The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: 2: Mountain goat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
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Location: Quebec, Canada
I am printing things to teach my horses this year and Level II, Mountain Goat is one thing. I've seen it somewhere on the forum but I've looked and looked and can't find what it is and how to teach it.
Can someone help me with this

along with Steeping under with the hindleg in walk;
lifting the legs;
standing on a plateau (AND method)
and jambette.

would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:31 pm
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The mountain goat is the reverse-exercise from the back crunch. By the back crunch, your horse is placing his frontfeet as far as possible from his backfeet (eh, I don't know if I'm using the good words, but I hope you understand me ;) ). And by the mountain goat, the horse has to place all his four feet as closest by eatchother as possible.

Like a.... mountain goat! :lol:

http://www.bokt.nl/wiki/Berggeit

On the link above, you can see a very clear picture from a horse in the mountain goat.

I never teached a horse this exercise, so I can't help you with that.. But I think it's just a issue of let your horse step under with his backfeet, and touch/point to the frontfeet, so that the horse knows that he has to move them.
I guess that after a few right rewardingmoments, your horse can understand it.

But, as I said, I'm not sure of this method, it's just a manner that I would've tried if I wanted to teach a horse this.. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 pm 
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Due to a lack of time at the moment I can not explain in detail how to teach it. So I´ll just write about the shortcut we took 8) : climbing on a pedestal (treestump in our case). In that way, Titum was already used to the movement and the cues (pointing to the hindlegs), so that it took us only five minutes to learn the GOTM without a tree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:00 am 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Thanks, I understand now and I will take your advice Romy and teach him the same thing.
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:34 am 
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Location: Waterloo, IL
I think I read this techniquue somewhere, but I'm not sure if it was on this forum or not. It might have been Karen who mentioned this, but I could be wrong. Anyway the technique was to touch above the fetlock or on the hock of the hind leg and reward for the slighest movement and then gradually rewarding for a step toward the front legs. Eventually you can ask the horse to bring his hind feet all the way underneath his body to almost touch the front feet.

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Brittany

www.royalhorsecompany.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Thanks Brittany for your advice. I'll keep it in mind when I am ready to teach him this. I don't think in his mind he's ready right now since if I touch his hind leg, I know he'll move his fronts (he's still a beginner). But I believe after alot of working with him and him understanding that when I touch somewhere that I'm asking to move just that particular part, he'll do exactly that.
So again, thanks for the precious advice.
Jocelyne


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
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horsefever wrote:
Stepping under with the hindleg in walk;


How about sticky number three: Sideways movements: stepping under, shoulder-in, travers? 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:26 pm 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
thanks Miriam:

I'm really not there yet since I haven't been teaching Corado (or Magic) new things. This winter is very cold and lots and lots of snow. They do go out about 1-2 hours everyday but I don't teach him anything outside since I let him play with his buddies.
However, this summer, things will change. My horses will be home with me all the time. So I'll have time and the place to teach them.
But I will check the whole forum again in May and probably will have tons of questions.
P.S. I will try "chase the tiger" with Corado this week-end and ride Magic, bareback.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:45 pm 
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For Goat on a Mountain, you have to first teach the horse to lower it's head. This is something you can do easily in a stall or alley. It has benefits way beyond the first stage of the Goat movement! IN fact, as it is a standing exercise, if the horse is comfortable and calm, you can pracitce this, too, in the stall or in the alley. Just make sure the horse has good footing. The further forward the hind feet come, the more they are likely to slip on a slippery surface.

In the Goat, the horse's balance will be on his front legs.

With the head down, and in a very calm state of mind, you can reach with a twig or a whip and GENTLY touch a hind foot. Usually the near hind first. See what reactions you get. For Tamarack, if I touched above the fetlock, he would lift the foot, then set it right back where it was. So I experimented with touching different places. His sweet spot was on the heel bulb. If I touched there, he would lift the foot and set it back down a bit more forward. If the horse is very calm about being touched on the hind feet or fetlocks in this way, you can even touch and hold the whip in place as the leg is lifted to help guide it a bit forward.

It can take a very long time for a horse to be able to move the back feet all the way to the front feet. So always reward for small tries, and don't get greedy :D Do just a little bit every session.

This exercise is a very nice stretch for the back and haunches, as well as having a calming effect on the horse.

Some horses may lie down while trying this. If you go at it too long, the legs get tired.

Do not ask a horse to hold the extreme position (back feet touching the fronts) for too long, and if you feel your horse is struggling to hold the position, only ask it, then ask them to walk out of it right away.

Goat/brisk-walk transitions are a nice exercise too, and within this type of transistion you will tend to see a horse over step (reach further forward with the hind) more as he/she moves out of the goat.

As this is a static exercise with no forward movement, it should be taught in a very calm setting, with the horse in a very calm state of mind. If the horse is anxious at all, don't do it. Wait for a quieter moment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:14 pm 
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Location: Waterloo, IL
Karen,
Great explanation! This helps me a lot!

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Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Thanks Karen, great explanation. Now it seems alot easier to do than I thought. I couldn't see how I could teach him to place all four feet close to one another. but this seems simpler.

This is exactly what I need to help me move on. Because I've only been playing with my horses lately and teaching them to respect of my space, I haven't been reading up on different exercises and tasks to do with my horse. But this summer, I will for sure. In the meantime, I need to structure myself to teach him them the right thing at the right time (meaning not to teach him the advanced stuff before teaching him the basics). So, for Mountain on Goat, I know now that he must know when I'm asking to lower his head before I teach him to move his legs.
Great information. Valuable stuff.
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Location: Waterloo, IL
Karen, or anyone else who knows the answer, did you teach the goat exercise first, or the back crunch? Which is more difficult, or do you recommend teaching them both at the same time?

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Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:47 pm 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Good question Brittany. I'll wait for the answer too.
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:47 pm 
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I think that it depends on the horse and that there is no fixed order. For us the back crunch was much more difficult, but maybe this is because we have taken the much easier shortcut to GOTM (climbing on a tree stump first and then only doing the same without a tree stump). We have learned the GOTM years before I even knew about back crunch, but as the (cues for the) exercises are very different from each other, I see no problem in working on them at the same time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:52 pm 
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Thanks Romy! I think Lacie and I will start working on GOTM first, then back crunch. We are still working on jambette, so I don't want any confusion with the cue for that versus the back crunch. With Blade, we might try working on both at the same time.

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Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


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