Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

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piedmontfields
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Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:15 pm

(These are my notes from a clinic. I have combined comments from a variety of rides into broad topical areas.)

Rider Responsibilities

The warm-up is a time for limbering up. It involves changes of rein all of the time.

Watch the outside leg. Toe up + heels down bulks the calf appropriately for aids.
When haunches out is difficult for the horse, give the outside rein forward.

Remember forward-thinking hands in counter canter. Don’t hold the horse in counter canter. It’s when he needs to find maximum bending of his joints.

For the leg and back, the outside *knee* needs to go back in the outside bending aids. When you take the knee back, it puts you on that outside sit bone. If you raise the heel, this doesn’t happen.

If you do exercises without bending, you stress the horse’s joints. Indirect rein controls the inside shoulder. The horse is bent around the inside leg, but not with the inside leg. The outside leg bends the horse.

Canter is a lateral movement, not a pendulum. You sit upright and you rotate. The movement of the whole rein and the torso is a circle.

All schooling of the horse is about CHANGE. Longer/shorter posture, longer/shorter strides, and straightness/bend.

Any 2-track work without bending is very hard on the joints. Bend provides shock absorption.

When the horse tilts into a rein, yield that rein to correct the tilt.

One must always coach towards engagement and against speed. Every transition engages the horse.

In walk pirouette, keep the shoulders fairly quick as the hind sits and steps. When we yield the reins, it is so that the joints are free to carry the horse and rider. When the shoulder is ahead of the hips in a canter pirouette, the horse can sit more.

A horse can be controlled on a number of rein lengths.

Horses don’t want lots of messages or aids. They want to settle and chug along. They don’t always want to be doing something or to feel “do this, do that.”

Contact is correct when you can’t feel the horse’s mouth. This is heresy today. By this I mean there is no sense of muscling in the rider. The horse feels in his hocks the movement of the bridle. If the bridle is busy, it interferes with the hocks. The bridle hangs in the horse’s mouth. The hocks connect to that hanging bridle.

To address over-flexion:
1. Don’t use too much inside rein to shape or turn the horse.
2. Check whether there is enough energy and engagement from the haunches.

Remember, the nose should travel is front of the eyeballs.

To correct over-flexion:

1. Slow down. Frustrate the horse’s kinetic energy. This makes the horse use actual muscle instead of kinetic energy.
2. Yield both reins to a feeling of emptiness.
3. Drive with the inside leg.
This will allow the horse to move from the power of the joints and muscles.

To correct over-flexion in 2-track work, 1. Slow down 2. Release the reins and 3. Drive.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (2)

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:16 pm

On Collection

Collection is not making things small and miserable. It is amplification of the gaits: “I slow you and sit you down behind the saddle.” Collection is not inactivity. It’s a very special activity. The horse has to *experience* collection (to learn it).

Haunches-in is useful for collection and important for stifles.
Haunches-out is energizing (after haunches-out, go forward with that energy).
Shoulder-in is collecting. Shoulder-out is energizing.

Working on collection is not working on inhibition. You free the horse to work in the haunches. For example, renvers helped to round the back of the horse. It’s hard for Sammy. This is homework.

Practice collected canter-halt-canter UP. Use a sudden hug of the legs for the canter aid. Ride the school canter without the hands.

When you collect, it is okay to slow the tempo. To teach the horse, we have to make them experience what we want.

Half steps are half the distance to the front leg hoof print. It is best to do them from a collected walk. Half steps are like a moveable piaffe. Hang the horse on his haunches. Watch for irregularity. Take irregularity out by yielding the rein on the uneven leg. When half steps inflate, it is more like school trot. And then from school trot, go to working trot and then to medium. Expand the trajectory of the hoof falls.

Suppleness and Engagement

Suppleness is changeability, accessibility. This needs to be there at the beginning of training.

A well-engaged horse can do 100s of different trots and canters.

A horse who cannot be changed by the aids of the rider is not a supple horse and is not correctly trained.

One definition of engagement: The horse excels at doing the part of the exercises that defines it. For ex. at halt, the horse is immobile. In half pass, the horse is straddling. For engagement, work on the features that makes the definition of that movement.

The goal of two track movements is consistency stride by stride. In right shoulder in, use the right rein and no left rein. In half pass, the horse’s legs have to straddle. There is a lot more than crossing. Deeper and high half pass is a sign of more engagement.

Remember, the short frame is something that very few horses can learn (from engagement).

The horse anchors in the lumbar, anchoring the hocks. Then we witness improved engagements. The rider’s legs feel the horse’s energy and can displace the horse and bend the horse. Displacement happens in travers; herding happens in half-pass.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (3)

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:16 pm

Sampling of Exercises

Centerline, 4 steps half pass left, 4 steps half pass right, then go left. Repeat.

You can go from half-pass to a half circle in haunches in (a kind of “trot pirouette”), and then bend the other way and turn the other way. This is very helpful for the lumbar back.

From the corner in trot, half pass then shoulder in, half pass, then shoulder in. This exercise requires the crossing of the hind legs.

The schaukel exercises (halt-reinback-walk-reinback-trot or canter) are very useful. When the horse backs, it is no rein. Use your boots. Legs push the skin of the horse backwards.

For a greener horse: From C, trot shoulder in right 4 steps. Then leg yield left 4 steps. In this case, we start with the hardest part of the exercise. Notice that the horse’s trot starts to become more cadenced by the time he reaches the wall after the leg yield.

From C, haunches in. At X, change to shoulder out.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby demi » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:59 pm

Thanks for the notes!

One thing that stood out from CdK (1) was “Horses don’t want lots of messages or aids. They want to settle and chug along. They dont always want to be doing something or to feel something.”

I have been thinking a about this very thing a lot lately for several reasons. It fits with a maxim from SvD that says, “Being moved, not moving actively, this is the motto!”. When I read that in her book, I was reminded of a little song that Erik Herbermann sang to me in a clinic one time (I’ll never forget it). It was to the tune of the old Brylcreem jingle (Google it if you’re too young to remember Brycreem!). It went:

“Aiding, a little dab will do ya, aiding, you look so debonair. Aiding, the horses will pursue ya, they’ll reach right for you hand when it is there.”

So minimal aids...allow the horse to move you.

And then, since I’ve been watching JS videos, I’ve been so taken with how quietly he rides. His aids are barely visible even in the vid of Augie’s 10th ride (so quiet riding and aiding isn’t just for advanced horses...).

This also makes me think about how JS rides in the big jumping arena, and how doing dressage outside of the ring lends itself to developing quiet, minimal aids. For example, in the standard dressage arena, the turns come up fast and often, but in a much bigger area, the rider has a lot more time to give an aid at the best moment for it. It really gives the horses a chance to “settle and chug along”. And it gives the rider a chance to feel for and start to recognize the right timing for things.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:04 am

demi wrote:This also makes me think about how JS rides in the big jumping arena, and how doing dressage outside of the ring lends itself to developing quiet, minimal aids. For example, in the standard dressage arena, the turns come up fast and often, but in a much bigger area, the rider has a lot more time to give an aid at the best moment for it. It really gives the horses a chance to “settle and chug along”. And it gives the rider a chance to feel for and start to recognize the right timing for things.


This is a really good point and might be another reason why I always feel 1. I ride better and 2. Emi responds to very quiet aids when we work out in the fields. I do work in a large arena with jumps, too, but there is a fair amount of dodging items vs lots of room to chug (although when the large track is clear, it is excellent for that). And the items move a lot so I am not necessarily skilled at dodging!!

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:07 am

Overall comment on my experience this clinic:

It was more overwhelming proof that classical training just plain works, on every rider and every horse. There was quite a variety of both in the clinic. Although there was plenty of theory presented, I was filled with very practical tools to execute every ride.

I also loved how every time there was a "horse issue" (unevenness in one leg in a movement, tilted head, less thoroughness on one side), Charles commanded "yield that rein (aka give that rein forward)". Every time, the horse improved/straightened/tilt vanished/power was increased. In short, solve it through movement and the hind legs, not the reins.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:15 am

piedmontfields wrote:
CdK wrote:

If you do exercises without bending, you stress the horse’s joints.

Any 2-track work without bending is very hard on the joints.

Then leg yield left 4 steps.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:21 am

piedmontfields wrote:I also loved how every time there was a "horse issue" (unevenness in one leg in a movement, tilted head, less thoroughness on one side), Charles commanded "yield that rein (aka give that rein forward)". Every time, the horse improved/straightened/tilt vanished/power was increased. In short, solve it through movement and the hind legs, not the reins.


Fix it forward. That is, fix something by allowing it forward versus holding back something else to match. That's one thing I have tried to use in my riding.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:38 am

The shoulder-in to leg yield movement (FYI, if you or others are interested) was for a horse that "knew" leg yield but did not know shoulder in. AKA, a green horse who started "dressage training" two months prior. And when the pair did it, there was OMG *bend* in the leg yield. Et, voila, there was suspension in the trot after the leg yield.

You should go to one of these. They are not far away for you! FYI, there may be another opportunity in October.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:25 am

Canter plié

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:49 am

Bien sûr, there was a lot of canter plié! Usually in the warm up, but for greener horses, later in the work.

p.s. I love canter plié and counter bent canter half pass for my horse. Super for the warm-up.
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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:54 am

piedmont first of all excellent notes! Lots to ponder here:)

Can you elaborate a bit on this statement: Canter is a lateral movement, not a pendulum. You sit upright and you rotate. The movement of the whole rein and the torso is a circle.

I guess I am not seeing what he is saying here.

And this: In right shoulder in, use the right rein and no left rein.

So in the bend right use right rein and no left? Not what I was taught. The opposite is what I was taught.

Overall though this is just good sound teaching that is applicable to us all.

I do tend to ride in the field a good bit, I just like it (except when the turkey vultures are out! They are creepy and distract me as well!) I do ask for "work" in the field, from lateral work to CC to lots and lots of transitions of all sorts (in between gaits, within gaits, in lateral work etc)

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:11 am

If lateral work minus bend is bad then why is he using LY and plié?

There are people who do not use LY and I don't know their reasons. AT one point CdK appears to be in that camp but of course he is not in that camp.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:35 am

shall wrote: Can you elaborate a bit on this statement: Canter is a lateral movement, not a pendulum. You sit upright and you rotate. The movement of the whole rein and the torso is a circle.


I think the gist of this comment was that a good canter seat does not move forward and back (like a pendulum). It has a a lateral + circular movement to it. The inside shoulder and outside shoulders are in different planes of motion. This comment reminded me of other teaching where he has pointed out that shoulder in is a "sister" movement to canter (as rein back is a sister movement to piaffe).
.
shall wrote: And this: In right shoulder in, use the right rein and no left rein.


Yes, this is the opposite of what many of us are taught. In a similar way that CdK teaches "canter onto the rein of the lead", he was asking riders to shoulder in onto the rein of the bend. Another way of putting it is to lessen the restriction of the outside rein so that the horse can bend. I think he put it like this to get a softer outside rein from a rider. Since I have been thinking/practicing this a lot lately after a JJ lesson, I included it in these notes.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:38 am

Tsavo wrote:If lateral work minus bend is bad then why is he using LY and plié?

There are people who do not use LY and I don't know their reasons. AT one point CdK appears to be in that camp but of course he is not in that camp.


CdeK uses a lot of canter plié in teaching. Perhaps because the canter is bent it still fits the pattern for shock absorption.

In general, he did not suggest leg yielding in trot (but rather shoulder in), but some riders used it and he worked with it.

My understanding from various other sources is that leg yielding simply offers fewer developmental (strengthening, engaging) benefits for the horse than shoulder in. However, many riders (and horses) find leg yield easier to understand, so it can be a starting point. It has also become "a thing" that people practice for tests.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Fzybtfrm » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:55 am

Can someone refresh my memory on what canter plie is? TIA.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:58 am

They may find it easier to understand but it is technically difficult per Dingo's breakfast club...

http://www.dingosbreakfastclub.net/Ding ... ield1.html

Note she completely disagrees about plie...

Lateral work may be performed in walk and trot. Leg yield in canter is a severe exercise: its obedience effects can probably be met by exercises in counter canter.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:02 pm

Canter plie is when a horse is on right lead and they are yielding aka moving left. It deepens the step of the inside hind leg under the center of mass of the body. Canter HP right engages the outside hind as it moves towards CM as the horse moves right.

tsavo why most classically trained trainers do not use LY is because there is no bend in the movement. When there is no bend there is no engagement in the movement. A true LY has the horse's body straight with just flexion at the poll. The legs cross but do not engage so the horse hyper flexes the spine. Now I do use yielding aka moving sideways in SI so there is bend yet asking for more engagement of the inside hind as the horse yields sideways in the lateral movement.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:10 pm

Fzybtfrm wrote:Can someone refresh my memory on what canter plie is? TIA.


as khall says it is staying parallel to the long side and moving away from the lead.

I have also done this movement into the lead but that is noticeably harder for the horse. I didn't do it much because of this.

I no longer do canter in SI because I am persuaded about the issue of the front having to cross. I go no further than SF/position. Canter LY into the lead when in SF/position requires this crossing also and that is why it is harder than plie.
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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby kande50 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:22 pm

piedmontfields wrote:
My understanding from various other sources is that leg yielding simply offers fewer developmental (strengthening, engaging) benefits for the horse than shoulder in. However, many riders (and horses) find leg yield easier to understand, so it can be a starting point. It has also become "a thing" that people practice for tests.


I think some also use the term leg yield to mean bent leg yield. IOW, they're yielding out on the circle with the same bend they had on the circle, rather than starting with a straight horse and keeping the horse straight for the yield.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Dresseur » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:47 pm

As always, thank you for your notes Piedmont! Lots to digest here. As I'm thinking about the SI notes - I touch the inside rein to indicate that I want the shoulders to come off the wall, but then I let the horse bend away from my inside leg. I can let go of the inside at any point. I don't do much with the outside rein other than to touch to indicate the boundary as that encourages tilting of the head. If the horse is overbent through the neck or shoulders (popping the shoulder or just neck bending, then I'll take a more definite feel of the outside rein - and I treat the SI more like a leg yield. If I am off the wall on quarterline, my outside leg holds the haunches and captures the bend so that it stays on line.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:05 pm

Tsavo wrote:I no longer do canter in SI because I am persuaded about the issue of the front having to cross. I go no further than SF/position. Canter LY into the lead when in SF/position requires this crossing also and that is why it is harder than plie.


Corrected a typo.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:11 pm

Dresseur wrote:As always, thank you for your notes Piedmont! Lots to digest here. As I'm thinking about the SI notes....


As always, you're welcome! To add to the shoulder in musings: CdeK offered that guidance (let go of the outside rein) when a pair was doing more of a leg yield than a shoulder in (in other words, they needed more bend).

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:12 pm

I do SI from inside hip to outside rein. My horse is so attuned to pushing my inside hip forward to stay square with the hanches within the bend that he will do a passable SI from inside hip forward alone. It won't stay passable without outside rein though. Inside rein is only for flexion.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:02 pm

Tsavo inside hip forward? Not back? I rotate so that my shoulders stay in line with the horse's shoulders and my hips are slightly rotated to the inside, inside hip back. Rip will do SI mostly from my seat and legs at this point in our journey. But I have never just done SI off the inside rein. I do get where CDK says that we should not block them but allow with the outside rein, yes, but that does not mean no contact and definitely not with contact on inside rein.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:36 pm

I am not Tsavo, but to me the seat for left lead canter is very similar to the seat for left shoulder in. Left inside hip is forward.

I think what is hard to understand when reading clinic notes is that sometimes we are guided by a trainer to greater extremes (ex. no outside rein) in order to effect change. That guidance can be generally useful to consider, though, so I do try to include these comments in my shared notes.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Dresseur » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:45 pm

piedmontfields wrote:
Dresseur wrote:As always, thank you for your notes Piedmont! Lots to digest here. As I'm thinking about the SI notes....


As always, you're welcome! To add to the shoulder in musings: CdeK offered that guidance (let go of the outside rein) when a pair was doing more of a leg yield than a shoulder in (in other words, they needed more bend).


This makes absolute sense. You can't restrict the outside of the horse or you just end up with 2 short sides of the horse.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:15 pm

In SI my inside hip is back not forwards like canter seat. If you keep your trunk in one piece and core together the hips should turn to the inside slightly less than the shoulders. That is how I learned to do SI years ago and how I do it still today. Inside leg to outside rein but once the horse gets in better self carriage the rein does less and less.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:50 pm

khall wrote:Tsavo inside hip forward? Not back? I rotate so that my shoulders stay in line with the horse's shoulders and my hips are slightly rotated to the inside, inside hip back. Rip will do SI mostly from my seat and legs at this point in our journey. But I have never just done SI off the inside rein. I do get where CDK says that we should not block them but allow with the outside rein, yes, but that does not mean no contact and definitely not with contact on inside rein.


The hips have to hold the haunches straight whilst the shoulders come in to produce the bend. Instead of blocking the outside hind from participating in the bend I just make a path for the inside hind to keep up with the outside hind. This is in keeping with my efforts to always try to aid forward and not block anything. My inside hip is not actually forward because my hips are parallel with my horse's hips. It is a tiny feeling of consciously keeping the inside hip forward that my horse really likes. The reason I found this is because blocking the bend behind the saddle by pulling the outside hip back doesn't work on my horse.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:15 pm

If the inside hip comes back then it will be leg yieldy I think.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:50 pm

So do you disassociate your shoulders and your hips? Ok that makes a bit more sense but that may be just your individual horse. Every horse I have ever ridden from green beans to GP I have ridden SI as I have described. Horses that I have trained and horses that were trained by others. I have never had any comments over the years that I am doing it wrong, ever.

What I have been taught is that the shoulders of the rider should stay in alignment with the horse's shoulders (or vice versa) and the hips should be in alignment with the horse's hips. So in SI the horse's shoulders very much should come in but their hips will have slight inside rotation yet should still track straight. The bend comes from inside leg into outside rein. Outside leg behind the girth to keep the outside leg from stepping out (rail will do this as well) inside leg at their girth to facilitate the inside bend and step of inside leg to center mass.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:15 pm

khall, this may be a matter of language, but if you were to ask me "what bends the horse", I would probably say the inside sit bone/leg indicates a direction of bend and the outside leg does the bending. There are degrees of this of course and it can be pretty light and subtle.

To tell if we are even remotely talking about the same thing, I will ask whether you think the seat in shoulder in has more in common with the seat in canter or the seat in trot. That is about the best translation I can do! (for me, shoulder in seat is more similar to canter seat).

I don't doubt that you are able to achieve shoulder in using your aids (hey, skilled people get on my horse and have no problem with the changes; me, not so much!).

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:34 pm

To me neither trot seat (which is square on the horse) or canter seat where inside seat bone slightly ahead of outside are similar to SI seat position. I had always been taught that there should be more weight in the inside seat bone to help engage the inside hind but over the years I have found that depends on the horse. For a green bean in SI/SF I often will indicate my weight into the outside knee to help the horse go down the wall. So you get the the shoulders off the line and then indicate with the energy/weight down the wall/fence to keep the horse going in the correct direction. Most of the time I sit evenly on my seat bones, occasionally I will weight the inside but not often. Seat is not square on the horse.

So I practice and teach this even on the ground (we do lots of in hand work here, amazing how it transfer to US work). I stand erect with shoulders square and then rotate my shoulders to the inside keeping my core together. When my shoulders turn, so do my hips but to a lesser degree. That is my SI position on top of the horse. You can feel the inside leg stays at the girth and the outside legs slides slightly behind the girth. It is the aids of the hips and legs and seat that keep the horse going down the side line and the shoulders/hands/ reins that bring the shoulders to the inside.

I've been taught that SF is first step onto a 20 m circle and SI is first step onto 10 m circle, so SI aid is turning aid.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:10 pm

khall wrote:So do you disassociate your shoulders and your hips?


Yes you have to in order to have the hips square with the rail and the shoulders off the rail.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:55 pm

I appreciate the explanations! The fascinating experiment would be to get on each other's horses and see if our various aids work across bodies :D I suspect they would...

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Chisamba » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:00 am

Cdk was a (apparently very good) jumper rider before he reinvented himself.

Reading your notes reminded me why I find him to be a person I don't work well with. He is full of contradictory statements and exercises.

In my opinion being old doesn't make you classical.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:14 am

I agree he is self-contradictory but I think he is horse-centered.

Also I don't understand why he told that person to use more inside rein in SI versus less outside rein which was blocking the bend and was the actual problem. Because the outside rein is everything, it is always going to be a fine line between correct use and blocking IMO.
Last edited by Tsavo on Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby demi » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:57 pm

Sometimes things seem contradictory because we just dont see the whole picture. It is impossible to see the whole picture much of the time simply because we aren’t there. It can be hard to see the whole picture even when we ARE there on our own horse...

As for not being able to see the whole picture, Im having a hard time following some of this SI discussion and some of the posts seem to say contradictory things. As Piedmont said, it might be interesting to try SI on each other’s horses. That could be a fun experiment :lol: I’m thinking it’s a good thing we cant actually try it out! We could do videos, though, or even some still pics. Personally, I am trying to keep a strict program for the month of August which does not include SI so SI vids and pics for me will have to wait (sounds like a cop-out haha but it’s the truth).

I have to go out and ride right now before it gets too hot. When i come back in I’ll try to get some still pics of LY from my vids this year. I’ve done LY off and on with Rocky because it helps me to get her focused.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:16 pm

Tsavo except there is some deviation of the horse's hips in SI. i.e. they do rotate just slightly (more with more bend and greater engagement like in 4 track SI) which is why it narrows the hind legs and puts the inside hind more under center of mass/center line. If the hips stayed totally square there would not be any engaging action to the movement and the bend would not be continuous smooth bend but abrupt to get the shoulders off track. Horses do not bend that way. The hind legs should not cross, but the base narrows and the inside hind engages, moves under center line of the horse. In LY with shoulders off the side line, the hind legs would cross and would not step under center mass, center line. That is why the ODGs don't like LY, it does nothing to engage the horse.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Chisamba » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:48 pm

CdK used to come regularly to a barn I was at for a while. I watched his lessons and saw the results. I chose at that time to opt out.

I was really really seeking a mentor of what I consider classical method at the time. I was quite sad, actually, to realize It wasnt going to work for me.

Actually, if I remember correctly Khall tried someone she thought would suit before she found someone to help her and CdK was that failed attempt for me.

Certain things just have to parallel what you do. Honestly without criticism, just different journeys, I've had a similar experience with others, like Galop for example.

Successful people whose route is too different from the road I am taking, and I'm not wanting to start over.

So I sympathize with Flight, and am happy for Dresseur and Khall.

A mentor you trust who doesn't represent a rebirth is complicated.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:09 pm

khall the inside is engaged by bringing the shoulders over. The inside hip must make room by coming forward. In 4 track you have to make even more room. That's my understanding.

In re continuity of bend... a snapshot of a horse in three track or four track SI can be taking from above. You can then place that photo at any position w.r.t. a rail including a position where the haunches are are a right angle from the side. That means it can be ridden that way. The hip has to drop in both SIs as far as I know.

I am not sure I am getting your point.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:19 pm

Here is another way to think of it. A horse is doing a 4 track SI out in a field. You don't need a rail to define it because it is self-defined by the track of the hinds and the direction and amount of bend (i.e. footfall) with respect to the motion. Now imagine an imaginary rail placed next to it that is perpendicular to the horse's hips. Now realize that is the same thing as riding a 4 track SI in the arena.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:53 pm

What I am saying is that the hips do not stay completely square to the arena wall/line. There is slight rotation in the hips in direction of the bend on the horse. The inside hip does drop, yes, but they do shift slightly to the inside in SI because of the curve poll to tail. Look at this video and tell me if the haunches of the horse do not rotate slightly to the inside so they are not square to the wall. Also look at the rider see what his seat is doing. Staying together and rotating, not independent rotation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-P6SEF9SAA

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:42 am

I think you are right about the hips not being square to the wall but I would want to see it from above to be sure. If the horse is on three tracks then I am not sure why the hips would not be square to the wall. Also most of those SIs look like LYs in the video for some reason. I know he is riding them correctly but it is hard to tell from that video.

Also watching that video I realize the part of the back that a rider sits on is in the bend so the inside hip cannot be parallel to the haunches as I thought. But I think it can be with respect to the spine or at least that is what it feels like. If the inside hip comes back with respect to the spine I don't know how LY is possibly avoided.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:27 am

What the horse must do in this area, is to compensate this stiffness by lowering his inside hip and bend his haunches (lumbo-sacral joint/hip/knee) vertically so that the inner hip is actually more forward.


http://www.sustainabledressage.net/coll ... ateral.php

Okay if this is true that is why bringing the inside hip forward feels right because it makes room.

Also, look at all the images... they are all showing haunches square to the wall.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:25 am

Tsavo get you a T square, those haunches are not square to the wall in those illustrations, the inside hip is slightly behind the outside hip. Which is exactly what I have been saying. There is slight rotation of the hips so that they are not square to the wall. I have no idea why bringing the inside hip forward works for you. Is that how you ride a circle? With the inside hip forward? Because SI aids is the same as circle aids that you then take down the side line. I do agree the inside hip lowers. I don't agree with that article that says the horse's inside hip is more forward nor is that statement backed by their illustrations. Regardless I have been riding SI and had the aids taught to me umpteen years ago to bring the inside hip slightly back as I rotate my shoulders to the inside. That is how I have taught Dog knows how many horses now SI and how I ride it still today under I can't tell you how many instructors over the years.

You avoid or at least I do the LY by bending the horse with the inside leg. I also use with the greener horses a bit of outside knee to help bring the shoulders around. How I position my seat for the SI also automatically applies the rider's outside knee and thigh a bit as the leg slides back to guard the outside hind leg.

This video has SI in slow mo:

https://youtu.be/T7rp0tFzT14

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:52 am

That slo mo one was not SI. Look at the hinds... not tracking down the side but rather almost on the same line. Leg yieldy.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:16 am

khall wrote: I have no idea why bringing the inside hip forward works for you. Is that how you ride a circle? With the inside hip forward?


From the photos of bend in SI and where the rider sits, if the rider's hips are to stay parallel to the horse's haunches and if the rider's shoulders are to stay parallel with the horse's shoulders, there has to be a relative rotation at the waist. In LY, because the horse is straight the rider stay unrotated.

If you agree that the hinds stay straight on the track and the shoulders come off the track then there has to be a relative rotation at the waist in order for the rider to match. Not as much as I thought because the rider does sit on part of the bend but some so that the body parts match. But it feels like I am keeping the haunches square with my hips probably because I am feeling w.r.t. the spine and not the wall. I would need a photo from above to determine what is actually happening w.r.t both the spine and the wall.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby Tsavo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:26 am

The other thing is I don't think you can maintain that the haunches are slightly rotated and that the horse is tracking straight down the side with the hinds unless you are talking a 4 track SI. In three tracks, if you are continuing down the long side and the haunches are not square then that is leg yieldy as far as I know. Imagine letting teh haunches rotate more and more and that becomes LY.

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Re: Notes from Charles de Kunffy (1)

Postby khall » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:04 pm

But I don't agree that the HQs stay straight, they do track straighter than the shoulders as in they do not cross, but the hind legs narrow, inside hip lowers as the horse engages with inside hind (it steps towards center line). In order for all of this to occur there is a slight rotation of the hips to the inside that I mirror with my hips (or the horse mirrors my rotation). I see it every time I work a horse in hand in SI. I have a unique perspective because of all the in hand work I do from green beans to ones with all the lateral plus other (half steps, piaffe, working on jambette and Spanish Walk) that I do with the horses I work every week.

It becomes a LY when there is no bend.

Tsavo at this point I don't care if you agree with me or not. I've been riding for many years this way under many different instructors and never have I had them correct me in my SI. I think the fact that I could competently ride that extremely sensitive Andi in Spain and have the people from the barn tell me I rode him better than the male trainer who usually worked him tells me all I need to know about my riding abilities. That horse was a worm, if you were not extremely precise with your request he was all over the place (Rye I think you can relate!!) I loved him for that sensitivity. Rode an OTTB that was the same so had those instilled in me long ago. Riding the WBs are a bit different.


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