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Understanding a new exercise
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Kallisti
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 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2013 07:34 am
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Hi All,

I've found a video on youtube that peeked my curiosity - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OgBfZhzm18 - in particular the exercise shown @ 2.13 minutes in (some explanation on balance from 2.09), turn to the right whilst bent to the left.

I'd like to know more about the exercise please.

This video happens to be a particular horseman performing the movement, but I have seen other horse men and women perform the same exercise so this is not a question about one particular individual's style or a particular style of riding, this is a question about the exercise itself.

Considering what I think I see on the video, through the lens of Mike Shaffer's work which I've been reading, I have a few observations and would love your feedback:

* It appears that the horse is being asked to weight the RHS (shoulder) more than the left, so I would guess that when performed in this way the exercise could be useful to help correct a horse who leans to the left, because we're asking to increase weight on the RHS.

* The exercise appears to be a "move out" to the right, or lateral engaging step, or a shoulder-in style on a circle, although the crossing of the hind legs confuses me. To my eye, it looks like the aids are essentially "move out" - so much so that we go beyond a sideways and actually turn a circle around that right hand shoulder.

* If all that's true, my guess is that this exercise could sit somewhere between the change of rein through a circle / shoulder in exercises and the introduction of half-pass like movement? (or as Mike explains it, once you've got the change through a circle - turn in, move out, turn in opposite direction and move out to the new bend - and you're asking for a bit more "go" during the straight phase, so you start to build up a half-pass like movement).


Would be interested in everyone's comments - I'm interested to know if the exercise may be of value and perhaps what it's called / where it fits into a broader scheme?

Thanks for your help :)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2013 04:29 pm
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Kallisti, Mr. Karl tells you on the video the name of the exercise: it is renvers, which is the inverse of traverse. He performs it on the young horse upon the circle.

Renvers performed along the long side is called, in English, "haunches out". It is the inverse of traverse performed along the long side, which is called "haunches in". Both exercises belong in the category of Class III lateral work, i.e. the half-pass family of movements.

In this family of movements, the horse is bent so that he looks into the direction of movement, and so that the outside hind leg crosses in front of the inside hind leg.

Go try performing haunches-in on a circle, Kallisti; or begin half-pass in the manner suggested by Mike Schaffer. Once you gain the skill and balance needed to aid this movement effectively, and your horse begins to respond with generosity, you will understand it well enough. -- Dr. Deb

Kallisti
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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2013 09:45 am
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Thanks Dr Deb.

We've been practising again this morning.

This just seems to pickle my brain for some reason - so I'll go along in uncertainty for a little longer and see what happens. You're right, we have a framework to stick to for the first instance.

Will come back with any "aha" moments...

AnoukW
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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2013 11:09 pm
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The way I see it, this is just another way to ride the same exercise (renvers, as Dr. Deb explained) and how to turn it into a half-pass, as you say. However, in bend, it's not just the spine that is involved. In reality, you don't want the horse to put more weight on any one leg - you only want to make it put more action into the movement, with which you can train the muscles of that particularly leg to either carry or push. Because of the placement of the legs (more under, or besides the point of mass of the horse, there would momentarily, each step, be a bit more weight on that leg, but that would be specific to the hind legs. Back to the bend - what the horse needs to do, besides bending the spine from poll to tail, is to tilt the trunk slightly in the direction of the bend. This is necessary for the mass of the belly to move out of the way of the hindleg that is stepping under at that moment. A horse that cannot do this, will not go through a turn bent, but with the whole body tilted in the direction of the turn (like a motorcycle does), which would be dropping the inside shoulder, or they would do the opposite and fall on the outside shoulder (usually caused by too much inside rein). You can easily feel this happening while trotting a circle bareback. This is also the reason why a horse cannot really bend to the left on a right lead canter, because one hind leg moves further under the belly than the other, and it needs the belly to 'move out of the way' to do so (at a walk, where the horse usually steps under the furthest, you can also feel the ribcase moving away from your leg each step, like it's swinging on the spine). The means the exercise in the video will also prepare the horse for doing the countercanter, since it will also have to have a counterbend to the direction you're travelling.

The alternative to getting the belly 'out of the way' is to lift it up, which is when you get to collection. The higher the front of the horse, the more space the horse has to get his hind legs under. So logically, the better collected your horse is, the more able he will be to bend the 'right' way at a countercanter.

This is just my 'theory' plus pieces of info picked up here and there, and this is how it feels for me when I ride my horse (who is a pretty lazy piece of work, I have to correct him almost everywhere to get him straight on a straight line and bent on a turn). I hope it makes sense to you and that it can help you ride this exercise.

Kallisti
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 Posted: Thu Jan 17th, 2013 06:17 am
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Hi AnoukW,

Thanks for your reply. I don't have anything to add, but appreciate your thoughts and helping to digest!


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