The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: The name of the forum
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:21 am 
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Edit by Romy: This topic was split from Length of time to achieve groundwork exercises

I use the term AND just to sum up the collective gorgeousness of all the members here :D. I never really liked the term "Art Of Natural Dressage". But I like the abbrevation and the way it refers to future things to come: "AND...?" ;). Very avant-garde in a way 8).

Anyway, I see it like Leigh and Inge. The numbers in front of some of the exercises may suggest a level system behind it, but I see it more like an attempt to categorise, not to build a hierarchical system.
I think the AND approach to horses - if there is really such a common denominator - is best reflected in the diaries, the exchange between the forum members and also the positive communication exercised here in the virtual space. It all revolves around the human-horse relationship. The exercises are just a by-product in my opinion.

For example I can do a jambette from the saddle with Mucki, but I cannot ride him :funny:. If you would define any level progression that would clearly follow after riding. In our case, it just happened while fooling around with me on his back ;).

I wandered a bit off to the region of defining the philosophy behind AND, which is a very interesting topic. Regarding the estimated time to do all the exercises: your mileage will vary greatly. And I dare say, even if I have mastered all the mentioned exercises, I may still lack the relationship which is the heart of all discussion here.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:17 pm 
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That's makes a lot of sense, thanks! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:21 pm 
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@ fjordnaturally: that is actually for your horse to decide 8)

@ Volker, so tell me, why do you not like Art of Natural Dressage? :huh: :green:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:19 pm 
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Houyhnhnm wrote:
I use the term AND just to sum up the collective gorgeousness of all the members here :D. I never really liked the term "Art Of Natural Dressage". But I like the abbrevation and the way it refers to future things to come: "AND...?" ;). Very avant-garde in a way 8)....


Interesting. I wonder what the name might be were it not Art of Natural Dressage?

When I first saw the name of this forum before I joined, what five years ago now, I wondered about it, but at the same time, having just returned to the horseworld after a 40+ years lay off, and having explored both classical dressage forums and modern dressage I was looking for something that addressed issues beyond what I felt other dressage forums were involved in.

Hadn't occurred to me to think of "natural," dressage but I liked it immediately when I realized the kind of dressage I am interested in does follow the pattern of the horse's natural movements and activities in his daily life - thus "natural," fit well or me.

I found more of what I was looking for, including a great deal of relationship material, here and have not to the point in time found anywhere else that does what AND does in this regard.

I too value the training forums and the diary especially for all the inspiration and information they provide.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:20 am 
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Donald Redux wrote:
Interesting. I wonder what the name might be were it not Art of Natural Dressage?
Hi, Donald! Long time no see! That´s a very good question by the way ;).

Josepha wrote:
@ Volker, so tell me, why do you not like Art of Natural Dressage?
Please don´t get me wrong - I´m not at all saying that I don´t like what´s behind the name. I really like the concept and the philosophy.
I guess it´s primarily the word "art" that´s just a bit too lofty for me. But that´s not such a big deal. What´s conflicting for me (and I´m sure that´s just my view of it), is that I see the name and maybe even the philosophy of AND posting is not doing justice to all the facets of this forum.
I´m aware that basically the philosophy of AND as it was written in 2007 and the way this forum is now, with all its very different members, are not the same thing. It´s just that I started to use the term "AND" for me as something that refers to the entirety of insights and viewpoints here in the forum - and for that the name falls simply too short. But, I also cannot think of any name that would be fitting for the collective spirit here.

Do I make any sense here? It´s kind of hard to explain...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:24 pm 
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I understand.

'Art' simply refers to the fact that academic riding as a way of helping a horse developing alpha qualities was seen as an art form by the old masters.
Next to that, the various movements of the horse we see in high school are also a way of art for the horse himself. Art, after all, is a way of giving expression of ones unique talent and being.

'Natural' refers to the fact that we do not go against the horse's biology.

'Dressage' refers to 'human working with animal'.

In German I thought Art may also refere to 'way of doing things' or 'sort' (As a antive speaker, you can correct me if I am wrong?) Which makes much sense to me :)

If you do come up with a better name, I am all ears 8) :funny:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Quote:
I guess it´s primarily the word "art" that´s just a bit too lofty for me.


Very odd coming from someone who is clearly an artist.... :D :f: :kiss:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Heeeeeeeeee, Karen!

:funny:

You got caught, Volker...

;) :kiss:

L.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:09 am 
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Karen wrote:
Quote:
I guess it´s primarily the word "art" that´s just a bit too lofty for me.


Very odd coming from someone who is clearly an artist.... :D :f: :kiss:



Hehe. I was thinking the same thing :D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Hey! What´s going on in here!?
Leigh wrote:
You got caught, Volker...
D'oh! OK, OK! Removing my hard hat and putting my artsy-fartsy cap back on :alien:...

Seriously though, this is a very important discussion for me.
Josepha, I completely concur with your point of view about the name and the meaning of its parts. I would just like to take this as an opportunity to discuss what I see and feel behind the label of AND as it is shown in the form of this forum. I mean, what brings people here really? What do they members here really seek?

I can only speak for myself. At first, the name "Art of Natural Dressage" was very appealing to me. I was intrigued by the academic wisdom of the old masters (Art), by Natural Horsemanship (Natural) and the Haute Ecole Movements (Dressage).
Later as I began my journey with Mucki for earnest, I realised how much the path become the goal and the goal of AND became just a beacon in the distance to keep me going. It all seemed to boil down more and more to the simple fact of me wanting to establish a friendly relationship with this remarkable creature. All the implications of that process - like enlightenment in many ways, different exercises and moves, and many things more - seem to be lovely attractions along the way, but not part of the goal itself.
Of course I still like everything the name AND stands for. And I still strive to learn as much Haute Ecole as possible. But I also got the feeling that the core of what I regard as "the AND community" lies elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:33 pm 
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I understand what you're saying Volker, I just love this forum. I consider the members as my "horse" family, even though I'm not into dressage that much and will never be a pro at teaching it to my horse. However,... building a relationship and teaching exercises that my horse will love to do and just "being" with the horse, to me, is what this forum is all about.
Sure if there is a question on a certain dressage move and I know I can teach my horse, I'll be interested but I remember, when I first joined, I read about the "chase the tiger" game and I wanted to play with Corado but wasn't sure about myself. Now I do play, and I learnt it here.
So, AND is not just about dressage but to me it's more about the relationship, respect, and love.
Joc

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:25 pm 
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That would settle it as to me, true (this natural) dressage or riding art IS respect, relationship and love.
The exercises are there to empower the horse, the execution to build communication and relationship.

I always say: communication through gymnasticizing.

I do wish Bianca and Myriam would swing by here so we could indeed think about updating perhaps the core of what we are doing here...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:38 pm 
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Houyhnhnm wrote:
Donald Redux wrote:
Interesting. I wonder what the name might be were it not Art of Natural Dressage?
Hi, Donald! Long time no see! That´s a very good question by the way ;).

Josepha wrote:
@ Volker, so tell me, why do you not like Art of Natural Dressage?
Please don´t get me wrong - I´m not at all saying that I don´t like what´s behind the name. I really like the concept and the philosophy.
I guess it´s primarily the word "art" that´s just a bit too lofty for me. But that´s not such a big deal. What´s conflicting for me (and I´m sure that´s just my view of it), is that I see the name and maybe even the philosophy of AND posting is not doing justice to all the facets of this forum.
I´m aware that basically the philosophy of AND as it was written in 2007 and the way this forum is now, with all its very different members, are not the same thing. It´s just that I started to use the term "AND" for me as something that refers to the entirety of insights and viewpoints here in the forum - and for that the name falls simply too short. But, I also cannot think of any name that would be fitting for the collective spirit here.

Do I make any sense here? It´s kind of hard to explain...


Every 'discipline,' every 'method,' every approach that is named, given a name, needs frequent examination both for the insight such exercise brings to one's self and to others examining that approach. Clarifying is helpful, and your views certainly do make "sense," Volker.

Personally I'm good with 'Art,' as a descriptor as I cannot find a suitable word I'd replace it with. Certainly I'd shy away from 'Science,' though in the purest sense science is being pursued energetically here yet with great joy and even silliness at times. But then it's a well kept secret that many very good scientists are in fact often very silly people that have considerable fun at what they do.

"Craft," comes to mind, but might be very difficult to translate to some languages. It actually would work as I understand the word. As a verb it's super, as one works hard here at AND sometimes to explain what they are doing and learning. And certainly the relationship, if one is clearly intentional and focused on it, is "crafted," with care and attention.

As a noun it works too ... this is, after all, a craft in the same sense that potting, or cabinet making, or flower arranging can be a craft and an art. Craftsmen and Artist have an interesting relationship. The artist often is a craftsmen, and often not, and works in mystery and discovery as "artist," whereas craftsmen are seen as working inside set boundaries established by tradition and sometimes even rules.

Some pieces of cabinetry, for instance (my father was a cabinet maker), are both - both utilitarian and also expressive and emotional works of sculpture.

All these to me seem to apply as I think of the individual members of AND. Some, especially those very new to horses, seem to be more truly the artists, willing to stumble and fail but always moving forward, learning and gaining skills, while other I think of more as craftsmen honing their particular art into a cohesive and definable act where rules and boundaries begin to become more clear and settled.

But in the end I can set all this aside, and do as I wish - play, and make friends of Bonnie and Altea. My ego satisfaction at creating a behavior is very small beside my sense of joy and fulfillment in succeeding in the art of making a friend and growing a relationship. I see a great deal of this in AND, each and every day I check in here.

I suppose now you'll have to wonder, along with others who might have stumbled across my comments, if you are more craftsman or artist. I will tell you. The answer is - Yes. LOL

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:41 pm 
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I split the topic, so that the discussion about the forum name has its own thread. :smile:

I like the name very much, probably because I have known it for so long and for me it has become associated with this lovely community. But still, to me it does not really seem to fit that well either.

First, I am not that much of a fan of making big words to make oneself sound special, so personally I would not have chosen "art" as a part of the forum's name. However, the main reason why I don't think it fits that well (anymore) is the "dressage" part. It seemed to fit better back then in 2007, but since then both the posters have changed and with them the focus of the topics has shifted as well, I think.

As I see it, most things that are being posted here don't seem to focus on dressage, but more on the relationship and the way of achieving things - whatever these things might be for the individual people. It could be something like gymnatization, but it could just as well be something like being polite, not taking treats without invitation, not getting worried when being left behind or anything like that. To sum all this up under the term "dressage" would basically make the term lose its meaning for me, because if dressage is just any interaction whatsoever, then why call it dressage? So whereas I agree with Josepha that "dressage or riding art IS respect, relationship and love", I don't think that this automatically means that respect, relationship and love is dressage.

But then of course it's probably also not a good strategy to choose the forum's name depending on the current members' focus and then change it every time new people arrive. ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Romy wrote:
But then of course it's probably also not a good strategy to change the forum's name depending on the current members' focus and change it every time new people arrive.
Just to forestall any unintended proliferations of this topic: I didn´t mean to suggest a change of name at all!
Every name you choose is always a categorisation of some sort, it always narrows the field of operation if one sticks to it too dogmatically.

Romy wrote:
It seemed to fit better back then in 2007, but since then both the posters have changed and with them the focus of the topics has shifted as well, I think.
I suspected that much. Just why did that happen, do you think? Is it that most of the original members left, or did they shift their focus?
In the end that´s exactly where this topic originated. It seems to me that in the beginning there were some attempts to build a set of exercises, with something like a level system. As I joined the forum though, it seemed to have changed to more to philosophical topics. Or topics about the relationship and communication.
Please correct me if I´m wrong here - it´s just the feeling I get when I browse the older topics. It´s also not mean as criticism, I just find it curious...

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