The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:40 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page Previous 1 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:24 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Mouschi wrote:
I was going to write something impatience and intention when I read the article in lifestyle viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3084

and saw the word invasive. I wonder --- do you think impatience is seen as invasiveness by some horses?
It seems that the more comfortable a horse gets the more willing they are to respond to hidden agenda rather than impatience. That what we feel on the surface as impatience is actually more -- stamping our inner feet because our agenda isn't happening. (instead of - we are rushing because of lack of time) the former would be anger, yes? I bet they distinguish between different forms of impatience?

Fine difference or me imagining things?


Interesting thought. "Invasive."

Boundaries, though it might not look like it at times watching horses in herd situations, are constantly being established and constantly being the subject of requests and either denials or permissions, I believe.

One of the reasons I'm fascinated with the work Horsefever (Jocelyn) is reporting on in her dairies is that she is working in this area intentely and intensely using the Waterhole Rituals (I believe the name is copyrighted, by the way).

I have a hunch you are on to something critical.

The feeling we have when someone is impatient with us is akin in some ways to feeling invaded. That is, not respected in external or internal boundaries. I have the right, for instance, to say that I do not know something and when the other person persists in questioning me I DO feel invaded. They are, as far as I can tell, being impatient and disrespectful when they do it.

I strongly suspect the horse has similar feelings (emotions) when we are impatient with them ... in other words, when they tell us (in horse terms and communication methods) they do not know, do not understand, and we persist.

To go a step deeper, I admit that when I'm pressed and the other person is impatient I begin to feel anxious, and often I find mental processing breaking down for myself in those moments. I've learned socially acceptable ways (and a few that are not) to deal effectively with it, but I think the horse has a more concrete and limited set, though sophisticated and of course can be escalated by the horse.

Thank you for introducing this concept of invasiveness in the subject of Patience.

Donald

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:28 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
I somehow managed to forget about this thread ( denial about my lack of patience? :huh: ) and just found it again.
Quote:
To go a step deeper, I admit that when I'm pressed and the other person is impatient I begin to feel anxious, and often I find mental processing breaking down for myself in those moments. I've learned socially acceptable ways (and a few that are not) to deal effectively with it, but I think the horse has a more concrete and limited set, though sophisticated

I think this is really important to keep in mind, that my impatience will make others feel anxious and lead to the breakdown of mental processing. I know I've been there, esp. as a child, when I was in school and could not answer questions the teacher asked me. Horses are more like children, that don't have as many ways to deal with these situations. I remember being even more sensitive in situations when one of my parents was impatient with me, mostly because I felt my trust in them was violated. If this is at all what horses experience I can see how acting out impatience, even in a non-physical way, can fairly quickly unravel the trust that we have taken such care to develop.
Quote:
That what we feel on the surface as impatience is actually more -- stamping our inner feet because our agenda isn't happening. (instead of - we are rushing because of lack of time) the former would be anger, yes? I bet they distinguish between different forms of impa tience?

I think this is huge - anger, acted out as impatience, I bet horses can smell the difference. The anger might not be directed at the horse at all (it may be a coworker who irritated us earlier that day, or reading the news, or our kids) but the effect is the same.
When I've had a bad day I do better just hanging out with my horse and not asking her to do anything.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Birgit, now if only I could get across to my students the concepts you are offering so clearly. I'll just have to give it a try. One of my adult students is an educator. I KNOW she'll get it if I put it right.

For her I think her impatience is more for herself, but projected occasionally on the horse.

My younger students show strong tendencies to believe (as others have taught them) that the horse that doesn't do as told is being willfully resistant in some way. It's difficult to wean them away from this viewpoint. And makes teaching them how to use "ask," cues instead of force demands.

We are working with a HalfieXAndalusian cross that is just a baby herself with a little and I mean small girl trying to take lessons on the mare. The mare is about 3 coming four. Not unwilling but quickly devolving into lots of expressions of confusion. So badly needs to be handled using the concepts you are talking about.

I'll have to think more on this because the problem is simply going to get worse if the child doesn't get the concepts. I'm quite frustrated because the people at the barn I'm working out of don't get it either.

I wish the mare were larger as I'd work her myself so she could feel what gentle asking and waiting feels like.

But the barrier, the real barrier, is a belief system disconnect. I believe the horse is confused, and shut down because of that, while my students (Oh how I wish they'd never seen a horse before they became my students) believe that they must force the horse.

I have my work cut out for me.

Donald

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Quote:
My younger students show strong tendencies to believe (as others have taught them) that the horse that doesn't do as told is being willfully resistant in some way. It's difficult to wean them away from this viewpoint. And makes teaching them how to use "ask," cues instead of force demands.

I bet what makes it so difficult is that everyone else (parents, peers, etc.) has very different definitions of success. I had many frustrating experiences with my daughter in 4-H, at kid's riding clinics etc., not with the instructors, but with the extremely ignorant parents who bought their kids horses and learned almost NOTHING about a horse's needs themselves. :evil: :evil: It makes me angry just thinking about it. Of course in most cases the horses were very inappropriate mounts for these kids, either too old and used up to be ridden humanely at all, or young and green, requiring a patient experienced rider. When the horses were a good match often the tack was horrible, even for my, at the time, beginner eyes, leading to lots of pain for these horses. We had joined these groups hoping for Rachel to find good role models to learn from. Well, that really didn't work. Some of the teachers tried everything they could and did a very good job. I hope some of the kids will remember what they were told when they get older.
I am now trying the best I can to teach my daughter myself. She's already a better rider than I am in some ways. When it comes to being patient with Blue I have the authority as a parent to just tell her to get off if necessary, something that's not been necessary very often. Especially teaching adolescents, emotions go all over the place, they are developmentally not in a place where they can easily learn to be patient.
One analogy I have used successfully with my dog training students, incl. young kids, is the comparison of learning a language. When I teach a dog to sit I'm not "really" teaching the dog to sit, it could do that since about 3 weeks old, I'm just teaching it the English word for sit. If necessary I then put the person in the situation where I tell them to do simple things in German (which they don't understand) and then let them compare several ways of trying to figure out what I tried to get them to do: raising my voice as I repeat the commands several times, gesturing wildly with some annoyed facial expressions thrown in, gently leading them and pointing, pulling out some chocolate and placing it in strategic places where I want them to go etc. This is very powerful, esp. with people who don't "get it" with just explaining, but I usually offer it as an additional 20 minute freebie and tell people ahead of time, so they don't feel they are wasting the lesson they pay for on stuff that is not what they wanted to do. Having been an impatient student myself many times, and doubtless driven some riding instructors crazy as recently as two years ago I guess I remember so well what motivated me at the time. :yes: I wanted to get my money's worth from a lesson and get my questions answered, not go along with the riding instructor's agenda. I think I was a more difficult student, and probably still am, because I'm also a teacher and tempted to second guess my teacher's decisions. I guess I'm starting to ramble, this is a very important topic for me, it goes to the heart of why I'm homeschooling my daughter.
I'm glad to hear you are teaching, I know how rewarding it can be. :)


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Birgit wrote:
Quote:
My younger students show strong tendencies to believe (as others have taught them) that the horse that doesn't do as told is being willfully resistant in some way. It's difficult to wean them away from this viewpoint. And makes teaching them how to use "ask," cues instead of force demands.

I bet what makes it so difficult is that everyone else (parents, peers, etc.) has very different definitions of success. I had many frustrating experiences with my daughter in 4-H, at kid's riding clinics etc., not with the instructors, but with the extremely ignorant parents who bought their kids horses and learned almost NOTHING about a horse's needs themselves. :evil: :evil: It makes me angry just thinking about it.

Hey, I get adult horse owners that want me to train, say a really yummie young quarter horse that would be killer as a cutter or reining horse, to be a quiet plodding "trail horse," because that is what they like to do. How many times have I had to bite my tongue not to give them a catalogue of bicycles and offer to buy their horses.
Birgit wrote:
Of course in most cases the horses were very inappropriate mounts for these kids, either too old and used up to be ridden humanely at all, or young and green, requiring a patient experienced rider. When the horses were a good match often the tack was horrible, even for my, at the time, beginner eyes, leading to lots of pain for these horses.

The saddle one of my students was using was borrowed, and too small for her though it fit the tall anglo-arab she was also borrowing. I lent her my Pariani, with a tree that fits very narrow horses.

Luckily she had not ridden but once since I lent her the jumping saddle. She said the horse wasn't behaving well. This week, yesterday the lesson was going terribly with the horse throwing his head and being terribly difficult, and the child complaining the horse seemed to be trying to bite her knee - which I could see he wasn't.

I ordered a dismount and checked the saddle. This horse has huge high withers that run well back and my saddle was down on them really hurting him. His winter coat and dark color and a very dark riding hall we work in - and possibly my fading old eyes - fooled me.

I not only had her bring out the other saddle to make sure it fit him properly, which it did, but called off the lesson entirely because of course we had been torturing this horse. There was another student, a child-preteen, waiting for her turn on this same horse and I had to disappoint her. He had to be groomed and coddled and made over and put out,retired for the day, to grass with his buddies to make up for the pain he had endured rather stoically considering.

Did I feel stupid? Yup!

Birgit wrote:
We had joined these groups hoping for Rachel to find good role models to learn from. Well, that really didn't work. Some of the teachers tried everything they could and did a very good job. I hope some of the kids will remember what they were told when they get older.
I am now trying the best I can to teach my daughter myself. She's already a better rider than I am in some ways. When it comes to being patient with Blue I have the authority as a parent to just tell her to get off if necessary, something that's not been necessary very often. Especially teaching adolescents, emotions go all over the place, they are developmentally not in a place where they can easily learn to be patient.
One analogy I have used successfully with my dog training students, incl. young kids, is the comparison of learning a language. When I teach a dog to sit I'm not "really" teaching the dog to sit, it could do that since about 3 weeks old, I'm just teaching it the English word for sit. If necessary I then put the person in the situation where I tell them to do simple things in German (which they don't understand) and then let them compare several ways of trying to figure out what I tried to get them to do: raising my voice as I repeat the commands several times, gesturing wildly with some annoyed facial expressions thrown in, gently leading them and pointing, pulling out some chocolate and placing it in strategic places where I want them to go etc. This is very powerful, esp. with people who don't "get it" with just explaining, but I usually offer it as an additional 20 minute freebie and tell people ahead of time, so they don't feel they are wasting the lesson they pay for on stuff that is not what they wanted to do. Having been an impatient student myself many times, and doubtless driven some riding instructors crazy as recently as two years ago I guess I remember so well what motivated me at the time. :yes: I wanted to get my money's worth from a lesson and get my questions answered, not go along with the riding instructor's agenda. I think I was a more difficult student, and probably still am, because I'm also a teacher and tempted to second guess my teacher's decisions. I guess I'm starting to ramble, this is a very important topic for me, it goes to the heart of why I'm homeschooling my daughter.
I'm glad to hear you are teaching, I know how rewarding it can be. :)


I'm always fascinated at how many school teachers, when they have their own children, turn to homeschooling. And I know it's not because they believe they have better teaching skills :funny: :funny: but because they can teach better in a freer environment. How do I know this?

My wife was a teacher, she not only home schooled but has written about it ... or did I tell you this already.

My children? (we have two sets, two each) Home and alternative schooling.

I take your point. And I shall brag about who I stole the wonderful tactic from that you outline above when I use it.

What could be more enlightening than connecting up the truth about what one, how really, is teaching the horse and that it isn't an action but in fact interpretation of a new symbol.

Having to experience it should get through. And gave the foundation, the real support, for being patient.

And of course you have reminded me of some of my own work in the dim past and some ideas I want to work on now as well.

And the answer to the problem of a student on a green horse has been answered. I will refuse to do it, and offer some alternatives.

Donald

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Reporting back on your influence, Birgit, about the problem of teaching patience and in fact raising the consciousness of folks on this issue with animal training. Wouldn't hurt if we were more patient too with children and each other. :roll: :D

I wrote a detailed letter to both mother's of my two young ladies and offered to teach a two hour class for the same group rate with the understanding they would both be riding a schoolmaster, not him and a green halfieXandy. They agreed (who would turn down such an offer?).

I'm much more satisfied with this arrangement. The advantage to me, since I'm really not well known in the local horseworld, is that I'm more assured of turning out two more talented riders as examples of my work, my conscience is in much better shape, the girls are safer (both were going to ride this green mare), and I can move on with better teaching methods.

Thank you for the inspiration.

The little green mare thanks you as well. I'm going to do a little work with her to teach her how humans can be with patience and more asking than ordering and demanding. I think I have the mother on the one student (owner of the mare) interested in some training using a more advanced rider.

Donald

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Donald,
I just found this, don't know how I missed it the last couple of days.
Quote:
I wrote a detailed letter to both mother's of my two young ladies and offered to teach a two hour class for the same group rate with the understanding they would both be riding a schoolmaster, not him and a green halfieXandy. They agreed (who would turn down such an offer?).

This is wonderful news. :) :clap: :clap: :clap:
This sounds like a win-win situation for sure. You are the one who is inspiring me. :f:
Looking forward to hearing about the progress of these two at some point. I'm just in the last couple of years learning that it is far more important to teach a few well than to teach many a little. We need visionary leaders who can set examples...
I'm even telling my daughter how it can be more important to teach one or two people in your life and watch them multiply what you've taught them.
Give that little green mare a kiss more me. Funny, now I visualize her as the color green. :rofl:
Birgit


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page Previous 1 2

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.