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 Mar 10, 2012 1:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: New York
Hi all:

Romy, my dearest, I am so sorry that we've all left you wondering what happened to the party! :pale:

My own world is incredibly busy right now and my beautiful equine pals are in the back seat. Because we have moved and I'm trying to build a whole new world for ourselves, and business, and community, I am not spending much time with them, other than feeding them and being the manure kid mornings and night times. (Because they are together in pasture with wild turkeys and geese and Finn the new dog to keep them company, I don't feel as guilty about not 'working' with them as I have in the past when they were boarded and in small paddocks or stalls...both a blessing and curse, I fear, because it's given me space to not feel like spending focused time with them is as paramount as it was in that situation...and moving from a boarding situation to a home-care situation, my time with them is spent, unfortunately, far too eaten up by maintenance rather than play...)

So I have not had much to report on, I must admit -- we are continuing to rip layers of my sense of competence and 'knowing' about how to engage with them away, and I'm quietly contemplating that, vs. needing to talk about it a lot. Not wanting to talk about it, to be honest -- made the mistake of mentioning it in passing on Facebook, where I have been spending time because of other responsibilities and a new kind of addiction), and got soured on putting anything in front of anyone again for a bit because of some conflict that arose from it. Needing to be in my own head for a while.

I am hoping that with the spring I will have more energy and time to reconnect in a more coherent way with Circe, especially, and step into our next set of adventures. And when we do that, I generally am raring to talk about them! Ad nauseum!

But mostly, this has been a winter of 16 hour work days and the few moments that I do have to share on line I've been doing it in other contexts that are quick dip-in, step-out connections and/or are moving career goals forward. (I'm moderating a forum for a big conference next summer, for example...). So I've not only not had a lot of energy to tell my own stories, I've been holding space for people in other contexts -- online and in community, so I've not had a lot of spare energy to hold people's stories here.

Am feeling out of balance with this, though, and am missing being fed by AND.

Much love to all here. And, in the immortal words of Ahnold, I'll be back!!

:kiss:
Leigh

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:53 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Romy, AND is VERY special.
Having read through this topic I think many of us visited less frequently when "active topics" failed to show at all for a while, and we only responded to an email to a topic we had previously posted on.
So I think facebook caught a few of us on that drift, but perhaps it was because we had already posted and would be stepping back rather than reaching forward on our own training paths. To answer again would simply be repetition and sometimes shows a lack of sincerity or courtesy on behalf of a questioner who was too lazy to read the board for previous posts to similar questions.

Facebook is great for glancing over and seeing if friends made here are okay, celebrating a child's graduation, an anniversary, or needing support or sympathy, it does not have the capacity to archive in the way the AND diaries and threads do.

I am amazed that I have had so much previous success with some wonderful horses, yet as I grow older I have to adapt to my physical abilities, these are my real problem + limitation - horses know when they can be cheeky, whilst having a greater knowledge store is interesting but not as helpful as youthful intuition with ability.
It is a wonder to be allowed on a young horses back for the first time and then amazing to gallop across country and heaven to leap and fly over hedges, gates, ditches in a manner that a human without a horse could never experience.

I will always be grateful for the inspiration and amount of writing work that many people shared, but especially windhorseSue - across 2 diaries, Leigh for her amazing bravery and laughter and Morgan for her journey with Morgan.
Karen is superb at explaining difficult concepts and captures details of her training that many of us would fail to notice.

Volker is another who writes well and explains his passion and achievements developing his lovely young horse.

And of course Romy, I love your posts and videos, they are so helpful and you are generous with your time and suggestions in posture and communication.

Those diaries, photos and videos remain to encourage and inspire all new members. Certainly we all hope that our previous posts on many topics will be of help to any new member, and it is not too difficult to search and read archived topics to save asking for the same suggestions to be rewritten each time.

Each of us finds some individuals resonate with what we are currently working towards or generally interested in. AND was becoming very successful and gaining frequent new members, but "time limits" did mean imposing boundaries, happy to welcome and say "hi", but only time to fully follow a few members regularly.

I think most AND members will visit and find still find much enjoyment on this site and AND will continue to evolve as it did long before I joined. Lasuria had stopped posting after I lurked for ages and eventually joined, but her posts and videos of Nirvana are fabulous. xx

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:13 pm
Posts: 31
This topic is old, but I still want to add a reply.

I really loved this forum, even though I didn't post a lot. I haven't been here for quite a while - after my Grey died, I just couldn't stand being around horses or even reading or thinking about all this. Since then I read the forum two or three times, I think, to remember what important lesson I learned from my Grey and from you here in the forum. Again, that's why I'm here today, stumbling over this topic.
I think I realized that I still want to learn more about all these things, but I don't know how, now that my teacher, my Grey, is gone.

I still feel somehow lost. I've been working with two ponies for a while since last summer, but it's been frustrating. Nice ponies, nice owner, but I could be there only once a week or even less, and all I achieved with them was ruined by others in the meantime. Still, I learned a lot. Maybe I would never have touched a horse again in my life if I wouldn't have been asked to help with them. Happened by accident. I guess I was lucky.

Right now I wonder what to do. I want to learn more about all this, I want to get more practical experience, but like I said, I don't know how. I think I came here to, again, reassure myself. To read, at least, if I can't practise.

Maybe, in the future, I will come here more frequently again - it's the nicest forum I've ever been to :f: Anna


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6164
Location: Dresden, Germany
Anna, thank you very much for responding. I am very sorry to read that you still miss Grey so much. :pet:

If you want to be around horses and work with them in an AND-like way, you are always welcome at my place. Probably it is too far to come regularly, but perhaps not for a weekend-trip? I am sure my horses would love to play and go for walks with you. :smile:

For the rest, I am sure that one day a fantastic horse will come your way. These things just happen when it is time. :f:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:13 pm
Posts: 31
Thank you for your reply, Romy, and for your invitation.

I'm located in Berlin so it wouldn't be too far. I think the bigger problem is that I'm not very good with people (to put it nicely).

If I wasn't such a mess at the moment, I would love to get to know you and your horses. You're very kind :f:

Maybe, one day ...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:39 pm 
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I guess I am not really good with people either. ;) Just remember that you are welcome anytime - if you don't feel up to it now, then maybe later. :smile:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
I also think facebook is the culprit here.
As for me, I work with many horses and if I find time for my own horses I rather actually train with them then write about it. I also feel that I have spilled all I have to spill here and people can find it back if they want too.

To really actively help people and horses I use my online school now. But that too takes up a lot of time.
I think my business gets in the way of just hanging around here and also, again, I feel like everything is on here, people can just read and look around. I haven't much to add.

Also, I find that when questions are asked, before I get a change to answer, they are already answered and in a way that I simply have nothing to add :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:53 am
Posts: 144
Location: NL
Hi everyone!

I'm aware I'm a newbie here... I love this forum, so I am really sad to read things like this.
However, I guess I'm good at brainstorming, and I like looking for solutions ;)

It's by no means my intention to assume you haven't done your best already, of anything.
This is just me, I have a tendency to (at least try) to make things better...

So, here it goes...

- Isn't there a way to attract some more people like me? Basically, every horse lover should be in some way or another be able to chat along. Maybe the boundary to chat a long is too high? I myself also was afraid I was somehow too novice, really... looking at other successful horse forums, there's also a news feed, and topics less related to horses. Maybe it would be an idea to add some things? One of the wonderful things of this forum is that it is so international. Maybe that's something that could be used? I'm being blunt here, maybe, but really I mean well!

- It's been said it takes too much time, that fb is a competitor. But the good thing of fb is that it's messages are short - I also noticed most stories in this forum are really long. Isn't there a way to make something like a slow chat, or maybe even something like a fb wall with horse related quotes, or something? The forum could even be linked to a fb page. If you can't beat them, join them, right? Not to say that the forum should vanish altogether, on the contrary - links in fb might help make it more open to new people!

Okay, just some thoughts.

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A good rider can hear his horse speak to him. A great rider can hear his horse whisper.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Thank you so much for your input, Mies! So great to know that others are thinking along. :)

Mies wrote:
looking at other successful horse forums, there's also a news feed, and topics less related to horses. Maybe it would be an idea to add some things?


We have the Lifestyle section, where everyone can write whatever he wants to, also non-horse things. We could also start a thread there where people can simply add their everyday thoughts and experiences, just like in a chat. :smile:

Mies wrote:
It's been said it takes too much time, that fb is a competitor. But the good thing of fb is that it's messages are short - I also noticed most stories in this forum are really long. Isn't there a way to make something like a slow chat, or maybe even something like a fb wall with horse related quotes, or something? The forum could even be linked to a fb page. If you can't beat them, join them, right? Not to say that the forum should vanish altogether, on the contrary - links in fb might help make it more open to new people!


I guess you are totally right in that it would be possible to turn the forum into something (or link it to something, or add something) that encourages the short message style. However, to me it seems that besides the decision whether this would be possible, the decision needs to be made whether that is what we want.

Personally I must say that for me the main reason for not registering at facebook is precisely that the messages are so short. Well, actually I don't care about the length per se, but to me it seems that this short style strongly influences the way people write. Most of what I read over there seems to me like just chatting along, and actually I am not interested in doing that - perhaps precisely because I do have little time (but at the same time know I would become addicted in no time as this is so convenient :funny:).

For me it is a matter of goals. Most of all I perceive AND as a study group, a place where people don't just make quick comments on whatever comes to mind, but share their journeys with their horses and discuss things in a rather thoughtful way. From what I have read from several newcomers, this seems to be one of the things that many people value about AND.

Maybe we can find a compromise that suits several people and several different interests and purposes. Shall I open that smalltalk topic in the Lifestyle section for a start? :f:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:18 am 
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Thank you Mies for your input! It is always welcome - newbie or not doesn't matter at all...

I've just seen that Romy has replied with similar things - I post my text anyways ;)

As much as I miss more interaction right now on this forum, I'm not sure if I wanted to change the way this forum is run. I know that in other fora there are more active members and usually more posts per member as well. On the other hand I was rarely inclined to partake in any of the discussions in the fora I'm reading apart from AND. And mostly the reason was because it was mainly chatter or things like how can I do that, how can I prevent that?
Don't get me wrong - I love to chat about trivial things or give/read practical advice. But what really helps me in my interaction with horses - and that's what's so precious about AND - is the thorough, intellectual as well as emotional way the discussions are led around here. :f: And that means in-depth descriptions, patient and respectful listeners and taking time to chew on some of the problems.

I know the problem of too little time for all that. I find myself ever so often with some text in my head, but still not writing it down here, because I just feel too weary or unsure at the end of a long day. But still, when the discussion gets rolling, there are always some pretty shiny gems to be found in it and that's something I won't miss. Or give up for the sake of brevity or the count of forum members.
Still I agree with you Mies that we could need some more members. Members like you for example, with the urge to talk about their interaction with horses and with a lot of wonderful food for thoughts to bring into this forum. Every once in a while people stumble upon this place and usually, they are a wonderful addition if they stick around long enough to share.
How did you find AND if I may ask?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:32 am 
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Romy wrote:
Most of all I perceive AND as a study group, a place where people don't just make quick comments on whatever comes to mind, but share their journeys with their horses and discuss things in a rather thoughtful way.
That's how I see it too. But I maybe there are others who'd like a different style? It's hard to say, this group like any other is shaped by convention and peer "pressure". There are no rules about length of posts or style - like Romy pointed out there's even a section for small-talk. It's is just a bit under-represented, probably because most of the small-talk happens in the diaries.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Houyhnhnm wrote:
that's what's so precious about AND - is the thorough, intellectual as well as emotional way the discussions are led around here. :f: And that means in-depth descriptions, patient and respectful listeners and taking time to chew on some of the problems.

Totally agree! But maybe there could be a way to get those new newbies in, without the high boundary to immediately post a 'big story'? I guess, the indepth stories will come, with questions and debates?
I just think about a few more sites I 'subscribed' via fb, they simply share some 'small stories' that get you to read the bigger ones. I am sure some of my friends what perhaps be interested too, but may be too anxious starting something new. This forum has so many things I missed in other fora, but I only saw these things when I got to read posts.

Houyhnhnm wrote:
How did you find AND if I may ask?

I already was interested in working with horses on my terms, and I simply started googling... I must say, it was slightly confused, as Karen Rohlf's forum is similar in name. Not a bad thing, as this is free - a nice thing as a student. Sorry for the not so focused answers, my mind is all over the place at the moment ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:53 am
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Ow, I decided to go do some action myself: posted the forum url on my Facebook page.

And, just a thought? Maybe the title of this thread could be changed into something a bit more positive? This sounds a little doomsday-ish to me :sad:

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A good rider can hear his horse speak to him. A great rider can hear his horse whisper.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Mies wrote:
Maybe the title of this thread could be changed into something a bit more positive? This sounds a little doomsday-ish to me :sad:


Oops, I didn't mean that. :funny: However, as I intended to ask exactly that question, I think I will leave it as it is. :smile:

Thanks again for caring about the forum! :f:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:19 pm 
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No problem. :kiss:
Now I've done enough procrastination for now, hehe...

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A good rider can hear his horse speak to him. A great rider can hear his horse whisper.


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