The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:25 pm
Posts: 18
Thanks, Romy. I will look at the post. Here is the picture of how bored Phoebe looked with the games this morning. :)
Well, that didn't work. I have the picture saved on Google+ and I thought since it has an internet address it would work. But, It didn't. I will have to try something different when I have more time.( See picture of Phoebe looking bored, in the "pictures and videos" post)
In the meantime, I will read over the post of ideas and see what I can come up with for Phoebe. :yes:


Last edited by KeliNM on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am
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Location: Vienna, Austria
I also highly recommend the thread that Romy posted. There are so many ways to initiate an interaction, but I think they are all about finding a common language. That process takes time.

The way I see "just being with your horse", is not just being with my horse at any place, but at HIS place ;). I meet the horse at his home, in the herd. And there, I behave by their rules, trying to blend in with their customs. If I remember correctly, I wrote about that in more detail in the aforementioned thread...

Regarding playing with horses, I think horses are in generally curious by nature, but they are also wary by nature. As I experience it, playfulness comes out only against a backdrop of safety and all games need established rules at first. That applies especially to playing with objects.

With Mucki, it took a long, long time to have him play with me when we are alone in the arena. At first, I mostly met him in his home, among his herd buddies, in the environment where he felt absolutely safe. Even there, it initially took a while for him to engage in playful interaction with me.
Then, in the beginning, I spent most of the time playing, but the playing was actually a means to find a mutual language together. I learned how to use my body language so that Mucki could understand it, and Mucki learned what I meant by certain cues that were not so intuitive.
From that common ground, we were able to have fun with other games, like playing with a ball for example. But I had to explain to Mucki that objects (that were uninteresting, or even scary before) could be used as toys.

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