The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Hello and thank you
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Israel
Hello

my name is anat, i live in northern israel, i'm 34 (this coming March) i have a 5 year old mare (quarter-local mix), 4 cats a dog and a husband-life partner.
i have several 'professional' hats... I'm working as a therapeutic riding instructor. i'm working as an interface graphic designer, and i'm also working as EAD facilitator for corporate groups (conducting sessions for people with no horse background in which they are experiencing ground work with horses through which they learn about themselves from a personal and a professional point of view).

i'm not so big on writing... more of a listener.
i find myself hooked with reading this forum, learning, enjoying, being helped (cant find a good words).
today, riding my horse for the first time - bitless - i really wanted to say thank you to all of you and to the founding members of this forum.

its a long story of me and my horse.
i got her at the age of 1. she was wild and hurting (lame). i was in my dream of helping and changing her through love. it was not always enough.
i played parelli with her which was nice but didn't stick well or long with either of us (this was three years ago).
2 years ago, at the age of 3 i started riding-training her at my dressage trainer livery, in the conventional way (in a gentle way but with the bit and whip and the 'i want it now and i will get it now' attitude).
she was very cooperative and soon i was hurrying up to get her collected trying on her all the moves i could make her do.
i think she wasn't all the way with me.
she is not perfectly built. she is a fragile. young horse with confidence issues in herself and her movements. she became very lame 4 month ago after a violent bolting experience throwing me off her back. this behavior was absolutely unusual for her and she kept showing a lot of stress in our handling as well as by herself in her paddock.
other then all the physical strain she was in i felt she was screaming something to me. something she might have tried to whisper - with me not hearing.
she is better now.
we're taking it easy.

i love her so much.

now we are working on getting her trust back in me and in herself (more of playing & grazing to get there)
and then hopefully - getting her strength back.

i absolutely love what AND has to offer to us.
i appreciate the sharing of knowledge and experiences. it is so educating.

i feel its only the very beginning for us. but things happen.

i found out that for me, right now, it the most wonderful feeling to run with my horse next to me. following me freely on her own will. better then any collected ride. and today when i finally took out the bitless bridle i bought almost a year ago (though i never tried it on before) and rode with it. (a very short ride since we don't do heavy riding right now until she'll be stronger). it was lovely. she loved it. i loved it.
there was no collection or frame. i didnt asked anything - its not the time yet. and i have time.

this introduction-thank-you thing took a bit longer then i thought it would.
i hope to continue growing and enjoying with Tequila (my horse) and this forum.

Anat

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6253
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome, Anat!! :D :D :D
I hope you will continue to enjoy reading and writing here.

Warm Regards,
Romy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Israel
OK, now it works. Taquila - a picture taken about 2 years ago

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
Posts: 1681
Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
a big welcome from me too! your horse has such a nice colour! In our neighbourhood their are 2 horses I know with the same colour and I find it beautiful. I wish you much enjoyment on the forum!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
She is cremello? Lovely!

I am glad you found us here! This is a truly wonderful and unique place to share. Welcome!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Israel
thanks everyone.
Tequila's color is Perlino (buckskin crossed with buckskin)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and thank you
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
And hello to you, Anat.

You are in magical company, and you bring a magical horse with you, and your own magic as well. I can't wait to see you start a training diary.

We were just discussing softening and lightening our aids and the subject came up that so much of what we humans do with horses is so like the nature and behaviors of the major predators of horses for millions of years that it's no wonder, even as we improve, on occasion our horses still do not connect with us.

More and more we learn those times they disconnect is when we are acting more like the predator than a trusted companion ... and your description of your change to more rigid and demanding riding style in conventional dressage is a perfect example.

Thank you for your trust shown by your willingness to share that with us.

You began by contributing. How appropriate and heart warming.

If you have time, and haven't looked as yet, go back to the index page and read what the originators, the founders, of this forum created: a safe and exciting place where such sharing and contributing can happen: where we can trust from and learn from, not just from each other, but even from each other's horses.

You will speak for your lovely horse, as we do for ours.

She is beautiful and reminds me a bit of my sweet Haumea Ai, long gone but dear in my heart. That's her, up to the left on this post.

Take too the time to visit each of us at our profiles so you have a sense who we are, and where we are, and what we are doing here.

My history might, or might not, interest you, but if it does do visit me:

Donald Redux

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.................................

If you are curious, you can see my photo and video album at -

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff51/donald_redux/


Donald Redux 1965

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hello Anat:

A warm welcome to you and your horse, Tequila. I'm sure you'll have alot to teach me. I love reading everyone's experiences, especially ground work since I don't ride too much. I also have a horse, Corado, who has taught me that I must listen to him. I have never ridden him because of my lack of experience. Good thing because I'm sure he would have bucked me off.I don't want to ride him with restrictions. He must want to be ridden. I just love groundwork and there is so much to teach the horse on the ground and of course this builds the relationship. My other horse, Magic, is just that. Beautiful personality, loves to be hugged and close to me. But he was a school horse and is in bad shape (muscular-wise). So I have only ridden him twice for about 15 minutes at a time.
I would also love to read about your experiences in the "Daily Training" and see your videos.
Have fun!!
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Israel
Thank you for all your welcoming replays.

and yes and thanks, Donald, for the invitation, i am reading endlessly getting to know this lovely family of all of you and your teachers, miracle makers- horse partners.

i just love all your horses.
they never stop amazing.
so delicate and yet so strong
so beautiful and funny and playful and giving.

we are so lucky. all of us.
Anat


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:23 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Hi Anat and welcome!

Taquila should meet my Inocencio 8)

Warm regards,

Josepha

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www.equusuniversalis.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:52 pm
Posts: 139
Location: France
Welcome Anat!
Wow, your horse Taquila is also so very beautiful!

It seems like everyone here has horses that are extremely pretty :) I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they are all loved so much? :wink:

_________________
Best wishes,
Jolanda
----------
our introduction with photos: http://www.artofnaturaldressage.com/viewtopic.php?t=744


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Welcome !!!
:D
Beautiful horse!!

Kind regards

Bianca

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and thank you
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Israel
Hello again.
I have been planning this “Re-introduction” for quite a while now. A lot changed since my first intro. I never wrote my own diary nor written in any of the other subjects, but i kept reading, listening and identifying with a lot of you, I got inspired and grew in my own way. Lately I feel I miss structure in my horse adventures, which I hope to find through keeping a diary. Hopefully it will create more order in my thoughts and habits, a chance to be helped by some of you and maybe add to the amazing body of knowledge that is forming here.

Enough about all that – I wanted to write an update about the horses & real life adventures.

Not long after I joined this forum my mare, Tequila, got badly injured, and tore a big chunk of tissue and muscle in her upper Rt hind leg. We spent a long half year healing, a time that bonded us together some more, and gave us a chance to Just be together, free of the “achieving” stress (a part in my personality that drives us both into wonderful places, but just as well can drive Tequila mad – on times when it blinds me to see her side in our dialog).

After Tequila’s leg healed, about 2 years ago, we all moved into a new home, finally - another dream come true –Tequila moved to live with me in our backyard.

The first year we had a friends’ horse to keep Tequila company, then on the summer of last year I got Hercules. He is 18, or so, years old, thoroughbred mix.
Hercules was used at the therapeutic horse farm I used to work at for several years. I’ve seen him do magic for patients. He was the most kind and willing horse, a quality that made him very popular as a school horse. After 5 years he became stiff and bitter to the point of bucking his riders off. This ended Hercules’s therapeutic career and he was sent to retire here with us. I owe him a lot. I owe him tons of gratitude for all the patients he helped me with. He brought joy and comfort to kids and grownups alike. And I owe him an apology- though he was never treated badly, and was used with a bitless bridle, he had to endure a life of confinement in a stall, being over worked. Like most school horses he was never able to express an opinion and was made to be obedient – not what I believe horses should deserve and far way off from how I perceive AND philosophy. I will tell more about him on my diary.

The last thing I wanted to write about in this “intro” is the story of my latest adventure into motherhood. About 3 and half months ago, after what felt like an endless pregnancy, I gave birth to a baby boy (alas – human child…).
So now I got another little creature to fit into my heart. It is so challenging, managing time and attention to the whole family (my human life partner Erez, Spot the dog, the 5 cats and the 2 horses).

The nice thing a bout being pregnant was that on the 7th month I stopped riding completely. This enabled the horses and me to get closer- in riding I could never get rid of the riding instructor/dressage person in me that looked for achievement and performance over fun and friendship). This enabled Hercules to develop some more trust and joy which he lacked before, and tequila found fun in movement in the arena. We trained/played at liberty and used less and less equipment, it was hard to tell who was enjoying it more. I can’t even begin to describe the happiness it gave me.
Since giving birth I haven’t gotten back to the same amount of time-sharing with the horses. I feel that being – playing – working with them demands some sort of peaceful state of mind which is hard to find these days. I find it hard to keep track of goals, progress, or take the time to just be. This is very saddening for me ☹.
I hope that with the help of keeping record, creating structure – I will be able to keep track of things, maybe feel more connected within myself and invent more time.

Some pictures from the end of February (week 43 of pregnancy and 2 days before giving birth). Playing with Tequila & Hercules.
We used many creative games to enjoy movement, since I could hardly bend down and couldn’t run myself. Lots of free longe, run to me etc…

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and thank you
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hello Anat:

Your horses look so happy!!! (and you look quite pregnant ;)

You have a beautiful place to play with your horses.

I can't really help you since I haven't been around horses very long and have never competed. So I treat my two like dogs. They are my best friends and I try to make their life exciting, I want them to want to live, not just to exist.

I do envy alot of of you on this forum since I don't understand most of the technical terms and exercises that you are all teaching your horses but that's where I understand that the horse will teach me (example, I started teaching the front crunch, well Corado, every morning, will stretch his back like a cat or dog will do after getting up from a nice sleep. I don't think I taught him that but I guess he taught me that I'm on the right track.

But I do relate to the time issue. I have no children, only two horses, and three cats. But I do work full time so trying to find time everyday to be with my horses is stressful. So I have to take the time I clean the paddock, the shelter, pick their feet, etc, as part of my time with them.
Then I've got the house, going to and from work (about 2 hours of my day), trying to write on forums, taking courses. I just can't wait to be home all day!!!

I guess, we have to determine what are priorities are and work from there.

One thing that helps me is I often look at pictures of my horses and realize how much they are part of me and so I spend as much time as I can just hugging and talking to them. They'll tell me what they want to do and I accept that.

So have fun Anat and hope to read up more.

Jocelyne

_________________
Jocelyne
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and thank you
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6253
Location: Dresden, Germany
So nice to read from you again. I sometimes wondered how you and your horses were doing. :smile:

Looking forward to reading your diary! :)

Warm Regards,
Romy


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