The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:24 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:23 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Hi there, I can't tell you al how excited I am to have found you! For months now I have been combing the internet looking for another way, a better way, a way I felt was the fairest for my horses, and I believe I have finally found you! What a relief, now I know I am not crazy for thinking there has to be a better way to do everything, I am not alone! It feels so good.

So, who the heck am I? I am Heather, a Brit and mother of two young children living in the north of Finland, just outside Lapland. I am the proud owner of two wonderful 6 year old American Standardbred mares. I only bought my first one about 8 months ago and then was given another a couple of months ago. My life long fream had been fulfilled, I finally owned a horse!

However, the dream wasn't quite as I imagined it. I wanted to bond with these beautiful animals, for them to want to be with me and allow me ride them, to enjoy each others company. However, the stark reality was that of chasing them around the field to get a halter on them, fighting to get a bit in the mouth, moving around, ears back, whilst I tried to fasten the girth, and the riding either felt slow and resistant or rushed and a little dangerous and there was little if any team work between us whilst riding - or anything else come to that.

I removed the bits from their mouths a bought a couple of bitless bridles ( cross under type similar to Dr cook but much more affordable), this helped a little, helped them and helped my consience, but not completely. I still felt like I was fighting them. I looked at several different "natural horsemanship" methods but felt unsettled at the whole join-up thing - who was this supposed to be "natural" for? It felt like bullying to me, and afterwards I could see that my horses would look to me as being above them in the pecking order because I forced them but not as their leader whom they respected and trusted. This was not what I wanted and I realised that the whole thing was a gimick. How can you expect to gain the respect, trust and love of anyone or anything in the few minutes it takes to do a join-up exercise? I felt stupid and gullable for falling for it and worse, I had learnt this lesson at my horses expense.

That was a couple of months ago, and the day I stopped riding. Not forever, but I don't want to get on my horses back again before they allow me to. I have removed their shoes, created them a paddock paradise (ie, a fenced trail for them to walk around during the day instead of just standing in a field and bought a treeless saddle in preperation for the time I will start to ride them again. Since then I have started just spending time with them, something I read about in Carolyn Resnicks book Naked Liberty which really helped open my eyes and show me just how wrong I was, and teaching them some simple ground manners, trust and respect via the use of the clicker and treats and now have two loving animals that will come to me as soon as I approach the field and often follow me around. One has been harder to win around than the other, and I don't feel she fully trusts me or likes me yet, (she's not interested in me outside her field unless she has a halter on) but we have had a big improvement, the other will happily just hang out with me, let me scratch her all over, walk next to me without need for me to hang on the lead rope. We even had a break through moment when walking down the lane the other day where I looped the lead rope over her neck and asked her to walk with me and she did. It felt so magical.

I had got so far, but was unsure of how to continue, how to ask them to start "working" and learning dressage moves that I would love for them to learn to improve their fitness and balance, plus I am unsure about how to teach them as i am by no means a dressage rider and have never even seen many of these moves in the flesh as apposed to on Tv or youtube and so was thrilled to find the website and all your invaluable help and advise. Although I get much pleasure from just spending time with them and doing basic groundwork, it can sometimes be a little lonely. All the horsey people I know seem to look at me a bit differently these days and I just know they are talking about me when I am not around and find the whole idea of not riding very odd, and mostly I don't mind that but it would be so nice to "meet" likeminded people and feel less alone in this.

i have been reading this forum for about a week now and have started doing the first exercise in their field with them and then after a few days just asking for a a small movement maybe a back up or a release of the hindquarters or to come to me or some such thing and then walking away again and am thrilled with how much more they want to play with me.

Yeah, so anyway, I'm ramblling on here when I as just supposed to be introducing myself. Sorry. And hi! Lovely to meet you all.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:07 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi Heather,
Welcome here. I am sure you will have lots of reading here to give you great ideas! (Lots of games to play in the groundwork section and discussions on various methods). Your story sounds so familiar...lol!!!!!
I would love to see some pics of your two mares.....and how on earth did you end up in Finland?
I too have 3 kids and it can be hard fitting in the time you need with the horses too.
Anyway, welcome here and glad you found us
Best
Annette

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

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


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:08 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
Hi, Heather.

Nice to meet you, and welcome here. Most of us have a similar story ... love horses, like riding, hate pushing them around and "fighting" to get them to carry us without harming themselves. Also the backwards ethics of being so demanding and authoritarian to these magnificent "pets" we adore. How can I claim to love them if I am kicking, pulling and hitting them?

I repeat what Annette said - pictures please? :funny: :D

_________________
Glen Grobler

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


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 11:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Hello Heather,

You seem to have followed your heart, and it took you to AND. Welcome.

Yes, as others say, so many of us have come a similar path. I competed, trained, taught, coached professionally for over 20 years. I'd say the entire latter half, ten years at least I sought something different. In those times and in that place, from about 1947, to the late 60's, I was an odd duck most of the time.

I was always looking for the soft way, the gentlest way, to get my horse to perform for me. As time passed I became more and more disillusioned with my goals, and disenchanted with the horse world in general.

In the thinking of those times I became lazy, and careless, and without clear goals, but in my own mind I decided, with the help of a relentlessly cheerful, and persistently playful Quarter Horse stallion, to take some time off. To play, and to "work," less.

I knew I was done with professional work, at least in the area of performance. I spent the last couple of years professionally really little more than a stable hand, a barn manager of sorts for a breeding farm. Mostly ground work, and an occasional ambling ride on my QH, and lots of silly at liberty ring and pasture play with him. Child's play.

Then I left entirely. From the late sixties to two years ago I had but one horse for only a few months and that for my daughter. When she lost interest nothing, until two years ago. About the time I also found AND. The experience sort of snapped me back in time and gave form and purpose of a kind I'd not had before.

I knew I was back in the horse world, in fact took a training job with a single flighty Morgan gelding, and that I had a decision to make. What kind of horse handler was I to be?

If you decide to view some of the Daily Training diaries, I'm there, along with others, and the diaries pretty much tell the story. Altea and the Old Man, and Bonnie and the Old man are the two forum folder entries I try to keep up with most.

Your goal appears to be kindness over compliance, friendship more than control.
I've a feeling you've found the right place.

Donald, the Old Man, and Altea and her daughter, Bonalaria.

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 11:17 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Hi Annette, and thank you for the welcome. Yeah, there certainly seems to be a lot of reading to catch up on here -an overwhelming amount really but I am trying to force myself to take it all slowly (I'm a natural impatient rusher so this is going to be a big learning curve for me) and take my time.

I shall post some pics when I figure it all out. I think I remember seeing a place on here speficaly for photos although I haven't had a close look yet. They are two real cuties - but then I eould say that huh?

How I came to Finland? Well...I have had over the years lots of jobs, some that might be considered "careers" like helicopter engineer and fibreoptic technician and some real rubbish like stacking shelves in supermarkets or (possibly the worst job ever) packing jars of pickles into boxes and it was all mostly because I was generaly unsettled and not happy with my life that I kept moving around and taking different jobs until I had the great idea of becoming a holiday rep. Great as in, yeah travel around a lot get to ski and play in the Alps, not so great as in, have to deal with whinging tourists. But that was how I came out to Finland. There is a ski resort http://www.ruka.fi about 10 minutes from where i now live. I was working there for Inghams (British holiday company) when I met my man. And that was that, I never went home. I have been living here now for about 5 years and have never looked back - my life, even when it is a really bad day, is perfection. Oh, and I no longer deal with tourists, I'm a stay at home mum and am lucky enough that we live on a farm and so have the horses in our garden. :D

Hi Glen,

nice to meet you. And great to meet so many pleasent humane people. I can't tell you what a relief it is to have found all you lovely people. I feel quite emtional just thinking about it :funny: But seriously i get sort of choked up knowing there are so many others out there that not only feel the same way about their animals but are happy to share their knowledge and friendship with no catch or demand for money. What a wonderful place. :cheers:


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 11:22 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Hi Donald and thank you for your warm welcome. I really am starting to feel at home already. I shall indeed take a look at some of the diarys later today - I had a brief peek earlier but there was just so much - one could spend an entire year just trying to catch up!

But right now I'm heading out to sit in the sun with my horses and read a book. Ahh, the bliss of having no kids for the day.

Thank you once again and i look forward to reading your diary (that just sounds so wrong.)

Heather :)


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
heather wrote:
Hi Donald and thank you for your warm welcome. I really am starting to feel at home already. I shall indeed take a look at some of the diarys later today - I had a brief peek earlier but there was just so much - one could spend an entire year just trying to catch up!

But right now I'm heading out to sit in the sun with my horses and read a book. Ahh, the bliss of having no kids for the day.

Thank you once again and i look forward to reading your diary (that just sounds so wrong.)

Heather :)


It might sound less so if we used the word "journals," instead of "diaries." Diaries are seldom willingly shared, but journals often are written for the express purpose of sharing with others. I know I certainly think of the Daily Training folder in that way. Always written as a dialogue, never as a monologue. Or at least seldom.

Speaking of which I think I'll go and write up the latest in Bonnie's adventures. What a day we had yesterday.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:47 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:44 pm
Posts: 215
Location: South Africa
Hi Heather and welcome :D


I am from the US and through Glen came to find AND. I am now currently living with her and getting a wonderful AND experience. Like everyone else here I have always wanted to have a real relationship with a horse. I unfortunately have never had any of my own (But soon we are looking :cheers: :cheers: )

I feel the same as you, there is so much to read, from the personal stories to the technics used to having your horseswantto be with you rather then running from you. I try to read a bit every day and post when things are in my head. I feel very safe here knowing no one is going to judge me on what I feel when being with the horses so it entices me to write more and not edit as I might somewhere else.

Welcome again and I look forward to learning from your experiences with you babies

Michele(Gem)

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


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Okay thanks for that.....just wondering how a Pom would end up in Finland..... although I have to say it looks beautiful there. I am also a Pom as is my hubby. He came back from SA after 10 years and we met in the U.K. and he brought me here. I have to say I would find it hard to live in U.K. now...so many people and so many rules!!!!
Looking forward to seeing some pics (no pressure...lol...). You will need to open an account with photo bucket or similar to be able to upload here, but it's quite easy when you get the hang of it.
You are so right about the people here and they just keep coming.....
I was amazed when I found this forum, not just all the knowledge but the fact that no one here is better than anyone else. It is all about sharing and learning from each other and our horses and what works for eveyone is their individual journey. Each person here is as unique as their horse and each person's experiences to date are different but we all have a common ground in wanting to do the best we can for our horses welfare first and foremost. I love the way that we can discuss almost anything and no-one judges or condemns. This is exactly what you need to learn, open honest communication and the need not to feel stupid for asking questions if you don't understand.
It is hard to keep up with eveything that gets posted here, so jump around and read what interests you for where you are at the moment. The ground games are lots of fun and inspirational. A diary is a good way to ask all your questions as you go along, but if you want an immediate response to something urgent you can start a new topic. (Just check first that there already isn't one on that subject!!!)
There is a drop down box at the bottom right of the page which allows you to jump around the different topics/forums which may help you learn your way around a bit quicker.
If you are unsure of anything, just ask and someone will help you out.

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

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


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:42 am 

Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 4:30 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Lake Chapala Mexico
Hi Heather,
Welcome to the forum. I, myself, just joined a little over a week ago. Everything you just said is exactly how I have felt too, even down to that emotional feeling of relief you got when finding this forum. Yes, there is MUCH to assimilate and learn by reading and reading and, of course, doing. Since I joined I feel a certain connectedness with people all over the world, even with those I have not written (yet). I wake up each day with a new "joie de vivre", and just knowing I am not alone in trying to pursue a new path in dealing with my horses.

I also have two horses who are basically people friendly, but I still felt something was missing in the relationship. I am thrilled to be a part of this group, to learn with and grow.........and share. I found out about the Carolyn Resnick Rituals and just started--------and already notice a difference.

Funny thing how life can displace us. I am a Californian living in Mexico for 27 years! Time flies.

Pat in Mexico


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 11:45 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Donald. Yes, perhaps journal makes more sense. I have started one of my own now, copying accross pages of the one I store on my computer from when we started our AND training about a week ago. Wow, what amazing changes already! I had a look at yours and bonnies Diary, wow, what a darling little girl she is. Although I guess little is hardly the word. It sounds like you live in a wonderful place.

Gem Twist - I know what you mean about writing things on here, I have read many horse forums but never joined one before because I hate the bitchiness and judging that goes on. This is a wonderfuly safe and nuturing place and has allowed me, the enternal sceptic, to start exploring parts of myself and my mental abilites that I would never have thought of before reading some things on here and feeling somehow encouraged by all these people that i have never met. Strangely I feel much more confident in myself and abilities now that I know you are all out there. Oh, and thank you for your welcome and good luck with getting your own horse.

Morgan - ha ha, sorry about that. I do go on quite a bit when I get started on a subject and am one of those annoying people that can never seem to answer a simple question with a simple answer. Perhaps "i cam out here to work" would have surficed without y entire work history and a run down of my mental state :funny:

thank you for your navigation help Oh, and although I haven't uploaded any photos eyt, i started a new diary on here to do and put a link to a photo of one of horses, Jelli in there.

do they call us Poms in SA too? i thought it was just in Oz... Well, you learn something new everyday.

Pat - life certainly has a way of putting you were you are supposed to be, doesn't it? Thank you for your welcome. I have just finished reading her (Carolyn Resnick) book (about a week ago) and found it fascinating. Very insightful. in fact, i think I am going to need to read it again and again, possibly with a highlighter in hand this time. I started the waterhole techniques a while ago but after reading the book I now see what I was doing wrong and why it didn't work out for me. I was trying too hard, rushing it. Now I just take life one minute at a time with my horses and we are much happier.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 3:37 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6133
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Heather!! :) :)

So great to have you here. I haven´t been able to log in here for a few days and I come back and see that we have a new member and that you have already posted 22 posts... I have to catch up with you and I am looking forward to getting to know you better. :smile:

Warm Regards,
Romy


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 3:45 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
romy - Crikey, is it that many already? I do go on a bit, huh? :funny: I think it must be all the pent up conversations and questions from months of searching for just this place that's done it. that and too much time on my hands, perhaps? :funny:

Lovely to meet you.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:02 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:29 am
Posts: 1486
Location: Belgium
Hi Heater
Welcome.

Looking forward to found out more about your adventures!

_________________
Image
I wish I knew your world


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Hello from Finland!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:56 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Thank you. nice to meet you :)


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest


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:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.