The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Thanks Bianca, and thanks also to Jessy and Annaliese for your encouraging comments about the pictures. I love photography, esp. since I'm no good at drawing, painting or at least don't have the patience. Hope to put more pics up and enjoy looking at everyone elses. Sometimes pictures and videos speak so much louder than words. Talking about art: has anyone done any groundwork or riding with music? I'm not talking so much about background music to videos. I always thought that it would be fun to try to see how it can affect motivation for the horse and me. Any particular types of music? Maybe even singing instead of using a CD? Maybe there is a topic on that somewhere already.
Birgit


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:22 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:38 am
Posts: 331
Location: Australia
Welcome Birgit,

Gorgeous photographs. I hope you will post many more.
Your horse is a beauty (and so are yourself and your daughter :smile:)

best wishes,
Kim.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
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Birgit wrote:
Thanks Bianca, and thanks also to Jessy and Annaliese for your encouraging comments about the pictures. I love photography, esp. since I'm no good at drawing, painting or at least don't have the patience. Hope to put more pics up and enjoy looking at everyone elses. Sometimes pictures and videos speak so much louder than words. Talking about art: has anyone done any groundwork or riding with music? I'm not talking so much about background music to videos. I always thought that it would be fun to try to see how it can affect motivation for the horse and me. Any particular types of music? Maybe even singing instead of using a CD? Maybe there is a topic on that somewhere already.
Birgit


that was all i used to do. i love riding or even working on the ground to music. i have found that some horses really get into the rythem. i had one horse that would completely change tempo to music....she loved war of the worlds and phantom of the opera. i have a big 17hh thorough breed, that loves to dance with groundwork and at liberty to queen, especially ' crazy little thing called love' she just gets right into it with that music. my warmblood plays at liberty and he will passage intime to 'dont hold back" he tends to like the modern music rather than the older stuff, with the exeption of phantom. he just cant get enough of that..... but unfortunately music just irritates danni. i am continuing to try and find something that she will like though. ;) i am sure i will finds something. i cant wait to try out nova, but so far he is too tense.... i bet he is a classical horse... :yes: anyway. that is just what i have experienced. :D :D :D it is soooooooo much fun.

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just keep swimming, quote from nemo!:)
love jessy


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
There is another reason I met you, Jessy, you really motivated me to try this soon. :D
I'm getting my encouragement from the internet and from snuggling with my dogs today. Maybe I'll play some music in the background or pull out my guitar. I woke up with a cold and don't even feel like venturing outside in the cold and ice.
Birgit


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:15 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:30 am
Posts: 289
Location: Australia
Hi Birgit,

Lovely photos!

Birgit wrote:
has anyone done any groundwork or riding with music? I'm not talking so much about background music to videos. I always thought that it would be fun to try to see how it can affect motivation for the horse and me. Any particular types of music? Maybe even singing instead of using a CD? Maybe there is a topic on that somewhere already.
Birgit


I used to ride Muffin to music all the time, it was so much fun, he'd let me know if he didn't like a particular song by refusing to go near the CD player. :rofl: I haven't done it for a long time, but I keep thinking about it, not just for riding but also how lovely it would be to see if they will play and dance to it at liberty :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:26 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Hi Kate,
nice to meet you. I was thinking the same thing. I know my dogs have strong likes and dislikes of certain types of music so I'm sure horses do, too. I see potential for a new kind of positive (and negative) reinforcement. :)
Birgit


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:56 am
Posts: 247
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Hey Birgit - I was just reading somewhere (here? other? It's all running together right now) that singing is just good for when you are tensing up, that emotionally and breathing wise, it is good for you and hence can be great for your horse relationship. When I was young and overly intense (as opposed to old and overly intense ;) I had a teacher who related very well to me (another intense wild child). She knew what I was going through and believed in me. She used to have me hum to relax and destress (she had me use christmas carols as cheerful and immediately recallable for most - she herself was jewish and we had many good jokes back and forth). The day we went to a show together I heard a little "We wish you a merry Christmas" down one of the arena. I knew it was her and just what her message was. I smiled and relaxed immediately, and tried to hum softly to myself for the rest of class.

A funny and illuminating end note that day. I was riding my very favorite horse up to that point (now tied for first with Belle). She was a mare who had been in the field and I was the one getting her back to work. The first time I bridled her my jaw dropped - she literally dove through the noseband and grabbed the bit. An unmistakable "Let's go!!" She was much more forward and brash with all this eagerness than was my norm, but she was fantastic and I trusted her 100% (it did not hurt that she had been a hunt horse in her past). She galloped our jumping round, after which I struggled valiantly not to weep in public before I could go and put her away. I was later summoned to collect my ribbons (gasp!). A second in that jump class. And a reserve. Behind one of the instructors. D'oh! LIGHTEN UP!!!! I never did get the show bug in any kind of earnest.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:41 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Thanks for sharing that. I sometimes sing when I take Blue on rides through the fields. As I am writing my husband and daughter are watching a kids inauguration party on TV and dancing to the music. Two of our dogs are dancing along on their hind legs having a blast. They don't need a reason to be happy when there is good music on.
The other benefit of singing is that it works all the same core muscles (abdominal breathing) that are important for relaxed but centered riding.
I realized that when I audited a riding clinic with Mark Rashid and he had people do breathing exercises to help with relaxation and centering.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:16 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
I am having a little giggle reading your posts! I had a very skittish mare that I would often ride alone in the mountains. My then instructor told me to wear my MP3 player to help me breathe and not be so uptight. I was often caught out singing away at the top of my lungs when I turned a corner to find a mountain biker or walker out on a quiet stroll!!!!!!!
It definitely helps though with breathing and relaxation and can raise my energy depending on what type of music I am listening to. Sometimes when we are walking I play music from my phone and Morgan loves it.

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:50 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Annette,
thanks for sharing. :) I had a couple of experiences of people listening when I was singing :blush: , can't decide whether it takes more confidence to sing on the trail or to have people watch me ride sometimes. ;)
Birgit


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
:D :D :D hahah!!!! this is funny. i do the same thing. i was on the young stallion. i just thought that i would hop on and take wim for a little stroll up the road. welllll!!!!!!! at that moment, mum went down and let the mares up the top........thundering hooves came toward us,,,bobby started to jump around a little.....i knew that this was going to go badly. because he is only four, i like to give him the reins and quickly dismount befor it escilates. as his brain has switched off and gone stallion mode. he was not being naughty, as at this time i was just getting to know him and had not set any boundaries. so, i got my feet out of the styrups, and quickly searced with my eyes for a good place to bail off.

it was at this moment, that the mares spotted him and took back off behind the sheds out of view..... :sweat: not good!!!!!! bobby leapt in the air. and put his head between his legs he reared spun and bucked so hard that he fell on his bottom a few times and scrambled up to his feet only to continue.

(this out of interest was the behavior that had him sent to us. he does it with people and without. he just looses it and cant controll himself. he falls over and everything.)

all i could think was the song out of NEMO....."just keep swimming.....just keep swimming" so i sung it out loud!!!! i just kept on singing with great animation! now this would have been ok, if i could carry even the slightest of tunes, but sadly, even my own children cry when i sing! :blush:

so here i was, ditch on one side, fence on the other, bitchimin road next to me, and mares going crazy, and booby trying to throw himself on the ground, and all my neighbours, not offering help, but just watching this very odd girl singing "just keep swimming" louder and louder. i had an audience!!! :blush:

as it turned out. he had a kill switch, that knowbody thought to tell me. i had to figure it out myself mid catastrophe. here i was, giving the reins, and trying to let him feel free to move forward, and all i had to do, was turn his head to his bottom and he stopped dead!

unfortunately though, everytime i let him have his head, he started again. so i had to figure out how to get off and get him back to the house without dying. i have to say. i actually went through every kids movie theme song that i could think of until i worked out how to get off with his head touching his bottom. (definately not as easy as you think) but eventually i managed.

since then, bobby has been ground trained, and has learned that it is better to focus on me and be nice. :yes: and we have not had a repeat again. he is now used to other horses being around, and knows that we are not going to isolate him. once he started to socialise, this behaviour rapidly went away. now he is more like a mare. he can still squeal and strike and get a little hormonal, but he is more comefortable with himself and with us.

anyway. long winded story about singing huh!

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just keep swimming, quote from nemo!:)
love jessy


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:42 am 
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Kirsti has a wonderful story about being out with her ponies in the forests in Norway, singing loudly, and suddenly all of these heads popped up from the ground and said "SHHHHHHH!!"

She'd stumbled on a military maneuver and they were soldiers all camouflaged in the leaves!
:D

Best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:42 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Oh my God! You live dangerously. I get scared just from reading stories like that. I must have already been too old when I started riding as an adult. I remember falling off as a kid and never hurting myself. I've only come off twice in the last three years, the first time I rode bareback on a windy day and ended up with a huge bruise from my hip to me knee, the second time I leaned over to hold a gate open for someone and my horse jumped sideways when a dog came up suddenly from behind a tree. I bruised a couple of ribs. That was enough for me. :yes:
Birgit


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
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;) i definately dont like to have that experience very often. but i do face it a bit. when i was little we could not afford a nice horse, so we got the giveaways that it would be better to steer clear of. the often bit, kicked, bolted, reared and bucked. i learnt young how not to press a horses button and how to distract them from a prob. normally i prefer not to ask something that they feel tense about. but a stallion that has learnt bad habbits already is a new experience!!! :sad: he was definately a challenge, because there was no fault on my behalf or there was no action that i took that caused it, he behaved the same loose in a pddock, it is just the :sad: lack of socialising that caused this rush of pure adrenalin! butif you goto my diary, i am about to write about him now.... :D :D :D :D he is so much better.

but of all the situations that i have had, i found that singing kept my heart rate down and clamed my breathing. this influences the horse greatly. i am a big believer in heart rate control with horses. :thumright:

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just keep swimming, quote from nemo!:)
love jessy


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Location: Belgium
Welcome!

I am so jealous where you live!! :D
Great pictures!
wonderful horse

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