The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:17 pm

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:44 pm
Posts: 215
Location: South Africa
We have been discussing this for months now. The best way to get Laska to do anything necessary for his health is to look him in the eye and explain it word for word and WHY it needs to be done. Once we have stated that he willingly lets us do it.

But if not then he will dance and try to get out of there as fast as he can. Day after day I see this. On the days I am in a rush to get it done for whatever reason or days I forget to tell him what I need to do he freaks and gives me a hard time. But the second I tell him why he stands and allows whatever it is. Even Glen has to do this to him. I have also noticed this in the other horses but its not as necessary to verbalize it to them as it is Laska.

Does anyone else seem to have this with their horses? Can anyone explain this to me on why he seems to feel he needs to be told whats going on?

_________________
The best views can be seen from the back of a horse.


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 701
Location: UK
Gem Twist wrote:
Does anyone else seem to have this with their horses? Can anyone explain this to me on why he seems to feel he needs to be told whats going on?



I do this with my horses. Put yourself in Laskas place, a friend approached took hold of your arms and started swinging them from side to side. My guess is that you would become either angry or frightened but if your friend said they were doing this to ease your sore neck, just an example, your response would be different. I can't see why it is different with animals they still need to understand why we do certain stuff to them.

Hope that helps.

Eileen

_________________
Listen! Or your tongue will make you deaf.

Cherokee Saying


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:30 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
ET wrote:
Gem Twist wrote:
Does anyone else seem to have this with their horses? Can anyone explain this to me on why he seems to feel he needs to be told whats going on?



I do this with my horses. Put yourself in Laskas place, a friend approached took hold of your arms and started swinging them from side to side. My guess is that you would become either angry or frightened but if your friend said they were doing this to ease your sore neck, just an example, your response would be different. I can't see why it is different with animals they still need to understand why we do certain stuff to them.

Hope that helps.

Eileen


I've discussed equine/human communication before, and I've made this point before, but will expand on it just a bit.

Let me begin by saying that I do not believe that horses have a very large vocabulary of human words they understand as we understand them. On the other hand they have their own level of communication understanding that likely surpasses ours, but is very very different than ours.

We have lost, I think, through evolution, some of the very things horses have developed over time into powerful communication tools. I believe, for instance, that they can smell a thought. And that they can understand or sense in their own way the intent of the one whose thought they smell.

In other words, they understand intent better than we, though at a less accurate level we do occasionally understand another's intent.

For them though, intent is just about everything in communication. And their sense of smell, hearing sounds we cannot (like your heartbeat if you are riding them, and your respiration, no matter how quietly you may be breathing), as well as "patterns" of behavior, all give them a much clearer picture of intent than we are capable of forming.

How do WE deal about intent in our communication? We TALK. A lot. Or we don't talk at critical moments.

But talk is what we do. And if we talk congruently with our feelings then we SMELL RIGHT to them.

We move right, we sound right (timbre of voice, tone, etc.), our hearts beat at a certain rate, we breath at a certain rate and volume, all this tells them what our intent is.

To be congruent in our intent WE must speak, or we must learn to be so centered that even in silence of voice, everything else gives out the message of our intent.

That is why some people can be around horses and calm them without even speaking. Their breath gives the peaceful intent away to the horse. As does their internal organ sounds.

Do I have research that supports this I can cite? No, not in particular, but recent research does show that horses can very well sense our state of "expectation," about a pending anxiety provoking event. I laughed at the report because my experience is that they are capable of sensing directly far more subtle things than anxiety. And responding in kind.

Bonnie is doing things with me that no horse I've owned or worked with has ever done before, though Koko, my QH stallion came close to some of the things she does. But with Bonnie we, Kate and I, began socialization very carefully, and focused on congruity. If I am upset with Bonnie I am very clear with her about it. If I am feeling loving and nurturing I make sure she knows it.

And if I have to doctor a scratch I again am clear about what I intend to do, and yes, I sometimes use my voice, I talk, but NOT TO TELL HER WORDS, but to talk to myself, though I address her, to shape myself into a congruent whole for her to read.

I know others here who do this. And the method is less important than the doing, and the goal - to be as utterly congruent with our horses as we can possibly be. The result, besides getting on about business, is this: trust. No small thing. We accomplish little between us of any worth without it. That is between humans and between humans and horses. It's the same for horses. They survive together a great deal by being able to trust, so it makes sense they've have very heightened sensory abilities.

I will continue to talk to my horses, but I am sure the non-horse person, and many horse persons as well, will not know what is actually happening.

I took up congruent language too with the horses of every student of mine this past year. My students must think it rather funny not only the way I talk to their horses, but especially that I wuffle their nostrils as an invitation to exchange breath, and the horse's never refuse.

I've had only one complaint. And that is when the horse is being worked as I give a lesson if it's confused the rider has trouble keeping it from coming to me. New work for the horse almost always results in the horse turning into the circle where I am standing. I've suggested we let the horse do this a few times so I can explain to the horse what is wanted.

One horse in particular has become almost too calm for her work. She just would rather hang out with me. I have to be stern with her to convince her that indeed, I DO want her to do what the rider is asking. :roll: :D

My experiments with Bonnie include "discipline." That is I expect her to maintain respect for boundaries. She's young so I'm very tolerant of her mistakes and exuberance but she shows very clear signs of working on "the problem," I present to her. More and more she is "thinking," things through.

The poor student in the dyad of Bonnie and I is myself. My time is spent more in the old way than the new. I have to remind myself almost continually to be congruent and to communicate to her more fully.

Instead of "move over," I have to remember to say to her, "I need to get by, please move over."

"I'll clean your hoof if you'll 'gimmeyourlittlefoot'" instead of just yanking her leg off the ground (which I could do, as I know the pressure points to rudely force a horse to lift their leg).

I could train her to submit. I won't. I'll ask politely because it's good for ME to do so. Good for my karma, and good for my mental health.

And other than being misunderstood by those not in the know, not the least trouble for me.

Does it work?

Absolutely!

Am I right about human/equine communication?

We'll see in time.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:17 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:funny: :funny: :funny:

This is pretty much what I think is going on - by looking onto Laska's eye/eyes and verbally explaining what is about to happen and why it should happen, I am "aligning myself" with my intentions and desires - BECOMING congruent. I can only achieve this by SINCERELY and CALMLY verbalizing the requirements. Given that Freckles and Laska are both "my" horses they have obviously become familiar with this method of communication and now they "require it" from those who wish to interact with them.

I do think that this falls into the oooOOOOooo area of working with horses, though, and I frequently feel foolish when explaining myself to my horses, but it works. So I will keep on doing it. Which means that people who wish to interact with my horses will also need to do it. :D Sorry. Tough. :funny:

The vet was here yesterday to vaccinate the horses. This is the same vet who came and stitched up Laska's face 2 months ago. At that time Laska danced around and clearly did NOT want to allow this man near him, even though I was explaining the need to. This time he walked straight up to Laska and petted his neck and Laska turned his head and nuzzled back. :D He said "What have you done with him? He's a completely different horse? :ieks: So nice to see such improvement." :funny: :funny: I like getting "outside" verification that Laska just improves every day.

What I had done was explain to Laska (while Rocket was being vaccinated) that all domestic horses needed vaccinations to prevent sicknesses which could potentially kill, or at least make them feel really crappy for a period of time. By the time the vet approached him, Laska understood that he would get 2 needles in his neck (not nice - poor boy he did jump a little for each of them) but he would then have the benefit of not needing to worry that he might get ill for a while. I also told him that the vet would be back in 2 weeks to do the next round of injections as there was more than one illness that he needed protection from. :D When it was over I told him how brave he was, and how proud I was of him, and he let out a big sigh and ate his reward and lowered his head for me to remove his halter. :clap:

_________________
Glen Grobler

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Hi all,
this is a really interesting topic.
For me, I think that I use words as a 'channel' for my thoughts/feelings when 'speaking' to animals.
Often, when I'm with one of the horses, I just 'softly babble'... let it roll out as it will & not think too much about the actual words.
This has been very helpful to me, particularly when giving a massage, to find the 'right spot' or the correct amount of pressure.
I've also noticed that sometimes I am silent, but can still feel the 'conversation' going on.

I have a lot more experience with dogs than with horses (so far), but I'm sure it is the "expression of intent' that matters for any species.
And I agree, if you take the time to 'explain' to a creature what you are doing & why, that it is for their benefit, this 'respect & nurture' is conveyed to them.

Keep on chatting, whether with words or in silence! :cheers:
Love,
Moyna & Hero

_________________
The greatness of a nation & its moral progress may be judged by how its animals are treated.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:20 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
moynz wrote:
Hi all,
this is a really interesting topic.
For me, I think that I use words as a 'channel' for my thoughts/feelings when 'speaking' to animals.
Often, when I'm with one of the horses, I just 'softly babble'... let it roll out as it will & not think too much about the actual words.
This has been very helpful to me, particularly when giving a massage, to find the 'right spot' or the correct amount of pressure.
I've also noticed that sometimes I am silent, but can still feel the 'conversation' going on.

I have a lot more experience with dogs than with horses (so far), but I'm sure it is the "expression of intent' that matters for any species.
And I agree, if you take the time to 'explain' to a creature what you are doing & why, that it is for their benefit, this 'respect & nurture' is conveyed to them.

Keep on chatting, whether with words or in silence! :cheers:
Love,
Moyna & Hero


Not THAT puts it in a concise, even elegant form. Thank you.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.