Dressage again

Thanks Haffyfan for this video.

Again I'm handicapped by my ignorance of both disciplines: can anyone tell me why the reining horse is holding his head so low? Whatever his head's doing, I thought the reining rider was incredibly relaxed, and I know which horse I'd rather be on. The dressage horse looked stiff in contrast (imo), particularly in the pirouette, which he looked reluctant to do.

Here's the video Susanna mentioned in the comments to the Rollkur piece. This shows Stephanie Croxford and Mr President:

I particularly like the end, where he's enjoying the applause - as you will probably have gathered by now, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the "I can't do a prize presentation as my oh so sensitive horse will explode" brigade. If a horse can't stand noise like applause, it makes me wonder a. what life's like at home - does everyone creep round in cowed silence? and b. why some time can't be devoted to training the horse to become used to noise/umbrellas/mice or whatever else spooks it. Like normal people do, in fact.


haffyfan said…
Now please bear in mind although I like to think I have used a lot more western principles than english with my two it's all self taught from books/vids/odd clinic so very much my own interpretation.

Stock horses are generally bred for the 'level top line' that is desirable in westen disaplines as obviously a very uphill built horse finds it harder to work in this style/manner. They carry their neck nearly level with their withers, and head just slightly in front of the vertical.

In all honesty, as this vid shows when the horse is ridden tackless, I believe most horses would choose go in this manner of long and low naturally (unless it's an uphill movement they are performing) and the position that modern dressage dictates is highly unnatural before we get into the rolkur/LDR discussion
haffyfan said…
It does help when you post the link doesn't it!
Sue Howes said…
Have you seen this youtube gem?

Anonymous said…
Haffyfan – the horses at the trekking stable where I ride insist on a level top line. If you try to shorten up they will gently tug a little and a little more until they're comfortable. Too short and rein and they say, "You want to go backwards? Ok."

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