The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 18
Hello :smile:

I'm so glad to have found this website/forum/type of dressage!

My name is Rachael, I'm 17, I live in Florida, U.S.A and I've been riding horses for almost 10 years. I have been practicing Natural Horsemanship for 7 of those years. I started out at a "normal" Hunter/Jumper riding stable...I really disliked the way they trained/worked the horses there, and eventually something happened that made me quit.

Diamond is a five year old Tennessee Walking Horse stallion. I purchased him when he was 2 1/2 yrs. from a horse dealer. I don't know his background, but he was an extremely shy, introverted horse when I got him. In the past few years he has really come out of his shell and developed into an exceptional individual. I do almost all my riding with him in a rope halter(You should see peoples faces when they realize I'm riding a stallion without a giant bit, chains, tie-downs, and all the other torture devices you see). For the past few months I have been searching and searching for a way to teach him dressage in a way he can enjoy it, and a program that would accept my beliefs. I never dreamed I would find a place/training as perfect as AND! Everyone I asked either critisized me for being natural, or for my horses breed(He's gaited, so he'll usually stepping pace instead of trot). I look forward to learning everything! If anyone knows how/whether certain exercises should be altered for a horse that stepping paces instead of trots, I'd love any input!

Here are some pictures of my darling(I'll just post the links so they don't take up space)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6133
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Rachael!! :)

So nice that you have joined us here at AND and I hope that you wil enjoy our forum. Your horse is just gorgeous! Do you have any videos of him where we can see him in movement? Looking forward to reading more. :smile:

Warm Regards,

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:12 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:50 am
Posts: 321
Hello and welcome!! Diamond is a gorgeous boy! He's so lucky to have found you, and it looks like you both have a great partnership going already.

I am sure that you'll find *tons* of information here on approaching dressage in a way that Diamond (and you) will enjoy - I sure did! Working with a gaited horse may be a bit more of a challenge, but I'm sure that you both will find what you are comfortable with. I don't know if it would be of any help, but here is link to an article about getting Standardbred pacers to trot: Perhaps you could take these ideas and modify them to suit your horse (and your more natural training practices).

Hope to see more of you and your boy, and would love to read about how your training goes...


The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. - Khalil Gibran

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
oh hi there Rachael

your photos are absolutely beautiful! :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: i love them! you are obviously very close friends, and i am so proud of you for sticking to your dreams no matter what looks and comments you get. well done.

i dont know anything about gaited horses, as i am an ausie, and we do not have many here. i actually have only seen paso....something or rather! cannot remember their name. :blush: :blush: :blush:

when you are posting a photo, it works a little better if you click on the IMG code for the link, then the photo comes up straight onto the post. :love: :love: :love: i just cannot wait to see you start a diary, and then watch what amazing new games you both enjoy together.

talk soon

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

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:02 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Hi there and welcome. Im fairly new around here too but the people are lovely. Diamond is gorgeous! You two obviously have a very strong friendship. Well done for sticking with your beliefs and not being pushed into what others want you to do. I am sure diamond is very greatful.

I look forward to you starting a diary and reading how you progress.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:44 pm
Posts: 215
Location: South Africa
Hi and welcome!!

Your boy is gorgeous and it is so obvious that you two already have a great bond.

I am fairly new at this myself though I have been around horses for as long as I could remember and have learned the "traditional" way of being with horses so this is very new to me. I am finding it a very rewarding experience as I work with Glen's horses.

Glen is here on the forum as well and I moved in with her. I am originally form the US in NY and moved here in May to learn first hand and see it as I dont have my own horse.

I have already had amazing experiences here and plan to have many more.

Welcome again and hope to here more about your journey with Diamond.

Warm Regards,

The best views can be seen from the back of a horse.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:43 am
Posts: 209
Location: Herefordshire - UK
Hi and welcome to the forum, so nice to meet you and your gorgeous horse :cheers:



PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
I get to add my "OOOooo he's handsome!" too!

I don't know tons about gaited horses, but learning to go relaxed and round is good for all horses. Once the trust is there (which looks like it's already in place) and you can begin to shape him toward rounding his body as you ride, then whether he trots or gaits doesn't really is, after all, about what is natural for your individual horse.

I was at a saddlebred show once, and all the horses were high headed and inverted and all of them were bug eyed and nervous...all except one. He actually moved collected, with a softly rounded neck and haunches engaged, normal hooves, calm and fluid...he was BREATHTAKING. Even the judges were impressed as he did quite well in the show. I hope so many others at that show took note. So it was obviously an owner who took the time to teach him to round himself and protect his back and let him be so was just lovely. Now I know they aren't gaited, but all the same...this one owner bucked the trend and went natural. It was fantastic to see.

I do hope we hear a lot from you! We can all learn something more about gaited horses!

Glad you found us! WELCOME! :cheers: :f:

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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:50 am 
Site Admin

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

Welcome :D Very nice jumps!!!! I'm going to show your pics to Evita so she can see how it's done :funny:

Kind regards Bianca


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