Monday, October 22, 2007


Another Hot Day at School

This is getting ridiculous. It was hot again in my classroom today. Probably over 80F outside?? Not sure. And we had computer generated testing today and I had to set up my kids for the test--with some super help from a substitute teacher who was a gem at setting up the computers in his room next door so the overflow of my students had a place to go.

Anyhow, the break in my normal routine wore me out along with the heat. I may lunge Tucker later, or a I may not. Tonight is also the last soaking for Chance's hoof, so that too will wear me out. He's been getting a little fussy about holding his hoof up for all the cottoning, vetwrapping and duct taping, so we have a little wrestling match each time. (Oh, by the way the nappies are a great idea, but I'm using the cotton because I have about 10 big rolls of the surgical stuff left over from when I first got Tucker--he had a leg injury with some serious proud flesh-- and ordered a case of the stuff for bandaging him. Some of it has gotten wet so, I am using it up as hoof padding. )

The heat is supposed to break tomorrow. I hope so. I have all kinds of fall clothes to wear to school and today I was in a summer sundress....again!!

Continuing the flying change experience, I did some research and found a nice article here There is a part two as well.

One of the controversies seems to be the difference between teaching the flying change and teaching it "correctly" as the masters claim. They say if you teach the horse through less than classical means, he will learn to change crookedly or in an unbalanced way and the problem will stay with him all his life.

I have not found that to be true with my horses. The difficulty was getting them to understand that it was OK to keep cantering, swap leads and go on. Once they get the the writer of the linked article suggests, then the basics of the "game" are set. They need to think the movement is just another stride, and become totally relaxed about it. Once that happens, the tempis become no big deal--at least up to the two tempis. I never quite developed the ones with any of my horses, but I've ridden a few and again, to the horse, if you don't make a big deal about the single change, so what if you do it every stride? It does take muscle and balance--right now Toby's threes come out of a too strong stride because he can't quite carry himself in the collection needed to get the more moderate ones--but that is all part of the package once the horse reaches the competitive levels requiring the tempis.

I am far from an expert on this, but I do know western horse simply ridden for pleasure and many of the hunter/jumpers around here a perfectly capable of doing repeated changes without all the proper carriage and collection demanded of dressage horses.

So what? There is a difference between training the movements themselves and expecting the movements to be correct. Can a horse half pass on a long rein? Of course. Can a horse make a canter depart on no contact all with his nose stuck out? Of course. Would he score a "10" in the dressage arena or be considered to be working properly? Of course not. But he can still perform the "tricks."

Sometimes its just kind of fun to approach the movements as "tricks" teach them and then work to perfect them. Maybe the classicists think this is backwards, but it can take the pressure off and turn work into play.

Just my philosophy and why I will never make it to the Olympics. *G*


  1. I like your philosophy. My grip with the Dressage Queens trainers and riders, is that they make things complex and snob... "you need the WB at 100,000$ with the groom, and you need to follow the Old Dressage God's book blablablabla ...."
    I am sure you get better results with having fun with your horse.

    But I won't go to the Omlypics either ^-^ ANd my "guru" Philippe Karl did not either so ...

  2. i like too.

    top showjumpers all do flying changes - have to! - so your thought makes sense!

    glad you like the nappy idea!

  3. I like the philosophy " do what works" Different methods probably work with different horses and you are prepared to try different things to work out what your horses need, so you'll always succeed in getting the best out of them.


  4. Should be a break in the heat for the next 3 days...