The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
Posts: 1681
Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
I spend some time writing down all the things Beau and I can already do or are training on, I would love it if you guys could add some more for inspiration!!!

This is what we can do:
-back up with me in front, at the side or from behind
-shifting weight forward and back with my bodyposture, with me lifting his manes
-lowering and lifting head and shoulders on hand gestures
-bending left and right with neck
-bending left and right with body like when scratching his hindleg
-shoulder in
-circles and changing direction and bend in them with hand gestures
-shifting weight and transitions on a circle and straight line
-lifting legs

and a start with:
-goat on mountain
-bow (still difficult after a year, I'm doing something wrong..)
-terre a terre

and we spend a lot of time on shifting the weight back before doing any exercise.

I'm looking forward to other exercises so I can expand my horizon ;)
And get more ideas for a fun session!

these are only exercises at a walk and not on pedestals or anything that would be dangerous/slippery because of the state my pasture is in. I'll have to make a winter and summer list ;)

Horseriding is an art

My horse is a beautiful living sculpture

Last edited by Barbara on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6077
Location: Dresden, Germany
For us this always changes as we learn new things and lose others. But here is an overview of Titum's exercises:

Tricks and standstill exercises:

- Jambette
- Leg lifts (I think this is called Shapp? - those where he lifts his leg and moves his hoof towards his shoulder)
- Back crunch, front crunch, compliment
- Pedestal work (climbing on with two or four legs, jambette on the pedestal and rearing down)
- Humming-tops
- Lying down, lying down flat and sitting + sit jambettes
- Bending the head to the side or further back to the hips in response to a touch or pointing cue
- Flehmen
- Nickering on cue
- Targeting an object at a distance (walking away, touching and then coming back to me)

Exercises in movement:

- Stepping under on the cirlce in walk and trot (with the head bent to the inside)
- Shoulder-in, shoulder-out and travers
- Sidepasses towards me in walk and trot
- Sidepass with me standing behind him, or around me in a circle with me in the center
- Turning of the frontquarters and hindquarters towards me and away from me
- Spanish walk
- Passage
- Single canter jumps
- Walking and trotting long and low
- Backing up (also when I stand behind him or walk past him into the other direction)

Rears and Haute école jumps:

- Several kinds of rears (low with duration, high with duration, karate jumps, forward hops from GOTM)
- Rearing/turning (like a canter pirouette)
- Laufcourbette
- Courbette (1 jump up to now, sometimes)

Abandoned exercises:

These are exercises that we can do but have decided not to do anymore.

- Kicking with one or two hindlegs
- Attack (charging at me, only done from behind a fence, if at all)

"Unfinished" exercises - work in progress:

These are exercises that we are either working on at the moment or that we have worked on before but not gotten over the threshold where I could say that our attempts count as this exercise.

- Piaffe (works great sometimes, but only when he is in a certain mood, otherwise it#s his ballerina trot)
- Sideways and backwards Spanish walk
- Rearing into GOTM
- Terre-à-terre (only works very seldom)

Uniquely Pia:

These are exercises that Titum cannot do but Pia can.

- Rolling over
- Dead bug (lying on her back with her belly and legs up)
- Sit rears
- Sit turns
- Kneeling (only sometimes)
- Jumping/rearing up on a pedestal or a hay bale
- Capriole

Not anymore...

- Sitting with her front hooves in my hands (work in progress)
- Holding hands (standing upright with her fronthooves in my hands)

Uniquely Summy:

- Retrieving objects
- Backwards Spanish walk (gone at the moment)+

I probably forgot some and will edit in some more as soon as I remember them. But what a great idea that you have opened this topic, in that way we can look back in some months and see what we have learned and lost. :)

Last updated: February 2013

Exercises that I want to try:

Combination of school halt and a turn on the hindquarters
Caterpillar exercise (switching between GOTM and back crunch)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
Barbara, here is an that you have some exercises really solid...try asking for two at once. Which two is up to Beau...choose two things that he can think about and try.

Either ask for one (like maybe Goat on a Mountain), and while he's in the Goat, then ask for a jambette. He will probably come out of the Goat to do the Jambette, but reward him for it. If you reward sooner, before he actually does come out of the Goat, you will be rewarding him for merely thinking about the new request WHILE he's still doing the old one. That is good too and may in fact be preferrable to Beau!

Or take any two exercises that you can possibly ask at the same Jambette and turn on the forehand, and again, reward Beau for just thinking about it at first. You might see him doing the jambette and he only wiggles a muscle in trying to decide how he could possibly do the second request...reward that wiggle!

Sometimes when you ask for two things at once, your horse may do something entirely new and not what you asked at all...but reward it anyway because then it is of course the start of something new you can do together.

You can also ask for a movement or behavior he already knows, but ask for it from a different position in relation to him (like you did for backing up). Sometimes this too will result in a new behavior. Just reward any attempt!

When you have such a large base of behaviors, you can play with them. You DO have a very impressive list!!!

"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
Posts: 1681
Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
when reading your list I remembered a lot of exercises I had forgotten about again, but Beau may remember, I can't wait for summer!!!

And then combining things wow that will get him thinking :) great idea!!!!!

It's so cool to read all the possible exercises!

Horseriding is an art

My horse is a beautiful living sculpture

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Romy WOW :ieks:


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