The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:46 pm
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Location: Cave Junction Oregon
All Around Bridless Championship. No turning back now. This is what a competition should be. No faking it without a bit. Doubt you'll see anyone going behind the bit. The Olympic Committee should take note.
Hope to attend it's 400 miles one way but may very well be worth the $$$
Geraldine
Oregon

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:10 pm 
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have you got a link or some more info?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:35 pm 
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yes a link would be nice :wink:


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 Post subject: The link
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:06 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:46 pm
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Location: Cave Junction Oregon
Sorry didn't copy the link for Woman Luv Horse is http://www.lynnpalm.com/docs/women-luv-horses.php
Geraldine


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:30 am 
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Location: Grantville, PA
VERY COOL!!!! Did you see she also has a comtest for women riders who participated int he Mustang Challenge?? That one is in CA only- NOT FL. Actaully they are having trouble filling the msutang challenge sceduled during the Women Luv Horses in FL- they want 50 and only have 20.

I wonder if they'll still have it??

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:48 am 
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The CA version of this is about an hour and a half away from me and I can't go!

:evil: :evil:

(Brenda pointed it out to me...)

Big bummer, but I've already got commitments that weekend I can't break.

Sigh!

But change is rolling out, that's for sure!!!

:D
Leigh

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:55 pm 
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I like that their musical freestyle class can be done ridden OR in hand.

Very nice.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:37 am 
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Location: Grantville, PA
I like that too. I didn't realize how good my ground skills really are until the mustang challenge. There were a lot of VERY good trainers there, but I think I can easily say my ground course was the best. Rave and I are not quite ready for a bridle-less competition (Asia and I would have been though!!!), but maybe in future years... :colors:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:39 am 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Have you seen the videos of our new member from Italy, and his groundwork and bridleless work?

Neat stuff.

Though pressure based, as he says his experience is, it's still pretty cool.

Well, read his Introduction post. Most interesting.

I hope to see more and more folks going bridleless. If and when I ride again I'm sure going to work toward it. You ALL inspire me.

Donald

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:53 am 
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Has anyone heard how the CA Bridleless event went this past weekend??

I couldn't find anything on the net???

Brenda

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:01 pm
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Location: California, USA
I heard about this and should have gone. Afterall, I live in California, tho this event was held closer to the bottom of the state and I find it oh so hard to leave my horses.

I have not heard how the event went - am hoping that they took some video and will post it on the web somewhere.

My biggest question is regarding how they get to the stage of performing "bridleless". What I have seen so far indicates to me that all bridleless competitors train to patterns (for reining) and specific movements and tests for dressage while fully bitted. Then, when they achieve a level of excellence and the horse has memorized the pattern and movements, they remove the headgear.

I don't find this to be the same thing at all. Quite a different thought process to build a relationship with a horse and never using a bit.

thoughts??? "Bridleless" from the very beginning and all the way thru to achieve high performance having never used a bit at all, is very very rare IMHO... :ieks:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:21 am 
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Hi Cheryl!

Oh I wish you and Cam could have went! That would have been impressive!

Yes, I had the same thoughts. Because $$ is involved? people may go to extreme means using aversives to make sure the horse 'obeys'?? So yes, I agree, bitless and bridleless from the start is a very different kettle of fish!

A woman did a bridleless demo near me and tho she did use some c/t, she also used the two stick method (aversive) for turning, so it sort of spoiled it for me.

I'm not sure how one could regulate how they trained, but can only judge them on how they performed. I was disappointed to see the freestyle ground division allowed a whip, so the horse could easily be coerced into looking talented but by using negative reinforcement and/or conditioned punishers. But I guess one could use predator/prey/pressure tactics too, even without a whip. Oh well....

Anyway, I still would like to see how it went since it is such a novel event! If anyone finds a link on the net, please post it here!

Brenda

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Too bad nobody went there! It would be interesting to know what exactly they asked in the tests and how the participants performed. Not in terms of the results, but how exactly they stimulated ;) the horses to produce those results.

It's interesting to see pressure-release based trainers who go at liberty at some point in their training, always seem to have the rule that liberty is only a test of the responsiveness of the horse, and you should always go back to on-line stuff between liberty sessions because otherwise the horse will start to ignore the cues, or at least you will need to keep using a whip, rope or round-pen in order to keep your horse on his toes.

I too think there's a big difference between working at liberty from the start, and using pressure methods to get your horse to do things first, teaching your horse by pressure increase-release that he should listen to the tiniest pressure-less signals because else... and then let the horse perform the same things at liberty because now he knows he should follow those tiniest signals because else...

Sure, the final picture looks about the same, but inside the horses head it is a totally different story.
The saddest thing I think that the public probably looks at such a trainer perform at liberty and thinks 'Look, there's somebody who has a real bond with his horse, because he isn't bribing his horse with treats to let him do all those things!!' :evil:
That's how that fantasy is sustained that if you have a real bond with your work, your horse won't need any reinforcement at all to do the things for you because he does it all in order to please you. The public simply doesn't see that in such performances the motivator is in the horses head: if I don't get this right, I will have to pay for it in the end and will be made to do the right thing anyway. Resistance is futile...'

I think it would be impossible to check if all the horses were trained on a positive, pressure free and liberty basis only, but I do think that you could stimulate such training methods by forbidding tools like whips and ropes during the competitions. Because when the horse realises that the human is weapon-less, the people who did use that tool as a weapon against the horse in training (if only by giving 'clearer' signals, or by slightly increasing pressure if the horse doesn't respond fast enough) will be confronted by that fact sooner in the ring. And the judges and the public as well.

I think that competitions like this are really good for the public to see this way that you can also work with your horse without tack, without force or violence. But at the same time I also know that you can give a wonderful show with a horse who is physically at liberty, but who is also mentally worried about, or even terrified of making mistakes.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Miriam wrote:
The saddest thing I think that the public probably looks at such a trainer perform at liberty and thinks 'Look, there's somebody who has a real bond with his horse, because he isn't bribing his horse with treats to let him do all those things!!' :evil:
That's how that fantasy is sustained that if you have a real bond with your work, your horse won't need any reinforcement at all to do the things for you because he does it all in order to please you.


You are soooo right with that. That´s what I always think when I hear people admiring videos of some pressure-trained NH liberty horses, saying that the horses just loved their owners so much, because they did all this just for them without even needing a treat. :roll: (I want our old eyerolling smiley back!)

I don´t think that the result looks the same though. The expression of the horses is so totally different in most cases. As you said, what is going on inside the horses´ heads is totally different and I think that this directly transfers to each of his movements. But yes, for people who are not used to that, it does look similar and so I guess our treat bribery training will be considered to be a very unprofessional quick fix for the lack of a real bond for a long time to come. 8) ;) It´s just so easy to make the pressure almost invisible as it is a consequence for NOT performing, like some kind of threat, and it does not become apparent as long as the horse does perform. Much harder to make the treats invisible. :alien:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:27 pm 
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I, too, feel that I can get a good idea of how the horse's liberty skills were developed by observing his freedom of movement, posture and facial expression.

Exuberant expression and avid interest in participating with the human tells me that the horse enjoys being there. This is one of the wonderful aspects of what I'd seen over in NHE that initially caught my interest. I was delighted to see horses that clearly seemed to enjoy interacting with Nevzorov and that he never discouraged them from naturally expressing themselves. I especially love the segment in one of his DVD's where Lipisina is busy licking his face as he is discussing some important point. :D

I'll want to see the liberty competition at least once, but imagine that I would not be so impressed to watch horses so thoroughly programmed that they just go thru a pattern like a robot. I envision turning the horse loose in the arena, letting him play freely and then asking him to come to me to participate in movements where one can truly observe his interest and playful attitude towards what is asked of him. I'd like to see a demonstration of the relationship and whether he responds with joy or resentment when a request is made.

All of these aspects appear when I'm playing at liberty with my horses. It isn't all pressure free and they don't always want to participate. (Breeze actually is the one who must run around kicking and bucking and playing before she will grace me with her presence. Cam ALWAYS wants to participate, as does Arabella the pony who "works for food".)

I started out years ago with Parelli and value that experience. I'm now quite a bit more sensitive as to what is inappropriate "pressure" and I am grateful for the feedback I receive via ear movement, head turning or when Breeze turns, squeals and kicks up her heels :ieks: She obviously is trying to tell me something - I welcome her opinion and have learned much about how to build a relationship with this particularly dominant mare!

I do use a twig to indicate body positioning and I am not reluctant to tap a bit to clarify what I am asking. It sure can't go beyond that, 'cuz the ears will quickly show resentment. I don't think I ever see "fear" in my horses expressions. It is more of "I get it - you don't have to shout". :blush:

It truly is a wonderful learning experience. I am far from perfect and I so enjoy learning from my horsey teachers now that they know they can always offer their opinions and choose not to participate! :clap:

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