The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:42 pm 
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newest video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y4sv-U0zJ8
Pucky Longreining






Hey,

So the very beginning of me and Ruphina on video!
We found the right tiger at the end, she is big (but nog expecting a foal).

I lover her color in the video and I especially like that she stayed quite calm, while her best friend was having some training done next to her (separated by some trees and a house) so they could only hear and smell eachother...

Please leave a comment, if you want to know somewhat of a small process we had I'd like to redirect you to our diary (which is called Ruphina).

Kind Regards!

all video's :cheers:

1.
Kirsten (and ofcourse Ruphina)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YreDKohajnU

2.
And the extra addition (so actually our second video...) with the orange skippy ball..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaVRyiCo-k8

3.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEGsBipwYEk

4.
okay... and yet another one.. didn't post them in the beginning again anymore... but otherwise, some might skip them :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7rRPxpAx8g

5.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypIAA0RSOMo

6.
longreining
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nrrpWSsVbU

7.
riding
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py-k0iC3PSE

8.
tiger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwzn7nN0GDQ

9.
leaning back after backcrunch, some sideways after a bend from the side, a very small RGOTM and some running towards me. all very slow and stiff (thanks to the winter)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA5XYiy-6qc

10.
another tiger video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG35FMcwvVA

11.
more tigers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_IqyYIW6k8

12.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC4KI_G0_sA
some chasing of an orange skippyball at liberties


13.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A109azyI_4
the cones games and some bending in in a volte (trying shoulder in on a volte) and parking in and out


14.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jWYkqLtXgw
Learning backing up towards me, sideways towards me, and kissing


15.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7ogtcpP0Lo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNsqrWiBQts
stepping under, shoulder in, haunches in... but on a stiff day


16.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B73ZTTILcU

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kirsten
time is what you make of it


Last edited by KDS on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:08 am, edited 22 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:04 pm 
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No-one any comments?

I'm pretty happy with what we do now, but I'd like some advice about what to do next...

Or am I just too pushy?

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kirsten
time is what you make of it


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Kirsten,
Ruphina looks lovely and I can see she was a bit distracted. I think the introduction of the tiger is great. It would be good if you could get her to chase you/it or be along side you. It looks to me like Ruphina has done lots of Parelli/NH type training. (I'm sorry I have not read your diary, will try to soon.). Whilst this is not meant to be negative, I think both she and you will enjoy it more if she gets to take the lead sometime and offer what she would like to do. You could do this in the ring although her pasture or an arena might be better. I don't know your horse at all so perhaps she likes running circles around the ring, but I also see a horse reading your language and complying.
If it was me I would spend some time playing with her with different toys and seeing if you can get her enthusiatic about one of them. I would leave alone all pressure based systems like driving from behind and just love on her and let her decide where she wants to go and at what speed.
The treats in the middle is really nice and she seemed to be very relaxed and focused on you. Perhaps try tying the bag directly to the stick and shaking gently to get her interest. It would be good to shape her to target the bag with her nose as a fun game. Then you will find she will follow it quite nicely!!!!
I don't know if that helps at all? (I am no expert...LOL).

You too look good together!!!!!

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


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:21 pm 
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Yes we did a lot of NH not really Parelli, well most of it was own style.
Point is, she is very insecure so when she takes the lead, she scares herself and starts running. She has a lot of energy so to speak.

She starts trotting behind the tiger also, and chasing me was hugh fun, but she became a bit overenthusiastic and became disrespectful towards me that's why I introduced the tiger.

Right now we're working on the 'not leading from behind' and alike, but she has a fine line of getting frustrated, changes should be introduced delicately otherwise her mind goes black and she is out of reach.
So it's a slow process but it is a process. Sometimes I'm just doubting wether or not I'm doing anything right.

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time is what you make of it


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:57 pm 
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KDS wrote:
Sometimes I'm just doubting wether or not I'm doing anything right.


For me it is not so much a question of right or wrong but about what you want. If your goal is to have an obedient horse who easily does what you tell her to do, then using pressure as the main motivator does work quite well. If your goal is to have a more self-confident and autonomous horse, then it might work better to leave some of the pressure away and go with what she wants a bit more.

Chasing (or stalking ;)) the tiger is a good choice if you want to work in a non-pressure-based way and I also like Anette´s idea about the toys a lot. My personal favourite for starting an interaction with a horse is to observe his behaviour and reward what I like when he offers it anyway. Then we shape it and in the end we mostly come up with some nice exercises - often something that I had not even thought of, like Titum´s karate jumps or Pia´s sit-rears.

But whatever decision you make, it won´t be wrong - only leading to a certain outcome and the question is if this matches with your goals for her and your interaction. :smile:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:05 pm 
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What I'm concerned with now is mostly to keep Ruphina happy and relaxed (this is quite a big task).

And trying to keep her healthy, she is diagnosed kissing spines and spavium so her legs and back are a great concern.

I'm happy with everything she gives me and she's been very happy lately, we're searching for a way to play and get ourselves more and more proud and self-conscious. How, is anyway we are happy with. Every step towards more liberty is a good one and a small step works better with Ruphina then a big one.

Slow but steady.

My goal is a happy healthy horse, any other goal is most likely impossible with her KS and spavium (though they're both getting better).

But the toys is a good idea, it was a big search to find the right tiger, rightnow she will trot next to me chasing the tiger and there'll be more. Toys are great.

Our other problem is that at the stables where we are is not very much interest in what we try to do, so we're not allowed in the arena without tack, the pastures or not yet open for the horses (but april 30 it will), by the we'll be able to get into a wider space. Luckily Ruphina is willing to show me her "no" and she got that when she says no, we'll search for the thing she wants to do and says yes to.

It's a long way we have to go (with a horse with an unknown background but it can't be good), but willing to walk it!

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kirsten
time is what you make of it


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:59 pm 
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Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
it's such a shame that you cannot be in the arena without tack, it would be fun to go in a straight line :) I get disoriented in a round pen :green:
she really does know very well what you ask from her and I understand that she does not know how to take the lead... but it is so much fun when she starts deciding things, really look for any small thing she offers. Indeed take toys or just run around like and idiot :) don't try to do anything really worked with me, give her as much chance as possible to decide for herself!

I look forward to more videos!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Jep, can't wait to have a bigger area, right now she actually makes choices of what she does and doesn't want. I'm really happy with that already first she just didn't want anything. When I start I always let her free and just stand in the middle, only when she comes to me and touches me we're really gonna do something, some cuddling and small bending and alike (she loves it now she gets more flexible).

She is so easily anxious so doing nothing doesn't help (she does think 'hmm, maybe I should do something' but then decides she doesn't understand it and becomes anxious), running around was fun, but she would only let me in front and when I suggested she could walk aside of me she'd be confused and scared. This is all very new to her so it's babysteps for us now.
The tiger gives me the opportunity to let her walk besides me. But when I suggest something we could do to her and she doesn't want she will never do nothing, she just now starts with doing what she thinks is nice. There's one point in the video where she doesn't want to go on the circle and starts a sideways, okay, we're gonna do sideways. So actually (now I think of it) I sometimes mimick her rightnow, which is a hugh step for her.

So I'm very proud of her already and as long as we're happy, we're happy.

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kirsten
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:16 pm 
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hi there :D :D :D well it is lovely to see your video. i do know the type of personality you have, and i know that these exercises are part of her comefort zone. i have horses that are very similar to this one, and i could see it straight away. :D i think you have a lovely soft way, and i dont see much in the way of pressure. ;) i do see body language :D which is pretty good. :yes: i also agree with one step at a time. you know i have had some great reactions with horses like this to pedistal. :yes: i definately does not happen straight away with nervouse types, but it really brings tham out and starts them thinking without having to take the lead. also, on this pedistal can be the place that you both get used to really letting your hair down. i know what you are saying about this type of horse getting rude when she started to come out and lead you from behind, so maby that is not the best step just yet. let her understand that she can offer things in a standing position first. give her a board to stand on and wait for something, anything to reward. she will start to give you more of herself.

i think thought that you are lovely together. i know that people see the respect from her, but it is a mutual respect, as i can see you are respectful and gentle with her too. my advice is to only take steps you are ready for, keep safe, and positive, and "just keep swimming" and just see where the tide takes you :love: :love: :kiss: i cant wait to see more.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:16 am 
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Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Hi Kirsten, I have days when I wonder if everything I do is wrong...then the sun shines again... and the process of learning and growing together continues. And that's what it is.. a process. As you travel, you will learn some new things, change some old things, and throw out some things that no longer fit, as you refine the interaction between you and your horse. Sometimes those "am I doing it all wrong days" are the days when a new chunk of the puzzle is ready to fall into place. :) It doesn't really mean it's all wrong. :D


One of the horses we care for, Rosie, has some health issues which mean that a certain amount of daily exercise is essential, or things just go downhill fast, and pretty soon she doesn't want to do anything. It is certainly possible to do EVERYTHING by free choice and positive reward and no pressure, but because of certain circumstances, we choose to use a combination of methods with Rosie. So five or six days a week, she must do twenty minutes of free lunging, similar to what you're doing in your video with Ruphina. She understands clearly what she must do, she does get rewards for it, but it is certainly pressure, not R+. But as well as that she gets sessions of "free play" and "free shaping"... and she LOVES it! :D Chasing a big ball, chasing a tiger, targeting, and now stretches and lateral moves! :yes: She understands when it's time to " do her job" and when it's time to make suggestions and experiment and have fun. She's been able to adjust and benefit from both methods.. although I think it's taken a bit longer with her than it has for the horses who've not been pressured in any way to do anything..

Anyway.. I guess my point is, I think that there are many ways to blend and adapt, to try to get things the best they can be for YOU and YOUR HORSE and the situation that YOU are in..... And as long as you keep your goal of "happy and healthy" at the front of what you're striving for, you and your horse will continue to learn and grow in the direction you've chosen. I think it's a great beginning! And a good idea to think things through and take your time in making changes, so that you're both ready for the next steps. :)

:) Sue

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:57 am 
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thanks for all the good comments,

it's sometimes just really hard to find a way to work on her health and let her make her own choices (her own choice is walking with a hollow back and her hind legs somewhere following without carrying) so there's always thins thought about 'let her walk properly 'cause otherwise she won't be able to do more then just walk slowly next year.

It's hard when you are used to a horse where the learning possibilities are endless. Ruphina can learn a lot, but because of her back and legs won't be able to do everything. So there are some limitations. Sometimes hard to say to yourself "but come one, she is healthy and happy". If we get her back properly and her legs working alright we will be able to go on rides outside, but no deep sand for us and no races for us anymore, something we loved was racing through the dunes, but not anymore. We miss it both, but try new things.

Happy and healthy and pressure free. That's our goal.
But there are some exercises that have to been, luckily she loves stretching and moving hind legs and sideways, so the weight shifting is starting and we are training her hind legs, which are getting better. I think we don't use that much pressure, a small amount. First to let her trot around (she would rather stay with me), coming towards me is just a very clear cue. She likes staying with me in the midst of the circle. Right now we compromised, she has to do the circle (which she likes to put her energy into...) we do small pieces, never more then 3 circles and with a lot of transitions and then she comes towards me and we play a bit, afterwards she trots a bit.
And she started her gallop, which she first only did after heavy running after her and chasing her, right now she likes to get into it.

She is getting to know that working like this can actually be fun. We feel we're on the right path right now. I'm not frustrated anymore about her walking perfectly and she walks perfectly because I'm not frustrated and over asking her anymore. So she is starting to relax and she learns that being polite will help the whole play thing. While I'm learning to listen and reward a lot and letting things take their own course.

I suppose both of us are learning skills we could use so much more often (I'm sometimes a bit of a control-freak) in life outside the horses (is there life any besides horses and education?)

To me it's just a very good beginning. :yes:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:27 am 
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Ruphina, me and the orange skippy ball the movie.

Note: half a year ago this thing was just the same to her as beelzebub from hell, so I'm so proud of her getting some more confident in herself and getting more and more 'outgoing'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaVRyiCo-k8

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:14 pm 
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hi

i think you are doing great. you have to find out her posibility of her movement. How far can you go without hurting her.
do this in a slowly way, not running but in walk. you wrote you are doing exercise as bending.
you can do for example to learn her to lift her back and use her bellymuscle walk in a circle then hold and ask her head down (give a tread) and start walking again. Each time you ask her a little furter down and backwards with her head. Until she is doing her head between her legs. But keep in mind she must do it by herself. No presure. ;) then walk again...
the second round ask a few steps backwards and go forward again. So she have to think were to put her hind legs. if you try to do each round a different "game" you keep it nice for your self and your horse.
between to slow work you can use the tiger for some more action. And slow down again and repeat.

I have done such like this to train his hind legs and back. before i started to ride him. And have done more ofcourse but it take so much typing :-) to write it down.
What also can help, but i don't know if it is possible for you to walk hills. Not big ones, ofcourse we don't have them, but you know :green: just walking next to your horse and go up and down.
i used for example some stairs, later on i used hills in the woods. We are lucky to have them.
I saw some real changing in his movement when i did it often. Now he use (most of the times) his bellymuscles during the rides. So no hollow back anymore.

if you go to groundwork exercise you will find lots of ideas to new games from easy to heavy. And you can mix them. During this kind of work she get hopefully more how do you say that? trust in herself and you so she can work with you without being "pussy you"
as long you take slow steps and you go furter when she really understand it then you can help both of you.

But you are going in the right way, nice movies!! :applause:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Thanks, the circle work will actually be great I guess (she loves lowering her head, I should learn her how to vacuum clean with her nose:P and she loves going backwards).

To be honest I rode through our neighborhood yesterday and the y opened a skateramp over there... With some nice 'hills' and 'plateaus', I see tons of pleasure laid down there for us :D Not the real 'roundpipe' (sorry I'm not really that into skateslange) but going up without the curve...
I'm just hoping it's not to slippery, but we'll find out ourselves by just trying carefully...

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kirsten
time is what you make of it


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Location: provincie Utrecht
haha
a friend of mine have trained her horse too on a skate half pipe. Yes it is slippery, her horses are not shod, but even then it is slippery.
but funn to do she said. I lost the pics...but i guess you know how it looks like.
it give the horse some nice play area, only when there are no children ;)


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