Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lorenzo, the flying Frenchman

1873 Lithograph

Clips courtesy of Dianne Olds Rossi

'To be honest, in the past I have not been real impressed with "the flying Frenchman," particularly the cheezy piece of business with the foals running with the momma's. But I have to admit the new liberty part of the act is pretty impressive. As Dianne said in her note, "Got to admit he has gone beyond anyone else," and I have to concur he has raised the bar. While roman riding has never been my cup of tea, the segment where he jumps the horse, then stops and backs them at the next jump is impressive. Human perception and what they want/or don't want to see is amazing to me. A bridleless demonstration without a bit is fawned over, yet they don't see a neck rope or spurs and leg pressure. Look at Lorenzo's horse's "running free" performing because of a "bond of love and desire to please." Why don't they see the whips used to control the horse's, if in fact the horse's have a "bond". Why in the world do they begrudge an elephant trainer the ability to control a 5 ton animal with a bull hook/ankus/guide, or a wild animal trainer the ability to control a carnivore with a whip, yet Lorenzo "bonding with love" with two whips controlling a domesticated animal is accepted and applauded? The whips are even changed from a short whip to a longer whip as more animals enter the formation. Why are whips acceptable for Lorenzo but not acceptable for an elephant trainer?


Jim A. said...

Even for a guy that isn't much into horses this was impressive. Yes, I saw the whips and like killer whales for example, the young young one follow their mothers. Probably lots of things horse people see that I'm missing but this was good.

I'm watching this thinking something like this would be great on the "Ringless Ringling" show. I know, lots of issues like the floor and finances and others. Just a thought.

Wade G. Burck said...

I think it needs the "horsey set" to fill the seats for it to be appreciated. The success of Monty Roberts/Horse Whisperer era was that every horse owner had tried to catch a horse, and weren't insightful enough to understand the simple basic's of what the whisperer was doing. It goes straight back to "just because you own it, or have the money to buy one, doesn't mean you know squat about it." I personally have always thought the circus ring did better with "thrills and chills." There are a million of those "own it, know nothing about it" horse people around the world, and this is something that they would eat up.


Holly said...

I don't think it's cheezy at all that the foals are tagging along with their mothers. It's beautiful & a great way for them to learn naturally. I think it shows that he understands the strong family bonds that horses have with each other. As for the whips-he's using them as an extension of his arms since his arms are not long enough. They're not being used in an abusive or coercive way at all. :) Holly

Holly said...

This man & his horses are too classy for the circus, in my opinion. :) Holly

Wade G. Burck said...

For Christ sake, every horseman since time immortal has been loading the momma in the trailer and letting the baby follow, instead of waiting until they are yearlings or older, so they have to spend the time "whispering" them up. French isn't special. As Sea Mammal Trainer Jim Alexander pointed out even killer whale calves will do the same thing effortlessly, as will puppies, kittens, chicks, piglets, cubs, fawns, etc. etc. No animal behaviorist degree required to get it to happen. Those babies didn't lean squat following their mommas in the arena, any more then they would have learned doing it between shows or have learned chasing them out in the pasture. It was done for the "awwww" factor, and that makes it dicey from the view of professionals. :)

Whips are nothing more then an extension of anybody's arms, not just French's. If he was in the circus, folks might wrongly assume he takes them out back in the barn for a hell of a hiding, so that they will respond correctly with docility in the show arena with barely a use of the whip. What do you think? :) Are you really naive enough to think they can be controlled with the whips, with out the whips ever having been engaged? Alice,I will come and visit you in Wonderland, along with your friends Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum next time I need a break from reality........

As for being to "classy", you really don't know any more about men then you do about horses, or high end liberty training, or the circus, do you? You might enjoy WAR HORSE, a squishy new movie where a young boy from Ireland throw's a collar and lines on a Thoroughbred horse, and without a second of training "wills/whispers" ala Lorenzo, him to plow a field full of rocks in the poring rain. There was such a bond between them that the horse actually plowed rocks in half in an effort to please his young friend. Young chap had a whip, but I am assuming it was just an extension of his arms. Much like a spur is an extension of the heel. The minute you pick one up or strap a pair on you are coercing. Only the ignorant abuse. :)