Saturday, April 12, 2008

Albert Ostermaier---The Lord of the Riding Arena

I have always heard people in the circus talk about the "horsey set" and the words and term's that they use. I never really understood what a "half halt" was until Dianne Olds Rossi showed me. Another term I have heard often when discussing Spanish walk/trot and canter on 3 legs, is "coming out of the shoulder". I didn't understand the term completely until I saw these pictures. No it is pretty clear. Incredible. This is Albert's black lipizzan mentioned earlier.

Jody Cambell was kind enought to send these pictures and the one yesterday. I was so excited to get them that I called Diane, who is at a horse show in LA at the moment. As I was describing the tall rangy horse to her, she said, Oh God, that's the first horse I took lessons on from Albert. The picture was taken at the famous Fat Jones Movie Stable in Hollywood. The same place where Roy Rogers, and others stabled their horse. She can hardly wait to get home next week, and see them. Thank you Jody, you made both the Madame Col's and my day.

11 comments:

jc said...

Wade,
It is my pleasure to be able to share these photos with you, Dianne and anyone else who can appreciate a good high school horse.
Personal thanks from me to Dianne Rossi for carrying on Albert's high standards.
My opinion, we should never let this art die..........

Dianne Olds Rossi said...

Albert was the master, I am proud to carry on the tradition although in a much different world then that of Albert's. As times change we must all re-event ourselves and change with the times. Since circus abandoned the equine species of ever making an impression due to poor facilities and seemly lack of interest, we now change and adapt to the era of the Horse Whisperer. Strangely this new phenomenon resembles all known horse trainers past and present without the new "whisper title". Been there, done that you might say without the marketing. These new "whisper" trainers have every marketing gimmick known to present man and enjoy selling ideas that sometimes are ignorant and dangerous. Seems that every new "whisper" trainer must have a gimmick whip coming in such forms as sticks with ropes, whips with balls or bridles of unknown origin or sending out the newbee horse owners with no bridle at all. Our great trainers must truly be laughing in their graves and I say God help the poor equine species. As to John Harriott and his new found "Horse Whisper" benefactor maybe you could relate some of your liberty horse experience so they can go out into the world and re-invent that also. Be careful what you wish for.

Wade G. Burck said...

Madame Col.
At least the "whisperers" are sharing their knowledged, just as you have graciously done in the past. To not share knowledge, for the benefit of the animals, because somebody may become better, is ludicrous. I suggest share so they become better, then we have a competition and the masters become better.
I think Mr. Herriott will be surprised when he realizes the "horse whisperer" already knows what Mr. Herriott knows. He is just asking for a different perspective.
Wade Burck

john herriott said...

You suggest "expert commentary" and here it is. He is obviously "looking down to see what the horse is doing and he has shifted in the saddle with his left leg and spur sticking out completely away from the horse. Obviously these are no-no's in the art of riding, so it must be a training photo, but I am quite surprised at his over emphasizing his "aids".

john herriott said...

Interesting also is that of both photos of Albert "in saddle" that the horses are not moving on "behind".

john herriott said...

I only make the4se comments to suggest that none of us can be absolutely perfect and There is a wonderful photo of Capt. Heyer on Starless Night where the horse has leg extension and Heyer is only using the curb rein, with the snaffle rein hanging useless. I notice in the photo of you riding [Wade] that the horse has a running martingale on. I find that with using my hands with feeling thru both bits and the adjustments that any "tie downs-martingales are not necessary. However it took a long time for me to acquire that skill, but now I am quite pleased in my use and feel of the "full bridle" in alot of ways. Keep Ridin.

john herriott said...

The late great Glenn Randall did purchase the Fat Jones business and unfortunately just when "weterns" were out of vogue and that biz settled in Ariz. to a great financial set back for Glenn, but he did bounce back and certainly had a grat career. At the time Fat Jones pretty much had a monopoly on horses, wagons, buggies, wranglers, etc.I was on location with Glenn when we had the elephants for the summer in the filming of "Jupiter's Darling" that also called for Roman Chariots, wranglers, etc.

Wade G. Burck said...

John,
Where in the heck do you see a "running martingale"? I have used them as an aid, in setting an Arabian western pleasure horse, and occasionally an Arabian English Pleasure horse, but wouldn't think they would be as useful for setting the higher head of an Andalusion, particularly one brought in for retraining because of "behavioral issues" brought about by poor use of the hands you mention. You are looking at the first ride on a renegade, and I was not comfortable going in to it "unarmed" Both Madame Col. and I thought a "German martingale" would be beneficial. A gentle way to keep him from "jerking the bit out of your hands, which he had become very proficient at with his owner. You will also note he is in a snaffle bit, a standard beginners" bit, not the snaffle/curb arrangement that skilled hands would use at a much later date as you suggest. "Tie downs" are a very different thing from a "martingale". As a "running martingale" is different from a "standing martingale" is different from a "German martingale" I agree, "tie downs" are a training substitute,as they have to come off for the show ring, where as "martingales" are a training aid used periodically after the initial training stage.
Wade Burck

Dianne Olds Rossi said...

Johnny,I recently posted the riding errors of Albert Ostermaier when he was young. You might look closely at the obvious age of Albert and then again at his riding when he was older on the black lipizzer. I personally saw the change in his riding as he accepted the correct and beautiful riding style of the art of Dressage, a fact that many circus riders should pay attention to.
Also I also see no running martingale, absolutely no tie downs, those would not be something I might use.I will point out that like Wade said it is a German Martingale used with a snaffle only and as a training aid. Also you stated Capt Hyer, who I admire immensely, was riding his march on the curb rein only. In my experience the curb rein is much sharper than a snaffle rein and any collected and well trained horse need only to be balanced on the snaffle, the curb being a slight correction. The art of riding with a full double bridle is complicated and it takes experience to handle and train it correctly. I am in no way criticizing Capt Hyer I would never assume to do so especially looking at a photo only but you stated a fact that you seemed to believe it was an achievement. The achievement would be a completely collected horse performing softly on the snaffle. I would never dare to criticize someones riding skill from a photo and as you can see your assumption on equipment was in error

john herriott said...

Miss Olds; You apparantly misunderstood what I said about Heyer and the curb rein in use. I agree with you and I meant in the comment that I was surprised that he was doing that. But he certainly was one of the greatest that I have seen or worked with. I note that you agree that Albert was doing some unorthodox riding, and once again would remark that on the Lip. show with Albert he did ride with a very "tight" rein thru his routine. It was obvious to me ande other riders. But he was magnificent. We had some professional riders with the show from Europe and they were well schooled and excellent riders. Surprisingly they were not "trainers" or maybe did not have the dedication to get so i8nvolved. But I did enjoy being around them and believe their input at various levels of riding was rewarding to me. You never cease learning the Equestrian arts. However I am not a nut on the subject, but believe I have a high level of experience above the general younger trainers and it is frustrating that my knowledge is not being received to my satisfaction. I have found the complete correct use of my hands in so many ways,etc. I always refer to proper riding in that you sit straight on the horse looking eight between its ears and do not swing a sway trying to enhance its movements and do not ride with your wrists but use your arm to "pull the chain" Thumbs up. Head up and sit up straight. I can't stand this "new" style of dressage riding where it appears the rider is having some sort of sexual release. That is the only way I can explain it. I am not critical of you and note on the videos that I have seen the excellence of you showing. But I do feel that I have contributed alot in all fields of the equestrian arts and feel very qualified to comment intelligently in all phases of the subject. I am fortunate to have done and mastered a number of things along these lines and surprisingly the use of one method can be a help in other4 phases, such as quarter horse riding can be helpful in some forms of High School and draft hitch driving can be helpful in understanding the use of bits and the horses mouth. I rode Paso Fino in Puerto Rico and could feel the relationship of the "walking Horse" and the "Slow Gait" and old fashioned "fox trot" to that Paso Fino movements. I guess I could characterize it as various forms of a "singlefoot". I better shut up or I could go on and on.

Dianne Olds Rossi said...

Johnny, I am so glad you see what I saw in the picture of Capt Heyer but again we are seeing one segment of a second in a picture so I always hesitate saying anything until seeing it "live" Unfortunately we have not that privilege with Ostermaier and Heyer. I was around Albert many years and knew his riding inside out. Yes, he rode with a tight curb rein, it was his way but the horses were still in the bridle and balanced and the reason he could retain so much control over his horses. I learned his method and rode for years in that manner but it is not my way. I chose the softer more animated version adopting some of Albert, Some of Arthur & Dorita Konyot and mixed it in with my personal feel and desire. I am eternally grateful for having the opportunity to have worked with these greats but in the end we all adopt our own style. I also agree that learning never stops and I myself will gleefully steal anything I see of interest from other riding disciplines. Yes I see the riding in the Dressage world that is pathetic but also I see some that is magnificent, they have come a long way in the past 15 years and at least that discipline is keeping this art of riding alive. Unfortunately I do not see the survival of traditional High-School riding surviving in any really excellent manner.