Re: McKinley: lessons

From: Sue A Deaver-Dill <>
Date: Fri Feb 12 1999 - 19:14:53 PST

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 1999 10:13 PM
Subject: Re: McKinley: lessons

O.K. Time to get on my high horse! :)

First--you post when the outside leg goes up. There is a nifty little rhyme
my instructor Krystal taught me when I was eight, but I can't remember it
Second--It is possible to ride like the Hill people. When I re-read _Hero_
and _Sword_ last year (I finaly got my own copy of both!) I went out to the
barn and spent a month teaching my mare, and myself, to work like a Hill
horse. I got mixed results. Technically it is possible, Ellie (that's my
mare) picked up on the weight and leg cues for walk, trot, canter, gallop,
reverse, circle, and sidepass (kind-of a sidways movement); I think that is
because I am training her in dressage, which uses a lot of leg and seat
aids; but I still don't know how to make her back up. (IF ANYONE HAS ANY
    Now, the in depth stuff; but first: a brief history: In 495 B.C. the
Eqyptian cavalry commander Xenophon published the first book on
horsemanship, many of the ideas he proposes are still in use today. This
book was used as a foundation for Greek classical horsemanship, which was as
close as history gets to Hill riding: the Greeks used a small,
sturupless<SP> saddle, with a bridle (a bridle with a curb bit, which they
invented. The curb bit has shanks on the part where it emerges from the
mouthpiece and the reins are attached to these, when the reins are used the
shanks provide leverage on the inside of the horse's mouth and the poll (top
of the head, where the bridle passes behind the ears), this basic bit became
more and more severe, and by the middle ages, the curb bits had spikes in
the mouthpiece. Thus, as someone else said, the knights didn't need to use
much rein pressure) Anyway, Robin used to train dressage horses on her farm,
a disipline developed from the writings of Xenophon and the teachings of the
    Hill ridding would be impossiple in battle, as Xenophon himself wrote.
Horses naturally carry 60% of their weight on the front end, and 40% on the
hind end; this makes the horse harder to turn and control in its natural
state (much like a runaway train). In order to combat this, we dressage
riders use the reins (which Hill riders would'nt have) to "collect" the
horse and balance it 60-40 on the hind end, which makes the horse more
agile. The Damarian cavalry is described like the Lippizans and the Spanish
Riding School in Vienna (which are a breed of white horses from Austria.
BTW:Sometimes a group does national tours, I saw a presentation a month
after I read _Sword_ and I have never seen horses who fit the description of
Hill horses so well. If they come to your city, GO SEE THE SHOW, its
amazing.) The Lippizan was developed as a war horse over the centuries, and
they use briddles and saddles. In short (which is pretty near impossible
for me when I'm talking about horses) if Hill riding worked in battle,
someone would already have done it between 495 B.C. and now. But, no matter
how impractical it is, Ellie likes it, and she always wins. Speaking of
Ellie, I think I can hear her thoughts (Kinda like Harry and Tsornin) _Food,
food, food_ Guess it must be feeding time.

                         Ha, ha! I finally shut her up!
                        If this is actually interesting to any of you I will
be shocked.
                                                --Beca Deaver
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Received on Fri Feb 12 19:18:41 1999

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