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The wiggles?
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Debbie Turk
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 Posted: Wed Jun 15th, 2011 11:03 pm
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This is fun, I would like to add my 2 cents worth

 

Collection = any time that the hind legs are used to lift rather than push.

 

Rhythm = consistency in steps within a stride – be they fast, slow, short or long as each leg takes the same step within a cycle of a stride there can be rhythm.

 

*Tempo = speed of steps within a stride – the time for a leg to leave and return to the ground

 

Cadence = beauty of movement – when the perfect rhythm & tempo for that horse combines with the softness of thought and action to allow the joints to spring upward and forward

 

*I was taught that the tempo of say trot should remain the same wether you are in a collected or extended trot or passage; the profile of the stride changes and the ground cover but not the speed of the leg itself.

 

Debbie

Daniela LeBlanc
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 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 12:48 am
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ruth wrote: Sandy, could that be summed up in one word, balance?

Schwung - the German, swing, is manifest with a tail swinging softly like a tassle, no switching tail! If swing is the result of a perfectly aligned spine, it is also a mental state, like a child skipping, only a happy child skips along. Creating our own definitions is a very difficult exercise as it emphasises how interrelated they all are, and also how subjective and therefore how inappropriate for competition but appropriate for an art form - their original condition.
Ruth


May I add (as a native German speaker) that you are actually describing "Losgelassenheit" - another word often found in our "jargon" but not on the list. Schwung is movement in relaxation with joy. The closest translation is "swing" and when you think of the music/dance of Swing, you will think of big joyful movements (my husband tried to get me to do this but I don't think I was coordinated enough!).

 

Daniela

Last edited on Thu Jun 16th, 2011 12:48 am by Daniela LeBlanc

Dorothy
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 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 07:41 am
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Impulsion / forward - I find these difficult to distinguish. A horse is forward and has impulsion when he is ready and able to react proportionately the instant the rider gives the signal. This applies just as much in halt and down transitions as in up transitions.

May I add in Balance here as well - A balanced horse is one where stop and go are equally easy.

Descente de main / descente de jambe - I understand this with a narrow literal meaning, as well as a rather wider application. Literally, descente de main occurs when a rider, having given, for example, a demi-arret, lowers the hand to the neutral position having got the required response. similarly, descente de jambe is when the rider lowers the heels after having used the heel or spur in a very specific and deliberate way during, for example, the effet d'ensemble.

In a wider sense, these are when a rider, having given an aid and got the required response, gets out of the horse's way and allows it to get on with doing what has been asked of it without hinderance, until the next aid or correction is needed.

Stride - I quote my Pony Club Manual, this is firmly engraved on my memory from many decades ago! 'There are 4 steps in a stride in the gait walk, there are two steps in a stride in the gait trot, there are 3 steps in a stride in the gait canter.....'

So, a stride is a complete cycle in repeating pattern of limb movements in a particular gait.

Extension of stride - Occurs when the 'pendulum' swing of the limbs increases so the stride will cover more distance. This also includes a component  in the spinal structures - the longer the stride, the more the spine needs to be able to flex and extend.

Engagement of the hindquarter - The effect of the horse coiling the loin, leading to the alteration of the inclination of the pelvis and the hind limb.

Collection - is the posture and attitude a horse adopts in response to exciting or frightening action (in nature) eg fighting, playing, sex. As riders we want the horse to recreate this posture, but without the attitude! The posture involves coiling the loin, raising the freespan of the back and lifting the root of the neck.... yadda, yadda

Last edited on Thu Jun 16th, 2011 07:50 am by Dorothy

Ola
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 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 08:58 am
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Engagement of the hindquarter (for this one, you may briefly discuss the different understanding of the modern German school vs. Robichon de la Gueriniere).- it's the action of taking lateral engaging step (untracking), stepping "more narrowly behind", which supples the horse through its loins and ribcage. In the modern German school it means rather taking longer steps, stepping more under the body with both hind legs (actually it should be a by-product of the horse coiling its loins; when it's done without coiled loins, it puts a strain on the joints).

sammy
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 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 05:00 pm
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When I showed the list of terms to a friend, she said 'Easy: schwung = buy yourself a warmblood'!

ilam
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 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 05:02 pm
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And I think that's just an illusion, because they are so big and clunky ;-)

Isabel

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 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 07:58 pm
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Dorothy wrote: Collection - is the posture and attitude a horse adopts in response to exciting or frightening action (in nature) eg fighting, playing, sex. As riders we want the horse to recreate this posture, but without the attitude! The posture involves coiling the loin, raising the freespan of the back and lifting the root of the neck.... yadda, yadda



I don't know that a horse collects in response to being frightened. I would think fear would lead to hollowing, tense muscles and clumsiness due to loss of fine motor skills. Usually, (in humans at least) intense fear leaves one with only gross motor skills.

Sandy

Dorothy
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 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 08:59 am
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Sandy, I take your point if extreme fear is involved, however to me collection is what a horse does in preparation for flight if startled, as well as during play, fight, posturing and sex. The horse needs to activate the core muscles and stabilise the spinal structures so the limbs can move fast and freely if needed. Though this may not be what we interpret as the posture of collection in the 'dressage' arena. Dorothy

Jeannie
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 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 07:06 pm
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Hi folks,  I think this may be relevant to this discussion, because it circles back to why we want to physically develop horses in a way which reflects the words we are defining. Looking good on your horse being at the bottom of the list.

  Dr Deb can correct me if I'm wrong about this, but it has been my observation that domestic horses will move on their own in a way which reflects the way they have been ridden for years. Indeed, it seems that's how they CAN move, because those are the muscles which have been developed in their bodies.  The more collected a horse is taught to carry itself, the more it will do this on it's own. I can only assume this must feel good to them.

  I moved my horse a few months ago to a 200 acre property with hills, trees, meadows, rocks and wild animals. I've noticed him do lots of different things with his body, depending on the terrain and the mental state he is in at that moment. Anything from a turnaround on a hind leg into a canter on a narrow trail, to a bunny hop gallope leaving a wooded area where speed and tight maneuvering were required when he thought something was after him ( me cracking branches coming up behind them unseen) to a collected walk in an area covered with large rocks.

 This has been very interesting for me to watch, as it makes me realize how crazy we must seem to them. We take them to an open sandy area which probably looks like a good place for a roll and a snooze, and then ask them to do exciting things for no apparent reason, then when they get excited for what seems to them a very good reason, we tell them to calm down and stop jumping around.

  It has also made me realize how much Baucher was working with horses' natural tendencies by making lessons short, not drilling, and releasing right away, because non of these maneuvers are carried out by horses on their own for more than a few moments. If we keep asking for the same thing over and over for what appears to them to be no good reason, this must seem insane to them.

                                                     Jeannie

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 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 09:13 pm
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Jeannie,

I would have to agree about the effect of the terrain on the horse's movement. There is a young girl around here who spends most of the summer working as a guide at a tourist trekking facility. The treks can be quite challenging on the trail, but in order to move up and down the string of tourists, she must ride her horse off the trail and faster through scrub, bramble and fallen wood. Her little Knabstrupper moves with a high stepping action and great agility out of necessity, she doesn't need to specifically ask for it.

Sandy


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