The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: 1: Playing - Calm games
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:13 am 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
As there are people, horses and situations where wild games are not possible or counterproductive for certain reasons, I thought we could start a topic where we collect ideas for calm games - things that are fun for the horse and can be used as a distraction between periods of concentrated work, but that don´t contain a lot of energy. Things like picking up objects or tug of war.

Please post your ideas and maybe some sentences on how you do them to this topic!

Thanks!! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
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Location: provincie Utrecht
hi,
we do a calm play, pick up the catch ball and he give it to me or put it on a other place for example in a circel two or three steps away from the horse.
I play this on grass if you do this on sand, the catch ball is getting very dirty and the horse get a lot of sand in his mouth.
I started to train this because he will eat everything what is near by his mouth, so i thought maybe i can turn his mind to do other things than bite me all the time or bite in the reins or rope.
this cost me two pairs a year. :cry:
I won't punish him because it has no sence...
No i have made it to a usefull item.

Image
the catch-ball


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:15 pm 
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Location: provincie Utrecht
o i forgot something.
i try to train him now to stay in a circel and i have to move from him for about three meters.
If it will going well then i will go for a walk around him and he must stay in the circel at all time.
The circel i have made is from a old rope and lay around the horse but as wide that the horse can make a few steps, (i quite big circel) The horse may not think that he is locked up or something.
Now is mine horse not afraid of fences or ropes or what else so it is pretty difficult to keep him inside of the circel.

The horse i had before he was afraid of fences so he was very easy during this game. He won't get out of the circel. I could let him stand there and even could go to the toilets for example. He did not walked away.
This horse is a great challence for me.. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
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Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
getting him to put his nose or foot on a lot of things, Beau loves that game :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 4:25 pm
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Still Amiro and I sometimes play hide and seek with an apple which he finds a fun game and which is very calm.

Inge, your staying-in-a-circle game sounds like a lot of fun. I did something similar with a pole once, I told Amiro to stay behind the pole and not step over it. First he did step over it but as soon as he found out I did not want him to do that he found another way to get to me: to walk around the pole :lol: Working in circle seems a very good idea for him.

And while I write this down I am thinking of a game which I do with me dog sometimes and must be able to do with horses to: I place the leadrope on the ground and say to my dog: "This is the place". Than I walk away from her while she stays on her place. When I am far enough I call her to me, ask her to walk around me and I say: "Back to the place". She runs back and lies down on the leadrope.

This game is not very calm, but when you do it in walk and make the distance not to long it is also a 'mind-game'(you and you horse have to think about things) which makes it suitable in here I think.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
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Location: provincie Utrecht
Hey that's a new option, an other challence.
But i have not finished the circle game.
I do nothing now while he has a sore feet. It will takes a few weeks. I have my hands full to take care of him and his feet. It takes almost an our to soak him in water. I realy wanted him to do it by him self without pressure. I is very hard for him to lift his feet for me. I does not wanted that i clean his feet and then put it in a bucket.
But i have petience and keep trying until he has done it for me. And he is always friendly to me, but make it very clear that he does not like it all.
I give him now drainage compositum to help him a little to get rid of the bad stuf in his body.
So i will hope it will works out, so i can play with him again.

But your idea is great


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Location: Natal, South Africa
Freckle's favourite game is "walk from car-tyre to car-tyre and put feet on and in them, and stand on them, and sometimes pick them up like a bracelet with a foot and then look confused about this thing hanging from the hoof!"

He also likes "put foot on ground pole and roll it around."

It's been very useful for getting him over his fears of different coloured ground, painted lines on roads and scary things lying on the ground.

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Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
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Location: provincie Utrecht
hi
than i am a lucky one :-)
if i go for a ride i have to go over the street before we got in to the woods.
They have made a new pavement.
it starts with grey..then one step down and then the colour is red...some white stripes and then a new colour black.
they have made also some bumps in it, too slow down the speed. And yes also there white painting lines.
It was very funny to walk for the first time over the new street :-)
now it is normal again..
but i can understand what your horse doing :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:41 am 
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One day I decided that I needed to teach Tam to do nothing. I was very tried that day, so what I did was to take a chair and set it in the arena. I sat on the chair and asked Tam just to lower his head. CLick and treat, click and treat, click and treat...soon he was standing there with his nose almost in the dirt.

Then I asked him to lie down, and he did.

So the game COULD be, how many things can you get your horse to do while sitting in a chair? Can you get the horse to put it's head down, to step sideways, to walk around your chair? All these things could be free shaped with a clicker and treats, or you could of course use cues and words your horse already knows. It's an interesting experiment, because at first, you will find out how much yoru horse depends on your body language to cue him/her for different tasks.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:39 pm
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Location: Denmark
How about massage? It's calming and most people REALLy enjoy it! :)

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Then I started asking myself: "What can I do for my horse?"


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:10 pm
Posts: 45
Yesterday, Jackson was a bit miserable after having his annual vaccinations. We went to the school, where we normally play chase the tiger and lots of running and jumping, but he didn't feel like doing anything active.

I put out a big long line of traffic cones, and we played a very satisfying game where he was weaving in and out of the cones - a bit like a pony club bending race, or a dog agility test :smile: He was certaintly enjoying it, but it was a calm thinking game rather than a galloping jumping game :smile:

I would like to try Karen's game sometime - it is good to have lively games but for balance, do nothing games are essential too :smile:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Great that you mention the cones, this made me remember a game a friend of mine is playing with her pony: throwing down cones.

My friend puts them in a row (or more difficult patterns for more advanced horses) and her pony walks along there, throwing them down.

A lot of calm fun games can be found in this channel on youtube.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:08 pm
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Location: Denmark south/west
Thankyou :applause: :applause: :applause:
I really appreciate all the good ideas for calm games, my little paint horse cant do much else....The calm "game" I play with her every day, is not so much a game....When I turn out the other horses, Muse stays with me in the barn, and I just do my chores while she is milling around with the two cats investigating the stalls, following me around, getting a scratch now and again, then we go for a little walk, me the cats and Muse, ending up in my kitchen.....yes... :blush: inside the house, where we all get a treat...I will most definately start playing some of the games described here :yes:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
For some additional fun you can hide food under the cones. Try to only hide food under some of them and see if they can smell which ones are worth tipping over. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:33 am
Posts: 114
I love the idea of putting food under the cones and letting the ponies knock them down to get the treat!

Things i do when we need to calm it down a bit are head lowering and stand on a mat. The mat i use is a bit of old rubber matting from the stables. It's small so as not to make it too easy a game.

Some other precision games we like are one foot over a pole...then two....then three then all feet. you can also add head lowering in....for example one foot only over pole and head down.

I also have an old tractor tyre filled with sand as a pedestal. They love to stand on this.


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