The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Colinde~ wrote:
Been watching this thread mainly, as I don't have anything specific to add... but...

I have felt much the same way about the partnership between horse and rider since childhood. Almost centaur-like. It's what's kept me coming back even when the connection was broken by the pressures of showing, high standards and trainers. Ultimately it's not only a part of my blood and life and being but something I believe I was meant for. On those evenings many years ago when Diego and I would wonder off through the woods to watch a sunset I doubt he would have objected to the idea either.


My only regret is that I did not leave those pressures earlier than I finally did. You are way ahead of me.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:38 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
In a post to BlkHrsRider the other day I was trying to explain my approach and my reasoning behind this:
Quote:
I backed my youngsters without any tack or halters, because that moment when they say it's okay loose in the field with their friends to gallop away with, and you really do not want to spoil the trust by running for hat, body protector, it is trust and reading the body language, mind messages, ...then because no-one is holding them and there is nothing to restrict them or for them to pull against they tend to stand and accept a wither rub, ear rub, hand held treat if they can work out how to reach it when you are sat up behind them.
That first time may be for a minute but if it is enjoyable, positive, rewarding, your own endorphins are so easily translated and the horse does not read you as a threat.
I have now done exactly that, first time sit at liberty without halter or tack on 5 horses over the last 20 years, where previously I would usually put the saddle on before mounting the first time.

Several of course with a halter and a friend to lead or reassure, bareback, but eventually I found ( by 1992 without halter) for me the best way was simply to find the right moment when heart and mind agree it is the right time.
Quite unusual to actually have a 1st moment photo as it is normally just me with the horses, but Nikki happened along and took a few pictures for Arthur's albums for me.
1st times on an unbacked youngster are so special, brief, poignient and full of love and trust.
Our field is on hills with a flat meadow riverside, these pictures taken on the top with Dan and Ben grazing, sheep and dogs out in the field, freedom to run, no restrictions.
Tomorrow I have a day off and a friend, so Arthur can wear his saddle, come out for a walk, sniff horse poo on trails through the woods, and if it feels okay, then I will ride for 5 minutes at a time. He is quite a bit bigger now.

Image
08072009 Sitting on my baby horse. by susie_piepony, on Flickr

Image
08072009 It is difficult to reach your mouth. by susie_piepony, on Flickr



His bucks are awesome, hooves high above my head when he plays, just hope he grows in spatial awareness, and he is a huggy baby.

My piebald, Daniel was a true heart wrench. I had been mucking out the barn, putting down bedding so they have choice of dry beds. He chose to leave the retired old uncles, group of batchelors and his wife and daughter to hang out with me.
I have no bounce so asked if he minded a hug from above and clambered from the muck heap. Amazing feeling, I love my little Gypsy Cob so much, he was a truly wild and unhandled foal and as a Daddy, just so charming.
60 seconds of utter bliss and lots of hugs, reward and shared emotion between us. Simply a moment of trust.

Whilst Daniel is quite opinionated he is also an absolute darling. He retains a big space for strangers but once he decides to be friends and accept a human he moves right into shared space for cuddles.

If I had mistaken the signals the hill is steep to his pasture friends at the lower grazing, he may have reacted to my weight and feel on his back, but I did not doubt the invitation and he was free to take me where he wanted to go and at any pace downhill towards his friends. My mobile has no signal from the field in many places, and I have to trust my instinct at reading the horses I spend time with.

I remember having a friend find me riding my Thoroughbred colt for his 1st time, with tack in those days, and she asked why in the world I had not arranged for help in case things did not go to plan. I said if I thought it was likely there would be a problem, I would need to step back, and find another moment. Doubts in my mind would surely transmit. I have to love, trust and fully embrace what I believe the language to indicate.
My TB was a big colt, vet had said keep his mind occupied with his walks and begin backing him. He was by Brotherly, who was a USA horse by The Minstrel, Derby winner, out of a top USA mare Politely, from my lovely mare who traced Pinza, Straight Deal, Tom Fool, Silly Season on her side.
My Tb's were fun, athletic and very capable gallopers and jumpers who could also do Handy Pony games with small children and were just as happy turning their hooves to hacks with a lead rein pony and tiny rider.
Trust goes both ways, if I do not trust my horses in love, then they have reason not to bestow trust in me.

One day I shall manage,to find the funds and take Chuck's course perhaps, because my current horses have decades before they go to join the previous horses I have buried ( in my heart as well as in the ground), and both my horses and I would benefit from the depth, science, understanding and pleasure the coursework involves.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:55 pm
Posts: 23
Location: California
Susie thank you SO much for sharing all this with me (us). I can appreciate that knowing when the moment is right, I have that alot with Bella and occasionally still with Owen. You are lucky being able to start them as babies and youngsters. Mine were older when I got them, in fact in all my life I haven't had a baby (until recently but he's not all mine, I don't work with him), they've all been older horses.

When I hopped on Bella, the moment felt right, I didn't even stop to go grab my helmet (eeeks, shame on me) because it felt so right and I knew I would be fine. I have lots of those moments with her, luckily. I am hoping to have more of them too. haha

And with my Owen, well I haven't ridden him since the summer of '05, I have gotten the feeling from him a few times this past year that he wants to be ridden... once in a while. But I am aware that it will need to be a slower progression to getting on than I did back in '05. (Remember that one ChucK??) I hadn't ridden him in like 4+ years at that point, but again it felt right, so I borrowed a saddle and dug out his bridle, and when it really felt right I simply tacked him up and got on out in that big pasture. It was incredible, we were the centaur, he was overjoyed to have me with him and he was amazingly great that day... until I decided it was enough but he wanted to do more. ;) But we worked that out too, I just haven't asked him to carry me since then. This past weekend he was really giving me "the look" begging me to take him out too when I took Bella out. And when I brought her back he was trying to come out with me, so I let him out. He went right to the barn door and nosed at the bridles hanging just inside. I got the message. But it was late enough in the day and way too hot, so I told him that maybe this weekend. Now the past few times I have taken him out to really play in the arena, he will not stand at the mounting block. I have not tried to just hop up on the fence though, he may like that better. The block probably still holds memories of pain for him I am thinking. (I used a stool in '05 to get on him) I'll put a large bucket in there cause I can always use that. And with him I will get on bareback, but will need a bridle for my peace of mind. haha He is a fast boy and highly opinionated, if he pulls his little tantrum thing I will be kissing dirt. (and my husband will never let me try to get on him again... *sigh*) I figure if I can get him to stand still and let me hop up briefly that's a start and where we should start. If he doesn't want me on then that's fine too. Not long ago I hopped up on Bella in their pasture, Owen tried to tuck his head and neck under my right leg as if he was trying to get me to move form Bella's back to his. When it didn't work as he was hoping (?) he backed up a bit and reared up at us! Bella jumped forward out of his front hooves reach and I almost went off her backend. So I don't do that very much anymore, get on in their pasture that is when they are all together. (too much a chicken!)
Image (From our little ride in '05, just after mounting up.)

Chuck kept telling me that one day "it would come" the getting on without any tack at all. And it did, I just haven't ridden around that way as yet. Getting closer to it though.

:applause:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:44 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Quote:
Now the past few times I have taken him out to really play in the arena, he will not stand at the mounting block.


I had this problem too with Morgan at the beginning. I played clicker while standing on the block and waiting until he would position himself correctly. I would gently ask with the bitless bridle (one rein only), if he would back up/come closer etc. Every time I could rub his back (ie he wasn't swinging his butt away) I would give hm lavish praise and click and treat. He figured out pretty quick how to stand perfectly for mounting. I did this both with tack and without but not mounting or having any intention to, just asking for a nice quiet stand and at the perfect spot. Of course he would use the mounting block (which I was standing on!) to offer pedastal too. :funny: Nowadays I can position him on any stump/hill just by standing on it and waiting until he figures out where he needs to be. I also know when he really doesn't want me on his back that day as he will just refuse point blank to position himself but it's seldom. He understands perfectly that humps/blocks/treestumps are for stretches/pedastal unless I am standing on it, in which case he needs to position himself so I can get on. :D

Quote:
Bella jumped forward out of his front hooves reach and I almost went off her backend. So I don't do that very much anymore, get on in their pasture that is when they are all together. (too much a chicken!)


I too had this! :funny: It took quite a while for Morgan to figure out that herd behaviour and charging at the other horses when I was on his back was NOT a good idea! It also took him a while to understand that his personal space had now got bigger because it contained a saddle and a human that made his width and height different. :funny: I did need to pony him a bit behind an experienced horse where he would mostly follow in their tracks (when he wasn't trying to nip them on the bum!!!!). I still get caught out by the occasional low tree, or the odd knee bang but then I will rattle the tree or purposely bang the fence with my foot to let him know he is too close.

I think you are at a very exciting time and there is absolutely no rush. You will know when you feel confident to try a little more and I have found that slow and easy baby steps builds confidence for both horse and rider. The best reward of all for the horse when the mounting has gone well is to prasie and get off.

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Annette O'Sullivan

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: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:46 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
P.S Simply AWESOME pics Susie xxxxxx

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Annette O'Sullivan

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: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Josepha, I am still interested in if you use any 'aids' during your training from 'start to finish.' And if so, what are they?

Thanks!

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

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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: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Trust goes both ways, if I do not trust my horses in love, then they have reason not to bestow trust in me.


How very, very true!

I do things like asking them to all line up and then crawl under the 'line of bellies' gently bushing each one while simultaneously shooting a cap gun, (city law forbids discharge of firearms). I crawl between their back legs 'inside out and outside in,' ride bareback no tack amongst them while flapping an umbrella TRYING to show RECIPROCAL TRUST.

But the 'Alpha/dominance crowd thinks I'm a 'crazy daredevil.' :sad:

I'm NOT! BELIEVE me I'm not! The older you get the faster bones break and the longer they take to heal! :green:

Granted, to THEIR way of 'training,' it certainly WOULD be crazy to do ANYTHING like that!!

But not in the type of 'relationship' I subscribe to and share with all my kids.

I suppose in that type of training, one could possibly see someone crawling under and around a horse that is white-eyed -- frozen in learned helplessness.

But my kids either ignore my shenanigans altogether or, (at worst) roll their eyes saying, "Gads! Grandpa is at it again with his silly stuff. WHEN will he grow up!" :roll: ROFL!

(Incidentally, I hope I never 'grow up.') 8)


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: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I know Chuck, I saw the photo's of the belly crawl and between front and back legs.

I am usually too lazy to go around my horse when trying to brush off excess mud or sweat so I put a hand on his front leg above his knee to let him know where I am and go under rubbing his belly with my head and shoulders.
But the sheep walk under him to steal his mineral bucket and he knows this happens.
Umbrellas we can do most of the time, have n't practiced recently, but I have never tried shooting a gun under my horse! That is one I will leave for the Texans!!! xx

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


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

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
but I have never tried shooting a gun under my horse! That is one I will leave for the Texans!!! xx


Well, it wasn' a REAL gun, (just a cap pistol). But it does have a fairly sharp sound to it similar to a gunshot.

Wait'll you see the 'black plastic' habituation!!! :roll: :roll: :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: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:21 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Honestly, plastic is not a problem, if I try to dry a big plastic tarpaulin they are on it.
Even the (owned by my friend) 2 year old son of my Gypsy Cob loves plastic. Big barn sheet in the wind with 3 humans attempting to stop it on a hillside and he treads on it, but his makeshift foaling shelter was a mostly plastic trap construction.
I have n't taught this, it is just they are allowed to check things out for themselves and their curiosity wins every time.
I think I posted some pictures in the photo section here.
So many great photos and videos there to comment on, worth a visit.

I would be interested in Friendship Training the course, I love my horses but I know I could do better. How long is normal for the course 6 months a year?

Have you had chance to look into diaries, like windhorsesue, stardust-circe-leigh, freckles-laska-glen, romy, morgan,ivychex and karen postings yet?
I would love to know what you think of the different styles and approaches. We are all aiming at similar goals, from differing circumstance and experience, and sharing what works for us. Lots of lovely Donald comments and some really pretty photos in his posts.
xx

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


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
@ Susie awesome pictures :love:

@ Chuck, I am very tight up at the momenet because of filmwork that's being done at our School and Shop and seminars at the university of rotterdam I am giving

If you'd like more info about me just visit the website of my school www.taonara.com and www.josepha.info and my shop www.equihof.com
Also via youtube channels equihof, taonara and romytitum you can find films of me. I think there is one of me holding a whip or using other things like cavesson, cordeo or poolnoodle.

Warm regards,

Josepha

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Thanks Josepha! Much appreciated, (even moreso knowing your present schedule).

I noticed quite by accident the other day that AND was linked with 'Pony Pros' who stated on their website that their training methods were developed by researching the work of renown trainers like John Lyons, Buck Brannaman, Monty Roberts, Karen Pryor, Craig Stevens and Pat and Linda Parelli.

I assume you condone their type of training or AND wouldn't be linked to them, is that correct?

Perhaps one of the ' authorized AND organizers' can answer for Josepha?

Thanks again ever so much!

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 Oct 01, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Heart_of_Equus wrote:
I noticed quite by accident the other day that AND was linked with 'Pony Pros' who stated on their website that their training methods were developed by researching the work of renown trainers like John Lyons, Buck Brannaman, Monty Roberts, Karen Pryor, Craig Stevens and Pat and Linda Parelli.

I assume you condone their type of training or AND wouldn't be linked to them, is that correct?


AND is a studygroup. That means that we are not the followers of a certain trainer or method, nor do we all like the same things. Many people here believe that you can learn from everyone, even if you wouldn't want to train with your horse in the same way. We prefer not to look for reasons to be against any method but see where it can help us in our own training.

There are people here who adore Carolyn Resnick or Mark Rashid or any other trainer and there are people who don't at all. Some people here use bits in their training, others would never put one into their horse's mouth. We have people here who believe that being the leader is an essential part in their relationship with their horses, there are people who prefer their horses to be the leader and there are those who have no use for leadership at all.

Kali from PonyPros is a member here but has not written much. The videos she posted in our forum (something about a child playing with a pony) I liked a lot, but it's also possible that there are people here who did not. AND is not linked to anyone or anything and it's not our job to judge anyone's training - there are enough places in the internet where this is done.

This is why you won't ever get a single answer when you ask if we dislike or condone or like or love anyone's training. It's just impossible to give one answer that reflects the opinions of our 700+ members.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Hi Chuck,

Thanks for understanding, I'll get back to that whip thing later, probably nex week. :)

I must say I have no clue what the ponypros are? Where did you see that link?

I am not in the field of condoning anything to be quite frank. I am just not interested in their way of training as I personally have totally different goals when it comes to living with horses.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
So many great photos and videos there to comment on, worth a visit.


I skimmed a few but like Josepha, I am in a bit of a 'time constraint.'

Quote:
I would be interested in Friendship Training the course, I love my horses but I know I could do better. How long is normal for the course 6 months a year?

I came to the forum for several reasons; #1. Someone mentioned that FT, (and I) were being discussed in a 'poor light,' (for want of a better description). #2. Your Invitation. #3. Anne Louise posting here. #4. I have been looking for a long time for someone in the dressage world to help format a 'beginners dressage.' For you see, all the finery and horses being forced with whips to perform, (like the one in the video) are meaningless to me. In fact....never mind for now. My interest was twofold. #1. Conditioning the horses body for mounted activity beyond the normal Endurance and ACTR -CTR conditioning. Sylvia and Walter and others seem to 'have the head in the sky.' So I am looking into the possibility of AND being an asset to our rather holistic FT. #2. Allow the rider to position themselves to allow their horse to perform mounted activities as effortlessly as possible.

So, I am happy you are interested in FT, but that was not the reason I joined the forum.

Besides, you may well change your mind upon reading the 'Intro Email.'

Quote:
Have you had chance to look into diaries, like windhorsesue, stardust-circe-leigh, freckles-laska-glen, romy, morgan,ivychex and karen postings yet?

I only could skim a few minutes.

Quote:
I would love to know what you think of the different styles and approaches.


I will I promise in the very, very near future.

But I would also really like to know what other forum members think of these two videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyF2QqP2 ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gf7w_1ifus

And this one.

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

I'd really appreciate that very much.


Quote:
We are all aiming at similar goals, from differing circumstance and experience, and sharing what works for us.


What 'works for us' can be very interpretive. How about, "What works best for the horse"? ;)

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


Last edited by Heart_of_Equus on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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