The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Thanks Josepha and Anette for the tips. I will experiment a bit with all the suggestions. Although I don´t know any resources about endotapping. I will search the forum more...
But first I will give Mucki time to figure out the whole riding thing. I also think that soon he will be more calm and relaxed (although he was very much so already). And he will lower his head eventually. And I will be lurking on his back, waiting for the right moment to strike... and shove a treat in his mouth :funny:.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:02 am 
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Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Concerning height ratios, my husband and I both ride Brodie - she's 13.2 and we're "normal". When we go out riding with friends we have to look way UPPP to see them on their warmbloods etc. But we're long past being embarrassed by our relative statures as she's more horse than most of them put together. :D
The only thing that embarrasses me is that even at that piddly height, I STILL can't jump on her.... :blush:

I've also been "riding" Miro, just ten minutes of "fun" that we add to our trainings. And she's just a shetland pony.. :green: (She doesn't know that though.)

Miriam, just a thought about your turns without reins. When I do "reinless flexions" I use my right leg at girth to signal for a bend left and vice versa. This is the natural place where your outside leg falls against the horse if you seat yourself very upright and turn from your hips. This then gives me a very simple and natural turning cue when I'm riding reinless. Leg at the girth signals shoulders over. Leg behind the girth signals hindquarters over. Hips set the bend.
I'm wondering if training the inside leg as a cue to bend the neck towards you might present some problems later in riding?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:49 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Hi Miriam,
what a great story! I just wanted to share with you a bit about "making your own padding" for your seatbones :)

sit on your hands on a chair. Find neutral spine/seatbones down position (what you refer to as straight, I think). Even though your seatbones might feel less sharp then when you are round-backed, we can still do better!

Very slowly begin to tighten the muscles in your buttocks. Yes, like clenching you butt cheeks :) hmmm, the unavoidable crudeness just does not bother me anymore, is this a sign of maturity or ??? :)
There will be a point when your muscles go under your seatbones and you "pop up" off of them. But if you do this very slowly and thoughtfully, you will find a place where you still feel your seatbones, but also have a muscle pad next to them. This makes a world of difference for some horses! (and some people riding in hard saddles)

Now the real tricky bit is to maintain the right degree of this holding - without losing the mobility of your pelvis - to be able to follow/direct your horse...

Experiment with being totally let go and adding (different levels of) this muscle tone in your pelvic area while you ride. Let your horse tell you what he thinks!
I think this is what many good riders do quite unconsciously. If you have access to some, and are on friendly-enough terms with them (ha ha) you could request an opportunity to feel their seatbones - by having them sit on your hand on the saddle (or bareback). You can even take it a step further and keep your hand under them while they ride at a walk.

It's a hard concept for riders who begin totally relaxed in the muscles of their underneath. The feeling of being too stiff may crop up. It's a learned skill to be able to make your bottom welcoming for your horse... and of course this can be overdone - it is definitely too much tension if: a) you lose your seatbones, or b) this holding prevents you from being able to mold to your horse's back as he moves.

Let me know if this helps

Zu


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:55 am 
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WOW!!! How great you are doing Miriam!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
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Location: Netherlands
O wow, this diary has been more alive than I! :green:

About Speedy Gonzalez: I've been Ill for a while and didn't get a chance to do a lot with him (I actually wanted to write: to him :twisted: ) and so the riding has stopped again.
When it stopped, we were able to halt/walk/turn with cordeo and back up without problems (soooo cool 8) ), but when I decided that it was the time to take the next step, I decided to take three next steps at the same time (why not try Spanish walk while riding? Why not try and ask for the ramener during walk? Why not try to trot? :roll: ) with the result that Speedy froze in the corner where I asked for trot for the third time (voice and buttcheeks only ;) ) and then started bucking and I had the first bright idea that entire day, which was that it was time to get off.

So, the past three months we've only been doing groundwork/hanging over him when rewarding, and putting a lot of effort in trotting on a voice cue only, as I discovered that from the ground he mainly responds to my bodylanguage, so the voice cue wasn't that strong anyway.

However, when my mom and I went to a country fair a month ago, there was a shop with all kinds of animal skins (really everything, from cows to zebras, heads and skins) and when I walked around I was quite horrified until I saw... Reindeer skin!
I had just read an old test in a Dutch horse magazine (Bit) which showed that reindeer skin is the most shock absorbing thing in the universe (well, close 8) ). So then suddenly the animal skins weren't scary at all and I got one for Speedy. Now Speedy hates the smell of it and I haven't ridden him yet, but it's progress! 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Ha, if I had known that all it took to get you to post again was to write two posts in your diary I would have done so a long time ago! :green:

Greetings Miriam - long time no see! :f:

I was really hoping for new videos of you and Speedy. I love them!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:11 pm 
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@ Zuzanna, wow! I first thought (really!) that I was reading my own post and thought, did I write this here? When? Then I saw that it was someone else :blonde: ha ha ha ! What wonderful to read this! I am going to check out your website, Ride better indeed :cheers:

@ Miriam, don't walk the streets with the reindeer skin, maybe someone will throw paint on you. Also, when someone of the animal rights organisation I am with finds out, I do not know you :D
I miss training together.... could also use some inspiration :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 pm
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Location: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Thank you Josepha,
I really do believe that "good riding is good riding" no matter the background or discipline... I love to watch accomplished riders and look for similarities! And I am fascinated by the "how to" do it, sometimes so hard to figure out from the "oh, I don't know, I just relax and ride, you know?" answers... :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Wow, say... are you my twin? :green: 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 pm
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Location: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
funny world, huh? :) Maybe we should start a thread on the different paths we all took to get to where we are (or want to be going)...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Darn, so now I have a reindeerskin that isn't just unused, but also unhappy... :sad:
A very strange thing about the skin though isn't just that it's really thick (and I really mean really thick! :ieks: ), but also the smell. It smells very musky, like a wet dog x christmas tree. :blonde:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:39 pm 
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I know, I saw them at a Christmas fair. Wow they felt so lovely but did smell a tad strange. When I was going through the fur with my hand, I dreamed of meeting a Reindeer :) They are so cute... and how would it be to train AND with them?

:funny:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:57 pm 
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Could be very interesting indeed. 8)

@ Zuzanna, I've tried your seatbones exercise and I think I got the drift. I also felt that my legs spread a bit to the side when I squeezed my buttcheeks. Funny! And because of your exercise I also realised that I'm actually did that already when sitting on speedy, as I have to sit up really straight with my lower back because otherwise he gets grumpy and threatens to buck me off.

So nice to have such a clear and opinionated pony as master! 8)
(although it would be even nicer if he would believe in positive reinforcement as well and would reward me every now and then if I'm being slightly less anoying than usual... :rambo: )

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:58 pm 
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reindeers are lovely and cute. we have met them for several years ago in Finland. We have spoken to a reindeer farmer.
though with someone who could translate him, he did not speak english.
He was very proud because he had a albino i ve got somewere some pics of him. I never forget that, he dit do everthing to get on the picture with his reindeer :smile: it was a nice man.
We have also made a small tour with some reindeers. i think you can learn them a lot of things. If they can pull a sled they can do more.

During our husky trail we used also reindeer furs to keep us warm by lunch. But they did not smell as nasty as you write.
ofcourse you know it is an animal same as you buy a sheepskin it smell but not that much.
BTW the sheepskin of ikea dont smell because they do something special with it.


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