The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Hi from Wet old Wales!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 133
Hi! My name is Sara, and I have been told about this great site by a great friend, Jessy Plumm. Presently, I do not have a horse, but am looking. I think i have been suffering from grief and displacement for about 2 years, as my family and i used to be Jessy's neighbours in Oz. My daughter, Amy, lived at Jessy's, and became the most wonderful little horse person (she was 9-11 when we lived there), enjoying and learning from Jessy, and her talented and kind horses. We both miss her so much, it was easily the best experience of our lives so far(i am 47, Amy is 13!) So now we live back in UK, and we hate the traditional attitudes here! Amy has a 21 yr old Welsh x TB called Rosie, who she loves, but is like a pony club person in a horse's body! (well she would be, shes been a pony club horse all her life), and we cannot seem to get rid of her bad habits, or find anyone to help us help her, in a kind way. Rosie has a 'temporary' friend, Seamus, a 13 hh welsh part bred, who is scared of his own shadow. We want to keep him, but may not have room when i find my horse (we only have 3 acres). So, I'm exited about what we can learn here...but wont be skippin outside to do groundwork anytime soon, as its snowing, and after living in Oz, i am a big wimp with the weather! I forgot to mention, i am studying Equine Bowen therapy, and have my exam in less than a!! Of course :applause: :thumright: :applause: , the horses all get lots of treatments while i practise, but i am beginning to feel daunted about treating other peoples horses, as you can help the horses, but the people just dont listen!
Is there anybody else out there who lives anywhere near me? mid-Wales...Shrewsbury sort of ......?
Hope I get some replies...i will be friendly to everybody!
Thanks for listening

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6077
Location: Dresden, Germany
Hi Sara,

great to have a friend of Jessy here in the forum. I can understand that you miss all this, her pictures and stories of her big herd are just so wonderful.

I am looking forward to reading about you, Amy and Rosie! :)

Warm Regards,

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:29 am
Posts: 1486
Location: Belgium
Hi Sara
Welcome here.
Hope you have a blast!

I wish I knew your world

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:42 am
Posts: 29
Location: Tuscany, Italy
Hi there Sara - I'm not in Wales or UK even (am in Italy) - just wanted to say I understand your displacement feelings (I have a sis in Brisbane and have visited there....) and I also hate the traditional attitudes here where I am - BUT I truly believe this is the situation almost everywhere you care to mention and the people who are 'like us' on this forum! and others like this forum. But aren't we lucky - just imagine the people in the times of - say - Black Beauty, who thought like isolated and in a minority they least we have internet forums!!!!!

we cannot seem to get rid of her bad habits, or find anyone to help us help her, in a kind way. Rosie has a 'temporary' friend, Seamus, a 13 hh welsh part bred, who is scared of his own shadow

well, you found the right forum, I've been here for a short time only and have already learned so much!!!!
Equine bowen, must be wonderful - I've had human Bowen and it was!
edited to say.....Italy's pretty darn wet at the moment too!


PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
Hi Sara, oh poor you coming to this miserable soggy place from Oz. I have been reading lots about Jess, she seems to have a wonderful place, and so knowledgable about horses.

I'm about four hours fom you, I think, I'm in Dorset, I went to see KFH a couple of months ago and almost ended up in Wales coming home, so I know your not that far away.

Great your here, just don't look at Jess's diary, the pictures will depress you....they do me!!

We never stop learning

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
Welcome Sara!!!

I'm in Alberta, Canada. I'm thinking we might top you for cccccccold. It's been ok lately, but I'm begging spring to make an early arrival!

Hope you love it here!! :f:

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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:56 am
Posts: 247
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Hello again - I said hi over on Jess's diary but wanted to weigh in here.

1, I love Wales, horse attitudes aside, I guess.

2 - Being in a place with such traditional foundations means that you get to be a trail blazer. Don't let the tut-tutters and nay sayers put you off. Just know that they do not realize yet how lucky they are to have someone who will be bringing them more light. If you find people criticizing you, just remember that they are not coming around as they are clinging to old ways out of fear. I say this to myself as much as you, though Oregon is much more friendly to us wingnuts overall. :smile:

3 - Have faith in your daughter's old girl. If what you have been working on with her is not working, maybe this new approach will help. Give it time. Have faith. Play. Be careful of expectations and ambitions. If it is not feeling fun to you, it is not feeling good to her is one of my rules of thumb.

Be well. We look forward to seeing you around!!

Looking for the beauty in the truth and the truth in the beauty.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
hey there!! :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: dont worry i am missing you all just as much!! Diva still doesnt want anyone else but Amy!! i am waiting for the sulking to finnish! ;)

i will try to find some great photos of amy and div to post here. i am pretty sure i can dig some up!!!


Great your here, just don't look at Jess's diary, the pictures will depress you....they do me!!

Hi Annie, :love: :f: sorry :D i dont know, it is great to have a herd, but i do wish sometimes that things were simpler! :yes: i have to spread my time thin between so many, and if there are complications with a horse, sometimes i have to make horrible decisions. i have to deal with pretty big disasters, and needle and medicate horses alot. some days i am so exhauseted that i really wish i just had mine and the kids horses. but then i dont know how i would be with out having known some of these wonderful horses!!! :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: it would feel more personal with just one each!! :love: :friends:

well sara, i can wait to see some photos. and welcome welcome welcome!!

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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:57 pm
Posts: 146
Hi and welcome, I used to live in Wales (Aberystwyth and Dolgellau) -a bit closer to the coast than you. It is a beautiful country if somewhat wet, and I still miss living there. I am now in the midlands (not so pretty at times).
I have 2 welsh part breds myself. They are certainly characters. ;)
As for "traditional" ways of doing things you will find people are the same wherever you go. I still get so much stick for doing this kind of work with my horses, and I have been "alternative" for many years. I got told last year that my youngster was going to be dangerous just because I wouldn't lunge him and wasn't starting him traditionally. What amused me was that at that point he was doing everything I asked of him calmly and willingly. He has been an absolute star so far, and I backed him quite safely this summer- not bad for a "dangerous" pony! You just gotta keep the faith, and keep doing what you believe in. Places like this help when the going gets tough as everyone here is so nice and supportive. Of course our horses opinions are the ones we should listen to in the end, but having a bit of human back up helps no end. :)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 103
Location: uk
Hi Sara,
Welcome :D
I live in Norfolk but spend half my life near Carmarthen as I am studying at the Natural Animal Centre. If you need help from an NAC behaviourist I can highly recommend them!! You will find them very much on the AND wavelength and if not you will find loads of great advice and stories to inspire here :f: :f:
I wont bombard you with info now but there are ways of managing 3 horses on 3 acres so maybe Rosie wouldnt have to say goodbye to Seamus when you get your horse :D
So glad Jessplum told you about us :yes:
All the best


PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:01 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:45 am
Posts: 6
Hey Sara!
im glad you've said your intro :yes:
missing you heaps and amy :friends: :f:
thanks for commenting in my intro :thumleft:

anyways talk soon :D
:f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f:

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:47 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 133
omigod! I only intro'd yesterday, and already i feel so welcomed and helped by all the wonderful people on here! thanks so much, i am really amazed! I'll try not to be a 'whingeing pom' and moan about the weather too i know not everybody lives in oz, and there are others even colder than us! So thank you everybody for making me feel so much better.
...and do you put photos on here...? I'll not top Jess's huge quantitiy though!
To Colette, i would love to know more about the NAC stuff you do, but not yet! My head is spinning with deep and superficial muscles, conformation analysis, feet, and all sorts...some traditional stuff that i have to learn, then unlearn, if i dont believe in it! After end of Feb, i'll be willing to know...
I feel that i really know nothing about how to do AND, as so far, all my changing with Rosie, and learning for bowen, has been about care and management, and not riding/training or anything...i really am very novicy in that respect...only have what i know jess does...and i'm not jess!!
So, i feel it may be a good idea to explain more about Rosies' character and habits, so others may see something about her that i am missing.
One problem i see, is that she is not a personality i would have chosen for myself, and yet i do as much with her as Amy.
She really has a few problems/vices, but i have got used to seeing them.
She is very bossy and controlling. This is not good for Amy, who likes to sit there, gently, as a passenger, and enjoy her horse. She loves whatever Rosie does...well nearly always. So, if they are out on a trail ride, and Rosie wants to gallop off with her...she does...and usually, Amy doesnt mind...but this doesnt seem good for anybody, or safe...actually, she only does this in a big open space of green, never on the road or in unsafe places....she is very safe on the road. She has been hunted all her life in previous homes, and i geuss this is what she did. She has alwasy been ridden by teenagers, who want to go fast.
Her next really annoying habit, that we somehow have to make into a game, maybe th spanish walk, i dont know? Is she waves one of her front legs, up really high, when she is anxious, doesn't know what is happening, or raring to get going. Previously, she had been ridden in very harsh bits, and i wonder if her head was pulled in so much that this was her only way of expressing herself? So, as a character, she is always wanting to be on the move, feet always moving, 'lets go' ....but only when she is exited/tense/hot and fizzy.
I've been pretty mean abput now i will tell you her good points....
She is very bright and a quick learner....brighter than me and amy i think...which is why she is the boss! She is very wise and like a granny, loads of life experience to share, if we can tap into the right place...she does look after Amy well, and when she has her hot moments....i suspect Amy has thought 'I'd like to canter now' and before the thought has even formed...Rosie is halfway up the field 'lickety split' as Amy puts it! So, maybe they are well matched, and the two of them are reading each other well....
She thrives on routine, and bercomes grumpy if life isnt the same as it was yesterday!
She has always been the boss in any small herd situation, but most she has ever been with is 3 horses. She permanently has to be alpha mare with Seamus, as he is so scared...and boy, does she love bossing him about! It would be nice if we could have 3 together, as then it would spread the load a bit of her always having to be on 'lookout duty'.
So, really, thats us....thanks for listening....
and i am really overwhelmed by all my new friends all over the world! :friends:

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 103
Location: uk
Hi Sara,
just very quickly and I will expand more later if you wish.
She is showing both defensive and very insecure behaviour. And almost certainly fear based. It is very normal for people to confuse aggressive, pushy behaviour as dominance and then decide it is necessary to show them who is boss, the worst thing we could do with them and it only makes their fear worse and confirms their belief that humans are to be feared, negating any possibility of a bond between us.
We need to build up their confidence with positive interaction with us and make sure that they are not under abnormal stress with regard to harsh (for example, bits and spurts) training and lack of resources (for example no ad lib hay/grazing, only one water source etc. etc.)
Sorry so rushed. Feel free to ask me to explain anything!!


PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 31
Hello, I am Welsh also but I live in Brittany France, its not much difference to wet ole Wales :D :thumright:


PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 133
Thanks for that Colette,
Yes, its a gradual peeling off the layers with Rosie. I just try as hard as i can to give her as comfortable and natural lifestyle as pos...she has no whips or spurs, ad lib grazing or hay all the time, massive stable, companion, but yes, i know, one only isnt enough. When we first got her, we just know she had been ridden a lot with someone with strong rough hands and heavy legs. She always has her head way high in the air, and has really overdeveloped bracheocephalic muscle in neck from high head carriage. Took a long while to get her used to knowing that amy wasnt going to do that...and in stressful moments, she still reverts to that high head carriage. I think all the time things are going better for her, i just have to be more patient...she lives at our house, but only has done for about 4 months, so now i have more control over her life choices. I can see that her pawing and high head carriage would have come from fear of pain. I saw this only too well, when i stupidly, let one of Amy's friends ride her. The girl had a bad seat and strong hands, and after the ride Rosie came up to me very pointedly and was disgusted with me for letting her ride her. I can tell you i felt a real heel, and was told off by ?Rosie in no uncertain terms. Now, Amy and I are careful who we let ride her, which is mostly only Amy, and Amy completely understands this.
Other things we do for her, is she goes barefoot, and this is great. She had bad laminitis 3 months ago, and going barefoot saved her pedal bone. She has regular bowens. She is on natural herbs, an amazing mix by silver lining herbs, which is just incredible. And a forage based diet, with oats soaked for 12 hours before feeding. She is not vaccinated, wormed herbally. In the past she has had herpes, as gets a runny eye a lot, and has weak kidneys we think...or/and an old injury to her lumbosacral area, so i have constantly been juggling with her health. Her saddle has been addressed, but am still working on that, as i am not happy it fits her as well as it could. I need to check out all the info on here on bitless bridles.
So what advice do you have one putting 3 horses on 3 acres? It is wetish land, and so far, i only have 2 stables.
Thanks for all your help

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