Update/Chisamba thread

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Abby Kogler
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Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Abby Kogler » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:15 pm

I have been reading but not posting much, other voices speak eloquently so I just 'like' and go on. But Chisambas thread, and an extra hour this morning, motivate me to update a bit.

I still have such issues with my foot, with recurring infections and another surgery for August. I got a diagnosis of RSD (Regional Sympathetic Dystrophy) , bleah. What an interesting and unpleasant syndrome that is. But I am reasonably functional and I work around it as best I can. In the grand scheme of things it could be way worse.

I did want to post a couple of photos from the Bertrand Ravoux Legerete USA Trainer clinic program that I was accepted in to. I auditioned in October and though I was not able to ride a lot from then until the March clinic, I did what I could. I think the difference is pretty remarkable. George is a 25 yr old KWPN that was a Craigslist freebie as he had been lame and reactive and his owner who loved him had a bad bucked off injury from him and was afraid to ride him again.

goergeoct.jpg
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george march.jpg
george march.jpg (71.04 KiB) Viewed 767 times


George is a 25 yr old KWPN.

There are a lot of opinions about Phillipe Karl and Legerete and there are people who do not understand it and have been forceful and ugly trying to 'make' horses 'give' the jaw. Its very sad that these people have given the work a bad reputation in some circles.

George was heavy, a terrible puller, fancy with a nice career to 3rd, needed to be held in a double. He gets more and more fun to ride and just look at the difference in his body.

And as an aside to some posters here, a lot of the work, because of my foot and my knee, I could only walk, and I rode bareback for a lot of it.

Its not easy, but its very worth it to me. I think it is the best way to get the lovely trots of old and a lovelyier passage; I don't like that jerky hovering thing that passes for passage these days. I don't care if I never show at this point although I would still like to try; just seeing and feeling the difference in George and the others is so gratifying.

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Flight » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:38 pm

Lovely photos and sounds like you've made a big difference to George :)

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:46 pm

Glad you are feeling well enough to still be riding. I'm constantly learning how much can be done at the walk

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby demi » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:48 pm

He looks much better in the second photo. I love seeing horses as they start to bloom, and your work is making a very nice difference in George’s appearance. He looks happy enough in the first pic, but he looks engaged in the second pic.

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to more pictures in the future.

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby kande50 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Abby Kogler wrote:I don't care if I never show at this point although I would still like to try; just seeing and feeling the difference in George and the others is so gratifying.


My hope is that more "Classical" trainers will show even if they don't get the big scores, because I think the only way that judges will start to reward the kind of dressage that helps keep horses sound is if they see tests that are consistent with what the rules describe.

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Abby Kogler » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:07 pm

I scribe periodically and I do hear most judges giving lower scores for horses BTV, for stretchy circles where the nose goes down and in rather than out, for curled necks and tight backs...so they are out there.

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby kande50 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:22 pm

Abby Kogler wrote:I scribe periodically and I do hear most judges giving lower scores for horses BTV, for stretchy circles where the nose goes down and in rather than out, for curled necks and tight backs...so they are out there.


I wonder if the huge scores we see for curled necks and tight backs is way more about bringing horses along so fast that the curled necks and tight backs make up the majority of horses that get to the upper levels, so that's all the judges have to judge? It doesn't explain why the scores are so high for such poor work, but that could be about pressure on the judges to keep the $$$$$ flowing in?

I think when it comes to making money the welfare of the horses often becomes irrelevant.

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Tuddy » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:39 pm

This is beautiful Abby - please keep us posted. :)

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Abby Kogler » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:46 pm

Thanks all!

If I had to distill the difference between 'regular' dressage and this approach (French Classical) it would be thus: the French principle is Balance Before Movement and the German/Other principle is From movement Comes Balance.

After a lifetime (and I do mean lifetime; I got my first horse when I was nine and started riding in a h/j barn at 12 and started grooming at 15 and worked full time after college for Hap Hansen) in barns and in professional environments and clinics and teaching and rehabbing broken sport horses this approach made sense to me when I first came across it years ago on usenets rec.eq. Even though I know first hand that Racinet was/could be a brute and some followers of the system were even cruel the work itself intrigued me. I took ballet in high school and college to help with my riding. Developing a ballet body strikes me as the same as developing a sport horse body. In ballet, you practice in the posture of the dance. You do bar work endlessly, endlessly. The same movements, standing, basic. You work in the posture of which you are trying to achieve. As you become what you are working toward, you add the movements you are after. But you never not work in that correct posture. Meaning: you don't just start jumping around and start trying to be on point hoping that someday all that jumping around will produce the dancer body.

As I said, I have been in barns in multiple states my whole life and have groomed and braided and stood countless hours at the rails, in clinics, what have you. So many times I watched riders/trainers working on something and would think to myself 'what are they trying to achieve" and how would I see if they ever achieved it?!" Round and round under saddle, side reins or gaitmasters on the lunge "strengthening the back" (really?! Is that the posture of collection that we want? head immobilized, leaning in to the bit?) circles, circles circles, as the imbalances become confirmed in the horses body. Finally something breaks, suspensories or necks or SIs or what have you, and the cycle starts again with another horse.

Of course I have seen sound methodical work by riders who do not follow French Classical. But I have seen endless horses wrecked and riders frustrated or hurt, year after year.

Working with Bertrand and sticking to this system has been very interesting. My foot and at times my knee has kept me at the walk for most of it. But I start with the neck flexions. I reestablish those flexions which put George "in the posture of collection" and I give breaks but that is how we work. We are both terribly out of shape and so I don't work long, sometimes only 20 minutes but we are more often able to go 45 now. I don't even canter yet, he has been still too off balance to do it well. Remember this is a horse ridden always in a double with great scores to third and schooling PSG. In his old show videos you would say wow! Fancy pants! But if you took him out of that double he was a frieght train. He is not the first horse I had that experience with. The horse on my FB cover page, where I am riding in a neck rein was the same story. Shown successful through 4th but man, you needed Hulk Hogan arms in a double to do it. That never seemed right to me. That just should not be what 'dressage' is about.

So I just keep at the walk and trot work, sometimes bareback if my foot hurts to much to put on a boot or my knee hurts to much to be against the saddle flap. He is feeling better and better and I am sure the next time I try to canter he will feel balanced and light.

It is very simple, but it is not easy. You need a totally ambidextrous body and four totally independent extremeties plus your seat and back. People who started the program have dropped out. To me it is worth every frustration when I see how the boys respond to it.

Thanks!

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:33 pm

Great post and update. Thanks for sharing your on-going journey. George looks very happy!

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Josette » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:55 pm

AK - beautiful pictures of your guy and very impressed with your rehab results. Also, thanks for your detailed response. Several of your points hit home for me when you described the double bridle and how strong (freight train). My instructor swore my guy was previously ridden in a double too - same symptoms as you said. It's taking me longer to make some progress finally. Thanks!

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby kande50 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:01 pm

Abby Kogler wrote:It is very simple, but it is not easy. You need a totally ambidextrous body and four totally independent extremeties plus your seat and back. People who started the program have dropped out.


From what I've gathered, the powers that be in the program have also pushed students out, as it seems to be important to them that they don't "graduate" anyone who isn't up to their standards. The instance of it that I followed on facebook sounded more than a little bit iffy to me, but who knows what was really going on?

I think some drop out because it's just so expensive, and maybe they don't feel they're getting their money's worth?

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby Abby Kogler » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:23 pm

Yes, that is correct re the standards thing. I cant blame them. It is important to them that people who are going to represent the system do so correctly.

The people I know who dropped out had trouble with the location (one in Houston, one in NM I think) and yes, its hard to commit to the four days of clinic and travel days. I am very lucky that this is so close! and that I can adjust my days and take the time required.

It also appeared that some of the people just were not prepared/interested in changing some habits or taking the methodology seriously. And as I said, you have to have a pretty good skill set to be able to do the work well. If I had not had the past that I have I would really be struggling.

It also helps to know what you don't know, and some of the riders in some of the clinics seemed to consider Bertrand an equal. He was always very patient and kind but I was embarrassed for them at times. Coming from a George Morris type of clinic atmosphere, where if you are even in the audience and you yawn you risk being reprimanded, sometimes I wanted to smack people and whisper loudly "DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY WE ARE?!'

But I have seen that attitude at every clinic, certainly not just these. Some people just think they are doing the clinician a favor by being there and that the clinician owes them whatever. In my mind, the clinician owes you their knowledge and a fair attempt at imparting that knowledge in a way you can understand and utilize. But you owe the clinician respect at the time you are there, even if as soon as you leave your head explodes >;->

I think some people may have entered the program not really knowing just how much they would be expected to do/learn/change. That's hard for some people, I don't blame them.

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Re: Update/Chisamba thread

Postby kande50 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:37 pm

What I was hoping for was that enough trainers would graduate from the program, or at least complete enough of it, so that there would be a trainer close enough to where I live who at least understood the concept of balance before movement. So I keep checking the usa teachers in training page, and they're all around me, but all at least 4 hours away. :-(

Not that it's a big deal now, but if I could go back 10 years (or maybe about 50) it would be.


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