Friday, September 23, 2011
DVD Review:**** 5Mike Schaffer: Right From The Start
Right from the Start****
It is refreshing to see educational dressage dvd's that so clearly show that many traditional and classical riders and their methods are 'natural'. Most NH'rs think that the NH 'techniques' are what makes natural....well....natural....and they couldn't be farther from the truth. The TRUTH is, natural is in your mind, it is in concepts and philosophy, not in a stick and a rope.
Mike has a philosophy that if you start a horse on the ground to accept and give to the bit, before you get on his back, you will save him YEARS of confusion and pain. I agree with this whole heartedly. Another of his steps is to release knots in the neck with massage and to supple the horse with lateral movements on the ground before you mount up. Nothing un-natural about that. His technique was simple to understand and very well demonstrated with several un-started horses and horses he was re-starting that had years of evasions to the bit. His technique only took minutes for the horse to understand the lesson, because Mike understands.....it's all about the release. He demonstrated this time and again. He also shows a rider how to do this, and walked her literally one step at a time through the process, from ground to saddle. The changes in the horse were nothing short of amazing.
As for my dressage principles, I feel this is a great tool in teaching the horse to give to the bit, but I caution you, we do not want them so soft, that they travel around over bent longitudinally and behind the bit or vertical.......OR over bent laterally, crooked and falling out thru the shoulder. This dvd is about 'giving to the bit', so remember, it all starts in the back end, driving your horse, straight, over his back, reaching TO the bit, TO the contact, and ACCEPTING that contact....not about a head set, or avoiding the contact.
I am giving this dvd 4 *"s as I believe very strongly it is a must see for anyone who is about to, or already has, put a bit in their horses mouth, and it is simple, concise, and not convoluted with any other content not related to the subject.
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