The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:06 pm
Posts: 11
Hi!
I'm Natasha, from Croatia. I'm 21. I was once a member of NHE forum, but left it because of various things (I don't think I have to explain to you, I see many familiar people here :)). Since then I started combining various methods with my horse Atilla, among them is the clicker training. I achieved amazing results with him and myself as his ''owner''/trainer. Our relationship turned by 180 degrees. In short: from a horse that was pushy, without confidence, who didn't like to socialize with people he turned into a horse who was eager to work with me, confident, always coming to me as I came in the pasture, greeting me. We established a great friendship.
Alas, 3 months ago he became very ill. We tried apsolutley everything (didn't care about the cost) to help him get well. Unfortunately, on october 18, his kind soul left this world. I still cry every day for him.
I entered this forum because I still want to learn, hoping that one day I'll make another horse as happy (or even more) as Atilla was (he was saved from the slaughter house). I liked the way of thinking on this forum and I like the knowledge being accessable to everyone, because spreading the knowledge is the only way of making horses lives better.
I spent a whole day reading topics and all I can say is: Thanks for opening this forum, it's great! It is everything one forum about horses should be!

This was my horse and I:

Image

Hoping to learn a lot!
Natasha


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Natasha!! :) :)

I am so sorry about Atilla. But at least it sounds like you could give him a wonderful time while he still lived. I am looking forward to reading more from you very much.

Warm Regards,
Romy


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 202
Location: Germany, Black Forest
Dear Natasha,

a very warm welcome to you also from me! I'm also quite new here and have a (short) NHE-history. This is really the right place to be, to learn, to get support and to have fun!!!
I'm really sorry about Attila but how great that he had a good time with you.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
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Location: Natal, South Africa
Hello, Natasha.

Welcome here. I love that picture - what a nice cuddle.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:36 pm 
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Location: Alberta
Your short story made me cry. How wonderful that you could make Atilla's life such a joy. That he got to know someone who cared enough to really know him. Bless you! I'm so sorry for your loss.

Surely there must be a horse looking for you right now. I hope that he/she finds you as soon as you are ready.

Welcome...it is so nice to meet you.

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"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:09 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:06 pm
Posts: 11
Thank you all for a warm welcome!

I shall write about Atilla and place some of his photos, but first I have a lot of reading to do! If only I found out about you sooner... :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Hello and welcome, Natasha.

Thank you for your time dedicated to Atilla. Every second more of life for him was precious. And what more could be hoped for at the end than to be with one who loves and cares for you?

My mare, Altea, was to be taken to auction as surplus from the farm she was on. Not the owners preference, so he called my wife and I.

That's her as my avatar up in the left top corner.

I would bet that you, as I, feel especially favored to have had these wonderful horses in our lives.

Please do write about Atilla and tell us the things you did together and the discoveries you and he made about humans and horses.

And more pictures, if you would care to. Please.

I have my memories of a long string of horses that have passed through and out of my life. Each one special to me. But then, I don't need to tell you about that specialness.

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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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am 
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Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Welcome Natascha, the picture, that wonderful picture so full of emotion just made me cry.

It is cruel that you could not be together longer, I know how that feels...
The sadness will never leave you, but on the other hand, you know that your dear friend is never far away and that you will be reunited one day.

Warm regards,

Josepha

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:06 pm
Posts: 11
Thank you Josepha and Donald for these wonderful words!

Here's a story about Atilla:

Atilla is a halfblood. He is mixed belgian brabant horse. When my friend Lana bought him 6 and a half years ago, he was about to be sold to the slaughter house. So she saved his life. He was afraid of his own shadow because he was beaten by his past drunk owner. You couldn't touch him on his head. He paniced when he saw the whip. She worked with him bit by bit and he gained trust in people again. So he became a school horse. He only worked 1-3 school hours, or none at all. Lana wasn't rich so he had to work a few hours for his food and shelter. But few years ago Lana and I agreed that she could no more take care of him, because she was a professional archer, had married, had a baby and no more time for horse. I took Atilla on my care, and later on, she gave him to me. Since then I searched for various methods on trying to understand his nature, on how to make friends with him, he became my whole world. Nothing on Earth could make me as happy as when I saw him, when I cuddled with him. He was the most sincere, most loving and very best friend I ever had.
Once, when my sister and I were hacking, I fell of a horse I was riding. My sister was riding Atilla and was far behind. She told me (beause I was unconscious) that Atilla started running so fast towards me and stoped right beside me although the other horse ran away to the stable. My sister jumped down from him to help me and left him untied, but he was standing there, not moving. What a horse he was! :l:
We had such a pure friendship without one word spoken. We always felt the same way, we were always there for each other. When he got sick I used to spend whole day with him untill late night hours. He would lay down and put his head into my lap, almost falling asleep. I would encourage him by saying: ''You have to be strong, you're a fighter. Get well and we will bathe in that stream again, I know you love it''. It seemed that he was going well for some time, but one day he just started fainting. He couldn't walk, he was swinging on his legs. That evening we loaded him in a trailer and took him to veterinary clinic. The thing that made me cry was that, although he wasn't able to control himself, when he had to go in the trailer he followed me without any resistance (he didn't even see the trailer for the past 5 years). It was dark outside, and it was an apsolute dark in the trailer, but he followed me in. I cried because I realised that we have acomplished that kind of trust towards each other and at that moment I knew that this horse would follow me trough the fire and the ice. And I always had a complete trust in him too.
Two days later at the clinic he recovered to the relatively normal state. But his illness made him very skinny and weak. I came to visit him every day. My sister and I took him out on pasture so he could stretch his legs. Again it seemed that he was doing well.
I remember the last day before he died. I went out with him and he was so joyful, we ran together, we played, we cuddled, he was sooo happy! I think he tryed his best to show off with that weak body. The next day he was swinging on his legs again. We were let to see him only on short while. He put his head on my chest and was calm. My tears were draining down my cheeks but I still believed in him. Day after he died. I crushed when I saw him lying there on the ground. It was like my whole world was falling apart in that very moment. I huged his still warm body hoping that he will wake up and cried, cried...
It took the veterinarians month and a half to discover what was the disease he died from. It is something that just happens and there is no cure for it. In other words: God's will.

My sister made a video about him with some old pictures (the front line means: to him, who was the best friend ever..., and the last one means: in our hearts - Atilla), here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzmfSYqEKwI

These pictures are mixed, some old, then some newer, then some older. My sister is the one riding him. And on some videos we were just fooling around.

Here are some pictures of Atilla:
(he looks like a completely different horse in summer and in witer)

Image

Image

Image

And these are his last days on veterinary clinic:

Image

Image

Image

Poor guy... I loved him so much...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Thank you for showing us pictures of him, Natasha. What a handsome horse he was. Your feelings for him, your frustration and sense of helplessness at the end show so clearly. He filled a place in your heart, that is obvious.

And still does. And always will.

Donald

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


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: New York
Hi Natasha:

i am so glad you're here, and so sorry to hear about Atilla.

You must still be very raw in your grieving for him.

And while I'm sure you're hurting deeply, I also keep thinking how lucky he was to have found you, and how lucky you were to have found him.

Saying goodbye is so hard, but you obviously found a love and trust with him that many people don't find in their lives. And he did with you -- for too short a time.

But I believe you changed his life -- to go from fear and pain and darkness into such love and trust -- oh, my! And I also believe that finding this kind of love, especially for someone who hadn't felt it before, changes the universe a little for the better.

All the best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:43 pm 
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Location: Alberta
The video made me cry all over again. How BEAUTIFUL!!! The song is so lovely...a little haunting...

Very, very, lovely...

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"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
WOW! Attilla was only 11 years old when he died - good grief!

That video is a fantastic tribute ... yeah, had me crying as well. Such a good choice of song, too.

I don't know what I'd do if something bad happened to my horse. I think I'd be a wreck, though.

:kiss: :f:

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Glen Grobler



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


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:45 am 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Hi Natasha, I am really awed and proud of you that despite your loss of your dear horse mate, you have decided to join here and keep your heart open for love.
You will surely find it, and continue to spread it. :f: :f: :f:

Warmest wishes, Sue

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:29 am
Posts: 1486
Location: Belgium
What a sad story Natasha

He was so handsome in those first pictures.
So happy to be with you...
I thought he got some Belgian bloodlines.

I wish you much strength.

Regards
Tanja

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