The more I read of de Kunffy the more I realise he is a communication genius. Every word he uses seem to have its purpose and there is nothing unnecessary that would cloud your understanding.
Just have a read how he describes "the horse on the bit":
" 'The horse on the bit' is a misleading expression, yet it is one we are accustomed to using, and, by consent, we pretend to understand, in spite of its mischievous suggestion that it has to do with the rider's hands and the horse's bit exclusively.
Being on the bit is the most important concept in classical horsemanship. Only a horse that contacts and accepts the bit and moves forward to the bit is athletically correct. Using a human analogy, let me suggest that there is a great difference between people who are moving about in a grocery store buying mustard, for example, and those working out in a gym. Both are moving and are engaged in some mental activities, but only the one working out in a gym is improving himself physically and mentally. He will show muscle development and skeletal coordination that one cannot acquire by shopping for mustard.
Likewise with horses; just by moving a horse around, the rider traveling, the horse covering ground without using himself properly, no improvement can take place. One can only make athletic and gymnastic improvements if the horse is longitudinally flexed. Therefore, the horse must be flexing toward the bit before any gymnasticising can take place[...].
Being on the bit, or longitudinal flexion, as it should be called, has to do with the total horse. When a horse is on the bit, his skeletal position as well as his use of his muscles changes. To be on the bit connotes relaxation, suppleness of muscles, elasticity in the joints, elegance, and obedience. That is both the foundation and the substance of dressage work.
The most important feature of horse on the bit is that he is longitudinally flexed, thereby becoming a shorter horse, capable of moving deeper under his own weight with the hindquarters, lifting the weight up rather than pushing forward. The longitudinally flexed horse is well poised to carry his rider, and therefore will be able to surrender his haunches to the rider's will and become obedient rather than subservient to force. "
I am continuing the house search and I am ever so thankful for the Internet! There are some really lovely properties out there but it's not so easy to match all the requirements that we need fulfilled. Not that there are that many but still!
After 1.5 years of super service my fantastic Tredstep Ireland gaiters gave in (the zip went) so I have just ordered a brand new pair, eek! :) I think I will attempt to repair the other ones though as they are still doing fairly well despite being used rather heavily almost every day.
My computer crashed twice while uploading the new pics and videos from last Friday's Training Day. The Great Upload goes on. I really would like a brand new machine ;)