Thursday, October 16, 2008

Excerpt From "LOSGELASSENHEIT: Calmness, Relaxation, and Suppleness" by Dr. Thomas Ritter

An interesting excerpt detailing a trend that definitely happened to me with Delphi.

"Yet another category of calmness could be labeled "calm before the storm". This is a phenomenon that you can encounter especially in warmbloods. These horses withhold themselves. They "store" their energies, while appearing outwardly calm and downright lazy. Some of them appear quite unresponsive and work less and less, the harder the rider is working at trying to make them go forward. Then, when the unsuspecting rider least expects it, they can explode into a bucking fit, for no reason at all, other than that they cannot contain their slowly but surely mounting energy any more. New horse owners who just bought their first warmblood after riding exclusively Thoroughbreds, Quarter horses, or Arabians all of their life, are often in for a rude awakening, because they don’t understand their new horse’s psychology. Among baroque horses, this is luckily not a very common problem – probably due to the several additional centuries during which the baroque breeds have been selectively bred for dressage and for an outstanding character compared to most other breeds."

However, Dr. Ritter continues:
"the back of a horse who is losgelassen (implying obedience to the aids) is the safest place in the world for his rider, even in situations where something startles the horse, because the horse will remain on the aids, and the rider can re-establish the former calmness quickly and easily."