The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: non dressage member
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 65
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
I came in because I picked up a link from this site to mine, but I realise that dressage may be more relevant than I think to what I do, but equally, what milkmen did, may be more relevant to what you do than you think. The syntax is getting tortured, but I am learning that there is horsemanship................and it all interlocks. How we share our learning is the crunch. we are all agreed, horses are beautiful......and ponies are devious little creeps.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6135
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Simon and Henry. :D :D

The pictures you are posting are getting cuter and cuter - I want such a pony too!!! Image

Warm Regards to both of you,
Romy


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
What a cute little poney!! Love him (her)! I'm not an expert on horses but isn't the weight a little too much for a small poney! Again, I'm not an expert but he looks so tiny pulling all this weight behind him.

Have you ever heard of the sport ski joerring (not sure it's spelt right). People are skiing behind horses using this special type of harness. It looks like so much fun. I don't ride my TB so I could try ski joerring and of course in Québec Canada, we have the snow.

A great big welcome to you and your horses. I'm sure I'll be learning alot from you and your training.
Jocelyne


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 65
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
Horsefever, people look at small ponies and say "isn't he sweet", they look at adult male gorillas and say "Wow, that's powerful." They are the same weight and power. Ask yourself, "can an adult male Gorilla pull me across this field?"

Here is a video clip http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/saddlechariots/Fuji3vid/photo#5126873445576385106
of Henry pulling 240lbs of me around the field. He has just been out for a couple of hours with Molly my daughters' 14hh Connemara X, who regrettably dumped number two daughter onto a stony track. After my wife collected Hilary, I led Molly back off the Saddlechariot and had her up to a respectable canter with Henry really motoring on the verge. I don't use a whip and sloshing him around the backside with a hat doesn't hurt him. It doesn't hurt me so it can't hurt him through that wool. He goes because it amuses him and he has power to spare.
It helps that the vehicle is totally modern and operates off traces that every carriage driver tells me will break. I have never broken a trace in seven years and currently use 3mm string.
And as you can see we take whatever terrain looks fun. My nephew who is driving is still learning and is not properly balanced and conseqently is putting pressure on the bitless bridle, but he is learning fast.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Welcome!

Wow your pony is strong!!

Kind regards

Bianca

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
welcome over here..
a great pony!!! i drive 3 days in a week with mine little one. He is strong too..but we do not have that much hills around as on your pic.

Today he has decided to follow a big KWPN-er and the lady who sit on the horse said, wow he is strong and fast :-) I won't let him go at all, he was very heavy because he wanted to win from the big one.
I was afraid that maybe the big horse run away from my carriage sound. But the horse doesn't care about it. We split our way and have not seen her anymore.

We had made a small trip 10km with the highest speed of 21,9 km pu. And a did not let him go he was trotting...he was for the first time out again, i had the last weeks less time for the horses and did not have ride them. Only a small walk and some playgames. So i wanted to go slowly to spare the pony :-)

But nice to have a bitless "driver" over here


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 65
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
First may I say how embarrassing it is to be on such a multinational site and to be almost totally incapable of saying anything in a foreign language. My oldest daughter is just back from a German exchange trip and off on her French exchange, and loves languages, and number two daughter is catching her up, number 3 is just back from a school skiing trip to the Italian French border and the youngest is 3, but will I hope follow her sisters example. It is frighteningly easy for us Brits to see riding as an English activity and I was really surprised when I found a video of samaurai archers on the Long Riders Guild website. Horsemanship is a universal language, and we must try to work to share our skills and knowledge, and be prepared to learn from others.
Inge I will have to fit my sat nav to the saddlechariot so I can check my speed. Especially when he is trying to race bigger animals.
Simon

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hello Simon:

Your video is so awesome. I would have so much fun doing this. Too bad you don't live in Canada, I would sure love to try it with my horse (once he's been desensitized).
You're right, the gorilla does look alot stronger than a poney. I wouldn't have thought that they weighed the same thing or their muscular tone was the same.
Anyways, I'm sure you know and your poney doesn't look at all tired after his workout since he started eating right away as soon as the chariot was off.
You are so lucky to be able to live this adventure. One day, maybe, I'll have the opportunity to try this out.
Continue to have fun.
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:03 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
Simon, I really look forward to when you are finished with your emails and perhaps start a thread or two on your take on the evolution of horse/human relationships in England. You bring to light some very interesting historical facts on your website. The fact that you make fun of them actually meakes them all the more memorable and thougth provoking. The idea of the reins attached to the picnic table...that one made me laugh right out loud.

I am in love with Henry. Does that happen to him a lot? :wink: He must have fans everywhere. If he were a dog, he would by my friend's Welsh Terrier. He is the largest dog I've ever met, all neatly stuffed and folded into a little black and tan body. He is a force to be reckoned with and has an opinion about everything. At the same time he has a great (dry) sense of humor, feels he deserves every bit of adoration he gets, and thinks in subtleties beyond most other dogs I know. I'm sure Henry is the same.

I'm glad you and Henry are here. Welcome!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 65
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
Hi Karen,
I know exactly what you mean, there is a horse personality and in a horse body there is plenty of room for it to do its own thing, but in a pony body its bursting out all over. And Henry is a grade A creep and milks a crowd for sympathy with a skill even a beggar would find embarrassing.
Here I am trying to drive through North Shields Pedestrian Precinct with Henry doing his pathetic act. I'm centre of frame in the yellow reflective jacket. Henry is in the middle of a crowd scratching his ears, rubbing his back and generally going gooey.
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Mind you I am clutching the rip cord in a vice like grip, because if Henry spooks, the thought of a pony dragging a vehicle through a crowd doesn't bear thinking about. One move and he is free, and although he might tread on someones toes, basically, given any chance to avoid trouble ponies don't barge into people, except for their owners.
What I love about this sort of urban driving is the look of joy on peoples faces at just being close to a pony. One elderly lady said she hadn't seen a horse close up for a good 50 years since the milk man's horse was replaced. Why should horses and ponies be the preserve of the rural rich and the urban super rich.
This is the basis of my highly complex article on horse human relationships. Since I am quoting Thomas Paine on the hereditary monarchy, Jeremy Clarkson on Concorde, Richard Dawkin on evolution, The Duke of Necastle on bitless and sliding in a conspiracyu theory that Dan Brown would consider over the top, it is taking a fair few rewrites.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:29 am
Posts: 1486
Location: Belgium
Love your pics, and your pony too of cours. if I was there I would totally want to rub him too
Nice that you are open to this, have a lot of fun!
Greetings

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
I am really looking forward to reading that article.

So in your neck of the woods, you don't see many middle class, ordinary folks, owning horses? Or is it that they do own them, but are socially looked down upon because they are not close enough in class?

If that is the case, bless those who don't give a d*mn and go about their merry way giving wonderful, natural lives to horses...because those are the ones who will not care what tradition or convention dictates or be swayed by popularity...like yourself.... :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 65
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
To give you an idea, the British Horse Society, The British Driving Society, and Riding for the Disabled have never looked at any of my vehicles. They won't even acknowledge receipt of recorded delivery letters. A lot of the photos on my websites show someone with Cerebral palsy driving cross country, solo and having fun but then as I have said, I build saddlechariots for people and ponies, people includes Homo sapiens, ponies is 7 to 17hh and not forgetting the various donkeys and mules in saddlechariots. I don't discriminate. By the way are there any mule or donkey people on AND?
The one virtue of inventing in a hostile environment is that it really tests the product when all the experts are hanging around, desperate to find fault.
It is a pleasure to find a forum like this where the idea of testing a product or theory, to see if it works, is considered normal. It is depressing how often the fact that someones great grand father did it "like this" means for the rest of time we have to imitate him. Why is it only the horse that seems to be stuck in a technological timewarp. Even bitless bridles try to look like "proper" bridles!
Why?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:11 am 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Hi Simon, Welcome! Tracked you down here from Kayce's intro. What you are doing looks like a wonderful combination of wild fun and deep thought.
I'm looking forward to getting to your website.

We have a mother and daughter Shetland, Guei Hua and Miro, along with our six other bigger horses, and I am laughing out loud at this:

Quote:
I know exactly what you mean, there is a horse personality and in a horse body there is plenty of room for it to do its own thing, but in a pony body its bursting out all over.


Absolutely! Our two are bursting out all over.. quite literally. We built our place before we got the ponies, and they are too small- and too big!- for even the fences to contain. I've been thinking about what we're going to channel their energy into when they're fully grown (We rescued them from really poor conditions, Guei Hua had a three month filly and was obviously not even three years old, so she's just growing and relaxing at the mo).
Your saddle chariot looks very very tempting!

I'll go look at your website before I start asking silly questions.

Cheers,
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 65
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
The classic mistake with Shitlands, (no misprint) is to forget how frighteningly powerful they are, my Henry at 10.1 is the same size and weight as an adult male Gorilla, and I sometimes think, a lot smarter. Nobody asks if an adult male gorilla is strong enough to do something.
The second factor is your field. Go and stand in it. Now stand there for another year. Just getting them out for a walk gives a massive bost. Rememeber in the wild they are nomadic, so a constantly changing horizon, new sounds, new smells is the norm. However varied the activity in a school, no school that I attended had much change in horizon, smells or sound in an average day. This theory has the advantage that I can pretend slobbing around the neighbourhood, driving down to the pub for a drink etc is in the best interests of Henry.
Buzz in this pic Image
was a 32" rescue job. Big hole in the neck, you can put your fist in from a dog bite, terrified of men, wouldn't let me touch it behind the girth at all. Took about 2 hours to get it in a saddlechariot and maybe another two hours to relax it and teach its owner the principles of harnessing, driving etc (they were horse people). 6 weeks later its playing Santa.
This shot Image
is a 3 year old falabella who had been in the saddlechariot a few times, so I took him down the road, shook the reins and he was cantering happily. I kept him down to a canter as he was still green and I didn't know the roads and had only been driving him a couple of minutes.
These tiddlers are desperate for something to do, and the saddlechariot was built round them. It is easier to make a vehicle designed round a small animal work on a bigger one, because if the saddlechariot isn't a problem for the first two, Thor isn't going to have a problem
Image
This is essentially the same vehicle but with bigfoot wheels and stub axles, because half an hour before I had been testing the three wheel disabled version Image
As you can see there is always another way to look at things. The traditional response to visibility is to build higher so you can see over the top to the road in front, but i noticed horses have a gap between the legs, front and back, and as long as you bandage the tail you can see Image
But the point is not that I am clearly a fruitcake, it is that someone who is scared of horses, is taking a range of animals and doing new things bringing some variety into their lives. And because it is safe, since you have an easy instant exit strategy, you can bring people into equestrian activities easily and safely. I can put someone in a wheelchair with no previous experience driving cross country on their own at a canter in one minute in total safety.
All those who have lost their nerve, or have back problems or whatever, it is a way back in. But it is only a gadget and no gadget is a substitute for horsemanship. I can start them safely so they can spend the rest of their life learning.
If you aren't learning you are dead.
Simon
sorry to rant.

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