The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Don´t really know if this is the right place for this, but somehow the lifestyle section didn´t seem to fit as well...

Recently my girlfriend stumbled over a book tip from Amazon with a title that set off a chain reaction of thinking in me. The book title is in German:
"Ihr Pferd ist tot? Steigen Sie ab!: Wie Sie sich die innere Freiheit nehmen, beruflich umzusatteln"
It means something along these lines: "Your horse is dead? Dismount! How to take the inner liberty to reorientate jobwise." (Umsatteln literally means to change saddles...)

Anyway, the title is quite horrible and the example is not even a very good one, but it shows something that I thought about often times. In German there are plenty of phrases and figures of speech involving riding or horses. Some are so common for me that the real meaning or origin only occured to me because of my recent involvement with horses. When I thought more about horses in everyday language, I realized that very often it displays an image of aggression against the horse. Understandable since most phrases come from a time when mistreating a horse was common. But I think that using these phrases (and I think of newscasters here) influences the public image of the horse in our society to the worse.

I can only speak of German though, not sure if it´s the same way in English (flogging a dead horse comes to mind :ieks:) or other languages. Maybe it´s just me, but at the moment I can´t think about really positive phrases... If there aren´t, maybe we should start planting some nice ones! :f:

Here are some quick examples from German:
"Man muss ihn an die Kandare nehmen." ~ you have to put a curb bit on someone
"jemandem die Sporen geben" ~ to spur someone

EDIT: Ok, now I did a bit more research about German phrases and it seems there are a lot of positive or at least neutral ones. But I´m not familiar with most of them :huh: Maybe it is just my paranoia after all...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Such an interesting topic! Unfortunately I have very little time until this afternoon, so all I can do right now is add a quote that I think is fabulous and that the book title you mentioned most certainly refers to. I don't know where it actually came from, but it was pinned to a wall in our school when I was 13 or so, and you can find lots of slightly different versions of it in the internet.

Quote:
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that 'when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount'. However, in life in general and business, education and government in particular, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

- Changing riders
- Buying a stronger whip
- Threatening the horse with termination
- Appointing a committee to study the horse
- Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses
- Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
- Reclassifying the dead horse as 'living impaired'
- Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
- Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed
- Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance
- Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance
- Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the mission of the organisation than do some other horses
- Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:32 pm 
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You found this with 13, kept it and still remember? You don´t cease to amaze me, Romy! :D When I was 13 I was engaged in more - let´s say - mundane things. :D

The book title makes more sense now. Still, imagining how Dakota sayings about horses are now used in board meetings and business guidebooks, doesn´t make me feel any better ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:11 pm 
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I have been ranting in a casual way on this subject for some time. This link http://thinkingoutsidethehorsebox.wordpress.com/about/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-a-whip/
might amuse you, and somewhere I have an article on chivalry, winning his spurs et al.
Simon

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:55 pm 
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I've been thinking about that a lot lately, actually! We make a lot of references to riding in speech that non riders wouldn't recognize. Here are some I've thought of with English...

Don't just stick your chin out and go

He's really hard nosed about things sometimes.

So you're just going to jut out your jaw and pout?

Some girls are so high headed.

She walks around with her nose in the air.

She's on her high horse again.

Don't change horses in midstream

Don't put the cart before the horse

Hold your horses

Quit horsin around

I'm so hungry I could eat a whole horse

That subject is a horse of another color

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ridel

He's strong as a horse

Wild horses couldn't drag me away

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink

Pony up the dough

Win by a nose

It's no skin off my nose

That machine is on its last legs

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

Eat like a horse

He's feeling his oats today

Unbridled passion

You better keep a tight rein on that temper of yours

Don't give the kids free rein of the house

Better draw in the reins on that project of yours. It looks like a run away.

Better rein back your spending

They were saddled with heavy expenses.

He's back in the saddle again.

If you can harness your energy, you will accomplish a great deal.

I hate being harnessed to that guy. Can't I get a different work partner?

I got a new job and was right back in the harness.

hitch up your pants

Hitch a ride

They got hitched

One foot caught in the stirrup

Bucking for a promotion.

Buck up, it's not so bad

Whenever he's blamed for anything he tries to pass the buck

Bucking the trend

You'd better buck up if you want to catch the bus.

Take the bit in your teeth and do your best

He took the bit in his teeth and really went berserk

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:54 am 
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Thank you Simon, that article was a really interesting read.

Thank you Kali! That´s a quite comprehensive list! That´s exactly what I hoped for :) Very interesting...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Curb your enthusiasm.
And every other use of curb with the exception of kerb crawling

Whip hand,
in the UK the political parties have whips, to keep the troops in line. Derivation the "whipper in" with a pack of hounds.

Winning your spurs and every other reference to spurs.

Rough shod from the army practice of fixing shoes with nails sticking out approx 1/2" to act as knuckle dusters for feet. Mud filled lacerations in the middle ages were mostly fatal, so riding roughshod over the enemy was not a kind act.

You notice we have preserved the upper class and military phrases, yet most horses and ponies were worked by the working classes. So we are left with the language of violence and destruction, and have lost the language of co operation and utility.
Simon

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:21 pm 
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It useless to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

No foot, no horse. No horse, no army. No army, no kingdom. - or something like that. I'm not certain I got the words exactly right.

For want of a nail the kingdom was lost. - refers to a horseshoe that came off and delayed someone.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

A "dark horse" is a mysterious person with unknown motives and/or unmeasured abilities.

Don't put the cart before the horse.

Don't upset the apple-cart.

Young girls were/are sometimes called "fillies."

:funny: "Hung like a horse" refers to :blush: ... er ... ah ... ahem ... :blush: ... manly size.

Acting stubbornly is being mulish.

I vaguely remember something about "saddling the wrong horse" or maybe "harnessing" instead of saddling ... ???? anyone?

All our vehicles are rated according to Horse Power. :D How cool is that?

Don't flog a dead horse.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:17 pm 
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nice topic..

I use always this:
each time when people say what a nice car you have

"i love real horse power and my husband the metal horse power" (he loves is Landrover Defender ;) )


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:13 pm 
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A few familiar sayings, and more rather obscure ones, but here and there some by well known people.

http://www.quotegarden.com/horses.html


I think my favorite is, "At least once in it's life a horse deserves to be loved by a little girl."

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:15 pm 
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Remembered one more! This one is my favorite.
"Don't cut corners."
Where could that have come from if not riding?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Donald, I love that saying -- I posted it in my Facebook account with this picture of Circe...

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:31 pm 
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nice one


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Circe has that wonderful look in her eye that she accepts that she owns the world, and that we are all here to serve. LOL

Is that a Jacaranda overhead? Always liked that tree.

As for the saying, I always, when I think of it, amend it silently with, "...and loved too by the woman that still has that little horse loving girl inside."

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:43 pm 
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:love: :)

I'm still a little girl...just a 46 year old version... :funny:

And yes, she completely owns the joint!

The tree is actually a pepper tree -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schinus I'd never seen them before I moved to CA, but they smell like pepper and have little pink pepper-like berries. (Circe actually loved eating the branches of these and would gift me with her pepper breath!)

We have a Jacaranda at our house -- which is gorgeous but the messiest tree I've ever seen -- we live right along the edge of where it can survive w/cold and it is dropping something from leaves to fronds to blossoms literally every month of the year. And sap. On my car. BAD Jacaranda!
:funny:

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