Classical Piaffe

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HafDressage
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Classical Piaffe

Postby HafDressage » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:08 am

While were back to some interesting and more controversial threads, I need to add another fire to the flame. Perhaps you all will hate me for saying this, but I totally don't get how judges are scoring piaffes now days from some pairs versus others. Like yes it is an insanely difficult movement, but some of the competitive piaffes are so rediculously far from classical I don't get how they are getting 8's and 9's. I'm sorry to again bash anyone's favorite dressage god, but Verdades piaffe is pretty far from classical and Valegro's was also very flawed. I know how hard it is, truly, but I also think that scores for this movement are insanely inflated right now and then there seems to be little separation in the scores of someone with a better piaffe like Isabell and Weihe and others. Now obviously a million things factor into overall score and I do think all of the aforementioned pairs are pretty amazing in general, but there is not much separation in individual movement scores and I find that perplexing a bit.

Valegro from the front. This was relatively early, but it never really got better. He appears to sit and from the side things look relatively normal, but viewed from the front or watching more carefully from the side, you can see he very much offloads weight by shifting his hindlegs out to the side instead of truly bearing the weight under himself and stepping up. By the end it was super pronounced. Watch around 1:15.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQhcsnYJnts

Verdades. I see no sit underneath himself in this video or any other I've ever watched. Now perhaps this is the best he can do with his build and I'm okay with that, but I'm also not sure that is an 8.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jna-YRfauRQ
https://www.facebook.com/USADressage/videos/1640034846043901/

So anyway just some thoughts on it. :)

Dresseur
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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:37 pm

Haf, piaffes always fascinate me because this is where you see how true the collection actually is. With Valegro, yes, he's flinging his hinds to the outside, but if you look closely, he's rope-walking behind... either way - he's not loading the hind correctly. Verdades struggles, but while he doesn't sit or crouch down, there is a bit of coiling in the loins and while the transitions still stagger a bit, they've improved big time, and the croup doesn't bounce up and down as much. But, I also look at the halts because those are pretty indicative as well about the correctness of the collection. Many don't even come close to halting with the hinds under - they look more like park horses!

khall
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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby khall » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:48 pm

True both Haf and dresseur!! Especially the halts showing total lack of engagement. Pretty telling there.

So what is causing the issues with piaffe in these elite horses? Training? Conformation? RK trained horses very often show pedestal piaffe or like Parzival bouncing behind. Do you think the WBs struggle with this movement more so than the baroque horses? I do, why the GOV has approved a Lusitano for breeding.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:50 pm

Maybe you all can help me understand a comment from the Jeremy Steinberg clinic on correct trot and correct piaffe. He noted that many horses bounce up and (with the croup high) rather than swing in the back in piaffe.

I was thinking that most GP horses I've seen show in person and online show more of the up down piaffe than a swinging back piaffe. What say you? Any good examples of the difference?

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Chisamba
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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby Chisamba » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:27 pm

First off let me say that my piaffe was my weakest move, i look at a photo and cringe. So i am not an expert at developing piaffe.

However when i was at the Andreas Hausberger clinic with my mare, we achieved a very nice piaffe, with Andreas touching the hind legs with the whip and reminding me to sit up. anyway, i think some people are good at training piaffe and most of the rest are just not.

I also think that people look for a horse that is already uphill built, so when it comes to piaffe they do not actually know how to bend the joints of their hind legs. the result is the hoppy piaffe or goat on a mountain top. I think its easier to get a pleasing piaffe on a muscularly built level horse.

Yes Khall I think baroque breeds seem to manage the collection of piaffe better than the very sporty bred warmbloods.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:38 pm

So, if horse is piaffing correctly, you can sit a wine glass on the croup. It should be that smooth. Most GP horses in competition bounce up and down behind. I'll have to hunt for videos that I think show the smooth sitting.

Imo, I think training is a big factor. It is so, so easy for deviations to creep in during P/P, so if you haven't done the basics correctly - teaching the horse to come under for trot/halts etc., the faults will show in the p/p. How many people teach this technique of flexing the LS joint while they are doing the basic transitions? Not many that I know... and imo, it's telling. And, horses evade in different ways. Gala comes under spectacularly behind - but she comes under too far and avoids taking weight behind if you are not careful. Some horses will go wide, some, like Valegro, go base narrow. Some stall. My trainer's one horse - a PRE that by all accounts should have an incredibly easy time P/P, has struggled greatly with the rhythm - but because the faults were recognized and addressed, it's coming along nicely and is lovely. That horse's full sister, who was in training with her old partner, did not get corrected and now ropewalks and the rhythm is terrible. Meanwhile, another PRE that I know was taught to passage in the trot, and now has great trouble coming under. In fact, the passage was so built in, that the horse became rein lame. This is a horse that has attended clinics with the greats, and was taught to p/p like that by those people. The end result? A horse that was practically given away with un-diagnoseable lameness... who has not taken a lame step since the training was corrected. Training can create faults and over come faults and if you only ever look at the piaffe from the side, you miss things. Or, if the goal is simply "on the spot" you miss things.

piedmontfields
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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:38 pm

"How many people teach this technique of flexing the LS joint while they are doing the basic transitions? Not many that I know... and imo, it's telling. "

That is an interesting point!

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Flight
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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby Flight » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:15 pm

I find the horses that curl their hind hooves backwards strange! But yes, how are some of these horses doing some beautiful GP movements but not piaffing very well? Ding can piaffe a bit and it's far from perfect but I expect that being someone who doesn't know much. Maybe it is just the horses conformation, or is it in combination with the training? Is it the speed in which people are reaching GP and not taking enough time to develop it maybe?

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby galopp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:27 am

A horse which goes balancee (side to side either in front or behind) is too compressed, usually onto the forehand. The movement has to go somewhere to it goes out to the side. And over time horses which are balancee behind usually become base narrow in the front. A horse which bounces up usually have been initially trained with a whip onto the croup, so the horse bounces up rather than flexing all the hind leg joints.(Such an action with a whip is reserved for a horse which is too far under/stuck.) Ideally the start of piaffe is a shortened base of support (not neck), and a weight bearing/all hind leg joints bending makes it virtually impossible to raise the hind legs too high (above the coronet band). So when the horse lifts too high behind they are usually onto the forehand, it is more a leg movement than a true collection, and those find regularity difficult (and hence should be marked down). One change in the rules allowed problematic piaffe to be rewarded, and that is that piaffe is allowed to be atV, previously the horse was required to be open, finding the connection with the hand. Horses which curl the hooves back are usually up and down, on the forehand. (Are with piedmontfields.) Often horses with problematic piaffes are never worked in hand, methodically developing the basis for it, and too often backward from passage rather than forward into piaffe. For me the quality of the piaffe has to do more with training, I have seen horses which no one look at twice do lovely piaffes, they are the bloom on the rose. But they come from training toward lightness in hand and self carriage --- and that can never come from compressed outlines and torqued curbs. mho

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby kande50 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:49 pm

galopp wrote:I have seen horses which no one look at twice do lovely piaffes, they are the bloom on the rose. But they come from training toward lightness in hand and self carriage --- and that can never come from compressed outlines and torqued curbs. mho


if we look at what the hind end is doing in all the movements it is possible to see, long before we get to piaffe, whether the croup is lowering, or bouncing higher.

I also look at the horse's lower leg to see if it makes a shorter, lower arc because it's taking more weight, or if the leg is actually hovering or skipping because the horse is taking more weight on the forehand and allowing the hind end to be wild and free. :-)

I can see how it happens, as the big, leggy WB's we see so much of now often find it easy to flex their necks, which makes it easy for the rider to hold them btv, and once the horse is stuck there he can't collect so learns to bounce from leg to leg instead.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby galopp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:02 pm

I totally disagree that the horse's ability is necessarily seen before that exercise is developed. There are horses that actually need piaffe in order to develop correctly. The croup lowers because the joints learn to all flex, because of axial rotation, and because of a properly developed shortened base of support. What causes problems is using the balancing rod (aka neck) against the horse rather than allowing the horse use it properly.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby kande50 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:57 pm

galopp wrote:I totally disagree that the horse's ability is necessarily seen before that exercise is developed. There are horses that actually need piaffe in order to develop correctly.


If the croup is bouncing higher rather than lowering more, that's obvious long before the horse gets to piaffe. I can see it in lower level horses now, as their hinds will start hovering early on and then will hover more and more as they progress up through the levels. Another give away is when they trot their hind ends around their front ends on the corners.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby galopp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:37 pm

Bouncing up and down has to do with the balance (ie like tapping on top of the croup). Horses 'spin out' behind when they are over postioned laterally, sort of like a motor boat.
Last edited by galopp on Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby khall » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:49 pm

I think sometimes the riders ask for on the spot before the horse is strong enough or prepared enough, which can cause all kinds of issues. Was playing with half steps on Rip yesterday, he definitely has to be up and open to do them.

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Re: Classical Piaffe

Postby kande50 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:01 pm

galopp wrote:Bouncing up and down has to do with the balance (ie like tapping on top of the croup). Horses 'spin out' behind when they are over postioned laterally, sort of like a motor boat.


When I see a horse going consistently btv I then look at the hinds to see what they're doing, and I don't believe I've ever seen them flexing to take more weight. I see them trailing, skipping, hovering, swinging from side to side and/or spinning out, but not lowering (lowering as in lowered croup or lowering as in a lower, smoother arc).

I thought the spinning out was from the horse being so restricted in front, which seems to weight the front end so much that the only way the horse can get around a corner is to trot his hind end out around his front end?


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