Tuesday, August 11, 2009
So i have been seeing a lot of debates about getting the horse into a frame. First of all i HATE that word with a passion. That is what gets people into trouble, because it implys that the horse puts their head in one spot and never moves from that spot no matter what. It is impossible to do that while riding dressage, the horse has to move their head, it's essential.
What i was taught was to do the give, which is thousands of minute adjustments.
The give is by John Lyons, in his book Lyons on horses (hehe lions on horses :)
First you apply steady pressure on one rein. keep the pressure the same, don't increase or decrease. When the horse gives to the pressure, you should see a loop in the reins. Release the pressure IMMEDATLY, that part is really important, it has to be the second they give to pressure. Keep increasing how far they have to turn their head to release the pressure, do this until they give and almost touch your knee.
Now you can start the down part of the give. Put as much pressure as you did in the beginning on the inside rein and put a little less pressure on the outside rein.
In this situation the horse has two options A: hold on to the bit and not let go and keep the annoying pressure in his mouth or B: put his head down.The reason they have to put their head down is because the inside rein says give and the outside says don't turn your head, the only option is down. Some horses when they first start this go up, if they do just keep the pressure until they go down, then release all the pressure immediatly.
Don't expect them to keep it there in the sweet spot as we call it at my barn, really great riders might do the give or some form of it thousands of times in a ride, it's so small you don't see it. Thats where the myth of the frame came about, people saw the horses head seemingly not moving and assumed that the rider had taught the horse not to move his head.
This is also where Rolkur came from people struggling to get something that doesn't exist, so they just started pulling their horse's mouth. If your horse has a "frame" it's wrong