The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Ontario, Canada
Hi everyone!

I am so excited to be here! My name is Erin, and I’m from Ontario, Canada. I’ve been interested in natural dressage for a while now, and I’m here to learn a lot!

Here’s a bit about me and my horses:
I’ve been involved with horses for 11 years. I used to ride regular dressage, but I always disliked the force that is constantly used in traditional interaction with horses. About three and a half years ago, I decided to learn barefoot trimming and I pulled the shoes off my horse, and this led me down the path of all things natural. I have been experimenting with the “no-force” approach, but I have encountered some difficulties, so I am looking forward to learning lots of new things from all of you!!

I have two horses, Rusty and Maggie. I have had Rusty for 7 years. He is a grey thoroughbred who was previously a racehorse in his younger years. He will be 14 this spring. He is very spirited and strong-willed. I love his character so much! He is so much fun!

I just got Maggie last year. She is a 9 or 10 year old bay quarter horse cross. She is very quiet, shy, and a bit insecure. She had a baby when she was quite young, and she was rescued about 7 or 8 years ago from a field where her and her foal and some other mares and foals were left without food or water. She is very sweet-natured, but can be nervous about things.

I am so excited to begin my natural dressage adventure and to get to know all of you like-minded people! :D

Erin


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6076
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Erin!! :)

Looking forward to getting to know you, too. :smile:

I hope you will enjoy the forum and share your horse adventures with us.

Warm Regards,
Romy


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
Hello, Erin, and welcome here.

I would be interested to hear more about you and your horses. It sounds like you have two very different characters there.

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Glen Grobler

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


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:33 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Welcome Erin!

Enjoy your stay in our vivid green AND lounch :)

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www.equusuniversalis.com


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:06 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
Very welcome Erin!

Can you post some pictures of your 2 babies?
We love to see pictures over here!

Hope you can learn a lot of what is posted here... we all do! :funny:

:love:

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Kind regards,

AnneMarie

------
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thank you all for the warm welcome!

There are some pictures of my horses:

This is Rusty:
Image
Image

This is Maggie:
Image

And here is some more info about me and my horse friends, for anyone who's interested!
I am 22 years old and I am currently attending university, so it is hard to find time to go out to the barn and visit the horses sometimes, especially because they are boarded at a farm that is a 40 minute drive away from my home! But school is over near the end of April, so I am hoping to have a great summer with the horses!

I have had Rusty for quite some time now, but I feel like my past traditional dressage training has negatively affected our relationship. He is a very dominant horse, and he is the boss of his herd. He also tries to be the boss of me, and in this no-force way of doing things, I'm not exactly sure how to interact successfully with him sometimes! I think he's going to be a challenge, but I think that once I am successful in developing a good relationship with him, it will be an unbreakable bond. Rusty was diagnosed with Navicular syndrome shortly after I purchased him, and we went through lots of "corrective" shoeing and medications to try to help him. But finally, I decided to learn how to trim a barefoot horse and we embraced the natural lifestyle. He is now living outside 24/7 with three other geldings and with a big hay pile at all times. He seems much happier now than when he was kept in a more traditional manner (i.e. stalled at night, turned out in his own paddock). Rusty has not been in serious training since I first put him barefoot in the summer of 2006. I have spent the years since then trying to find a horse-training philosophy that feels right to me. I think I have finally found that with AND! Rusty has spent the last couple years just being a horse. I have moved him around from barn to barn more than I would have liked, trying to find a place that is suitable. My goal with Rusty is to get him to be my friend and trust me and desire to be with me.

I bought Maggie last year and she is just a big sweet heart. She lives outside 24/7 with two other mares and one gelding. I really would like her to see me as a friend that she wants to spend time with, but right now she just gets nervous when separated from her herdmates.

I'm not exactly sure where to start my AND journey. I want to fully embrace the "no-force" and "no-punishment" concepts, but I'm not sure how and I have a lot of questions. For example, how do I bring Rusty in from his field when he won't walk with me to the barn? He just stands there and I have to pull on the lead rope to get him to move an inch. Is it ok to tie up the horse is cross-ties while brushing them? Rusty does not like to be brushed; he gets irritated and tries to bite me; but I want to brush him to keep his coat and skin healthy, so what do I do? Also, I take the horses into the indoor arena (because there is no outdoor work space) to work with them, but when I bring them in there alone, they get upset because they want to be with their horse friends instead of me!

I will start a diary for my horses in the daily training section of the forum, and I will be asking lots of questions!!

I want to thank all of you for being so welcoming and open! I am used to people thinking I am a crazy person for wanting to be with my horses in a natural way. The people at the barn where I board my horses train in a traditional way, and they make me feel pressured to ride. They always ask "are you riding today?" I don't really mind though, because I know what I feel is right and I don't care what other people think. It's just nice to be in an environment here on this forum where everyone has the same mindset!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Hi Erin,

It proofs that AND is just an excellent way for especially Alpha horses :)
It came into life simply because of the Alpha horses of the founders :)

Your questions are actually the basic questions every one always asks, so not to worry.

When first arriving reading is the best thing to do.
Best first read or F.A.Q. and the posts about leadership etc.
That will answer most of your questions in theory, so you get things clear in your head before you start. Whic is of major importance :)

I love alphas, which was proven again, for the second I saw Rusty, I loved him and reading on I learned why :) The wise expression of the alphas strike me every time ... :love:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
This is the link to 'please read these topics first'

viewforum.php?f=1

enjoy :) :yes:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
Posts: 1681
Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
oh, I saw Rusty's pictures and he looked like a calm and older 'gentlemen', a horse you need to say 'sir' to, and then I read your description and he is really like that, he looks like the perfect teacher...
Maggie looks much less certain, I am sure she will be so happy you started AND, she looks so sweet, I would love to see more pictures of her...
and I hope I can follow your stories!!!!
Big hug

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Horseriding is an art

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
A most sincere and happy welcome, Erin. So nice you found us.

You mention not knowing where to start, yet you have. You searched and found something in your own mind and heart that told you what to do. The die is cast. Now the voyage of discovery has begun.

Do read the forums. The Daily Training folder is a treasure trove, as are the more specific ground handling and mounted work forums.

You can refine your questions to be more specific from reading those sources.

I love the picture in my mind of your gelding standing in the field refusing to be led forward to the barn. What a wonderful start.

He's telling you he wants more companionship from you and of a different kind.

Some horses will spend years telling you, patiently, until you get whatever their message is.

My own discovery learned from my mare was that she does not want a "buddy," as in "herd buddy," and she's completely against "herd boss," humans. She'll cave into them, but she will not come out to play with them.

There is one things she does respond to, a mindset in the human of being a good Mother Mare. But I have to work at it, because it takes a whole lot more than just a few moves and cues and techniques.

It means I had to start on a change in my attitude. I had, in horse terms, a baaaad attitude. Just like I did in Highschool when I was a teen.

I'm working on it. And she's showing me I'm on the right path. A year and a half and I now can kiss the side of her nose without her pulling away, and she even, now and then puts that nose right up along side my face. Testing. Always testing me. :funny:

Donald

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


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:30 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
Erin, you have two marvellous horses!
The nice thing is also that they are so different, so you will have to learn so much more ;)

They both appeal very much to me, I am sure you will have a very nice time learning to become their real friend!

Enjoy!

:love:

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Kind regards,

AnneMarie

------
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hello to Another Canadian. :applause:

I'm from Quebec and I completely understand how you feel. I too have two horses and after moving one (the other I adopted two years ago) 3 times, I decided to bring them home even though this was not in our short term plans.

I have been on this forum for a few years (have not participated for some awhile due to lack of time) but I have always respected and applauded everyone here.

My relationship with Corado, my TB (ex-race horse) has changed completely (360 degree turn ;) since I've discovered AND and Carolyn Resnick.
Corado was also diagnosed with navicular until I too decided to remove the shoes, and what do you know, he's no longer navicular ;) .

If you want, you can read the beginning of my Daily Training with Corado, today I read it and find it so funny that Corado wouldn't play with me, wouldn't walk with me, and when I saw other people doing this, I was so discouraged, never thought I would have this relationship. Today my horses are always at liberty. They are like big puppy dogs and want to play (sometimes I have to show them (by ignoring them) that I don't feel like playing). I never thought I would see the day.

If you are patient, you will see that both of your horses will gradually respect you and will know that you are a friend they can trust. Once you have that, there is no limit (right Donald??? :kiss: )

I am convinced you will find all the answers to your questions here.

Did you know that we have another Canadian that introduced herself.

Welcome.
Jocelyne

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Jocelyne
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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