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What's a girl to do..collection
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Pam
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 Posted: Sun Aug 3rd, 2008 03:57 pm
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Well, Helen, you are certainly entitled to your own opinions.   I may have shocked you and crossed some sort of line, but I haven't done any harm to DD or anyone on this forum for that matter.  Yes,  I am the reluctant student, I question many things, that is my nature and I have been very upfront about that.   I am not here to win any popularity contests - after-all this is only the Internet and it would be delusional to think that everyone must be happy with everything I might have to say.  You don't have to read any of my posts, nobody has a gun to your head.  

By the way, I have been insulted on numerous occasions by DD and it hasn't killed me, it has only made me stronger.  I am actually getting to the point where I find it humorous.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun Aug 3rd, 2008 05:59 pm
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Pam, your intention in the last couple of posts was, in fact and obviously, to be insulting. As Forum Moderator, and according to our rules, I could immediately pull these items. However, I have not done so because, just as Helen and Hurleycane have noticed, and as I have explicitly told you before, I am committed to helping you actually learn how properly to train a horse, and sometimes in that process the little children have to have a tantrum where they hit out. I therefore sometimes leave the kinds of posts you have made because, since you are not in fact five years old, perhaps you will re-read them and come, thereby, into an ability to hear and see yourself.

You see, we have experienced all this from other students before. Sometimes, in the end, they leave, and as I have said, you're welcome to do that. But other times -- many other times -- they get mad, have their little tantrum, tell us they're never going to come back, etc., etc., just like a child who threatens to run away from home. But they do not, in fact, stop reading the Forum, and six months later, two years later, five years later, and twenty years later, I've had letters both privately and right here in the Forum from them which express a gratitude which, at long last, they were able to feel. So it may take you, Pam, any amount of time before you see why you ought to give up martingales, and abandon other cheap and destructive approaches to horse training. At that point, you will be able to BEGIN.

I am well aware as to why people, such as yourself, get angry: it is because I am telling you, both between the lines and directly, that:
  • You don't know what you are doing
  • You have wasted your time
  • You have wasted your money
  • You are hurting your horse.
The last time I had a letter here in the Forum from someone who, like yourself, had gotten angry, but who later repented of it, these were the items that she said had made her mad, and I think that's as clear as it can be put.

As to doing what you have been told: when my handyman shows me how to use a circular saw safely, or how to shim a door so that it fits the jamb perfectly and swings smoothly, or how to miter a corner-cut or hammer in a nail without splitting the two-by-four, don't you think I do as I have been told? Or what benefit would there be in it for me NOT to do so? For I have seen what the man builds, and it is quality construction every time. Sometimes people ask Ray Hunt whether they should ride with the same guy YOU have been riding with, Pam, because he is widely known in California. And Ray said, "I'll ride with that guy just as soon as he can do more with my horse, more quietly, more smoothly, or more effectively than I can," to which I echo, "yes -- and not one minute before."

-- Dr. Deb

christie
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 05:17 am
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DrDeb wrote: Now, what I want you to do before we go into any of the "basic bricks" that I mentioned above, is to use the search function at the top of this Forum to look up the following key words:
  • backing or backing up
  • cavalletti or cavalletto
  • teaching a horse to go downhill
  • transitions
  • collection
I also want you to download and study the following articles in "Knowledge Base":
  • Lessons from Woody
  • True Collection
The only thing I didn't find anything about was backing up, I'd like some more info on that.

Is downhill better than uphill?

I have both of the downloads and read the collection one recently.

I did find some old threads that I am printing to read.

I am not the one who asked about draping reins, I did say I ride on loose reins mostly, until recently...my issue is that I don't want to be doing the contact thing wrong!

In your other post to me you state that loose is not the opposite of contact. In my little mind they would be opposites. You write "loose reins are reins so long that they exceed  the rider's ability to generate energy and flow it up into the reins"

  

Last edited on Mon Aug 4th, 2008 05:26 am by christie

Helen
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 06:28 am
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I think the point DD was making with contact was this - that contact is NOT having a fierce grip on the horse's mouth. Loose reins is the opposite of tight reins - contact falls somewhere in between.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 08:29 am
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No, Helen, though I don't blame you for guessing as to what contact is. Since Christie said she hadn't been the one to ask about draping reins, then that must have been you who asked that.

Loose reins are not the opposite of tight reins, and contact is not "somewhere in between [loose and tight]."

What I am telling you is that true contact is entirely "other".

You have to get completely off the plane or out of the dimension where you have a spectrum of from loose to tight. This plane or spectrum exists, but it has nothing to do with true contact.

Draping reins are what you want to achieve. When the reins are draping, the horse and rider are both fully experiencing true contact, which can in no manner be found by the MERE tightening of the reins, whether that tightening is effected by the rider pulling back or by the horse leaning or pushing forward.

You must never believe that you can put a horse on contact by:
  • Creating a "frame"
  • Riding him "forward into a fixed hand"
  • Riding him "more forward"
  • Merely getting his face vertical
Draping reins come from one source, and one source only: the posture or carriage of the horse, which means the shape of his vertebral column, i.e. loins, freespan, base of neck. Posture is internal; "frame" is external. This is why the word "frame" is so extremely destructive; a term that should be entirely deleted from the vocabulary of riding.

True contact relates to energy flow WITHIN the rein, as if the reins were hoses rather than straps.

The movement of energy within the reins is almost entirely independent of the movement, position, or tension of the rein itself (i.e. of the rein considered as a strap). Thus, you can move the straps to the side or backwards as needed, so long as the energy flow WITHIN the reins (considered as hoses) is always forward, i.e. from the rider to the horse, from the rider's 'hara' to the horse's mouth, and from the rider's 'hara' up over the brink between the hands and thence down along the horse's crest, as if it were a waterfall.

Continuous backward traction upon the reins, however, will choke off the flow of life within the reins.

Baucher was the first to teach, in the 1820's, that the rider's main job is to govern the flow of weight and energy within the horse's body, within the rider's own body, and within the corporate body. So you need to feel the flow and then you need to learn how to govern the flow, which means direct or redirect it.

Christie, as to backing up: h'm, you know, I could have sworn we had talked about that here in the Forum and that you would find it via the search function. However I looked for it also and couldn't find it, so I must be remembering something from a newsletter. It's late at the moment, but tomorrow sometime I'll probably have time to go into that more deeply with you. Before you worry about backing uphill or going either up or downhill, you'll first need to master backing on level ground. -- Dr. Deb

AtLiberty
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 09:47 am
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Indeed the backing up has been already described in Horse confidence issue.. or?? the post from 25th July 2007: http://esiforum.mywowbb.com/forum1/64-2.html

Maybe this could even revive the old topic, as I believe there were more steps to come in regards of "mannering a horse".

Last edited on Mon Aug 4th, 2008 10:00 am by AtLiberty

cyndy
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 12:09 pm
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Well, that's what I like about Dr Deb. She fills in those "deep" things. Others may give you some "mechanics" of a horsemaship, but DD gives us a concept some may never have even envisioned yet, like the flow of energy in the reins. Things like this are what makes a master horse(wo)man and someone just scratching the surface.

I particularly like DD's reference to Baucher. I have read his book and followed along on other people's thought of his teaching (I am a real Phillipe Karl fan who also follows Baucher's teaching more then some other masters). But Baucher too is "deep" and I certainly appreciate DD helping me understand Baucher in a better "deeper" way! Thank you DD so much for that.

For those of you that sometimes read DD and think "huh?"...these things will make more sense to you as time goes on. This is just not the kind of stuff you get without some effort and more searching, both with yourself and your horse.. And that's what makes it so good...

Pam
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 07:47 pm
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DD:  The points you make about what your saying to me either directly or between the lines are alot to take in.  Although, I am not a religious person and do not believe in repenting, I will just tell you and everybody else, for what it's worth, that I am not hurting my horse any longer.  I am not going to ride with the martingale man or or pay for any type of training at this point.  I am not riding as of two weeks a ago.  I am starting my horse over as though he were a baby, from the ground.  Since he was started on the track I believe that he has been pushed beyond all limits, at least that is what he has been trying to tell me for a long time now.  I am starting with ground work everyday and as much playful time as possible. I use cookie treats for reward, for this horse is very reward motivated and very gentle with hand feeding.  We are both enjoying ourselves alot.  I am reading Philippe Karl's book  "Twisted Truths about Modern Dressage" as well.  This book is eye opening.  Wish I would have known all of this four years ago when I got my horse......Pam

cyndy
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2008 08:07 pm
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Pam, I seen that book "Twisted Truths Of Modern Dressage" would be released in late 2008. So I can't wait to read it (I am a fan of PK). Tell us a little about it. Or PM me if you like. 

Pam
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 Posted: Tue Aug 5th, 2008 01:25 am
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Isn't another way of describing "contact" as something the horse does or offers, not something we do to the horse. 

One of my instructors from a couple of years ago used to say that my horse put himself on the bit, as though that was unusual.  I remember thinking..yeah....that is how it should be.

Brenton Ross Matthews
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 Posted: Tue Aug 5th, 2008 08:42 am
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Pam wrote: DD:  The points you make about   I am starting my horse over as though he were a baby, from the ground. 


Dr Deb --an opinion I have had about starting a horse  again as Pam has said---

 My opinion of this that I have said MANY times  when I have been giving lessons, is that after a horse has been STUFFED-UP [my words and not reffering in any way to this post] is that a horse that has been STUFFED-UP or learnt an evasion can be improved BUT not to it's potential prior to the mistake.

 My reason for this view is that I have had horses in work for owners, but when recieving the horse back for further education as I did for many years for polo training [as you know] the horse had gone backwards in it's education because of bad riding and I consider never improved to it's potential again although may have made the grade.

Many times I wish I could  have pressed delete and repeated an action differently

 Do you think they can forget the stuff-up and still reach their peak.

 Brenton

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Aug 5th, 2008 07:17 pm
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Brenton, yes, I completely agree. Our elderly teacher used to say the same: that once you had gained a horse's trust, if you were then careless with that trust, or greedy in the sense that you had got the horse to where he was willing to perform something, and then you over-rode him and hurt him, he would never after that trust you as fully or perform as joyfully or willingly.

But, since you're responding to Pam's statement here about wanting to start her horse completely over -- well, as you've said, yes, you can do that, and it is likely to succeed ENOUGH that it is worth doing. Will our friend Deb's screwy WB that she rescued and that she has worked so hard with -- the horse that you couldn't catch, bridle, or even pet -- ever be as good as he might have been if he hadn't been mistreated in the first place? No. Does she have a good time on him, and has she learned something by it? Absolutely. Is the horse better off now than before, and can he do more than he could before? Without question.

And so it is, in lesser measure, for just about everybody in the horse world. Relatively few people are able to do as you do, Brenton, and breed, raise, train, and finish their own horses. Not that you haven't trained a lot of other peoples' screwballs yourself! But what I mean is, it's not that surprising that this should be what Pam would be working with.

In fact, it's what I work with, and indeed, if I have a 'specialty', that is it. I've never had the bread to go buy beautiful unstarted youngstock. So Painty was a screwball, too, when I got him, and thank God for Ray Hunt and Harry Whitney and our elderly teacher for giving me help with him so that neither of us got killed on that old horse who used to bolt cross-country and jump anything in his path up to five feet. Hang on sister. I still remember the first time I showed Painty to Ray -- I was so very happy to have that horse! -- and we were in the process of disappearing over a hill with my hair flying out behind me, and I hear Ray's voice waaaaay behind me saying, "Debbie, you're not controlling the feet. You've got to control the feet!"

And while I'm at it, I might as well talk about Oliver too: goofy wierd horse that hates to trot and, though he can canter and does so at liberty, thinks he shouldn't when under saddle. Aaughh!! This definitely conflicts with my desires for him, because I KNOW that horse would make a SPECTACULAR High School horse IF ONLY he would be able to get some of these things.

So here's the point for Pam. The question is: how much actual skill do you have? How much guts do you have? Because it's going to take both. When Painty used to sometimes shy, that's a goddam big horse and it's a LONG way down there when he would go to his elbows. And Ollie is one of those hard-type shiers that has that little backward component to it that can get you spilled. Both these horses know who I am to them, and after their fashion they love me and they have no intention of spilling me, or anybody. But they might anyway. I never came off of Painty and I haven't so far on Ollie. In fact I haven't come off of any horse in twenty years. To what is this due? Pre-planning and seeing where their 'birdie' is so as to avoid most shies that might have happened? Yes. Good seat, relaxed long leg? Yes. Guts? Enough, evidently. Every person has to be honest with themselves as to what they are -- or are not -- able to bring to the horse.

There's the training-skills area too. One does have to know how to roundpen, how to cause a horse to come when it is called. One does have to know how to tack them up and mount them without getting them bothered. One does have to know how to install manners. One does have to know how to use cavalletti. And how to ride the full repertory of schooling movements, correctly. And how to cause a horse to carry itself, and the rider, straight. And how to use 'fetch' or drum work as aids to developing focus and self-confidence. Do you, Pam, have all this under your belt? If so, you'll be able to succeed at re-starting your horse. Otherwise, you will profit greatly by going up to Loomis to ride with Tim Thomas or up to Julie Carpenter's place at Miracle Mountain (these are the two people we recommend that are closest to you). And you should show up as a spectator at every Ray Hunt clinic you can get to, and plan on sitting on the bleachers and taking notes for the entire duration of the clinic. This is how the abovementioned skills and abilities are gained.

So I have to close this, Brenton, by sharing a little chuckle with you and everybody: hey presto! If you peck at it long enough, even miracles occur. Last night I got Ollie to canter under saddle, off the cavaletti grid, and maintain the canter for some distance. He still acts like he thinks I'm NUTS (turns his head around and looks at me with '!!!' in his eyes) -- but he understands the voice command + leg aid, and he takes the lead, or tries to, every time I ask. I have built this over the last two years by encouraging him to canter over one or more poles, which induce him to hop a little bit. So now there is no bucking, no bolting, and no excessive excitement. I think Ollie thinks it's some kind of joke, or a new way to play, and that's the spot I'd like him to be in when we start.

So that is a breakthrough for this odd little horse, and amusing though that is, now is when the more difficult part comes in. The first step will be to NOT ask for it again for a few days, the second step will be for me to perceive when HE is asking ME "whether" we could please do that again. Then I will say to him, "yeah! show me".

And as you know, Brenton, that's a horse that is telling you that he is motivated, and that's the greatest treasure, the very "bloom on the rose" -- so easily lost -- that Pluvinel first spoke of more than three hundred years ago.

Cheers -- Dr. Deb

Simrat
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 Posted: Wed Aug 6th, 2008 02:05 am
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This is all very interesting, as I am getting to a point of narrowing my horse pursuits to a focus. Part of that is getting out of breeding, not that I was every very deeply into it. My stallion will be gelded this fall. He has sired two foals, one of which I own and was bred to two mares this year. My goal is to have no more than two horses, but the decision is hard, as they are each incredible beings in their own ways.

Now I get to decide which horse to put my energies into...

My 7 year old mare was the first horse that I started. She absorbed my mistakes and came out okay in the end. She has not quite finished the low school, by Dr. Deb's definition, but she's not too far off. I can put anyone on her, from child on and she will take care of them or test them to see how much they know. She was away on lease for 5 months and came back hard mouthed and having lost some manners. The manners are pretty much back, but I have not had the time to reschool her mouth. The leaser was learning to canter and I feel that she used the reins for balance. The mare is currently being ridden by an 11 year old in lessons and an adult, each one day/week. My plan was to ride her also one day/week, but that has not happened. She's been ridden on an off by a number of people of very mixed skill, mostly toward the beginner end of the spectrum.

She is downhill built and tends toward flat movement, so collection is not so easy for her.  She is a super trail horse though, sane, fun and takes good care of herself and her rider. I hope never to have to sell her or let her go to another home again. She is my equine soulmate.

My 5 year old stallion, soon to be gelding, is much more talented, uphill, jumps into canter with ease, offers roundness regularly, is sensitive, and occasionally lazy. He also has absorbed my mistakes, though less of them. I had a trainer ride him for a month last fall, with mixed results. Otherwise, I have been his only rider. I foresee finding him a show home, where he can move on with someone else, as he will be the easiest to place, once he is gelded. I do really enjoy riding him, but also see where I could have done things differently.

So, I also have the two year old son of these two... He has been running on 2,000 acres in WY for he past year, growing up. I consider that he could be a wonderful next project to work on, building on what I have learned with the last two. And if he gets some of his father's talent, that would be very nice.

I have really enjoyed working with my horses from scratch and like the process of starting them. It has been almost difficult to switch into another gear and work toward polishing their skills. I wonder sometimes, if I might just end up always having a youngster to work with, alongside my mare. The newness and discovery that goes along with the early training is a lot of fun for me. How can I translate that into working further with my mare, specifically? And in a few years, with the colt, if I still have him?

I guess I see starting over with the two year old as a chance to avoid the setbacks I've allowed to happen with my mare. Sort of a new start for working on my own skills.

I didn't really mean to get this long.... Sorry about rambling on so, but the thread struck a chord with me, with the comparison between restarting and having a horse without the need for that.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 10:18 am
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Wonders what the thing Pam learnt was?

 

christie
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 Posted: Tue Oct 28th, 2008 02:06 am
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Bringing this to the top so someone can read about 'draping' reins.


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