The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: hello from Wisconsin
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
Hello!

I have been looking in for a month or so now - also joined NHE hoping to learn another way of ground work(just in time for the exodus).

I have been around horses for 40 years now and have continued to shed most of what I learned in the early years, mostly the adversarial approach to horses.

My background has been dressage and jumping but all along I have loved just being with my horse. Depending on character playing or just being quiet together. Never formally trained for tricks or clicker training I would like to learn more.

I'm 52 years old and seemed to have missed the coming of Natural Horsemanship and when introduced to it I really didn't care for it (the pressure and release and negative stuff) At the time I had newly bought a rather feral grade Appaloosa gelding who was terrified of people and reacted to round penning by shutting down which to me felt awful. So we just co-existed for some years -- curing with love alone I could say -- He's more trusting now.

3 years ago though I had to sell the farm and since then he has been 500 miles away. I have my house up for sale now and want to figure out a way we can co-exist again. I miss his scrappy self!

I don't know what else to say -- I lead a pretty quiet life -- kind of a hermit spiritually -- and love solitude. Do some artwork and poetry --

oh - and I also realize that I doubt I will be accepted in the NHE school -- too wary perhaps .. but I can learn some of the same ways from all of you??

I'm grateful to have found this forum -- there is a feeling of serenity here -- even with the shadows from another group --


blessings,
Mouschi

(Karen)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:26 pm
Posts: 247
Location: Finland
Welcome Mouschi (Karen) :D
One can learn indeed a lot here and find lots and lots of inspiration.
Good luck with your house sale and getting together with your Appaloosa.

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Andrea
http://www.youtube.com/user/FinhorsesAndPinscher
http://basichorsemanship.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:45 pm 
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Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
Welcome Karen!

I too will send good thoughts that you can sell your house and be reunited with your boy!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6076
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Karen!! :D

So great to have another member with a background in dressage! I have a terrible lack of experience in that and I am happy for every opportunity to learn more. :)

Warm Regards,
Romy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
thanks for your kind welcomes!

Here is Appy ( what an unimaginative name - but he came with it --)
ughh that didn't come out right --
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: New York
Belatedly, but warmly, welcome Mouschi/Karen! (Actually, I like the two names together...)

:-)

Oh, I too, hope you can get back to your boy.

And I'm glad you're here!

All the best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: hello from Wisconsin
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Mouschi wrote:
Hello!

I have been looking in for a month or so now - also joined NHE hoping to learn another way of ground work(just in time for the exodus).

I have been around horses for 40 years now and have continued to shed most of what I learned in the early years, mostly the adversarial approach to horses.


And I left horses 40 year ago precisely because of many horses teaching me, but one in particular, that there was another way.

Because I made my living with horses, and I knew of no market for my budding new found intentions and skills I hoped to develop back then, I had to leave. Conscience, if nothing else.

Mouschi wrote:
My background has been dressage and jumping but all along I have loved just being with my horse. Depending on character playing or just being quiet together. Never formally trained for tricks or clicker training I would like to learn more.


While I don't particularly recommend one over another I found a lot very useful from Alexandra Kurland's books.

Oddly enough I used to know a pioneer in clicker training, not well, but we moved in similar circles. Karen Pryor of "Don't Shoot the Dog."

Mouschi wrote:
I'm 52 years old and seemed to have missed the coming of Natural Horsemanship and when introduced to it I really didn't care for it (the pressure and release and negative stuff) At the time I had newly bought a rather feral grade Appaloosa gelding who was terrified of people and reacted to round penning by shutting down which to me felt awful. So we just co-existed for some years -- curing with love alone I could say -- He's more trusting now.


I thought at first it was great because it was further refinement on methods I had been refining 40 years ago. As I kept watching it though I got the same hit as you.

I decided back then not to 'do' horses unless I could be friends with them. I feel the same way now.

I'm being trained, it seems, by a very sweet little Andalusian mare you see above as my avatar.

I think my time has come to not be anything but a servant to the horse. And it feels right.

The horse will tell me when it's time to play, and what games.

Mouschi wrote:
3 years ago though I had to sell the farm and since then he has been 500 miles away. I have my house up for sale now and want to figure out a way we can co-exist again. I miss his scrappy self!


Life changes. Tough stuff sometimes, but so often new paths are found that are better or more fulfilling than the old ones.

Mouschi wrote:
I don't know what else to say -- I lead a pretty quiet life -- kind of a hermit spiritually -- and love solitude. Do some artwork and poetry --


We have a folder you might wish to visit here.

It's called [url=http://www.artofnaturaldressage.com/viewforum.php?f=16&
sid=fa3115f369add9c8da002877e5498d66]AND Lifestyle[/url]


Mouschi wrote:

oh - and I also realize that I doubt I will be accepted in the NHE school -- too wary perhaps .. but I can learn some of the same ways from all of you??


Ways? WAYS? Then you wish us to expose our secrets? Our methods? Our precious mysterious methods?

Oh, well, Okay.

:wink: :lol:

My silly kidding aside, I think you already know. One answer is, the horse knows the way.

Mouschi wrote:

I'm grateful to have found this forum -- there is a feeling of serenity here -- even with the shadows from another group --

blessings,
Mouschi

(Karen)


Mouschi, what an interesting name you've chosen. I could not help but do a search on it, and what fascinating things that revealed.

I cannot help but wonder how you came by the name.

Describing yourself as though you are a very private person though, I am not pressing for an answer.

As you might observe I am not a quiet person, nor a spiritual hermit (I think), but rather noisy and silly and emotionally available all too much. It get's me in various kinds of trouble.

When you feel inclined, or if you feel inclined please do visit my photo bucket album.

I think I need to know more quiet people. I need the examples.

Best wishes, Donald Redux

Image

If you are curious, you can see both my current and my historic photo and video albums at - (guest password is 'haumea')

http://photobucket.com/guestlogin?albumUrl=http://s236.photobucket.com/albums/ff51/donald_redux/

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
Oh that's funny Donald -- I googled Mouschi :shock:

Mouschi was the nickname of an Appy/TB cross I bought from breeders who were originally from the Ukraine. They told me Mouschi meant 'little mouth' in their language .. and he was a cute nippy little horse. Jumped like a cat = played like a cat .. bright copper chestnut with a Pericles (like a greek helmet) on his face.


---and yes, horses whispered to me many years ago that it was more humble (and wise) to learn from them than for them to learn from me. Like they needed to be taught how to move! Silly human! All you need to do is learn to sit there in balance and let us know when and where -- or on the ground -- well that's a whole new story isn't it? I played bribe the horse with treats and found much joy ... I'm too scatter brained to do the formal tricks in a consistent way. That's something to learn in the near future.

blessings,

Mouschi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Welcome, Mouschi! Appy is lovely, his spots are just perfect -- half and half. :D Someday I would love an Appaloosa with such lovely coloring.

Whereabouts in WI are you? I am in southern MN, so we may not be too far apart...

Again, welcome to the forum! :D

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"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
Hi Hannah (right?) I live just south of Madison for now -- but I might move back to west central MN after I sell this house. Depends on land prices.

I like the posture of your horse in your avatar. Very noble and well balanced (and a handsome lad!)

and thank you if someone resized my photo - I thought I had before linking it ---

blessings,

Mouschi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
Hello and welcome, Karen.

I really hope you can get back together with Appy - I've developed a soft spot for them since I got my Freckles ...

Are you willing to post some pictures of your art? And poetry? There are many of us here who would enjoy that!

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Glen Grobler

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:34 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Hi Karen,

Welcome here! :D

Kind regards

Bianca

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:11 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Mouschi wrote:
---and yes, horses whispered to me many years ago that it was more humble (and wise) to learn from them than for them to learn from me. Like they needed to be taught how to move! Silly human! All you need to do is learn to sit there in balance and let us know when and where


Well you sure narrowed it down completely! 8)

Welcome Karen!

Warm regards,

Josepha

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
8) Josepha!

Isn't that just like a horse? Keep it simple -- keep it clear. sigh -- Doesn't work with people so well -

Mouschi

thanks for the welcome -

Josepha wrote:
Mouschi wrote:
---and yes, horses whispered to me many years ago that it was more humble (and wise) to learn from them than for them to learn from me. Like they needed to be taught how to move! Silly human! All you need to do is learn to sit there in balance and let us know when and where


Well you sure narrowed it down completely! 8)

Welcome Karen!

Warm regards,

Josepha
:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: hello from Wisconsin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
Just adding my intro from another board - more to save it ---

'Morning, from here ..
and thank you all for your welcome.

Hello,

I joined yesterday but I think I will be quiet and read for awhile if that's ok?

I have been around horses for most of my life (40 years I've owned horses! how can that be?) and have gone from a very aggressive rider when I was a teenager
to mellowing with age. Then schooling basic school figures without a bridle. Then I moved. For 6 of the past 8 years I lived with horses at home. Right now I am not - my only horse is 500 miles away.

During those 6 years I rarely rode and then tack free or with a halter and lead. I was building a house and had much more interest in just 'hanging out'
with the herd. In addition I bought a horse from a slaughter field. Rather wild and very mistrusting, I just let him be and didn't try to force anything ('cept worming' but that was no big deal).

He and the others made a big difference in my life. They were my mirrors and I think I was theirs in a way. I had to downsize due to health problems .. sold my farm and moved again.

Well - now I'm feeling better and can't wait to continue in the formerly wild-one's company. When I last saw him after 2 years we just picked right up as though no time had passed.

I'm delighted to find others that are stretching out possibilities for new relationships with horses. It does tend to slay ego and encourage respect and awe doesn't it?

I'm set to continue unlearning and making room for what the horse teaches me ... and your experience teaches me.

blessings,

pb

editing to add:
I'm shy and more comfortable with horses than people .. I'd given up talking to other horse people years ago about my new horse life
and have lived a fairly solitary life since (spiritually as well) so please excuse me if my writing seems awkward?

part 2


Thanks for asking about my path.

For me this has been a gradual change. The most radical was when I learned where my temper originated and it caused much grief and remorse, but I learned to respond rather than react emotionally. Then I learned about Buddhism and meditation which helped me learn about the danger of projecting my personal intentions that came from deep within and were not always positive. (Like being competitive - was it to win a ribbon or to gain attention and validation?


Even when I was young I had the good fortune to learn about horse language. My very first farm owner was an old man from Germany and he taught me to exchange breaths with a horse as a way of introducing myself and later to greet each known horse. And yet .. I still followed the dressage and jumping trainers like a chameleon ... rode in ways that I was not proud of .. in fact I felt horrible. But I was still very weak willed. No self confidence in that very fragile belief that something was not right in riding.

After that I began looking for integrity in riding and training. I was at best a very proficient amateur rider .. learned by feel and got along with almost any horse.. but often would get a sense that the way I was riding was not fluent like the old masters said it should be. Yes, when all was right and the horse and I 'clicked' it was heaven! It truly is a grace to jump a willing horse over a course of moderate fences - being a team ... being that centaur - without rude contact with the mouth-. But at what cost? When I was stiff another day or the horse was stiff - then the trainer would say - tough! keep going .. and it became a mockery of art. I was very sensitive to the art of everything - and when I couldn't always attain art it was painful. It seems I gave up a lot and moved from trainer to trainer ... running from my own instinct. People mean well and cause suffering to one another with ignorance. So it is with riding and handling horses. They read our emotions - they don't however clearly understand our intentions - if we come into the stable angry with our boyfriend - they feel the anger personally - they don't know it's directed elsewhere -- oh boy - we are supposed to know that among ourselves but how often do we react to someone having a bad day with less than charity? Sorry -- that's off on a tangent -- but it is important to my unlearning. See? The interconnectedness of all life? It can be disheartening to wake up and start paying attention to the effect of my own presence on others as well as looking at others into infinity- cause and effect. Whew. I think you all are reading pent up words from me --- anyway -- to continue ---

About 15 years ago I was caregiving my dying mother and was only able to ride a few times a week so I usually climbed on bareback with a halter and lead.. and as I was riding a slightly downhill horse I knew that I needed to keep up the work of strengthening him through basic school figures .. especially shoulder fore -- back-track here.. .. It seemed that this little horse had no withers and traveled with mincing steps .. but gradually with gentle gymnastic work his withers came up and he started moving with proud bearing == even out in the pasture! ---- back to the report -- riding bareback without a bit opened my eyes .. his bearing was wonderful as long as I sat in quiet balance and wasn't stiff ( days when my mother wasn't good - I could feel the work be labored). So I began to understand that self carriage had nothing to do with the workings of my hands on the bit but all to do with my independent balance and setting the horse up for success with the gymnastics! Yeeehaaa! Eureka!

Of course - no one else around me thought it was possible. I shut up. Anyway my mother was dying - so it wasn't very important right then. And after my mother died my father needed care - he died the next year.

Then began my solitary years - I even took vows as a religious hermit - kept a horse at home for company (like St Anthony and his lion - LOL ) then adopted one more then another - etc. So for 6 years I did nothing more than perhaps sit on other peoples horses(when asked) to test my shoulder fore theory ---- (not using the bit but finding it hard to explain to others why not - sigh)and that I stopped after 2 years. yes! I'm not an expert by any means - just somewhat obsessed with the balance question.

I loved just being with my own horses - we never played structured games - just being in the present moment. Watching the horse watch the doe watching me watching the horse watch the doe and other silliness. There was a spiritual side to this change as well I suppose but that is next to impossible to put into words. The loss of balance in this world is perhaps more important than whether or not we ride horses but I also believe that any awakening will cause deep reflection in every part of life.

As a hermit my 'job' as it were, is to simply be. To keep a peaceful presence in a hyper world. It isn't easy and I don't always succeed but horses help. They remind me to be grounded in reality rather than reality TV. Does that make sense?


What I hope to learn eventually - when I get near my horse again-- is to use the corredo (sp) the neck rope. I have seen it used with NH people and have experimented years ago .. but this horse I have has been abused with lassoing - it will have to be a careful undertaking. He still frightens easily with change .. but trusts me on the whole. ( I call him my autistic horse - he is very aware of the world around him but gets overwhelmed with change).

Well. this is more than I've written to anyone in years - I guess I'm feeling brave here.

love and blessings,
Karen

So - now for the future -


Last edited by Mouschi on Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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