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Dare I say 'Frame'
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Aug 22nd, 2017 06:32 am
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OK, Tegz, took me a little time to get back because I have to make sure that I understand what you meant as much as just reading what you said. I don't want to be too critical, so as to discourage you. There are some correct thoughts in your reply, but I believe I detect some incorrect ones too.

There are three key parts to what you said:

(1) "....so the stride length will increase as the horse extends". This is exactly backwards. What "extends" during an "extension" or "lengthening" of stride is the distance that the horse flies through the air. Therefore, the stride length does not increase as the horse extends; rather, extension or lengthening of stride is created as the stride length increases.

(2) "....there will be an overtrack as the horses forward momentum carries it [forward through the air] during the suspension phases". You left out a few important words, but I assume you meant to say them so I clarify in the quotation by supplying them in brackets. Of course there will be an overtrack, if by "overtrack" you mean that the impression of the hind hoof falls ahead of the impression made by the fore hoof of the same side. But note, this is absolutely irrelevant to extension or lengthening of stride at suspended gaits. Why? Because the only reason we even know that the horse has extended or lengthened his STRIDE is that he flies through the air a greater distance when making that effort than he ordinarily would, i.e. during so-called working trot. In other words: you cannot assess extension or lengthening of STRIDE by a single trial; it is only "lengthening" relative to the first time the horse went by you, at an ordinary or working trot. So that for example, if the distance between hoofprint of left hind in a given horse and the next hoofprint of left hind in that same horse, when working at an ordinary level of energy output, averages 10 ft., then he must on some later trial make the greater effort which will produce a distance between those same hoofprints of at least (let us say) 10 ft., 1 inch.

And by the way -- the very LAST thing you would want your horse to do at a trot is VISIBLY OVERTRACK, because that means ..... he's merely keespraddling his legs, widening the step, and thereby making it far more difficult for him to achieve the very suspension by which extension or lengthening of STRIDE is measured.

In short, Tegz, like most dressage people, you muddle things that happen when the step is widened or "extended" and thinigs that happen when the stride is lengthened. You NEVER want to widen the step and you NEVER want a visible overtrack, except possibly at a walk as discussed in the posts above. NEVER EVER. In the old days, i.e. prior to about 1975, nobody talked about "extended trot"; the term used was "lengthening of stride" and this usage of words has been changed back and forth several times in the American rulebook and I imagine, in the Australian one too.

(3) "....as it is the stride length that is extended I don't know that it is one body part that can be implicated but the whole horse". Ha. Yes. Good way of putting it. I don't know that it is, either, because it sure isn't. What the forelimb waves around doing is of no significance whatsoever, and indeed there is NO bodypart that is extended during an extended trot, unless my dear we make a dirty joke here and remember that one of your initial complaints was that your horse gets an erection when he's asked to work.

But I promise you, if you ask a teenaged girl who thinks she's "training her horse in dressage" -- you let her notice you watching her work her horse, and then when she finally stops you walk up to her and you pretend you know nothing, and you ask her, "I've heard about this thing in dressage called an 'extended trot'. What bodypart is extended in an extended trot?" I 100% promise you she's going to look at you like you're totally out of it, roll her eyes, and then tell you that of course it's the leading foreleg.

I attach a picture from before WWI showing a champion harness horse performing an extension or lengthening of stride -- what in harness classes is called 'road trot' or 'trot on' or 'strong trot'. And beneath that a very remarkable photo that I myself took back in the late 1980's of the late George Williams on a Lipizzan stallion named Conversano II Sarissa, a very powerful horse indeed. This was taken at the largest U.S. East Coast dressage show, 'Dressage at Devon'....Williams and his horse did not win the class which was, if I remember right, a Prix St. George's; they were beaten by a WB with a high head, hollow back, minimal suspension, and a big kick out the front. They are still in love with that Nazi goosestep, so much so that they are willing to extinguish and see die all correct training and all true collection. So I am warning you, Tegz: you cannot have your cake and eat it too. There is one right way to do things, and the more you remove the pollution in your mind's eye which is a picture of the wrong way to do things, the better off you will be and the faster progress you will make.

So, speaking of that, if y'all had ever ridden or shown American Saddlebreds, as I did when younger, you would know that in order to get high 'action' in the forelimb, you have to get the horse to tighten its back, especially right at the base of the withers, so that he 'rolls the forehand up'. This is also why tight overchecks, back-checks, and crupper-checks are used on harness ponies at American shows: they can't win unless they get the horse's forearm to go over-level. I always advise people to learn as much as possible about INCORRECT ways of training, mechanical ways of forcing performance or altering a horse's natural way of going: because then you will gain insight into what you yourself are doing that you ought not to do.

If you want your horse to be able to produce suspension, and thereby lengthening of stride -- would it be more profitable for you to ask him to trot fast, or trot slow? Second, but related question: what is the MAIN object of teaching a horse piaffe, passage, pirouette, or departures to canter directly from a halt? Cheers -- Dr. Deb

Attachment: Forum lengthening of stride examples.jpg (Downloaded 109 times)

Aloha
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 Posted: Tue Aug 22nd, 2017 08:41 pm
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Dr. Deb, I believe George Williams is very much alive. At least he was last year when I spoke with him! I'm pretty sure the man in the photo is the same George Williams who trained with my old trainer for many years at Tempel Farms, became their director and is the current USDF President. Maybe you have him confused with a different Williams? I sure hope so because I hadn't heard that he'd passed away!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Aug 22nd, 2017 09:54 pm
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Oh! My mistake! So glad to know Mr. Williams is still with us. You might direct him to look at the posted photo, as it's just been sitting in my files all these years. I used to attend 'Dressage at Devon' every year when I lived out East. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

tegz1
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 Posted: Fri Sep 1st, 2017 05:20 am
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My apologies for the delay in reply (work got very hectic and so my study had to take a back seat for a bit). I also really appreciate you being thoughtful to not try to discourage me.

So I am pretty sure I understand the concepts but just lack the clarity to write it clearly. As I was reading, my thoughts were saying 'but that is what I said'. It took me a while to comprehend where I was getting muddled.

In response to your questions, trotting slower will be more profitable as it gives the horse time to balance and be able to bring his weight more onto the hind quarters (coiling the 1/4's) if trotting faster you will only succeed in pushing the horse onto its forehand and have the hindquarters push out behind. The main reason to teach piaffe, passage etc is to strengthen the hind legs to take more weight through bending the joints which then flows onto lightening the front end of the horse making it easier to carry a person and be able to move under our weight easily.

What is the definition of suspension? Is it when all four feet are off the ground or is it the pause of the legs in the air. From passage to medium trot the direction of energy is changed from the suspension going upwards to flying forwards in medium trot. There seems to be a bit a difference in opinion around piaffe and suspension, one that says that there is no suspension and another from older books that says there should be. If with no suspension it would be a more marching movement, with suspension it would be a trot in place. I have watched both types shown on videos. What are you thoughts?

On a side note regarding my horses penis it is never erect just a floppy sheath while walking. Generally happens relaxing while brushing and then thinking if the work we are doing is low key so focus has probably left. I have attached a pic.

Attachment: IMG_3010.JPG (Downloaded 56 times)


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