The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:56 am
Posts: 13
Location: New Zealand
I came across this site a couple of years ago, somewhere in amoungst uni and various jobs (and not having internet for a year!) I lost touch, so I thought I'd make a new start here.

For years I have competed, dressage, eventing, show jumping. I have always been the strange one, trying out new methods, doing things differently to everyone else :). None of the methods I have used have ever quite satisfied me, the amazing things you guys do match the pictures in my head for what I have always wanted to achieve.

Last time I was on this site I don't think I was quite ready for it. I have since given up competing, and just train my own horses my own way, gleening information from every place I can find it! Just the other day I was working on desensiting my 3yo to plastic bags (he is super sensitive to noise and petrified of anything that makes a rustly plastic noise) and to cut a long story short I found that the best way was just to let him do it himself. I got upto were I could attach the bag to his saddle and ask him to go out on the lunge, from there I left him to it. If he became nervous he would just stop and calm himself, then walk off again, when he was happy he would try out a couple of steps of trot. I talked to him and encouraged him the whole timeand by the end he was trotting around calmly on his own (very proud :D).

Same day there was an email waiting for me from this site, I logged on and everything I read seems to fit :D. This is what I want to do!

So a little intro of my horses...

This is my lovely Mate, I've had him for almost 5 years now. Hes a 13yo Irish Hunter TB, hes been my dressage horse, eventer, partner in crime ( ;) :green: ) and best friend :friends:.

Before I got him he had been trained upto medium dressage, and not well. He was a plank, terrible lateral walk, went in one frame (usually with a head tilt) with a locked jaw and back. Despite this he usually did very well because he is so lovely :sad:. I have managed to improve all this a lot, but never really got to a level that I am satisfied with.

And gorgeous Ra, a 3yo WB who I bred, so I get to start from scratch with him. In the last few months I've started riding him, just W/T/C and hacking out. Hes still very much a baby so I don't do too much with him, plus I'm sort of waiting to find the way I want to do things...

I mainly follow Phillpe Karl, and a natural horsemanship trainer I worked with. Both very good (PK is just amazing, love what he does), but neither exactly what I want to do.

Besides my own horses I also ride racehorses (trackwork, beach and road), help people out with their horses (or mostly horses with their people lol) and take on a couple of dressage horses. In the real world one has to make a living... one day... I'll be able to work with all horses the way I want to :pray:.

I've been reading as much of this forum as possible and really look forward to taking part! I'm going to have so many questions for you guys :green:.

My boys playing in the paddock...

And all three of us swimming at the beach...

Last edited by Funky MeerKAT on Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:26 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:43 am
Posts: 209
Location: Herefordshire - UK
Hi and welcome.

Haven't read your post fully as in a rush (will look back later) but a big welcome and the final photo in your post is stunning, as are your horses.



PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6080
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome back, Anna!! :)

Very nice that you have found your way back here. Your horses look absolutely gorgeous, please do continue posting many pictures of them. ;)

Warm Regards,

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 131

What BEAUTIFUL horses you have!! They look amazing. Be proud of them. :)

(and I'm very jealous of that last picture, it's gorgeous, and I wish I'd live with such lovely surroundings)

Oh, and I think what you did with the plastic bag is a great idea! (there should be a topic for good ideas such as these.) I probably wouldn't have thought of it, it's smart. :D

Edit: I'm not making these compliments because you're new and I want to make you feel happy being here..they are all sincere, although three in a row may seem a bit over the top, haha.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:56 am
Posts: 13
Location: New Zealand
Thank you for the welcomes :friends:.

Romy - I'm sure there will be many more photos ;).

And Dani, I'm not going to complain about compliments, especially when it comes to my horses :funny: . I love having the beach to ride on and in summer I take Mate right out swimming, I think it would be cool to stand up and "surf" on him, the furthest I got was kneeling on him before it got too cold to practise anymore, its suprisingly hard to balance! I've moving at the end of the month, I'll miss the beach, but I think I like the hills and mountains even better...
there is nothing better than standing with your horse on top of a mountain :cheers:.

Lol, I thought what you guys do with chase the tiger is a great idea! Will be out to try that one soon. The NH trainer I used to work for would bag the horses, which involved shaking the bag all over them until they gave in and accepted it, although I saw a huge change in many horses with this process, it never really sat that well with me. It gave the horse no choices, was totally un-interactive. And it never worked on Ra, we could have been there for weeks and just tramatised him, so I gave up and looked for another way.

Its taken ages, but at least he hasn't been tortured by it, although we still have a bit to go. He taught me quite a bit with it, took me a few sessions to work out that it was going to be best just to let him do it himself. (I have to add for safety reasons that I never actually tied it to him, just pulled it through the D rings on the saddle or the stirrups so that I could just pull it off if anything happened).

Anyways, thanks for the welcome :funny:.

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