The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Horse Behavior, Second Edition
George Waring
on Amazon

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The book is basically an overview of scientific research regarding horse behaviour. Ranging from locomotion, to reproduction, to social behaviour, perception, learning... you name it.
I wanted a scientific approach when I bought it, so I didn´t get disappointed in that regard. The language is very dry and scientifc, which is OK for me, but doesn´t makes it the most pleasant reading experience.
Content-wise, I have to admit, I was expecting a bit more interesting facts, more eye-openers, so to speak. I thought that scientific research would hold more secrets for me, than my layman observations of our herd brought so far. Most of the studies mentioned are of feral horses, which makes it interesting of course, but in my opinion not always comparable to situations in the common pasture, with no stallions or harem groups around.
Nevertheless it´s a comprehensive book, covering all aspects of horse behaviour in a non-biased way, leaving all the interpretation of the facts to the reader.

The part of this book that got me thinking the most, was the one about social organisation. First that the term "herd" is not what I thought it is - strictly speaking: "Discrete social groups are called bands. A herd is a localized population consisting normally of one or more bands as well as solitary individuals."
Now that maybe just a matter of definition, but what got me thinking is that horses are not always organised the way that I imagined, with alpha stallion and lead mare and so on. But that there are lots of different forms of social bands. Harem groups, bachelor groups, solitary horses, mixed peer groups, even mare only groups. And often the are just two or three horses together.
Furthermore, it seemed to me that any display of dominance, which is something where people readily refer to feral horses, is predominantly used to establish a reproductive monopoly in a harem group, or to keep the band clearly separated from other bands with overlapping territory. Both things that will never be any issue in training situations. All other interactions are more characterised by non-confrontational to very social behaviour, where the vast majority of the so called "aggressive" acts are mere threats like laying back the ears.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:31 pm 
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I'll be honest, I didn't read the whole thread, so I'm sorry if these books were already mentioned. I am a real bookworm and I'm just so eager to share my book experiences with you guys, so I just kind of flipped through. I'll be sure to read it later and make notes about all the good books you suggested :D
Here are some of my favourite books:

"How your horse moves" by Gillian Higgins - this is a great introduction to horse biomechanics, absolutely beautiful pictures and a great stepping stone for a more thorough anatomy and mechanics learning

"Tug of war: Classical versus Modern dressage" by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann - really great stuff about how to recognise forced and tensed movements, I love that someone is finally stating the obvious about quick fixes in dressage

"Dancing with horses" by KF Hempfling - a great introduction to body language, I love how simple and logic his way of thinking is and it really showed me that less is more, when it comes to body signals

"Horses never lie" by Mark Rashid - a bunch of heart warming stories and a new perspective into the whole "alpha horse" thingy

"The Tao of Equus" by Linda Kohanov - a spiritual and mystic approach to horse-human relationship, exploring the healing potential of horses

"The horse crucified and risen" by Alexander Nevzorov - a rather painful book to read, it just about made me cry, but I think it's worth reading

I order a bunch of books from Amazon everytime I have a little extra money, I have about 30 books in my wish list right now :D I can't wait for the next order, I'll be sure to put some of the books you've suggested to that list :D


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:27 pm 
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I'm looking for a good book on groundwork. I have never read anything on that topic and I'm looking for a nice basic book. I was thinking about ordering Connect with your horse from the ground up, by Peggy Cummings, but after browsing through it on Amazon, I'm not so sure that's the right book for me. I noticed that Cummings uses some of Linda Tellington's techniques, and I'm not too thrilled about that, as I'm not really a fan of her work, other than her bodywork techniques.

The other book I was thinking about is Horse training in hand by Schuthof. At first glance it looks more like what I'm looking for, but I don't know if maybe it's written for more advanced stuff. I would really just like a basic overlook of groundwork.

I noticed that some of you mentioned the book that shows several different schools of groundwork (something something Iberian principles, I'm not sure how it's titled..). Is that one any good for a first read on groundwork?

Has anyone read any of these books?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:03 pm 
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What kiind of groundwork would you like to do?
some dressage exercises or based on a better relationship.
There are so many books, so a bit more details is needed ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:59 pm 
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I was interested in learning the traditional aspects of groundwork, dressage exercises and stuff like that, because I was hoping I could learn something from it, even if I don't intend to do groundwork traditionally. I also have the intention to order the book Empowered horses, which, as I understand it, is more based on a good relationship with the horse, and is a little bit more alternative.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Then i should recmand the books of Richard Hinrichs.
Is explain how you can do things and with pictures so it make sence for those who need pictures.
It is already written in this list, there are more people who like these books


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Great, thanks for the help :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:20 pm 
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@ volker, what will be probably be of interest of you then are Jaime jackson's books :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:05 pm
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Location: Norway
The clan of the horses (written by Live Bonnevie) is an extraordinary and important horse novel that really stands out . It has changed many a horseperson here in Norway, including me. It`s available in German under the title “Zwischen Himmel und Erde” And hopefully it will be translated to English soon!

The main character is seventeen year old Amanda Fivel. She is a talented show jumper and enthusiastically supported by her father, she thinks. In reality he bets money on every medal she takes. After an intoxicating victory he bets something they cannot afford to lose and he requires that Amanda wins Norway Cup in an unknown discipline, namely Icelandic horse.

Amanda is placed on the back of an half wild stallion smuggled from Iceland. This horse forces her to rethink everything se thought she knew about herself, horses and her surroundings. She rediscovers why she as a child went to the stable in the first place. And a along the way she meets some very special women.

Here is the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du396jUVQRE

I had similar experiences when I read this book as when I found AND for the first time, the feeling of coming home. I could quote the whole book here, because I think it’s all so brilliant but instead I will share some favorites and urge you all to read it yourself :smile: .

It`s all freely translated by me:

“There is no other way of being with horses then the one you once dreamed of.”

“Riding should not weigh more that a butterfly leaving your hand.”

“Today most riding schools are nothing less an a extremely effective way to remove you from your natural condition to become one with the horse. The riding schools are often based on a system from the military. From war. Little girls are provided with whips and are taught to kick the horses with their heels and spurs, hit them and dragging them in their mouth. The congenitally ability to be with the horse in a natural way is about to be lost. The power you have to rediscover holds the will of cooperation, movement and balance. Is not only the horses who needs this power now. The whole world does.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:10 pm 
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sounds good to me :smile:
i have seen some parts of the movie in other films, i can not directly remember were but i loved the part when the lady sit on the ground and the horse is standing behind her and they enjoy their time.
So peace full


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Hi Folks -- haven't had the opportunity to check in here as of late but did this morning and found this thread.

If anyone is interested in Natural Hoofcare, I putting in my order for printed copies of "10 Secrets to Healthy Hooves" today ... I'll extend deadline for this week's ordering if anyone here is interested.

Simply click here: http://www.thepenzancehorse.com/2012/ADS/10SECRETSTOHEALTHYHOOVES.html

:)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:46 pm 
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I have your e-book and think it is such a useful reference tool. Thank-you, well done!!
Jocelyne

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Oh, I've avoided reading and commenting on this topic for a while because I knew I'd be stuck here for hours....
Empowered Horses is a great read, I'm still piecing through it, but when the I found it in my local tack store I was amazed anything even remotely alternative was there! I bought it immediately, needless to say. :)

A few of my favorites are Horses Don't Lie by Chris Irwin, and also Pilates for Riders by Lindsay Wilcox-Reid is excellent. That book taught me a lot of what I know about body awareness in riding in a very easy to understand way. I spent over a year in physical therapy with back issues, and that book is my reference whenever I have back pain while riding.

I think this has been mentioned here already, but The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley is a young adult fantasy book that I keep finding myself coming back to. Reading about the relationship the riders have with their bridleless warhorses is nothing short of inspirational to me.

Forestheart, the book you described sounds amazing! I watched the trailer and am so curious now! Can't wait for it to get translated, but for now your translations will have to hold me over. :)
Quote:
I had similar experiences when I read this book as when I found AND for the first time, the feeling of coming home.

I absolutely love it when a book can remind you of what you really were dreaming of with horses, instead what else is so common out there, like "today's riding schools" as described. When I came here, I remembered how to be curious and dream and have enthusiasm again. When a book can do the same, it's a wonderful feeling. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:09 pm 

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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Although not bitless the reviews appeared to enlighten, wondered if anyone here has read this book and their thoughts?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Twisted-Truths- ... 3861279533

In this book, Philippe Karl, one of the most outspoken critics of the modern dressage world, reveals some disturbing facts about the physical, anatomical and mental effects through official dressage guidelines as issued by the German Horse Society (FN) on horses. By comparing these with philosophies of masters of classical riding such as La Gueriniere and Baucher, he shows possible solutions to the challenging situation of modern competitive dressage. This book explores key problems of modern dressage: physical aspects, straightness, balance, exercises. It describes the effects of modern dressage, breeding and business. It suggests a classical alternative: the philosophy of 'legerity'.
(noun - physical or mental agility or quickness; nimbleness )

Philippe Karl, a breeder and rider, is a respected and active participant of all areas of equine sport. For thirteen years, he was an active member of the Cadre Noir, the French elite riding school in Saumur. Philippe Karl lives in Southern France and teaches riding students all over Europe. His previous publications "Hohe Schule der Doppellonge" and "Reitkunst" have been translated into several languages and achieved international recognition. Phillipe Karl is also a talented artist, whose detailed and often satirical drawings complement this book.

http://www.scienceofmotion.com/ is Jean Luc Cornille website, also Cadre Noir, international competitor explaining the skeletal and muscular stresses from riding and teaching in-hand work, so there appear some parallels.
Susie.xx

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Thanks for the link, Susie. :smile: I have added your post to the Useful books and publications thread to keep some sort of order and make it easier to find for people who are looking for an interesting book.

We have talked about the book a few times, but as it often came up in diaries, I will be lazy and post a link to the search results instead of linking to every single topic.


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