The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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 Post subject: How do I answer others?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:02 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:01 am
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Location: Australia
Hi how do I answer the ever asked question of why doesnt my horse use a bit!

I have spent the last decade trying to explain how a horse can function 100% minus a bit and that its not the bit that creates the relationship

Looking for as much opinions, explanations, examples and research into how I can make a huge case to show to all my friends!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:35 am 
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soquilichiaus wrote:
Hi how do I answer the ever asked question of why doesnt my horse use a bit!


I'd say that depends on what your reasons are. ;) For example, when I am explaining it to people, I needn't even start talking about the possibility of pain and other negative effects of the bit, because for me it is enough to explain it in relation to my goals: First, I want to do the right things with my body and therefore I need the clearest possible feedback from the horse, which also means that any extra tool to direct him would be in my way, because in that way it would be possible for me to give contradictory messages and have the horse respond to something else than what my body language suggests. In that way, it would be harder for me to learn. Second, as I want to work with the horse's initiative, many arguments that for other people are arguments for using a bit would be arguments against it for me.

If you need information about the possibilities of working without reins/bits, you can check out the Links to threads. The first point is 'Collection' and you will find lots of discussions about this topic over there.

If you are more interested in the communicative aspect, we have a thread about talking to others about AND. :f:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:12 am 
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The question is, what do you need the arguments for? Do you feel like you have to justify yourself, or do you want to convince others to go bitless?

When someone would ask me, why I don't use a bit, I'd respond that so far I have never felt the need to. Everything I want to do works nicely without a bit, so why bother with it?
When it comes to convincing others to go bitless, I just don't ;). If someone is truly interested in bitless alternatives,they don't need convincing, but are happy to see an example of what can be achieved bitless. If someone is not interested, then all my arguments wouldn't make it better, but rather create opposition.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:56 am 
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For me the need to explain is the important thing . If you are defending yourself in an argument the best thing to do is walk away and come back and explain to the person what you believe with a clear head . Or just leave it at walking away , because arguing with them will almost certainly not end in them agreeing with you ... an example of (most) human pride and ego ;) I avoid all argument situations , but maybe that is just me, who is scared of any confrontation :green: But if you are trying to explain what is possible to someone who wants to change but perhaps needs a little encouragement then telling about your own experiences may help the best , or even show them what you do .Because in the end , actions speak louder than words :smile:
:f:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:31 pm 
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Location: Denmark
Lol, I'm exactly like Faldor!

The other day, I was talking with my sister about having a horse carry a human without appropriate muscular development. I expressed my concern about her thinking of saddling up our ooooold mare, who hasn't been ridden in years. She claimed a horse couldn't build muscle without being ridden. :ieks:

I thought she was supposed to know about muscle development, being she is a vet :huh:
Anyways, I told her I disagreed, and she disagreed with me, claiming I was completely and utterly wrong. I am quite darn sensitive when it comes to the horses and my beliefs.
My family (father and two sisters) are VERY old school when it comes to horse training, and consider me hysterical and crazy. Perhaps even stupid. They're all "jump-on-the-horse-and-start-riding"; don't really care about relationships.

Like Alice, I don't like arguing either; some things I'm completely cool with, but when it comes to things like the horses, I am VERY sensitive. Alas, I got quite upset with my sister as she patronised me quite badly.
(After I said one could certianly put muscle on a horse without riding it): "Well then, I'm looking very much forward to seeing you pack some muscle on your horses! *"HAHA-foolish-sister"-look-and-attitude*.

I felt like hitting her but just told her to butt out of my way of dealing with our horses (... with teary eyes, I'm embarrassed to say. :pale:) But I sure do hope I'll prove her wrong, some day ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Bissen wrote:
(After I said one could certianly put muscle on a horse without riding it): "Well then, I'm looking very much forward to seeing you pack some muscle on your horses! *"HAHA-foolish-sister"-look-and-attitude*.
Arguing with brothers and sisters can be especially challenging, as I know from first-hand experience :funny:.
Regarding muscle growth, for me it's pretty obvious that it is possible without a rider. A human can also build up muscles without carrying backpacks, or lifting weights, can't he?
But I would also say that your sister has a point, because building muscles BEYOND a certain level is probably not possible without a rider, or other heavy load. Having said that, I would NOT sit on a horse that has first been properly trained from the ground :yes:.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:00 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:01 am
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Location: Australia
Not really referring to arguments

The people I talk to more cannot understand how not having a bit is safe

They feel a bit is safe for a horse

They feel a bit causes 0 pain for a horse and they cannot understand it

Most actually view "bitless" as a danger to horses and particularly rider and have made it illegal here at many clubs!

This is why I am seeking scientific information in relation to how it is painful for a horse as well as unpleasant and how they do not require a bit to excel

All of my horses are bitless and always ridden in a halter :) And on main roads to the pub the works!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:19 pm 
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soquilichiaus wrote:
This is why I am seeking scientific information in relation to how it is painful for a horse as well as unpleasant and how they do not require a bit to excel


Yes, but I guess that AND is not the right place for that. We have decided not to become an anti bit protest group but focus on what we do want for our interaction with our horses. Maybe check out Bob Cook, if you are looking for research and arguments in relation to bits. :smile:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:39 pm
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Andy Beck (equine ethologist) may also have material on bits and their effects.

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Then I started asking myself: "What can I do for my horse?"


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