The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: ...The Horse Seeks Me
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:55 pm
Posts: 430
Location: northern, Illinois, USA
My Horse, My Love

I can only imagine
What is in your heart,
What do you feel
When we are apart?

My horse, my love,
I have given you my all
Do you dream of me,
Do you think of me at all?

My horse, my love,
I gaze into your eyes
Your presence fills the air
Ever the same, ever a surprise

My horse, my love,
Do you care for me?
I dream of you at night
When you are all I see

I can only imagine,
What is in your heart,
What do you feel
When we are apart?

I wrote the above poem when someone complained that my other horse poems were too masculine. Looking back at it now, I sort of think that I have captured what many women feel about their horses. They want their horse to love them and they want their horse to be their friend. I mean, isn’t that what all the favorite horsey books show? The horse saving the boy or girl, while risking his life for them?

Is this the right mindset? Is it helpful? Or is it possibly a hindrance to a closer relationship with the horse?

I have been reading It’s Not I who Seek the Horse, The Horse Seeks Me, by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, and thinking about the idea that our deep desire to bond with our horses might actually be getting in the way of that relationship.

Hempfling says that you can begin to connect with your horse if “ you do nothing more than just appear, if you want no more and do not have to prove anything else, if you want to neither be good nor bad, if you simply trust that what has to happen will happen, and if you know the horse by your side so well and understand him almost better than yourself.”

What a concept! No steps, sticks, rope halters, or round pens. You have to learn to be completely, totally content with yourself before your horse will trust and connect with you.

Will we allow ourselves time to do nothing? Over and over again, just doing nothing? Boy, that seems so hard. It is something that I will challenge myself to do: To just be still…

Maybe if I stop “chasing” my horse so much, maybe he will seek me.

Ivy

_________________
http://www.ivyshorses.com
Blog: http://www.EquestrianHarmony.wordpress.com


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:44 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I really love your poem.

Perhaps KFH is right, but the poem speaks to me as a human obsessed by her horse friends.

I can honestly say I do take KFH's approach through laziness, no plans, no expectations and then horses seek me out for cuddle sessions.

But the horses from my past had daily work in hand, or ridden, were fitter, were confident in most situations, forward going over big fences and found time to nuzzle, cuddle and come to me, just stand or lie in the field, before an eveing ride if a Summer day was too hot or after a ride, wash and turnout. I would explain a task, maybe halt to canter transitions, and reward for it, but I had made the choices. I have never asked Dan for canter and he has only chosen to trot with me on board once. Very different to having race fit Thoroughbreds with exercise agendas.

This year I expect to add questions, my horses might say "no", but I would like them to engage, walk further, work harder and keep some weight off.
I have backed both of them by waiting for invitation and climbing on without tack whilst at liberty. Now I need some rules to ensure their safety when we are out of the field, so far jackpot rewards for parking whilst two way traffic clears seems to work, but reviewing KFH youtube videos will be amongst my list of places to take ideas from.


Thank you for sharing your poem. I find poety a personal thing, emotional.
Susie xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:28 am
Posts: 9
I have many of the same beliefs and philosophy on both the world and horses that Klaus Hempfling does, but was only introduced to him after I had developed these. I was actually explaining to a natural horsemanship lady what I believe in and she recommended that I watch Klaus Hempfling’s videos. Instantly, I knew exactly what he was going through and how much power he could feel because I have felt much of the same things with my own horses. The difference is that before recently, I went off of my intuition very little and off of trying to get the horse trained and get something accomplished more. Whenever I did go off of my intuition, it was absolutely beautiful... and I know now that that is the only way to be with horses.

Klaus Hempfling does not speak of being lazy with horses, but instead of being with them. I understand exactly what he means by this because I have experienced it many times myself. You may only reach this place if you completely know, trust in, and are comfortable in yourself. When you get here you are going completely off of your intuition and you are not worried about training your horse because there is nothing to train. You are more focused on your horse than you ever have been before, but everything- all of your senses- are amplified. The amplification of your senses results in being able to hear many noises that are long distance and very quiet, being able to smell the grass from where you are standing, see small bugs from many feet away that are crawling upon the fence and even so far as to hearing their legs tap on the fence if you are closer. You can hear each individual beat of the bug’s wings, each swaying grass piece, each movement of the mane and each thud of the hoof. You can hear and feel when the horse beats the eyelash. You are not even really going just off of hearing with all of this- you are feeling it as if the world is in you. You know the world and the horse better than anything, and finally, finally, you may feel what the horse feels like every day when they are allowed to be free, allowed to be with themselves. You are a part of the world and finally the world is a part of you. You meet a place of togetherness that you never have before. Unfortunately, people that long for this togetherness often never find it simply because they are so focused on it or on getting their horse to accomplish something so that they can be more together with them. This never works- in fact, it does hinder it. I used to go off of trying to teach my horses things, trying to accomplish tasks, but when you are in this state of complete intuition you do not teach your horse- you feel where they need to go and where they need you to be and you go there. You are able to guide the horse and your self, but you are not truly guiding. You are going. There is no purpose, there is no time, and there is no other place to be. You are in no frame of mind to teach your horse anything yet you and your horse learn and feel the most in this state. You take the horse’s natural being and go with them and they go with you. You feed off of each other and off of the world. You feel things instantly and a great connection between they and you. They and you will look at something, startled, in the distance, and you knowing exactly how far, exactly where, and exactly what it is and how big it is. Everything is real. More real than you will ever feel.

I truly hope that it does not sound as if I am quoting off of his book, because I am not at all. As I have said before, I already knew these things before I even came across his book- but unfortunately have only come to realize exactly how to be in this state of intuition all of the time. Before I was always striving for perfection, and in doing so made us go as far as perfection as possible. You wish nothing because you have everything when you are here- and you trust that it all will happen because you know that it will, and it does. You accomplish beautiful things. There is nothing more than you could want in the world. From this, you also find the greatest peace in life in general and the ability to find the most extreme relaxation, exhilaration, happiness, and peace. It all becomes a way of being. And your horse absolutely loves it.

_________________
Smiles,
Kara
(the fifteen year old girl)

~There is no such thing as impossible.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:21 pm
Posts: 10
Willowsong..exactly. I feel the same way about the intuition. I have yet to be able to be in that mental state. I feel like my horse and I have been oppressed way to much in the world of sport. I'm quickly reseeding from that world but I just don't know where to go. Things aren't clicking with conventional training or horse trainers anymore. My lessons are aggravating. It's at the point where my lessons(which I'm forced to do at the moment) are a game for me and my horse to get out of doing what the instructor says...The trainer is all about getting my horse to go into a pretty frame and "making him listen", "don't let him goof off", and "his head can't be above the vertical". I just can't take it any more. What you said really made me understand more, thank you! I have all of KFH books. For me though, I don't know if I want to read them. When I try to follow things, I usually get steered off on a different path. Everyone wants to reach an end, a goal, and it's so hard for me to not be pulled into that. I think I have to read them with a different mindset: no goals, no expectations. Every time I follow my own path, there is a conflict. People don't support it. I'm only 15 and no one trusts me. Everyone thinks I need to follow a certain trainer, every word they say. I just can't do that but I don't trust myself to do it on my own.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
equus28 wrote:
Willowsong..exactly. I feel the same way about the intuition. I have yet to be able to be in that mental state. I feel like my horse and I have been oppressed way to much in the world of sport.

You are then feeling like it's possible horses feel with humans?
equus28 wrote:
I'm quickly reseeding from that world but I just don't know where to go.

Some times it feels like you are in a vacuum, out in space and nowhere to put your feet to stand. That is shared by others who leave the orthodox, the common path that others have laid out and present as "The Path." It is uncommon for one as young as you to notice it without trying to find a replacement, and instead seek to build a world of your own.

You will not find many answers here. But you will find questions like your own. That is often the answer to such questions as you have - to seek more questions.
equus28 wrote:
Things aren't clicking with conventional training or horse trainers anymore. My lessons are aggravating. It's at the point where my lessons(which I'm forced to do at the moment) are a game for me and my horse to get out of doing what the instructor says...

:D :D :D :D :D Well said, and a vivid description.

I must caution you that work is important though - but then there is something more important. Play!
equus28 wrote:

The trainer is all about getting my horse to go into a pretty frame and "making him listen", "don't let him goof off", and "his head can't be above the vertical". I just can't take it any more.

Oh, then, you already know that play is more important. ;) :D
What would happen if you considered what is being asked of you as a path of work to reach the playground?

equus28 wrote:

What you said really made me understand more, thank you! I have all of KFH books. For me though, I don't know if I want to read them. When I try to follow things, I usually get steered off on a different path.

They are only other paths being offered for examination. Keep exploring what you know, and what you learn. I think Klaus would agree that the teacher does not so much teach as reveal. The student is the learner.
equus28 wrote:

Everyone wants to reach an end, a goal, and it's so hard for me to not be pulled into that.

Tempting isn't it? The temptation is there for us all. Examine without participating for a time - a good long time, as some things are so immediately addictive as to be dangerous.

Take long critical looks. Consider reading a little bit on logic, critical thinking, and philosophy. They are not nearly so dry and boring as one might think, until discovering what they offer for tools to judge what others tempt you with.
equus28 wrote:

I think I have to read them with a different mindset: no goals, no expectations.

Ah, then, I wasted my words - you already know. I should have known you knew. LOL
equus28 wrote:


Every time I follow my own path, there is a conflict.

Well YEAH!
People want to control and want followers. Doesn't mean you have to follow.

equus28 wrote:

People don't support it. I'm only 15 and no one trusts me.

"ONLY 15" that's equivalent to a doctorate in living skills. The first thing others do to gain control over someone is convince them they don't know something vital - but the controller knows and will tend to and guide them if only they will OBEY!

Funny isn't it? A cosmic joke, because true teachers don't teach. They point, they reveal, they open doors - more important - they accept what the student learns as the belonging to the student.

equus28 wrote:

Everyone thinks I need to follow a certain trainer, every word they say. I just can't do that but I don't trust myself to do it on my own.


I had a mentor many years ago. A kind of rough around the edges sort, with more grace than one might think once they saw him with horses.

He'd stick me, a 13 and 14 year old, on 17 hand thoroughbreds, just babies themselves, and send me out to the training track mounted on a postage stamp saddle to gallop them - horses worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the property of famous people, powerful people.

I was terrified that I'd "do it wrong," and the last thing he'd say to me, as he tapped the colt on the butt, was, "what are you afraid of, the worst that can happen is that he'll kill you."

That would start me laughing and sure enough I would ride my own ride. So far none of them killed me.

I'll let you in on the power you have, as I see it.

Why to parents buy horses for their daughters?

As long as you stick with your horse as your major extracurricular activity you have THEM over a barrel. They are very unlikely to take your horse away if you start doing it your way.

You already know that and have been shining your instructor on very nicely - just don't feel guilty for doing so.

Don't bother to try and get them to "see it your way." Not going to happen. The trick is to learn to accept, without guilt, they aren't going to agree with you.

After all, what's the worst that can happen?

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
The Parent's Curse - "may you grow up to have children of your own one day."

On the other hand (you knew this was coming, right?) while it's your job to seek independence it's theirs' to keep you safe and alive.

So I guess your job is to stay alive, stay safe, and get independent.

It's about a four year job when first we discover this fact of life.

Daunting, isn't it?

Tricky too. There's so much to learn.

But you'll get your diploma, I can tell.

Got any ideas how to have fun on the way?

Betcha there's a Welsh pony that would be willing to help.

Wanna see some pics of a wild child Andalusian Filly?

http://www.annaliesemoyer.com/horses/090507bonnie/index_4.html

http://www.annaliesemoyer.com/horses/bonnie3/index.html

http://www.annaliesemoyer.com/horses/bonnie8months/

I think of Bonalario Magdalena (Bonnie Cupcake) as my grand daughter whose mother has me baby sit from time to time.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake (who has trouble staying safe, and does what she wants whenever she can get away with it - otherwise she gets cranky).

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


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:41 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:15 am
Posts: 3
I'm sorry to come in so late on this thread.
I just wanted to show my respect for the wise and insightful dialogue on this subject. It has been (and continues to be) a big journey in my life - being vs doing... Whether with horses or anything, but certainly I have found that horses offer a platform to explore the intuition and the heart with their silence and honesty.
The process of sublimating desire into alchemical gold.
As humans we seem to have imbedded in our psyche though the cycles of history that we are to have 'dominion over these beasts of burden' that they should 'do as we command', I do believe however that through untraining this we can find the truly authentic connection which is spoken about here.
I would love to hear also how equus28 is getting on, navigating the pitfalls and expectations of conventional horsemanship with such a clear heart song :clap:


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