The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:01 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:25 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
I am comfortable in my little community. We speak the same language, dress in familiar ways, communicate non-verbally in well understood ways.

But I have a problem. It's these durnded foreigners that keep popping up so often. They are different. Smell different. Talk so different I cannot understand them. Their body language and it's meanings are opaque to me. I cannot understand.

I know they are asking for something or for me to do something but they just get loud and pushy when I don't understand their jabber and I get such mixed signals from their body language and other communication attempts.

Frankly I've about given up on them and just go about my own business with my own kind and pretty much avoid and ignore them when I can.

Since I'm a horse that consists mostly of eating, and dozing, plus some play with my herd buddies, checking out the lead mare to see what she wants now and doing a lot of mutual grooming with my most special herd buddy. This is livin'

Opps! Here comes one of those blasted foreigners again. What the heck does the sound, "hereboycomeputyourhalteron," mean anyway?

And why are they kind of sneaking up on me like a coyote?

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:35 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
whahaha!!! :funny:

_________________
www.equusuniversalis.com


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:25 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Wait a minute! What's this!

This one isn't doing that sneaking up on me thing all the others do. This one just did a horse self introduction. It stopped back from me and looked at the ground and pawed a little with its hoof.

Hmmmm...now what is up with THAT?

Maybe I'll try a little wuffle of tentative welcome and see what happens. "wuffle wuffle wuffle."

OH MY... it tried to wuffle back. Terrible foreigner accept but it tried.

I'm not sure about this ... it may be just a new kind of lion I've not met before. I better check this out.

Good. The closer I get the quieter it gets, and looks away a little bit. Let me see if I can put my head higher than its head ... why yes ... it knows how to accept a little dominance. Must have a kindly nature after all.

Say, I just remembered ... these foreigners, even the really stupid ignorant ones that can't speak even a little accented horse sometimes have food on them. I wonder if I wuffled somemore ... ?

YES, OH GOODY. Horse cookies.

Bad smell, ugly ears, weak forehand and all I think I'm starting to like this foreigner just a little bit.

My GOODNESS IT'S SCRATCHING MY NECK BY MY SHOULDER with it's misshapen front hoof. Poor thing. I think I'll let it give me some more cookies and scratch me all it wants.

"wuffle wuffle wuffle"

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:19 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Estonia, Tallinn
You just made my day a lot brighter. Thank you so much. :D

_________________
flow


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:00 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Georgia (USA)
LOL!
Super amusing to read but also makes you think...

_________________
Diego's Journal
There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:16 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Don... when is that book of yours going to come out, please!!! :kiss:

:applause:

_________________
www.equusuniversalis.com


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:46 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:funny: :lol: :rofl: :rofl: :x Bwaah-haa-haa. Donald, this is priceless :love: :f:

_________________
Glen Grobler

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:21 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
keep going!! :funny: :funny: make usw smile :)


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:57 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Such little stories tales and comments by me have to do with my own pain and isolation at experiencing the barrier between myself and the horse. For all my "understanding," of the horse there is still that to contend with.

So I imagine.

What really takes place in the horse's mind, though humans tend to think of it as simple and primitive I see as another language, somewhat like Chinese where one can think in ideograph - pictures, rather than symbols such as our letters and the words they make.

I don't know how Chinese children learning language think but recall as a child when I was much exposed to Cantonese language finding it easy. I believe because children think so much in pictures. When I heard the word for horse in Mandarin I did not think horse, the word, but rather pictured "Ma." Which is the horse.

Now I tend to extrapolate this to the horse and their thinking yet cannot grasp it in my conversations with them. My damn words, characters, get in the way. If I say "excuse me," I do not envision the horse moving over to let me by in the narrow confines of the stall, but rather stop with the words.

If only I could remember that the horse must connect these odd grunts, weazes, inhales, and exhultations, snorts and pops that are out speech, with pictures from memory, as is their speech, I know I could do better communicating.

I so often forget even when I do my breath talking/listening with them, and start sending words instead of pictures.

I don't think of a scene where I am hugging them, and giving them treats, and grooming them, but rather say to them, "I love you and will always care for you." The former is horse language, the latter just babble to them.

I must practice, as I've preached :roll: :roll: :funny: , remember to speak words that are congruent with my internal feelings AND PICTURE THEM in some practical fashion. Then I am speaking horse.

So my little story really should have been told in pictures as the horse's mind would form them ... I tried as best I could with this clumsy foreign language, human, to show the elegant language of the horse - the pictures they form.

Which is the wiser language?

I believe the one that is most direct and less possible to misunderstand.

The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words rings very true to me when I try to think like as horse in their language.

Temple Grandin, she claims, does this, and I believe she is correct in relating her pictures to animal thinking and so connects so profoundly with them. It doesn't make her their kind of animal but it opens the door to deeper understanding.

Personally I'm selfish. I am actually less interested in understanding the horse (that was my goal when I exploited them for 20 years) but more in communicating two way so they have the opportunity to explore ME, and understand me.

If one looks at AND practitioners one in a certain way one sees this happening a great deal.

Watching videos I so often see the horse look speculatively at the handler, the AND horse handler that is, rather than anxiously as I see so much in past and present standard horse handling.

I so love that look the AND horse gives. It appears so provocative in that the horse wants to be with this human. Wants to figure out not just what is being asked but what this creature is that is asking.

From the time we chased them down with rocks and spears and killed and ate them to the present when we moved to riding and driving them they have been asking, but mostly from a position of fear.

Why DO horses find human children so fascinating? Because they do not ask much of the horse but rather present themselves so often for the horse to inspect.

You might guess from that, and you'd be correct, that I recently once again got a chance to watch Bonnie and Altea with a child. This child in particular is special. In developmental terms she is labeled, but in my terms and on my terms, she is fairy like, gentle, speculative, takes books and climbs 40 ft up in trees and sits and reads for hours.

When she met Bonnie and Altea (she new Altea before Bonnie came along) she was drawn to them strongly. For two hours recently she spent her time quietly being with them, Altea mostly given room to Bonnie to explore the child. And did Bonnie ever.

She tasted up and down her clothes, mouthed large amounts of her hair, felt her face and arms, tasted, even bit down a slight bit, on her shoes. Listened intently to the soft voice of the child, and though the child did not know about my "listening breath," exchanged breath with her too.

This child likely thinks a good deal in pictures.

I know in the past she has met new horses and gotten on them with no saddle or bridle and just sat and let them carry her around.

I have been looking for an apprentice. The model I sought was some child of riding and handling skill that is very different from this child. I think I was wrong. There is no reason to look for a convert as an apprentice, but rather I should seek out an innocent gentle child that wants to be near the horse.

I, in fact, may consider sending Bonnie to live with this child. Or invite her to live with us and Bonnie for a time. She's the daughter of friends so it's possible. She is what Bonnie believes humans are. And she is so much more in communication with Bonnie than I.

Yet she is not brave around horses. If they are energetic, as Bonnie can sometimes be, she is afraid and does not want to be with them.

Bonnie would have other horses to live with as well, two of them. And I understand the father is about to rehabilitate his pastures and improve them. And I could visit a great deal if I wished.

What do you think?

Donald

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:15 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
I personally think it's a fab plan and could be a great place to let Bonnie experience a herd (of two and not related to her) as well as allowing her to grow physically and mentally.
Much of what you describe I have experienced with my youngest son who had great difficulty with language. He did not speak in sentences until he was 6 years old (and it took 3 years of very intense speech therapy). Because he lacked speech his body language was very clear and he would show immediately what he was feeling by face and body expression. Even today, I take him with me when I know I have a difficult horse to box and somehow (without words) he manages to have them in the box and relaxed all by himself (he's just turned eight). He has no fear of the box, he understands their fear, and he has the sweetest, most patient body langauge I have ever seen. He has a deep love for horses because they understand him, unlike his human peers who live in a world that is far too quick for him to keep up with!
I used to panic when he would go into the paddock with horses I didn't know, but I really let him run loose with them these days and often have to look for him as he is having a quiet moment with a horse that no adult can get near!!!!!
I think much of his success lies in the fact that he really believes in the horse and has no doubt whatsoever that the horse can do what he is asking. They somehow KNOW he believes in them. He has been with me for hours around horses (being the youngest he got dragged wherever I went!), and the things he used to get Morgan to do were amazing.
What does interest me very much is his perception of what is appropriate and not for how a horse should be treated and looked after. He has experienced our herd that roams free and seen many other horses in stabled conditions. A few weeks ago we visited a friend to move her horse and he went and took himself off to visit all the paddocks to see the horses there. I found him standing at one paddock watching a horse walk a figure 8, back and forth. In a loud voice (I almost had to kick him!!!) he says "what wrong with this horse?". I asked him what he meant and he says "I have been standing here for ages and the horse knows I am here and he doesn't come to say hello, he just keeps walking circles, he's not very happy". He then wanted to know why the horse was alone and why he was "stuck" in a small paddock and why they don't love him anymore!!!!!!
Anyway the point I am making is for my son being around horses is a very relaxing time. He can be himself and is wanted and appreciated by the horses for who he is.
So as for the "strange girls who climbs trees and reads", perhaps in your horses world, she is not so "strange" at all!
She might be "odd" to us humans because she thinks and feels differently, but she may just be a bridging gap between the horse world and ours simply because she has no hidden agenda.
I would definitely chat to her Dad about her spending more time with both the horses. It will be of enormous benefit to you too to observe how they interact together and I know from my son how beneficial to him, the time is that he spends with the horses. It's free therapy all around!!!! :D

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
If one thinks in terms of my little story about foreigners arriving in what to the horse is his world and what things can happen to horses, bad things, as a result, the horse doing the figure eights makes perfect sense.

The normal course of behavior (used many times by AND people - I think especially of Josepha and some of her work with mind damaged horses) for a horse meeting a new horse (or person) is to approach and retreat. It's built into their genetic package.

This horse your son wanted to be with wanted to be with him, but past history kept, as he tried to move his approach/retreat "hello," closer would hit the old painful memories. It brings tears to my eyes to think of what he was going through inside, and what your son picked up so accurately. Alone and unloved is exactly what the horse was feeling - along with anxiety, fear of humans.

The girl that climbs trees is to me also doing perfectly normal behavior, all things considered. I knew a few children myself when I was young that spent considerable time in trees just contemplating the universe as well as their immediate world. I was one of them.

Fortunately her mother is an educator of considerable talent and knowledge, and her father a kind and gentle soul both contemplative and possessing a very strong sense of humor. I think he loves that she climbs trees and reads and thinks.

This little girl, like your son, brings something special from the human perspective to the larger world. Hopefully it will be nurtured. With her parents being who they are I suspect it will be.

She was doing, without knowing of the horse training concept, a good deal of approach/retreat with Bonnie. I suspect of Bonnie were old enough she'd have slipped up on her back for a bit. She was laying all over Bonnie as it was, and some years back she would get on a horse at liberty out in the pasture and they'd go adventuring together - no equipment.

These folks, by the way, already take very good care of horses - not at my level, but very high for the community we live in here. Good winter shelter, plenty of good hay from a family member that is a grower, hoof trim, shots etc. So the resources are there.

Thanks for your input to my challenge in thinking about Bonnie's future. I hope to make sure she has a life after mine that is safe and loving and with the adventures I hope for her.

Donald

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:36 pm 

Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 47
Sometimes horses and humans choose one another. It happens with other animals too. Our family was recently chosen by a starving, distressed stray kitten who ran out of the woods and immediately joined up with our little pack (two humans and two dogs) while we were on our evening walk, just as if he'd been part of the family forever. The dogs accepted him on the spot without hesitation and immediately became protective and loving. They have been inseperable since. We were not looking for a cat. We have plenty of animals. But this kitten chose us and our dogs have chosen him back. It's important every living creature find a home and companionship that meets their needs.

An intersting aside... about 5 years ago the only cat we ever owned got killed by some local dogs. Our dog, Crab, was pretty attached to that cat. Ever since she disappeared, Crab, has been skittish and tense in the house. It started immediately after she was killed and nothing we've tried has helped, including lots of R+ training. But, guess what? Since the new kitten arrived 3 weeks ago, Crab has not startled or skittled or acted stressed in the house for even one minute. He's like a new dog. Amazing?

_________________
Kim Sturgeon, Tempo, Shoki & Puck (South Carolina)


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 12 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:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.