The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:54 pm 
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I have another question: When does everyone go home? When would you like for us to leave Romy?

I'll try to read here later on in the evening, and if there is no reply we'll just see when we are there, I'm hoping to contact Josepha so I can pick up the picture on canvas she still has of Beau... :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:01 am 
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Barbara wrote:
I have another question: When does everyone go home? When would you like for us to leave Romy?


You can stay as long as you want. I think the others will leave on Sunday, but actually we have never talked about any times as far as I remember. For me everything is fine, so if you want to leave on Sunday, you can simply choose a time, and if you want to stay longer, that's great as well. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:39 am 
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The meeting has been so wonderful (and still is), offering countless opportunities for learning, thinking, seeing things from different perspectives, discovering one's inner child, or just spending quality time among equine and human friends. :)

It was very interesting to observe the interactions between the different people and my horses, and in some ways it really wasn't what I had expected. For example, I had thought that Volker was a Titum person, because Titum often seems to be missing some structure and goal-directedness in my training. At the same time, I expected him to find Pia cute but somewhat annoying with her wild and crazy behaviour. It turned out to be the total opposite, though: Volker was playing wild games with Pia in a way no other (adult) person ever does, eliciting playful little attacks and running and making that little bug ever so happy.

Similarly, I had expected Anna to like Pia most of all because she is so similar to Lily, and to not interact much with Titum. But again it was the opposite and she really inspired Titum to run and play during our walks. And Anat, who had said before that she was too serious, was running around with Summy in a way that made him completely forget he was feeling bad because of the heat and the midges. In general, I think one of the main themes in the interactions between all people and horses was that of inspiring each other to let go and be playful and proactive together, and it was so fascinating to watch all the different ways and personal styles in which the different people made this happen. The children who were still here from the holiday camp also helped a lot with this and created the atmosphere in which playfulness simply was inevitable.

It also was nice for me to be able to share our pasture life with our guests, sitting around the fire with Summy being the roof or Pia just being there and trying to climb on people's lap. Anat has taken many pictures and Volker and Anna will make a movie later, so you will get some impressions from our weekend as well. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:13 pm 

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sounds lovely :clap:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Thank you, Zu, it was most lovely indeed. I still see everyone before my inner eye and hear their voices, and I hope that I can keep up these vivid memories for a long time to come. :smile:

One of the really wonderful things I saw in all the interactions of our guests with my horses was that they were all giving constant and immediate feedback to my horses. I don't just mean feeding treats but the way any action of the horse elicited a reaction in them, even if it was just a slight change in their body tension. This may sound like the most basic thing in the world, but again and again I am realizing that this is one of the hardest things for people who are new to an AND-like way of interacting with horses. But the way our lovely visitors all did it made it feel totally unnecessary for me to watch over their interactions with my horses. I felt the horses were in such good hands. :)

I feel so thankful for having had the opportunity to be a part of that meeting, and I feel so full of impressions that I cannot even single out any of them to write about them in detail. :funny: So for now I'll simply leave it at a big THANK YOU to all of you who were here. A big hug to all five of you :kiss: :kiss: :kiss: :kiss: :kiss:, spending these days with you was such an invaluable experience which I would not want to have missed for anything.

The next Summer Meeting will probably be at Volker's and Anna's place in Vienna, perhaps preceded by some of our lovely forum members visiting me and my horses again and then afterwards we will all go to Vienna by train together. :cheer:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:57 am 
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Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
The meeting was great, it felt like we were one big family, it was like being right at home when we arrived!

You all are such nice people, all so different which made this into a very special experience, when I came home and told Adriaan about it, I kept saying: this changed my life, it was one of the most special events of my life and it has left a huge impression on me!

So a big hug to all who were there and I hope to also meet some other members when we all go to Vienna next year!

And if anyone wants to visit our little Belgian country, you are all invited!

Big hug
Barbara

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:16 am 
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I am so glad that you liked the meeting, Barbara! I think it was such a perfect constellation of people, such a wonderful and productive atmosphere. Also my mother sensed this, when I called her yesterday to say thank you for coming and bringing the cheese and wine, she said that she had just started writing a mail to me to say thank you for inviting her and letting her be part of this. :smile: She was so in awe of you all and the way you talked to each other, and she would have loved to stay much longer and will certainly come again next time. :f:

Barbara wrote:
You all are such nice people, all so different which made this into a very special experience, when I came home and told Adriaan about it, I kept saying: this changed my life, it was one of the most special events of my life and it has left a huge impression on me!


I have already asked Anna, Volker and Anat what they found most interesting or nice or thought-provoking or in any other way noteworthy during the meeting, but that was on Sunday morning around 1 or 2 am, and you and Kim were in bed already. So if you can put it into words, I would really love to hear what it was that made the meeting special for you. :kiss:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:36 am 
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if I don't think about it and just write what comes in my head I would say that the most interesting part was seeing the differences in lifestyle, in ideas and ways of caring and handling our horses and how I still feel that with all those differences our energies seem to still vibrate at level that it feels like there is a huge connection between us all... I can't really explain it any clearer I think, but it gave me a feeling that I don't need to do things the way other people do and that after this weekend I am more content with myself, because this is an issue for me, I always feel I need to know more and do better and behave differently to be the best person I can be, but now I feel more at peace with myself...

It is so great that no one judges anyone, so you can grow at your own speed and continue your own path in life...

I feel happier with who I am and that is a wonderful feeling!

Thank you all!!!!!
Barbara

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:11 pm 
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It's nice to read you all again here in the forum. And at the same time it's very strange, now that we have met. Even seeing Romy in her natural environment, so to speak, was adding many pieces to the ones I already knew from her visit to Vienna.

It is difficult to sum up the feelings and experiences from the meeting, but what Anna and I both felt very strongly was the distinctive cut when we got into our car and drove off for Vienna again on Sunday.
Leaving behind Romy's hidden grove of horse peacefulness and child playfulness by climbing into a vehicle of metal and technology couldn't have been a bigger contrast. Driving felt strange and out of place.

The weekend itself was wonderfully refreshing and I was able to relive so many childhood things that it felt like a summer holiday camp for me as well. Climbing trees, running through the forest with the horses, barbecue and sitting at the fire - it was the most enjoyable mix!

Anna and I were so priviledged in that we could accompany the children on a night walk through the streets of Dresden on our first evening. I really enjoyed that. I was not yet very much tuned in with any of the horses and was only barely able to encourage Titum to trot with me. But still, seeing the children walking so confidently through the night traffic, climbing stairs and having fun - that was a rare treat!
It felt like a big family herd on the move, with no other purpose than moving and seeing what interesting things might present themselves on the way. That was actually the thing I enjoyed the most over the whole weekend and it continued the next days with more walks through the magnificent playground which is the Dresdener Heide - a huge forest basically at the doorstep of Romy's winter pasture.

The best for me was that we could let Pia run free among us! :green: She would usually be in the vanguard, leading our motley crew, or if she was not, she would race there after a short while. That was when I developed a taste for racing with the lovely little pony queen :funny:

While it was great fun running with Pia, I also enjoyed walking with Titum a lot. He is similar to Mucki in some aspects. Mainly in that he is calm and a bit reserved most of the time and not so easily motivated. Motivation needed to come from a logical source, or out of a logical movement. He was a strict teacher, but a very sensitive one at that...
I very much liked his way of standing with us at the fire later in the evening. Not right in the middle of us, like Summy would do ;), but always at the side, in a good distance, but all so appreciating the company at the same time.

There remain so many things that I could write about, like the fantastic company of Azhar and Nora and the other children for example, the lovely talks with forum members finally face to face. But what really stuck with me and still flows so warm even here at work, is the feeling of experiencing all those things together. It was definitely a herd-like experience all together, which cannot easily be reproduced if not in the special setting that Romy has created at her place. Thank you Romy for letting us be part of that! :kiss:

And of course thanks Anat, Barbara and Kim for a lot of inspiring talks around the fire! :sun: :sun: :sun:

I have taken a lot of nice pictures and movies, which I will make into a video review, hopefully today in the evening...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Thank you for explaining, Barbara. That's something that is very special for me as well during the AND meetings, the different people who all have their very distinctive way of doing things, and at the same time it does not ever feel like anyone is trying to convince or draw the others into his own particular way. This makes it feel ever so enriching.

And thank you ever so much for your description, Volker! You have no idea how precious it is for me to read this, because it makes me feel - again - that you (and in the "you" I mean to include everyone at the meeting) so totally got what we, the children horses and I, are all about. This feels so great and rare! :)

There were so many things that made me feel that way, sometimes just a small comment like when Anat said that Nora was not a horse woman but a horse, but also the way Barbara expressed her perceptions of Summy taking care of her and everyone else, Anat's words about Titum's character on our Sunday morning walk and her interactions with him (which I still have to write about in his diary), and so many other things.

And I got that feeling again when I read your posts in Pia's diary. That actually brought out a burst of tears in me, but not any negative tears but more like the ones I get from watching a touching, emotional movie in which someone says something very wise or does something precious for another person or animal.

I am quoting your second post here as it sums up what was most special for me during the meeting.

Houyhnhnm wrote:
Romy wrote:
But there was another aspect of their interaction that I found very fascinating, namely the way in which he inspired her to play. When I play with horses, I usually do not direct my actions at them and make them do something with me but just do my own thing and then they can join in if they like. In contrast, Volker really teased Pia to play, but not in any annoying or pressuring way but in a way that was pure fun, for example by blocking her way (I hope he can write more about that later). She seemed to like that sooo much and got really wild.
For me it was so logical to do it that way, as I saw it as the essence of what she likes about racing to the front: to best all the others and be the quickest. So I thought that I had to create situations where she could really test her abilities, can succeed and be rewarded intrinsically, but at the same time pose her a significant challenge, so the victory would be all the sweeter ;). That's also why I had the feeling like I really had to put all my speed into it, so she would be really tested. And with a pony of her size, I had at least sometimes a winning chance 8).


You know, that's exactly what felt like such a privilege to me. That you and the others were able to get to the essence of what my horses want, and then gave them just that. Usually when I have people here (other than Nora and Azhar), I feel like I have to make some effort to help them see these things, and then hope for them to understand it and act in a way that fits into our general framework of being together. But it often has that component of "harm avoidance" (searching for a less strong expression) so that they don't do anything that might disappoint the horses or children, even if it is only by not seeing an offer or move, and therefore not reacting to it.

For you all though, I did not even have to think about that. Instead of "not doing anything harmful" you enriched our lives so much. In the past, I often got the feeling and feedback that I was letting people figure out things with the horses on their own (the facilitator thing we were talking about) and not interfere too much. But with you there simply was no need to even think of that. It did not feel difficult to have you do things with my horses without me being there or without me attending, because you directly got and used all the feedback from the horses.

Oh, I still am so happy and thankful to all of you! :sun:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:22 pm 
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i miss you all so much already.
i couldn't write earlier, but now when i finally got down to the computer (Hopefully uri will stay a sleep)
i find it so hard to write at all.
it is even saddens me (we are all back into writing / reading terms...) and i feel sad and wordless.

i felt privileged to meet all of you.
learn from you
share and listen
be a part of this special family of wonderful inspiring people, children, horses.
many many special moments.
so many thoughts, i cant process it all yet.
and yes like you, Barbara wrote, i feel too that me this was a super meaningful experience - (dont have yet the perspective but will sure make its mark in my life).


and thank you Romy again for making ALL this happen
:kiss: :kiss: :kiss:

you can look at my photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/51061077@N08/sets/72157634746492741/

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:15 pm 
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the pictures are beautiful, they make me relive the last few days! a dreamy time and lots of fun...

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My horse is a beautiful living sculpture


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Thanks for the wonderful pictures, my dear. Can you perhaps put them on a CD or something and send them to me? Or otherwise you could also give them to me when we meet next time, hopefully soon (I could also come to your place for a change, so just tell me if and when you want that). Sorry to read that you are sad. I am not, because I feel way too glad and privileged to have such wonderful friends like you. Love you lots. :kiss:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:18 am 
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Thank you Anat for the wonderful pictures! Romy, didn't you also make some? Or did your camera give up entirely?

I looked through the videos and photos from my camera and put them together in a video. Unfortunately, I took mainly pictures, so there's not much movement in it :sad:. But I think the pictures show just fine, the fun we had and you can image the rest ;).

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:32 am 
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Thanks for the lovely video, Volker. I still love that last Summy picture so much:

Image

By the way, if you want to add music: There should be an audio icon below the video (if you are logged in from your account) and with that you can select music that definitely isn't blocked anywhere. ;)

Houyhnhnm wrote:
Romy, didn't you also make some? Or did your camera give up entirely?


My own camera gave up entirely and the camera my mother brought me made awful pictures, so I gave up after five of them... knowing that it wasn't necessary anyway, given that you and Anat had your cameras with you. :smile: But next time you come to visit us I will take many videos and then make a movie full of action and wild play. 8) :f:


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