Sunday, December 5, 2010

Officially the Best Frenemy Gift of 2010

Dressage aid or adult toy? This $60 item does not include the pool noodle needed to apparently master the lateral aids. I am a sucker for equestrian gadgets but even I can't imagine owning this slightly illicit-looking thing. The horse face on the front just makes it worse. Imagine using the School Master Noodle in your living room and being surprised by the UPS guy.

UPS Guy: Excuse me -- should I come back, or, er-could you sign here ma'am?
You: Oh. sure.  You know,  this isn't what you think. It's a School Master training aid. I'm learning how to bend laterally.
UPS Guy: I -- uh -- No need to explain. It--I mean--our neighbor used to have snakes.
You: No. really, this isn't....
[Sound of hurried footsteps, van starting]

A great gift, though, for the "right person."

School Master Noodle Kit for Learning Lateral Positions

Meet 'SiMoN', the School Master Noodle! This is a great tool for learning all the classical dressage lateral positions.
A kit for turning a pool noodle into a school master
76 Page workbook with exercises
30 minute DVD demonstrating all the exercises
Pool Noodle NOT INCLUDED. Requires 2.5" by 4'6" pool noodle.

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  1. I saw this somewhere else...pretty expensive for something you could do yourself...if you actually NEEDED to do it.

    And that's my problem. If the noodle, not being a living being, does not respond as a horse would, then how does this teach the rider anything? Do you really need the noodle to learn positions?

    All that being said, when I was a jumper rider, I do remember sitting astride a barrel to learn how to close my body down over a fence without compromising my seat--lifting it too much out of the saddle. But there, I wasn't trying to make the "horse" do anything, I was just learning which joints to flex.

    So we could hypothetically learn how to use various aids while "riding" a barrel or bench just as effectively.

    And how, pray tell, do you get your noodle to obey your leg aids? Can we presume it will flex and step under just based upon how tightly you squeeze with your buttocks? And do I then expect my horse to respond the same way, or dump me off in an unceremonious buck when I clench my seat on to him??

    I'm confused. *evil grin*

  2. Tempted to purchase and go "galloping" down my street. LOL

  3. As a student of Dressage naturally, I am not amused by your post about SiMoN the pool noodle schoolmaster. I own one and it is the best teaching tool I have ever seen for explaining and teaching the lateral aids. Karen has taken a complicated subject and developed a wonderful tool to assist her students. YOU need to own one to improve your lsteral work

  4. Do you have to wear full seats while using the noodle? Or perhaps only when trying to perfect lateral aids on a wet noodle? I crack myself up. :)

  5. I'm a little skeptical of how this device will improve lateral work. And judging from comments in the dressage community (COTH, Ultimate Dressage) I'm not alone.

  6. Don't know where my original post went, but here's my take.

    Sorry, Anonymous, but unless the pool noodle responds the way a real horse does, then it's a very limited tool.

    Leg aids, and body weight aids contribute a great deal to the success of a good lateral cue. There's no way to effectively use either on a narrow base like the noodle. You might well learn rein aids, but the rest? I am skeptical there are far too many missing pieces in the noodle's ability to respond as a horse will...or won't.

    Cheaper than a good schoolmaster, certainly, but not a very effective replacement.

  7. Sorry Jean, I've been a little hit or miss with moderation. I meant to thank you too, for a very insightful comment you made last week -- I acted on your advice but for the life of me I can't recall the specifics. At any rate, thanks, better late than never.

  8. I would only buy this if the noodle was imported, preferably of baroque descent. I also want a mane on my noodle, so that it is more realistic. ;)


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.