Folks whenever you hear, or read in the books, someone using the terms like the "light contact" or "very light contact", usually referring to the rein contact, or someone is using words like gentle in reference to aids or handling of a horse you are hearing a genuine bullshit in almost all cases, and are dealing with a genuine moron or a deceiver, and here is why.
When the fools are riding their horses, that had already some training, on a very nice sunny and cool day, no flies, the birds are singing and everything is like some dream, or in some enclosed arena or fenced riding ring (round pen etc.) where the horses feel safe and secure, these fools say things like: "I don't need a bridle to ride with", or "I don’t need a bit to ride with", or "I just use very gentle touch with my hands and the horse responds", or "gentle touch with the spur and the horse just responds with willingness", and such and so forth. These are, what most horsemen call, genuine assholes, and I could not present a denser description of stupidity in just one sentence as in the previous one if I would try.
Who is he targeting below?
I recall one of these deceivers and manipulators/exploiters writing bullshit like this in his books, his name was Alois Podhajsky (a person with a swollen brains), whose writings inspired many jerks and idiots, especially in the crap that they are riding and calling a dressage.
(His genuine oxymoron; writes a book titled "My Horse, My Teacher" and so why to hell did he writes any books and giving advice on "how-to" if the horses and not him should do the teaching? He even writes in his book (not that I have read his books), in not so many words, that the reading of his book will make the reader a worse rider if he already does not know the how-to that is in the book. See the oxymoron in the whole thing? Well, he just wanted to be remembered as some "master of the riding art" of his time. Among horseman he is remembered as conceited and proud fool, whose books due to misunderstanding caused a complete degeneration of the thing we used to call dressage at one time.)
His stupidity and incompetence was publicly preformed when he took his "well"
and "gently" trained horse to show him on an exhibition in a stadium before
hundreds of fans. The horse supposedly spooked at one point and ran off with his
"master of the riding art", whose "gentle" aids in controlling the horse were
obviously useless and ineffective.
All these people are simply nothing but fools, and most of the books written on riding, by the so-called military officers that for most part never seen a battle field, or better said never thought of battle field when riding or training the dressage when using the so-called amplified aids, are simply bullshit books and no self-respected horseman would ever read them. One look at the book covers and I feel like barfing, though one has to know what he is looking at.
Here is the today's moron's misunderstanding of the use of the
so-called amplified riding aids like spurs and
Here is some enlightenment why the horses in the more advanced stage of training had to be presented under the use of the more severe aids, like the spurs and curb bit, not whip of course. (The latter (riding crop, not the long touché whip) used strictly in training young riding horses and later on, once horse was refined, it was abandoned. Of course there are practical uses for the whip in racing and such, as well as in most sport disciplines, but the use or carrying of the whip on a refined and advanced dressage horse was simply inconceivable and seen as simply crude and a sign of incompetence on the part of the rider, not to mention that it was not allowed.)
You simply take a young so-called remount and train it first
to accept all the riding aids, the seat, the bit and the rider's hands and the
leg aids. Please note the word "accept", because that is the key word in
training young horses, because if the horse does not accept one of these riding
aids, and does not "learn" to respond to them appropriately, the animal is
simply unreliable as a riding horse, something that no soldier would ever want
to ride into the battle, nor I would want to ride anywhere as a finished horse.
Once when your horse accepts and learns how to respond to
rider's aids it can perform even the most complex dressage maneuvers, when
advanced and refined enough, (not
talking about the work in the air, which are in essence horse tricks these days
like in the circus.) without the need for any amplified aids by the rider, like
spurs and curbs, because the horse gets more refined under a decent rider, and
responds well just to miniscule movements of the rider, touches of the legs,
easy and responsive hands only with a snaffle bit, and to any slight body aid through
the rider's seat.
And so why the spurs and curb bit for the advanced levels in a genuine dressage? Yes, here is the problem that many horses faced in the advanced levels, especially mares, which is the accepting of the sever aids after they became refined riding horses. In short, the well refined horse responds quickly and suitably to any of the refined aids, and when the more amplified version of the aid is implemented they simply resent it for obvious reasons. And so the trick, and mind you a very difficult task, is to get the horse accept, and I repeat ACCEPT the severe riding aids without resenting it or refusing it.
A typical refusal of the spurs can be seen in the swishing of the horse's tail, which by the way can be seen on the Pdhajsky's book cover "Horse and the rider", in contrast of the picture below that book cover that presents a horse in piaffe with very quiet tail.
A typical refusal of the curb by the "Iron hand Anky", as the horse is trying to evade her brutal and pulling hands by trying to put its head closer to its chest.
The refusal of these riding aids in most cases would insure disqualification in the days when dressage was dressage, because the addition of the amplified aid in the higher level was primarily about the acceptance of the severe aids, and was not about the response to these aids. Now you may understand why everyone was talking about applying these aids very gently when in performance, because if they would be applied in the genuine and intended military form many horses would, refuse/resent these aids. The refusal of accepting these aids by the horse becomes very obvious even to a laic when explained.
When the horse refuses the curb, since already accepting the snaffle prior to this advancement, the horse simply looks for escape from the bit by yielding to the bit via putting its head past the "vertical" (below the impulsion line) and closer to his chest, which reduces the mechanical power of the curb bit (in reality called the lever-bit), and thus reducing the pressure of the bit against the horse's jaw (The horse is instinctively and obviously avoiding pain as any living creature does).
A good riding horse does not yield to the bit, and it is not
something you want to teach any riding horse, but a good horse
accepts the bit and responds to it in an appropriate and suitable fashion in the way it was trained.
(Of course most cannot understand what I am talking about here, obviously, since
one has to live it and experience it to understand it)
Now here you can see the female
cunning and evasiveness in the genuine form, when they take their
incompetence and start to call it art or even something "classical". It's
like me taking a shit and then calling myself an artist sculptor, but the
former is more absurd and preposterous, not to mention vulgar, and it simply cannot be outdone in
its imbecility. In short if the horse puts its head behind the so called
vertical, and or below the impulsion line, he is not only and obviously out
of balance and very much on the forehand, but in most cases in today's dressage the horse is evading the
pressure of the lever bit, as well as evading to use its rear end sufficiently,
because both are easier on the horse, obviously.
The refusal of the spur can be seen in very simple things,
besides leaning against the spur or more dramatic bucking or kicking, the most
common and also accepted is the swishing of the horse's tail every time the spur
is applied, which is obviously a genuine failure in the acceptance of this
amplified aids by the horse, and of course a failure in training the animal.
Most participants were disqualified and in the military the horse simply failed
the test in both cases, whether refusing the bit or the spurs, or any other aids
for that matter. (If you are near a horse and the animal starts to swish its
tail you are about to get kicked, which is something any ass knew in my younger
days. A horse swishes its tail either to get rid of flies or to express
annoyance, which also every asshole knew in my younger days.)
Watch this video to see the typical spur refusal by the horse in the "higher level" of dressage, which in the days of dressage would mean disqualification, but today one gets the gold medal for it. (Please pay attention that the horse does not swishes the tail when the spurs are not applied. Also notice a little girl moved to tears by the "beauty" of it all, and her dream is born. Could people get more blind and clueless than this? Also notice just how hard the man is pulling on the cub!).
The public is so dumb, which is a huge understatement, that I have heard of people saying, when observing a genuine refusal of the spurs of the rider by the horse that was swishing its tail in response to every spur application, "look the horse is even moving its tail to the rhythm of the music", and some women or girls are often so touched by the "beauty" of it all that they are in tears (in the above link-video) when observing this genuinely absurd, preposterous, ludicrous, laughable, and idiotic performance as that link/video presents.
And so if the so called "professionals" or "experts" do these things to satisfy the stupid and clueless public and its demands, isn't it inevitable that we all eventually become idiots and the so-called democracy becomes idiocracy? Oops, we already have that here in the USA; I am just a little too old and too slow to keep up with these "modern and progressive" changes.
So now, why would we want the refined horse to accept these amplified and fairly brutal and often painful aids? Here is a very simply and extremely obvious reason. Just imagine that you are riding a horse that is refined according to the fools understanding, knowing only the light and so-called gentle riding aids, or the riding aids applied gently. Suddenly a grenade or a shell explodes nearby, the horse gets some of the shrapnel stuck deep in its ass or flanks, and guess what, you are for the ride of your life, and on the battle field more likely dead. Now imagine that many horses during the battle actually for most part kept on going and doing for the rider whatever the rider wanted, with their bleeding torn bodies continuing the battle with the soldier.
To expect a horse to respond to some "gentle and light" riding aids under these circumstances is as absurd as expecting a commander, while fighting in the middle of the battle, to whisper his commands to the troops in the battle. They used trumpets or horns to amplify the signals, the same reasons for spurs and curbs, hence amplified riding aid/instruments to get the horse to respond under extreme situations like the battle field. One of the most important parts in training a horse for the battle field was to get the animal accustomed to pain. What is the purpose of it now, when we do things with horses solely for entertainment?
Do you think for a moment, unless you are a complete imbecile,
that any horse, no matter how well trained, would respond to light riding aids
or a gentle touch under such circumstances? Or what do you think would happen to
the horse that was not accustomed to the amplified aids? A horse that is not
accustomed to, or better said did not accept the amplified aids, when applied it
only adds to the panic of the horse, and things get even worse, which needless
to say was presented by the morons like Anky and Podhajsky and such but in less
And so, the most difficult part
of the advanced genuine dressage is to have the refined and well trained
horse to accept the harsher and more brutal riding aids in its refined
state. That is extremely difficult since the more refined or responsive the
horse is the more difficult it becomes. And so, since we have no use for
military horse and we no longer train horses for the
battle field, we no longer need to train the refined horse for any of these
amplified riding aids, hence they should be banned, especially from dressage.
And so, the mandatory acceptance of the amplified riding aids
by the horse in the higher and advanced levels of dressage had solely a military use in its
time and it has no place in this world of horses that is primarily about
entertainment. You must realize, that on the battle field, the soldier and the
horse alike experienced a huge rise of adrenalin, which any fools knows and can
imagine, which means that the soldier and the horse alike did not feel pain as
under normal circumstance, or better said were not always aware of everything
they would feel under normal circumstances.
There are even some morons so stupid that they actually believe that military horses would respond to voice command when on battle field. Oh, how many times have I seen fools on a running off horses screaming whoa, whoa, which actually made them even less effective in controlling the horse, as their yelling freaked and panicked the horse even more, not to mention they really looked like genuine assholes on horses. An asshole in the horse world is any person that thinks he knows when he does not (unaware of his or her limitations), which are about all people around horses these days, though most cannot help it, because most of the so-called education or "information" in this modern world is presented by deceivers and propagated by the assholes, which only multiplies their ranks.
Most of the eastern cavalries did not use neither curb bits or spurs, because the riding and horsemanship was fairly different, mainly due to different circumstances, philosophies, technology, culture, environments and mainly breeds of horses that were for most part much lighter and often smaller than the western counterpart, hence more maneuverable and not klutzy and clumsy, especially nothing like the modern so-called warm-bloods, or as I call them the numb-skulls. (A note for most Americans: The USA is not the world, and so the word "western" is not referring to the American concept of the word in reference to the equine, nor it has anything to do with the political division of the world; see the breed's origins for better understanding.)
The internet is a river of shit, and this website is a rock in the middle of that river of shit, not a nice place to be, and so the writings reflect the environment in which it lives. If you are offended by the vulgarity of the writing, please go and reflect and see your own, more likely hidden and "refined", but keep in mind the you can refine a horse, but you cannot refine shit. Vulgar words do not make a person vulgar but his conduct does. (A lady, a woman with class, is a woman that does not get offended in the presence of vulgar language, though she her self never use it.)
Should I collect all the vulgar words I could fine, and write them down multiplied hundred times over, I could never even come close in vulgarity to the so-called "horse lovers" or "animal lovers" in the way they treat, and mostly disrespect the very critters they claim to love.
Written by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek