The Art of Natural Dressage

Learning to ride... Speedy
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Author:  Glen Grobler [ Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

:clap: :clap: :clap: I am very happy about this. I really, really don't want to be the only tall person riding a short horse ...

I have to say that these things definitely don't "only" happen in movies. I had 2 experiences in April with Freckles like that - when I wanted to take the saddle off he ran away from me and went and stood at the mounting block. :roll:
You see, with me being sick a lot last year and Freckles passing the magic age of 7 we have a problem - our energy levels just don't match. He wants to do more than my body can tolerate :sad: which is why I sent him away for 3 months to learn showjumping and see if he likes that.

Author:  Volker [ Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

Sorry I missed this thread until now! I was quite busy, but still that´s no excuse for denying this thread the attention it definitely deserves!
I´m very happy for you and your last experience with Speedy - that is one of the best things that can happen to a horse owner ever. Funnily, I had such an experience just yesterday with Mucki. He grabbed his halter when I was not looking and gave it a soft tug twice to make sure I got the message. Then when I held it out for him, he plunged his head into it, waited for me the fasten the clasp and then followed me down to the exit of the pasture like never before. Usually he would wait for me to pick him up and then dawdle on the way ;).
Sometimes Mucki would pick up the whip, the lead rope, paw or do jambette of course, sometimes he would just go to the exit and stand there :D. Whatever he does, he´s become so much more expressive and I´m pretty sure I owe that to the R+.

But of course the best example of a horse who likes to interact with a human is your Speedy. Congratulations :applause:!

I also share other things mentioned in your posts, like being a tall rider on a not so tall horse. I guess the ratio is actually quite like yours: 1.90m/75kg on a 1.55m horse. Fortunately Mucki also grows to the side a lot, so I won´t look like Don Quixote on Rosinante, hopefully ;).
I also had my first attempts on riding Mucki, so I´ll follow this thread with rapt attention now.

Author:  inge [ Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

wow Mirjam, so good!
We are back from holliday and i try to catch up all the post. You have made a very very big progress. :applause:
And the last story sooo good, thats true horsemanship :yes:
That is in my eyes the perfect way of communication between horse and human.

You are not too big for the pony, here the same, my icy is almost the same hight and i have the same weight as you.
so i dont see the problem, only i am a bit shorter then you are :D
You will notice when it is to heavy for the pony, he will make it perfectly clear to you and you will understand it.

specialy after what you wrote, dont be afraid just listen to the pony ;)

Author:  Glen Grobler [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

:lol: Dignity be damned - here's me and my Rocket pony riding out. Who will match this? By the way - not having a saddle that fits has done wonders for my sitting trot :D I can sit his fast trot now and I sat Santa's medium trot yesterday. Wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

The proportions - pony at nipple height

My feet at his knees

Our playground

My schooling arena -the only level area for miles around

Trotting Along on Cordeo

The Aftermath

Author:  Morgan [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

The pics are stunning....I almost wanted to shout "I'm booking a flight and coming to stay and help you!!!" and then I realised I have a family that would need abandoning....... :funny:
You don't look silly on him, yes he's a bit small but you are not heavy/big and by no means do you look rediculous on him and we shrink anyway when we get older so in about 10 years times you will be the perfect fit!!!!! lol
Most of the working horses are pony type and rarely are over 15.2. I loved it when Morgan was just over 14 hands, no mounting block required and no dropping of the stirrup or hauling to get up there. Now he is probably about 15.3 and I just cannot get on without dropping the stirrup or using a block and it's a mission if I need to get off during a ride it's not a quick mount. I take my hat off to you riding with a pad, gotta be good for your exercise!
Smaller horse are just so much less daunting...I guess cos there is never really a "fall" more of a slip off, or quick dismount.
It's the western world that want big showy horses, farmers and people that want healthy working horses choose small sturdy types as they are generally easier to I say.....GO ROCKET! :applause:

Author:  Morgan [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

This is lovely
I didn't know what to think and therefore just walked to the jump I usually use to mount... Well, by the time I got there, Speedy was standing there already, parked next to the beam, waiting for me to climb on board!

TOO WEIRD!!! I thought that stuff only happend in movies (horse walking to rock so that person can climb on his back and that kind of romantic nonsense ), but apparently Speedy has seen them! The most amazing thing is that normally when I ask him to park next to the jump so that I can get on his back, he parks a bit too far to the side or stops too late so that I have to adjust the jump before I can get on. Now he was standing right next to it.

I dream of this day. :green: I have been watching you tube vids today of mounting bareback wondering how I will ever get back on Morgan bareback. He just hates me getting on full stop at the moment but is so generous with everything else. We are back to putting the saddle on and pretending it's not there and just playing which is okay but getting on is a mission BUT he will let me lean/rub/ stretch across him bareback and stand at the block while I do it....I just musn't try and mount. :funny:
If I fetch a line and halter he will stand while I tack and mount but I want him to do this willingly at liberty, not because he has no choice. So I think it's amazing that Speedy did this. :applause:

Author:  Josepha [ Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

I want to take that plain to Glenn as well :)

Klaus says we all ride to large horses anyway :)

And yes, Mir... I also thought it impossible, but O has done that thing with the ikea stairs as well. "Hey you, get on and let's get going!" ha ha ! But not always, just a copple of times :)

Author:  Volker [ Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

I can add another pair to the list of tall riders and not so tall horses: I´m 1.92 meters and Mucki is 1.52m or so. I feared the worst, but it looks alright - I think ;). you can judge by yourself from our latest video: As long as I don´t have to be afraid that the horse can´t bear my weight, I think size doesn´t matter :).

Author:  Josepha [ Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

:clap: Thanks to the flexions Mucki turns around the forehand and walks backwards correctly, to counterpart that his first instincts would be to lower his back. He ends up nicely rounded to ensure a future of correct and rounded carriage! This is what I am always trying to explain to people...Exellent work both of you! :cheers:
I've put the video on my facebook Natural Riding Art page as an example... sure you don't mind? 8)

Author:  Volker [ Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

Wow, Josepha, I´m flattered to be on your Facebook page :blush:. Especially as I´m still not totally sure what it was that got me there :green:. Do you mean that had I not initiated the turn by flexing, Mucki would have turned with a hollow back? I have to say it was the only way I could think of to get Mucki to turn ;).
And of course I did some flexions without turning to get him used to weight shifts and bending with a rider.

What would have been the undesirable counterpart? To turn by pulling the inside rein?

Author:  Josepha [ Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

As soon as human sits on a horse, the horse will hollow his back as a natural response, which you can see very clear in your movie. The Gymnasium is designed to counterpart the horse making himself hollow, but instead engaging his hind quarters and back. The flexions provide balance from a supple neck, the turns provide the inside hind leg with bending and thus the engagement of back and hind quarters and lift of the shoulders. In your video this is brilliantly shown from the very first start. I guess it is not on purpose that you do it the same way we do it at my school :green: In my way of working, we start the gymnasium before the riding obviously, but as soon as we get on, we do not just simply sit there and let the horse walk on, and with that educating himself to walk on the forehand, but instead, start tiny steps of the Gymnasium right away so the horse educates himself to engage the proper body parts :) I had no video of this event (stupidly never occured to me), so I gladly borrow yours :)

8) So thank you very much!

Author:  Josepha [ Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

oh and yes, pulling a rein always makes the horse to fall on one our both shoulders, so flexions and bend need to come from the horse's own way of moving which can of course be extracted by minimal human interference :)

Author:  Volker [ Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

Thank you Josepha for your feedback!
Josepha wrote:
I guess it is not on purpose that you do it the same way we do it at my school :green:
Not really ;). But with gymnastic reasons in mind. I emphasised lateral work (bending and stepping under) over the last two months. At liberty as well as with cavesson. So that Mucki responded that easily didn´t come by chance, I guess.
I also tried to get him to lower his head, but he didn´t react to my voice cue yet. Is there any other way I can support him with reaching low with his head? Otherwise I will work on solidifying my voice cue for that.

Josepha wrote:
I had no video of this event (stupidly never occured to me), so I gladly borrow yours :)
8) So thank you very much!
You´re welcome!

Author:  Josepha [ Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

Is there any other way I can support him with reaching low with his head?

Try going a bit forward down yourself, like when you were taking a groundpole or going up a hill.
This works better for me with a saddle I must say, because of the stirrups. Nevertheless, when there are no stirrups, act as if there were :) Of course (I do not need to tell you this) when Mucky moves only a tiny bit forward down, reward :)

Author:  Morgan [ Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning to ride... Speedy

Volker, I don't know if you have looked at endo-tapping. Something there might help you with the head down whilst in the saddle. You could teach him a physical cue (soft tapping) on the whither/base of the neck with a vocal cue???

I think in time (a few more times sitting on him) he will relax a bit more when you move slightly on his back, not so much surprise as the new sensations/sight coming from that area. His head will then drop on it's own when he feels there is nothing surprising about to happen!!! lol

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