"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.

Poll High, Nose in front of the vertical, FDO

On the Bit? So, you think you know if the poll is the highest point?  If the nose is in front of the vertical?  If a horse is stretching forward, down and out?  This page is dedicated to this, near always, misunderstood Classical Principle.  It has been forgotten, ignored, swept under the rug, misinterpreted and basically sacrificed for the almighty gold medal and blue ribbon.  It has become a lost art, and like Indiana Jones, we need to embark on a terrifying expedition to find the holy grail again.  Most peoples understanding and application of it is so distorted that the majority of dressage riders THINK they have it, and sadly this is just not the case. Despite the fact that it IS in-fact a primary rule of dressage competition, you lose very few points if any these days for deviating from this golden principle.  Join me here for pictures and diagrams of what IS and is NOT....and how it deeply effects the purity of the gaits as well.  Eventually I will have links to great websites that provide far more scholarly and experienced information on the subject, as I am far from a expert.  It is just that I hold this priciple to be just that in my own riding, so on my quest for my own education and betterment, I wanted to share, because this info is hard to find in one place.  This page is a work in progress and thus will be under 'construction' for quite a while.  Please keep in mind, this page is about this ONE principle, not the other principles.

A test of your knowledge and skill of your eye.
Do you think these horses are:
1. Poll high
2. Nose in front of the vertical
3. On the Bit (not what this page is about, but often these terms are used hand in hand incorrectly)

I will start you off easy, these should be a no brainer

Please tell me you did NOT think this was right in any way....but here is the "proof" any ways

So what do think of these next pics?  Are they Poll high and in front of the vertical?

Here is the moment of truth......What do you think NOW?

Just to clear up some anatomy questions....the POLL is the hard lump of bone between your horses ears, and I marked it as a dot or x on a few photo's where I drew the line at the actual highest point, rather than have it intersect thru the poll.. 

Do you want to know the worst part of this?  All of these people THINK they have the poll high!  Some even think their horse is ON the vertical or at worst only 'slightly' behind.  What do you think?  The lines just do NOT lie.

Ok....here is the REAL test......are these pics Poll high and in front of the vertical?

Recognize this last one?

And what do you think NOW?

It's ME, well it's Snookie, I'm Cropped out. 
 This is before we started classical schooling
While we are on the vertical...look at how the under neck
is bulging and rather than flexing at the poll she is bent 
between C2 and C3.  Not my proudest moment...
but...the whole point of this...I was told I WAS poll high
and doing it right.  So I know exactly how this principle 
can be misunderstood.

Sometimes....It's a real TOUGH call huh?

So here is the REAL deal....enjoy

Recognize this last one?

This should be obvious to you now....but here's the lines anyways
It's ME!

and a few more that i lost the ones without the lines....sorry

This last one is a toughy though as you can't really count a cresty horse and his mane is in the way, but it is really close if it is not poll high.  his nose is infront of the vertical regardless.

How about.....
Forward, Down and Out (FDO)
Yet another highly misunderstood concept.  So the easy explanation is Pole= Forward & Down + Nose= Out.  Yes....the FDO concept is comprised of ALL 3...if you are missing one or more.....you do NOT have FDO....Rather....long & low....ie: top of the neck got longer and the poll went down, but since the nose is still curled in, all you have...is .....DEEP.

So do you think THIS is FDO?

I hope not....

But this IS....... Forward, Down AND out.


Well that is it for today.....as I said.....this is going to be under construction for a while.  I am working on finding photo's of Poll high, in front of the Vertical.....gone BAD.  That's right folks....it is only ONE of the principles....not the ONLY one.....so of course you can have the poll be the highest point with the nose in front of the vertical.....and still be dead WRONG.  Keep an eye out....I will get to it eventually.