The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:55 pm 
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only just saw your post after I posted mine Romy, thank you! :kiss:
I am just so tired... going to log of now and feed the boys... Jamie already has the Fairylights on in his penthouse, think he really enjoys that :funny:
Good night everybody :friends:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
This is their homepage. I scrolled down and saw a horse rearing, (?I guess on cue?) while wearing a halter and lead rope. I never 'taught or trained' Combustion to do any 'airs above ground.' When he does his Levades and Caprioles by himself I only ask that he be careful when he does his 'stallion dances' not to forget and accidentally hurt me. Oh! I also tell him he is the greatest stallion the ever lived. :D :applause: :clap: :D

http://www.ponypros.net/

Fourth paragraph down was what I referred to earlier concerning their training.

http://www.ponypros.net/ponytraining.php

The AND link is at the bottom of each page.


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

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:21 pm 
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HI Chuck:

I thought I'd chime in in response to your questions about various other training methods and reiterate what Romy and Josepha have said.

The point of our conversation here is to discuss our own work/play/lives/love with our own horses, not to discuss or judge methods outside of this conversation.

Our commitment to this has strengthened as the forum has grown.

Here's why:

1. As Romy has said so eloquently, we are a study group, not proponents of a particular method. AND is a basic philosophical approach to working with horses that holds many nuances within it. And while many people come here in clarity about what they're seeking, we also have a lot of people who are just at the very beginning stages of stepping into a different way of being with horses. And, frankly, on some level, we each are at a beginning stage in our own way! We all have multiple lifetimes worth of learning to do -- we ALL are here as students of the horse.

But our entry points are different, and those different points are respected. So -- for example, it's extremely clear to me that I will never put a bit in another horse's mouth, and I have well-researched, experienced, and strongly held opinions as to why. For me this is a baseline in a true partnership with a horse. However, I am simultaneously taking what a lot of people would consider baby steps towards understanding partnership in other ways.

Conversely, someone else may come, still not yet convinced of the problems with bits, but with a powerful understanding and belief in a different point of connection and communication with their horse. Do I despise this person for still using a bit? No. I reach to learn and grow from their experiences, and, if they are wiling, try to share mine in such a way that they can also learn and grow.

And different people and different horses have different realities. I can, for example, use a dressage whip as an arm extension to touch my young mare Circe on the flank as an ask to walk forward when we're walking together on the ground. She has utterly no fear of whips because they've never been used as anything other than an extension of my arm. I couldn't scare her with one if I tried. (If I ever was barbaric enough to hit her with one, she'd be outraged rather than frightened -- and deservedly so!) On the other hand, my horse Stardust carries the trauma of being a former grand prix jumper w/physical issues and the whip has been something that brings nervousness if he even sees it across the arena. So, I don't ever use the whip to ask him to do anything. After putting it away completely for a while and re-inventing how we interact pretty completely, the only whip that lives in his world at this point is the one that is attached to the piece of flannel that he can chase and bite and snarl at if he wishes -- he gets to yell at the whip, not the whip at him. Which he really likes to do. So, personally, I don't think tools are inherently a bad thing. Other people may feel differently. Both opinions are welcome here - we don't argue them, we simply talk about our own beliefs and experiences and people are free to take what they want and eject that which they don't want.

(If you want an example of how people model this kind of interaction, Terrie's introduction, talking about how she'd like to go to bitless but isn't ready yet is a really good example. Several people wrote her to say, "this is what I've learned and here's how I made the shift." Everyone talked about it being a personal choice, no one said she was wrong, everyone respected where she was. Had she not brought up the fact that she was hoping to shift but wasn't feeling ready, no one would have said a word about the fact that she was riding with a bit.)

We try very hard to not judge here, believing that people and horses are pretty much alike -- if given space and respect and affection and attention, everyone, be it human or equine, has the opportunity to find their way to a gentle, loving relationship that can strengthen everyone involved. In the same way that yelling at a horse for not understanding what we're saying feels counter-productive, so, too, ultimately, does yelling at people. We try very hard to model how we engage with our horses here, how we engage with other people.

2. As you attest in a post up thread, it is uncomfortable to read in a public forum about your work and feel that it has been misunderstood. All of the founders of AND and many of its members have had this experience in one setting or another, and the group has become increasingly clear that the way to not feed any of this negative energy is simply to not engage in it. I frankly don't think that this thread would have started the way it did if it had been started recently -- it was begun in 2007, when the group was a lot smaller and still finding its way towards clarity of purpose. I think everyone here would apologize if you were offended by what you saw as a mischaracterization of your work. That is not the point of this conversation, on so many levels!

3. As a result, while there is some occasional analysis by members of elements of particular training methods, there are two very important elements in those analyses. First, the emphasis is on what is intriguing and what feels positive to the person posting about that method. Then, if there is critique, it is done in a very specific context -- against the backdrop of what works, and with a clear acknowledgement that this is a personal reaction, not a global "truth." There are many places online to rail against those methods that any of us don't like. This is not one of them.

4. With all of this, believing that people (like horses) best learn if they are allowed to make their own choices, we are happy to have people link to AND's forum. We believe that the truths that people find when they explore their hearts and their own relationships with their horses in a place that offers open acceptance are strong enough that any questions or problems that arise from particular training methods will be answered. This forum does not spend its time condemning any particular method or trainer. We do not see the world in terms of allies and enemies, but instead, hope to engage anyone who is interested in a real conversation about the things we love in our horses -- and ourselves in our engagements with our horses. There is no "us versus them" here. It's just not the point.

So, if you have questions about how people are engaging with their horses here in the forum, I'm sure people will be willing to answer. Though, as Susie suggests, reading people's diaries is the richest way to understand their personal philosophies, approaches, successes, challenges, goals, etc.

And if you'd like to talk with people about their opinions about the videos you posted, may I suggest that you ask them to join you on Facebook to do so. This is not the place for those conversations.

Thanks and best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I have posted many comments and signed petitions about the 1st two video's, this forum does not do that but we individually sign petitions for campaigns against cruelty on many other sites.

Josepha has written and published books with the rpoceeds going to support funds for enlightenment and work towards reducing animal suffering.

I do not know much about haute ecole, so I can only say the horse did not appear relaxed but I might be ignorant and be watching an expression of concentration.

I watched a few ponypro's videos and quite liked their approach of trail riding to give a youngster confidence.

I have recently been accepted following a link from British Psychology Society to take part in a CBT course through Dec + Jan, so hoping I pick up a few useful tips whilst being a guineapig. xx

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


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:09 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 43
Leigh, SO well written. I love being here where people express themselves so well. This looks more and more like a good place to visit regularly.

It's funny how life goes.

Equinextion changed my life (and my horses lives) and allowed me have a 'super horse' that moves with gorgeous natural balance and elasticity.

FT has already set me on a path of experiencing the fullness of relationship with that horse that I knew was missing.

If some day I could find myself astride a willing, happy dancing horse, I would die happy.

I think coming here may be the answer to my future.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:47 am 
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I am adding here that Ponypros is our Kali, and she added links to AND to say THANK YOU for learning about such things as chasing the tiger. I do not do the same thing as everyone here (we are all different) but I will still honor AND when and where I can for being a lovely retreat where I can learn and grow and share. It is the only forum of it's kind on the internet that I am aware of, and that is because AND is a philosophy and not a method. Our ties here are of a shared philosophy and not necessarily a shared method.

I certainly can't say anything that wasn't already said so eloquently by others already. But I will add that questions are always welcome when they are presented openly and honestly. BUT...there is no single right answer when you ask anyone about AND. Because it is a library...a study group...and because it is not a method, everyone you ask will have a different answer. It is the glory of this forum. All the different perspectives that come together here to share in a peaceful place. Bitted, bitless, bridles, no bridles, treed or treeless, shod or barefoot. We all have valid circumstance that bring us to this point in our lives. Whatever draws ANYONE to this forum, it is the universe that brings them here, to allow them to find a different path. By no means, however, do we dictate what that path should be.

We simply support each other here. :f:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:02 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Quote:
We simply support each other here.

:yes: :D

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


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:05 pm 
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Chuck, if you don't mind, after opening the videos you placed I immediatly clicked them away again as I saw it was Parelli so I personally have no use in watching them. Indeed my time is limited so if watching videos I'd rather use that time for the videos of this forum :)

Also I am not sure what it is you want to hear? If AND was the same as NH, then we (Miriam, Bianca and I) would probably just be on a parelli forum. But we started AND because we have found nowhere in the world what we were looking for.
I searched via google for 'Natural dressage' before we started this forum and found not one hit.
Now put it in google and see what comes up! This site has had millions of visitors since 2007! We'd never think that possible when we started, nor did we have that as a goal. We just wanted a place we're we could grow and learn this path of where the horse is the teacher and his initiative counts as opposed to the complete opposite we have only seen around the world no matter what method... NH, traditional, classical, modern... it's all the same goal as far as I am concerned: 'make horsy do what you want'. The means to get there are simply different.

Now, very simple, if you want to know what the founders are about read our F.A.Q. and Philosophy here please: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2828
We get the question if AND is a form of NH all the time; it is not and the difference between the two is actually answered there. Just like many other questions we get all the time, therefore our FAQ :)

As concerning the whip, in some situations I use a whip, depending on the horse. (I often also use a branche or a poolnoodle depending on what is in the neighbourhood for me to grab). I could use it for instance to touch a leg to put emphasis on it, especially the inside hind leg.
I could use a whip to define my space with certain unknown horses (You know I meet new horses every week, and most horses they call me out for are really fed up with humans and are also the kind of horses who do not put up with humans and rightly so, so a long thing to keep between my tiny 50 kg self and an angry stallion is sometimes handy. After seeing I do not react and don't mind but understand the anger it mostly just flies off and I am safe again...).

You said if I remember that a whip alters our intention? That could be very well the case of course, but it also could not to my experience. Anyway the human's intention is of no interest to me. What is of interest to me is what the horses view of a whip is and by that the intention of the human becomes clear.

Now my ex bullfighter Don Jamie hated whips as in Spain he has had to indure more beating and horror then one can imagine for 13 years. So he hated whips or everything that looked like a stick really.
And I thought that logical so kept whips far from him. Now he gave me real insight on how horses can pick up on intent.
For once a woman in one of my contact with horses course was leaning on a stick. I said that she could not go into the arena for Jamie hated sticks of any kind. She said she could not walk without it. So we just let her try. As soon as she went into the arena Jamie came out to meet her! The stick did not mean anything to him! This is a horse who jumped out of a arena with me on him because someone walked in with a whip or even a dungcleaner! I was astonished, he knew she depended on the stick and in no way had it anything to do with him!
That lesson was well received and from then on I went on working with whips again with Jamie.
We did chase the tiger, and kill the whip and all sorts. He now does not mind whips anymore when I am holding one.

As to the fact of trying to get things done with a whip, I sometimes have tried it on Owen when he had no inclination of walking and I really wanted him to because the doctor said he needed to because of his lunges. Or worse; simply because I wanted to show something to Ralph Owen did the day before. I then tried to push Owen by holding or swinging a whip behind him :funny: He just does not react at all, I can jump up and down for all he cares, he is not going to do what he doesn't want. Why? Because he knows nothing will happen. In the old days he would attack any 'pusher' so I'd say that is a huge improvement :funny: But then he expected being punished for not doing what was demanded, so he only protected himself.

With other horses I have tried simular things, holding a whip and ask them to go forward when they not want to do it just on my invitation or asking with body alone. They then either walk away or get just as rude and pushy towards me as I at that moment are to them. :funny:
They read my intent and know I would never ever do anything to reprimand them or punish or whatever, I just could not. It would be like beating a human(baby), a dog or a cat... I can't do it. Not for any money in the world would I beat a horse and they know it.
So, a whip becomes just that, a thing this human holds and can touch you with, or hang a plastic bag on it for you to follow and chase and destroy, or you could help the human and bring it, our just chew on it a while and then give it to the human ha ha ! :applause:

As for riding, I like to hold a whip up in my hand the way my example Antoine De Pluvinel did. Why? Because it keeps my posture straight and second it keeps my hand occupied so I keep my focus with using my body correct instead of trying to 'get things with rein or cordeo'.
With one hand holding a cordeo or the reins of a Pluvinel cavesson, there is not much left other the neckreining... and that horses can simply igonore all they want. Which, if you had not guessed already, is for me a good thing. Then I know we have a two way communication going on, instead of a one way which of wich the latter is as we all know common.

Having taken the time to explain about a whip, I am going to post this text in the 'what tack section' if the question would pop up again, so thank you Chuck :)
I shall also post some video's of using whips or poolnoodles. Which you by the way can also find under 'chasing the tiger'. That is where a whip within AND finds it's most use I think 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Oh, and Anne Louise, what a lovely post!

Thank you, and I'm thrilled you're here, too.

I can honestly say that this conversation has changed how I think about a lot of things in my life; it's one of my most favorite things.

And I simply adore that it is so international -- I feel like I've got this great tribe spread out all over the globe, all bringing their own brilliance and insights and energy and generosity.

All the best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
All very interesting!

Didn't mean to disappear, but I'm been swamped and will be for the next few days.

But have quite a few questions, (and a few comments as well).

BBL

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

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
I'm still fighting that 'deadline,' but have been trying to read/absorb as much about AND as I can.

I do have a request which I hope does not seem pretentious or unappreciative. :pray:

If board members and founders could please reply one at a time and give me an opportunity to answer, it would not seem quite so 'overwhelming,' (nor make me feel somewhat defensive).

I am still considering recommending AND to all of our FT family members. Perhaps this seems to be 'no big deal.' But it is VERY important to me as you will always, without ANY reservation, find me standing first for the Horse, (much to the aggravation of some). And by that I mean I will always stand first for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the domesticated horse above all else.

So I apologize in advance if any of my questions or comments seem skeptical or cynical. I assure they are not.


Also, I'm assuming for the purpose of discussion, (and I very sincerely welcome ANY and ALL comments and questions) that it is alright to post a few videos about FT here, (as this is an 'FT Topic').

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: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Hi Chuck,

Quote:
I do have a request which I hope does not seem pretentious or unappreciative.

If board members and founders could please reply one at a time and give me an opportunity to answer, it would not seem quite so 'overwhelming,' (nor make me feel somewhat defensive).


This might or might not work, depends on how urgently someone wants to say something. :funny: But rest assured, there won't be anyone challenging you over here, so there is no actual need to feel defensive. If you find many answers at a time a bit overwhelming, you can simply just reply to one and tell the other people that you will get back to them later.

Still I recommend reading the FAQ and the Links to threads about different topics first. We get very similar questions over and over, and you will find that many of the answers have already been given there, so this saves us a lot of time. If you have further questions after having read it, you are of course most welcome to ask them. :smile:

Heart_of_Equus wrote:
Also, I'm assuming for the purpose of discussion, (and I very sincerely welcome ANY and ALL comments and questions) that it is alright to post a few videos about FT here, (as this is an 'FT Topic').


Of course you can post a video, either in this topic or in the video section, and I am sure there will be people who are very interested in your work and will want to discuss it. But please note that for discussions about videos the same rule applies as for discussions about written things: this forum is not meant to be for discussions against other people or other methods.

Warm Regards,
Romy


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
This might or might not work, depends on how urgently someone wants to say something.

I will hope and pray for 'impulse control.' :pray:



Quote:
Still I recommend reading the FAQ and the Links to threads about different topics first. We get very similar questions over and over, and you will find that many of the answers have already been given there, so this saves us a lot of time. If you have further questions after having read it, you are of course most welcome to ask them.

I have read some, not all, but doubt that any questions I have will be repetitious).


Quote:
Of course you can post a video, either in this topic or in the video section, and I am sure there will be people who are very interested in your work and will want to discuss it. But please note that for discussions about videos the same rule applies as for discussions about written things: this forum is not meant to be for discussions against other people or other methods.


There are a few mild comparisons, but not 'against' any specific method.' (I think, best I check again.)

But in that venue, I welcome any and all questions, (even those that may seem a bit skeptical or negative). I am not certain how else one can truly understand any specific method if honest skeptisism and critical thinking is censored, (and not only knowing what one is for, but what one is against).

(But I won't be as specific as Donald's expressed personal experiences with NHE.) ;)


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: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Quote:
I am not certain how else one can truly understand any specific method if honest skeptisism and critical thinking is censored, (and not only knowing what one is for, but what one is against).


Chuck:

Again, AND is not a method. It is a philosophical idea and a study group.

Beyond that, critical thinking in the sense of analytical, thoughtful thinking is never censored here.

However, our critique is very specifically geared to be self-critiquing and self-analytical. AND is about personal journeys between people and their horses, not about methods or gurus or right/wrong.

It is about discovery and respect for the many paths that discovery can take. It is about the horse as teacher and final arbiter of what the wisest, most effective ways to interact with him/her is.

Looking at your website a little, it seems that you are very geared there to carve out a method and approach that is yours -- which is totally cool. However, that's not what AND is about. As you see when you read any of the thousands of pages here, there are many people and as many approaches. And we talk as honestly and carefully and supportively with each other about those approaches as we can.

What we do not invite is binary, absolute statements, like: "This is right. That is wrong." So, critical thinking in terms of being critical of what other people do or don't do with their horses is not welcome. And we have made a very specific decision to avoid a lot of conversation about people outside of AND and their methods, particularly if that conversation is negative. We have chosen not to be negative. We've chosen not to fight with people. Other people have attacked AND and its founders in the past -- we have found that the most effective technique to counter this is simply to choose not to be negative about what anyone else is doing. It's like dealing with a bully -- if you don't react, and you don't engage in the fight, sooner or later the bully loses interest.

We have worked extremely hard to keep a tone of kindness, fairness, openness, and non-judgement. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we seek to treat each other with the same kindness and respect that we treat our horses. When we make statements of opinion about approaches we take with our horses, we work very hard to own those thoughts as opinions. We spend a fair amount of time saying, "I think," or "I observe," or "I've experienced," or "I value."

If you are interested in sending people that you teach here, you are welcome to, of course. And if you don't feel like you have enough of a handle on what AND is and how it works to do so, that's completely fine, too. The AND community is more than happy to accept new participants in the conversation but at the same time is not concerned about generating new members. We find that people come to us and if both what we're talking about and how we talk about it connects for them, they stay. If it doesn't, they move on. Generally with no hard feelings on either side.

Ultimately, we are not here to debate. We are here to discuss, converse, and learn from one another.

Frankly, anyone can have all of the skepticism that they like -- and people here in all likelihood won't choose to engage with it. Why? Not because we're afraid to but because we don't feel like we have to prove anything to anyone. I know what I do with my horses and why and what I'm hoping to learn and achieve. I don't feel an ounce of need to convince anyone else that what I'm doing is right or legitimate or the only way -- I'm just interested in doing it. I am open to other ideas but I pick and choose which of them I want to explore. And I relish being able to talk through my goals, my failures, my delights, and my fears in a place that isn't about anyone pulling rank on anyone else. People share ideas, they don't tell each other what to do. They commiserate rather than judge. They celebrate, and if they are really not connecting with what someone else is writing about, they simply engage somewhere else in the conversation.

That is true for pretty much everyone here. If asked for an amplification of why they do something because people want to learn more about it, folks here are extremely generous with their time. If pushed to defend something that they do or don't do, they're generally not interested. Why bother? As someone who has obviously spent years in the horse world, you, I'm sure, know as well as anyone that if a horse person has decided (or been taught) that a particular technique, approach, or philosophy is the TRUTH with capital letters or complete BS, it's pretty hard to convince them otherwise. So, we just don't go there. It's not worth the effort.

This is not a hierarchical conversation where we're trying to get everyone to one way of dealing with horses, where we're trying to get everyone to learn in a particular way, where any one person (or group of people) holds more legitimacy than anyone else.

And we are here to share and learn, not argue. So, if you read things here that spike your curiosity as to why people have chosen to do something in a particular way, I think people will be more than willing to articulate as best they can why. However, if it feels like your reason for asking the question is to demand that they prove why their approach works or argue with it, they probably won't engage. We're all busy and we come here to be fed by one another, not to clash, not to justify ourselves, not to argue.

For me, personally, this is a HUGE part of why AND is important in my life. i can get conflict anywhere. Finding a group of people this diverse in experience, geography, language, and culture who all come together to support one another and our horses is a precious gift. This gift gets defended pretty fiercely because it is so rare.

So, ultimately, if you like what you're reading here, whether you choose to send your students here or not, great. (I personally think this is an extraordinary resource because of all of the sophisticated thought here, even though I don't do everything exactly the way everyone else does it here -- for me, it's akin to reading from the dressage masters, or anyone writing with insight about horses -- or even movement theory, psychology, etc. There are so many things to spark ideas and insights, even when we don't walk in full lock step with one another.) And if you're curious and want to learn more and/or share your thoughts about how you approach horses, you are completely welcome.

However, if you feel that this doesn't fit either your approach to horses or to teaching and want the group to justify its approach to you, or want to spend time talking about ideas/methods/people outside of AND, we will wish you well but we will also wish you onward.

I hope this makes sense.

All the best,
Leigh

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"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
FIRST of all!

I'd like to thank Susie, (I believe it was Susie) for posting this:


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

It is a new, but welcome, edition to our required 'reading/study' curriculum! It ranks with Burton and McDonnell-Mills!

Thanks for that, very sincerely.


Chuck & Kids

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