The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:11 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
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Hi Chuck and kids,

Hi Donald!


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I've been reading your posts and before that visited your website.

It's still quite a mess I'm afraid. :sad:

Quote:
One thought I had as I read your site, and your posts too, was that you and I must have had some very similar experiences.

It is most heartwarming to find someone doing what you are doing, codifying the evolution.

For me it's kinda like 'pushing a boulder uphill,' (which is really a job for a much younger man I'm afraid). But then there's those emails and posts like Anne Louise's that 'make it all worth it.' :cheers:


Quote:
I said in another post recently, when discussing these new ways we look at experiencing horses, that it inevitable this happened, that Chuck came along when he did and brought your skill and ability to the game.

Relatively uncertain about my 'skill and ability,' (word is still out on that). :funny:

The thousands and thousands of hours of 'research binges' and observation and experimentation I've invested usually indicate a psychosis referred to as 'obsessive-compulsive.' :ieks:

That was my downfall, my mental/emotional 'Achilles heel' so-to-speak.

I thought, "IF the horse has remained virtually unchanged mentally, emotionally and instinctually for thousands of years, how can people blame the HORSE for 'doing something wrong' or being BAD?"

I was under the impression that 'doing the same thing over and and expecting different or better results was a sign of non compos mentos.

SO, it didn't take me long to figger out that no matter what new/natural/whatever 'training format' came along over the last 50 years WASN'T all that new/natural/whatever to the horse!

That's when I realized that in our 'haste to mount up' we'd overlooked that 'other relationship' for 6,000 years. :roll:

So, FT sees building the relationship and 'training' as two separate issues. First we establish the relationship, the bonding.

Then TOGETHER, if we so desire, we seek out what we regard as a 'trainer' for a specific discipline, (like Josepha). Make sense?

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:19 am 
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:) Romy, Goodness gracious no, I don't mean to come off sounding like FT is the only way to have a great or intimate relationship, not at all. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. Anyone that has had a horse they adore for any length of time has found that!! ;) And yes those of us (the collective us, especially AND folks) that strive to be with our horses in a way that's not just making them a tool, well then we all are on the same path (more or less).

And I apologize I also don't mean to be a marketeer in here. It's just that I have had many people ask about FT and they do seem to want me to explain in detail how to do FT.... *sigh*

Yes I am excited and passionate about FT because I have the results, and as Chuck would say, am still just seeing the tip of the iceberg of possibility. So I probably come across a bit of a fanatic. ;)

As Chuck explained about the kiss, I would like to share an experience I had with the kiss. I adore Chuck, but he speaks science and sometimes the message gets lost. ;) This experience I had though for me really drove home his science behind the kiss, it's also part of the breath exchange for some people.

I have kinda intro'd my TB, Owen in previous posts, well he was in a huge pasture with about 16 other horses. I would put him back in the pasture after feeding and doing our FTX's, he and I would play for a while... when finished I would ask for a kiss to reassure him we were finished and I would leave. Well his kisses got longer, meaning he would stand with me holding his nose on my cheek for a while. I of course loved that! So I would relish it as he was "kissing me". One day while Owen was kissing me softly, I had my eyes closed just enjoying the moment when I felt a gentle, tentative touch on my other cheek! As much as it startled me I tried not to jump (haha), but opened my eyes slowly, and saw the little red nose of an 18 month old filly as she tentatively touched my cheek. I allowed it of course, was truly amazed by her action, and gently as I could I stroked her neck on the opposite side (where I could reach under her throat) and gently praised her. When Owen backed his nose off she stayed a moment and then pulled away. She stood there staring at me, waiting for something, so I stroked her neck and told her how good that was, with lots of enthusiasm.

This little filly would not go near any human, she was pretty wild and most everyone was afraid of her because in play she would charge. After that day though she was my best friend, if I was in the pasture she was stuck to me like glue. haha She got be a bit of a pest actually. But I went ahead and while playing with Owen if he allowed her to be near enough she would enter into our play and do exactly as Owen. But she would always try to plant her little nose on my cheek. I did eventually teach her the real meaning of the kiss as far as the teaching of things goes. She was offered for sale about a year later and unfortunately I was not in a position to buy her, I should have. She was the cutest thing, spunky, kinda fearless but very willing to learn and try. Her owners asked me to teach her to pick up her feet and things so that when they sold her she'd not be quite such a wild child. Still, I was the only one she would come to in that pasture.

Anyway though I have had many truly wondrous experiences with horses in my life, that first approach from that little filly has really stuck with me. I know she'd watched Owen and I, and I know that they "talked", but I am positive she wanted to experience it for herself. So yeah there really is something there that they pick up from us.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:12 am 
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That is absolutely a wonderful story :love: :yes:

You know, I never thought about it really. You see it ever so tenderly with a mare to a foal and sometimes from stallion to mare... but very rare did I see it, indeed. So when horses do it to us or any other species I indeed took it as a sign of tender love and trust. Like how cats and dogs do that too when they really connect with someone, be it their own species or an other.

So sometimes Owen does it to me and I love it but just see it as a display of affection obviously. Jamie only has done it twice in ten years, but concerning his past... He can't stand anything near his face due to trauma.
But the magic really hit me when Inocencio did it! I believe I put it in his diary... for Ino, because he is autistic, that was like one of those moment I shall probably remember my last day... wow. Especially with him... if I would have taught him to do that, I would have missed this very special magical moment, where this autistic boy reaches out and seeks actual contact with me. Something he had not done ever before.

But I find it really funny to see that it can be sort of a training or connecting tool. Not sure if I would ever use it though. Can't really explain why. Just feels like, for me personally, I'd just like those things remain the sort of things that you never think of and then just might or might not happen. For me it's the difference I guess from going to a blind date or just being out and without expecting it and then finding the love of your live. But I might try it with one of my students. As I have been laying a, lot of Romy stuff on them lately, they will not be surprised if I try a 'Chuck' thing (now who is Chuck? ha ha ! well, read the forum...)

Samantha here on the list, her little Arabian Mare abdullah kisses her all the time. To the point like they seem to be under water and Samantha is the one with the air and Percella comes to take some :funny:
Maybe she can explain a bit about what the purpose is for them, I shall send her the topic and as if she has time to respond. If you'll interested of course :)k

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 43
Chuck wrote:
Quote:
That's when I realized that in our 'haste to mount up' we'd overlooked that 'other relationship' for 6,000 years. :roll:


BINGO... that's why everyone is here, I suspect ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:32 pm 
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I think you're absolutely right, Anne Louise, and that's a huge reason why everyone is here!

Quote:
That's when I realized that in our 'haste to mount up' we'd overlooked that 'other relationship' for 6,000 years.

So, FT sees building the relationship and 'training' as two separate issues. First we establish the relationship, the bonding.

Then TOGETHER, if we so desire, we seek out what we regard as a 'trainer' for a specific discipline, (like Josepha). Make sense?


First, a belated welcome, Chuck -- am glad that your log-in challenges got solved!

Then, I think that the differences here are in the land of nuance -- and paths in.

For some of us here (like me, for instance) relationship is the way in to teaching and learning goals. For others, I think the teaching and learning is the way in to relationship. I think this is shaped by our individual backgrounds, goals, etc.

For example, my doctorate is in cultural mythology and psychology. So I find the psychological aspects of this process -- for my horses, for me, and for us together, endlessly fascinating. I'm intrigued with ethology and evolutionary psychology, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, etc. and read a fair amount about it -- but ultimately where I find the most truth and sense of insight is by exploring the deep psyche/soul/myth/archetype/metaphors in our play and work together. It's how I think most deeply.

So, for example, I read what Chuck wrote about scent and the "kiss" and am really intrigued with the science. Love the science. But what floats my boat even more is when I start to think about it as a literal action AND as a metaphor for how my horses and I are energetically connecting with each other.

I think we're all dancing with our own subtle variations on this. A while back Romy and I had a great interchange about chicken and egg, relationship and activities. She was saying (Romy, of course correct me if I'm reporting this inaccurately!) that for her, it's about the stuff they do together -- that's where she finds the life force. This warm fuzzy relationship stuff wasn't all that interesting.

But if you watch her videos, she and her horses have more trust and affection and partnership per square inch than most of the world put together. So they've found the equation that works for them. So cool!

So, for me, part of it is what catches my attention in terms of how I process ideas. And part of it, definitely, has to do with past experiences -- I've had to work past a bunch of years of traditional training where the human was assumed to be the important member of the equation. Even as I've wanted to jettison that, it's taken me time to peel back layers of teaching/assumptions. So, it makes sense in another way for me to put the relationship first because that's where I need to learn.

But for others, like Romy, or Josepha, I think the relationship is so intertwined with how they work and their inherent graciousness with their horses that they don't necessarily have to think about it that hard. One of the things Josepha has said a lot that has become an aphorism for me is "Give first, then ask." There is a world of fantastic energy and thought in that simple phrase.

Anyhow, I'm playing hooky and should get back to work. But welcome, Chuck, and Anne Louise and Terrie! it's always exciting to meet people who are working these ideas in their own ways who are willing to come and share thoughts. Inch by inch, the world is changing.

All the best,
Leigh

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"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
(Trying to 'explain' FT/another facet)


*Excerpt from a research report by Dr. Carol Sankey, University of Rennes.

"Since horses are able to learn and memorize human words and can hear the human voice better than even dogs can, due to their particular range of hearing, the scientists predict trainers could have success if they incorporate more vocal commands into their horse training programs."

This is one reason why we use specific voice cue/requests combined with a hand gesture. Not only does this help in 'everyday interactions,' but later also later on when mounted relationship is initiated.

*All mounted activity is suspended until the relationship has been fully established.

We use three levels of 'no,' as well as three levels of 'gout' or move. I have never liked 'move' myself because it seems like too much of an ORDER or a COMMAND.

'Gout' is slang for a polite 'look out,' -- AKA excuse me or pardon me when needing to pass by someone, (such as a child standing in a doorway when you need to enter with two armfuls of groceries).

The horse also learns Come, (please come here) Back, Side, Stand, Gee-Haw, Slow, Please walk/run with me, and the 'Calm Down Cue, (not to be confused with the intermediate assurance/reassurance vocal when faced with an unknown/unique or potentially apprehensive object or situation.

The Intermediate marker, (to sustain a particular action without terminating) is Very Nice or Very Good.

And naturally, we use the rapturous, ecstatic, joyful GOOD BOY or GOOD GURRRL as the case may be.

COMPLETELY anecdotal -- but I personally have felt, and DO feel, that vocalizing a thought or intention somehow magnifies the 'thought/intention' itself. Not the sound waves themselves, but the actual 'thought' or intent itself from 'inside.' Silly huh? :blush:

The Four Essentials

I. Freedom of Choice.
(Ask, don't order or force.)

II. Freedom of Movement.
(No restriction of ANY type.)

III. Freedom of Expression.
Encouraged to express their feelings/barring physical harm to their human teacher.)

IV. Intent and Goal
If you only came to 'train an animal,' that is all you are going to get, (barring the forgiveness and compassion of the horse).

Treats are fine. And we do use them to teach or reinforce throughout the day, (for example the Kiss).

But treats are a momentary 'endorphin release/happy thing' and cannot possibly be compared with the deep, instinctual imprint found within the grazing pattern/food loop of equine social behavior.

Someone once stated, "Well! The horse KNOWS you're not another horse!"

And that's certainly true!

But supposing you were dropped in a foreign country and could not speak or understand their language.

How would you feel if you walked for days buffeted by strangers, hearing only unintelligible gibberish until one day someone walked up to you and shook your hand with a big smile on his face and a gave you a hug?

How WOULD you feel toward that person?


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Great stuff, Chuck. Just lovely.

And I smiled when I read this:
Quote:
COMPLETELY anecdotal -- but I personally have felt, and DO feel, that vocalizing a thought or intention somehow magnifies the 'thought/intention' itself. Not the sound waves themselves, but the actual 'thought' or intent itself from 'inside.' Silly huh?


I think you're absolutely right. And I don't think it's silly at all.

I think we're just at the beginning of understanding the physics of why this is true, even though people have intuitively understood it for thousands of years. It's the basis of the idea, for example, of a "spell" -- we say it out loud and it begins to take some tangible form/power.

Best,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
For example, my doctorate is in cultural mythology and psychology.

I'm intrigued with ethology and evolutionary psychology, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology,

And part of it, definitely, has to do with past experiences -- I've had to work past a bunch of years of traditional training where the human was assumed to be the important member of the equation. Even as I've wanted to jettison that, it's taken me time to peel back layers of teaching/assumptions.


Then you for one might be able to comprehend the size of the 'boulder I'm trying to push uphill.'

Tradition and speciesism are what seems at times, INSURMOUNTABLE! :ieks:

And it could get really, really depressing when I see them 'getting out the whip and the lunge line.' :sad:

But then there are other times, as I mentioned before, that 'spread a little much-needed sunshine.' :D

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
And I smiled when I read this:
Quote:
COMPLETELY anecdotal -- but I personally have felt, and DO feel, that vocalizing a thought or intention somehow magnifies the 'thought/intention' itself. Not the sound waves themselves, but the actual 'thought' or intent itself from 'inside.' Silly huh?


I think you're absolutely right. And I don't think it's silly at all.

I think we're just at the beginning of understanding the physics of why this is true, even though people have intuitively understood it for thousands of years. It's the basis of the idea, for example, of a "spell" -- we say it out loud and it begins to take some tangible form/power.

Best,
Leigh


True! Although I am truly amazed that LeDoux and Panksepp don't 'hang up on me' after all the times I've pestered them through the years!

You mentioned ethology, (amongst others) before. Wait until you delve deeply into Etiology! How does that song go?

"That's when your heartaches begin."

LOL! (With sarcasm.) :funny:

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Hi Josepha,

If you don't mind, I'm am curious about a few things concerning your training and AND.

Do you teach 'airs above the ground'?

How do you value and what is your opinion of this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyYoEFDWZyg

Thanks!

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:31 pm 
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I don't mind :-)

As to the Haut Ecole and dressage movements I do not claim to teach horses anything as those movements are already their own in my view.
I only seek to inspire the horse to want to perform movements that empowers his body and mind, like for instance the airs.
But mostly in my daily work it's about the basic gymnasium, circles, shoulder in, transitions etc.

No matter what the movement, watching a horse perform for the sake of selfexpression is to me an artform far above any human painting or music. I love many forms of art, but horse movement art can move me like nothing can. The display of such a great force yet so gentle and light... it heals me in ways I can not comprehend and therefor can not explain.

The horse in the video is amazing for what he is able to do. I personally would never ask or command this of a horse, not in freedom but certainly not under the circumstances shown in the video. To me that is more a display of: 'look what human can make horse do' which I is not my cup of tea so to speak.
I like more the display of 'Look what horse wants to do in the presence of human'.
If that makes sense?
The video does not display horse art to me in the sense that it does not come from a wish of the horse to express himself.

To me the horse mostly is the teacher, I only want to be his tool with which he can reach his personal goals.

I had a discussion with grand prix dressage rider who bought a bitless bridle from me.
He explained that what he was doing, to him, was art. He was the artist and dressage was the painting.
I responded that if that were so, the horse would have to be the tools (brushes and paint) in his example.

I then explained that what I was doing for me, is being part of art. I see the horse as the artist, his movement the painting and me, as his tools...

Hope it all makes sense :)


(Btw I speak of 'he' as with He, me being a tool is more easy to produce proud and manly display.
With She, it is more complex and I am not always the best tool nor the only.
Hope that makes sense as well... sorry! :funny: )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
I only seek to inspire the horse to want to perform movements that empowers his body and mind, like for instance the airs.


Then you do not use any kiind of 'extension' at any time throughout the training to 'inspire' the horse?

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Do you mean a whip or a clicker or something a like?

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
I had a discussion with grand prix dressage rider who bought a bitless bridle from me.


Wonderful that he did that! :cheers:

I had two very brief, (and last ones I'm sure) conversations with Walter Zettl a few weeks ago.

(I'm sure we will forever both hold the same regard for each other.)



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
(Btw I speak of 'he' as with He, me being a tool is more easy to produce proud and manly display.
With She, it is more complex and I am not always the best tool nor the only.
Hope that makes sense as well... sorry! )


No need for 'sorry.' I firmly believe and sometimes envy the advantage women have when working with stallions.

Of course, there is something overwhelmingly fulfilling being a fullfledged member of a 'bachelor herd' too. :D


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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