The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Revelation, (also known as: DUH?0

OK. Have you ever heard the expression, "Thick as brick?" or, "Can't see the forest for the trees?"

Well, (Chuck banging head here) it looks like that's me! :blush:

Somebody, (or rather a series of 'somebodies') has to be commended for their patience. :applause:

Sounds silly, but I wasn't separating AND from Josepha's http://www.josepha.info/

That...was what I was referring to earlier.

And what I may be looking for.

And that is: preparing/conditioning the horse's body so that they may carry us as effortlessly and joyfully as possible.

And preparing/conditioning the HUMAN'S' body so that they may carry us as effortlessly and joyfully as possible.

Am I interested in directly in Dressage? No. In fact, I look past the finery and dress, what some may view as 'circus airs,' and magnificent burden of tradition,'' and find the Spanische Reitschule has nothing to offer me, or my horse. For if I must tie my horse between two poles to 'train' my horse, I will not.

I do hope this is not viewed as heresy! :ieks: For to 'know' me, I must be truthful in all things. Things that I believe to be good for the horse, and things I believe to be a waste of our horse's body and spirit.

Arrrrrrrgh! WORDS! They limit and distort SO much of what I'm trying to say!!!!!!! :blush:

I found Josepha and I have many things in common, (not just limited to barefoot trimming). These were just a few:

Quote:
The key to natural collection is the initiative of the horse

Within the natural Rijkunst we have not been interested for this reason in leadership and obedience but in health, development, communication and pleasure, firstly of horse then of people.

In other words: Josepha system are logical, easy, healthily and above all complete very nice for rider and horse!


So, my original quest, (finding a method of conditioning the horse's and rider's bodies to recommend to our FT family) was directed at AND and SHOULD have been directed toward Josepha. (And perhaps that should have been done privately?)

Very Sincerely,

Chuck & Kids

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
How about a video, (and narration) that was made well over a decade ago? One that shows me clearly patting our stallion on the shoulder THREE TIMES with a short 'popper'? :ieks: :ieks:

(Well, I DID throw it away right after that.)

And THEN, 'catching him' by grabbing his TAIL??? OMG! :ieks: :roll: :roll: :roll:

I'll explain the circumstances later.

Hint: He wanted something from me RIGHT THEN and was very determined to get it, (and it wasn't a treat). ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1XlkfDdZqg

Chuck & Kids

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
DO NOT believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it.

-Buddha, from Kalama Sutta


I found this quite by accident, but it rings true to FT protocols and Philosophy. That is why I want anyone contemplating using FT to FIRST go through the following:

The first of these essential study requirements and undoubtedly the most important is the fifteen year, audio/visual life documentary of a wild mustang named Cloud chronicled by Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Ginger Kathrens. The VHS tapes or DVDs are available if needed.

A free online version of all three parts are available at:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... isode/260/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... uction/62/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... ction/936/

*The next is Dr. Burton's Chapter 7 excerpt (one page) as a physiological primer at:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/external/EBF/uhcc7.html

* This paper has been kindly reproduced with permission from the Proceedings of the BEVA Specialist Days on Behaviour and Nutrition. Ed. P.A.Harris et al. Pub. Equine Veterinary Journal Ltd.
http://www.effem-equine.com/Waltham%20- ... horse.html

These are BOTH ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to gain a more complete understanding of our horse's perception of the domesticated world he lives in and gain at least a minimal appreciation of the Horse's extremely sensitive sensory systems and the fact that they can see things we cannot see, hear things we cannot hear, smell things we cannot smell, and sense things we could never imagine.

*Perhaps of most importance is Dr. Sue McDonnell's and Daniel Mills' (The Domestic Horse: The Origins, Development and Management of Its Behaviour).

http://www.amazon.com/Domestic-Horse-De ... 257&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listin ... f=dp_olp_2

These are the most legitimate sources on earth that I can find, (I'm sure there are others).

Like Leigh, (and/or Buddha) I CRAVE Truth, empirical, documented, verifiable Truth.

Then when we DO find it, we cross-reference as much as possible before making any 'final determination,' (which in itself is never 'written in stone').

Instead we stay alert and eager to seek the latest in scientific and ethological studies that may arise in the future.

John Richard Young, (a 'roundpenner') was popular before any of you were born. But in his book entitled 'Schooling for Young Riders' in the last chapter, he leaves the next generation of riders with one thought.

"Never fear challenging the 'status quo.' Do so politely. But if you ask 'Why.' And the answer is, "Because that's the way it always done.' Then continue asking until you find the answer yourself.

Chuck & Kids

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Re: ODGs and FT video

Up to point this video was taken, I'd spent hundreds of hours on Combustion's back in his pasture, (bareback/no tack) for two reasons.

One was simple relational habituation and what some might call bonding or 'quality time,' (simply sharing his world with him on his back while asking nothing of him).

The other was a combination of modeling and loading. That is, telling his skeletal structure that it would be carrying additional weight in the future.

A few of many/countless references:

http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/79/5/1142.pdf

According to Wolff’s Law, bone adapts to the forces placed on it by altering its architecture and mass (Woo
et al., 1981). Thus, as habitual loading increases, such as with exercise, so does bone mass. Likewise, as loading decreases, bone mass also decreases. Numerous studies have demonstrated that depriving animals of exercise is detrimental to bone strength.


http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/research/2002rr/26/

Exercise is particularly important during skeletal maturation so that after this process is complete the bone
can withstand increases in strain associated with training and competition.


Training is influenced by a number of factors, one of which is the physical environment. Inadequate environmental conditions may compromise behavioural development, and thus affect the welfare of horses and the efficiency of training. Horses housed in stalls are deprived of opportunities for social interaction and performance of natural behaviors (Houpt, 1998).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had expected several friends stop by and witness what I considered our 'first ride' that morning. That is, I would mount up as usual, but this would be the first time I would ask him to respond to my requests. In short, it was, 'The Stallion's First Ride.'

Two things deviated from our normal mounted 'sharing time routine.'

One was the number of people that showed up that morning. Instead of three or four I expected, a crowd of nearly forty gathered, (obviously to watch me getting catapulted high into the air). All our previous 'mounted/sharing time' had been experienced in the privacy of his pasture with only an occasional passing observer.

I have never in my life seen any horse, (or any animal for that matter) 'play to the crowd' as Combustion did that morning. It was as though the 'spotlight was on him' and he wanted to make every person watching understand that HE was a 'great stallion.'

It may also have contributed to his incessant invitations to 'play' and challenging antics throughout nearly his entire 'performance.'

Our 'play' is a bit different from most accepted connotations of human/equine 'play' as it more closely resembles the 'bachelor herd relationship.'

The other change was the evening before when we shared out last minute 'sharing time.' For some reason near the end of that session, he impulsively thought it would be great fun to bite the toe of my boot!

In what equates to 'human goals over relationship,' I took the short 'popper' with me when I mounted up in an attempt to distract him from unceremoniously jerked off on the ground.

This was ENTIRELY my fault! :sad: :sad: :sad:

I SHOULD have made a few calls that night to postpone the 'great event' and taken the time to alter that particular behavior. It was late, I was tired that night, and instead, I resorted to the proverbial 'temporary quick fix.' :blush: :sad: :blush:

In my defense, I DID throw it away before initiating the actual 'riding test' segment. :roll:



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:51 am 
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I split the posts about Kali's PonyPros to another topic. It just deserves its own place. :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Hi Leigh,

(Playing 'catch up' again.)

Excerpt:

Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking,
A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul


"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.



It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue; assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference. Critical thinking — in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes — is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking.

Critical thinking can be seen as having two components: 1) a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and 2) the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior. It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated; 2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and 3) the mere use of those skills ("as an exercise") without acceptance of their results.

Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one’s own, or one's groups’’, vested interest. As such it is typically intellectually flawed, however pragmatically successful it might be. When grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity, it is typically of a higher order intellectually, though subject to the charge of "idealism" by those habituated to its selfish use."

By 'critical thinking,' this is what I was referring too.

The criteria is simple:
#1. Is it invasive?
#2. If so, how invasive?
#3. Does the reward and benefit outweigh the invasiveness?
#2. Does it strive at all times to keep intact the 'self,' the spirit of the horse?
#3. Does it make the horse's domestic duties as joyful and pleasant as possible?
#4. Why? That is, 'why' do I ask my horse to enter some discipline, event or activity?
#5. Is it beneficial for my horse?
#6. How is it beneficial for my horse?
#7. Always 'cross reference.'

These are some of the things I 'weigh and measure' before EVER considering anything for my horse, (or suggesting anything for anyone else's horse).

If something harms the horse mentally, emotionally or physically in the name of management, care or 'training,' (when there were alternatives that accomplished the same thing without that harm) then I feel it is 'wrong.'


May I find results that seem 'critical' to someone's belief system? Of course. But I feel that only taking a superficial,momentary appearing 'good-feel good' of something may well lead to misrepresentation of the possible negative, adverse effects on my, (or someone's) horse -- and the possible/probable resulting catastrophe.

So, as I've said, I have no particular 'ax to grind,' (except within the aforementioned parameters and criteria for the good of the Horse).




best regards,



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Some great posts, many thanks for the links.
Dr. Francis Burton has many esteemed members and contributors on the erc forum.

It was Henry Blake who first chimed with me in attempting rudimentary science, then later, the wonderful studies in books by Lucy Rees, the photo's which illustrated her text, all made sense.
Science has exploded with facts to prove what many knew for centuries, the slow maturing nature of horses, etc,
and with many more trainers working in greater harmony with nature instead of pressuring and punishing, one day no tack or minimal tack, no whips, no spurs, no bits, will be majority choice rather than some mad collection of idealistic outside fringe club.
Just look how much the AND membership has grown. xx

_________________
Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
and with many more trainers working in greater harmony with nature instead of pressuring and punishing, one day no tack or minimal tack, no whips, no spurs, no bits, will be majority choice rather than some mad collection of idealistic outside fringe club.


THAT....is a day when 'my soul will rest.'

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Chuck,

I really adore this video of yours:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartofEquu ... vQHZzys4BE

:)

Regards,

Josepha

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Hi Chuck:

I am a huge proponent of critical, analytical thinking and could bore everyone here to tears with long treatises about how much I think we need to focus on this more in the world -- I think a lot of the problems in the US, for example, center around a lack of commitment to teaching it, understanding it, and demanding it. But I'll refrain! ;)

Maybe I can help make what makes AND different more clear by jumping off of what you wrote...

Critical thinking is key to AND. There are two things, however, that make the way we use critical thinking here really special:

1. I actually prefer the phrase "analytical thinking" because of the roots of the word critical -- which connect into judgment in a particular way vs. the roots of analysis, which come from 'loosening." I think there is great power in the ancient meanings echoing in words and I personally like the energy of finding meaning through shaking something out, loosening it, and understanding it because you've pulled the strands apart. While obviously we also can and should attach judgment often to those thoughts, I don't like coming from a place of judgment. I don't like it when people judge me and I don't think I've got the right to focus a lot of my energy on judging them. There's nothing generative about it, nothing connecting, no relationship being built, no understanding, no communication -- judging creates distances. (Unlike, for example, your beautiful video with your stallion that Josepha mentions above -- there's no judgment at all in your interaction with each other, even though you're both obviously thinking hard. Just gorgeous.)

2. Even if we stay with the idea more closely of critical thinking, I think one of the most important nuances in it is that there is space between thinking critically and critiquing. And bottom line, AND's goals are to help ourselves with our critical thinking about what WE do, not what other people do, both as an intellectual exercise for really breaking down what we're doing and why, how and why it's working or not working, how it feels to us ethically, etc., and as a tool for self-critique. However, this is not the place to criticize other people's work. Period. There are a million places in the world where that can be done -- and they are a dime a dozen in the horse world. Here, we don't do that.

So, while I'm guessing that you would find most people here enchanted or disturbed by many of the same things that you are enchanted or disturbed by in the horse world, here we choose to talk about the enchantment rather than the negatives, unless we are working through something in our own process or psyches that we're not comfortable with.

And in so doing, we model with each other how we hope to engage with our horses. We don't come at people any more harshly than we do horses, believing that if you open a door people have a chance to find you and look inside themselves. If we place ourselves on any pedestal about how what we do is better or righter or more noble than anyone else, we have fallen into the very trap of hierarchical, 'power-over,' negative interactions with each other that we decry in relationships with horses. Would you lash out at your stallion if he did something that hurt you out of ignorance or lack of awareness? I'm guessing that you have almost infinite patience with him. We try for the same with people.

Ultimately, if we want the world to change, this is the only way to do it. Create a new reality, quietly go about our business showing that it can be done, shake off the naysayers, and sooner or later the world will catch up. How could it not? Once you try this, even a little, it's really hard to go back. It feels so good and feeds the most basic archetypal longings that people have about connecting with horses.

So, self-critique to your heart's content here. Engage in critical thinking about your own work and processes till the proverbial cows come home. But AND is not the place to do that about anyone else.

Thanks!
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Or even more simply: this is one of the few places in the world where there is really no need for anger and frustration concerning horse abuse. So we might as well leave it at the door, before we come through the bright green AND door :)
The same way we do when we go through the paddock gait to play with our equine teachers and friends :) (like in your video)
We know there is a lot of abuse out there, yes... but there is no use to bring the thought of that into the training with our own horses, is there?

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Chuck,

I really adore this video of yours:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartofEquu ... vQHZzys4BE

:)

Regards,

Josepha


Glad you liked it!

I hope trying to explain the underlying facets and benefits of that simple 'Kiss,' (and the all-important proxemics) weren't TOO boring. :blush:

He's a bit more 'animated' in this part of this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYmXRjyESkc

I had previously asked him to please defecate on the 'skid' to help Grandpa save time, (which he graciously had done). I had just pulled the Jeep in to dump the skid on the compost pile when he decided to 'rearrange' the seat covers.'

When asked NOT to do that, (after explaining the cost of new seat covers) he refused.

Then he was told to 'not do that.'

THEN, he was 'told in no uncertain terms to not do that.'

ROFL!

He finally 'complied' but definitely wanted the whole world to know beyond ANY shadow of doubt that he was STILL a 'great stallion' even though he had complied THIS TIME!

There is an old FT saying; "Gotta LUV 'em!" :D

The other part of the video is our 'second ride' to check his response to verbals requests WITHOUT tactile communication.

(I thought he did exceptionally well.)


BBL


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I really enjoyed your video Chuck. The narration was also a big help to explaining how to use hugs and kisses which are not part of normal wild horse behaviour, but do use a horses natural abilities in a way which enhances relationship for human and horse. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I recently re-read the Friendship Training topic. viewtopic.php?t=3447
I really enjoyed revisiting the links and the peer/buddy relationship.
As far as I am aware FT is a training scheme to teach the owner some of the science collated from behavioural studies and veterinary symposiums over several decades, which Chuck Mintzlaff developed into a system as a basis of foundational teaching to bond horse with his/her human, whether the horse owner intends the horse as a companion animal, riding partner on the trails or has other routes to explore.
I love AND archives, they are such a treasure trove.xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 4:28 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
The Stupid Horse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jc48Mf ... e=youtu.be

Hand feeding your horse can be dangerous?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2UJv6CQW0

Backwards!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncJfA_m0WLE

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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