A worldwide sharing of a experiment anno 2007....
We were exploring new (or maybe very old?) ways to move away from the pilars that were dominating the horse world. Either you did Sport, Art or Natural Horsemanship and were you to mingle these ways they would just oppose each other.
The biggest question for us was: Seeing as dressage is considered to be based upon the natural movement of the horse, why then enforce with unnatural means? We came upon calling it natural dressage, because dressage had our interest first and foremost, for that is where most unlogical and unnatural practises seem to take place, in the name of something natural to the horse. Second, because if you want to ride your horse (and I did), you need to study his biomechanical way of moving if you want to keep him healthy which is also befallen to the name of dressage.
And third, all forms of interaction with any animal would be named dressage (from the french word dresser or in Dutch dresseren, which is in fact an other word for training an animal.
For me personally, dressage or ancient riding art always had my biggest interest. Therefore these were the places where I lingered either online or real time. As I experimented with non traditional means, I always was pointed out I was not doing dressage but Natural Horsemanship. So I went that way, but found out I was as much doing natural horsemanship as I was doing kung fu... which is zero. That is when I got the idea that I was doing something new and by naming it anew, people could not longer tell me that I was doing things wrong, as I named my own way of doing things.
Luckily, Bianca and Miriam joined me (or I them) in this conquest and the forum gave us the opportunity we found no where else: to experiment, study and spread our new ways. I might say that goal has been reached beyound our wildest imagination.
For me personally, the forum has served it's purpose, I no longer feel the need to spread nor find information here as I have found what I am looking for and have set on my own seperate path again. A whole community of people and horses have followed me (albeit be it to my daily surprise and appreciation) and new come every day to learn from what I have learned and gained and start out their own path on this quest, gaining territory more vastly as they can take years of their journey by taking my findings with them from the start. One of our human strengths that have brought forth many great achievements: sharing knowledge, so other can build theirs on it.
So, I am happy that Romy keeps this going and also happy to find that it continues to inspire people and shines as a great beacon across the vast horseworld full of the same thing for those seeking a fresh path to start from scratch.
What the whole starter point was for this quest was the letting go of the 'human being dominant over horses' meanstream theory and teaching and still be able to do things as riding, dressage, training etc. For the theory was that without human dominance, you could not work with a horse. The second theory was, that it was natural for a horse to either be dominated or dominate.
We could not find any one to have gone on the path beyound the dominance theory and still practise things like dressage, before but A. Nevzorov. But he did not really teach nor share his experiences. So out on our own we were again and a good thing too in hind sight.
I went as far into this experiment as I could go, away from human dominance into total human submission to a (so called dominant) horse. The information I recieved was life changing. Since then I moved back to a form of Academic or Classical dressage (of where I came before I started all this and which was always my passion and intrest), however, with as basic foundation of what I learned within the Art of Natural Dressage journey, experiment and experience. I always turn back to this foundation.
It serves me well each and every day. What I keep working on, studying and teaching most is that there is no fixed way of either leading or being led, submit or push and all levels in between these two extremes. For this changes from horse to horse, day to day, situation to situation. The decission when to do what; that makes or brakes the horse(wo)man, in my experience.
This will only work, if you make each decission from your authentic self. From your heart, for want of a better word. To have a clear goal and to know why you want something and therefore be able to stand by it, makes all the difference to yourself and even more so, to the horse.
A goal that is not from the heart will fill you with doubt and you will experience all kind of trouble working with your horse.
If you need to follow your horse, follow. If you need your horse to follow, let him follow. There is always only NOW. This is a constant flow...and maybe it is no coincidence that follow has the word flow in it: F(OL)LOW.
This applies probably to all else in the world as well, since the beginning of time. But might it be the horse's task, to teach it to humans? If so, is he not doing a great job, considering the changes already in this young 21st century?
A spontaneous musing... sometimes ends up quite interesting, does it not?