wow, thank you for all the posts here. I will start a separate diary for my Ex stallion...
Welcome and great!
But as for the initial topic , bitless bridle ,( I do use it now 100% riding and in- hand work) I still don't understand after 7 years of using it why it is so much better because when I switched back and forth the Canadians anyway did't seem to care one way or the other.
You can conlude that you as a rider do not make the bit a huge issue.
Nevertheless, it can be uncomfortble and a risk sometimes, so why use it? That is our point
I am the kind of person who wants to see things for herself thought, so my opinions usually come from my experience.
In that case, you fit absolutely well here, for that is what we are all about.
You can share experience and give tips and lessons, but at the and of the day, every human and horse is different and one has to find the way home on one's own. Signposts can be helpful sometimes though... but they do not always show you the most beautiful road to travel...
I don't go along with everything Dr Cook says
It is a rare thing seeing a 100% eye to eye with anyone. I have never had that myself... There is always something you yourself have experienced differently, right?
THe idea of AND is beautiful.
It is not an idea though... it is a road to travel based on the laws of nature.
But it will not suit most people in the horse world. People are not willing or able to take time to develope such a relationship with their horses that they can ride them around without any physical connection to their heads. They want to get on their horses and ride. THey want to get away from their work life, daily cares, etc wahtever the reason is and they want to ride and compete in doing so. THat is human nature.
To spend years on ground work is out of question for most people.
And it is everyone's free choice to do so, like it is our choice to live a long AND principles
Myself as an example. Riding is physical theraphy for my fibromyalgia and arthritis. I have raised 5 children so time has been very limited. THings are changing now , my youngest is in school and I will have more time. But is it selfish for me to spend so much time on my horses when there are so many needy people around me, suffering from illnesses, depression, etc etc? Should I not be spending time tending to my organic garden to help feed the sick and the poor people and just use my horse for my theraphy so I can go on and do my job?
No one can answer this of course but yourself.
I have only 3 pieces advice to people who have questions about their horses, other trainers or whatever.
And they are a set of rules that work so wonderful for me:
1. Always stay true to your own feeling. If it feels right to you, do it. If not, don't do it. Check if you can look at yourself in the mirror from time to time. If you can, you are on the right path, true to yourself and your surroundings.
2. If something does not work the third time, it is not going to work the fourth.
My grandfather always said: 'only an idiot keeps repeating the same action, expecting a different result the next time.
This is my standard answer when people complain about there trainer and want me to speak against he or she, which I never do.
3. If you have to do something you do not like to do, or do not want to do, then ask yourself: do you really have to do it?
We need to eat, have home and shelter, take care of our kids and animals... we have to work for money etc. All these basic things we have to do for basic needs to survive.
All the rest you do not have to do.
Especially with horses, they are for fun, they cost a lot of money and they should therefore make life more fun.
If you find yourself doing things with horses (because someone tells you too, or you think this is the way it should be) and you do not like it, it does not make you happy... ask yourself: Then why do it? no one can make you do it
Mucking out: yes
Riding a horse that scares you on a spot that scared the horse: you do not have too
I thinkg I have to find the answer somewhere in between.
I think you shall find them within yourself.
This is where I struggle with AND.
Then we have somehow given you the wrong impression about AND, I am afraid.
AND is not meant to struggle with.
It is meant for everyone to take from it what they can use, what they like and what they need.
Even more so; it shall be different for every individual.
We do not expect people to do what we do. On the contrary.
We only share our experience so other's can benefit from it if they choose so.
Of course , reading about it (I have about 100 books in my horse library, from Hempfling to Podhajsky) makes me want to have that kind of relationship with my horses. I have 5 of them, only need 3 for family use but one is a rescue whose hooves I am trying to fix,( I also trim) one is a pony whose job is to run everyone around and just be a joy for us to watch. (
Wanting a relationship like that is the start and the work is half way done
Sounds to me you are more then half way there
It is for everyone a never ending work in progress and it starts all over with every new horse we meet.
Not so different really from every in deep relationship, whatever specie, including our own.
Very nice to have you here!