Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jeff Moore Clinic October 16-18 2010

Doesn't matter if she gazes at the sheep:
Jeff raises Delphi's neck:
There were uphill moments:
Delphi raises her back:
Round AND uphill:

Jeff had this to say about Delphi:

Concerning raising the neck and keeping the horse light in the hands, we learned the following from Jeff Moore:

You can raise the neck with the reins in light fluffs or when necessary when the horse crashes down loading the hands with weight, with a firm heave-ho up standing in the stirrups (always followed by the critical release with hands back down in normal position). You can get the horse tall and ugly (above the bit) with the neck raised up out of the horse's comfort zone to create experimentation. When the horse is working correctly, the bottom of the horse's neck becomes concave and the neck topline becomes convex. Raise the horse even higher than its version of above the bit until it decides on its own to drop its snout and yield to the bit.

She IS allowed to drop her snout down, but NOT allowed to load the hand with weight. I'm correcting her for the terrible down pressings, but I'm NOT trying to force her head down. I'm just saying "If I keep you in this kind of icky place, would you care to try an experiment or two?" And she says "Okay, how 'bout down crash-- it's my best trick!" Eventually there is a tiny glimmer of putting the nose down without putting pounds and pounds into my hand.

I want her to raise her back up and find my butt, so I keep a slightly lighter seat to encourage her back to come up. When the nose drops, it should be just as light in my hand as when the neck is fluffed up in the air. She has to be easily raisable any time whether she stays on the bit or not, MUST stay light in the hand.

The way to get her to experiment: first tell her the down smashing is NOT okay, then she floats around unsure of anything, then I raise her above her comfort zone even if it's above the bit and ugly. It is LIGHT, and ALIGNED, and higher than she'd like to be. Then I wait for her to experiment: she'll get tired of this and bored with this and start to press down and I'll say "NOPE, that's not an experiment I can accept." By keeping her higher than her comfort zone she'll start to experiment in other ways that might make her life easier. If I allow her to go around with a low neck, she'll be perfectly comfortable for 20 years!

So keep her higher than her comfort zone and then experimenting is allowed but NOT down crashing. She can slowly learn that it's okay to lower the snout but not to load the hand, and NOT to lower the chest and back. Then bit by bit we come to an understanding when she figures out how to stay round without getting heavy. I'll stop keeping my hands high and put my hands back down to normal.

For Delphi, at the moment, turning only on a polygon (with straight lines after each turn) and counter-flexion will help keep her straighter and keep her shoulder from falling out in the so-called "bend" of the neck. Don't necessarily think "bend" rather think "straight."

On the lengthening on the diagonal, at X do a soft, lifty, puffy bringing the neck up and back up with a tall fluffy rein back so the horse anticipates the lengthening as a preparation for a fluffy up rein back. Also do a fluffly rein back at the end of the lengthening.

Try dainty fluffy lifts up first; if the horse crashes down you can stand in the stirrups and heave the horse up. It is okay if the horse tosses her head up. Keep the horse way up high and dainty until the horse decides on its own to drop its snout.

The horse can lower its neck as long as it is not leveraging down into the hand. You teach the horse when you flutter the reins and raise the horse the horse collects under you. The complexis muscles should be seen in front of the middle and widest part of the neck; be seen the entire length of the neck; and be vibrant and alive.