The Art of Natural Dressage

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Author:  horsefever [ Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

I have posted a few short videos of Magik and Corado practicing the "lifting of the shoulder and backing up". I'm enjoying myself so much and I think my horses are too.

Author:  Romy [ Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

You are doing so great! :)

What I liked most is how you keep your hip cues rather small and subtle, which will make your horses very attentive to your body language in the long run, instead of having them only look for big moves. However, in some scenes it seems that they haven't seen you move your hip towards them. In these situations I have found that with my horses, the body movement is way more important than the posture it results in. That is, when I point my hip at them and see in their non-reaction that they haven't noticed (perhaps because they have been looking at something else the moment I did it), I simply take my hip back and move it forwards again. I was really surprised in the beginning about the difference this made, but when thinking about it, this is quite logical, given that animals and especially prey animals are extremely sensitive to movement cues, whereas stationary objects often go unnoticed.

Another thing I found totally amazing is how sensitive Corado is. Now that you are beginning to work on these cues, it will probably take lots of focus and that's absolutely fine. But once you got more used to it, I would recommend to experiment not only with moving your hips forwards, but also with their lateral movement: shifting and turning.

By turning your hips you can influence the horse's bend while walking in the same direction as the horse or ask the front and hindquarters to move seperately while you are standing next to the horse, facing him. For example when in that situation your hip that is closer to the horse's hindquarters turns towards them and at the same time your frontquarters-facing hip turns away and makes room for the frontquarters, the horse will most likely turn his hindquarters away from you. Later you can even do this the other way around and ask the hind- or frontquarters towards you in that way. In the same way you can also block the movement of certain body parts by "closing the gate" with your hip.

By shifting your hips left or right you can make the horse move in this direction as well. For example when you are standing next to him, facing him, a shift that is parallel to his body but in the direction of his hindquarters will most likely make him back up. The same often works when asking for a step forwards and with some practise also for moving sideways when you are standing in front of the horse, facing him.

It looks like Corado already reacts to the laterality of your hips, or to a lack of it, which is when he does not only move the body part you were asking for but his whole body. When watching videos, I usually look at the human's body language as if I was the horse who is reacting to it. This is my only chance to perceive it, because I have a movement interpretation problem (I can hardly perceive a canter lead change for example or whether a horse trots on the right or left hand). And while doing that, Corado almost always did what I would have done myself. So if you want to prevent or specifically encourage this, it might be useful to experiment with lateral hip movements and use them more consciously, based on the horse's feedback.

Anyhow, theses are just tiny suggestions for the future. Actually I was amazed how well you are doing! :)

Author:  horsefever [ Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

Thanks so much Romy for your feedback. I must honestly say I saw your video some time ago and started practicing and love the results. I even got alot of positive feedback since most people don't even think about this type of communication.

I will print this post for sure (I'm at work now) and make sure I understand everything you wrote and will try it out.

Corado's mind has changed so much in the last year. He is so much more focused on me. I can even sense some agressiveness towards Magik at times when I'm beside him and Magik shows up.

I can't wait for the summer so I can play with the horses outside in the field. My communication is so much better.

Have a great day! :friends:

Author:  Romy [ Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

Jocelyne, just in case you haven't seen it in my own video thread: I made you a little instructional video about our hip cues to show what I had tried to explain in my post. :smile:

Author:  horsefever [ Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

This is great Romy - I see what you are doing and it makes perfect sense. I'll start practicing tonight with Corado since he is so receptive to these moves.
I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for sharing - you are a great teacher!!

Author:  kate [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

You're doing great! Very nice videos. :)

(Just to let you know, the fourth link needs the extra 'h' taken off the start so it will work for people to click on. :f: )

Author:  horsefever [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CORADO & MAGIK

Thanks Kate. I was wondering why it didn't open. :funny:

I just learnt something new today :cheers:

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