Re: McKinley: lessons

From: Danielle <>
Date: Fri Feb 12 1999 - 20:13:01 PST

I can't remember her name, but the lady who wrote the books about the
Chincoteague ponies, "Misty," etc., also wrote a book called something
like "The White Stallion of Lipizza." It contained some detail on the
dressage cues they used, and for some reason I remember something
about backing - I think it was a non-rein cue, that's probably why I
still remember it. It's been a very long time since I read the book,
but it was one of my favorites when I was little... I was going to
write a reply to the previous "lessons" message, but Beca covered it
very well - certainly better than I would have, because it's been a
year since I've ridden and I never spent a lot of time with dressage.
The history was great to remember; I did a research project on just
Xenophon and another on the development of cavalry, in high school,
but I haven't read much on it since. The Hill style itself, I agree,
is entirely (theoretically entirely, I should say) possible - it's
just kind of limited by the personality and intelligence of the horse,
and the talent of the rider. I've never actually tried it; I didn't
find McKinley's Damar books until after I had to stop riding. I
figure you could train a cue to back, like, say, a voice command or a
heel tap in a specific place - it would just take a lot of time and
effort, which would probably not be worth it. A Damarian trainer,
though, working with a horse from the beginning of its training, would
have no problem adding that in among all those complex battle moves.
Anyway - what I was going to say was, on the other hand, I've always
been kind of dubious about going from flat-out run to a stop just by
digging in one's butt; whenever I rode bareback (with a pad) at
anything over an easy canter, I was sitting deep already to stay with
the horse, and I'm not sure how well the horse would feel a difference
in the "digging in" as described in "Hero" - it's not a full saddle,
but there's still something there to muffle whatever pressure did get
through. Maybe a fairly sensitive horse would just respond to the
weight shift? But what happens when you're running away over the
desert and you have to get a drink - so you lean back a little as you
grab your waterskin - and the horse slams to a stop, pitching you over
its ears because you weren't expecting it?
I don't know. Any ideas? I really wish I could try it out, but I'm
kind of limited these days. Beca, I might be just having the literary
equivalent of an LSD flashback (ie I'm hallucinating), but you might
want to try looking up that book. It contained a lot of detail about
the Lipizzaners, their riders, and the training of each that you might
find interesting.
Danielle :)

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Received on Fri Feb 12 20:14:08 1999

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