ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Twelveponies books.

Re: Twelveponies books.

Sat, 5 Apr 1997 09:05:52 -0500 (EST)

Dear Cheryl, glad to meet another JLyon's fan. I've always enjoyed your posts
to ridecamp. David also has gotten very soft in the bridle using John's
Mary Twelveponies is as easy to understand as John, and her BACKYARD
DRESSAGE book is my favorite of all her books. John's methods never describe
well how to get a horse to start using his back and working from his
hindquarters--at least, as far as I've read so far. Mary Twelveponies stuff
makes up for this defficiancy. Mary Twelveponies primary complaint with
endurance riders is, and I quote:
"One other area I would like to touch on is that of endurance riding.
All the instructions in this that I have seen just deal with
conditioning--how to feed, how much work in each gait, how much stress, how
to take TPR's, equipment to prevent sore backs, shoeing practices, etc. It
seems to me certain basic facts are ignored. For instance: if you supple
both sides of your horse so he bends equally both ways, he will keep the
saddle straight on his back and you will be able to ride in balance with him.
these things prevent sores--horse and human. Teaching him to respond to all
the turning aids gets him bending properly. I fhe engages his hocks--that
is, steps under his haunches and bends all those joints--he will negotiate
all kinds of terrain more easily, carrying himself and you more easily. This
lessens fatigue.
....If a horse will go fast by extending his stride rather than by taking
quicker, shorter steps, he will cover ground quicker wih fewer strides per
mile. This lessens stress on feet and legs as well as on his muscles. If he
readily changes from extension to collection, sudden changes in terrain can
be negotiated easily without mental and physical stress on the horse. If
the horse works on contact, you can help him over the difficult spots by
helping him balance. This certainly does not rule out loose rein work in
places where he needs freedom to use his head as a balancing rod.
If a horse works with his head lowered and his back swinging, he can
carry you on his back more easily. You do not tire so quickly because his
gaits are smoother. Tired rider, tired horse. Relaxed muscles--both his and
yours--do not load up with poisonous wastes that cause both fatigue and tying
I submit that a training-conditioning program based on basic dressage
would put your endurance horse in better condition with less time and miles
because . . . a horse and rider could go over all kinds of ground farther and
faster with less stress. Isn't that what it's all about!
. . . leg yielding, turns on the haunches, transitions in gaits and in
extension-collection--all increase engagement, balance and responsiveness.
This helps develop strength where it counts: in the haunches and back.
. . . I am sure that all endurance riders and horses could benefit from
basic dressage training, including cavalletti, simplu because it would
develop the muscles, suppleness ans relaxation that are vital to preventing
wear and tear and debilitating fatigue. I have seen winning endurance horses
with plenty of muscle fore and aft but none on their backs. The back carries
the weight and ties all motor activities together."
END QUOTE (whew!)
Publications,Millwood, NY 10546-0594, Phone 1-800-824-5000 or 1-800-543-3000.
Trish & "pretty David"(who says, isn't there an author who just advises
leaving your horse out in his pasture and skip all this riding him stuff?)

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