Hi Dr. Deb. First, thanks for allowing access to your part of the 2013 George Morris clinic! I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of your presentation, especially the deep stuff. What a relief to see that hitting main stream competition!
I am almost all the way through your free material, and I searched the forum but could not find a similar question to this, so if you know you have answered it already, would you please give me a hint on what key words to use?
The Question: If I have explained this well enough below for your to comprehend, my question is this. Can you tell if my action (described below) is encouraging or discouraging correct movement in my dear Dazzling Jane?
The action: I was experimenting at the walk with asking my ottb mare, Dazzling Jane, (different ottb from my avatar pic) to turn in small circles by just using my seat and upper body - no reins at all and no intentional effort from legs. By turning my body proportional to the circle I wanted and tilting my pelvis to weight the inside seat bone, she would initiate the turn. (She would not turn as sharply without the seat bone weight). I held the intention of making this a small circle, say 6m or so. After she had taken a step or two, then I perceived that my inside seat bone was in conflict with her back and so I reversed the tilt of the pelvis to put more pressure on the outside seat bone and her movement felt much more free. I have been told by other instructors either that this is wrong or I get a perplexed look, yet when I did it while riding a client's green mare, the client who is also an instructor, was happy with the movement. So the woman liked what the horse did, but told me I did it wrong. So I am confused. - back up to me in a nut shell...I'm an old Medal/Maclay kid from the 70's who popped back into the scene recently (after a stint of superbike racing and instructing - for me, the two recreations are incredibly relevant to each other!) to find that my quest to learn "dressage", which somehow came from Dazzling Jane, had directed me to people like you and to the understanding that what I crave is not "dressage" but just classical wisdom and true connection with horses. Grandpa was in the Polish cavalry, so this must be genetic. As an instructor, I know this is absolutely what I need to pass on. I am a work in progress always. It really is about the journey, and I am working to get up on the shoulders of the giants before me.
I have a small herd of non-quarter horses and I am working on getting conformation pictures.
I may have found my answer in the Ring of Muscles publication, maybe? I am feeling the ilio-posas complex and or longissimus dorsi rise as she steps under with her inside hind? It is more pronounced on the inside because she has to step under herself on the small circle. This, I gather, from figure 6 on page 6. Maybe I am over simplifying. Could my weight (150 lbs) interfere with those great big muscles on a 16hh tb? I am going to try to pause here just in case I am reasoning myself into something totally unreasonable. The information you offer is so exciting for me that I can't get it into my brain fast enough.