Thank you guys for this awesome forum, I am sooooo glad I stumbled across it!!!
I've been horse crazy all my life and started riding when I was 13. After school I went to study Equine Science and this is where I started to research natural horsemanship, in particular Monty Roberts. When I finished my studies I went to work on a well known Warmblood study (Brandenburg Stud) and was fortunate enough to get my own horse, Stefano, who I have had since he was a 2 year old.
Stefano was backed fairly late (at 4 1/2, partially due to the fact that he was injured in a fence as a yearling and I wanted to make sure he was completely sound, and partially due to the fact that I wanted to make sure it was done gently by the right person). We spent the first year hacking out and we had a pretty good relationship.
In his second year I decided it was time to start work and follow my riding dream, I wanted to do dressage like the classical riders, I knew rollkur was bad and wanted to do things right. I found the best dressage instructor in PE and started having lessons. We were making good progress but it just didn't feel right. There was still a lot of pulling and kicking and the lesson would continue even when I felt that Stefano was getting tired and had had enough. He also started walking away from me when I went to catch him instead of coming to me, which he used to do in the past. So I stopped the lessons and started looking into other methods.
I really like the way Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling and Alexander Nevzorov work with horses (I had seen youtube videos of their work before) and started trying to learn their ways. I found AN very negative and found his book to be quit disappointing. KFH's books helped me quit a lot and I started doing some of the exercises with Stefano but a lot of it was still quite difficult to grasp. I recently found a lady called Jenny Pearce who gave webinars that helped me to understand and better grasp what KFH talks about regarding self awareness and being authentic. I hope to learn a lot more from her! I think the trick is to take what you can from each one and figure out how to make it work.
Stefano is now following me with no pressure on the lead rope, at the yard we practice walking from the paddock to the work area without a halter but I'm still a bit wary of doing this outside the security of the enclosed property. I've used clicker training to teach him to kick a ball and yield the hindquarters and we do occasional free lunging. Our relationship has improved drastically and he now comes up to me again when I come into the paddock.
I am really looking forward to learn what this forum has to offer. It finally gives a framework and idea of how to progress with our work. Lately I was again feeling a little lost.
I'm looking forward to all the progress Stefano and I will make thank you to the time and effort you guys have put into it. I can't wait to get going