The Flip of the Crest...
16th May 2013:
On the Wednesday I had got the nuchal flip on my own albeit only to the right. It seems since the video clip I took went on a Facebook dressage discussion list it has caused quite a stir but I put that down to certain people not really understanding what it does. It is not how they are imagining in their minds. One person in the discussion described is as ‘snapping the ligament’ imagine the ignorance of that!!!!!!! You should have a slight flexion in a simple leg yield BUT and a big BUT the giving part of asking for this at halt is the most important; with no give the horse will not understand and you won’t reap the benefits from it. We did it in the long and low position because of trying to focus with the camera; this is very very different than being overbent!!! After the flexion the give makes the horse reach for the bit stretching the whole topline.
All I can say is that it is something that the old masters of classical dressage knew about and certainly put into practice. My Rosie has tension issues and as said before an iron mouth but this exercise has more benefits to her than I could ever have imagined but it does take patience something we all lack at times in this world because we want it all NOW!!! She sighs when she lets go, relaxes, snorts and I can put the leg on and drive her, yes it comes and goes but again flexion, and give, drive, soft elbows, soft shoulders, turn off the outside rein, sometimes with outside flexion to straighten the horse on that side and bingo she starts to give more and more and more but it takes mental effort on my part as opposed to physical. I want her to be soft in the bridle but not drop me, I never ever want her to be strong but to carry the bit softly in her mouth and be guided by gentle reins, leg and seat, which at times can be extremely difficult especially when at the same time you have to speed control. That does not however mean no rein contact or washing lines; sooooooo difficult to explain but believe me the horse tells you when you get it right and the feeling is so sublime. It might come and go and if you are anything like me you will question did I do that wrong there or there but patience and commitment, going back to halt if necessary and it comes back again. Equally you can never worry about anyone watching (I know we all do that). How many times do people say ‘my horse let me down today’? The horse does not let any of us down, how can it, because it does not think like that, it is just we have not yet developed the skill to keep them totally on side and most of us all succumb to worrying what on lookers think which takes away the focus. Good training takes time if you want to have that sublime feel, you have to act like you have all the time in the world focus, relax, have oodles of patience, practice and keep practicing and forget what anyone else says.
Today I got it on both reins, it was so lovely I could have gone on and on and on but I thought no you have given me what I wanted and tomorrow is another day. She went back to her stable totally relaxed and even when I turned her out she once more stayed with me for a while before walking off to her friends. For Rosie to be mentally relaxed yet listening to me is a great step forward bless her.
Until next time, Gill and RosieB...