I wasn't responding to your post, except for responding to the comments on 'high frame', 'low frame', 'consistent', and 'frame'. Then I just started rambling.
Edited by welsummerchicks - 11/19/10 at 6:46pm
'On the bit' has very, very little to nothing, to do with head position. That is not what on the bit is. It won't happen until about third level in any case.
"Well, she and my paint...came back glowing...the trainer said that her horse was capable of doing Second Level."
Someone might need to slow down and think about what the trainer said.
The trainer said the horse was 'capable of doing second level' - he didn't say WHEN. He didn't say 'now'. 'Capable' means 'some day' - that conformation and gait wise, he can someday do that work if someone puts in (an awful lot of continuous) effort.
What should they show at now or in a year? Based on your description of what he's doing now, he has nothing of first level, let alone 2nd.
"So what do you call it then if it's not on the bit"
On the bit is not a head position. It is not a synonym for 'frame' or 'head set'. It is something completely different. It has little to nothing to do with head and neck position.
"or frame or headset?"
'Frame' and 'head set' are terms you should be running the other direction from if you want to do or understand dressage.
"Just to refresh my memory and in my own defense"
You don't ever, ever need to say 'in my own defense' in a discussion with ME, kiddo. We're just talking here. You think (and say) whatever you want. I never said you needed to agree with me - I'm just saying what I've been taught and what I think.
"I just skimmed through a dressage article from 2004 Arabian Horse (official registry publication not Arabian Horse Times or World)"
I think try going for one of the old traditional books on the subject.
" and while it does not mention headset, they do talk about "frame" as in artificial frame and classical frame"
as I said before, the minute one starts trying to think about 'head set' and 'head position' and 'frame', one is going to get totally messed up.
'On the bit' is a quality of how the horse responds to the aids, not a position of the head and neck.
At the lower levels, the horse won't be 'on the bit' for a very long time, no matter WHAT position you try to put his head in. It just does not work that way.
"Now from the trainers I've worked with and articles I've read, I've been told to resist putting my horse into the frame I used to ride in Arab hunter pleasure and horses' frames as they develop are capable of greater collection and can later achieve a more classical frame."
I don't understand that statement.
As I stated up there earlier, anyone who starts thinking about getting their horse's head and neck into a given position, that THAT is what 'on the bit' is, they're going to run into a lot of trouble.
"And the rider I was talking about can already extend and collect her horse's stride, both can turn on the haunches, they do flying changes, he halts squarely, she's been working quite well on 20m circles and he's developing the bend he needs. I see no reason why she wouldn't be capable of doing First Level after her first year."
I didn't catch where you said 'after her first year'. I thought you meant showing right now.
Do you know what's required in the 1st level test? Nothing that you list above. Counter canter (which falls apart if the horse was taught 'auto', or hunter style changes), leg yields, medium and working gaits, a lot of difficult figures, 10 m circles...first level is not really easy, especially coming in from another riding sport.
The things you are listing that the horse does, it depends on if they're done correctly or not, of course.
But in any case, the description above(the items listed that she does) doesn't make any sense ,and wouldn't prepare a horse for first level correctly, or second. The horse is doing extended gaits before she has the bend she needs?
Ditto with flying changes and turn on the haunches. That doesn't make sense.
Changes before straightening work? Doesn't make sense.
A lot of other stuff is also missing from the list, but I'm starting to get tired.
At the very least, you can't argue with "consistent."
That's not even a hard one. 'Consistent' doesn't appear anywhere in any legit dressage glossary of terms.
'Consistent' meaning the horse is staying in the same head/neck position? The problem is, it is not supposed to stay in the same position, in schooling or in competition.
"I use Frame and Self Carriage to pretty much mean the same thing"
They aren't the same thing.
'Frame' again. I can't win fer losin'.
Self carriage does not develop until around third level, and means the horse can push himself to the bridle with a lot of impulsion and start to sit and carry his weight with his back end (that has been getting body building exercises for 3 or more years now), but not RELY on the rider to support him with the reins. It does NOT mean the reins are loose or looped.