The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:25 am 
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Well, if you're a chicken, I'm a turkey!

Stardust, my big warmblood, who has big movement and huge spooks and geeks at unexpected moments, is a larrrrggge part of my "eek! no bridle" fear...I've been airborn off him several times with tack...

By comparison, Circe seems soooo much smaller! I think there is an exponential quality of largeness with bigger horses...he's only about six inches taller than Circe but he's a tank compared to her!

Baby steps, baby steps...and oh, yes, Jessy, lots of bailing off! Thanks for the reminder!!!


he he he he :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: i am so glad i have someone to be a big chicken/ turkey with!!! :D it is nice to know that i have someone going through the same thing.

i have not been in the situation to fall off him YET, but i got him because he was so dangerouse ans ditched everyone! :sad: so even though it has not happend to me, and i take things VERY VERY VERY slowly, the thought is still in my mind.

he used to blow at the littlest thing, even if i tried to rise to the trott. this was TERRIFYING to him! :huh: so i had to just sit to the BIGGEST trott i have ever seen or felt in my life!!!! :D i found myself exercising my torturouse voice, and singing out loud alot!!! :funny: and that is NOT good :funny: :funny: :funny:

i have not been on him for a while, and i am planning on doing this soon, so eeeeeeeekkkkk!!! :sad: :sad: :sad: i am very nervouse. i might just hop on and off till i feel brave :D i wonder if that will ever happen? ;)

i lost my confidence many years back really bad. two fractured hips after a horse with a brain malfunction (literally) it got to the point where walking up to a saddled horse had me in a cold sweat! :sad: :blush: i would be shaking and in tears. so i just spenmt days standing on the mounting blockand bursting into tears, then untacking. Grenadiere must have thought i was totally insane!!! ;) :funny:

after about a week, i was able to pluck up enough courage to mount, but i pannicked and held the saddle so tight that my hands turned white. so gren just stood still and went to sleep while i pryed my own fingers loose so that i could get off.

after about another week, i was able to take a few steps of walk. Gren knew exactly what i needed. and would just walk a little then stop and look at me, to check if i had wet myself yet. i think he found it quite humorouse. this from the girl that used to ride him in a halter bareback in the middle of the night at a flat gallop up the street with arms out and eyes shut!!!! :funny:

it was alot of months of this kind of thing till i was able to trust a little again, and gren did it all for me. :love: :love: :love: :love: special man. one day, he just decided to put me into a gallop to get me over it. and it did. it was totally exillerating, and i found my "FRED" (anyone who has ever seen the movie drop dead fred)

anyway. i have know idea why i started this story, but i felt the need to share it! :D :D :D :D

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love jessy


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:40 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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Jessy,
I think it's wonderful that you shared it. I've never gotten badly hurt falling off (I guess I'm a "really big chicken" and don't try dangerous stuff ) but I think your testimony is one that will encourage many people who have gotten hurt badly to learn to overcome their fear. I knw how many there are around. I have heard statistics that more than half of all people who own horses have had an accident that was bad enough to get them to the emergency room. A surprisingly large percentage of these accidents did not happen during riding but in small spaces (trailer loading, stalls etc.)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:21 pm 
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when I was a child I used to fall of a lot but never broke anything. I started riding and my teacher tought us to jump on and of cantering horses and things like that, he tought us how to fall too,like in judo. So I was a crazy little child. It also tought me to be able to sit really good on a horse, I mean good in the way that I could sit out a lot of things. But the last 5 years I haven't fallen anymore, I got so good at the sitting it out that at one time I got frightened of falling because I wasn't used to it anymore...

So now I get more tense worrying I will fall of and so I don't sit that well anymore. I guess I cannot do anything about it but to start being on my horse again and just experience things.

I have this silly anecdote: A few months ago I fell on the concrete and my knee got scratched, when you are a child it happens 10 times a day, but I found it being VERY painfull, I had never known it hurted that much, as a child it was normal and I probably had a higher pain treshold, same with falling of my horse I guess. Grown ups are not as tough as children :)

I have to remember the baby steps and just start being with Beau on his back and being more like a child...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:02 pm 
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I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!!!!!

funy, your childhood sounds like mine. i did the same. i did alot of vaulting when i was young, it tought me to fall, i also played alot of stupid games that meant my falling off regularly. i learned to fall well, and actually roll and get up in one.

all of my students learned, (as they were ready) to do the same thing. they learned to BAIL when necessary! :D we played fun games that meant vaulting on and vaulting off. I LOVE THIS KIND OF THING!!!

but after having Black douglas, (my horse with a brain malfunction) he used to just be standing asleep with me talking away, and he would rear and flip backwards!! he could buck so amaingly, that people offered me money as a buck jumper at rodeo, (NO WAY!!!!) he gave me some of the worst injuries of my life. but he tought me that i dont have to try and fix everyone. some are not fixable! :blush:

Quote:
So now I get more tense worrying I will fall of and so I don't sit that well anymore. I guess I cannot do anything about it but to start being on my horse again and just experience things.

this is a big problem. i think everyone needs a few nice falls a year, just to get them to feel that it is not that bad.....fallling off a horse does not have to be that big a deal! :D :D after my last big fall, i didnt fall for a long time. i was making sure that it never happened again. but in doing this, i became afraid of that BIG fall. and i forgot that most are not that bad. most of them actually dont hurt that much.

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just keep swimming, quote from nemo!:)
love jessy


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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Ha,Ha, Jessy, I can tell that you are a lot younger than I am, when I did fall off it DID hurt. :yes: :yes: , even from an only 15 hh horse. But I realize if I would have relaxed more it would have hurt a lot less. I wondering if anyone would be interested to make a little video in how to best practice falling off, learning to vault on and off etc. ?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Location: provincie Utrecht
Natalie wrote:
I have sympathies, my 2 ponies are exactly the same! Lancer hacks out with half the hedge in his mouth. :yes:


Thanks i am not alone and you Barbara the same ;)
trees are very tasty :yes: But in the arena we are started and it goes everytime better. So there is hope :smile:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:57 pm
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There is unless you have a hedge at the bottom of your arena like we do. Snack time every circuit! :D

It would be great if we could have a video on how to fall off, or emergency dismount as I was never taught how to do it when I was small. I did consider learning a martial art so I could learn to fall, but I am not convinced I am martial arts material.... :huh:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:29 pm 
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For me, at my age, the best i can hope for is to slide off safely and land on my butt rather than my head. :funny: :funny:

No "vaulting" off for me! :ieks:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:18 pm 
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Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
I tried to practice the jumping on and of one time with Beau but he just stops dead at the moment I shift my weight too much and then stands there looking at me :) so it does not work :)

btw I wanted to tell you guys that I sat on Beau again yesterday in the pasture and I felt more safe already... wonderful!

I just have to figure out how to keep Pascha away because when I'm on Beau he wants to chase Beau...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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Natalie and Karen,
I used to think the same thing, that I'm not athletic enough, too old, too heavy etc. , I don't believe that any more, after I have seen people in their 80s doing martial arts, marathons etc. and some of them only started in their 50s. Bones get more brittle with age for sure, but to me that is even more of a reason to become more agile through learning martial arts concepts, strengthening, and stretching. I've only invested fairly small amounts of time so far (maybe 30 min./day) and am making progress. Eating healthy food is probably part of it, too, and that one I'm doing better some times than others. In any case, set your goals high and eat the elephant one bite at a time, as Jessy said somewhere else. Most limitations are in our thinking more than in our abilities. :) :f: :f: :f: :f: :f:
I never thought I'd do any high level dressage moves with my horse ever, and now I see it as quite possible. :yes:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Well, if it hurts, I don't do it! :funny: :funny:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:51 pm 

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I fully agree with that, the old "now pain, no gain" is unnecessary and can do a lot of damage. I prefer to take baby steps. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Quote:
Most limitations are in our thinking more than in our abilities.


I have had at least two concussions in my life that I am aware of, and they do have a cumulative effect on your brain, so it's best to avoid having them happen again. ;)

Diet and exercise can help (of course I know this), and I do this. Perfectly? No, but I'm no slouch. I have arthritis, literally, from being quite healthy and active all my life - it is the damage accumulated from being an outdoorsy, hard working farm child, who worked hard doing chores and was not afraid to get thrown off a horse - and where I can control it, I can't reverse it. Some things simply do hurt and cannot be fixed. I have fallen arches and this has caused knee damage over the years. I keep mobile to keep pain from happening, but the damage is nevertheless there. Somewhere in my youth, I got a whiplash and some where along the line I also got a little twist in my spine. These can be managed with proper exercise, but it cannot be reversed. They are a part of me and do limit my ability. They will not go away. All I can do is stay active and keep it from hurting.

I can be as healthy as possible, and past damage will not be reversed. There are very good reasons I do not vault off of horses or practice falling. For some people, this is just not possible, despite all the diet and exercise in the world. There are people who have bone loss for a variety of reasons. They are not all out of shape with poor eating habits. :f:

So for some, being cautious is what you do as a fact of daily life. If an activity is likely to do more harm to me physically, I will not do it. :yes:

For some, regardless how healthy they are, falling off is something they should avoid. I am one of those people. No matter how fit I am, I will still get a consussion easier than some others will. So rather than practicing falling off, I practice staying on. :funny:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:57 pm
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Quote:
Most limitations are in our thinking more than in our abilities.


Quote:
So rather than practicing falling off, I practice staying on.


Both very wise and both have their place. :yes:

I too cannot do the more aggressive martial arts as I have dodgy grating knees, bad wrists and shoulders, and a history of terrible posture and back troubles from too much working with horses and building dry stone walls as a younger person. I never thought I would be free of constant pain. I looked for a method that suited me and I found t'ai chi (martial arts for wimps!). It keeps me supple without stressing me and over time- along with alexander technique lessons- I find I am almost pain free for short periods. I never thought this was possible, as I get older I get better...yay! I can now kneel down for upto 5 minutes where before I could not at all -to me that is a small miracle! I realise some things can change and other things we just have to work around as best we can, but I never say never...just in case there is a chance I might have to.

Well done Barbara, were you "naked riding" then???? ;) :D


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:17 pm 
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well, let's say Beau was naked I wasn't ;)

ps I put on a film about falling

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