I wrote this based on reading all I could find in the Old Master’s books and the internet, together with having a discussion with Phillipe Karl at his 2014 winter clinic in the Q&A session, as I could find no reference to Ramener Outre in his publications or DVD’s. He was very interested in my question, which was as follows:
1.What is Ramener Outre,
2. How is it done, (the aids used to achieve it)
3. Why is is done
4. For how long should it be carried out (if at all)
5.What is it's relationship to Rollkur (if any) and how does it differ from Rollkur if indeed it does.
6.What is its relationship to and with the procedure of Effect d'Ensemble."
A quite embracing and detailed set of questions, which I am determined to get an unequivocal answer to, from someone whom I expected to know the answers to!
Well I certainly was not disappointed! My previous post contains most of what he said, and I have added to it from my own experimental experience with my mare. He also said he had written an article some time ago for an Equestrian magazine, I think he said it was in Germany, I’m not sure though.
Articles I could find on the internet, tend to be very long on the history of the procedure, but not on the HOW or WHY. So after 12 years (and 2 beautiful Colt foals later.....1 gelded, one entire, both of which I have kept and am riding/backing now) I decided to research and use the procedure on my VERY "tricky" brood mare, all else having failed miserably, to the point I would not ride her anymore! She, although easy to handle, and an Excellent mother, is a HUGE challenge to ride out in the fields, which is where I like to ride the most. (She is a very powerful and impressive looking 16.3hh Selle Francaise x Hanoverian Show Jumping Warmblood), School work can be either the same or the complete opposite, and depends on her mood. I have owned her for 12 years since she was 5 and now at almost 18 she has improved out in the fields immeasurably since I have perfected (well almost perfected!) this procedure. She has had a saddle built for her, which is check 2 or 3 times a year and she receives regular Chiropractic and Soft Tissue work to be sure her back is in good shape. She lives out all year round, (with rugs and good natural shelter), is barefoot and ridden 3 times a week only. Its been a bit of a journey for us, but I can now do a lovely swingy collected trot up a grass track which we sometimes gallop up!
As far as the comments are concerned on the word “punishment”....I take on board all that is said, and maybe the word itself purveys incorrectly my intensions towards my Mare. I am trying to imbue an understanding between ourselves that she listens to me in equal measure as I listen to her. Of course “listening” between us is expressed through the language of “Body Language” and requires me as well as her to “Understand” this language. (Obviously, she is not able to communicate via the spoken word!) What horses DO understand however is to evade something, as we all too well know! By using the EE I manage to create a situation between ourselves whereby she “Evades” my having to use the EE. This suits me very well!!!! She knows it, and will now work in a fashion that she now knows will avoid the effects of a FULL application of the EE, which would impede her forwardness, something that she treasures above else. I can how hear the chorus of protesters saying you should not kill forwardness! No, I need to control it! This certainly is NOT a procedure I would use on all horses as the Spur can have an inhibiting effect to forwardness if used incorrectly and is misunderstood by the horse. It is the riders duty to educate the horse to the spur, which is a rich language in itself. The rider therefore needs to educate himself to HOW to use the Spur correctly so that he can teach it to the horse. It is a “finer” way to ride. If the feedback I am getting from my mare is of “Impending” disorder, I will “suggest” that unless she returns to how she was before, then a full EE will be applied. This suggestion to her is “communicated” with a “LIGHT EE” which is a “brushing of the fur with my spur and a SLIGHT squeeze on the snaffle rein. She is now so well tuned to the procedure, that she immediately returns to a good working posture. For all those who view the word “Punishment” maybe the word “consequence” would be more appropriate.......I would recommend one looks at the way an Alpha Mare in the herd (As mine Mare is) deals with disorder within the heard. The offending herd member will get 3 opportunities to behave before they admonished the “offender” with a “punishment” or “consequence” of not listening to her body language. We all know if we were to watch our horses in THEIR social environment how she would achieve this. First she will lay back her ears and make a threatening face at the offender. If that is not taken notice of, she will lower and swing her neck at them and move towards them. If that is not taken notice of, she will swing her rear end round and attempt to kick them, maybe even sticking with her hooves. So 2 or 3 opportunities of incrementally INCREASING magnitude, will end up with a “punishment” . Start softly, and then turn up the volume! This is how the EE should be done. Needles to say, as a rider you will need to be VERY well balanced in the seat (not using the reins to balance with AT ANY TIME AT ALL) otherwise you will be giving false and confusing information to the horse, via the bit. You will need to be able to react to the feedback you are getting, like lightning to be effective. You will need to be extremely controlled in how you use your hands and legs/spurs and well coordinated in yourself to be able to achieve this. This is why riding in such a “finely tuned” way is not within the capabilities of the average rider. Horses such as my mare are VERY sharp and quick to act AND react. As a rider, you will need to be similarly quick. As horses have a quicker response time than we do, it is always a good idea to “anticipate” what might happen so that you are able to make up for the lack of response time as a species that we have. For example, I KNOW, from experience as soon as we go through an opening in one field into another field, she will see this as an opportunity to take charge. I am always ready in that eventuality and similar ones, and have no compunction to apply the EE (In varying amplitude) to re-establish harmony and Leadership. This is for my safety as well as hers.