The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:04 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 77
Hello out there!

It's wonderful to have found something like the AND forum, I've searched something like this for a long time now :)

So.. My name is Angelika Christiansen, and I'm from Denmark (actually half polish) and I’m 17 years old. I've been riding horses for 11 years now, but about Christmas time (2008) I realized that all I did before was totally wrong (now talking about the "lovely" method of riding, where using the bit as an power tool), so now I’m following a new part with my horse :)

My horse, Kananka (called Kurt/Curt) is an Danish Warmblood, only 5 years old. He's a lovely and funny horse, really special XD well.. when I got him, in November 2008 he had only been ridden for 2 months, so he was a pretty inexperienced horse. He was bought from a typical show jumping stable, were it all went too fast. He seemed stressed in the beginning, he did.. "throw" is head? when riding and he did grind his teeth. He hadn't learned anything. Mucking his hooves, walking with him and so on was something totally new for him.
But then a got my dressage trainer to ride him once a week, and that didn't make him less dangerous. Dangerous because, he started to buck me of, to rear, and just run. When I walked with him, he tried to kick me and ran off. So I thought.. "It can't really be like this, to have a horse?"
And then "luckily" after a jumping lesson, he got scared of another horse and fell down on the pavement outside = a limping horse, for a hole month. It was in this month that I got much much more "clever". So for a whole month we did work from the ground and since then, things has been better and better.

It didn't take more than maybe a week or two, before Curt started to be calm and so on. He didn't buck me of, he didn't rear and he didn't run off. When walking with him, he stayed with me at all times, it was easy to stop him.. and I could continue telling about all the good stuff XD

In March I got kicked out of the riding club / stable. Because I started to ride with a loose rein. One day, the 3th of March, the chef trainer told me: “Either you bend your horse’ neck or you can pack your stuff!” then I just told him that my horse doesn’t like the bit and gets tense when I use it, “yeah but that’s not of my concern because it could just walk properly!”

Okay fine! Then I packed my stuff XD now at another stable, the chef trainer says that my riding isn’t damaging the horse at all, and as long as I don’t hurt the horse, I can ride as I want. But.. I have to ride with “something”, meaning that I have to use a halter, without a bit is okay, but there must be “something” to control the horse.. and I can live with that :)
For almost a month now, I haven’t been riding my horse, because he isn’t strong enough yet, so it has been a lot of groundwork, to build up some muscles. From next week, I’ll receive lessons in The Academic Art of Riding so I’m pretty excited.

- Angelika and Curt

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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1822
Location: Norway
What a lucky horse you have... ;) He seems so happy!! Nice to hear from you - and I just can't believe the riding club actually kicked you out!!! :ieks: :ieks: :ieks:


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:10 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Welcome! what a beautiful horse you have there, and it sounds like you have been building a great bond with him. the picture of you jumping together is lovely and I too am amazed that they kicked you out for riding with a loose rein!

I look forward to reading more.

Heather


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:23 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Wow, he is stunning and I like your soft riding style, the bit and spurs did not even bother me one bit :)

oh, please tell, who will be your teacher?

Warm regards and welcome of course,

Josepha

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www.equusuniversalis.com


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6167
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Angelika!! :)

Wow, being kicked out of the riding club because you are riding with a loose rein :ieks: ... until now I have only heard it the other way around here: some months ago a woman was kicked out because she rollkured her horses. But great that you seemto have found a better stable now.

I hope you will enjoy AND! :smile:

Warm Regards,
Romy


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:50 am
Posts: 321
Welcome, Angelika! What a beautiful horse you have! (The photo of the two of you jumping the log is fantastic!) What is his name?

I'm so happy to hear that you have decided to follow your heart (and your horse) - and glad that you have found this forum. There is so much to think about here, and so much help at hand, I'm sure you are going to really enjoy it!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:D I'm so glad you stood your ground and did not give in to the pressure to ride your horse in contact. Well Done!!!

I am looking forward to reading more about you two.

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Glen Grobler

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


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 77
Thank you everybody for a warm welcome:D

Yeah I got pretty much shocked when he told me to pack my stuff XD he also said "I wont let you use my name, for your riding! You are destroying your horse. And by the way, I don't even want to look at you anymore"
so.. he isn't the most kind man. He's the trainer of the norwegian national dressage team, which tells a little about the way that professionals are rides their horses.. but enough about that ;)

I'll actually start riding with a cavesson, so no bit any more :D and I don't need one, because Curt hates the bit, and he does exactly what I ask him to, just by using my voice and my seat.
I would like to stop using the spurs, but Curt havn't learned to react properly, or, he's just very slow to react when using the spurs and even more when not using them. So my goal is to make him 100% "steer able" for the seat and weight -then I can stop using the spurs :)

The new stable is wonderful! The boxes are done EVERY day, so no soft and smelling hooves anymore. The horses are fed with what you like, which wasn't possible at the other stable. The horses can be in the paddock for more than 2 hours, and you can take your horse at the paddock if it available, whick again, wasn't possible at the other stable! Max 1,5 hour per day at the paddock, with was covered in mud or dirt. There are just so many things that are mucm better at the new stable.

So the next weekend we'll attend at our first lesson in The Academic Art of Riding :) my trainer is/will be Malene Sørensen http://barokridning.dk/.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
hi there AngelikaC :D :D :D

realy nice to have you here. you are in the right place. i know how you are feeling, as i have also had alot of criticism. it is so hard, as people can make life really difficult. but you are on the right path as you are doing what your horse wants. you two will make a great pair, you are going to do really well, as it is obviouse that you are listning to him already.

ignore what ignorant people say. :D ;) they are just like that because of fear of what they do not know or understand. i find that with teaching, alot of people do not want to improve really, because when they come, they want me to "make the horse better" yet, they are in for a suprise when i say, it is them!!! they do not want to change, because it means becoming like a beginner again. re-learning and changing old habbits is a hard thing to do, so people agressively knock what we do, because they dont want people to know that what they are doing is not right, because then they would have to work really hard to change. think about it, if he were truely confident with his teaching, then he would have no reason to be angry with you, as he would have every confidence that his way will win out in the end. ;) but showing anger and nastieness just shows his own doubts!!! :funny:

Quote:
I would like to stop using the spurs, but Curt havn't learned to react properly, or, he's just very slow to react when using the spurs and even more when not using them. So my goal is to make him 100% "steer able" for the seat and weight -then I can stop using the spurs



good on you!!!! :clap: just take it slow, baby steps. you dont have to get on and "walk trot canter" even if you only walk at first, just to refine your aids. make it a fun game, to see how light an aid from your seat he will listen to, and make it rewarding! :kiss: my tiny tott classes do a tiny little wiggle in their bottoms to walk on and breath out to stop. and they only are feather weight!!! :funny: so imagine how subtle your aids can end up!!! :applause: :applause: i have brought my big girl Elle in from spelling after two years, and we are re-establishing aids. it has been a couple of weeks now, and i am still just walk, with maybe a little jog, as i will not go on till i am happy that she is completely comefortable in knowing all the aids. this way, i never need to be forceful!

training from the ground is best i think. i spent a long time training Elle from the ground. they should know everything from the ground befor they do it under saddle, and i can see by the lovely photos that you have put on that you do nice ground games. keep it up, and keep goin! you are making the right decisions, dont let anyone tell you otherwise. you know your horse, not them!! :D :D :D

cant wait to see you start a diary, i will enjoy keeping up with your journey.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
Quote:
So the next weekend we'll attend at our first lesson in The Academic Art of Riding :) my trainer is/will be Malene Sørensen http://barokridning.dk/.


Oh, I haven't even said hello yet and I'm already jealous!!! :green: :funny:

Oh please, please, please report back on your first lesson!!!!! The site has no english, so I can't read it, but I see Bent Branderup!!! So Malene was a student of BB?? She must have passed!

You are SO LUCKY! Good for you and your very beautiful horse!

Welcome to the forum!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:03 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 77
jessplum

Thanks :D it is nice to finally have some support, which makes AND perfect!

Quote:
ignore what ignorant people say. they are just like that because of fear of what they do not know or understand. i find that with teaching, alot of people do not want to improve really, because when they come, they want me to "make the horse better" yet, they are in for a suprise when i say, it is them!!! they do not want to change, because it means becoming like a beginner again. re-learning and changing old habbits is a hard thing to do, so people agressively knock what we do, because they dont want people to know that what they are doing is not right, because then they would have to work really hard to change. think about it, if he were truely confident with his teaching, then he would have no reason to be angry with you, as he would have every confidence that his way will win out in the end. but showing anger and nastieness just shows his own doubts!!!


I haven't really thought about it in that way! It really explaines alot, especially when I think about his way of "being". He's a very .. kinda selfish man, you know "I do it all right, you are all wrong" kind of person.. and yeah, many people don't really want to learn :s alot of them think that it is the horse which needs to improve

Slow, baby steps, I know :D even though I sometimes get kind of impatient, but when I take a look at how far we've reached now, I actually think that it has passed really fast? Well, when I got Kurt (Kananka) he couldn't lift his hooves, he haven't learned to stand still when I tried to get in the sadle. When riding he even didn't know how to turn? So actually, he has learned alot :D

Well Kurt could also stop, or get down to the walk then I did breath out, but I do that alot to control my pulse, so it wasn't so practical in the end :b so now, the “breath out” is a.. “half stop”? But now it is all about the groundwork, to make him strong and collected from the ground :D


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:28 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 77
Karen

don't be :D Okay I will :D maybe I should start a diary?

wow so Bent Branderup is "known" outside Denmark? :D i didn't know that! Well Malene isn't a student of BB, but she has been there for some lessons, Bents wife Carina was her teacher, and at Malenes homepage you can read (in danish) a recommendation that Carina has written.

But thank you! I don't feel so lucky yet, because I'm still very confused about what Im actually doing, but some lessons should get me "back on track".


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
Quote:
Well Kurt could also stop, or get down to the walk then I did breath out, but I do that alot to control my pulse, so it wasn't so practical in the end :b so now, the “breath out” is a.. “half stop”? But now it is all about the groundwork, to make him strong and collected from the ground


i could see from the photos that you have alot of subtle cues going on as he apears to be listning.

i do alot of breathing techniques too, i tech breathing first to students. horses are brilliant though, they are able to understand the difference between different "seat breaths" i have a young girl at the moment who is learning to fine tune her breathing seat aid, and she is now able to be quite clear between stop, down one transition and down two. we are just at the point of working on collection and lengthning with controlled seat also. we do these lessons with no reins, as it is better to see how the seat is going. hard though.

you have written that you are going to start a diary, i cannot wait. i am dying to see more photos, or even a vid!!! :cheers:

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


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:22 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
:cheer: :yeah: :cheer: Yes! Please start a diary! :yes:

Some of my favorite youtube videos of classical riding are of Bent Branderup. So yes, yes, yes, we know of him.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:25 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Of course we know Bent :roll: :funny:

To me, he is where Academic Riding ends and Natural Academic Riding begins :)

Anyway, to get rid off the spurs, very simple (I help people a lot with that).
Take them off, then put your legs a way from you horse at a halt, while squeezing your buttocks, and gently tap your horse with your leg, releasing instantly after touching him.
You may click your tongue or say 'walk' or whatever works.
When he does not oblige, relax again and start all over with the buttockks squeezing.
Do make sure that the only thing that squeezes is your buttocks, the rest of your body needs to be soft, especially your knees.

Mostly after 2 or 3 times, the horse starts walking a bit doubtfull, than reward like crazy.

After 10 minutes you do not ever need spurs again :)

Warm regards,

Josepha

_________________
www.equusuniversalis.com


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