The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:03 pm
Posts: 13
I have been playing with the ball with Pip a few times, she likes to touch it with her nose and make it roll away by pushing it with an extended upperlip.
This afternoon the paddock was very wet and the sand was smelly from horsepee...
So she didn't like to put her little snout near the ball anymore once it got dirty..
I started to kick against the ball with my foot, to suggest to her to do the same. I also touched her leg.
At first, she just looked at me :blonde: , wondering what I did. She walked away a few times, but kept coming back. And then she started to copy my movement!
I was so surprised that she actually did this!
I filmed it, so you can see us having fun;

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am
Posts: 2147
Location: Vienna, Austria
It seems you just unlocked the wonderful world of mimicry! :applause: It´s often a by-product of clicker training.

I believe horses have a natural talent for copying movements due to being a herd animal. They copy each other a lot on the pastures. When we implement a positive kind of training they get rewarded for initiative and for actively learning new things. Thus they are enticed to copy us, because mimicry is one of the most important ways for horses to learn.

What I did to get towards Spanish Walk was to practice Jambette first. We were talking about it in Jessie´s diary the other day, if you´re interested. Jambette brought several benefits for Mucki and me. Firstly it visibly strengthend his pectoral and abdominal muscles. I had the impression of Mucki´s chest growing considerably.
Secondly his balance got better. Standing on three feet and lifting the other is not easy! And finally he learned to lift his shoulders and sit back a bit. It was also an unforeseen detour to introduce a cue for lifting the base of the neck, as needed for Ramener for example.
So I really think Jambette is a cool exercise ;). And occasionally it opens up the way for Spanish Walk.

One caveat though: Jambette is also a good exercise to get green and blue shins or other nice lesions :funny:.


The horse owes us nothing.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
Posts: 1681
Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
nice :)
she really tries working with you in discovering your new exercise :)

big hug

Horseriding is an art

My horse is a beautiful living sculpture

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