The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 1:44 pm
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Location: USA
Got my copy, too! :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: It's so AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
What a cool experience to read a book that you already know really well in another language!
But the very best is the fact that EVERYBODY can read it now!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :applause: :applause: :applause:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
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Location: Germany, Black Forest
hi everybody,

as I reported Imke Spilker lives very close and two friends of mine have lessons with her.
Last week I finally managed to watch one of those lessons.
I wanted to report you from this but it's not so easy how to start because I'm a little bit to and fro about what I saw. Probalbly a should watch another lesson to get a fuller picture, I probably didn't understand everything.
Frankly speaking I was a little bit disappointed - Romys interaction I saw at the AND-meeting I liked much better... :D

Okay, I'll just tell you what I saw:
My friends horse is a 17years old arabian mare called Malisha which has arthrosis in her knees since she was young. So the main goal was to activate her hindlegs and to make her move smoother. What irritated me most was that Imke used the whip a lot. And a lot of that whip use looked for me like pressure / release. She tipped the hindquaters or benath the belly or on the croup and when Malisha showed the expected reaction she stopped.... As my friend explained to me this is not driving in a traditional way but Imke uses this to provokate the horse, to irritate her, to bring her out of her shell – hard to express, especially as I’m not shure wether I got it right. :huh:

It took quite a long time to go the way from the stable to the arena as they allowed Malisha to graze when she wanted to. They didn’t really force her to come, but Imke is very skillfull in distracting the horse from the gras (with food) and then making her walk with her.
Then in the arena they mainly run together (Malisha seemed to want that, she always startet to trot by her own) and Imke (she had Malisha on a long leading rope on the halter) run with her, activating the hind legs wiht the whip and by making circles. She said she needed the rope because without it Malisha would always fall apart („vorne heraus laufen = move out in the front“ translated literally).
After a while Imke was quite exausted by all the running and said ot Malisha, if you want to trot more you have to carry me, I can’t run anymore and she complained a little bit. My friend explained that for Imke you always need a good reason to ride a horse, and this is one: the horse is stronger and faster and if we want to run together, it sometimes has to carry us.

For the riding she put a bit in and said she needed it because horses would "go forward differently with it". :huh: When she road she didn’d have constant contact with the rains, but used the bit to propose a certain posture? Again it’s hard to describe as I’m not shure if I understood everything right. Malisha didn’t seem unconfident with the riding, but she had strongly opposed to the saddle (lot of kicking when the gurth was tightend and she didn’t want to stand still when Imke wanted to climb on her back – my friend had to help her :ieks: ).

All in all it was quite a contadictory experience for me. What I got as inspiration was the activation of the hind legs, I think I have to focus on that more myself (especially because of Filux arthrosis), but the rest... I got much more inspiration by Romy, Josepha and Bianca at the AND meeting...

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:59 am 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 2:05 am
Posts: 444
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Thanks Franziska for the report.

A lot of what you saw her do did seem a little contradictory to what she said in her book (where she emphasized that the horse was allowed to choose whether it trained or not and say no and that she didn't use negative reinforcement to motivate them).
But then maybe as your friend is having a lesson she feels the pressure to get results? Did the mare start using her hindlegs better in the end?

The stuff she said in her book about activating the hindlegs on a circle was really useful for me too. It got Poppy more balanced and collected and bending better on the circle (only at walk at the moment but we are getting there).

Anyway let us know if you get to see another lesson and if it clears anything up.


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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:23 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Franziska, well done for your honest write up. I saw a writer/trainer who used far more pressure than he proposed in his written work. Sometimes I think when humans carry a whip they feel the need to use it. I wonder if the trainer could achieve her same goals without tack or whips?
That is what I love about the AND diaries and topics, they truly do achieve without force or pressure.
So, whilst the book will probably hold many useful nuggets and teachings that can be adapted to help, perhaps these are best watched when read, translated and applied by the AND forum members, rather than the famous lady herself?
Love Susie xx
Why is Romy at home with her own children and horses, these she has already trained, there is a world wanting her to teach their horses :f: .

Edited to add how lovely Imke Spilker's website is.

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:10 am 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Thank you very much for the report, Franziska!! :) Very interesting to read. For me personally, Imke has done a great job by writing that book - just like I am thankful to Nevzorov for those little youtube videos (haven´t seen the DVDs yet), even if in real life what they are doing differs from what they are writing. This is because those things that they write give other people a reason to believe that it is possible, so they start doing it and then see that it does work indeed, even though the original book writer is maybe doing something else. :smile:

PiePony wrote:
Why is Romy at home with her own children and horses, these she has already trained, there is a world wanting her to teach their horses :f:


:funny: :blush: After yesterday´s clinic (I will write a detailed report asap) I can officially say that I am available for teaching, if anybody wants me to. I was never sure if I had anything useful to teach, but yesterday I realized that even if I have not, I could still be of some use as a translator for the horses. And of course I have a very egoistic reason too: watching those changes in the horses and espcially the owners, turning into shining happy people who are just in love with their wonderful horseys, is simply just addicting. :love: :)


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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 202
Location: Germany, Black Forest
Romy wrote:
:funny: :blush: After yesterday´s clinic (I will write a detailed report asap) I can officially say that I am available for teaching, if anybody wants me to. I was never sure if I had anything useful to teach, but yesterday I realized that even if I have not, I could still be of some use as a translator for the horses. And of course I have a very egoistic reason too: watching those changes in the horses and espcially the owners, turning into shining happy people who are just in love with their wonderful horseys, is simply just addicting. :love: :)

This is great!!! Because while watching Imkes lesson I thought: "'I'd really like to invite Romy, she would be able to inspire me and the likeminded people here around so much and I really would like to see her interact with our horses".
So Romy would you come to Black forest? I think we have to wait till next spring because we have no covered arenas and the weather conditions become more and more difficult... But how about a weekend in May?

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Oh, good news, Romy.
Franziska, I am organising a clinic in my outdoor field, dates have to be verified, but are most likely to be between 14th May and 6th June 2010.
This is for Adam Shereston to come and give a demonstration on the Friday afternoon/evening and then a clinic over the weekend. I had hoped a four day clinic, but Adam suggests 1 demo day and 2 days with horses and riders/handlers with a further 2 days optional and possibly better absorbed if a month or two later.
I am hoping to link this clinic with Josepha's visit to ET's a 100 miles North of me, so that Josepha can teach for a day when she has been to Derbyshire and after Adam's handling course.
It would be very special if Romy could come with Josepha.
Eileen, (ET) is busy moving house, so until she and Josepha can make their arrangements, I will not know if it is possible to spread the AND message further by including those who come to work with and watch Adam.
Adam is trying to keep costs minimal, to enable more people to benefit, but clinic numbers are limited to 4 people with horses and as many spectators coming to watch as would like to come.
I will add this to the thread I posted on this clinic, just mentioning here, because I know Eileen is the person arranging Josepha's UK clinic.
Susie xx

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:16 am 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Franziska wrote:
But how about a weekend in May?


May would be fine, especially when we have to play outside. It´s just much nicer when the spectators can sit in the sun instead of standing there and shivering all the time. Nice weather also makes it easier to be happy about what the horses are offering, which I think is the most important thing on the human´s side. The rest is only technique and this can be learned easily. :smile:

Looking forward to meeting your big boys! :) :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
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Location: Germany, Black Forest
Great Romy! I'll "PM" with you about this soon :thumleft:

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:58 am
Posts: 243
Location: Germany
So nice we already have a thread about Imke Spilker :thumleft: I just found her book in my bookshelf this morning and started to read it again, and instantly remembered how much I liked it when I read it first, about a year ago.

I'm very excited to find out if my understanding of the content will be the same, now that a year has passed, or if there will be some new "Aha" moments :sun:

When I read the book for the first time, I sent an E-Mail to Imke after reading it, telling her how much I liked her book and asking her if she would be available for some lessons in northern Germany. She replied to me and told me that she's not giving lessons anymore, but offered me at the same time to contact her if I had some specific questions. This was very nice :f: I wrote her some questions like "I don't know what my horse likes do to, what could I offer to him that he will like?" and she would always reply: "Ask your horse. He is your best teacher and the only one how could answer this."
This is the best answer that any teacher ever gave to me, I think :yes:

It took some months until I realized how I could ask him AND understand his replies, though :funny: And I'm still learning it.

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 Post subject: Re: Imke Spilker
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:58 am
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Location: Germany
I am just reading this book again and I'm stunned how much I can learn from it again. Although I'm reading it about the third time now...I just love the way Imke writes about her horses and gives an insight into their minds (or, to be precise, to what she thinks they have on their minds). This reminds me that Frodur is missing something very precious: Freedom. And I think he knows that. And how it would be to be completely self-determined. I'm sure he would do a great job. He's intelligent, clever and brave, and has very reliable instincts, I really admire that.

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