The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:08 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
such a happy day. I have a friend that boards her horses with us and since I started using a bitless bridle and making other changes to my horses lives, such as taking off their shoes and to stop riding and start on the AND path, all I have heard is how her horse "can't" do any of these things. can't go bitless, can't go barefoot etc etc for all the usual none thought out reasons that one usually hears.

I have made a point of not pushing it, not mentioning things unless asked and never about her horses, only about mine, and have really glossed over the real reason behind a lot of them as I don't want to say "I think bits are horrible devices of torture" to someone that uses them as I am then saying she tortures her horses...so difficult to bite ones tongue at times.

But today she not only tried a hackamore on her horse, but loved it and declared that she is never again going to put a bit in his mouth! It may seem like such a tiny step and yet, when you stop to think about it, it is such a big leap. And one that may, if we keep progressing along our AND path and are able to quietly influence her by example, lead to so much more and two more happy horses in the world.

Oh happy days.

To have influenced one person to take a bit out of her horses mouth makes me so happy, but to have done it quietly by example of how happy and changed my horses have been, makes me proud. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
And you should be! :applause:

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Annette O'Sullivan

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


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:54 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:10 am
Posts: 184
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Oddly enough, one of the bitless stables here took a full page ad. in the Federation magazine saying just that!

"Stop torturing your horse" ("Deja de torturar a tu caballo!")

I guess it's knowing who's going to respond to which approach! Congratulations on yours.
Rita

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"There is always an alternative to every cruel act".


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:24 pm
Posts: 1132
Location: Southampton, UK
yes...congratulations indeed!! I have yet to persuade anyone else to try bitless and barefoot.....hopefully one day I might have reasont o celebrate like you do. :applause:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:35 am
Posts: 135
Location: U.S..A. Michigan
Hi Heather,

I believe any changes we can make for the better for the horse is a victory. So congragalations!!! :applause:
I am sure your friends horse is thankful.

Leah


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:59 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Thank you all. I feel like such a big head now bragging :blush: about it but i just felt so happy for the horse at the time that I had to tell you all about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: New York
Hey Heather!

Don't feel like you were bragging!!!

This is totally cool, and I think you've found the way (very AND-like, BTW) of allowing people to watch and figure out on their own that there are other ways to approach their horses.

This is marvelous!

There are four or five people at the ranch where I board who've shifted to bitless bridles through much the same process. If/when I got asked about it, I explained what it was and why I was using it, and left it at that. I have an extra one, so if people were interested, I willingly lent it -- but I never editorialized about whether they should use it. Only one woman went back to a bitted bridle again after using it, and the rest of them went and got their own.

It's a pretty darn cool feeling! So you should crow, definitely, and don't feel like you're exhibiting big head disease! ;)
:yes: :yes: :applause: :applause:


Best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:56 am
Posts: 60
Location: Qld, Australia
:applause: I think it's a REALLY big deal, Heather!
You've taken the pain away for that horse! (Well a big part of it!)
I sold a gelding we bred a few months ago - recently the new owner sent me an email saying how she was SO glad he was two now, she could train him to saddle!!! I was horrified - I asked her, didn't she think he was a little young? She sent back that he was a lovely big strong boy, and he would be fine... :ieks: :sad: It was diffucult (I felt like I had no say, I'd sold him to her) to send her back an email telling her about draughts (he's a draught x gypsy cob) and how they don't mature skeletally until they are 4, or more. She has light horses, and although we know this rule goes for all horses, I didn't want to accuse her, so I concentrated on our boy. She looked it up on the 'net, and wrote back that she was taking my advice, and thanking me for it! :cheers: :D I was SOO chuffed! This boy is very special, I was there from when his Ma met his Pa, and I am so happy she's putting him first. I mentioned bitless, and she may even go that way too, I sure hope so.
Adie
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Adie, good for you.

Donald

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


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:56 am
Posts: 60
Location: Qld, Australia
:) Thanks Donald!
He is a special guy, I still miss him, VERY cuddly! I've never tried to influence anybody, I tend to shut-up and clear-out! But THIS time I had a vested interest... or at least used to. And I still adore that boy, couldn't have him permanently damaged without speaking up! His owner is a lovely lady and adores him, I'm happy he's with her.
Adie


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
It's wonderful in this case that the owner was so willing to listen and cares so much for this horse.

Your comments brought to mind something I had not noticed consciously: that remarks from others about our horse handling tend to stick over time. And especially if the remarks either bring up things we had not thought of or are wrong on facts.

The last one concerns me as if we make a remark and our facts our wrong and the person we address isn't knowledgeable or doesn't know to research further to reestablish their view on the issue in question we could be leading them astray.

A neighbor of mine with horses remarked about Bonnie, when she was a few weeks old, that she look pigeon-toed. She's not, though she has a slight cow-hocked stance at times in the rear, which is rather common to young horses and is often outgrown (as she is doing) but for some reason, even though the woman was absolutely incorrect about Bonnie's front legs - they are arrow straight and close to perfect conformation - it still pops into my head from time to time and I wonder if she meant something else that I missed, and used a term that didn't apply as I understand it.

That one tiny passing remark influenced me very strongly, even though I KNOW the woman was wrong.

So what we say can have great power with others even if they do not acknowledge it. Yours is the kind of situation I wish always was the case when we discuss good horse handling with others. You must have handled it very well given that you and she kept the lines of communication open. You inspire me to, after all these months, ask this neighbor just what she was talking about with Bonnie's legs. :)

Thanks,
Donald

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


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:56 am
Posts: 60
Location: Qld, Australia
:D :blush: THRILLED to be any sort of inspiration to you Donald!
Yes, you are right, we do have an obligation to be sure of what we are saying - and it's funny/annoying how a little comment can bug you for so long, even if was never intended that way (or just displayed a lack of knowledge). ONE reason (among many) why I normally keep my mouth shut...or ask LOTS of :blonde: questions! It tends to make them think you are in need of educating, which is normally an eye-opener if you listen instead of talk...or worse, brag!
Adie


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
There are many ways of getting out the message. I greatly admire those that lead by example, though it's not my own style (and I wish for more of it, quite frankly).

I sometimes will do things with horses that are unusual (not to us here at AND of course) and if I see curiosity or interest I'll ask if the person would like me to explain what I'm doing and why.

Because I don't work out of a commercial barn, and only go there to give the occasional lesson not much of that happens. But I think this will be more of a watershed year for me in this regard. At least over the winter I'm seeing more students at the barn. And I'll probably have one or both of our horses there for a month or so.

I guess the lesson I take from AND folks in the matter of getting out the word is patience, and relationship building, and teaching by example.

I'll work on it. :funny:

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


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
:applause: :applause: :cheers:
a view more horses with a better future


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