cowboy hat get in their way of realizing that is exactly what Buck does. The real McCoy, the true classical High School -- not whatever it is that you see at dressage shows, which are very far from classical -- is not only the result, but the inevitable result, of Ray Hunt's teaching -- as it would also be of Nuno Oliviera's. So, equally unfortunately, many of the people, even those who were able to be with Ray for one or more clinics, but certainly including those who have only heard about it or never heard about it but see a Ray Hunt student practicing on horseback -- unfortunately, I say, they do not get the connection between the little bouts, the little repeats, of, say, walk, halt, quarter-turn on forehand, walk, halt, quarter-turn on forehand the other way -- and the inevitable result of this if practiced over time, which is canter departs from a halt. Or they do not get the connection between walk, lengthen step at walk, shorten step at walk, lengthen step at walk, repeated many times, and then repeated at trot, and the inevitable result of this exercise, which is piaffe.

The 4th type of piaffe is "balance" with an accent grav over the last "e", pronounced "balan-SAY". Ostermaier claims it is more difficult than other forms of piaffe, but here is one spot I disagree with him: I think it is a way that some horses that have difficulty "sitting down" in back cheat -- they go side to side instead, as a way of escaping the effort. Cheers -- Dr. Deb


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