The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:00 am 
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Quote:
and got my question about collection answered (is it collection if head is down). Guess I have to look everywhere for my answers.


Hey!

Collection is a huge topic! There is lots of discussion about it here.

When the head is long and low the horse is lengthening through the topline. This position can take the horse onto the forehand but equally it can bring the horse 'through' the back in a nice longitudinal stretch and have a stepping under of the hindleg and the whole horse remain in balance and this is an excellent gymnasticising exercise.

The real collection is that rounded topline, with the head in ramener, the hindleg engaged, the forehand lifted and the spirit high. That spronky lovely strides they kick off when they are showing off or having big fun. It is that elevation that chase the tiger helps to develop - yum!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:21 am 
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Birgit wrote:
and got my question about collection answered (is it collection if head is down). Guess I have to look everywhere for my answers.


We have a new place here where links to different topics are collected. And the very first link in that topic happens to be a huge (and very nice!) thread about collection. Enjoy! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Karen wrote:
Our origins of the game came from a combination of games shown by Helen and Esprit with a big plastic bag,
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=467

And Donald training Dakota by inviting him to kill a small tarp (it was a tarp, wasn't it Donald?). Donald...you called it Tiger slaying? Was that it?

And around the same time, I found videos on youtube from our dear Brenda using a target as a replacement for lunging and begged her to come and join us here.

Anyway, the concept quickly morphed to "Chasing the Tiger"!


I referred to the big sheet of black plastic as, "The Black Plastic Sabertooted Tiger." And the plastic milk bottles I young in a strand all about him and walked him through as, "The White Demon Spawn of the Black Plastic Sabertoothed Tiger."

I did refer to mastering and slaying and the use of colorful terms such as that. ;) 8) :D

Otherwise, if I just called them what they were my training diary would be as boring and ordinary as can be, right?

I tied the plastic, beside covering him in it like a tent a few times, to the saddle, dragging it about, and ran a rope tied to the plastic through a stirrup and lunged him with it dragging.

That last was the time the saddle cinch off billet snapped (borrowed old saddle) and put the whole mess tangled about him, and while he was trying to free himself of it, and was running I clicked and he slide to a stop. I'd say a fairly bombproof horse, no? Much of it is on the Dakota PhotoBucket site.

In sequence. I began the line-through-the-stirrup exercise by drawing the plastic to him, having him move to it, etc. then proceeded to have him drag it.

Between pics two and three below, the off billet broke causing the entire mess go over his rump and tangle his hind legs. He was kicking free when I clicked, and in pic three below I have just walked to him to give him his treat, and apologize for the "stupid human trick" of using unsafe equipment.

(And reminding myself I had just been riding him the last two days with that same saddle with the cracked and dried off billet...)

Image
Image
Image

And yes, I too used white plastic bags on a lunge whip to teach Dakota to "touch," and thus ultimately to follow, or "chase the tiger." I think the phrase, "Chase the Tiger" had been around before, but didn't know, or couldn't remember the genesis until you wrote it out. Thanks.

I knew I wasn't the originator. But then we all build on the work of others for the most part.

With some of us showing considerable genius, as I recall.

Now who was that who could isolate a muscle group on the horse's abdomen and have the horse flex it on cue, eh?

The significance of that surpasses any little tiger chasing exercise I did. :cheers: :) or my crude bomb-proofing work.

Donald

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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Romy,
thanks for the link and for putting it all in one place. I can't wait to get to it. You are doing such a wonderful job of helping people out. :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :applause: :applause:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:41 pm 
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How neat to watch these videos. I use this "Chase the Tiger" as it is called to help teach horses not to be afraid of scary objects. The idea in this is that the horse is "moving" the scary object and therefore becomes higher ranking and confident. It works GREAT! And dragging the tarp? Great stuff. Another one that I use for helping to encourage horses to be "courageous and brave" :)

:applause:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:55 pm 

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Location: Barcelona
that seems to be a lovely game.

I can try with my mares, but can you do it with wild stallions?

Love,

Helene

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:01 pm 

Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 1:07 pm
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this looks so nice!

unfortunatley Percella doesn't like chasing the tiger, she is scared of the bag, I even made a little ball at the end, but she froze and didn't dare to move anymore she touched it once, but was so surpriced that she just shuts down and you can't get any contact with her anymore, that was for me more than obvious that she doesn't like it :P

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:26 pm 
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Hi Samantha:

My horse Stardust really hated plastic bags, too. He's better about them now, but he still doesn't love them.

So our target/tiger is a bit of red flannel at the end of my old longe whip....this works really well for us!

My point being -- you can work with Percella with all sorts of different materials to see what intrigues her rather than scares her and start there -- the tiger can be anything the two of you think it should be!
:)

Best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:35 pm 

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hi :D

haha I know, I've tried it with a old bagg of the carrots, she was not scared, she touched it, but as soon as I put it on the ground she doesn't seems interested anymore.
I made it a little ball again but she still hates it!
even targeting she hates, I have a Orange colloured pion and I think she knows this, she is not scared of it, she just doesn't like it, she is bored and walkes alway.. and she doesn't even tries to touch it, she just looks at it and than at me, and than walks alway, she is just bored, and she is like that with all kind of stuff.. she doesn't like those games, she likes it more just to play and do the shoulder in and out, she is just a bit weird :green:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:41 pm 
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@ Samantha; In the video I use, or better O uses some sort of plactick tape that Bianca has lying around. Maybe she has a piece of that extra for you?
I think it would help Percella to get ridd of all that frustration and anger cooked up in her little cute body...

@ All, while I was thinking about Donald saying he was not the originator (but we call him this anyway :green: ) I was also thinking about the war horse (well, I always think about the war horse, sorry... hate war, but war horses fascinate me sooo!).
Would it not have been a very old 'game' already to teach the warhorse to 'attack' ? Chase scared running footsoldiers? :green:

It's also used in Portugal, with a sort of 'bull' on wheels, which the horse is supposed to avoid but on the same time attack for the rejoneo.

And then there is cow sense, cutting!

I have a magnificent Belgian warmblood in training with the name Raspoetin who has magnificent 'human sense' wow, he does some scary attacks whilst I am teaching his rider ha ha ! :green:

My holsteiner Astaire (R.I.P) had chasing chickens for sport, he never ever harmed them though.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:01 pm 
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I'm quoting Karen because I think this is such an important thought and so easy to lose track of!

She was responding to some things in Elix's diary with Aranka


After some wonderings about getting energy up in Chase the Tiger games, Karen wrote:
Quote:
One of the things I see a many do (because I did it myself and I still do it too often) is to look right at the horse's face when I want to get more energy. If we look away, the horse is much more comfortable in letting go. I don't know if you are doing this, but it might be something to check?

Sometimes if we try for more energy, but look at the horse when we do it, they think it is something directed AT them, rather than an invitation, and they get a little concerned and don't know what to do...so they stop or slow down.


I think this is an exquisite pearl of insight/advice and thought it would be helpful here in the Chase the Tiger thread.

Thanks, Karen...and I'm only a little sorry I hijacked your words... ;)

Best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:21 am 
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Leigh wrote:
I'm quoting Karen because I think this is such an important thought and so easy to lose track of!

She was responding to some things in Elix's diary with Aranka


After some wonderings about getting energy up in Chase the Tiger games, Karen wrote:
Quote:
One of the things I see a many do (because I did it myself and I still do it too often) is to look right at the horse's face when I want to get more energy. If we look away, the horse is much more comfortable in letting go. I don't know if you are doing this, but it might be something to check?

Sometimes if we try for more energy, but look at the horse when we do it, they think it is something directed AT them, rather than an invitation, and they get a little concerned and don't know what to do...so they stop or slow down.



I think this is an exquisite pearl of insight/advice and thought it would be helpful here in the Chase the Tiger thread.

Thanks, Karen...and I'm only a little sorry I hijacked your words... ;)

Best,
Leigh


Aside from having likely been the one to introduce the phrase, "chase the Tiger," what is more important is to recognize, I think, two things in this "game."

One is something I've overlooked again and again. I tend to focus strongly on the horse's face, eyes in particular, attempting to "read" the horse to predict his behavior. I'm quite good at it, but am afraid I give up what Karen offers, and you quote and comment on, Leigh. I intimidate the horse - not what I want at all.

It's old training, and old tape I play that when things get hot with the horse and I just clicks in. Could be a self preservation thing.

The second point I'd like to comment on has to do with the War Horse aspect, that tendency to attack.

This is innate in the horse. Most horses, but the most timid, and even they when conditions are right, will tend to follow with the head, and possibly strike or bite.

If the object of their aggression moves in just the right pattern, usually a crossing track being made in front or to the side of the horse, and the creature is smaller than the horse, it will follow and attempt to control the movement of the creature.

Bonnie just demonstrated this with Rio, our dog, day before yesterday. She is perfectly accustomed to having him about. He's extremely gentle and non-threatening. Perfect to be around horses. But he will get up and move away if the horse approaches, creating exactly the pattern of a predator circling prey, and Bonnie went after him and even struck at him quite powerfully. She missed, thankfully.

This is exactly the instinctive urge that is called out from the horse being trained as a cutting horse, and it has to be managed, and controlled, as the object is to strike or bite the cow, but to simply hold it, or drive it.

Often when a horse I'm working with exhibits the energy and aggression for the very first time in a game of Chase The Tiger, it puts the hair up on the back of my neck and must recall some atavistic memory from my ancient horse hunting ancestors. Doubtless the wild horse did occasionally fight back and something in me reacts in a defensive way.

I've studied how various folks in the AND community play at Chase the Tiger with their horses and had to quell my feelings of alarm. This so that I not interfere in the training routines of others. Most folks show that not only do they know their horse's limits, but that their horse knows too and does not strike or bite them and focuses on the Tiger.

And of course too I am not the calm cool rock steady young man I once was. As I age I notice I startle a bit more easily. Loud sudden noises or violent quick movement cause a more strong reaction in me, so this particular exercise I may be seeing through this change in my personality as I age.

Thus I watch others so that I may continue to learn and to reduce the influence of my own subjectivity over what I observe.

I used, as you may recall, Chase the Tiger with Dakota the Morgan gelding to work on his tendency to shy and bolt. To help him gain confidence.

The first time he showed some was on his third day of training in bombproofing, when the umbrella I was using in windy rainy setting instead of opening slowly as I had intended got caught by the wind and snapped open right in his face.

He reacted quite drastically, but I remembered, right in the first instant of his startle, to click him and offer him his treat. He relaxed, took his treat and we played with the umbrella, and I got to watch him for the first time exhibit the aggression we call Chase the Tiger. He and I together kicked that umbrella all over the forest clearing with the wind helping us. It's the same poor umbrella you can see in the old short vid clips I posted her a couple of years back riding Dakota out by the highway and waving it about his head and rear and all about him.

I think Chase the Tiger has much more to teach us. Some of it about the psychology of the horse. And I expect those younger than I to be the explorers in this here in AND. Of course they are doing so without my blessing or urging. Youth will be served, as they say.

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:33 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:38 am
Posts: 8
wow this looks like great fun !!
when the rain stopes i will have a go with bob hopefully help him build up collection in his canter as he seems to strugle in a small area.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:02 pm
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Day two of myself and Navara practicing Chasing the tiger, she will touch it happily and eat treats that are placed on it (I use an old tshirt rather than a bag), however I probably have managed to put her off playing it already, whilst putting it away she somehow managed to jab herself up the nose with it (whoops) I felt really mean and stroked her nose better with it, she doesn't seem bothered about it if I hold it, however she is now a little wary of it. Ill be going up in a few hours and see if her and the tiger can be friends again!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:16 pm 
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It just occurred to me ... about 15 years ago (eeks! maybe almost 20 years ago! Holy Cow!) I hosted a clinic with the Mounted State Forest Rangers. We were specifically looking for them to help us with horses that were afraid of Dirt Bikes and riders - (they are rampant in the state forests!) We started out merely with the dirt bike and rider standing, not on, and encouraged the horses to touch it with their noses. Once they were comfortable with that we then had a handler start rolling the bike AWAY from the horse as the the horse approached. The reason the officer gave was because this seemed, to the horse, that the horse could move the 'feet' of the scary thing thus putting the horse in a higher position on the hierarchy. Gave him the feeling of being in control and 'power'. From the quiet dirtbike we then turned it on and from that step moved on to the horse 'chasing' the dirtbike and rider while in hand and then repeated it all under saddle. It worked great ... In fact, I did this with my own QH who was terrified of the geese on the farm (smart horse! *grin*) -- it worked soooooooooo well that chasing the geese became a favorite game of his while he was turned out! hahahahaha .. poor geese!

Sound like the rangers learned "Chase the Tiger" a long, long time ago! *GRIN*

It's a GREAT exercise and when coupled with Clicker Training is nothing short of amazing to watch how horses process the info and become 'brave' in a very short time. :)

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www.thepenzancehorse.com
www.barefoottrim.com
www.horsecourses.net
www.spirithorse.us


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