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: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
saddlechariot wrote:
I suppose I never really fitted in because I train ponies to work, not for any other reason, and because I find I don't fit in anywhere in the horse world anyway. I am concentrating on my People Like Ponies project http://saddlechariotibex.wordpress.com/the-project/ and getting ponies to everything, logging, recycling, disabled access, funerals, hoeing rowcrops etc. I have moved further from conventional and natural, and now tend to rely on the fact that although I haven't a clue, Obama can normally sort things out. And it works.
Simon


I always found that your ponies, your invention, and you fit into the AND paradigm most snugly and well. You are very much what AND is about. Notice all the forums here that I might expect to find you but haven't. Those titles alone tell the story of what AND is about.

Your stubborn.... opps, pardon me, your persistent rejection of force, whips, spurs, etc. is very much a part of AND as I understand it.

You don't post enough to suit me, Simon. I am addicted to the stories of your ponies and you, and the remarkable Saddle Chariot.

And trust me, "not having a clue," in the sense you mean is a common occurrence among AND members because we are seekers. We are not "Sure of ourselves," because we know there is always more to be learned.

That does seem to be a persistent theme here.

Best wishes, Donald, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.

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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 Mar 04, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
As the Talkies, replaced silent film, I think FB competes with AND.

I am as guilty as anyone for "abandoning," AND, and I'm not happy about it.

There is a facile sense about FB that grabs one. One has a huge almost immediate audience and lots of comments from them when one joins Facebook. And the volume and variety is all right there on one page, the Wall, or more correctly the Newsfeed.

Here on AND one has to select a subject to go to, and the drop down at the bottom of the page isn't quite and easy as a menu on the left (common, and of course habit creating) of all forums available.

I've suggested on FaceBook where AND was discussed and the issue of this thread introduced that a redesign of the layout was very much called for.

I do not think the subjects or the members lack in interest content. We are here at AND a very interesting group posting interesting things, and not all that different than FB in this matter.

We are fickle ... as are all Web surfers these days. If we have to put in an extra click over what we are accustomed to we lose patience and move on. If a post is too dense in its layout (lacking paragraph breaks frequently) we read only the first line or two.

Some things the AND administration can fix, some we members can.

It helps to get into the habit of hitting a paragraph break every two sentences, or even every one if it is long.

And get a menu for the forums that does not require hunting for a drop down list. Those are passe' these days.

Just some random thoughts. Hugs, Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly

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


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:15 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Western Australia
Hey Romy! I selected other, though my posting is probaly just as eratic as normal XD
My main reason is because I often get very busy and caught up with uni, dancing and friends that I get lazy with AND...
Marina mentioned how we don't post so much about some things because we have eachother to discuss our problems and ideas with eachother. And so when I'm busy Marina tells me whats going on in the form and I often forget to come online and read it myself... Which is very stupid of me because I miss lots of interesting conversations I am trying at the moment to be more active :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:56 am 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 1:44 pm
Posts: 627
Location: USA
Hi Romy :f: and everybody :f: :f: :f: !!!!

Thanks to Sue who tagged me on FB, I can reply to your question, too! :green:

For me it's been a combination of things.
Life has been so busy, there are never enough hours in the day.

When I'm taking a short break and relaxing, I usually sit at the computer. I check e-mail and FB.
It's not that easy anymore just keeping up with all the mails and FB has lightened the load a bit. Posting short updates is also easier for me than writing a bit more elaborate.
Our house is extremely small and since my husband is home all the time either the TV or the stereo are running constantly. Then there are 3 parrots that are expressing their happiness in various volumes, 2 crazed puppies that are playing most of the time and need to be stopped constantly so that things don't get out of hand, and said husband who needs something from his Personal Assistant (=me) on a regular basis, usually when I'm busy doing something else. ....

I've been so worn out and tired.

The new puppy that I adopted 2 weeks before Christmas is a German Shepherd mix. He was about 3 - 4 months old at that time and weighed 17 lbs. Now he's around 5 month and weighs 50 lbs. already. Since I feed raw I've been cutting up meat for him like crazy. I feed 4 times per day and that all adds up! :alien:
Dog "training" is of course around the clock!

Losing Silver in August was so devastating and it took a long time for the shock to wear off. After I had talked about it here I needed a period of just quiet time to come to grips with my loss. This has been the worst I have ever experienced.

Trick, the OTTB that I adopt in November, really helped me through this hard time and he has been a dream! He is such a sweetheart, totally cuddly teddybear and just a pleasure.
I've been wanting to write in both Trick's and Jet's diary for quite a while now and it just never happened. Something always got in the way.

And then I came across Sue's tag this morning!!!!

So, yes, there is quite some tales to tell about Jet and Trick but I haven't found the time yet but I definitely will.
Tomorrow I have the vet come over to float teeth on both boys and then I have to get our taxes done this week. After that I may have a life again ..... ? :roll: :funny:
I'm not going anywhere, I have a lot to learn and I definitely need some inspiration / input / help with both boys.
Looking forward to sharing again,
Hugs & love to you all!!!!! :f:

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I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. D.Adams


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:03 am 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Thanks, Donald, Zoe and Bine! :)

Donald Redux wrote:
Here on AND one has to select a subject to go to, and the drop down at the bottom of the page isn't quite and easy as a menu on the left (common, and of course habit creating) of all forums available.


Interesting point, Donald! :) I am not sure I understand what exactly you mean by drop down, but my reply is more in terms of making the interaction easy in general.

Through my job (working part time in the cognitive ergonomics department and the other part time in the media design department of Dresden university) I sometimes stumble across these usability topics. Something you regularly hear is that making the interaction easy is one thing, but it can also work against you if it does not fit the task. Thus, if you follow all the guidelines of direct manipulation and create a system people can interact with very easily, this also leads to more experimental, trial-and-error or rather superficial use. This is helpful in these tetris-like, easy tasks but often fails to support tasks that involve more complex mental operations and deeper thinking. Or to sum it up: the design should reflect the processes you want to support.

In that sense, I actually think it's one of the pro sides in forum design (not just AND but forums in general, as far as I know them) that you have to dive into the depths of their structure and select a topic first before you add a comment. I must say that I am very glad we do not have much of these one-liners you often find on facebook, where people just read something on the fly and then quickly add a comment. Besides that, the structure is determined by the host, so we could not change much of it anyhow.

Concerning the paragraphs between the lines, I guess that's a matter of taste. For me personally it is way easier to read posts where the sentences are grouped according to their content, in small paragraphs instead of either the post being a whole package of text or a collection of single lines.

But thank you very much for thinking about ways to improve the forum! So nice to know that there are still many people here who care about AND. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am
Posts: 2147
Location: Vienna, Austria
It's so good to see how many people still love and care about this forum. :f: :f: :f:

It seems to me that AND, like probably a lot of other groups dealing with alternative approaches to horse handling, started out as a handful of very personal adventures. Now, with Facebook and most prominently YouTube spreading the word how a relationship with a horse can look like besides what you see in some riding schools, now these approaches gain more and more momentum. I predict a similar and profound change like it happened in pedagogy and education some decades ago.
With such changes happening, a forum like AND is bound to get influx of knowledge seeking people, asking all those questions that have been in the backs of their minds for so long. Maybe AND has to prepare for that?
But right now we are faced with a decline of activity rather than a wave of newcomers rolling over us, aren't we? ;)

I like the fact that AND is NOT the place to ask the quick question about how to fix that headshake in a day. I even think it's one of the great advantages that such things, as well as bickering, are discouraged here. It's the only way to support deep discussions and respectful conduct.
I expect - I have my prophety 15 mins here :D - that most of the Facebook groups will become tedious to follow soon. I follow some of them for a short while only, but I already read the same topics being asked again and again. No, wonder, as people come and go and there's no easy way of reviewing what has been said already.

Regarding the navigation issues that Donald mentioned: Of course the dropdown jump menu at the bottom of each page is not the best way to navigate these pages. But what about the board index? That's a perfectly nice way to overview all the thousands of threads that are stored here. Of course, a persisting navigation on all pages would be nice, but then again only cluttering up the page maybe.

@Sue: I really understand your need for specialized dicussions and even that you're not interested in beginners topics anymore. But then, you don't have to engage in those beginners topics, but could open some threads for experienced questions. We could even create a section for advanced topics. But I would strongly advocate to open every topic for every member. I believe that if the section is called "Advanced", "Experienced", or whatever that no-one will post beginners questions there, especially with our ever watchful admins around ;).
Would that be enough for you? Or do you prefer more privacy - just to talk among some members? Maybe for such private talks a e E-Mail list is most appropriate, as outdated as it may seem in times of FB.
I would definitely like to find a way to keep you posting here, as I found what you are saying ever helpful and ful of insights :yes:

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The horse owes us nothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Romy, I think you've missed my point once again. :sad:

It would be nice to have ONE place where I could converse with people who I've already built up a common history with, without the constant distraction of needing to try to "learn" more people. so that was an idea that came off the top of my head. It all got too big for me. I couldn't keep track when the postings were so frequent, and newcomers so many. I found that I was missing out on many of the conversations I wanted to be involved in, and getting bogged down in many that were just distractions. I came back to the real world.
However, the idea of a Sue and Friends thread for invitees only is the complete antithesis of what I was envisaging. And repugnant. So no thanks.

Volker, no, it's not a matter of privacy. I'm happy for anyone to read what I write. Like most others, it's mostly about TIME . As I think more clearly now, there were two main things that I got from the forum, which made it a valuable place for me to invest my time. One was info, ideas and help on particular topics. The second was friendships with some people who I grew to know well, and shared some history with. For a while I was flying. My life has always been crazy busy, but when the time that it was costing me outweighed the benefits that I was getting, I had to pull back, and invest my time in other places. Which really wasn't a bad thing. ;)

So for me it's time, and my own problems with distractability, and needing to be more strict with myself about keeping on track. (Right now I should be finishing off some papers for work, and then getting to bed at a reasonable time so that things won't pile up further tomorrow, when I have students coming at midday, horses to see to, and another mountain of paperwork, planning and organising to get through.. and then there's still my family..But I've been distracted.)
I have to be very careful that I don't allow myself to be distracted down paths that prevent me from achieving the things that I want,in a day, or a lifetime.

I would like to be able to follow and participate in interesting threads that I'm gaining something from, as well as giving something too. But when the site got too big and busy, I could not longer keep track of the interesting threads, or follow where my favorite authors were writing, It got too spread out for me. It consumed more and more of my time, just scrolling around the hugeness, and keeping contact with all the new people I met, but for less benefit.
And then, I couldn't keep contact with the people whose company I really enjoyed either, because they were spread out all over the place too. Hohum.

I was, offhand, trying to think of a way to make some parts smaller and more manageable again, but obviously my suggestion was misplaced. :smile:


Donald, AND wasn't discussed on facebook was it? Not from my posting anyway. I deliberately directed people to comment HERE if they were interested, as I know that not all AND people concerned use facebook. And I don't think it's a good forum for discussion anyway. You posted something, and someone kindly pointed out that you should repost it here instead.

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:18 pm 
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At the moment we often only have about 10 posts a day. Therefore, I see absolutely no need to make that smaller and more manageable.

windhorsesue wrote:
Romy, I think you've missed my point once again. :sad:


I guess so. I really have no idea how it would be different to collect the posts in a thread with a certain inclusion criterium versus to devote a whole subforum to it - other than that in one case it would be us who ask the newcomers to stay out and in the other case it would be the one who's wish it was: you. Or is that the problem?

Anyhow, your reply shows me that I am way off track when spending my time trying to find a solution for you. I'll refrain from doing that from now on.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:58 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Romy, you are doing a brilliant job, glad you raised this issue and happy that Volker is contributing and supporting.

I have recently sent my subscription to Equine Behaviour Forum, run by scientists, writers etc to read their research on equine comprehension, interaction, behaviour etc.

As I am on my own with my horses, have no help and cannot afford to pay petrol or diesel for friends to come over, my diary is at stalemate and my equine friends are pasture ornaments. My head is younger than my body and I simply cannot manage physically to do much more than I do, so I enjoy their company but see no point in training without chance to ride out and see more of the world, and unless they get trained to carry me I cannot walk as far.

Repetition is great, especially when you have taken the time to add a link to an older thread.
The diaries are still a very inspiring and valuable resource for me to return to and any new member to treat as a guide book.

Facebook is a useful page and I do see AND friends being very busy with many non-equine related projects as well as maintaining their equine interest.
I do recommend AND and post the forum link to anyone asking me horse questions because I believe they will find answers here is they genuinely seek here.

Love Susie.xx

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


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
Romy, thanks for explaining this but I am not sure if that was the fact.

You see I always got an email when someone post in a topic I was following.
Just after the mishap, I got such a mail saying she wrote something but when I clicked through as usual I got a message in the order of 'you are not authorised to read this post'. Something like that, I cannot remember exactly anymore as soon it will be 2 years ago...

I was in a very emotional state myself at the time and felt very rejected... got cold feet about the forum.
Maybe today I would not react the same but at that time it was exactly what I could have done without.

I still think of the girl some days... hope that things cleared up for her in the meantime.

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AnneMarie

------
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Thank you, Susie. Glad to hear you are still reading along sometimes. :kiss:

AMA wrote:
You see I always got an email when someone post in a topic I was following.
Just after the mishap, I got such a mail saying she wrote something but when I clicked through as usual I got a message in the order of 'you are not authorised to read this post'. Something like that, I cannot remember exactly anymore as soon it will be 2 years ago...


You probably got an email saying that new posts have been made in that diary, and not that it's been her who has made them, did you? Then it really is what I thought, because right after moving it, I wrote a message into that diary to explain to the other moderators that I have moved it and why. But as this was in the mod section already, you could not see them. :smile:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:56 am
Posts: 247
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
I miss AND very much, but then again, I miss having horses in my life very much. As an always horseless equestrian, my access at times is limited. As things fell apart at my barn in OR, I had to mostly remove myself. I think Belle is still a fat and relatively happy pasture ornament, last I heard. Then my personal life blew up in grand style. Now, I have moved to Texas (Austin). I wonder when I am ever going to make the connections I need to just see and photograph horses again, much less get to spend personal time with them. With no horses in my life, I feel I have nothing really to give to the forums right now. I still visit, but... it gets a little sad for me. I hope it will turn around in short otder, but I can't have any idea yet. Sigh.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Quote:
I really have no idea how it would be different to collect the posts in a thread with a certain inclusion criterium versus to devote a whole subforum to it - other than that in one case it would be us who ask the newcomers to stay out and in the other case it would be the one who's wish it was: you. Or is that the problem?


I don't think I mentioned subforum. But I'm surprised that you don't immediately see the major difference between the different inclusion criterium.
For one the criteria is subjective, for the other that I suggested, objective.
But as I first stated, it was an idle first thought.
I wasn't sure that it was a good idea either, although not for the same reasons as you've come up with.
I'm quite happy to let it go.

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Image

I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:11 pm 
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windhorsesue wrote:
I don't think I mentioned subforum.


I think a subforum is the only option to create a section with separate posting permissions, or at least that's how I understand the phpBB setup.

windhorsesue wrote:
But I'm surprised that you don't immediately see the major difference between the different inclusion criterium.
For one the criteria is subjective, for the other that I suggested, objective.


And that is why the personal invitation was just one example for a possible inclusion criterium, right next to the suggestion to post another criterium into the first post of that topic. Just as objective as any other option, I believe, and therefore I don't see the difference.

windhorsesue wrote:
But as I first stated, it was an idle first thought.
I wasn't sure that it was a good idea either, although not for the same reasons as you've come up with.
I'm quite happy to let it go.


Okay. :friends:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
Romy,

I used to be mostly a lurker -- how many times do you (all) want to read that Appy walked along with me and didn't shy and meltdown? :smile: But I also realize that I'm not very good at communicating. My life with horses has almost always been non verbal and kinetic? So hard to put into words.
Plus my history has been with ordinary dressage schooling (pre - rollkur) and jumping ... and playing without structured games. Even there I was an outsider to the core.

I just recalled a decision I made about Appy needing any ground work. I laughed as I looked at him and realized - heck - he's never been ridden .. he doesn't need shoulder fore to engage his hindquarters - because they are naturally engaged etc ... I enjoy his horseness. He doesn't need to learn any more than to be polite around humans.


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