The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 561
Location: Israel
i made several types of pedestals since we found the whole concept very useful and fun. we use the pedestal as motivation booster, a stop in 'point to point' game, a rest place, a place to work on putting weight backwards etc... many uses, each horse offers to play with it differently.

The first one i built was done according to the plans in this link http://www.pkequestrian.com/buildprops.html, but it came out so heavy that i couldn't drag it in and out of the arena by myself, after a good year or 2 it broke down (Hercules is heavy...) - but the nice thing about it was the ease (for both big horses) to climb on it with all 4 feet. it also enabled me to start working on GTM with Tequila while on it.

Second type Pedestal is made out of a car tire and a plastic sewer top to which i screwed 4 wooden blocks
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its 66cm (~26in) in diameter, it is easy to move around since the top and tire are not connected and can be dragged separately. on the other hand it is not a stable as i would like it to be but that fact helped T quite a lot with balance and weight shifts.

The 3rd type was made out of a wooden plate (at least this is how it is called here) that i found in a compact size that can be moved around easily (size about 80cm X 60cm) i covered the top with a rubber mat.
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aluminum pedestal is the next thing i hope to get since all wooden pedestals either broke down or are too heavy to carry. the links i found for that are:
https://toysforhorses.com/Pedestal.php
http://www.horseplaygroundequipmentanddesign.com/horseplayground_Products-Pedestal.php
http://www.natural-horses.co.uk/Equipment-pedestals_etc.htm
since shipment to Israel is almost next to impossible i was thinking of ordering from the US to my parents home (in the US) but maybe you can work-out something with the UK people to ship within Europe.

i hope this is not too much info.
the wood for our Israeli version of your seesaw should arrive by Monday, very exciting. :yes:

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Location: Vienna, Austria
Thanks anat, for the detailed infos of your pedestals. For all you obstacle fans out there, I got a nice video for you. It's in German, but it's still worth watching if you don't understand it:
http://youtu.be/gZbuwWzsZHk

And furthermore, I've put together a video to show you our new home and a little bit of what I did with Lily & Mucki today. It seems like they already enjoy their new arena:
http://youtu.be/dfCk0j1XgcI

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Volker

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
That is so brilliant and made my evening! :funny:
You look like you are ready to turn professional and hit the road with those two horses!!!
I loved it when you moved that jump and Lily thought she was so clever rushing to jump over it (oh oh...I know what he's going ask next :funny: )
I also like the way she took off when you were busy with Mucki and being far too slow to keep up with what she wanted :funny: and then she initiates him charging off so she can rush back and take comtrol again....very smart horse. :D

I loved that you gave Mucki some things (like the turning) that he does like to do and he so reminds me of Morgan (I'll maybe think about it but can easily just plod around and he'll give me a treat anyway!!!).

Really really lovely to see their personalities. You are going to blow the socks off those other owners at the new place if they see you playing :applause:

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


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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Thank you so much Annette! Your assessment of Lily's personality hit the nail on the head :yes:. She's so good at getting attention and blocking me from Mucki or anything else but her :D.
It's not easy working with both of them together, as they are so different. But on the other hand, it's so rewarding and every time there's some interesting interaction between them that makes me laugh.

Lately they do really well at keeping their formation, like you can see when we were doing that tight turn at the beginning. Also trotting together was not possible before.
I wanted to do some synchronised jumping, but I'm afraid, we're far from that ;). Lily always wants to jump first, while Mucki needs lots of encouragement to jump in the first place... well, one of these days we will do it :yes:.

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:19 am 
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We started the integration of Lily and Mucki into their new herd on Sunday. First we let Mucki to the other gelding, but since Mucki immediately slipped under the fence to make sure that Lily is protected, we let Lily into the paddock as well.
The had to stay in their small integration paddock before for two weeks, so they mostly enjoyed the running. You can see Lily dealing out bucks and kicks in all directions, also aimed at Mucki ;)

What is also plain to see is Mucki's ancestry. He's definitely got talent for the Levade :ieks: One day I will do this with him together :love:

Here's a video of the first 5 minutes - after that everybody was grazing calmly:
http://youtu.be/eUvMuCrdei0

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 561
Location: Israel
congratulations, this is lovely.
who are the palomino, the black horse and the grey pony? are they part of the herd and will be joining in the pasture too?
Mucki is indeed beautiful, he seems to play the game majesty and somehow it seems he is making sure you watch too...
i hope they do well with the rest of the integration process and enjoy their new pasture.

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:57 am 
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The palomino is a Haflinger mare, who is not allowed on the grass. The black one is a Noriker mare, who is the fourth horse in our little herd. We let her to the rest a few minutes later. so we have basically 2 geldings with a mare each. We will see how this will work out. I wonder if one of the geldings will try to get all the mares? Right now it doesn't look like it, but that can easily change in the next weeks...
The grey pony is not part of our herd, but since she's so small she is a bit of a wandering star and often seen in other herds as well. She's a lovely feisty one ;) although way too fat...

anat wrote:
Mucki is indeed beautiful, he seems to play the game majesty and somehow it seems he is making sure you watch too...
It's interesting that you'd say that, because Anna and I wondered yesterday how our presence influences the herd dynamics. On Sunday it was just that Mucki and Lily both returned often to check with us, as you can see on the video.
And yesterday we watched them from a far and they were peacefully grazing, but when we came to watch at the fence, Lily got brave and ventured to Van Gogh (the other gelding) again and again. He in turn felt perhaps at a disadvantage and began to defend his territory and his mare. The result was Lily ran off and Mucki had to take the scars of the fight :roll:
We left again and again we saw from the distance that they grazed calmly. That really made me think...

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:43 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
They look like they are so happy to be running free again :applause:
Have you noticed Mucki or the other gelding trying to poo on top of the other one's poo?
This is something I noticed when you have two dominant geldings that are trying to mark territory in a new situation. I see Lily had a good sniff and phlem at the poo of the other gelding just wondered if Mucki had tried to mask it with his own poo?
Sounds wierd I know but as smell is so integral to their lives it makes sense they use that as well to figure out what is going on.
I have seen this a few times but only where there is a challenge between two geldings, one marking and the other immediately pooing straight on top of it to then have the original horse come back and poo on top of that!!!! :funny:

I do think it's quite normal that your horses check in with you especially when they get access to new and unfamiliar surroundings. This was something I used alot to my benefit by taking Morgan to strange places. He was very "dependant" on me to reassure him that all was well in between being awed by the new stuff. Even today he is happy to graze alone out of sight of the herd as long as I stay close. If I return, within 20 mins he reappears just to check I am still there :D

Hopefully your two will get lots of play time now and weight won't be an issue, it's so heartwarming to see horses just being horses and charging around letting off steam :applause:

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


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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:43 am 
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No, haven't seen Mucki marking territory as of yet. but I'm aware that they do - in fact that's the reason why male horses more readily establish 'toilet areas', isn't it?

Morgan wrote:
Hopefully your two will get lots of play time now and weight won't be an issue, it's so heartwarming to see horses just being horses and charging around letting off steam
Yes, they needed to stretch their legs so badly! And they need as much movement as they can get, to keep a sensible weight :roll:. We will try to to do longer walks and rides hopefully soon. And more strenuous exercises are needed, I'm afraid :sad:

Right now, that's our only concern about this barn - too much food! Before it was not enough, now it's too much! I hope we can work it out, then this will be a perfect solution. We will have an indoor arena soon and as it looks now, we will have it for ourselves most of the time :cheer:

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Well it seems that Stallions mostly do this and I wondered years ago if it was only geldings that were gelded late. Morgan has always pooed in the same spots which makes cleaning his camp much easier. I only see the dominant geldings doing this and Morgan was gelded at 2 so it seems some geldings do and some are not so bothered. I also observed that when the ground is very wet he stands on poo that has dried and has a firm texture. This worried me because of bacteria but in fact lets the air get in between the sand and the underside of his hoof. Some of the other horses stand with their front feet on the base of the feed buckets for the same reason!
I would imagine your horses need very little in the way of processed feed. Between the hay and grass, unless you are doing hard work (which I don't think you are?), then they don't need all the extra energy and fat. If you have cut that right back then you can try mixing more fibre and less nutrition by adding low grade hay/straw into the hay rations. So they still eat and chew and are never without food, but do not have excess energy or fat. Our lot do well on barley straw when camped in between meals. It has very little nutrient quality but keeps them busy and chewing. Obviously you would need to know what your grass contains and add only what's missing, but many horses do well on just grass alone with the odd supplements.
Morgan gets less than 2kg a day of "hard feed" so I know he gets his minerals (although these days with bagged foods, that's debateable! :funny: ), but gets limited grass (poor grazing) and unlimited good quality organic oat hay. He does well on this as the hay contains lots of oats/green and is cut correctly. He would be in poor condition if I fed him the local hay as his main source (virtually no oats/last cut/very dry), but sometimes I mix in some of this to my hay to lower the amount of food quality he is eating. So he takes the same time eating it but has half the calorie quantity. So there may be something locally that you could mix with the hay for when they are contained?
Another frustration of moving barns, but something you will figure out quickly and adjust as you need to.

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Annette O'Sullivan

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


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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:22 am 
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Well, as of last weekend they are not contained anymore - FREEDOM! :yeah: They will be on a small green paddock for a week or two. Until then the first cut will be done on the whole premises and then our herd will have almost half of the pasture available for them to roam. Must be around 5 hectares for four horses. That's luxury in these parts... :thumleft:
I keep my fingers crossed that the bigger pasture - a steep one at that - will contribute to keeping their fitness at a reasonable level. There's only so much I can do to train their bodies, I'm afraid...

Morgan wrote:
I would imagine your horses need very little in the way of processed feed.
They never got any processed food other than mineral supplements. We have chosen a mix in accordance with our vet, who claims to have taken a ground sample not so long ago. But honestly I'm not sure if that whole supplement stuff is not just a monetary supplement to the agroindustry :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:51 am 
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Here's a short video update on riding. After a pause of 6 months or so, I started riding again.
Mucki appears to be much more ready - both in terms of mental and physical strength. He stands even more calm than before when I mount. He walks straighter, longer and more confident. And it feels much more comfortable and more like riding for me :applause:
For my part, I'm still trying to figure out what forward cue works best for us. And trying to be as balanced as I can. Given my meagre riding practice of late, that's the hardest thing right now :sweat:.
Image

P.S. this is also a first glimpse at our beautiful (if somewhat unfinished) arena ;)

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Volker

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:53 am
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For starters, I'm so jealous of that arena :-)

Looks like you have an endless amount of patience, I really really liked how Mucki just comes to you, and you turn him in position before you step on. Nice work, Volker!

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Thank you, Mies! Yes lining up for mounting is something we have practised from the very start. Long before I even got on him. And he always seemed to like doing that :ieks:.

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Volker

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 Post subject: Re: Nepomuk in motion!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:22 pm 
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Do you remember how you started practicing this?

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