The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:13 pm
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Romy wrote:
If I had known that you two know each other, you could have accompanied me on this trip instead of the one to Bavaria, Lena.


You didn't tell me about... :hap:

That would been nice, indeed. :f:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:03 pm
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Location: Bonn/ Cologne (Germany)
Romy wrote:
cupcake wrote:
It would really be great, to meet you one day. But I am sure, that this day will come!


Then what about coming to our AND Spring meeting at my place in May/June? I don't know whether Lena wants to join us this year, but she lives only a few minutes away from me, so even if not, you could visit her and the big Pan pony. :f:


Romy, many thanks for the invitation! :giveflower:
Is there a date fixed already? Nevertheless I would have to decide shortly, there are too many things developping around us.

Yogini wrote:
Quote:
The problem is that some people confuse "serious" with "devoid of fun" - or the other way round: "having fun" with "not serious".

Brilliant


Volker, thanks for these wonderful words! :f: It describes perfectly my experience. :yes:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:03 pm
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Location: Bonn/ Cologne (Germany)
Today I had the possibility to geht an idea about really playing with the Törtchen. Just one or two minutes, but really exciting ones.

I think, my personal challenge is now to become more interesting. Although I am training via positive reinforcement and food rewards, the Törtchen seems to be bored from time to time and goes away.
So a personal change is necessary. So, how shall I start? And how can this be combined with the clicker training that accompanies us always an everywhere? I'm a little bit lost concerning this.

Could you tell me, how to start best?

:giveflower:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:57 pm 
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As many people who are new here ask this, we have a sticky about it: Different ways of starting to interact with your horse

Personally, I start with Encouraging politeness, which basically means that I and the horse are establishing a shared vocabulary and showing to each other that we are listening. Everything else can be buildt up from there.

Tomorrow Lena, Nelly and I will drive to Regensburg and visit two people who want us to work with their five horses. So after the weekend I will finally be able to make the video that I have been promising some years ago, the one that shows how I am doing this kind of work when I am interacting with a horse for the first time. :smile:

Concerning the specific contents of what I am doing, I try to set up our interaction in a way that makes sense from the horse's point of view. You will find a description in the thread about different ways to start. :f:

P.S.: I just reread this thread and thought it might be interesting for you, because it discusses how the work that some of us do differs from a rather systematic clicker training approach: Reward signals, precision and clicker training.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Location: Bonn/ Cologne (Germany)
Thanks a lot Romy. :giveflower:
So I will now first have a look at the suggested threads. :f:

And look forward to your video concerning encouraging politeness. :D

I have thought about this doing-nothing-thing but that doesn't fit for us.

Concerning the clicker training I trust my own feeling. I use the clicker itself very seldom, just if I really want to be very exactly. Most of the time I use a word instead a click or I give the treat without any marker to condition classically when I want to reward a mood for example. You see, I am not a very strict clicker trainer, let's better say that I work with positive reinforcement and food reward in general.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:03 pm 
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cupcake wrote:
I think, my personal challenge is now to become more interesting. Although I am training via positive reinforcement and food rewards, the Törtchen seems to be bored from time to time and goes away.
So a personal change is necessary. So, how shall I start? And how can this be combined with the clicker training that accompanies us always an everywhere? I'm a little bit lost concerning this.
First of all I'd say: give it the time it takes :f: You're only 1.5 years into the adventure with your horse - I'd consider that a short time for building a relationship ;)

I have Mucki for almost four years now. Since the beginning I have been working on motivation with him. There have been times when he would just stand in the corner of the arena and ignore me. There are still times when everything else in the world seems more interesting than me. It's an ongoing process, but it changes (and improves) continually.

Generally I'd say that positive reinforcement changes the motivation of a horse to the better for sure, but it is not the answer to everything. There are exercises I tried with Mucki and he simply wouldn't do them for any food reward in the world. They are simply boring. For Lily it can be totally different.
I started out with a pretty strict concept of clicker training in mind, but have changed my way of rewarding considerably since then. I decided for me that my rewards have to match my general way of interacting and that is supposed to be more like a benevolent friend (or father), rather than a strict teacher. That removed a lot of tension from the training and put in more fun for both of us.

Two other very important parts in our interaction have always been:
1) Blending in with the locals ;). Means spending time with Mucki in the herd, asking for nothing, but observing and participating in their daily live. Grazing with my hand next to his mouth, as herd buddies would do. Go looking for fallen fruit or acorns with him. Accompany him to the water drinker. Stand guard while he is sleeping. And many things more...
2) Nurturing my inner child :green:. Deep within, I can be a very childish character, but I had to learn again how to act like child again, in order to instigate real play with the horses. I believe this one to be of utmost importance.
When horses play, they are true children - teasing, brawling, joking, competing, bragging. Try going to the pasture and start running around, or dancing. Just have real, genuine fun with yourself and you'll see that horses will be drawn to it :f:

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Volker

The horse owes us nothing.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:26 am 
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Location: Bonn/ Cologne (Germany)
Volker, thanks a lot for these really helpful words :giveflower:
Also for sharing your personal experiences. :f:

They are of enormous value for me. :yes: And encourage me to just go OUR way and to go on to discover OUR individual world and personalities first instead of beeing pushed by other opinions and training tasks.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:49 pm 
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cupcake wrote:
And encourage me to just go OUR way and to go on to discover OUR individual world and personalities first instead of beeing pushed by other opinions and training tasks.
That is one thing that AND is about in my opinion. I know how hard it can be to not look to others and compare with their abilities and progress with their horses. The countless amazing videos on YouTube don't help with that as well ;).
On the other hand, what I can also see every day here on the forum, or facebook, or YouTube, is that there are so many different ways of interacting with horses, so many different forms of successful communication. And all of them are right in their own way.
The actual result (the trick or behaviour) is a welcome byproduct. That is where resources about clicker training often fall a bit short. CT is still explained so very exercise oriented.

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The horse owes us nothing.


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