The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm
Posts: 43
Dear Volker,
I agree with You in many things but not at everything ;)
Quote:
That's interesting, because when I watch our herd on the open pasture, I see the exact opposite happening ;). While of course there are rules and hierarchy among the horses, I very rarely see that horses use those things in a situation like that. While grazing, it's very rare for a horse to chase another from their spot, for example.

I was working at the stable, there were 12 horses and 1 pony. A pony was always chased, 2 dominant horses chased him and bit, he had no chance, the only hope for him was to keep away from those horses. and why those horse do this? Only for fun- those horses doesn't affraid of this pony, this pony is unable to eat all grass. For those horses run and chase these pony was only greate fun, this was a play, a dominance game.

Quote:
I have to admit that I actually do see a herd of horses rather on the anarchy side than as a controlled group under the guard of a lead horse. I tend to see them more as a bunch of self-organising individuals - actually not so much different than a band of humans if you look closely at the group dynamics. There will be dominant behaviour, even individuals who try to control others to some degree, but that's not the constituent factor that makes a group work. It's rather co-operation.

Please look at the mustangs. There many movies about mustangs, sometimes on TV. There you will see that in the herd are rules that must be followed and not followed the rules going to expulsion from the herd. Another rule is depature adult foals from herd. Another rule is that only the healthiest and most powerful stallion fertylizes mares.
Diffrent dominance games in herds- horses plays all the time, very offen for fun, only for fun, but we should remember, that these palys uses for some purposes also, horses were created in that's way, and for me all forms of rebellion are always a sing of dominance.

Quote:
Well first of all, I'd like to explain what I understand as "dominance". That would be "exerting control over a resource", like food, mating partners and so forth. I don't see horses using dominance towards humans. There's a simple test: release the horse and see what he does. Is he chasing you, driving you from one spot to another? Then he is dominant. I never encountered that...
True, there are horses which attack humans, but that is usually self defence and it doesn't happen in a liberty situation.

For me "domination" in contacts human- horse is when horse doesn't respect a man (a man asks horse to step back and horse climbing or pushing) or man doesn't respect a horse ( man forcing horses to do unpleasant things for horse).

Quote:
So in my point of view what is often regarding as dominance is simply the fact that a horse doesn't comply with the human's suggestions. Which is a completely different thing.

For me this is dominance too. Because at these moment horse takes command over You (like Pagoda over me), at these moments horse tels You: "I have You in my nose, I will not listen to You". This is rebellion. Of course I agree that violence is not the right thing. That's why I am here, to learn what to do in thats sytuations, how to keep my horses with me without violence.

Quote:
They would of course stick together, because that increases their chance of survival.

One time my horses destroyed the fence and run by few miles. when I found them, I taken halter and put it on Princess head, and Princess go with me to home, Pagoda stayed there alone and she will not come, after longs hours I had faund her in difrent place, sweaty and scared, very very scared, do You think that she wants to go with me? No! She was in such shock that she didn't think, but used instinct only. I tried to do 7 games (by Parelli) in open area, and after some time she calmed down and she was so tired that she didn't protest to go for home. And nobody tells me, that expressing own opinion by the horse, premit him to take responsibility for his life in every case is ok, I don't thing so that Pagoda was happy when she run around the foret, alone, scared and tired.
I am sure that in many cases, when the horse begins to exhibit dominance, instincts are stronger rather than learned behaviors and horse stops thinking. So I think that dominance game, like chase the tiger should do only people which know what they do and which are able to stop this play in every case. But before this happens first principles and rules, fair to the horse and man.

Quote:
I share your concern about staying in control in a potentially dangerous situation (like traffic for example), if that is what you meant. But staying in control is not necessarily achieved by limiting the horses' options, but by contrarily giving him new ones to act upon... :f:

Could You explain what means "giving him new ones to act upon"
Thank You :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:41 pm 
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Nice to read about your thoughts, Ania! :)

For me personally it is not so important whether to call something dominance or use any other word, as long as people explain what they mean by it. So if we just go with your explanations of dominance, I guess one of my main goals in my interaction with horses is to get them to be dominant. :smile: The other main goal is to mix that with carefulness (the kind of carefulness that you do not use because you have to but because you can), and then together this becomes the perfect mix for us - horses who have a huge ego and a just as huge competence in attending to the humans they are interacting with. :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:03 am 
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Quote:
I have a question for You, please explain me if You walk with your horse on open area and Your horse will decided that You both should go there where is danger place, perchaps the street? You will follow him, because he is right and at this moment the responsibility of direction of Your travel upon at him? Or You will ask him to go in diffrent direction and in the same way You will take off the responsibility of direction your walk from him? And what will be if he is shure, thet You should go there where he wants to go? How You explain for horse that he is not always right and why he should accept your decisions?


Generally, my horse and I communicate by suggesting instead of by commanding. We have invented ways (mainly bodylanguage) to tell each other, what he or I want to do. So if we have different ideas, we do our bodylanguage. It has turned out, that the one, whose intention is stronger, prevails. That always worked fine with us. We had the situation for example, where my horse wanted to go on a huge street and I didn t feel ready for it. It took a while, because he really wanted it badly, but in the end, we turned and went up into the woods. But most of the times, one of us makes a suggestion and the other one directly says "ok, lets do that then".

I dont think, that if one of us decides, where to go he takes over responsibility. That is, because both of us just suggest things and the other one decides sooner or later, that we could do that. So if we go somewhere, and then one suggests to change direction, it is a decision, we both made. Like two human friends, that go through a process of decision, about what to do next, together and in the end both assume the responsibility for the result.

Quote:
For me personally it is not so important whether to call something dominance or use any other word, as long as people explain what they mean by it. So if we just go with your explanations of dominance, I guess one of my main goals in my interaction with horses is to get them to be dominant. :smile: The other main goal is to mix that with carefulness (the kind of carefulness that you do not use because you have to but because you can), and then together this becomes the perfect mix for us - horses who have a huge ego and a just as huge competence in attending to the humans they are interacting with. :f:

I can say, that it is the same with me...
Nice and clearly said, Romy.... :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Yogini wrote:
I don t want to take away his sense of responsibility, when he is with me. Why should I? It is part of his nature and a very nice part, I think. I rather think, when I am interacting with him, that I am responsible for my own actions and decisions, as he is for his and both of us are responsible for our joint actions.


Dani, I just wanted to say how beautiful the description of your interaction with Zermi is :kiss: !


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:16 pm 
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Wind of change wrote:
For me "domination" in contacts human- horse is when horse doesn't respect a man (a man asks horse to step back and horse climbing or pushing) or man doesn't respect a horse ( man forcing horses to do unpleasant things for horse).
I like to see it that way: if I ask a horse to back up and he rears instead, there was clearly something wrong in our communication. If backing up was a pleasant thing to do, the horse would do it, wouldn't he? So I ask myself, how can I make it so that the horse would back up gladly if I ask him?

Wind of change wrote:
Could You explain what means "giving him new ones to act upon"
I remember I watched a horsemanship trainer teach a horse how to stand still beside the mounting aid. She was doing it by taking away all options of movement of the horse, except the one to the mounting aid. The horse tried again and again to avoid the area by going another direction, but each time that option was taken away by pressure from the trainer. After all directions had been tried, the horse gave in and decided that the mounting aid was the least unpleasant place to be.

What I did with my horse to teach the same thing was to reward for every little step in the right direction. So instead of being limited in options, I gave him a more desireable option than all the others. He loved the mounting aid ever since :green:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm
Posts: 43
Dearest Yogini,
Thank you for answer :f:
I would like to congratulate You! Like Anni said, You have wonderful relations with Your horse :applause:
I would like to have thats relations with Pagoda, but she is very "difficult" horse and sometimes very stubborn and annoying. Very offen she going to panic.
I think that conviction the horse which way we should go by body langueage is very good idea!

Quote:
I dont think, that if one of us decides, where to go he takes over responsibility.

I can stick it to my Princess, and it will be right for her, but never check for Pagoda ;) Mayby later, at first we should change something diffrent, still I don't know what....

Dear Romy :)
Thank You and I agree with You- here so many interpretation about "dominance"- as many people, so many theories ;)
Quote:
I guess one of my main goals in my interaction with horses is to get them to be dominant. :smile: The other main goal is to mix that with carefulness (the kind of carefulness that you do not use because you have to but because you can), and then together this becomes the perfect mix for us - horses who have a huge ego and a just as huge competence in attending to the humans they are interacting with. :f:

Yes- me too, I don't want a horse which does only what I want because I am a boss. No! I don't want a horse like have perchaps Pat Parelli. But I would like to say that not everybody is able to interact with thats dominant horse, and many people (like me at the past) made a lot of misteakes. Very offen anger is interpret as good fun, perchaps here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnW6RHFBf1Q
Striving for dominance behavior in the horse is right for broken horses.
But doing only dominance game with horse, which is very self-confidend isn't good idea. Because that's horse will be not happy if he will see that You are scared all the time and he "chase" you from pasture, by some time it will be funny for thats horse, but then this horse will need something more- closseness and security. If You doesn't give him then his emotions will be very unstable, but I think that the best what we can do is "nurture" a horse, which is emotionally stable, and I am sure that we can do it only then, when we survive internal transformation :)

Dearest Volker :)
Quote:
I like to see it that way: if I ask a horse to back up and he rears instead, there was clearly something wrong in our communication. If backing up was a pleasant thing to do, the horse would do it, wouldn't he? So I ask myself, how can I make it so that the horse would back up gladly if I ask him?

Yes- I agree with you, You are right, I do that all the time, when I ask about something and horse do other thing, then I think and think what I did wrong, but there are sytuations when You ask about something and horse doesn't do not because he doens't understand but because he wants to play with you in his game, on his rules, do You understand? :)
Great art is the ability to distinguish between these behaviors :) I am already ridding a book by Karen Pryor- "First train your chicken", I learn a lot from this book, it's about klickier training :)

Quote:
I remember I watched a horsemanship trainer teach a horse how to stand still beside the mounting aid. She was doing it by taking away all options of movement of the horse, except the one to the mounting aid. The horse tried again and again to avoid the area by going another direction, but each time that option was taken away by pressure from the trainer. After all directions had been tried, the horse gave in and decided that the mounting aid was the least unpleasant place to be.
What I did with my horse to teach the same thing was to reward for every little step in the right direction. So instead of being limited in options, I gave him a more desireable option than all the others. He loved the mounting aid ever since :green:

Thank You for explanation :f: I understand :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:29 pm 
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Quote:
I would like to have thats relations with Pagoda, but she is very "difficult" horse and sometimes very stubborn and annoying. Very offen she going to panic.


That is exactly, what the people said about my horse as well (never I myself though, I always just love him the way he is...). They said that he is stubborn, annoying and too selfconcious and that he has to know, who is the boss (which should be me...). They thought, he has to feel "smaller", the "smaller", the better. He also was a horse tending to panic reactions and he was always running away from humans in awesome situations. He destroyed many ropes and halters. He didn t trust people very much. Equestrian people also said, he was a "difficult" horse, one that needs a hard but fair hand, that needs a leader. Now I know, he is everything but stubborn and annoying, but he is an extremely sensitive horse. All the horsemanship didn t work with him. All my trainers either lost patience or interest in him, because no method would really change his way of perceiving the humans. And I had trainers with really good reputations for "difficult" horses. So I stopped asking trainers and just interacted with him without tools and "system". We started to create our very personal language and that changed everything.

Quote:
Dani, I just wanted to say how beautiful the description of your interaction with Zermi is :kiss: !

Anni, Thanks... :kiss:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:19 pm 
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Wind of change wrote:
But doing only dominance game with horse, which is very self-confidend isn't good idea. Because that's horse will be not happy if he will see that You are scared all the time and he "chase" you from pasture, by some time it will be funny for thats horse, but then this horse will need something more- closseness and security.


Oh, I guess I was a bit unclear. When I said I wanted dominant horses, I did not mean that I wanted antisocial horses. :smile: I do want them to be very careful with me - but not by limiting their strength or trying to make them see that I am "higher" than they are in any dimension (except, perhaps, in craziness and speed of suggesting games :green:). Instead, I believe that the more power and self-determination I give to a horse, the more he has a chance to use this power to improve our joint activity - although in some cases it requires some initial effort of showing the horse how he can do this in a prosocial way.

Wind of change wrote:
If You doesn't give him then his emotions will be very unstable


With my horses and children I do not observe this in such a general way. We have some children here who are all but "natural born leaders", and far away from being able to give the horse security. Still some of them get along with the horses quite wonderfully. They have different ways, just like in human friendships where I also would not say that you can only be a good friend if you are strong and provide security. Contrary, most of my friends are mentally weaker than me, but this does not make me feel unstable in their presence.

I can only speak for the horses that I know, but they are far from searching for a leader most of the time. And why would they? After all, most situations we encounter are either standard situations that they know how to solve all by themselves, or for the new situations I try to give them tools which enable them to deal with these situations all by themselves. For us this works best when we constantly practise being a confident and explorative pony in standard situations, because then it is easier to transfer this to difficult situations than if they were used to just looking at me for guidance. Again, the more strength and confidence I foster in the horse's own behaviour, the easier it will be for him.

In my perception, lots of the behaviour that makes people say horses needed a leader emerges due to a particular combination of reasons: A human who is not mentally strong (or fast, or has good ideas, or other qualities to compensate) pushes the horse into a situation that the horse does not like and then tries to force the horse to stay in this situation. I tend to imagine it like an annoying fly that is swirling around my head. But in this example for me to feel good the fly does not need to become a hornet so that I no longer dare to chase it away. I'd be more happy if it either left me alone or turned into a butterfly - and how happy would I be to have a butterfly coming close to me! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm
Posts: 43
Dear Romy,
thank You for Your opinion. Now I understand more about Your philosophy and I really like it :)
But the need to be a leader, in my case does not come from my weakness, on the contrary- I had to find a lot of power in my soul to dare to be a leader. If only I could choose I always would choose being passive friend.
But for the goodnes for my horses I have to be a leader and now, when I am a leader I see the difference in my horses. In the past, I preferred to die than to be a leader.
But my horses, especially Princess shows me that she doens't like thats relations. I had to change internally, it cost me a lot of effort, pain and tears. I didn't gained a leader position by strenght, violence or mental manipulation. This, that I am a leader, this are my horse's words. She chose me for this position when I changed internally. I didn't impose my opinion. Just this horse shows me that she feel better if she has someone who decides, then she feel safe. And really I would like to swap the roles, but I can't do it, because I love her, I know her and I know what she needs. She is so happy horse now. She is happy because she trust me that I'm not going to results when she feel fear or injury.
Of course she know and she use her bodylangueage to shows me if I do something wrong, what she doesn't like, but for this day, sometimes she tests me still.
This horse, my horse Princess can be beautiful butterfly only near the leader. Maybe this is extremely, but I'm sure that Pagoda neads a leader too :)

Dear Yogini,
Thank You that You share with me about Your story. Congratulations again :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:22 am
Posts: 211
When I read this I think that maybe Princess doesn't need a leader, she just wants you to be brave and strong for yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:59 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm
Posts: 43
Quote:
When I read this I think that maybe Princess doesn't need a leader, she just wants you to be brave and strong for yourself.

Oh Jaz! How well You put it! Yes, yes- thank You! Oh my God, You say in one sentence what I explain in long speeches :yeah:
You are great :yeah:
For me, yes- being brave and strongs means being a leader!
THANK YOU! :applause:
And this is exactly like You said, because when I changed internally she begin to listen to me, and now, sometimes when I am not shure or be uncertain she knows this and then she goes to furious. So of that I told about thats "no" means "no", and I don't need to tell her why "no" and I don't need to explain myself for her, because when I do this, then she feels that I wonder and I begin to feel insecure and she really hates it. So of that when I tell her "no" and I don't explain her "why" then she accept and she is happy.

Much love to You, Jaz! :love:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:34 pm 
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jaz wrote:
When I read this I think that maybe Princess doesn't need a leader, she just wants you to be brave and strong for yourself.

What a good thought, Jaz! :thumleft:

I only want to add another aspect: maybe she does not only want Ania to be strong and brave but herself as well. So that you both can interact with eachother as strong personalities and no one has to fear the other one or something else in the environment because you both are sure that you'll manage the sitations you're confronted with. When the human is insecure the horse cannot know what will happen next, the human does not know how to act and react, does not understand the horse, goes lost in his thoughts about the communication - and the horses that aren't strong enough yet, can't deal with it. The horse notices that the human wants to interact with it, wants it to behave in a special way but there is no clarity in his behaviour. That would mean that you don't have to behave in a special way, as long as you are clear in your thoughts and actions.
So when both of you get stronger, both of you can handle the little shortcomings of yourself and of the other one better.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:22 am
Posts: 211
Thank you both :) I like the way you put it Anni, I also think that clear communication plays a big part in this.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:57 am 
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Wind of change wrote:
And this is exactly like You said, because when I changed internally she begin to listen to me, and now, sometimes when I am not shure or be uncertain she knows this and then she goes to furious.
I think I better understand now what you meant in your earlier posts. And if I'm right, then it's something I know very well from me and Mucki.

Mucki challenges me many times to be, not a leader, but the friend that he needs.
Imagine you have a best friend with who you hang around daily. But he has the tendency to become unsure when you are unsure, if you hesitate he starts to question his actions as well. It starts to drag you down, because especially in situations where you feel not so stable, you kind of have to take responsibility for your friend as well.

This is how it feels between Mucki and me. I think that Mucki has no problem to take responsibility for his own actions, but not for me as well. And sometimes I think he even likes to let himself fall and let me lead the dance ;).

For those times when horse seem frustrated or even angry when humans act too indecisive, my theory is that for a herd animal it is second nature to take on the emotions of others. At least part of them. I reckon it works like mirror neurons - they are just hard-wired for empathy. Which must be necessary for example for a timely triggered common flight response when one horse startles.
But imagine you adopt the emotions of the people around you, if you want to or not. I guess I would at times try to get away or get rid of them, just to shield myself from those feelings.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Polen :)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm
Posts: 43
Dear Volker and Anii,
I think, I would say rather that You are right. Everything you write has a high probability of truth abut me and my horses. Just to explain everything I have to go back to the beginning. I should start as I started my journey with NHE and then, how much they messed with my head. Then I could not refuse, I preferred to rely on the opinions of others because they thought that they have a greater right than I do and I believe that they are more familiar with my horses, then myself and I listened to their advice, and I lost a lot.
We started from "do nothing before you do something". But my Princess was so open horse, I did not have to rebuild her spirit, because she had big spirit all the time, by all her life, from her birth. And it looks like Princess was very happy that chasing me and I escape, because this was new experience for her and she gushed energy and joy, pride and courage when I ran away from the pasture. I was talking about it on the forum NHE, I knew that this is not normal that this should not be. Their advice to me was saying "no" for Pincess and show her my finger, and when it doesn't help I shoyld take a twig and set my board. And I tried and tried, and this only worsened the situation because Princess has pushed me even more and had fewer scruples. So class elite feom NHE told me that I should't do that because I will kill Princess"s spirit. No one told me about confidence, no one told me that I have to be sure of my decisions, but opposite- the whole time I was told that I had to listen to horse, because the horse is right and I'm wrong. This worsened the situation, because I felt even more stupid and helpless. I believed that I was so hopeless and weak that I do not deserve to be Princess's friend.
After some time I saw that Princess hasn't fun when I escape, but she goes to panic and furious. Then I collapset. Noone could help me on NHE forum, all the time, I felt worse.
Maybe they never feel what I, they never experienced what I have, or I have not grown up to have a conversation with them at their level of understanding. For them things simple for me was black magic. To this day, I wonder how the hell I stand it there five years? Maybe it's because of the level of "newcomers" I grew to the "school"- It was a clever psychological trick. I was so fascinated by the freedom of the horse and the things that they do with the free horses that I believed that on some level, I find out how to do it and my problems disappear. I was very very wrong.
Just cut out from NHE school let me develop. I tried to forget everything they taught me, but I wanted to remember only my own experience with horses, because at the time they were my development a top priority for me.
More than two years I go my own way and never felt better, me and my horses are able to communicate. Now, when I make a decision alone, and now, when I'm not afraid of my decisions.
But today I here and I listen Your opinion, but today I have so much power, that I am able to show You my point of view. But I am here not only because I want to show You my point of view but because I want to learn more about myself and my horses.
Dear Volker and Anii, You have written beautiful posts now, and I did not think of this by this way. I am very grateful. I need to think about this, it takes me some time.
Thank You!


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