The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:07 pm

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:02 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 3
Hello! I'm Rebecca. I am so happy to have found this place and look forward to getting to know you all.

Where do I start? I apologize in advance as this may end up being a rather long post. I am passionate about words and only more-so about horses and becoming a true horsewoman. Combine the two and you get..this. ;)

I was born and raised in horse-racing country, Kentucky. I began traditional riding lessons when I was eight years old. When I was nine, I won my first regional championship. In 2000, I moved to Tennessee with my family. Upon moving, my then-trainer sold (virtually gave) me the mare I had been competing - Morkie. Morkie, thus, came to live with me in Tennessee. I could not afford a saddle and so began riding without anything between us. She is a wonderful, wonderful mare with more patience than I deserve. She has a long, marred history that I'll have to share here sometime. To make a long story short, Morkie is a registered Arabian mare who was abused early in life and had been untouched for four years when we met. I was the first child she ever let ride her..apparently, she unseated others or simply would not move from a halt. This year, Morkie is 27 years old and is living with DSLD. As such, she can no longer carry my weight on her back. We play and stretch and enjoy the other's company. I owe her my life.

In 2004, I was riding (still traditionally) at a stable in Tennessee who ended up purchasing four horses from a slaughter-bound auction. One was a thirteen hand, emaciated chestnut gelding - Tiki. I immediately connected with him. Two weeks after we met, I endured a very traumatic, personal injury. Something was done to me by a close, male friend of mine. And so Tiki and I began rehabilitating each other. We would walk around the pastures together, no leads or halters. When he got tired (he was very weak), I would sit and read my Bible to him while he grazed. Today, Tiki is fifteen hands, deep chestnut, and the most personable, exuberant fellow you'll ever find. He wants to befriend the world and, as a start, has stolen my younger sister's heart. They play and fellowship together seven days a week. She looks forward to jumping him as they grow.

God has opened some amazing doors for me. I began riding Arabians and quickly fell in love with a breed called the Shagya Arabian. Is anyone familiar with them? They are different than purebred Arabians, more bone, taller. I began corresponding with a Shagya breeder here in the United States a few years ago. I was speaking with her the other day about the crossroad in my journey and she offered me part of my dream. On April 16, I leave on a cross-country road trip to meet my dream horse, a mare named Sarabande. Sara is coming four, purebred Shagya, dark grey, stands sixteen hands. My breeder friend had intended to keep her until she spoke to me. If all goes as planned, Sara will arrive in Kentucky in late April and I will be there to meet her.

My journey as a horsewoman is in a sensitive place. I am preparing to move back to Kentucky to continue my college education. Morkie is already there, waiting for me at a friend's farm. Tiki will stay in Tennessee with my sister; they share a bond I wouldn't dare intrude upon. By God's grace, I have found a woman to learn from with Sara locally. She was trained by students of Podhasjky and Oliviera. She has a long background in biomechanics, saddle fit, Centered Riding, and even massage therapy. She is just as excited about my partnership with Sara as I am. Sara has never been ridden and has never done any "training" aside from learning to lead, stand for health care, and grooming. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to work with a horse like her..she'll never know abuse or neglect or "normal" riding.

I am new to Natural Dressage. I have experimented with it in years past without knowing it had a name. I have a strong background in classical dressage; I was fortunate enough to work with a former member of the Spanish Riding School. However, I can no longer settle for just classical riding. There is so much more than body work. I want to grow the body, mind and spirit of both horse and rider. And so, I am on the precipice..a sensitive place, as I said before. I am struggling because pursuing this journey is alienation from most other "horse-people." Pursuing this journey means truly opening my hands and giving up control..bits, "set" training plans, etc. However, when I tried to ignore the magnet drawing me to being truly Natural and Classical, I stop functioning. I'm distracted, catatonic, if you will. I have to ask why, challenge "tradition", be that black sheep. I can't help it..sometimes wish I could. :blush:

And so I truly am happy and encouraged to have found AND. Perhaps this means my seemingly crazy path will have company. I am so honored to be able to learn from a group like you. I look forward to learning and growing with you.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:44 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6077
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Rebecca!! :) :) :)

I loved reading your introduction. How nice that you have joined us and I am very much looking forward to reading about your work with Sara. She sounds gorgeous - do you have any pictures?

Warm Regard,
Romy


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:02 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
hi there Rebecca.

you sound like you are at the right place. it seemed when looking at giving up bits and control from where you stand now, that it is a huge mountain, i also have stood there. it seems that you face the turning backs of coleagues and the shunned looks from friends. but you will find, as we all have, that the gifts that the horses give you in return for this change in direction make it seem like a tiny little sacrifice. the joy and delight they give you is far more than anything that you could have ever felt with "control" :kiss: :love: :love: :love:

i felt at first that i would truely miss the "dance" that was classical dressage. and for a while, and every so often, i still crave to feel a canter zigzag, or flying changes. but i am learning that i will get there again, but at the pace and will of my horses. :love: :love: :love: it will be so much sweeter when it is offered as a free will gift to me from my horse, than when i forced it. :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:

i am extreamly happy that you are here, and i cant wait to get to watch your path when you decide to start diary. :love: :kiss: :friends: so welcome welcome welcome, and ......

Quote:
pursuing this journey is alienation from most other "horse-people


and dont worry about this, because here, you are gaining alot of "horse-peopple" friends that are supportive and understanding. so welcome

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:23 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi Rebecca and welcome!
I used to feel that I was alone on this journey but soon discovered that the most helpful and understanding people were right here thinking the same things! Traditional methods have been around for a long time and some of them can be used the AND way. I think it is very important that you find YOUR way and and stay true to what you believe.
I get asked all the time to help other people with their horses and having the traditional background helps me to understand where the horse might be coming from. If I can show someone a better way with their horses that is kinder and softer then I feel like I have had a good day!!!!
It sounds to me that you have the right balance of experience to have the most amazing journey with your new horse.
I do hope you will start a daily training diary.
Glad you are here
Best
Annette

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:26 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
Quote:
And so, I am on the precipice..a sensitive place, as I said before. I am struggling because pursuing this journey is alienation from most other "horse-people."


Welcome Rebecca!

I have found some amazing "traditional" people to help me in my own journey. It is possible to have full support and acceptance from traditional riders by simply not preaching change to them. Accepting that their journey is their own and they will find their path when they are ready for it. When they ask me why I do not ride with a bit, I tell them simply that it is a personal choice I have made. A few know there is a deeper explanation. But those that can only see what is on the surface, seem to be able to accept this. I do not condemn them for using bits, and they seem to be able then to accept that I won't.

I can manage to deal emotionally with the smaller cruelties people inflict on horses that is usually a result of them being unaware of the greater possibilities when you allow a horse to guide your progress. I do not expect others to do as I do, but I see my influence on them all the time. I don't push anything I believe to be true on anyone else, and yet, I see them playing with the possibilities in their own way - in their own time, and if they are intrigued by the relationship I have with my horses, they will ask more about it (just like Annette!). So I can smile knowing that perhaps I am simply a gatepost for others - a sign pointing to a little side trail they hadn't noticed before. I liken myself to an old, charming gate...weather worn and coming off it's hinges, weeds and wildflowers growing up through the slats. Beyond the gate is a wild and secret garden. The gate is there for anyone who wants to explore that garden.

I have also found that the energies we have around us....when we set off on a path like this, actually draw like-minded people to us. I think you will stumble across others as you go along, you will find them...they will find you. It's inevitable.

Quote:
i felt at first that i would truely miss the "dance" that was classical dressage. and for a while, and every so often, i still crave to feel a canter zigzag, or flying changes. but i am learning that i will get there again, but at the pace and will of my horses


I love this Jess! I have also found that I lost nothing, and in fact, gained so much more by allowing my horses to guide their own progress. Some things take more time then...when we wait for a horse to say he's ready and willing and able...but at the same time, some things have progressed much faster because of the relationships I have with them now. They know I'm listening, and they know I will show appreciation for all they offer to me. So I have a young horse who can passage under saddle, but we still haven't managed to describe a proper circle under saddle! :funny: The normal progressions go out the window. Some things take more time to develop - maybe twice as long as modern dressage trainers will take - but other things happen magically along the way and can happen much faster simply because the horse is having fun with it and offers it more often. So they literally, develop themselves and drag us happily behind in their wake.

I hope your journey is glorious and fun. Welcome to AND.

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 3
Hi, Romy! I certainly do have pictures. :green:
Image
Tiki, riding for the first time in two years. We had a blast.
Image
Playing games. This is his favorite thing to do..such a lover. :love:
Image
Morkie, age twenty-five (going on two :funny: )
Image
Showing off her pretty Arabian head.
Image
Tiki and my sister playing at liberty last week. He's licking his lips..always making a silly face :roll:

Hi, jessplum! I'm betting your name is Jess? ;) Thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. What level were you working at in dressage before you made the switch?

Hi, Annette! It's been so wonderful to read through this forum and realize that people here really are thinking the same things. You're right. You make a great point..I have a connecting point with other horse people who still follow tradition. Great thought! I will start a training diary when I meet Sara. I'm so excited!

Hi, Karen! I hope to find "traditionals" who are open minded, like you write about. I honestly have kept to myself..I don't want people to hit me over the head with their methods so I do not do it to them. I've still had an adverse reaction from a good handful. :sad: Oh, well! I learned a long time ago that you cannot try to please other horse people..it's about you and your horse. And hopefully others will be won over by the silent action of us all. :friends:
It's so encouraging to think that my path will draw and encounter others like me. Thanks for the positive thought.

By the by, I do have pictures of Sara but I cannot post them publically. I don't have permission. But I can show them to you privately, through messaging. I have photos of her as a few months old, then two years old. I'm expecting recent photos this week. Let me know if you'd like to see her. :)

It's lovely to meet you all! :kiss:


Top
   
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:57 pm
Posts: 146
Quote:
I want to grow the body, mind and spirit of both horse and rider. And so, I am on the precipice..a sensitive place, as I said before. I am struggling because pursuing this journey is alienation from most other "horse-people." Pursuing this journey means truly opening my hands and giving up control..bits, "set" training plans, etc. However, when I tried to ignore the magnet drawing me to being truly Natural and Classical, I stop functioning. I'm distracted, catatonic, if you will. I have to ask why, challenge "tradition", be that black sheep. I can't help it..sometimes wish I could. :blush:


I know what you mean, and it is very scary. We are taught to do as we are told and to ignore our instincts and intuition, and we are told to believe that our horses have no minds and are not able to make adult decisions. I learnt the hard way that my horses were the only teachers in the world that had MY best interests at heart. It has been a scary and difficult path, I have had people telling me how dangerous my horses were, how it would lead to no good, how I was crazy, how I was stupid, I doubted myself so much. But you know what? I couldn't stop being me, so I hid from them and practised when nobody was about. Now I do not care, my horses fight each other at the gate to be with me, they come whizzing up the field if I call. We are all happier, more content, safer, more noble and more beautiful as a result of following our own path. Even though we went against what nearly everybody else was saying. Tried their way, didn't like it. Tried my horses way, I am in love every day! :D So keep in there and keep true to yourself. I found reading Linda Kohanov's book "Tao of Equus" an eye opening, and encouraging light, as it helped me realise I wasn't alone at all. Plus everyone is really nice and supportive on here too. It is not about jumping in at the deep end with these methods but of gradually replacing what you know "traditionally" a bit at a time. It is a gradual journey.


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:22 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
hi rebecca.

Quote:
Hi, jessplum! I'm betting your name is Jess? Thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. What level were you working at in dressage before you made the switch?


yep, Jess, Jessy, Jessica. all good :love: :love: :love: i competed up to advanced, but i found that competition only fared me well when i had my horse tense and ancomefortable. if she was swishing her tail and jacked up, we won. i stopped competing when i was seventeen! i trained her myself, but i regret what i put her through. :blush: i hate to admit, but when i was driven to win for a little while there, (competition changed me for a few years) i used draw reins, double bridles, spurs, whips, everything that i could to force her to perform! i wish that i could go back and change that now. but i can only say that i may not like the past, but it got me to here. so it was a journey worth taking.

i went on to start lessons with german instructors, as i believed that they were the only ons that knew what they were talking about. ny german instructor that came to the country to do clinics, i would work my bum off to earn enough to attend. i got videos and read books (slowly, as it is not my strong point) i don know exactly what level i would have been at, but we were working on passage. we had canter pirouettes, zigzags, three time changes, etc. i would probably say that i could have gone out and done a nice PSG. but i had to stop riding when i had my babies. so the time out gave me a chance to re think.

i moved to the country, built a big herd of rescues and started working naturally from the ground, and just listning to the herd. i think that listning to the horse changed everything. that was when i started this journey. i kept searching and training in different natural fields. i started teaching people how to better understand the horse, and i found that i could do just about anything that i set my mind to. but i still craved dressage. eventually i found NHE, but i was kicked off there, so was directed here. everyday since then has been something amazing and different. there is no end to what i can do now. i feel that AND has unchained me. :love: :love: :love: i love it here. and i am sure that you will too.

i so understand all the difficulties that you face, but i know that it will be worth it to you. you will love this.

(sorry about the novel. i cannot say anything in just a few words. :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: i never shut up inlife too. all my family are talkers :funny: :funny: :funny: )

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


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.



Yes!! And you will meet lots of like-minded friends along the way!

Welcome and look forward to hearing about your new horse Sara!!!!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574
http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:38 am
Posts: 59
Location: Middlesex UK
Hi Rebecca
Welcome with both arms :f:
This is a great site as all the people on here are true to themselves which means freedom to their animals.
Good luck with Sara

_________________
Freedom where thou art freedom...my saying


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:29 am
Posts: 1486
Location: Belgium
Hi Rebecca

Waw, I really love your second picture. What a peace and rest is coming from your horse!
Welcome!

_________________
Image
I wish I knew your world


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:16 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Hi Rebecca!

Welcome!! I love your pictures!! :green:

Kind regards Bianca

_________________
Image


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 131
Bit late, but I loved your introduction - seems like you've made quite a journey. I know exactly what you mean about horses being able to heal you, as it were. I've been there, and still am, in a sense.

And about questioning everything: never forget that that is a good thing. Far too many people accept everything they're told, and never look beyond what is common knowledge. I suppose that anyone practicing AND will sometimes feel like they are just one in a crowd, where the crowd is headed in a decidedly different direction. But the majority isn't always right, keep that in mind. ;)

Your horses look great - and how is Sara doing?! Is she with you now?


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 6:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 3
Thank you all so much for your warm welcome. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your horses.

Sara is not with me. My trip to meet her has been postponed until late June. I do have some (blurry) photos of her, though!

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 6:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:funny: When people ask me about why I ride bitless, I evade the question by telling them that, at 16.2hh (and still growing) when my horse started objecting to being bridled he could get his head up so high I had no chance of getting his bridle on. :funny: Two weeks later he started dropping his head below my shoulder height to be bridled. :D So that's not my entire reason for going bitless but it was a major part of my decision, and it's a good way to not challenge the "traditional" people.

_________________
Glen Grobler

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


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.