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 Jul 14, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
As you may notice, I come and go. As long as I have horses, I will never stop visiting this forum. The information is priceless, and yes, when I first joined in 2007 I was very much active. I had so much to learn. Not that I don't today, but I do have new priorities and with Corado's death in April, I was no longer eager to play with Magik.

But as mentioned in my journal yesterday, things have now turned around. I intend to come back on a regular basis to teach Magik in the playful manner that A.N.D. people do. I have a new schedule (next year a new arena I hope).

I do agree with everyone that FB has really affected forums but IMO, you don't learn very much on FB other than being redirected to other sites. I have just noticed how addictive FB is and also how much time I've wasted just reading silly stories.

I need to start spending quality time learning and this is the place, not FB (my opinion of course).

Have a great day everyone!
Jocelyne

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
THANK GOODNESS for this topic! :pray: :)

I myself have been struggling with forum presence for three years now, ever since a long and hard battle with depression floored me in july 2009 and kept me busy since then. But even when after about a year I could focus on real life (read: horses 8) ) again, I couldn't bring myself to actively post again. Even though I did try a couple of times, I couldn't bear the thought of writing all those long posts again as if I knew everything that well myself: I was struggling mentally with my connection with Blacky, Sjors and Speedy as well.

Actually last year I wrote/illustrated an entire book on horses with cordeos ( http://mandalapaarden.nl/en - 140 mandala drawings you can color in of horses with just cordeos, no halters or bridles in sight! ;) ) - and somehow felt like I shouldn't write about it over here as I hadn't been here for months and shouldn't spam the place with my own cordeo-book.
So I guess that 'feeling guilty' is another reason why people stay away once they've left?

Another reason was that I was struggling with my own part in horse training as well. As some of you know, before I made the book Mandala Horses, I wrote a book on tricktraining with the clicker an really wrote that as a catalogue of all the different training methods to teach tricks, from targetting at liberty to working with ropes around the frontlegs. Then add half a year in the forum of Alexander Nevzorov who thinks people who think of halters and foodrewards should burn in hell, let alone those writing about leg ropes... :blush:
In short: I was a bit confused. 8)
Maybe that's another reason: AND is quite revolutionary, not just in the training methods but also in the amount of freedom it allows to the 'students'. Instead of saying 'This Is The Road To Heaven', it says 'Heaven looks like this and this, but if you approach it from another angle your heaven could me more something like this, and this is the road you can take, although that one works just as well, and the one over there is slightly longer but does have a very nice view, and...' 8)
Today I talked with Frederieke, Speedy's owner and I told her how Speedy was bored, I didn't know any new exercises to do, how he didn't want to trot as it was too hot, and when I finally decided to skip everything and do a bit of chase the tiger, he was cantering and bucking after the tigerwhip... And how I was hesitating between using the cordeo and the halter as the halter makes him tense and I want him to know that it's okay, just as cues with the reins, and if I should use foodrewards every few steps that are okay or just let him walk with halter+reins for an entire round so that he can settle in -
And Frederieke said: It's so nice to hear you talk about training Speedy, because I often feel guilty for using foodrewards, but every time you talk about Speedy I always think 'What the heck, foodrewards are great: if my pony likes earning them and I like rewarding him with them, then what's the problem?!'
Apparently doubt and doom do inspire, but I guess every now and then you need some distance to see what really is your course?

And last week I guess I discovered a final reason why I didn't want to be on horse forums the past years: and that's because they reminded me of the fact that before I got depressed I had started writing a AND-training encyclopaedia. Of course that came to a screaching halt the same time as I did, 8) but every time I went to a horse forum the past years, it felt like a constant reminder: 'You didn't write the book'. :roll:
Last week for the first time in three years I thought: maybe I should take some time off next year and start writing the book. Then I suddenly thought: Nooo, why wait? Of course it will still take three more years to finish it, 8) but for the first time I felt like I threw off all the doubts ('is it up to me to write such a thing?') and just felt like having fun with a horse book again.

And now I'm buying pencils in all kinds of colors :aliehttp://mandalapaarden.nl/enn: and have started experimenting with illustrations while fiddling with the first chapters, erasing all the gloom and doom in what I had written before and letting in the light.

So now I'm here again. Not to spam a book that doesn't exist yet 8) or to spam everyone with the Mandala Horses book ( http://mandalapaarden.nl/en : Buy One For All Your Friends!!! :thumleft: ;) ), but I guess just to lounge around for a while. Might be gone again in a month, but apparently that's how it works for me for now. And that's why I'm extra super thankful for how the rest of the Admins and Mods maintain this forum! :clap:

Miriam

P.S.: Another reason why people might leave after a while: Thinking back I remember that I always get very involved in a forum for months up to a couple of years, and then I start reading/writing less and then leave - not necessarily to another forum, but just not there anymore. Could be that I have gathered enough food for thought for that point in time?

P.P.S.: 8) And perhaps AND isn't that special anymore? At least in the Netherlands quite a lot of people have heard of the forum, and there are more and more people who ride/train with cordeo, even up to Haute Ecole movements. They all give clinics, demos and lessons as well, so there are much more places where you can go to to learn how to train/ride dressage at liberty. A bit sad for us frontrunners of the AND forum, but on the other hand also a good thing I guess!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:14 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Well I for one am glad you are back (even if it is only for a while!) :f:
Which reminds me....I had a question to post.......so will go do it and hope you have an answer!!!! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:16 am 
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Location: Vienna, Austria
Hi Miriam! :f: So nice to hear from you again :kiss: Maybe you want to give us an update on your lovely ponies as well? I could really use some new photos!? :yes:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
Thanks. :green:

It's funny, I never considered Facebook to be a real threat to forums because they have such different structures - but I now realise that they really are a 'threat' because they take up peoples internet time. I guess everybody has a certain amount of time that he/she spends on the computer, and then more Facebook will mean less forums?
In the past e-groups were a big thing, and they have all but disappeared.

I do facebook for my work, but that's completely non-horsey so I have no idea if there's a big facebook horse-structure out there. If so, having a facebook page might help as a landing page that can redirect people to the forum? More like a gallery to spike interest?
But I have no idea how facebook groups work, and also wonder if it should be an open structure, or (if it's for promotion) more a controlled channel/page?

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New horse book: Mandala horses!


Never stop making mistakes! Natural Dressage


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6159
Location: Dresden, Germany
Miriam wrote:
If so, having a facebook page might help as a landing page that can redirect people to the forum? More like a gallery to spike interest?
But I have no idea how facebook groups work, and also wonder if it should be an open structure, or (if it's for promotion) more a controlled channel/page?


Bianca said she had created an AND group on facebook to direct people to the forum, but as I undertood her it s a closed group.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Posts: 4733
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Hi sweety, so happy to read you here!
I do understand what you are talking about... the NHE thingy has been playing havoc on my mind as well for a loooong time. I never fully comprehended the impact it truly has had on me and still has.
But I believe I am finally finding my way around it and it feels like coming home :)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:20 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
I just answered the questions. I had checked in a couple of times over the summer. I marked two answers although there are many more reasons. I have to say I haven't even had time to read the posts beyond the first page yet.
There is really nothing I dislike about this forum.
I did mark that I was not getting much response for my posts, and was mostly talking about a few of them actually. And I can't blame anyone because they were not really that fascinating, LOL.
Mostly I have had less time to ride and sometimes even struggled to make enough time to spend with Blue, although my daughter, who is 15 is doing more than I do, but has shown no interest to post here, she's just doing her own thing.
The main thing is that I got very involved in nutrition research, obesity prevention, fitness etc. and that takes a lot of my internet time. It's interesting because all that started because I was trying to lose weight to make it easier for Blue to carry me.
We are also homeschooling our daughter, including many learning projects around other animals (clicker-training chickens, dogs, building barns) and the outdoors (organic gardening, fence repair, petsitting) and my daughter's other sports (swimming, ice-skating). Blue is still a major part of our lives and I'm still hoping she will develop a few dressage-horse type skills when I get around to riding more. Right now taking her jogging a couple of times a week seems like fun and relaxing.
I also marked that most of my questions about horses that are important are answered, not for ever and completely, but enough to where I can deal with most problems myself. I look at AND as a phantastic library of information and still refer people here. Probably a longer answers than you needed. :funny:
Maybe now that the weather is colder and I spend more times indoors I might check in more often. :friends:

Birgit


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:15 am 
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Hi Birgit! :) First, I am glad to read that you and your family are well. Thank you for your reply, actually that was not more of an answer than I wanted but exactly what I was hoping for. :smile:

Birgit wrote:
I did mark that I was not getting much response for my posts, and was mostly talking about a few of them actually.


I am so sorry about that. I am really trying to respond to people's posts, but at the same time I want to write posts with some content and not just these one-liners like "oh, that's great!", so there are lots of times when someone posts about something he was doing with his horse and I indeed think "oh, that's great" but then I don't write it. Then there are topics that I cannot really talk about because I know nothing about it, for example topics about tack or horsecare and health. And finally, there are a few topics that I cannot say anything about because they are opposite to what I believe in, so that I could not produce any helpful answers. Luckily, there are very few of them.

Well, I think that's one of the problems that come with fewer people being active here. At times when we had 100-200 posts a day, almost no post stayed unanswered and people got a lot of input. Now a small number of people has to try to provide all the input, which unfortunately leaves the poster unsatisfied at times. I don't really know how to change that.

Thank you very much again for taking the time to make such an elaborate reply. :f:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Romy, you are such a kind and considerate person. :yes: :yes:

Wish I could meet you some day!! :friends:

Have a great day

Jocelyne

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[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Thank you, Joc! :kiss: If you ever come to Europe, you are very welcome to visit us. I guess my horses would also love to play with you.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:59 am 
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I feel the same as Romy. As it is now, I read every new post, but I don't comment each one. I do sometimes do the one line replies, because sometimes I just want to say "That's great!" and not more ;).
I know that it can feel discouraging sometimes when you post something personal and important and no-one replies. Sometimes it's just hard to find the right answer. And often I don't have to say anything useful ;)

Romy wrote:
And finally, there are a few topics that I cannot say anything about because they are opposite to what I believe in, so that I could not produce any helpful answers.
Personally, I would appreciate a good controversial post of you when I write something you don't agree with ;). A good counter-argument is often more productive than a few short acknowledgements, I'd say.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Houyhnhnm wrote:
Personally, I would appreciate a good controversial post of you when I write something you don't agree with ;). A good counter-argument is often more productive than a few short acknowledgements, I'd say.


That's not really what I meant. When I have a different opinion about something that someone writes, I say this - unless it's something I have said so many times before that I am sure everyone knows my point already. What I meant is more that I don't see any benefit in stating my opinion on a decision someone has made, again and again, in a situation where it is clear that the other one has already made that decision. Let's stay with Birgit as an example. For me personally, keeping a horse without horse company is no option, and I'd rather have no horse at all. But it is not helpful in any way if I tell this to Birgit each time she writes something about Blue, simply because she knows my point, but she has her reasons to keep Blue the way she does. I am sure she has thought this through a lot and still come to the conclusion that in her opinion this is the best solution in her situation. So why should I write anything against this?

Or for example when I watch the lunging video with Mucki that you once posted - what use would it be if I told you that I would not work with my horses in this way? I mean, you know exactly that I would not work in this way and you know why, but still you have decided that you want to do it like that with your horse, and obviously with very good reasons. So why should I write all my counter-arguments again, which you know already anyway but which apparently weigh less for you than the pro-arguments?

For me this relates to Bianca's image of AND as a place where everyone puts what he has on a table so that the others can take what they want or need. Once my input is out there, I do not see myself in the position of someone who pushes on and on, trying to make other people see and do things the same way I do. This is what I consider not to be helpful.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Romy wrote:
For me this relates to Bianca's image of AND as a place where everyone puts what he has on a table so that the others can take what they want or need. Once my input is out there, I do not see myself in the position of someone who pushes on and on, trying to make other people see and do things the same way I do. This is what I consider not to be helpful.
Of course. I also love about this place that different positions can co-exist peacefully here :friends:.
I guess that was my controversial side of me talking, which loves a good argument now and then :funny:. So you are politely invited to criticise my lunging - every once in a while :green:.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:44 pm 
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But for me there simply is nothing to criticize, because I think that for the goals you have this is a very well-chosen means to get there. And I feel that this is a rather general thing, which makes almost any argument feel pointless to me. I feel just unable to define any good and bad without seeing them in relation to specific goals and values. So now I could criticize goals and values, but on what basis?


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