The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
There is so much information on this post, wow!!
As some of you already know, I've started the Waterhole Rituals with both of my horses, Magik and Corado (about 6 mths ago).
I started off with Parelli with Corado but big mistake. Being a TB, he was so sensitive to phase 4. He was pretty much submissive. Since AND, he learnt to love me and trust me but, like many, had no play drive (except chase the tiger). Other than that I would run around and I felt like he thought I was chasing him. So I stopped.
Magik, on the other hand, Parelli would have probably worked since he is so defiant. Everything I ask (teaching him new things), he would argue (lift his head, stomp his feet, etc.). What I would do is leave him and go to Corado. That would piss him off. He would come towards Corado & me and his look was so funny. So then I would go back, and he would then at least try to learn.

Anyways, once I started with the WHR, Magik changed from night to day. He still shows signs of argument when teaching him new things but our relationship is so much intense. He will put his head on my shoulder now and breath so slowly (I get the shivers just thinking about it), his look is so real now. And, he's starting to play!!

As for Corado, our relationship changed since I stopped Parelli and started AND. Everyting became a game. To me, he was a dangerous horse because of his quick and overreaction. And since I had no experience around horses, I always had to be careful where I was. He could take off anytime. After doing the rituals with Corado, he is now a happy and lively horse and just LOOOVVES to play. Of course I clickertrain too so they get treats when try to please me.

This, is exactly the relationship I was looking for with horses. I am not an expert on horse behavior like our moderators, but I do agree that horses behave for a reason .

Magik is a biter and Corado is a kicker. So now I've taught Magik to pick things up with his teeth (ball, glove, anything he can put in his mouth. He loves it.

Corado, I've taught him to lift his leg (mistake cuz now he's doing it all the time even when I'm not expecting it), taught him to stretch, every morning we do our forehand stretches and hind. So now, he's not really kicking agressively but I'm asking him to do specific things he likes to do.

Just a thought .

but one point I truly believe is everyday we must spend some "sharing territory" with our horse(s).
It can be for 15 minutes only but during this time, you sit with your horse and no interaction. You don't touch him, he doesn't touch you. You read a book, or doze off, but you don't even look at him. If he comes to you (and he's the agressive type), you get up and shooh him away (I use a dressage whip and just swing the air in front of me. when he leaves, the second he moves away, you sit back down and do what you were doing. You never touch the horse without his persmission. Just like he shouldn't touch you without your permission. That's the start.

I always say to myself "if I were a horse, would I like to be treated this way". If not, then I'll find a way that I know my horse would love.

Great subject. We're learninig alot !!

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Jocelyne
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3690
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
You think you aren't an expert, Joycelyn? <snort>

Why am I then captivated, held breathless when I read what you are doing with Magik and Corado, and learning from you the very things I've been seeking after a 20 year professional career with horses, and a 30 year layoff because I thought I'd never find what you are teaching me?

My head nearly explodes reading some of this. Things I came within millimeters of discovering myself, but did not. The realization that my idea of patience (and I've always advocated for it with horses) and yours are almost a continent apart: yours being superior to mine.

I need to go out and see my horses in a bit and apologize to them for not knowing and following a teacher until now. Keep doing what you are doing.

Not an expert, eh. Well, if you insist. :friends:

Donald, Nettlepatch Farm

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


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Why thank you Donald (again) for your encouragement. I guess my experts are Corado and Magik. I only know these two boys but gosh do I know them!!! I think what helps me is that I knew nothing about the traditional way of thinking and even today, sometimes my horses will do things and I question myself "is this acceptable behavior" or is this a traditional judgment of the horse, example, horses kissing us. Alot of people tell me "you're asking to get bitten by your horse. Well, Corado doesn't bite (he kicks but doesn't bite. So why would he want to bite me? So I guess I'm just taking chances (or maybe I trust him completely).
On the other hand, Magik doesn't kick, he bites. So I know I could stand behind Magik and ask for a back up slightly pulling on the tail. He has learnt to back up. I wouldn't do it with Corado because I know him. He may not like it and kick out. Why take the chance, right?
Again, like many have said "horses have a reason to lash out, whether it be kicking or biting". I know mine always have a reason. I may not agree but they have their opinion too.

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Jocelyne
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3690
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
horsefever wrote:
Why thank you Donald (again) for your encouragement. I guess my experts are Corado and Magik. I only know these two boys but gosh do I know them!!! I think what helps me is that I knew nothing about the traditional way of thinking and even today, sometimes my horses will do things and I question myself "is this acceptable behavior" or is this a traditional judgment of the horse, example, horses kissing us. Alot of people tell me "you're asking to get bitten by your horse. Well, Corado doesn't bite (he kicks but doesn't bite. So why would he want to bite me? So I guess I'm just taking chances (or maybe I trust him completely).
On the other hand, Magik doesn't kick, he bites. So I know I could stand behind Magik and ask for a back up slightly pulling on the tail. He has learnt to back up. I wouldn't do it with Corado because I know him. He may not like it and kick out. Why take the chance, right?
Again, like many have said "horses have a reason to lash out, whether it be kicking or biting". I know mine always have a reason. I may not agree but they have their opinion too.


Like I said. :smile:

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


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:10 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:14 am
Posts: 28
Location: Victoria, Australia
Loving this thread too ....

When I got to Josepha and Karen's posts I had the urge to post and say yes. Exactly my experiences with Kami. Asking was pressure for her no matter how small the ask, resulting in insecurity and aggressive behaviour. Had to give up all expectations and demands... She was angry with humans and had been abused. She has triggers to her aggressive outbursts also which I learnt after getting big frights. One was lunging ears pinned when I was swatting bot flies off Nambi, the other waving my arms around and jumping (star jumps I guess).

I just could not understand why she would not walk away to say NO. I do not tie her or work in confined spaces. I kept thinking horses avoid conflict at all costs - why did she want to fight and stand her ground or chase. I came to the conclusion (right or wrong) that was never ever allowed to walk away and so no. She would have been tied up (even cross tied) and made to take whatever was done to her. She finally knows (well almost i think) she can walk away which she does. If I touch in the wrong spot or just don't get that itching correct she walks off instead of rushing at me or ear pinning and head tossing. I gave her back control of the situation that she so desperately needed to gain confidence in dealing with me as a human.

It took much longer that I had imagined - 21/2 to 3 years. I spent soooo much time just being with her (not always too close either) and asking nothing of her. Patience is an understatement with these horses....

I also started doing things with her over the fence (esp the scratching) or with a barrel between us. This helped both of us feel more secure ... :sun: :sun: :sun:

I have not really started any training as such yet which i am hoping to move on to with the help of this forum! No expectations though - she has taught me well :smile: :smile:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:53 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:14 am
Posts: 28
Location: Victoria, Australia
Joycelyn I too found the just sharing space and sitting or standing with my horses really helpful. Have done a fair bit of it. Even to look at them too much was pressure. I so desperately wanted to 'do things' or touch them but it was not what they wanted or needed! After some time of resting they would go into a nice big stretch (usually ramener) and yawn and yawn. In tune with them I did the same without making it seem disrespectful or over doing the mimicking ....

I do think it can be easier if you do not have a background in horses, however you do have to be humble and respectful around them like you are doing. Good on you :sun:

My two more troubled background horses are much better with people that are not experienced with horses but who also admire and are in awe of them. Kids that have not been taught the traditional way are popular!


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