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Thursday, February 17, 2011


The horse in the rassembler showed the degree of balance achieved in his training by working on a square of small dimensions, passaging on the sides, and piaffing in the corners. The terre à terre (a verycollected canter in two beats and often on two tracks, used to prepare the airs) is transformed into quarter pirouettes or into quarter reverse pirouettes in the corners. They worked on the square this way to confirm the horse to the aids, to determine the bend to give the horse in the voltes (always on two tracks in the old terminology), and to refine the dressage of an already advanced horse. On one square they exercised in ordinary voltes, on another square the reverse voltes. On the first, the horse moved with the hindquarters on the sides of the squares so that the forehand moved on parallel tracks outside of the square. In the corners, the hind legs moved in place so that the shoulders described a quarter of a circle. This is what the French called embracing the volte. They practiced the contrary on the reverse voltes, that is to say that the forehand moves on the sides of the square, the hindquarters travelling on an outside track parallel to the sides of the square and in the corners, the forelegs move in place while the croup describes a quarter of a circle on the outside. -Excerpt from Dom Diogo de Brangance's Dressage in the French Tradition. Available for September 2011 shipping HERE

La GUÉRINIÈRE's work SCHOOL OF HORSEMANSHIP available HERE affordably repriced at only $29.95

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Xenophon Press: How to to familiarise the horse with all that frig...

Xenophon Press: How to to familiarise the horse with all that frig...: "Progression to follow to familiarise the horse with all that frightens him. – To habituate a horse to the noise of drums, of music, and to ..."

How to to familiarise the horse with all that frightens him. Faverot de Kerbrecht

Progression to follow to familiarise the horse with all that frightens him. – To habituate a horse to the noise of drums, of music, and to flags, etc., it is in within the silence of the school, and not outside, that the rider must give the lesson. He must follow an extensive gradation. For the drum for example, the lesson begins with several strikes of the stick. As soon as the horse is disturbed, stop the noise, calm him down, flatter him, start over, etc. Give this lesson with the drummer at the halt at the beginning, and then have the drummer march towards the horse. Everything in progression. For gunfire, hold him far away at the beginning, even very far away, and then approach the shooter almost imperceptibly.
Should the rider happen upon an object that the horse fears, he must guard against trying to approach the object with vigour. On the contrary, let the horse be as far away as he wants from the subject of his fright, and give (the reins) completely. Use the rein and leg as little as possible. Pass and re-pass the object many times, far away to start, and then closer and closer as the horse pays less attention to the object that frightened him in the beginning. To achieve his goal more safely and more quickly, the rider should begin by giving in hand every lesson intended to tame a horse, to reassure him, and to familiarise him with that which worries him or frightens him. -Faverot de Kerbrecht available here

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Subject: Endotapping
Hi Richard,

So, what can you tell me about Endotapping? Have you worked with your horses with this method?

I have a client that just bought a Friesian that is totally shut down to the whip and spur. Just thinking of ways to get him out of this defensive armor...I had not heard of it before.


Well first I would take the spurs off since they don't work. Then I would look at the 9 minute YouTube video for free on 'What is Endotapping' which is very pleasant but doesn't tell you how. Then I would get an Endostick (42" length) along with the 2DVD set available at www.XenophonPress.com . The horse learns first to Relax, then to Activate, in the beginning the horse may Resist or Ignore. These are normal in the process. The tapping is done on acupuncture meridian points that have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. I have a 6 year old that wouldn't go, every time you did a downward transition to walk, he would just coil and then either rear or go nowhere or go sideways into a nearby object. I started the Endotapping from the ground (you know I am extremely skeptical of all gadgets! and extra equipment) The tapping actually releases endorphins, so it has the opposite effect of the whip, which causes a sting and pain. I tap from behind by reaching back to make sure he will go forward, then right by my calf to teach him the tapping calf aid, on the shoulder if he bullies or charges through the shoulder etc. The horse is now staying in the arena (with no walls) and cheerfully going forward. I learned about it from J.P. Giacomini who used to be in Pebble Beach in the 1980s and ended up teaching our friend M.W. who moved there. I was actually looking for a translator when I called J.P. Now I ride all of our horses, including some pretty big, dull Dutch horses, and have taken the spurs off. I am using the Endotapping in hand stick (6' long) now instead of the in hand whip for teaching piaffe and passage and the horses no longer kick out, but work in relaxation with better movement and more activity.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ok, this Endotapping by J.P. Giacomini presented in his two volume DVD set, completely bargain priced at 64.95 really works. I have tested it on 6 completely different horses. The latest, our coming 6 year old had been completely soured to the whip of any kind. He would either kick out at the whip, or while undersaddle plant himself and stop moving. I started using the Endotapping stick along with the detailed instructions on the DVD set a week ago, he is now going forward undersaddle with light taps from my leg, stays in the arena, cheerfully canters, does all of the transitions up and down without hessitation and with delight. The Endotapping stick is not a whip, it creates endorphines and relaxes the horse then activates him. Simply unbelieveable. I am very skeptical of any technology but this method of relaxation has been around in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and has been proven to work on humans. Wouldn't you like to tap your horse with the 'stick' and have him relax and not tense from it? That's what I always wanted and now have. Then the horse learns to willingly and without resistance move forward, or sideways in complete accord with the rider's wishes. It takes skill and brains but so does good riding. Get the dvd's and see for yourself. available at http://easternshorecollection.com/J-P-Giacomini-Presents-Endotapping-2-DVDs-6018.htm

Dom Diogo da Brangance Excerpt

"The limit of flexibility is attained when the horse will not go more forward in the requested gait. This is what is happening if the horse, chomping his bit to an excess while at the halt, departs at the canter when the trot or the walk has been requested. The rider can be sure that the mobility of the jaw has been brought to the point of exaggeration. Another example: If the trainer wants his mount to halt perfectly, but the horse engages and mobilizes his hindquarters, putting himself into what one could call “agitated stop;” we must conclude that the flexibility of the hindquarters has been pushed too far."

Excerpt from Equitation in the French Tradition by Dom Diogo da Brangance to be published in English by www.XenophonPress.com in Spring of 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

We are fortuanate enough to have obtained a few copies of Harry Boldt's English Translation of 'The Dressage Horse' Chapter III. This book is does a fantastic job of describing and diagramming the aids like no other book. It is out of print and these are some of the only remaining copies. You can order your own copy at http://www.xenophonpress.com/ while they last. They are very difficult to find and an incredible resource to have at your finger tips.