The Art of Natural Dressage

AND meeting in South Africa
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Author:  Tlove [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Thank you for everything, pictures, reports!

I understand ralph :)
I have this feeling alot too, that is so much better somewhere else, especially towards nature... *sigh*
Wish I was born somewhere else.

Author:  Josepha [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Well, as a welcome back present, Belgium has treated me with the flu.
Thanks a lot.
All though Ralph wants me to take a malaria test just in case... :(

Author:  Glen Grobler [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Oh, wonderful news, Simone! Well done to you both!

I do think that Olga "hates" feeling restricted in any way, and will give you so much more as you increase her freedom and choice.

I think, for her, a bit is one of the "candles" that Ttouch talks about - especially when her reins are short.

As for your leg not being "strong" enough to push her over - you can try adding a little weight-shift towards the side you are aiming at - but please only a LITTLE weight-shift on your seat-bones and ankle, not with your whole body!

:D I'm an expert at exaggerating too much in the saddle, so I know how tempting it is to lean a bit instead of just adding weight to one seatbone and stirrup! No wonder my boy still gets confused, huh?

Author:  Glen Grobler [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Zephyr, :sad: what rotten luck!

Author:  Josepha [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Roxanne wrote:
Hi Josepha,

I finally got time to register and join the forum! I just want to say thank you so much for the clinic and lessons, it was fantastic! I have the saddle fitter (different one this time ;) ) coming to fit saddles on Litchi this Thursday. Hopefully we will find one that fits perfectly. While I felt like curling into a little ball and crying my eyes out on the Thursday, the Friday lesson was great. Litchi and I both had lots of fun and learned a lot.

I also just want to say that it was great meeting everyone else at the Cape Town clinic and thanks to Kersten for organising and to Sandy for letting us use her beautiful arena.

Will definitely keep in touch through the forum!

And Ralph, thanks for the beautiful photos!

Your so welcome! and thanks for coming :)
Remember, the saddle does not need to 'fit', it needs to leave room for the muscles to grow back.
In Litchi's case, it would be much more easy without the bit, as every sensation in his mouth tends him to draw his back down, due to past experiences with the bit.
It would take Ecuyer De Pluvinel himself to fix that with a bit present ;)

And, also take into account that after 6 months, a year, you will probably need a new saddle again, if all goes well with the back. For the shape then will be completely different.

Maybe it will be a good idea and think about a saddle like the Trekker Master. With a special pad, this will probably get you set for many years, as the saddle shapes with the horse due to it's flexability.

The fact that Litchi was not feeling well that day worked out just fine :)
For now you know how to do the gymnastic groundwork that is even more important then the riding at the present.
Just 'normal lunging' would be a disaster as it would increase his crouckedness.

Everything happens for a reason :)

Warm regards,


PS: and oh yes, don't forget to thank Glen, who made this all possible in the first place :) :clap:

Author:  Josepha [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Simone wrote:

she was a little bit scarey at times and i felt out of control a little but my friend just kept reminding me to yawn and drop the reins.

Very good, and everytime you did that, you got your reward from your wonderful mare :)

Simone wrote:
My 1 problem is that i keep my left rein VERY tight to keep her walking straight otherwise if i drop both reins we go off to the right side all the time.

That is the feedback I was talking about. Now that the bit is gone and you relax your seat, you can actually see what is wrong with your horses body, so you both can fix it together.
Now, as you can not fix this over night.
If you hold tight to the rein opposite of the direction your horse falls on to, you are increasing the crouckedness. (Just as trying to fix the bend with the inside rein remember?).
Now, next time, do the serpentines excersize. Stir, with your seat (pelvis) and legs, you horse away from the shoulder she is dropping on to.
This wil help her to straighten her body and lift her shoulders.

Simone wrote:
my Leg is not yet strong enough to push her over (and i doubt she is even listening to it)

No leg in the world is strong enough to fix crouckedness in an individual, just as one can not push a hernia away ;)
As I said, please do not increase the pressure, but keep it light and simple on your self and your horse. If it feels like hard work to you, it is not in any way beneficial to your horse.

Just stop and ask the question again in a light and relaxed way.
Putting in pressure will also destroy your seat, and then, as you have felt, it will make it impossible for your horse to oblige, as the rider gets in the way.

Biomechanics, laws of physics...

And it is not a question of Olga listening to you either.
It is a question of her being able to do what you ask.
And this comes in two ways: 1. is your body allowing her to do what you ask? and 2. Is her body allowing her to do what you ask.

Remember, it is all a question of the laws of physics applied to both your bio mechanics.
Obedience has nothing to do with this... better yet, keep it far from it as it could mess up your careful plan for proper gymnastisation. :)

Make sure all lines of communication from you horse are open to you.
So just move with your horse and listen carefully to her body's answer and then make sure that you help her getting her body straight again so she can get on to her horisontal balance and from there move towards collection.


Simone wrote:
she was slow to respond when asked to walk after a few trotting strides and i found i could not make her halt....................

Are you sure you made it the most logical choice for her according to how you used your body? Maybe just getting a tiny nerveus and clinging on would give Olga the feeling that she was running down hill and could not stop.
And remember please, to rewards her with your voice everytime she obliges, GOOD GIRL! So she knows that sh can actually react on biomechanical impulses from now on :)
Simone wrote:
on the postive side she was far more relaxed and calm with only 1 major spook.

There you go, you have your answers cut out for you. Perhaps if you think back you can even recall what you were doing before she spooked and if it was related?

Any more questions... shoot!

Author:  Josepha [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Glen Grobler wrote:
Zephyr, :sad: what rotten luck!

I mean, there was not any danger of me getting malaria, right?
According to the doctor I have all the symptoms. Tomorrow at half past 8 he will test my blood... just to make sure...
I am feeling really ill right now, fever, nautia, shivers, muscle ache... the works.
Wish I could close the shop and lie down...
And I have to prepare for the history lesson I am teaching next saturday at the horse academy 'from xenophon to holistic horse riding' and still so many orders to process and pack up...
(o yes Inge, your order just came in I believe :) )

Author:  Janet [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Josepha holding thumbs it is just flu! :sweat:

Do you know Colleen Kelly and her articles on riders position etc (biomechanics)? Would these be of help for Simone? ... orners.htm

as an example I include the link. :smile:

Author:  Josepha [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

So I am at risk? :ieks:

I haven't time to read the whole website but what
I read seems to lean a lot towards what I teach, excellent! 8)
I never heard of her, who is she?

Author:  Simone [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

did you take your tablets or injection before you came to africa?

Author:  Janet [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

I found this site a while back and sort of forgot about it - only remembered it now. I don't know much about it either but I liked what I read as it seemed 'logical' to me and made sense (like is your one earring in front of the other?)
I also need to read it all still. :green:

Author:  Josepha [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

@ simone, I had DTP and hepatitus B...
For tablets I took natural ones, suggested by the WHO. But in all fairness, I forgot to take them more then once. Everybody kept telling me how there was no risk...
Well, we'll now tomorrow, it is probably just a normal flu... (which I normally nevr get...)

@ Janet, yes, please do! I think it is really good as far as I can tell.
And if it makes sense, or sound logical, it is always worth the try :)

Author:  Leigh [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Oh, Josepha, I hope it's just the flu!

Could just be a kind of flu bug that lives happily in SA that your system isn't used to...

Hope you feel better soon!


Author:  Karen [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Did you fly Josepha?

More people get colds and flu bugs from flying. Same thing with cruise ships. But especially on planes. Close quarters and recycled air. One cough and it's spread to every inch of the plane.

I am hoping you just got the flu too!! :kiss:

Author:  Glen Grobler [ Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AND meeting in South Africa

Zephyr, the only place a mosquito bit you was at Kerstin's - in the mountains. There is no malaria there ...

The only risk was a very small one here where I am, and "mosquito season" is only just starting here now - I have seen about 6 mozzies tonight. As far as I know, you did not get bitten here - you had those bracelets on all the time. I hardly ever protect myself from mosquitos here, and have been bitten many, many times without a problem. We have only lived here for 2 years, so I don't have "natural immunity" to these mozzies.

I can't say that I hope you have a flu - because flu is horrible and can be dangerous. I would hope you have no illness at all! I will be very surprised if you have malaria.

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