The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:04 am 
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Of course, Pepper trees. How could I have forgotten those? Or mistaken them for another tree.

The smell just popped into my mind.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:09 pm 
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Found a few more :)

Kick over the traces - A horse is harnessed to a carriage, wagon or cart with traces, which are the leather straps that run horizontally along the horse's sides. If through overexcitement or excess of energy the horse starts to buck and kick out, if it isn't quickly brought under control it may manage to kick right over the traces
Burr under your saddle
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink
Five dollar horse with a fifty dollar saddle
A camel is a horse designed by committee
Charlie horse
Ginger up - to put ginger up a horse's fundament, to make him lively and carry his tail well
Hold your horses
A nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse
Don't change horses midstream
Don't lock the stable door after the horse has bolted
Pee like a race horse
Hobby horse
Fit as a horse
Rode hard and put away wet
Happy trails to you
Shoo-in: a horse expected to easily win a race
Front runner
Put through her paces
The big apple - "The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There’s only one Big Apple. That’s New York."
Down to the home stretch
Down to the wire
Betting the Chalk/Chalk horse - When a horse is the favorite -- or has the most money bet on it -- that horse is termed the "chalk." Interestingly, this term comes from the pre-computer era of the bookie. When a bookie recorded bets on a blackboard, the odds would change over and over as more and more people bet on the favorite. The horse became known as the "chalk" because the horse's name would disappear in chalk dust as the bookie constantly erased and lowered the horse's odds.
Handicap - in horse racing where originally jockeys had to hold their cap as a early "handicap".
Smart as a whip
In the bag
Falling off the wagon
Beggars can't be choosers
Hell for leather - referred to the terrific beating inflicted upon leather saddles by heavy troopers at full speed, even by Kipling's time it had acquired a figurative sense indicating great speed, on foot, by vehicle, or by horse
Whoa Nellie - "Whoa, Nellie" was a frequent cry given by Gene Autry's pal, Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette), as he tried to stay aboard his horse, Ring-eyed Nellie.
Full tilt/Full pelt - a tilt was a joust, you should tilt at top speed, with maximum energy
I'd rather hold a horse in the rain
Get on the bit
Pick Up The Pace
He could talk the stripes off a zebra
With bells on - goes back to the days before automobile, when it was the custom to deck out with the fanciest harness the horse that drew the carriage for special occasions.
Back the field - This is the designation given to the betting against a particular horse (or small group of horses). If a punter believes a horse is sure to lose he can back all the others - 'the field'.
Gee him up
Steppin out
He made a right mare's nest of that presentation
Home and hosed - "The phrase home and hosed was originally used of a horse which had completed a race, was back in its box, and had been hosed down; thus a horse which is described as being home and hosed during a race is a certain winner - it will be back in its box before the rest of the field has finished."
Sitting on the fence: "undecided, unwilling to take a position, straddling.The term blossomed in 1828 and was probably in use before that.Carl Schurz, insisting on political independence, described his position (according to James Blaine) 'as that of a man sitting on a fence, with clean boots, watching carefully which way he may leap to keep out of the mud.'."
Wild goose chase: A 'wild goose chase' was a chase in which horses followed a lead horse at a set distance, mimicking wild geese flying in formation
Straw horse: any weak argument or proposal that won't hold up to intense scrutiny
Hobby horse: a fixation
Peeping Tom - The name comes from the legend of Lady Godiva's naked ride through the streets of Coventry, in order to persuade her husband to alleviate the harsh taxes on the town's poor. The story goes that the townsfolk agreed not to observe Godiva as she passed by, but that Peeping Tom broke that trust and spied on her.
Win hands down: Jockey slacks the reins and the horse still wins easily, with little effort
Put your best foot forward
Got off on the wrong foot
Hot to trot
Stubborn as a mule
Spur of the moment
Raring to go
Hard ass
Marking hames: the wooden or metal pieces forming the collar on a horse, to which the traces are attached; fig. a mess, in the phrase 'to make a hames of,' to make a mess of (possibly because it is difficult to put the hames on a horse the right way up.
Going flat out: The legs stretch out in front and behind at each pace, and the animal as a whole looks flatter and closer to the ground than when it is going at a gentle speed.

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:10 am 
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You´ve been busy! Thank you! :applause:
That´s indeed a great list...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:51 am 
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I was just thinking about this thread yesterday when reading how some people talked about their work with their horses. Besides the fact that our everyday language is filled with horse-related sayings, I believe that also the way we speak when we actually do talk about horses has a big impact on how we think. It's very interesting for me to see how many people's language about horses largely is one of passivity. As if an agent was manipulating an object. I guess that's not what people really want to express when saying things like "I stopped my horse" (in German there also are more interesting versions of it, usually originating from the military). But at least from what I have read so far about the influence of language on mental processes and the brain, it would surprise me if using language in that way still supported the representation of the horse as an active partner in a cooperative process.

Actually I wasn't quite accurate. Horse talk isn't always that passive. It only is as long as it deals with exercises that the horse is supposed to perform. Instead, if something goes wrong, the language is often reversed. Then people use highly active descriptions of the horse's behaviour ("he dragged me", "he threw me down"), paired with a frequent use of trait adjectives, suggesting that the horse did what he did deliberately, and that it was due to his personality far more than the situation.

I'd love to see studies that show whether there is an actual influence of this language on thinking and behaviour, and if yes, what exactly it does. But until then, I think I will continue to encourage the children who work with my horses to talk about them in the same way they would talk about another person instead of an object. :smile:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Romy wrote:
I'd love to see studies that show whether there is an actual influence of this language on thinking and behaviour, and if yes, what exactly it does. But until then, I think I will continue to encourage the children who work with my horses to talk about them in the same way they would talk about another person instead of an object.
I'm convinced that there is an influence on my own thinking - or maybe it's the other way round? The thinking certainly influences the language. Anyway, I've seen a lot of assimilation going on in in my first barn, where especially younger boarders imitated the way older members handle their horses - all down to the way they talk about their horses.
I've seen the barn owner call her horses with very pejorative names - 'nag', 'hack', 'mule' - you get the idea... As she was a peer to all the younger girls there, soon all of them copied her way of talking about her horses. It was very weird going through the barn, hearing all those girls insulting their horses, but at the same time spoiling them with great financial effort :roll:.

I for one, am very sensitive when it comes to calling a horse names. Strangely I found it's quite a common practice among horse owners. I know that people probably don't mean it disrespectful in the sense of the word, but to me the sense of the word lingers.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Houyhnhnm wrote:
I for one, am very sensitive when it comes to calling a horse names. Strangely I found it's quite a common practice among horse owners. I know that people probably don't mean it disrespectful in the sense of the word, but to me the sense of the word lingers.


I think so, too. But I also believe that this works in the other direction. For example, Nora and I have a game that we usually play when we clean the pasture. It's about me being a thief who is stealing all the gold (manure) from the kingdom, and Nora is a radio presenter who is reporting about that. Of course the horses play the main roles, so we have Head of State Titum, Federal President Summy and Princess Pia. I don't really remember why we chose these names, but the mere fact that we are using them all the time has an influence on how we see the horses. It's just very hard to say that the Federal President is giving you an audience without automatically getting a feeling respect. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:51 pm 

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:funny: That's cool Romy.

Actually, I do "lovingly insult" (there we are again) my animals, especially my cats, quite a lot. Like calling them "dumb cat" (Dummkatz)- and it doesn't make me think less of them, I love them both. Funky is "boy" most of the time, sometimes "Sir" or "Monsieur", and then again he's "my Funky Funk", or "Gfrast" (that'd be "rascal", I guess). Yes, I've got a bit of a whack *coughs*

But I do ride with a horse, and not just "ride a horse". Language influences our thinking, our thinking influences language. George Orwell knew that as well...

Btt... there really is a wealth of horse-related sayings, now I come to think of it o.ô Was "Go slow with the young horses" (Immer langsam mit den jungen Pferden) mentioned? I like that one. It ought to be minded more often.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Nice to read that you also ride with a horse instead of riding a horse. That phrase never sat well with me, just like the English "starting a horse". Concerning the insults, I think hat really depends on how you mean it. For example, we also call our horses "cute little thing" very often, without intending to imply that they were objects. ;)

waycooljr. wrote:
Language influences our thinking, our thinking influences language. George Orwell knew that as well...


Yes, and there is a lot of interesting research on this topic, although unfortunately I know very little of that (reading more of that literature has been on my ToDo list for years :blush:). If someone wants to watch a nice talk for an introduction and some examples:

Lera Boroditsky - How language shapes thought


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