The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Totally cool.
:applause: :applause: :applause:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:42 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
I don't know if any of you subscribe to "Horses for life"? I don't subscribe but did sign up a while back which allows you to read a few articles each month for free.
This month there is a wonderful article about Pignon and his wife and their thoughts on training:
http://horsesforlife.com/content/view/1955/1568/

Don't know if this link will let you in.....bit worth signing up for!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:33 pm 
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yep i have a membership for many years now, i like this magazine.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:20 pm 
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I have subsribed this magazine for about two years. It's really great and full of inspiration! In the actual issue there are two very interesting articles about bitless riding: "The power of the bit", and "the power of the sidepull".

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:06 pm 
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I think Pigon and Magali's book is worth reading, very AND like :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:51 pm 
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I got the book 'gallop to freedom' for my birthday last year already... Still one of my favorites...

Actually Frederic Pignon is the one that send me on my quest to have another way of working with horses... and to here in the end :)

Actually, right now I'm getting all my books one at a time from the shelves... and think 'I shou;d look in to them again ;) ) busy times...

It's worth reading for sure (probably worth reading more then once :) )

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Wasn't sure where to put this...so feel free to move it. :)
Reasons why to use food in training:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015446

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 am 
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Since I love to buy horse books, I thought I could review some I´ve read...

Schooling Exercises In-Hand: Working Towards Suppleness and Confidence
Oliver Hilberger
on Amazon (German original)
on Amazon (English)

Image

It´s a very nice and descriptive introduction to the classical work in hand. Starting with explaining the pros and cons of bit and cavesson and general advices for the use of both, he then goes into detailed descriptions of the gymnastic exercises. Bending on the circle, stepping under, shoulder in, shoulder out, renvers and travers. He gives an overview of the classical figuresyou can do in an arena and what they can be used for.
He tries to be as precise as possible in describing the lessons, which can (e.g. renvers) get a bit convoluted at times. But he keeps a very unbiased tone over the length of the book, keeps it free from preaching or ideological rants.
By the way, since I also have lessons with him, I can say that his style of handling is a very positive one. He is open to treats and liberty work, he also spent some time with Hempfling during his time in Spain, until the allegations of sectarianism arised.

Overall I can recommend the book for everyone who likes to start with this kind of groundwork - I can say that working with him has helped me and Mucki a good deal.

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Last edited by Volker on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:16 am 
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Another German one:

Vertrauen statt Dominanz: Wege zu einer neuen Pferdeethik
Marlitt Wendt
on Amazon

Image

Trust instead of dominance. The title speaks for itself. It is a plea for new ethics in handling the horse. What´s nice about this book is that the author uses scientific research to back up her reasoning why the simple display of dominance is not the right way to approach horse handling. For my taste, it could have been even more scientific, but that´s just me I guess ;).
I like about the book that it is a rare example of horse literature that does not claim to give you a step by step guide to better horse handling, but "just" tries to change the way the reader thinks about the relationship between horse and human. It is certainly a very nice step in the right direction, backed up with some very good photography - it could reach a bit further into horse behaviour for my taste.

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Last edited by Volker on Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:35 am 
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Considering the Horse: Tales of Problems Solved and Lessons Learned
Mark Rashid
on Amazon

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Mark Rashid is definitely a very interesting author, with lots of horsemanship tales to tell. This one, being an revised version of his first book, if I remember correctly, has become a bit outdated. The author added side notes at the end of every chapter, which for me, turned out to be the most interesting parts of the book. There he reconsiders his considerations about the horse and writes about the way his handling and thinking has sometimes changed quite significantly. This makes the reading experience a strange one, and I couldn´t shake off the feeling that I bought a book which the author isn´t convinced of anymore.
Apart from that, his stories about how he learned - often the hard way - about horses are revealing and show incredible sensitivity especially in a time when a horseman was more a wrangler in the worst sense of the word.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:51 pm 
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If you like more sientific books about horses
this one would be nice too

Equine behavior:
principles & plractice

written by Daniel Mills and Kathryn Nankervis.
isbn 0-632-04878-6
isbn 978-0-632-04878-6


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:53 am 
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Volker, I've read the whole series of Mark Rashid's books, in order, and it's fascinating, observing his progress through layers of realization. I haven't read the revised edition.
I'm a big fan of his, most especially because of his humbleness in admitting what he doesn't know, and offering his insights in such a "smorgasbord" way that allows others to come and taste without having things forced on them. Much like his method with horses. I've watched some of his videos as well, and have probably learnt more from them, in observing his practice of not pushing, than from all the dressage videos I've seen. "Finding the try" is such a simple little concept, but so powerful, and with bottomless layers of depth. Especially when paired with R+.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:19 am 
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Thanks Inge for the tip. I´ve put it on my reading list ;). Right now I´m half way through this one:
Horse Behavior, 2nd edition, by George Waring.
I will report about it when I finished it.

Sue, I also like Mark Rashid´s openness about things. That he never tries to establish him as the super-uber-trainer who has seen it all. I also like his very positive way to see horses. Maybe I´ve read too much praise here on the forum that I expected more from the books. I´ve also started "A good horse is never a bad color" but haven´t finished it - I will give him some more chances ;). And will try to get that video you mentioned, sounds nice.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:20 am 
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good to hear that the video's of Mark are usefull. A good idea for x-mas ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:49 am 
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I have been reading a few horse-related books lately. 

Read Tom Dorrance's "True Unity: Willing Communication between horse and human", a few months ago, and can't actually remember much of what I read (or have already integrated the useful bits into my knowledge bank), but I remember that I really enjoyed it. 

Then came Mark Rashid's "Considering the horse", which I mostly enjoyed, but felt a little uncomfortable about some parts (I had his first version without the notes that Volker mentioned), but again I really appreciated his honesty and openness, he even admits in some places things that he still doesn't understand. It is a nice book about his journey to that point. 

The I read Ingrid Soren's "The Zen of Horseriding". This was just beautiful. It described being present with horses, being there, accepting, all these wonderful "life" concepts that come up so often in this book. So many wonderful Zen quotes. I wanted to note down many of then, I may even have to re-read it so I can take notes. Here are a few I can find while just flicking through: 
"Teaching is in every moment, teaches Zen, and I was a novice taking my first steps in zazen, in sitting, but also (although I didn't see it that way at the time) in the Zen of horse-riding."

"Non-perfection, that was it. The acceptance of non-perfection is enlightenment. Aha. Finding perfection in things as they are and not as we think they should be! Finding perfect existence through imperfect existence, this is the teaching, perfection in my imperfection. "

"What I learned from that fleeting experience (I was not able to replicate it immediately) was to reconnect with how I must have done things as a child, before I 'knew' anything: because a child does something with it's whole being, it surrenders completely to what is in hand, it is fearless. Now I could understand the Zen adage that a great man retains a child's mind. The qualities required for good riding were those childlike qualities of absorbed readiness, alertness and responsiveness. "

"'In the heart of this moment is eternity' wrote the thirteenth century monk Meister Eckhart. Horse-riding was verifying this mystic experience for me. Riding seemed to be the ultimate in mindfulness, in absorption, in being present, being there. "

Ah so many more, but I would rather just suggest that it is a nice book worth reading. This coming from myself that has had a hard time morally accepting "riding" horses for the last few months. It helped me to remember how magical it can be, and that one day I do want to do it more again. But also, many of the things she spoke about, I feel just being and playing and running with the horses, but I have a better understanding and feeling about that intense intimacy you share with a horse when you are moving together, close contact, riding. 


And last but not least (for now), I just finished reading Marthe Kiley-Worthington's "Equine Welfare". It gives a complete look at traditional horse-keeping practices, pulls it all apart, and puts it back together in a way that considers the horses mental, emotional and physical welfare, giving suggestions on how to evaluate the conditions under which your equine lives and how happy or unhappy they may be and why, and most importantly how to improve these practices (including breeding which I found really interesting). She is very honest and really tears some practices apart, but still writes the book as being aimed at those that do use more traditional horse management practices (like stabling, etc). Definitely worth at least flicking through. 
Also some really good chapters on ethics, and whether it is cruel to keep and to USE equines. Again, from myself having trouble considering suggesting "work" for horses, I can see the benefits of giving horses a job to do as long as it is done with no harm to the horse in any way (as she states frequently). 
Also forgot, chapters on the equine mind and learning, handling and teaching.

Anyway, now I have to try making my way through this list that everyone has suggested! Lucky I got a new job, now I can buy more books!

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