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Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2010


12.10.10

Continuing Education Of The Half Pass

Half Pass






Half Pass

 

"In the cervical and thoracic vertebral column, rotation is always coupled with lateroflexion and vice versa.” (Jean Marie Denoix, 1999).

 

The rotation associated with lateral bending can be proper or inverted. The difficulty of the half pass is not the crossing of the legs and the lateral movement but rather the horse’s ability to sustain proper rotation associated with lateral bending. This is the difference between educating efficiently the horse’s physique for the performance and tricking the horse into the movement.

 

In both cases, proper or inverted rotation, the horse will be able to cross the front legs above the knees and fulfill the jugging standards. However, the horse properly coordinated will also be capable to sustain suspension, amplitude and cadence all the way through the half pass. The performance is then beautiful. By contrast, the horse improperly coordinated is not.

 

The video commences with a horse that you have already seen. You can visualize the difference between a half pass that the horse executed when his body was improperly coordinated and the half pass that the same horse executes once properly educated.

 

Chazot is a young horse discovering his own body. The first half pass at the walk commences well. Then Chazot loses the proper coordination between lateral bending and transversal rotation. I helped him a little and he figured how to coordinate again his body properly.

 

The following half passes are a work in progress.

 

Jean Luc  

                                                                                          

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12.10.10 16:40




10.10.10

Teaching Halt To The Horse

Jean Luc Cornille Training






Teaching Halt

"The horse’s athletic ability is the result of good genetics and training interaction.” {Eric Barrey, 2002) Training techniques enhance the horse’s talent preparing efficiently the horse’s physique for the effort. This fundamental principle is often set aside in favor of primitive approaches tricking the horse into movements.

 

A perfectly square halt for instance is the natural outcome of balance control, symmetry between right and left side of the back muscles, neck carriage, over all tone of the horse’s muscular system. Therefore, the sound education of square halt commences with the intelligent education of the horse’s vertebral column mechanism. By contrast, primitive equitation achieves square posture placing the legs with a whip or other system.

 

Whatever the performance is as simple as halt or as complex as piaff, stimulating the legs with a whip leads to pantomimes that the horse executes without adequate physical coordination. The outcome is a performance below the horse’s potential and predisposition to injuries. Primitive training technique may trick a horse with a twisted spine into a perfectly square limbs position during halt. However, the crookedness of the spine will alter the execution of the next move, whatever the move is rein-back, collected walk, or trot, or canter.               

 

Chazot is learning here square halt. The education is done in hand but could be done as easily riding the horse. The work is easier form the trot since the trot is a two beat gait. When the horse’s vertebral column feels properly coordinated, halt is asked in two strides. The first stride allows the horse to prepare himself refining balance and symmetry of the back muscles. The second stride allows him to square the limbs position. When the vertebral column mechanism is correctly working as it is the case for the first and last attempt, the halt is square. When the vertebral column is not perfectly coordinated, as it is the case in the other tentatives, the halt is not square.

 

The second halt was asked from the walk and obviously Chazot’s vertebral column was not properly coordinated. The third tentative was made from the walk again. Chazot is then shifting the weight from one foreleg to the other. This is due to insufficient balance control prior and during the execution of the halt. The fourth attempt is asked from the walk again. The halt is better but Chazot did not finish the placement of the right hind leg. Halt is more difficult to master from the walk than from the trot. The fifth tentative is therefore asked from the trot. Chazot almost succeed but the balance control was not perfect and Chazot needs to move one hind limb to secure his balance. The last tentative is good.

 

"No one learns to make right decisions without being free to make wrong ones.’ (Kenneth Sollitt) Therefore, a horse will not achieve productive mental processing under the constraint of submission. By contrast, the horse will gladly engage his brain into the work if the training technique is stimulating the horse’s mental processing.  

 

Jean Luc

                                                                                          

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10.10.10 10:08




08.10.10

Fast V Forward

Horse's Movements






Fast verses Forward

 

"Forward movement is not how fast the horse’s body is moving forward but rather how well the thrust generated by the hind legs is utilized forward through the horse’s body.”Jean Luc Cornille

 

These two thoroughbreds are both very elegant movers. Same size, same age, same rider, however, one horse is truly forward while the other never fully mastered the biomechanics of his vertebral column. Hence, he always worked slightly contracted. The trot of the horse truly forward is very rhythmic and square. By contrast, the back of the fast horse is more rigid. In both horses, the limbs movements are spectacular but one is forward while the other is fast. We replay both sequences and your eye will notice the difference in the freedom of the back. Most Judges will reward the fast forward horse over the correctly coordinated one because judging standards lack understanding of the equine biological mechanism. However, during his competitive career, Bébé Blond, who is the horse physiologically correct, has been very well rewarded by experienced judges. For about the same performance, the horse had very high scores with judges who had international experience and where better riders in their previous career. By contrast, the horse had mediocre scores when the judges were lacking knowledge and experience, because his movement did not fit the stereotypes.

                                                                                          

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08.10.10 17:53




07.10.10

Thinking Piaff

Chazot Thinking






Once in a while, when Chazot is ready for the effort, I am asking for more collection letting him explore the thought of the piaff. The reins are in the left hand and I walk backward. The whip is held above the horse croup keeping him straight. The whip touches the horse on the left side when the he moves the croup to the left or on the right side when he shifts the croup to the right. THE WHIP NEVER TOUCHES THE HIND LEGS. The techniques that are activating the hind legs with a dressage whip are hampering the horse’s ability to perform. These techniques stimulate a reflex that is contrary to the physical demand of the piaff. During piaff the hind legs produce very little propulsive activity. At the contrary, the rear legs develop a large braking activity. The hind limb on support folds resisting forward displacement of the body over the forelegs. "The hind legs have a considerable braking activity to avoid forward movement of the body over the forelegs.(…) The  forelimbs have a larger propulsive activity.” (Eric Barrey, Sophie Biau, Locomotion of dressage horses Conference on Equine Sports Medicine and Science - 2002)

The phenomenon is clearly apparent during the sequence in slow motion. The demand is simply collected trot. At first Chazot does not properly convert through the thoracolumbar spine the thrust generated by the hind legs into vertical forces. He is controlling balance holding the neck rigid and braking with the forelegs. The propulsive activity of the hind legs is then lifting the croup higher than the forelegs. After the turn, Chazot properly converts the thrust generated by the hind legs into horizontal and vertical forces and he is then capable to control balance through the upward propulsive activity of the forelegs. The movement is then going through the back and the shoulders. Forward movement is not how fast the horse’s body is moving forward but rather how well the thrust generated by the hind legs is utilized forward through the horse’s body.

                                                                                          

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07.10.10 07:17








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