The Art of Natural Dressage

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Why am I not as active at AND as I used to be?
I have moved on in my interests 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
I did not find here what I was looking for 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I did not get enough feedback or helpful replies 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
The members/topics who were my reason for writing here are gone 9%  9%  [ 3 ]
I do not like how the forum is run 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I have personal issues with one or more of the people here 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
I have found another means of discussing horses (facebook, blog, other forum etc.) 18%  18%  [ 6 ]
My need to discuss horses is satisfied - the relevant questions are answered already 15%  15%  [ 5 ]
Other (please explain in the topic) 47%  47%  [ 16 ]
Total votes: 34
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:22 am 
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It's one of these days when I am wondering why AND has become so empty. This is nothing new - I can even pinpoint the start of the decrease in activity to September 2009, because this is when someone asked me how many posts a day we had and it was around 200, but soon after that it became much less and never increased to the original amount again. Back then 50 posts a day felt like nothing to me, and now I cannot even remember when it was the last time we had so many. Now it happens that for several days in a row we only have about 3. :huh:

Of course the activity is not constant, but in general it seems that so many people have left us, and I am wondering why. Now the people who aren't here anymore will not read this topic either. ;) But there also are many who have written a lot in the past and don't do so anymore. It would be very helpful if you could say why that is. Maybe it is something we can change?

I have added a poll with several options, but if none of them fits for you, please directly reply to this topic - and please also feel free to elaborate on any of the other selections you make. :) There is no option like "I am short of time", because I guess we are all short of time most of the time. If this is more of a reason for not writing here than it used to be in the past, there probably are other reasons why it is not worth making time anymore. If, however, your time schedule itself has changed drastically, just click "Other options".

Thank you very much in advance! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:06 am 
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So I will start with my own reasons. I am still here every day and read every post, but I also do not write as much as I used to. So I have chosen the "people and topics are gone" and the "topics are discussed already" options.

The first one is because many of the things that attracted me to AND are not as present anymore as they used to be. For example that would be Miriam with her very interesting discussions along the lines of "why we are doing things the way we do them" and her helpful contributions about the more technical aspects of training. But I also miss the topics I associate with Brenda, Sue, Kate, Leigh and many others.

Second, we have discussed a lot of things already. I often find myself walking home from the pasture, thinking about a diary entry I am going to make. And then it occurs to me that I have written about something similar several times already, so I let it be in order not to be too redundant and boring. Also when certain topics arise, with questions about leadership being the most prominent example, I am not as motivated to put lots of time into them as I was in the past. This is simply because I have discussed these things so often and I am done thinking about them - they just do not seem that relevant for me personally anymore.

Nevertheless, I still love the forum. I am ever so grateful for all it has given to me and will continue coming here every day. :f:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:25 am 
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Well, for me actually none of the answers apply. ;) I'm just as active here as I was before. Maybe not in my own diary, but I try to read every posting and comment if I think I have something to share.
I do find the time issue very important though. It's hard for me to scratch the time together to write a more in-depth and interesting post. Often it happens during work :roll:. But I love the more philosophical discussions here - have to say that I too have the feeling that these things have declined since I'm here.
But I think such things go in waves. It feels to me like there's something like a change of generations happening right now. The founding members have posted a lot in the beginning and now have turned towards other things, but I see new members coming with very interesting stories to tell. Of course the old questions will be asked again, but that's only natural...

But I agree with you Romy, I'm also a bit sad about it and missing some of the long time members.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:36 am 
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Thanks for replying, Volker. :smile:

I find the time issue important as well - just not more important than in the past. So I think it could explain why someone is not writing here often, but perhaps not why his activity has changed over time? I hope that you are right concerning the activity that is coming and going in waves. It's only that this low activity wave seems to have been here for some years now...

Just like you I am also happy about our new members. It's just that many of them don't seem to stay very long. But then of course this is understandable as well, if they get so little input when they write something.

But don't mind me, I am just a bit worried at the moment, about the forum in general, but also that I am not doing enough to help making it a nice place to be.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 4:25 pm
Posts: 476
I am one of those members who was quite active when the forum started and then stopped writing. you probably know why, but this is probably a good topic to point it out again and to show that I am still an active reader! For me leaving the forum has nothing to do with the forum. It is just that Amiro, the horse I hang around with (as most of you know, but some of you don't), left to stay with his real owner so I was without horses for a long time. I didn't really know what to write, as I didn't have a horse to play with. Now I do have the possibility to be around horses again, but as they are never my own horses I don't think it is fair to put all my thoughts on the internet.

So, I am choosing "other options". My reason for leaving has nothing to do with the forum or the people. I love this place and still feel so inspired almost every time I read the diaries. The reason is just that my situation changed. But... I will probably be back some day. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Hey Els nice to hear that you still following AND ;) i hope your are fine. i hear sometimes something about you and that everthing is going well so far.
My postings are not so many as before, because i am a bit of bussy now. Working hard and do a lot of things at the same time :roll:
but still love the place here, enjoy as far i have time the diary's but not writing there, only reading.
And try to post if they split it in for example the picture place or were ever. Less to read and can anwer quicker. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:39 pm 
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A few time ago, I was thinking to start a topic with the question "of there are also other people who want to tell and write so much but doesn't find the courage to spend so much time to write it out in English (if it is not your language)".

I know this language is the only way or the most easy, but for my own dificult to follow and understand good the discutions and meanings about what the members are writing. I'm just curious if I'm the only or if there are other people with the same problem. Maybe it gives me more courage to write here more...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
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Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
I still love the forum, it is just sad that I cannot take you guys out into the pasture and sit there together discussing things and just being together... that is why I am loving the weekend in the summer!
I also feel I have not that much questions anymore, I have understood the fact that it is my horse who can teach me the most, and I see him looking at me now agreeing :)
I also feel I do keep writing the same thing in my diary, but I do see improvement :) it's only strange to write we did the same thing today it went a bit better :)

I am trying to film myself now, but my camera only films 10 minutes :) so in riding this is more difficult, I am working on that now and I hope that I can post more films soon. I sometimes have the feeling that when I film, it won't look as good as I feel about it :)

I also want to be outside a lot more than when I started, I think, in the past my life/interests were different, I would go to my horse, perform an amount of acts and than go home again and write about it. Now I love just being there... or just being and not doing things (I'm getting lazy)

that is for now what I want to say, I do love to read, and feel sad that I cannot follow every tread I want and that I cannot follow them as much as I want, I just feel I'm more superficial with the people here than I used to be... always plan to change that, but seem to get stuck every time ;)

big hugs!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
This is an answer from a newbie here :)
I just worry about re-posting questions/comments already asked and answered. I love the way this forum is organized, really an awesome resource, but you are bound to have less posts with your great setup here... AND with your "no bickering" policy, too :).

Often I think of a question and look through the posts and find my answer.
And there are times when I would ask, but worry about it being answered already...
Zu


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:13 am 
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Thank you so much for all your replies! :kiss:

Bloem, please don't worry about your English, I cannot remember even one instance when I felt I did not know what you meant. I think it's great that you are willing to write here in English although this is hard for you. Once I had a small correspondence with someone in French and only then I realized how much time it costs to write in a language you do not feel very fluent in.

Barbara, it would indeed be great to just take the people to the pasture. That would make so many things so much easier. I am looking forward to the summer meeting a lot as well. :)

Zuzana, you really needn't worry about questions being answered. For many questions I can tell you if they have been discussed and where, so feel free to ask anytime, and if there are answers already, I will just give you the links. And your comments are very helpful, actually. I think you really have a point with the "no bickering" policy. This morning I was wondering why other forums do have many posts and also over long periods of time. Specifically, I took one German general horse forum as an example for comparison. I realized that many of the posts over there are not about horses per se. Instead, the most active topics there are those where people either argue with each other or bash a person of public interest. It also seems to me that a big part of the activity there is due to off-topic things. Many more posts deal with TV shows, food or other people than horses. In this case, I must say I very much prefer a forum that is not so active but where the posts are meant to convey content instead of being mostly smalltalk.

Great to read that many people still love the AND forum. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:48 am 
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It's important I think, Romy, to remember this isn't a general forum, just as you say, and for that matter not a general horse one either.

How often do we meet AND minded people in the world around us? I have not met any personally, though I see tendencies. My nearest AND neighbor is probably well over a hundred miles away, and there is Birgit over half a state away .. a very big state at that.

Many come who feel comfortable just reading. I go through such periods myself.

And I much much prefer this haven where flames and bashing aren't indulged in.

And you know I like a good argument. LOL - still this is a haven I come to to get my head back around straight from time to time.

Many come, find what they want, even stay on quite some time, then move to other or expanding interests.

Membership might increase if we did more "teaching," here, but that's already covered in a more low key way by our sharing what we know and by the discoveries we mutually make as we share.

For myself I think I shall talk about AND more in places I frequent. Just a list of the various folders/forums would be interesting for some, I'm sure.

My own Facebook page, Classical Horsehandling, is a place I can put it and I have a few readers there.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:11 am 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
I don't know that I ever posted much which I think is because I find it hard to sort my thoughts out most of the time and by the time I do, someone else has usually written what I was thinking and in a much better way than I ever could. With my own diary I find it much easier to do updates once something interesting has happened because the everyday stuff would get very repetative. And if I ever have problems it is just easier to talk to Zoe about it because she is there and sees me train and knows the horses and sometimes its just too hard to explain everything.

But I always read everything though and I love following the diaries :). I think AND is such a special place - now that I think about it think I should stop being lazy and try to write and reply a bit more.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:15 am 
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Donald, of course you are right that this is not a general forum and there are less people who want to interact with their horses that way. This is also why I never worried about the total amount of activity here, but about the decrease. AND has not been a general forum in the past either, and still there were more people. But I think what Zuzana said about the discussions being there for everyone to read may really exlain some of it. :smile:

Concerning the teaching, I think you are right as well, although personally I don't understand it. I mean, why do some people prefer it so much to read "this is how it is done" instead of "this is how I do it"? I can only speak for myself, but I feel I can get all the teaching that I need over here. Only that I have to actively make the link between what someone is writing and my own situation, instead of having him tell me what to do. This question has puzzeled me for a long time, actually.

Marina, in your case I also feel that you are as active here as you used to be, and for Kirsten and some others as well. And although you do not write that much, this is such a comforting feeling, knowing that there are people who have been a part of AND for so long and who will stay. :) Also, I so know the feeling that someone else could say it better than I could. But then I try to remember that AND is the place that it is because of the people who are writing here. If we don't write anymore, it can still be a nice archive, but not this lovely community. :smile:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:28 pm 
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In answer to your question about learning preference, "this is how it's done," to "this is how I do it," I can only answer that we not only have different learning mode preference, and dominance for that matter, the more channels we can access likely the more we learn more effectively.

For my self I like "this is how it's done," the recipe model, and I love even more the "this is how it do it," a shared or vicarious experiential mode.

I'm not sure which I carry to the training paddock more easily or skillfully, but I suspect if I can get both I do better remembering, and converting words into actions.

One mode, the recipe, is factual and more scientific, while the other, the vicarious experiential (the mode I'm in when I read your adventures with your herd family) satisfies another dimension for me.

Often when the recipe doesn't complete my sense of something I turn to vicarious experiential, and the thing I seek becomes more complete, enough so that I can integrate and interpret and apply what I wish to learn and do.

Didn't mean to ramble on, but learning theory became such a large part of my professional life and I'm forever fascinated with it. Not just in a cold academic sense, but in the hands on living part of learning.

I may not understand the universe but I get this feeling at times that it is indeed a giant learning organism and we, and our horses, and the tree, are each part of it's learning tools.

How we, and thus IT, learn is endlessly fascinating.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Yes, but I did not mean the distinction between solid advice and reading funny stories about happy ponies. I meant that when someone wants to discuss something specific, for example "How can I ask my horse to step under on a circle?", he can ask that here and he will get lots of suggestions. Only that they will mostly look like "For my horse it works best to (...)" and not very often like "In order to do this, you must (...)" This difference was what I meant when I said I had no idea why some people seem to have a strong preference for the latter one. :smile:


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