Saturday, July 10, 2010

Edward Gal: "I just want to have the control over the horse."

This is from Edward Gal's master class at Festival of the Horse. I think what Gal says: "I just want to have the control over the horse," a direct quote, pretty much says it all about this style of training.

There are more videos on You Tube of the rest of the class, which I think give a good view into this kind of riding and training.

The horse is referred to by the announcer at the beginning of the class as "it" - and is ridden that way by Gal. The absence of personality and spirit in this horse is what makes me most sad, and why I can't support competitive dressage that rewards this kind of ride.


Kate said...

I don't want to control my horse, I want a willing partner in the work we do, together. For some people, horses are just objects, to be used, and used up.

ponymaid said...

How sad. His mind is so narrow and his goal so shallow that a horse is much like an automobile or golf cart to him. And the horse he is riding is well aware of that - to be otherwise would be dangerous. Tcahhh! Shame on Gal.


Valentino said...

To my mind, the whole point of (classical) dressage is the willing participation / cooperation in a partnership between human and equine.

Besides, you can never really control a 1000 lb animal. That is only an illusion, and is more accurately called subjugation.

And I hate when the horse is referred to as it, objectified. You hear that all the time in tb racing as well.

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

breaks my heart - It is said that a nation is judged by how it takes care of it's weakest members - given the tragic unrecognized contribution thousands of horses, donkey, mules and ponies have suffered in their unselfish giving of their strength and compliance to the human effort - seems there is much shame on many humans as they continue to use equines in gross and selfish self-centered self-aggrandizement..."it's just a horse" is one of the most sadly ignorant statements ever uttered.

breaks my heart, just breaks my heart

Dougie Donk said...

Mmm, I've said before & will doubtless say again that the absence of tracking up in top level dressage horses just helps convince me that they aren't working from behind.

"Controlling the neck" should be the last thing on the riders's agenda - I think the neck position will come naturally when the horse is truely in self carriage.

I'll stick to just having fun with my TB ex-racehorses & teaching them a new way of life.

Valentino - Just a point that is important for me to emphasise - not all dressage or racehorse trainers treat their horses as just a business tool!

Here in the UK, there are many many racing trainers who invest a lot of time & effort in meeting the needs of individual horses & the variances in their temparaments. This extends to working with groups like the Scottish & Northern Ex-Racehorse Club to secure good homes for horses that have, for various reasons, come to the end of their racing career. lets not overlook the fact that there are good guys too :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Once again I have to agree with everyone's statements. You already know how I feel about 'trainers' like this and how they treat their horses. Just once I'd like to see the horse get even for the way they are trained and ridden by people like this.

billie said...

Thanks for commenting on this video. I haven't been posting much lately about rollkur, LDR, or any of the other styles of riding that seem to be so prevalent these days - but when this one came into my inbox, I couldn't let it go by without remarking on the control statement.

I just don't get how people can watch this man ride, watch the ride he gets from the horse, and consider any of it good.

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

in a word - ignorance;
in a second word - apathy;
in a third word - arrogance.

my bad

billie said...

Beth, you nailed it in three words or less... but not sure what the 'my bad' is... ??

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

"my bad" - slang for "sorry" and in this, my case here, "sorry, I'm just saying it as I see it" :)

billie said...

thanks for clarifying - makes total sense.

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

In delightful and sharp contrast - and what I aspire to with Cookie :)

Do read her book; remember the cliche that "you can't tell a book by it's cover" - same goes for the title :)

I think you'll find yourself saying, "yes,"..."yes !". . . YES !!" as you see a real growing movement recognizing the new relationship with horses.

And this is coming from a decidedly reclusive NON-joiner of child of the peace-movement - old hippie :) I wanna play with Cookie like THIS:

billie said...

Enjoyed the videos - all ours will do the work Beth Gates does in that first one. I need to find the video of my daughter and her pony that I posted a few years back... just spent a few minutes trying to find it and am ever realizing the value of labels on posts. **sigh** I'll post it as a new blog post when I find it.

Part of my resistance to Carolyn's work is that she gives names (i.e. the waterhole rituals, etc.) to things we do everyday with our horses.

I have to remind myself that she's trying to put together a program that people can consistently follow and get results, and there's benefit to that - but for whatever reason when I read her work it sounds a little bit like she 'invented' all this - and I think it just rubs me the wrong way.

I absolutely enjoy the finished work she does, but we seem to have achieved a lot of that on our own.

The bottom line for me is I'm just not a 'follower' - which is sometimes a good thing and other times I miss out... but I'm certainly glad she's teaching people to work (and play) in partnership as opposed to the whole leader/alpha thing that a lot of folks present as The Way.

I read a horrible thing about Pat Parelli yesterday, but haven't really been able to verify it yet. If/when video footage that hasn't been edited shows up on the internet, I'll post about it.

billie said...

Wanted to clarify that when I wrote that I 'm not a follower, I meant no judgment on being one!

I only meant to describe my own personal learning style, which has always been to read and study widely, including the extreme positions of whatever it is I'm studying, and then come up with my own approach. Not just with horses but as an undergrad English major, a grad student, a therapist, etc.

I also didn't mean to single out Carolyn alone among horsemanship trainers - obviously anyone putting a "method" out there is coming from the perspective that their method works, and they're offering it as something to be adopted by others.

Sometimes, though, the method becomes more important than the horses and the people working with the horses, and that's my biggest problem with trainers who put forth a "way" of doing things as the right way for everyone else. I have no idea if that's true of Carolyn's work or not, but it's part of my resistance to a very prescribed way of building a relationship with my horses.

Jane said...

Does anyone else notice "It" (grrrr) is hinky on his left hind, at the walk in the beginning? Am I imagining this? He doesn't seem to be leaving it on the ground as long.

The rest, me too.
Just awful.

billie said...

Yes, Jane, I noticed that - and a number of other folks did too on the blue tongue FB page.

Good call - I noticed it on first view and then promptly forgot it by the time I posted here.