The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:00 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
One calming signal I have learnt from the trail horses is the whistle. All of them respond instantly to a particular whistle regardless of what they are doing. I still don't understand how this works but when they are in line and need to stop for the road or graze etc and the ride needs to move on, a whistle is all that is required to have them pick up their heads and look for where the "herd" is about to move to. Similarly a horse in line that breaks free (spooks, goes off to investigate something) can be brought back with a whistle.
The traditional dressage riders use a variety of voice sounds to calm and relax the horse in various gaits.
Morgan too responds very well to a low calming whistle when the head comes up and he looks like he is getting worried about something.

Perhaps this is linked to the theory of "horses can only focus on one thing at a time" and the whistle overrides whatever they were about to do and distracts them? The pitch of the "pay attention" whistle is low going high and the calming whistle is high going low, they all know the difference.

Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Glen Grobler wrote:
I also been "forced" to work on this congruency thing. Sigh. Laska. Loopy little Laska demands it. He only does stuff for congruent humans. :funny: :roll: Fair enough - his demands are helping me to work with Freckles.

Like you, the only "method" I have found to create congruency in myself is to verbalize - all the time :ieks: so now I have this almost whispered conversation with myself telling myself what I'm doing, about to do, and why. It's almost like a stream-of-consciousness blurb. I must look and sound like a nut-case :funny:

Well, not to us you don't.

I have experimented with internal dialogue ... that is "speaking" consciously to myself but in my mind rather than out loud. It's a little spooky when I speak to my dog this way (internally only) and he, an eager learner with a large repertoire of responses, actually does what I asked for - silently to myself.

Of course there are lots of environmental clues that could be cuing him, but it's still spooky.

I've not tried this with Altea and Bonnie, but it tells me that I can be congruent, from my internal, silent "asks," and my external signals. There is a way to practice congruent quiet minded (that's the secret) communication. Or so my dog keeps telling me.

Nettlepatch Farm

Love is Trust, trust is All
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.

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