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Jacquie
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Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sat Apr 20th, 2013 07:32 pm
Sunny Boy used to buck a lot. I posted on here about it years ago and we didnt know why, but we knew he had to have a reason for his bucking. I trick trained him after the kids got too big to ride him and we both enjoyed that, but it didnt address his muscle strength or his lack of suppleness.

He started to show a little lameness and I thought he might need something more to do, so I decided to train him in classical work, in hand. It turned out he was very, very crooked. He was naturally bent like a banana to the right and this was over loading his near fore I think making him lame. I worked on his crookedness, working him in hand teaching him Shoulder in, Travers, Renvers, Half Pass, Pirouettes and so on, in walk and some work also in trot and now he is no longer Sunny, the bucking pony.

He is now Sunny the Doux Passage and Piaffe pony (still very much work in progress of course) And he isnt lame any more.

It is so good to have discovered and then helped my beloved pony to overcome his crookedness.

Just thought I would share.

Attachment: DSC00184.JPG


Jeannie
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Posted: Sun Apr 21st, 2013 05:01 pm
Hi Jacquie, what a great project! Bettina Drummond has said she worries that in -hand and long line techniques are being lost, but I think there is a renewed interest in them. The best part is that it slows the whole process down, since the horse and handler have to move together. It makes it much easier to see if the horse is straight, and you can start with something simple, and then add to your repertoire. I also think the horse much prefers this " doing something together approach ", I know mine does.

  Do you notice that when Sunny Boy is on his own, he carries himself more in the manner that he has learned from your work together? I think this is the best pay off, better than any show ribbon.
                                               Jeannie

Jacquie
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Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sun Apr 21st, 2013 09:17 pm
I absolutely agree - in hand work is very much under valued and yet it works so incredibly well, for exactly the reasons you state Jeannie. Bent Branderup is reviving the tradition and so is Marijke de Jong. I study with Marijke.

Only yesterday I was very excitedly telling my daughters and husband how Sunny Boy, was galloping madly around the field letting off steam and then came and cantered a very small collected canter circle near the field gate very neatly, in complete balance and absolutely in control - and he clearly understood how to use his abdominal muscles, raise the base of his neck and kept his centre of weight back, coiling his loins to do this. His body shape has changed a lot.

My other horses are also trained using in hand work and are also showing off their new found muscular control and strength and lateral flexibility in the field too. It is really wonderful to see them do this. Each has their own way of expressing this. Storm the Lipizzaner performs sweet little canter pirouettes, Passagey trots or low Levades, whereas Fox prefers more powerful Terre a Terre kinds of movements and a higher Pessade.

Fox previously has been a very lazy horse, unwilling to even bother to trot in the field much at all. I took a picture of him on my phone of him in a really long loose relaxed trot while in the field in 2011 after only a few months of In hand work and it really shows how much he had learned in his lessons in hand!

Attachment: fox.jpg


DrDeb
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Posted: Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 08:21 am
Lovely images, Jacquie. You say "the horses learned to move this way" by correct work in hand (and under saddle); but I would rather say that the work in-hand and under saddle RELEASED what the horses always had in them, what was innate to them. That is one way to state in a nutshell the purpose of the classical high school.

I'm in Australia at the moment so my answers are briefer than usual, but I do monitor what's going on in all the threads as often as possible. -- Dr. Deb

Jeannie
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Posted: Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 05:12 pm
Yes, this is an important point you make, Dr Deb. There is a physical component to encouraging the horse to use the muscles of release, but there is also a psychological and spiritual component for the horse, in that this is the way a horse will carry their body when they are feeling good, unafraid, proud, playful and assertive. Raising the base of the neck is meaningful in the animal world, I've been noticing, not just among horses. Animals are more in tune with their body language than people, even though we subconsciously read each others body language.

 So I think we are addressing the horse and encouraging them to unfurl something that is innate to them on many levels when we work with them this way. In the book " More Than A Horseman" about Tom Dorrance, there is a paragraph about how he was riding this one ranch horse named Ringo on a regular basis. One morning he was on another horse when he saw Ringo come down a steep hill and he said " Oh look! Look! Look!". The fellow he was with didn't know what he was looking at, but it was the fact that Ringo was coming down the hill straight, just the way Tom had been riding him. When the fellow figured out that Ringo was moving in the way that Tom had shown him, Tom said "Oh yes positively. He likes it that much". He recognized the nature of horses on so many levels, it's amazing.
                                                     Jeannie

Jacquie
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Posted: Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 07:04 pm
I like the concept of releasing what was already there Dr Deb and Jeannie, your message was very beautifully written.

The horses definitely do have a sense of pride in their work and recognise absolutely when they have done really well.
Fox does do all kinds of powerful controlled excitement behaviour moves in the field now during playtimes that he would never have even attempted before. He looks so pleased that he is doing it too - I can see that he has a very knowing look on his face and even though it looks wild and crazy, it is not out of control at all; he plans his moves.

Yet another onion skin layer for me, the eternal equine training student.
Jeannie
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Posted: Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 10:58 pm
Hi Jacquie, I remembered Pauline Moore brought up the same point about horses having to be in a certain frame of mind to feel like raising the base of their neck in the topic about " What exercises for collection", and when I checked, you were talking about the same horse pictured, Fox, so I think I will bring it up for members who are new and may not have read that one, it's a long one with a lot of Information. Fox is looking good!
                           Jeannie

whereamac
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Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 10:21 am
Last weekend my horse offered me piaffe for the first time. It was under saddle, and it took me a moment or two to realise what was happening. I think we took 10 or so steps before I realised that I had accidentally asked for it by lifting my seat as I asked him forward. I have never experienced a feeling like it - I felt weightless. I also noticed that although I had loose reins there was a connection. I then sat a bit deeper, patted him, and asked him on at the walk. He chewed and stretched down. The whole experience was true bliss.

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