"A horse is like a mirror, and it's reflecting what and who you are."

This is just a little diary of my horse life. I teach natural horsemanship and dressage. I am currently working on getting back to L4 Parelli after a car accident and surgery.

I suffered from a fear of failure, as things had not gone according to planned after my time off from my injuries. It had been an paralyzing disability (fear) but my healing is coming along nicely, and I hope to pass my level 4 before the end of 2011.

I don't know where I am going, but I am NOT lost!

I am now reviewing dvd's and books, and blogging my reviews. The link on the left in the categories (DVD Clinician Reviews)will take you straight to it. You will find links to the websites of all dvd clinicians I review and they are located on the left hand side bottom of page of the page. None of the clinicians or trainers I am reviewing, sponsor, endorse or authorize this site. For more info about them please click on thier link.

I hope you enjoy!

Savvy On,

I will be giving Savvy Star Ratings based soley on my opinion of it's value to a parelli student as such

***** Must own

**** Must watch

*** Worth watching, but you won't die without it

** Eh' take it with a grain of salt, you will have to filter alot

* OK, but there is better stuff out there to spend your time and money on

0 stars....skip it, it just isn't worth your time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DVD Review: **** Craig Stevens: Theory of Dressage

Disk 1 ****

Holy Maccaroni.....this is a GREAT dvd for Parelli students.  If you are doing finesse in any sort of fashion, be it in a dressage saddle or western saddle....you really should watch this dvd.  You will not see any pictures or moving video of horses.  It is a theory lesson, regarding why we do what we do, and why we shouldn't do what we hopefully are not doing.  In a short amount of time, you can learn quite a little bit about the French Classical Dressage (FC) style of riding that Pat talks about from time to time.  While it may contradict Linda's "Game of Contact" (founded with German Classical Dressage) it does not in any way contradict PNH with Finesse.  He covers such things as the history of dressage, rein effects, weight and balance effects, resistance effects, half halt, halt by combined effect, rein adjustment, how to hold the rein, and classical seat balance

He states we should never make a rearward retraction, (pull on) the reins, rather only in the halt should we used the combined effect of driving into a solid hand.

I love this saying regarding timing and strength:
"It's not the effect of force, but the force of properly timed effects."

He has a great explanation of whether or not humans are capable of balancing a horse, loved it.
"To modify balance thru suppling excersises to help the horse/rider discover where the center is"

Ride with tact....
Tact: "The application of imagination to sensation"

French:  Never attempt to deal with more than one resistance at a time.  When a horse gets out of balance physically or emotionally, Start with the halt to eliminate resistances of the weight, second: deal with the resistance of force, ie: supple the stiffness....third: then carry on.

German: Ride the horse forward through the resistance into patterns designed to gain suppleness.

In no way am I going to stand up and say every thing he says is a golden rule, simply because at this point I really don't know that much about FC dressage, but honestly whether or not I may agree or disagree, I certainly do understand it all better due to his explanations. His work is supported by French Classical Dressage master Phillipe Karl and Natural Horseman Ed Dabney.  So I am going to say that despite what ever controversy may be going on in the 'modern' dressage world regarding his work, is of no consequence to me, especially since the 'modern' dressage world is most predominantly German Classical at it's roots, if not execution.

Having now watched all 4 of his dvd's, I know he is big on classical equitation gained through suppleing and strength exercises designed to force you to find your balance and the proper seat as opposed to having someone tell you 'put your leg here and your arm here", they can easily be done in a round pen as opposed to having someone lunge you, if your horse is good in the round pen and good with passenger lessons of course. These excersises can be found on disk 1 of the "perfecting the seat" dvd set he has.

I also think this dvd set goes well with Phillipe Karl's dvd's.

Click here for a great article written by Craig regarding French Classical Dressage vs German Classical Dressage equitation.

Click here for an interview with Craig

This video series is no longer available for sale, but you can rent it from Giddyupflix

Click Here for more info on Craig Stevens

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