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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Cori E. R. TroutFemale/United States Group :iconredlineplease: RedlinePlease
Can I get a redline, please?
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Critiques


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deviantID

lantairvlea
Cori E. R. Trout
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United States
Technically I'm between a Hobbyist and a Professional Artist...

BFA in Art Education from ASU, AAS in Equine Science, ARIA-Certified Riding Instructor

Current Residence: Queen Creek, AZ
Personal Quote: "Never be afraid to make bad art."
Interests
1.      How long have you been on DeviantArt?

Forever.  It will be 14 years in December.  Remember when you had to go through 10 pages to submit an image and it was focused on skins and things more than drawings?

Oh, and I've had this same account this entire time.  I used to be in the habit of plowing through my gallery and cleaning it up now and again.
 
   2.      What does your username mean?

Lantairvlea is the name of one of my Guenitha characters.  It means dark blue in their language because Guenitha go for descriptive names and she is predominantly dark blue.

   3.      Describe yourself in three words.

Horsey, creative, persistent

   4.      Are you left or right handed?

Right handed for most things

   5.      What was your first deviation?

My first one is lost in the depths of my hard drive, but this is the oldest one in my gallery: LV- Raquinn's head by lantairvlea
   6.      What is your favourite type of art to create?

I love my pastels, but I also enjoy watercolor immensely and have had good fun with brush and ink ... and I guess I could say traditional art in general.  I do enjoy the flexibility of digital, but I really like the textures found in real media.

   7.      If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?

It's more fun exploring the process.  I think it would get dull too fast if it was instantaneous. The journey not the destination!

   8.      What was your first favourite?

The Lurking Turnip by ursulav  Not sure if it was the first, but it's one of at least!  I am a bit of a stingy miser when it comes tobadding things to my favorites unless they are of my characters.

   9.      What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?

Anything particularly poingant, funny, or beautiful.  I also favorite memes I will someday never do and art of my characters.

   10.  Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?

There's no way to pick just one people!

   11.  If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?

I think it'd be fun to gather all of my horsey DA buds together and have fun-filled horsey shenanigans at my place.  

   12.  How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?

At nearly 14 years here I think it'd be unfair to mention just one single person, but I have enjoyed the encouragement I have gotten for my continued artistic growth as well as the opportunity to share what I have learned as well.  You all are awesome.

   13.  What are your preferred tools to create art?

Traditionally I enjoy my pastels of various brands, Van Gough travel watercolor set, Staedtler pens, Sumi-E brushes for ink, and I really got to enjoy the texture of the Staedtler Ergosoft colored pencils.  I am debating on my relationship with Prismacolor pencils now, but we'll see about that.

Digitally I still love my 14 year-old Intuos II Wacom tablet and Painter X (someday an upgrade, but why fix what isn't broken?).  I have gotten into using my phone (Samsung Note 4) with it's stylus, though I don't think I will get into doing any "serious" art with it.

   14.  What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?

Where I don't have internet access...

   15.  What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?

April Fools shenanigans are always entertaining, especially people's over-the-top reactions to a temporary thing.

Comments


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:iconlilteaplease:
LilTeaPlease Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday Cori!! I really appreciate you so much and for teaching Mariah and I, we love you!
Reply
:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey Kaylen!  Sorry for my tremendously belated reply!  I haven't had the chance to sit down and check DA much and I really appreciate the thought!  I hope your first year of college is going well I miss seeing you and Mariah!
Reply
:iconlilteaplease:
LilTeaPlease Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No worries Cori :D !! We miss you too, we actually just went
to the Arabian Horse Show! I hope you have had the chance to go!
Reply
:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Always fun to see the Arab Show. We went on Tuesday. I didn't take students this year because I just had baby boy #3!
Reply
:iconar-jones:
AR-Jones Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2015
Happy birthday deary! :party: :tighthug:
Reply
:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconar-jones:
AR-Jones Featured By Owner Edited May 24, 2015
Rambly shenanigans! You might be interested to here that I have recently replaced my Abetta Arabian-Trail with a Fabtron Semi-QH... found one of their black half leather/cordura models with lots more silver, leather seat and basketweave on it for less than a newer plain one would cost. Stayed on through cantering with a handsbreadth of give on the cinch, which is more than I can say for the Abetta (though come to find out the Arabian tree was a smidge too wide an angle afterall even with him muscled up).
Unfortunately the HAF pad I love so much is not holding up now that the weather is hotter. I had heard the foam was low quality and since the heat makes it's softer it's giving too much in the front and making the saddle downhill when I'm in it. Saddle is level without the pad, so now I'm looking for a Toklat or 5-Star as a replacement. 

I've also come to some pretty big decisions and hypothesis recently- and I'm starting on a rough draft for a horsey book (not meant as guide or any authority mind you, but a horseowner's musings on training).
Most notably, after researching the subject of contact (something I have struggled with due to my start in English, and my biased in favor of that discipline) for the last couple of years, I decided to collect my own thoughts and form my own idea on the subject, and go from there, and let Sawyer tell me if I'm on the right track or not.
So far my ideas regarding training can be summed up in two levels, which at the moment I am (perhaps in a fit of over-romanticism) calling the 'Herd Of Two' and 'Herd Of One.' The former functions under the premise that the horse:
1. MUST respect your space
2. MUST go 
3. MUST whoa
These rules are un-negotiable, and are enforced out of necessity and safety, everything else is negotiable. I believe it is worth noting that I do not teach 'whoa' as pulling back with both reins, and indeed, I NEVER use that cue for stop. It is always a seat/weight cue, and/or rubbing to a stop, and is only ever enforced by a hindquarter (turn on the forehand, though it is sometimes not a 'true' turn on the forehand as the head may be laterally bent far too much, as in this case this exercise is not a matter of gymnastics but obedience).
The latter focuses on the horse and rider becoming the 'Centaur' of one thought and action, and requires:
1. Vertical Flexion
2. Impulsion
When these two are combined - correctly - we get collection, and hypothetically the lowering of the three joints of the hind leg (I would not be surprised if this last hypothesis will require another point, as I do not have much in the way of experience with this aspect yet, but that will be revealed with time).

Now, I mentioned I was throwing the traditional idea of contact out the window, allow me to elaborate: I have talked about my struggle with the idea of contact, and have finally come to the conclusion for me (at least for the time being) I am unwilling and unable to stomach the traditional idea of contact. No where else in my training knowledge is anything more than a 'weightless feel' considered ideal, and so starting with that thought I began to think of what contact in that context means. I do not understand it, so I cannot implement it, and either because of that or some other inherit flaw in the idea the horses I have ridden do not respond how I believe they should. Here I think it is worth pausing to note that by 'weightless feel' (what I am calling what I believe many of the old masters perhaps originally meant by 'the weight of the rein') I in no way mean behind the bit. I believe we talked about this before when I posted a video of one of JP Giacomini's stallions and you pointed out that, though he rode on a loose rein, the horse was behind the bit. Though this is not ridden work, and lateral flexion verses vertical flexion, I have often observed horses during groundwork, when asked to move around the circle with a bend without pulling on the handler (something my mentor taught) begin to go 'behind the feel' by dropping out sideways too much. Even though they may still refrain from pulling, there is a distinctly different feel, and thus we would urge the horse forward and back 'in front of the feel.' 
So I established in my mind that contact should in my case be what I have dubbed the weightless feel, which I am familiar with and can recognize instantly. Excellent... and here vertical flexion and impulsion comes in. Instead of considering 'collection' one big subject, I broke it down into those two points to be worked on separately (and indeed, both can abide by such rules as not to be harmful for the horse when used exclusively, unlike when some people focus only the position of the head while attempting to create collection). And so the rules of vertical flexion are: the poll should be the highest skeletal point of the neck (meaty crest coming above this point or not is dependent on conformation), the horse's face should NEVER come behind the vertical (IMHO an angle between 240 and 270 degrees would be acceptable share.ehs.uen.org/sites/defaul… ). The rules of impulsion are less clear to me, but so far it seems to hinge on the idea that the inside hind foot should step under the point of weight and the pelvis should tilt back to facilitate this. Fixing anterior pelvic in this manner produces that lovely 'round back' feel, although interesting enough I felt a significant change in the back and general posture during the vertical flexion exercises I tried (more on that a bit later).

I have talked about my success with Will Faerber's down n' forward work before, and I believe his method is essentially the 'correct one' for impulsion (though I have put it to a different cue than he has and require it be done with no contact, or side-reins/chambon for that matter). It is easy to see why this would work if we contort our own backs for a moment- head up, back hollow creates anterior pelvic tilt; lowering the head automatically straightens the back and reduces pelvic tilt, putting the horse in a position for success when asking for more impulsion, and later when we ask them to move the weight back even further in collection. This brings up another interesting point- the chief complaint in long n' low work is that it puts too much weight on the forehand, which is the opposite of what you want in collection. By making this exercise an issue of impulsion only this argument becomes nill. Eventually this impulsion exercise can be done with the head level, once the anterior pelvic tilt is corrected and the horse understands the request (and is physically able to complete it). 
And now what has been the bone of contention in my mind for so long... contact, or more specifically now, vertical flexion. I have firmly rejected the traditional English way of pulling the reins, or vibrating them, or massaging them, or whatever other bizarre exercise. However it is also plain to me that the Western way is also sorely inadequate, and indeed, the fact that Western vertical flexion is done in a lower headset is detrimental right from the get go, not to mention the fact that all examples I have seen put the horse behind the bit and are often accomplished by rude jerking (see Buck Brannaman for example) of the reins. So those rules of vertical flexion I mentioned earlier come into play: the poll should be the highest skeletal point of the neck, the plane of the face should be between 240 and 270 degrees, and the horse should maintain a weightless feel (the same feel that is required online and at liberty during groundwork, not to be refused with dropping behind or evading the feel). Alright, now the question is merely how to accomplish those three goals, which is far, far simpler than the whole great big idea of 'collection' or 'contact-' to me anyway. As I mentioned before, my cue for stopping is in no way related to 'pulling back on both reins,' and so taking a feel of both reins becomes a very intuitive cue for vertical flexion (and is a simple, beautiful answer, considering lateral flexion is done with a feel of one rein). Alright, that's the cue- but wait, your poll needs to be higher Sawyer! Don't you dare rolkur! :lol: Though I'm somewhat loath to move my hands higher, it is the simplest way to keep the horse's poll up... and this is where heavenly music begins to play! Upon raising the hands to raise the poll it is obvious that the snaffle is acting on the teeth and is a useless, confusing aid: ENTER THE CURB BIT! :dummy: Excuse my excitement, haha.
And so, completely by accident, another piece of the puzzle falls into play.
EDIT: forgot to mention, obviously the hands can be lowered back to 'normal' once the horse understands the request and does not drop the poll.

I hypothesize that the snaffle bit (or sidepull/lunge-cavesson) is to be use only for lateral flexion (here meaning any give of the head side to side, not the NH 'put your nose on my boot' lateral flexion), and the curb bit (or cordeo/bosal) is to be used for vertical flexion, as the nature of the snaffle is beneficial for inciting the correct alignment of the jaw and produces a clear signal in lateral exercises and the nature of the curb (most notably the rotation of the mouthpiece to always act on the bars in the correct place, even when the hands are raised) is beneficial for vertical flexion.

Now, one last note that I hinted at earlier- I had assumed that all positive change in the posture of the back would be brought about by the impulsion part of the exercise, but as I experimented with my idea of vertical flexion in the curb bit, bareback, I noticed something that surprised me greatly: as soon as Sawyer 'got it,' he not only shifted his weight back when asked for vertical flexion, but very noticeably change his posture. I do have enough information to say for sure yet, but my initial reaction is that this change in posture felt very different to one gotten via impulsion- I am assuming the change brought about by impulsion is the previously mentioned backwards rotation of the pelvis, while the change brought about by vertical flexion is the raising of the base of the neck.

And so, based on all this new information I going to continue on with my own hypothesis and see how it pans out. I'm going to take confo pictures soon so how the new exercises affect his musculature, if I am correct then his back will grow stronger and the dip in front of his withers will flatten out as well (due to raising the base of the neck and building those muscles). 
I have the feeling that most of this is stuff that other people have been saying all along, but I just haven't been able to grasp without working it through my own logic. Thoughts? :meow:
Reply
:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am glad DA doesn't have a text limit in comments... maybe we should be noting or e-mailong each other i stead.

I just happened on this article and thought it might be appropriate: www.eurodressage.com/equestria… Just as an over-all since you are talking a lot about contact and what it might/might not be.

I (or rather my students) like the Fabrton I have. They are similar to the mid-grade Big Horns with the leather jockeys, pommel, seat, and cantle. The all cordura/synthetic ones are a little cheap and tend to lack a decent gullet. Hopefully you can resolve your screw issue without having to replace the saddle entirely (O vanity and being picky about color! Haha). With my Western saddles I mostly use those neoprene waffle pads, usually with cordura on top because it lasts longer, but they don't soak up the sweat and hold the heat in like fleece or felt do. Not holding heat is paramount here.

If you want someone to proofread that I'd be happy to. Just bear in mind I might not be the fastest, but I can guarantee thorough!

What are you referring to in "rubbing to a stop?" Is that just in ground work ala Mr. Anderson or Parelli when using their Snazzy Sticks? Or is it something else entirely. Just being sure we're on the same page and you don't have some strange thing I've never heard of and would certainly be curious about. There is a lady in my area that does a "neck stop" where you lean forward and run your hands up the neck to stop the horse. It's a bit of a safety/trick thing as she and her daughters work with a lot of "problem" horses.

The not-quite-turn on the forehand sounds like what the NH group tend to refer to as "disengaging" the hindquarters or even the one-rein stop, but in the latter you don't actively drive the hindquarters around. Again, checking terms to be sure we're talking about the same things.

I do think that those are three very good starting points. Of course, "respect" meaning being conscious and aware, not terrified of being anywhere near the person. I describe to my students that the basic aids (hand and leg) essentially control "whoa" and "go," and everything else stems from that. (Technically if you slow one pair of legs and/or ask the other set to quicken you get a turn.) Yes, steady pressure on both reins is, mostly, ineffective and often causes more issues than it solves. I will hold steady pressure on one and "pulse" with the other at times depending on the situation and horse as with everything!

Are you familair with the "training pyramid" at all in dressage? Of course it is often called a "pyramid" but it really isn't a straight Point A to Point B thing. The German National Dressage Committe that put out "The Principles of Riding" (which I need to finish reading at some point...) refers to it more as three intertwining circles that constantly interact with each other. Anyway, the principles are Rhythm, Relaxation, Connection, Impulsion, Straightness, and Collection and may have something to add to your current thoughts.

I am also curious what your "traditional idea of contact" is because I can't help thinking that it is probably not what contact should be. When I get to the point where I am asking my students to work with contact it is with what I call a "neutral" contact, meaning that it does not change and stays the same no matter what the horse is doing so it becomes like the bridle on his face or the saddle on his back. Something that does not alter or influence the horse's stride until it becomes "active." Now contact is most often referred to in reference to the hands, but I do believe that it counts for ALL points of contact (and should really be felt in the elbow more than the hand, thus the straight line from elbow to bit is important). This also means the seat and the legs. You are talking about feather-light feel, but how light is your seat when placed upon the horse's back? Are we not encouraged to sit deeply around the horse with full contact through your seat and thighs and (unless we are posting or in half-seat) have a solid connection with the horse's back and sides. Even with our weight off of the seat we still allow our full weight down into our lower leg (I hesitate to say stirrup because this should also be possible without them) otherwise we would not stay with the horse. All that said as well consider the difference between the feel of something initially making contact with your skin and something that has been resting on the skin and then simply increases the pressure. The former always comes as a slight shock. It is abrupt no matter how gently you initiate the pressure. At the point when the two objects finally touch, it is always slightly disruptive. Now consider the latter, if something is already there, be it lightly or more heavily, an increase in pressure is more comfortable. Certainly it could reach the point where it becomes problematic if you increase too much, but just a slight increase is not an issue and something-to-more is less disruptive than nothing-to-something. Contact should be about having another point of communication with the horse, both in your giving direction and in the horse giving you feedback (stiff in the jaw, hollow to the left, whathaveye).

I definitley agree with the horse never being behind the vertical. MAYBE a half second if the horse is ON the vertical to begin with and the rider retards the forward motion, but ideally, at or in front of in accordance to the horse's training, fitness, and frame. There is a problem with your little angle diagram there. You are only referring to the diagram (which is the horse moving from right to left in this case) and not to the actual angle formed by the horse's face and the horizon or even its own neck. The angle between the horse's skull and the first vertebrae (atlas) is probably the most important, though for argument's sake we'll use the horizon line and assume the topline is level, in which case the angle should be between 90 and 120 degrees. At 180 degrees the horse would be completely straight in the poll with no flexion whatsoever and anything greater would have the nose pointing towards the sky. Objectively 270 degrees would have the horse's neck flat and the nose pointing straight up! I point it out this way because hyperflexion would indeed bring the angle between the horse's neck and skull at an acute angle, which would be less than 90 degrees and that is easier to get in one's head than thinking the full circle around to 270 or 240 because when you mentioned those larger numbers and had the diagram my default was for the nose to be pointing right which would put the imaginary horse in hyperflexion and even outside of the diagram my default is to assume the angle referred to is the one between the neck and plane of face, not the more open angle arching over the neck and then to the face.

That all said, yes, having horses on a loose rein and being behind the vertical drives me nuts (one of the things I am not fond about when it comes to Mr. Anderson's methods "I don't care if the horse is behind the vertical so long as he isn't hanging on my hands!" Yeah, he's going to be behind the vertical if you CHASE HIM THERE by constantly asking the horse to back off of an ever-changing point of contact ... *cough*).

Impulsion is not just about forward propulsive power, though that is often what people thing, the horse's ability and willingness to carry himself and his rider forward. Collection is about stepping deeper under the body and decreasing the base of support (the horse stepping further underneath the rider's seat). Yes a horse should step into the track of its forefoot and overtrack when extending, but in the collected work the steps are shorter and higher because the energy is transfered "up" instead of forward. Of course this requires impulsion, but impulsion is not just the horse stepping deeper under its body. I guess what I am trying to say is impulsion is the energy in the stride not necessarily the placement of the feet as you should have the same amount of energy and power in the extended trot as you do in the piaffe. That is what makes the transitions smooth. You shouldn't have to "rev the horse up" or "wind him down" to transition, you just manipulate the energy into a different shape.

I don't think you have mentioned Will Faerber before and I looked up a couple videos on YouTube to see what he was doing and as a reference point. He sounds quite good and seems to know is stuff and be very much of the classical school. I can't quite judge fully yet, but you are on the right track I think in looking at his stuff. I did laugh as he has a video critique of a lady and her Fjord and he couldn't place the breeding. He must be very sheltered to not recognize a Fjord when he sees one. I need to finish watching that video (over 20 minutes, made it to five before I decided to spend more time responding here instead), but again, much of what he was saying is very correct in accordance to my understanding. The "Down and Forward" could also be referred to as the "long and low" frame (and I think you did interchange them there) that is used to initially stretch the horse's topline in basic training (or retraining) as well as to restretch and maintain elasticity in horses who work in various degrees of collection. Yes long and low increases weight on the forehand for the fact that the horse's neck is not counterbalancing the haunches in this position, but because it allows us to access the horse's back (loosening) and beginning to engage its abdominals the weight on the forehand is an acceptable, momentary consequence as this work does not cause the horse to stay on the forehand when properly brought back into a higher frame. Of course your cue is different, you're doing it without the aid of contact. And techically he shouldn't be applying a "cue" to ask for the stretch, but rather allowing the stretch. Contact is useful in the stretch here because it sets the frame. As you let the reins lengthen the horse follows the contact forward and down. A horse that is elastic, over his back, and through will place himself INTO the contact so if the reins lengthen he lengthens and as they shorten, he shortens (collects when properly done!) and not because the horse is being "chased" or "pulled" into the position.

And I think this is where your current idea of what contact is runs afoul of what it should be. You're tying contact in with vertical flexion, which I guess in a lot of cases, and in a lot of schools, are related and linked (how do you get the horse to flex? ENGAGE REIN!), but this is where we get into relative and absolute elevation. Vertical flexion is a result of the horse being free in his poll, which can't happen unless he is truely through his body with no kinks, blocks, or tightnesses. The horse has to be enganged over his back, round in the loin and stepping under his body. Vertical flexion happens in relationship to relative elevation because and the hindquarters drop and the forehand raises the horse allows gravity to have its head and it simply drops from the poll and at the same time allowing any contact with the rein to pass through its body to the hind leg. Of course once a horse reaches this stage of engagement there really isn't much in the way of rein involvement at all. A hair's breadth away from Levade and you are using your seat entirely. Absolute elevation is the lifting of the horse's head and neck regardless of the positioning of the haunches and this is where people have to force the horse into vertical flexion because it is not possible for the horse to softly drop the poll when the nuchal ligament, supraspinous ligament, and the whole back complex is contracted (specifically the longissimus dorsi muscles).

I think you might mean posterior pelvic tilt in the case of being hollow (the front of the hip drops and the back of it rises) versus anterior, which would round the lumbar spine and raise the front of the hip and drop the back of it in relationship to each other, bringing the hip closer to the head, narrowing he base of support and collecting the horse.

Vertical flexion done as a headset is detrimental period. I think having some vertical flexion when the horse's topline is level is not necessarily a bad thing, especially on horses who have a more horizontal way of carrying their body and their necks are not set so high on their chests. Yes I agree that a lot of Western riders, even the reiners now, are hyperflexing their horses, making them deep and round and chasing them behind the bit. Just as with Dressage it's partially on the judges for pinning such carriage and not discouraging it with great prejudice. If the horse is relaxed in it's poll and over its back there will be flexion at the poll even with a level topline.

I think next time you should try engaging your legs and see if that doesn't elevate his poll better and lift the base of his neck. As you drive his hindquarters underneath his body you hit the relative elevation and his forehand should raise as hip and head always move in opposite directions.

You are definitely right that the snaffle is more for keying into lateral flexion and the curb for longitudal. Note I did not say "vertical" because vertical flexion gets one stuck on looking only at the head, while longitudal flexion refers to the whole of the horse, flexion along the horse's body from tail tip to nose arching upwards into a powerful bow. Not to say that longitudal flexion is impossible in a snaffle, but it is easier once the horse has learned how to properly respond to the snaffle. That said as well, you should be able to ask for everything in a curb that you donin a snaffle, the curb just lets you be more subtle about it because it takes time for the shank to fully engage.

Simply driving the horse forward into engagement does not always lift the base of the neck, but it can round the back as the hip tucks under. The contact with the rein and seat will encourage the lifting of the base of the neck (Dr. Deb Bennett did an awesome article in Equus about the function of the turnover and how lifting the base of the neck affects the horse's biomechanics a few years ago) much more than simply driving the horse forward. That contact will allow the energy to recycle into the haunch rather than just running out the front end, turning the pushing power into carrying power. And thus you have discovered why some contact is important: it recycles the energy and encourages the base of the neck to lift.

Conformation pictures for comparison are great. I need to do that with mine.

There's a lot under the surface that can't really be translated into words so we do the best we can and point it out when we see/feel it and some things can't be taught or theorized until the previous foundation has been laid. I think you are progressing nicely and finding good answers. Yes, if you are building hom correctly his musculature should change in a positive manner, filling out as you moted and also softening the underside of his neck and rounding through the loin.
Reply
:iconar-jones:
AR-Jones Featured By Owner May 28, 2015
That might not be a bad idea, haha. My email is gprnapier@gmail.com
I'm going to try formatting my comment a bit for easier reading.

*nods* I have been able to fix the nails/screws on the panel, so that's a good thing. And yessss lo' me having to have black and silver tack. Picky picky. :XD:
After riding with the HAF again I realized it wasn't the foam but the way the flimsy skirts extend over the tree that was making it look like the foam was 'giving up,' haha. It's still changed due to the weather, but no need to replace it right away though a Toklat and a 5-Star are still on my wishlist hehehe

I will take you up on that proofreading offer when I have something worth looking at! Thank you!




I'll address the hindquarter first since I refer to it in my next point- I did hear my mentor refer to it as 'disengaging.' The goal of the exercise was for inside hind foot to step over the front of the outside hind foot while the inside front foot remains planted- head position was immaterial, he was only concerned about the action of the feet.
In my opinion there is a distinction between this and a one rein stop, because it is used as a fundamental exercise instead of a sort of last resort (which is how I normally see the one rein stop used... though not always). I am reminded of a time this past winter when I hopped on Sawyer fresh, warmed him up and then let him go for a run since he had been cooped up in the stall the past few days- we went for about 5-10 minutes doing stop-trot-canter/gallop transitions, and then I had a split second feeling that he wasn't as in tune with my energy as he should be, so I reached down to hindquarter him, and despite being very wound up he instantly gave his rear without any pressure from the rein. After checking in with him in this manner we continued on for another 20 minutes without incident, me confident in the fact that we could stop on a dime if need be. 
Also worth mentioning, if were ever in a situation where the horse really was running away with me and ignoring my cues (bad me for getting on a horse I shouldn't have, LOL) I would be more inclined to use the calvary stop (to clarify: one hand on the withers/pommel bracing your torso, the other pulling back to your outside shoulder for leverage) over the one rein stop or the hindquarter because there's less risk of pulling the horse over on you.

I'm aware of the exercise you're talking about regarding Parelli and Anderson (though my mentor was vehemently opposed to sticks or whips- a lunge whip was only offered to students doing liberty work that either A) couldn't work the ropes or B) were too tired because they were letting the horse move their feet too much), I would lump it more into the desensitization portion of NH training.
Apologies for not clarifying, I forget sometimes that my mentor had his own unusual exercises and vocabulary. The 'neck stop' sounds very similar. Rubbing to a stop consists of- one hand on the horn/pommel, one hand rubbing the neck, lower your energy, if the horse does not match your energy then you would hindquarter to a stop. It does multiple things, for one the horse gets several very distinct cues to stop that are very easy and simple for the rider to understand and implement, but it's also a hugely useful tool while teaching amateur, nervous or overhorsed riders, because if you see them becoming nervous or tense or the situation escalating telling them to 'rub to stop' instantly takes their mind off the fear and helps them regroup. And as you mentioned, it is also a safety measure. If students felt like they were falling they could do this confident in the fact the horse would stop (or that they would be able to regroup enough to hindquarter)- and it also gives you a tell tale sign if you're leaning forward too much.
Looking back over my message I think I neglected to mention (you know it's bad when you've textwalled yourself, ha!) that my main cue for stopping and downward transitions is strictly energy/seat.

Oh yes, very important to note that on respect! The word has been... defiled and misused by many a horseperson. I am referring to the definition of: '
avoid harming or interfering with.' To elaborate, I have my 'personal space bubble,' and the horse is not allowed to barge into it, he must ask permission.
Interesting that you mention turning as a sub-portion of whoa and go, as I had mentally categorized it as a sub-portion of respecting one's space, though you do have a very good point about the mechanics of slowing one pair of legs. My mentor had a pet peeve about people asking the horse to turn and go at the same time (in the beginning of training, that is) so perhaps that has affected my mental filing. 




Yes I am familiar with the training pyramid, though I heard it referred to as the training scales. 
I need to go back and restudy it- I actually spent about 3 months focused on researching it when I first started studying contact/collection etc. a couple years ago, but in all honesty it seemed a bit muddled to me and nothing really clicked or hit home. 

By 'traditional contact' I was referring more the current fad of hold-face-kick-ribs that has been the only type of hands-on Dressage instruction I've gotten (from 5 separate trainers over a 10 year time frame, no less).
However, I am aware this is not what the masters, or other modern well-informed Dressage trainers consider contact. I'd label this more 'classical contact.' (and this is where all the different definitions and mislabeling becomes especially tedious, haha) This type of positive feel or as you said 'neutral' contact is of course a completely separate animal and is much more palatable in all regards.
I will preface the rest of this by saying: I freely admit that I am sadly lacking in hands on experience with this sort of classical contact. As I mentioned in my original comment I have studied it at great length and have not been able to implement what I have read to my satisfaction. This is likely a flaw in my understanding, and though I am now endeavoring to go about it in my own way I will not be surprised if I end up back at the beginning- though with new comprehension.

"All that said as well consider the difference between the feel of something initially making contact with your skin and something that has been resting on the skin and then simply increases the pressure. The former always comes as a slight shock. It is abrupt no matter how gently you initiate the pressure. At the point when the two objects finally touch, it is always slightly disruptive. Now consider the latter, if something is already there, be it lightly or more heavily, an increase in pressure is more comfortable. Certainly it could reach the point where it becomes problematic if you increase too much, but just a slight increase is not an issue and something-to-more is less disruptive than nothing-to-something."
I have heard this argument before, and never quite understood it- if for instance I am asking the horse to move sideways the preliminary cue is strictly through focus and energy, my intent- and eventually the horse requires only this, there is only my change of intent to cue him, and no pressure from the rope (either on the halter or as a driving aid). There is no need to act on the body, and the constant 'neutral contact' is kept only on the mind. The bit acts only for clarification and is at some point unnecessary, and in such case a more acute signal might well be considered desirable.

"You are only referring to the diagram (which is the horse moving from right to left in this case) and not to the actual angle formed by the horse's face and the horizon or even its own neck... etc. etc."
Yup, you are completely right on that whole point, I goofed when I was picking out the diagram. 
You bring up something interesting regarding the angle between the skull and the atlas that I had not taken into account. At the risk of pulling another goof I will think on that more to reconvene on at a later date.

"That all said, yes, having horses on a loose rein and being behind the vertical drives me nuts (one of the things I am not fond about when it comes to Mr. Anderson's methods "I don't care if the horse is behind the vertical so long as he isn't hanging on my hands!" Yeah, he's going to be behind the vertical if you CHASE HIM THERE by constantly asking the horse to back off of an ever-changing point of contact ... *cough*)."
I do not like Parelli and I do not like Anderson... and I especially don't like Anderson's higher-level work. I remember watching one of his videos with him working one of his performance 4yo- pull pull pull, jerk jerk jerk. Poor little colt.

"Impulsion is not just about forward propulsive power, though that is often what people thing, the horse's ability and willingness to carry himself and his rider forward..."
Once again, I agree completely... "impulsion is the energy in the stride not necessarily the placement of the feet" is a perfect way to put it. 

"I don't think you have mentioned Will Faerber before and I looked up a couple videos on YouTube to see what he was doing and as a reference point. He sounds quite good and seems to know is stuff and be very much of the classical school. I can't quite judge fully yet, but you are on the right track I think in looking at his stuff. I did laugh as he has a video critique of a lady and her Fjord and he couldn't place the breeding. He must be very sheltered to not recognize a Fjord when he sees one."
Egads, can't believe I haven't mentioned him before! I've been studying his work for several years now (I thought it was interesting that he, and another one of my current favorite trainers Bent Branderup both studied under Nuno Oliveira). But yes he does have quirks... he also says that 90% of horses cannot do 'real' Dressage barefoot because the load is too much for their feet.

"And techically he shouldn't be applying a "cue" to ask for the stretch, but rather allowing the stretch. Contact is useful in the stretch here because it sets the frame. As you let the reins lengthen the horse follows the contact forward and down."
He says to hold pressure in the contact until the horse finds his way down and then release to the weight of the rein, never allowing the horse to escape the rein by nosing out, raising it's head, etc. In my mind I would consider it a cue, and the cue itself the giving of the reins. (cue: '
a signal for action' 'act as a prompt or reminder'). However your point about it being about the feel, and the 'allowing' of the stretch is noted, especially as I was having trouble articulating the exact cue I was giving for it.

"I think you might mean posterior pelvic tilt in the case of being hollow (the front of the hip drops and the back of it rises) versus anterior, which would round the lumbar spine and raise the front of the hip and drop the back of it in relationship to each other, bringing the hip closer to the head, narrowing he base of support and collecting the horse."
Hmm, I could be mistaken but I thought it was vice versa: up4yoga.com/wp-content/uploads…
 
"And I think this is where your current idea of what contact is runs afoul of what it should be. You're tying contact in with vertical flexion, which I guess in a lot of cases, and in a lot of schools, are related and linked (how do you get the horse to flex? ENGAGE REIN!), but this is where we get into relative and absolute elevation... vertical flexion done as a headset is detrimental period.
To clarify, since I don't believe I did so in my original message- I wouldn't consider this a headset at all, since it is asked for only momentarily and then immediately released. The time will build up organically because - as you say - the poll will relax as his musculature improves. Though of course care must be taken that the horse at no time thinks the correct answer is to hollow it's back as he raises his poll.
If all of those prerequisites are met- the poll is the highest skeletal point, the face does not drop behind the vertical, and the back does not hollow, then I do not see the detriment in the exercise. Noting however that, were the time requirement extended forcibly, the back would surely hollow and it would then be very detrimental.
I would hypothesize that if vertical flexion 'a result of the horse being free in his poll, which can't happen unless he is truely through his body with no kinks, blocks, or tightnesses' then vertical flexion might be used to ask the horse to relax himself- much the same way we can ask the head to come down to help the horse become calmer and take himself off adrenaline.
I am now reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Branderup: (paraphrased) "When the horse and the person are coming together as one animal, the person is getting the huge body and power of the horse, but the horse also gets something from the person: the horse is getting very proud.' By asking the poll to come up in this way one puts the horse in a position similar to the one he takes when he is puffing himself up or playing, by asking him to relax his poll and jaw we keep the mind with us. This is of course not accomplished all at once, but small changes make big differences and I would think this very primal posturing would have something to do with it.

"I think next time you should try engaging your legs and see if that doesn't elevate his poll better and lift the base of his neck. As you drive his hindquarters underneath his body you hit the relative elevation and his forehand should raise as hip and head always move in opposite directions."
I am sure it will, as I have experienced it once or twice while working on Faerber's exercises (dinky strided pony does have a very big floaty trot in there afterall, ha!).
Now I'm sure the questions becomes 'well if that was working, why change?' I had the distinct impression that Sawyer did not get what I was on about, and did not understand the point. In the words of Patrick Kaye (whom is still cray cray bonkers I'll admit, though I adore him) 'I teach the horse the game, look to the horizon and say "get me there!" and then let him do it.' If the horse has not understood then I have not been clear enough, and though the horse may humor me he will not participate as he would if he completely understood and was keen on the idea.

"Note I did not say "vertical" because vertical flexion gets one stuck on looking only at the head, while longitudinal flexion refers to the whole of the horse, flexion along the horse's body from tail tip to nose arching upwards into a powerful bow. Not to say that longitudinal flexion is impossible in a snaffle, but it is easier once the horse has learned how to properly respond to the snaffle."
I like your longitudinal verbage better than vertical- I was overemphasizing vertical to differentiate between it a and lateral flexion, but you are right that longitudinal keeps the focus off the head.

"Simply driving the horse forward into engagement does not always lift the base of the neck, but it can round the back as the hip tucks under. The contact with the rein and seat will encourage the lifting of the base of the neck (Dr. Deb Bennett did an awesome article in Equus about the function of the turnover and how lifting the base of the neck affects the horse's biomechanics a few years ago) much more than simply driving the horse forward."
Funny you should mention her, I've reread and rewatched her work numerous times and have been lurking in her forum as well. Excellent stuff!

In short I still have a lot to experiment with, and results will tell- and if my hypothesis does not pan out I will have more information than I do now and be in a better position for a revised go-around.




Well I got home and started writing this at 5:00 PM and it is now 10:42 PM... so thank you for the lovely evening! :lmao:
I will take a look at the article tomorrow and upload saddle and confo pics when the weather permits. It has been raining here virtually nonstop for the last three weeks and the dun pony has decided to become a chocolate palomino...

Thank you for your time and your help! I really appreciate it, especially since I have not found a someone more experienced than myself that I can bounce this sort of thing off of (as I'm sure you've gathered by now).



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:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner May 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're most welcome! I imagine I'll be spending some time crafting my response! Real quick on the pelvic tilt: you used anterior to refer to both types at one point and just going off the definition I was assuming it referred to the base of the pelvis coming forward and not the front/top of it. But now we're on the same page sobitvs all good. Just invert everything I said, ha!
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