The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Thank you
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Well, here's what has been happening to me after joining this forum and reading the odd post here and there.

As I am only human, I share the tendency to focus on conflict, on the negative, the controversial... So rampant in life, everywhere you go - is this fascination. Oh how I rushed to read articles with headlines such as: "Rollkur" and "horse abuse"...
How I wanted to point out the "faults" of others - how the collection is not true, how the horse is in pain etc.

Well, this is changing! Thanks to the wonderful folks here - the way this forum does not just talk of "positive comments only please"! How people (gently and respectfully) remind those of us who slip up - to "rise above" - to focus on the truth...
The discipline of this is contagious!

I find myself not even tempted to "get into" the things wrong with this or that - for they are not really "wrong", they are just the way of reality for those in that situation... and most of the time waaaay out of my control.

Being a bit of a perfectionist, I get discouraged when things are not perfect with my life, horses and so on. And I am thrilled to share that this is shifting too. I am much more in the moment now. Much more open minded and positive, I would guess...

The exercises and training (play) sessions have taken on an air of exuberance, of pure lightness and joyful exploration. And the acceptance of the horse's decision not to participate at times - and with my change in attitude, with the cessation of placing so much importance on the horse's "liking me" - well the horses are drawn to me so much more....

Paradoxically - placing less importance on the outcome guarantees it... probably not news to you guys :)

So a big THANK YOU for this to all of you!


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 Post subject: Re: Thank you
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6077
Location: Dresden, Germany
So nice to read this, Zuzana! Thanks to you, too, for being such a wonderful addition to our forum. :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Thank you
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am
Posts: 2147
Location: Vienna, Austria
Thank you, Zuzana, for sharing this! :friends:

I said it a few times already, but happily say it again - the same thing happened to me as well. For me this change to a much more positive view on so many things (not just horse related things) was actually triggered by my discovery of positive reinforcement. In an already very exciting phase of my life I stumbled upon this place where the whole positive reinforcement topic is actually lived in such a natural form. It's more or less self regulated by some kind of positive peer pressure. I've never seen this in effect on any other forum.

Zuzana wrote:
Paradoxically - placing less importance on the outcome guarantees it... probably not news to you guys
That's one of those zen-like insights that are so incredibly valuable - and hard to reproduce reliably ;). The less you want something, the more likely you get it :sun:

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Volker

The horse owes us nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Thank you
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Well put about living positive reinforcement here in this forum, from this forum.

I've a thought to share with you volker. It's about the less you want something the more you are likely to get it.

Some might think they must be passive - not true, so I suggest that rather than "wanting," simply "expecting." Then one can put it out of their mind for the most part and visit it, whatever "it," might be, when it's appropriate to do so.

When I read your description, and your rationale for mimicry over targetting it reminded me so very much of "expectation."

I so often point to being clear in our intent with the horse, and doing mimicry based training is most certainly one of expecting ... rather then the intensity that comes from wanting a target touched.

I plan to remember this point you've made that resonates so strongly with me and take it to my work with my horses. In fact with my work with my students as well.

In fact I'm inspired right now to follow through. One of my mature students showed up last week for her first class with me in about a year, and the beginning of a series we are going to do together, and she had no helmet on. I let it pass ... my bad.

I'm on hold on the telephone even as I write this waiting for her to pickup so I can discuss the helmet issue with her.

And there, she picked up, and she says she's quite willing to come wearing her helmet. That's a relief. My intent, and my expectation have been met. LOL Thanks again for the reminder.

Best wishes,

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


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 Post subject: Re: Thank you
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:23 am 
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Location: Vienna, Austria
Hmm, that's an interesting aspect you're touching here, Donald. As always ;)

Donald Redux wrote:
Some might think they must be passive - not true, so I suggest that rather than "wanting," simply "expecting." Then one can put it out of their mind for the most part and visit it, whatever "it," might be, when it's appropriate to do so.
I know you mean the same thing as I do, but words are treacherous in their connotations and ambiguities. It's funny, but when I read "expecting", I read a lot of pressure and demanding. Like a father saying to his son: "Tomorrow, I expect you to give 120% in that football match!"
I associate it very much with certain leadership concepts where a leader expects a certain performance and there should be no thoughts about failure. I know that such an approach works well - if one has the appropriate personality and mindset for acting like that.

The image that works best for me to achieve that certain undemanding state, that I think horses like so much, is something along the lines of: "smiling at the possibility of success". That means for me that I try to conjure up a joyful vision of the end result. The possibility of failure is there, but not so important right then. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? Hard to explain this stuff in a foreign language ;).

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Volker

The horse owes us nothing.


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