HANDS - (was various training topics)

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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby khall » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:08 pm

I just cannot picture what Calvin is saying.

I like the PK video of him working piaffe/passage. That horse is very up and open, not something we are used to seeing. That lends to a straight line from elbow to bit for the most part IMO.

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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby StraightForward » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:58 pm

khall wrote:I just cannot picture what Calvin is saying.

I like the PK video of him working piaffe/passage. That horse is very up and open, not something we are used to seeing. That lends to a straight line from elbow to bit for the most part IMO.


If you follow the rein line back, it intersects the rider's shoulder
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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby khall » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:05 pm

Not correct equitation though. I don't care who the pictures are of. Having moments of high hand, yes but consistent, no.

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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby Tsavo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:01 pm

One can consider any number of lines connecting any two points on a photo of a rider. Just because a line can be drawn doesn't imply any cogent biomechanics are involved.

There is a concept in science that if something is a number and you can measure it that doesn't necessarily mean anything just because it is measurable.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:23 pm

Hey guys, I edited the title of this thread to HANDS. If not ok, let me know and I'll change it back. When I first put up the thread, I didn't intend for it to include a mish-mash of training topics. I was trying to say that I like it when specific topics are spun off so that are easy to find and all in the same place. Fortunately, this thread has stayed with hands as the topic, so I think the title change is ok.

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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby StraightForward » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:15 pm

Tsavo wrote:One can consider any number of lines connecting any two points on a photo of a rider. Just because a line can be drawn doesn't imply any cogent biomechanics are involved.

There is a concept in science that if something is a number and you can measure it that doesn't necessarily mean anything just because it is measurable.


Calvin made an observation, and I was attempting to clarify with an illustration. It's actually a (fairly) straight line between three points, the snaffle to the hand to the shoulder. I think the only "cogent biomechanics" are that most people's forearm and upper arms are the same length; if you make a fist and close your elbow completely, your fist will touch your shoulder. So it makes sense that if the rider closes the arm from an obtuse angle to a 90* angle, the line from the bit would point towards the shoulder, provided the horse doesn't curl or go well above the bit. It's probably the most efficient way for a rider to initiate a lifting action on the bit, and it sounds like most of us don't aim to ride around in that position all the time, but would prefer the straight bit/hand/elbow alignment as the default position.
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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Abby Kogler » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:48 pm

Thank you MC!

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Chisamba » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:22 am

It's funny how people who. Love to argue keep on restating the one thing no one has disagreed on. That the ideal position is straight line bit to elbow has already been agreed. I haven't seen anyone say not.

The discussion is about moments of lifting, fixed hands, and lowered hands. Many of the best and most admired riders can be seen with moments of lifted hands. I have not seen many with lowered hands (below the straight line). I keep waiting for the rash of photos of low fixed hands.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby khall » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:28 am

chisamba I guess you are directing your comments at me? That I love to argue? No, what I find so interesting is how many pictures and videos that are out there from PK to Uta G to even those who post here on the board where the ideal straight line from elbow to the bit (BTW several have hypothesized that there are reasons why these elite riders ride with high hands as commonplace that there must be a reason behind it) is broken upward. Some it is just a "moment in time" others who ride this way when riding in collection as their usual MO i.e. many of the competition elite riders that have had videos posted here Uta G and Isabel W. Again as a moment in time, valid correction, as normal MO WHY? Any thoughts on this? Tsavo has ventured down this road a bit. Is it because the horses are more often these days in a vertical profile, rarely seen like the horse PK was riding in piaffe/passage with open throat latch and IFV? Yes the straight line from bit to elbow is a widely accepted classic position, so why are these elite riders going against this practice. I was thinking about this earlier and wanted to go back before the RK debacle started, Reiner K being one of the older competitive riders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXMsopDt3mE

Granat Christine S
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blGmBFbhDM8

Marzog and Ahleric
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEytZ9WGvWI

Horses with open throat latch and IFV, very different profile than what is seen in the competition scene now. Very different horses too. What we see in the competition arena at international levels are spectacular moving horses compared to Granat, Ahleric and Marzog. So is it stylized, is it training, is it the horses that are being bred these days? What happens when the rider as their normal MO rides with high hand it closes the horse's throat latch and can cause the horse to bear down rather than lift up. So does that set up a vicious cycle? I know in my own riding it can, why I will at times ride with bridged reins or neck rope or even the grab strap with a pinkie hold just as a reminder to not carry my hands high all the time.

BTW chisamba this thread also has been discussing how many elite riders do not ride with the classic arm position, but with broken upwards as the MO. Take a look at the videos that Tsavo posted on IW and UG (checkmate comment) they are consistently above the line, not just a momentary correction. WHY and what effect does this have on the horses?
Last edited by khall on Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby HafDressage » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:38 am

I haven't read most of the responses on this thread, nor the other thread that it's referencing, so I have no idea what's going on with the discussion, but I'm going to chime in some thoughts. :)

Flight wrote:What about Steffen Peters? He rides with his hands relatively low compared to others?
I wouldnt say his hands are unforgiving?


Okay so I really dislike the way Steffan rides with respect to his hands/arms. And I know someone will probably be offended by me insulting their dressage god, but that particular aspect of his riding is not ideal. I think his seat is super phenom and so he could probably do whatever he wants on some level, but for me, the hands are low and the arms often too straight. Now he isn't harsh, so I'm not saying that, but I do think that if he were to bring his hands up a bit and ride more "up to the bridle" his horses' backs would be more up, their necks would look better, and a lot of the piaffe issues with his newer horses might work themselves out. By no means I'm saying that I could do it better, but just that there is a "low hand" trend that I've heard plenty of US trainers espouse and I don't think it's helpful or particularly classical. Now, I'm not saying the opposite is correct where elbows are totally perpendicular, but somewhere in the middle of the two as a home base and then making corrections or allowments from there.

Now for me, my number one pet peeve in the world is long reins. They are NOT kinder by any stretch and once you get to a certain level, you are basically riding incorrecly if your reins are too long. Help your horse balance and connect your horse properly for god's sake (who am I yelling at? idk :lol: ). But, every once in awhile I see an upper level rider going around with their reins a mess and their horse in a training level frame trying to do I-1 and I literally want to scream at them to connect their horse. The reins, the seat, the back, the neck, the leg -- it's all interconnected. Anyway, that is my thing. :)

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:12 pm

Khall, I'm still maintaining that the moments that are captured with high hands are moments of correction, CDj doesn't ride with a constantly high hand, neither does CH. You can find just as many pics/vids of them with the ideal line as you can with the broken upward line. I see more riders doing this motion that are trying to keep the horse more up and open (not saying they are achieving it), where as the riders that are doing RK or riding very compressed tend to stay low and locked. If you watch the videos closely, you can see moments of upward gestures and then returning to ideal. Haf, I agree with you re SP. I don't much care for his hands.

A high fixed hand will close a horse up, but in a different manner than a low fixed hand. I think the operative word is fixed. Is it a constant posture and the hand fixed in one area or does the rider move to correct and push the horse back out again. I'll add that usually you see the hand steadiest in piaffe/passage, but in trot and canter, you see more movement and more corrections. The higher the level of collection, the more precarious the balance and therefore, the smaller the corrections.
Sidenote: klimke:
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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Tsavo » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:30 pm

Dresseur wrote:Khall, I'm still maintaining that the moments that are captured with high hands are moments of correction


Given the frequency of high hands in these stock photos, they must be raising their hands constantly.

The videos reveal many of these people ride around with this broken upward line.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby khall » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:44 pm

Dresseur did you watch the videos of Uta G and Isabelle W? They are riding with consistent high hands, not just a moment in time especially Uta G. Videos are much better at showing the full extent of the riding than just pictures. The video of RK at 84 Olympics clearly show him doing arets then back to neutral with arm, hand position at ideal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKbqokuTzh8&t=157s

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:54 pm

The Graf vid with Damon Jerome? I'm just speculating, because I've seen her with a less high hand on other horses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byIy0EPbpY8- he seems to want to curl and compress... every time she lowers her hand, he closes. Isabelle is Isabelle. Gotta run to a meeting.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Chisamba » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:12 pm

khall wrote:chisamba I guess you are directing your comments at me? That I love to argue? No, what I find so interesting is how many pictures and videos that are out there from PK to Uta G to even those who post here on the board where the ideal straight line from elbow to the bit (BTW several have hypothesized that there are reasons why these elite riders ride with high hands as commonplace that there must be a reason behind it) is broken upward. Some it is just a "moment in time" others who ride this way when riding in collection as their usual MO i.e. many of the competition elite riders that have had videos posted here Uta G and Isabel W. Again as a moment in time, valid correction, as normal MO WHY? Any thoughts on this? Tsavo has ventured down this road a bit. Is it because the horses are more often these days in a vertical profile, rarely seen like the horse PK was riding in piaffe/passage with open throat latch and IFV? Yes the straight line from bit to elbow is a widely accepted classic position, so why are these elite riders going against this practice. I was thinking about this earlier and wanted to go back before the RK debacle started, Reiner K being one of the older competitive riders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXMsopDt3mE

Granat Christine S
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blGmBFbhDM8

Marzog and Ahleric
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEytZ9WGvWI

Horses with open throat latch and IFV, very different profile than what is seen in the competition scene now. Very different horses too. What we see in the competition arena at international levels are spectacular moving horses compared to Granat, Ahleric and Marzog. So is it stylized, is it training, is it the horses that are being bred these days? What happens when the rider as their normal MO rides with high hand it closes the horse's throat latch and can cause the horse to bear down rather than lift up. So does that set up a vicious cycle? I know in my own riding it can, why I will at times ride with bridged reins or neck rope or even the grab strap with a pinkie hold just as a reminder to not carry my hands high all the time.

BTW chisamba this thread also has been discussing how many elite riders do not ride with the classic arm position, but with broken upwards as the MO. Take a look at the videos that Tsavo posted on IW and UG (checkmate comment) they are consistently above the line, not just a momentary correction. WHY and what effect does this have on the horses?


actually no, i was not referencing you. I suppose its my fault for being vague.

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Re: Various Training Topics

Postby Chisamba » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:22 pm

HafDressage wrote:I haven't read most of the responses on this thread, nor the other thread that it's referencing, so I have no idea what's going on with the discussion, but I'm going to chime in some thoughts. :)

Flight wrote:What about Steffen Peters? He rides with his hands relatively low compared to others?
I wouldnt say his hands are unforgiving?


Okay so I really dislike the way Steffan rides with respect to his hands/arms. And I know someone will probably be offended by me insulting their dressage god, but that particular aspect of his riding is not ideal. I think his seat is super phenom and so he could probably do whatever he wants on some level, but for me, the hands are low and the arms often too straight. Now he isn't harsh, so I'm not saying that, but I do think that if he were to bring his hands up a bit and ride more "up to the bridle" his horses' backs would be more up, their necks would look better, and a lot of the piaffe issues with his newer horses might work themselves out. By no means I'm saying that I could do it better, but just that there is a "low hand" trend that I've heard plenty of US trainers espouse and I don't think it's helpful or particularly classical. Now, I'm not saying the opposite is correct where elbows are totally perpendicular, but somewhere in the middle of the two as a home base and then making corrections or allowments from there.

Now for me, my number one pet peeve in the world is long reins. They are NOT kinder by any stretch and once you get to a certain level, you are basically riding incorrecly if your reins are too long. Help your horse balance and connect your horse properly for god's sake (who am I yelling at? idk :lol: ). But, every once in awhile I see an upper level rider going around with their reins a mess and their horse in a training level frame trying to do I-1 and I literally want to scream at them to connect their horse. The reins, the seat, the back, the neck, the leg -- it's all interconnected. Anyway, that is my thing. :)


i think everyone has good points and less good points, Steffen has certainly ridden consistently at a much higher level than I have, and very admirably. I have often wondered why Steffen tends to buy horses that have been started in the rollkur method? HafDressage, he in particular seems to drop his hands in the piaffe work. if you look at a number of photos of him, he approaches the straight line, but does drop his hands in piaffe and extensions and pirouette , he also leans in his pirouette, i once joking said ( cause leaning is my worst thing in piro) i guess if Steffen can do it and be so successful, so can i ;)

rein length : its so easy to ride by feel ( Jeremy Steinberg warned about this in the clinic notes) and longer reins are less work.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:42 pm

By the way... I'm really appreciating the civil discourse here, even when there is disagreement.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:59 pm

Dresseur wrote:By the way... I'm really appreciating the civil discourse here, even when there is disagreement.
:lol: Maybe I shouldn't post anything then.

Chisamba wrote: i think everyone has good points and less good points
Haha, yes. The thing is that we here are not all on the same page. We do not all like the same BNT's. All aren't at the same level of experience. Our end goals are different. Etc. Etc.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:01 pm

MC, you've been civil. Just blunt. Which I appreciate - I am a blunt person myself, even if my writing is a bit more tactful than I can be in person.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Fri May 04, 2018 2:21 pm

Ingrid Kimke gave a clinic in British Columbia in March 2018. I copied these comments from someone's FB. This is my bolding, because these issues are sometimes controversial.


Ingrid's favourite sayings throughout this weekend:

Quiet with your hand use your fist not your whole arm.
Keep your horse out in front of you not underneath you.
All fingers have to be closed.
Shoulder-hip-heel one line
Half halts are the most important, feet, leg, then weight into your hand
Do not give with the outside. The outside always stays. Only the inside gives.
Your half halt has to be more interesting than everything around your horse.
Ride the circle round.
Put the spur away.
Half halt before the canter. Always let them sit so the wither comes up.
Diagonal aids. The outside rein holds and the inside leg pushes to the outside.
Supple the outside ribs.
Hands together at the wither. Arm is front of the hip. Play with the first. Arm up from the elbow. Hands in front of the wither. Elbows at your side. Close your fist.
Keep the rhythm with your rising
Fix your hand. Don't lay your hand. Thumb up.
Take give. Don't hold or pull too long.
The thumbs are your roof.
Sink into the saddle, hands down, fingers closed.
You are not a passenger. You are responsible for your horses ride.
Stretch. And more stretching. It's good for him and he will like it.
Slow down your posting.
Give give give the rein. Give more.
Put your reins away. Let them slip away.
Take give, take give
Active from behind. More active.
Canter in the light seat.
Hands down, hands down, hands down.
Hands together, hands together, hands together.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Dresseur » Fri May 04, 2018 2:27 pm

Thank you so much for sharing!

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby khall » Fri May 04, 2018 5:25 pm

Thanks MC! Great notes from a fabulous rider/trainer.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby demi » Fri May 04, 2018 6:14 pm

I liked the comments also. They are worth printing out and leaving a copy on my desk to glance at frequently. Thanks for sharing MC.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Chisamba » Sat May 05, 2018 10:49 am

musical comedy wrote:Ingrid Kimke gave a clinic in British Columbia in March 2018. I copied these comments from someone's FB. This is my bolding, because these issues are sometimes controversial.


Ingrid's favourite sayings throughout this weekend:

Quiet with your hand use your fist not your whole arm.
Keep your horse out in front of you not underneath you.
All fingers have to be closed.
Shoulder-hip-heel one line
Half halts are the most important, feet, leg, then weight into your hand
Do not give with the outside. The outside always stays. Only the inside gives.
Your half halt has to be more interesting than everything around your horse.
Ride the circle round.
Put the spur away.
Half halt before the canter. Always let them sit so the wither comes up.
Diagonal aids. The outside rein holds and the inside leg pushes to the outside.
Supple the outside ribs.
Hands together at the wither. Arm is front of the hip. Play with the first. Arm up from the elbow. Hands in front of the wither. Elbows at your side. Close your fist.
Keep the rhythm with your rising
Fix your hand. Don't lay your hand. Thumb up.
Take give. Don't hold or pull too long.
The thumbs are your roof.
Sink into the saddle, hands down, fingers closed.
You are not a passenger. You are responsible for your horses ride.
Stretch. And more stretching. It's good for him and he will like it.
Slow down your posting.
Give give give the rein. Give more.
Put your reins away. Let them slip away.
Take give, take give
Active from behind. More active.
Canter in the light seat.
Hands down, hands down, hands down.
Hands together, hands together, hands together.

I found it very amusing that this was making the rounds witha photo of her riding with her hands distinctly high and apart.

I couldn't help commenting on it. However the highlighted portions are meaningless unless you can see the horse and rider they were applied to.

Edited to add... Although I agree. If Ingrid diverts from the straight line, it's to a low held hand rider. I've never seen her ride live so this observation from photos

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Chisamba » Sat May 05, 2018 10:55 am


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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Sat May 05, 2018 11:12 am

Chisamba wrote:I found it very amusing that this was making the rounds witha photo of her riding with her hands distinctly high and apart.

I couldn't help commenting on it. However the highlighted portions are meaningless unless you can see the horse and rider they were applied to.

Edited to add... Although I agree. If Ingrid diverts from the straight line, it's to a low held hand rider. I've never seen her ride live so this observation from photos
I highlighted them because they were regarding Hands where the other comments were not. You can look at most BNT's photos and see various positions and faults. Should we not post clinic notes then unless we can show pics or video of the horses to which the comment pertains?

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby demi » Sat May 05, 2018 11:46 am

Of course some of the information is specific only to certain cases, but much of it is just good general information. I highlighted the parts that I personally need to pay close attention to, and then printed it out. It’s on my desk where I’ll see it several times a day and will be reminded.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby khall » Sat May 05, 2018 11:52 am

chisamba, that pic must be an anomaly since most of what I have found have her pretty much classic position
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=pictures+of+i ... _large.jpg

Of course there are so many of her jumping and in jumping you had better be able to follow the horse's neck, especially the jumps she jumps! I got to see her go CC at WEG 2010 on a black mare, gorgeous round and she made a tough course look easy.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby kande50 » Sat May 05, 2018 2:07 pm

Chisamba wrote:I found it very amusing that this was making the rounds with a photo of her riding with her hands distinctly high and apart.


:D

I couldn't help commenting on it. However the highlighted portions are meaningless unless you can see the horse and rider they were applied to.


True. So much of what we try to describe is meaningless without visuals, as what one person sees as a good hand position that contributes to shaping a balanced horse, others think is less than ideal.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby galopp » Sat May 05, 2018 2:45 pm

The fact is that a line from elbow to horse's mouth, upper arm hanging vertical,thumb upward, is a NEUTRAL position. That is what the ODGs used. But it was also expected that the horse was up/open/ifV/active/etc. So the use then was situational. When the line is broken upward, then it is often a half halt, ask/allow/go back to neutral. Holding it steadily upward causes a compressing/closed position (esp if the rein hold is problematic with curb on the outside rather than standard 2:2), as does a too low position.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby demi » Sat May 05, 2018 2:55 pm

kande50 wrote:
True. So much of what we try to describe is meaningless without visuals, as what one person sees as a good hand position that contributes to shaping a balanced horse, others think is less than ideal.


But even with description AND visuals, we can’t always get the full picture. The histories of the horse, the rider, and the trainer, the conditions on a certain day, how they feel that day, and all sorts of things play a part in what is going on. So for me, because the information is from a trainer like Klimke, it is worth thinking about even if I don’t have all the other information, like visuals...

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Tsavo » Sat May 05, 2018 3:02 pm

galopp wrote:The fact is that a line from elbow to horse's mouth, upper arm hanging vertical,thumb upward, is a NEUTRAL position. That is what the ODGs used. But it was also expected that the horse was up/open/ifV/active/etc. So the use then was situational. When the line is broken upward, then it is often a half halt, ask/allow/go back to neutral. Holding it steadily upward causes a compressing/closed position (esp if the rein hold is problematic with curb on the outside rather than standard 2:2), as does a too low position.


Does PK ride up/open/ifV/active/etc? If he does then why all the stock photos of him having a broken line upward? it is hard to believe those photos happened to be taken only during HH or he is HHing virtually all the time which is diametrically opposed to the claim that these folks are working towards never needing HHs, yes?

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby galopp » Sat May 05, 2018 4:29 pm

I have watched him in real time on a bunch of different horses, traditionally he went back to neutral. In the photos there is a tendency to have a broken line. That said he also uses the fillis/schultheis reinhold, so the snaffle is (may be) lifting into the corners of the lips. And the question is whether he would do this with a horse which he actually had from the beginning, rather than 'retreads' which he is usually dealing with. The action is different if it is with a curb in the traditional (in which case the curb could easily be used), 2:2, and way different if it the 2:2 with curb on outside (most of the rider's de jour) where it definitely would cause longitudinal flexion instead of opening or lifted. mho

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby HafDressage » Sat May 05, 2018 10:39 pm

musical comedy wrote:Ingrid's favourite sayings throughout this weekend:

Do not give with the outside. The outside always stays. Only the inside gives.


Thanks for sharing Musical comedy. So, I probably subscribe to this for the most part, but there are many trainers who advocate a bit more give (not giving) in the outside rein. So, "what you take up on the inside, you give out on the outside." So, if you were in a corner and you have more inside flexion and bend, you would allow more with the outside rein. Now my trainer growing up, who was more traditional, would say to never give the outside in a corner. Two slightly different methods.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Sat May 05, 2018 10:58 pm

HafDressage wrote: So, "what you take up on the inside, you give out on the outside." So, if you were in a corner and you have more inside flexion and bend, you would allow more with the outside rein.
I've heard that advice many years ago. I ask, why would you ever 'take up on the inside'? I think Ingrid was meaning not to release the outside rein. We can allow but still have contact. My outside rein is never ever slack. It's one of the first things I look at when assessing someone's photo. If I see a wobbly outside rein, I know the horse isn't truly connected.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Tsavo » Sun May 06, 2018 12:50 am

I ran into an issue with never giving up the outside... blocking on the outside (going left). To get over this, I had to consciously micromanage the outside rein for several weeks until I found the point of not abandoning ship but also not blocking.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Sun May 06, 2018 1:01 am

Tsavo wrote:I ran into an issue with never giving up the outside... blocking on the outside (going left). To get over this, I had to consciously micromanage the outside rein for several weeks until I found the point of not abandoning ship but also not blocking.

What happened when you blocked the outside? Was this in trot, canter, or both? Maybe I do it too and am unaware.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby HafDressage » Sun May 06, 2018 1:30 am

musical comedy wrote:
HafDressage wrote: So, "what you take up on the inside, you give out on the outside." So, if you were in a corner and you have more inside flexion and bend, you would allow more with the outside rein.
I've heard that advice many years ago. I ask, why would you ever 'take up on the inside'? I think Ingrid was meaning not to release the outside rein. We can allow but still have contact. My outside rein is never ever slack. It's one of the first things I look at when assessing someone's photo. If I see a wobbly outside rein, I know the horse isn't truly connected.


I always have the inside rein unless i'm purposefully giving it. The inside rein is in my mind super misunderstood and there is this erroneous fear that if we use the inside rein we are riding incorrectly. Of course, the opposite of pulling on the inside rein is terrible, but the inside rein is an important aid, just like the outside. The inside rein is the rein of flexion and direction. My goal is always evenness between the two reins, but in turns, I use the inside rein to aid flexion and signal direction. So, I think there are lots of reasons why you would have more inside rein and esp in a turn.

But I do think some trainers are more in to "allowing" with the outside than others.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Tsavo » Sun May 06, 2018 1:30 am

The corker is that I did not realize it. I was gigged in lessons. I think the outside hind must have been not tracking up.

It was hard because I have in my mind that a 20-m circle has practically no bend. I was riding it with NO bend. This was in trot mainly as I recall.

When I started giving more on the outside going left my horse took it and lengthened his outside. So once I addressed it I noticed it. But if I wasn't taking lessons I am not sure I would have noticed it. Since then I have read about having the right "value" in the contact. That is what it as. I had contact but it was not alive.

This was also a time where I was "abandoning ship" when my horse was going correctly and I was getting gigged on that. I think the blocking on the outside was my incorrect response to trying to fix the abandoning ship issue.

I hate dressage. I wish I could quit it. :-)

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby khall » Sun May 06, 2018 3:59 am

Some thoughts re inside and outside rein and their use and intention. I do agree with tsavo that a rider can block the horse on the outside rein, there has to be an allow and sometimes (esp with the greenies) there is an opening of the outside rein to encourage the shift of the shoulders out, think a horse falling onto inside shoulder. But the connection with the outside rein comes from the release to the inside rein, the horse flexes and gives when asked to release the inside rein and then fills the outside rein, the rider should never take the outside rein. I do not agree with hafdressage that the inside rein is the rein of direction, because you can absolutely have a flexion left and be on a circle right (meaning to!). The inside rein is the rein of flexion and bend, but should not be used for direction. IMO it is the seat aids more than the rein aids that are for direction (in a trained horse that is, greenies yeah a bit different)

So I can ride a circle right in counter flexion, counter bend and even counter SI so that the rein is saying stay bent to the outside but my seat is saying but stay on the circle right. A very productive exercise and one used when a horse is falling out the outside shoulder. I also use this in my every day riding, where I will ride SI circle R, to circle L and counter SI. So keep the bend when changing out of the circle use of course both directions, can be very telling.

tsavo yes I do think dressage riders have issues! A bit warped to want to dig into the details as much as we do! I tell you what though when I am having rides like I have been on Rip, it all is worth it! Had a blast on him with the double yesterday, the best he has gone in the double.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby HafDressage » Sun May 06, 2018 5:17 am

khall wrote: I do not agree with hafdressage that the inside rein is the rein of direction, because you can absolutely have a flexion left and be on a circle right (meaning to!). The inside rein is the rein of flexion and bend, but should not be used for direction. IMO it is the seat aids more than the rein aids that are for direction (in a trained horse that is, greenies yeah a bit different)


Of course you can turn a horse without the inside rein and especially an advanced horse, but that doesn't make the inside rein any less the rein of direction and flexion in normal work. Do I think you can ride a correctly bend and flexed circle, shoulder-in, half-pass without the inside rein playing a role? No, not truly correctly and the inside rein is the very clearest of aids to help signal direction. This, of course, doesn't mean pull them around by the inside rein or even start exercises with the inside rein aid, which I think is what everyone pictures whenever you say inside rein plays a role in turning. To me this means a subtle and sensitive connection to the inside aids to help in direction and flexion used in coordination with the seat and outside aids .

A few quotes from Podhajsky (who is basically my dressage god) below to better explain what I mean:

In reference to a circle - "The inside rein must hold the horse on the track and give him the position while the outside rein defines the size of the arc as well as the degree of the position. By the influence of this outside rein on the hind leg of the horse on the same side, the rider's outside leg, which must be employed behind the girth, is helped to prevent the hindquarters from swinging out and at the same time to maintain the bend of the horse's body, so that it conforms with the arc of the circle."

In reference to volte - "The horse is led into the circle by the inside rein and bent around the rider's inside leg at the girth. This leg is also responsible for maintaining the forward motion and the regular rhythm. The outside rein defines the size of the circle and the degree of position; it helps the outside leg-passive behind the girth- to bed the horse around the inside leg and to prevent the hindquarters from falling out."

In reference to shoulder-in - "The shoulder is taken into the circle with the inside rein, while the outside rein must prevent the horse from bending his neck too much. The inside rein maintains the position and the outside rein defined the degree of the position and lead the horse in the desired direction. The rider's inside leg, with a deep knee, is applied on the girth and maintains the inside bend of the horse's body evenly from head to tail. It also causes the inside foreleg to step over that of the outside and the inside hind leg to step well under the body."

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby Chisamba » Sun May 06, 2018 5:26 am

I ride and teach direct, indirect and opening inside rein. I agree that the inside rein is as necessary as the outside rein.

I ride the horse in three parts, as if three coaches on a train. Head and neck are basically communicated with by length of rein and height of hand. Shoulders by position of hands, caboose by seat and leg position. I keep this very clear and consistent so that if I need to adjust shoulder, degree of bend direction of travel, etc the horse understands what I want even if it's a new movement.

Legs and seat shape back and quarters. I do not, as some teach, push my leg forward to move the shoulder.

If course all the parts are connected and so once the aids are taught and understood they are rarely isolated.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby galopp » Sun May 06, 2018 3:44 pm

Perhaps there is a mix up of the stages of training. When AP is speaking about the movements the horse is already in a stage of collection, where the inside rein can be often given away (uberstreichen), and the horse is between the inside leg and outside rein, and the seat and leg (weight) are the more important aspects of balance nuance/line/etc. Whereas the earlier discussion is more about educating the horse to the line at all. mho

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby musical comedy » Sun May 06, 2018 4:25 pm

galopp wrote:Perhaps there is a mix up of the stages of training. When AP is speaking about the movements the horse is already in a stage of collection, where the inside rein can be often given away (uberstreichen), and the horse is between the inside leg and outside rein, and the seat and leg (weight) are the more important aspects of balance nuance/line/etc. Whereas the earlier discussion is more about educating the horse to the line at all. mho
I don't see where the 'earlier discussion' was about educating the horse. Can you point to where that is. We don't know anything about the horses Ingrid was commenting on. For myself (and I think the others here commenting) we are talking about horses that already understand the concept of connection to the outside rein. At least I hope that is the case.

What you write above "the horse is between the inside leg and outside rein, and the seat and leg (weight) are the more important aspects of balance nuance/line/etc." is what I advocate. For young/green horses, that's another story. They have to learn to respond to the inside aids first and opening reins, etc.

I don't like AP's comments so much. They're not wrong, but too much emphasis on what inside rein does. Were his writings translated?

khall wrote: I do think dressage riders have issues! A bit warped to want to dig into the details as much as we do!
Agree, and that is what I don't much like about internet dressage discussions. However, they really appeal to the intellecutual mind set. So much of my riding is done automatically. I don't think about "do I do this or that with this or that rein". Once years back someone on the udbb (might have been Galopp) said that if you can't explain what or why you are doing something, you don't understand it. I don't completely agree with that. I think some of us have feel and just instinctively put on the right aids.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby khall » Sun May 06, 2018 4:41 pm

I had said green horses and trained horses are very different in their understanding of the aids. You do need the inside rein for direction with a green bean, but you absolutely should not need it with a trained horse, you should be able to release the inside rein and the horse stay in the direction and bend etc you have established. Using the inside rein with a trained horse will block the inside hind. I can't count how many times I have released the inside rein (uberstreichen) during SI or riding a circle as a test of the horse. I absolutely know that when I work my trained horses in hand I can easily do SI with just my body language and the outside rein. The horses should be relying less and less on rein aids and more on the seat aids as the training progresses.

SRS/Podohajsky do not use lateral work on bending lines very often, usually on through a corner and not used on circles. Nor do you read or see where they do much counter lateral work. Nuno Olivera and his proteges' and PK all do very much use this training. The aids are used in concert with each other, seat, weight, legs, hands with increasing lightness as the horse develops. I've always been taught the rein aids are the last to be applied, seat legs first. So I do still firmly say that the inside rein on a trained horse should have little to do with the direction of where the horse is going. By then the rider should have better shoulder control/mobilization and we all know where the shoulders go, not the nose of the horse, is where the rest of the horse will go.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby galopp » Sun May 06, 2018 9:29 pm

I think with what AP wrote that it was in a frame of reference of an entire book, but we have to understand he had to first be a teacher of riding (and yes, he wrote 5 books I think). In writing speaking in one book to the less inexperienced rider, and also the experienced rider.

Agree that green and trained horse have very different needs and progression in understanding of the (rein) aids. For that we do have a inside rein for a green bean (as well as a bearing/neck rein as well). And for sure once the horse is between the inside leg and outside rein, there should be very little need for it (ie in shoulder in/etc). Yet why is uberstreichen basically now not only missing in tests, but virtually unseen in training? Or has the intention of lightness and self carriage but faded away?

Certainly the SRS did use lateral work on bended lines (ie passade), AP and Karl used such work. I think perhaps it is the period of time that it has faded away with little time for anything but presentations vs school. But it was previously taught a la Guerinere.

I might I have alluded to being able to explain something we do to 'own it', it is about putting actions into words and teaching/explaining it to others. Instinct may be great for some riders (I know of two who are gifted by God), and they are often good trainers, but they tend to be poor teachers because they cannot put what they do into words.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby demi » Sun May 06, 2018 10:11 pm

I have a good friend that grew up in a musical family of 7 kids. Two of her older brotheres went on to play in famous bands. She learned how to play the piano and sing as a toddler. By ear. She won singing contests, and fiddling contests along with her brothers. BUT, when she was in her teens, she studied music theory. She says that when she started to learn theory, music became more enjoyable than she EVER imagined. She says “yes, play by ear, but if you really want to understand, learn theory.”

As an aside: I love to hear her sing and it inspires me. We sing together sometimes and even tho I am extremely limited in my vocal abilities, we enjoy ourselves immensely. I get stimulated somehow listening to her, and rise to the occasion.

I guess my point is, that life (including dressage!)is complex. We can’t figure it out. So be open minded, work hard, and then let it happen.

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Re: HANDS - (was various training topics)

Postby kande50 » Sun May 06, 2018 10:42 pm

Tsavo wrote:
I hate dressage. I wish I could quit it. :-)


And let it die the slow, painful death that it deserves....

I think I might be getting there, slowly, as whatever drove it before is finally drying up and blowing away.

Trail riding has actually started to become more interesting, and trailering out to ride in new places less interesting, so there's hope.


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