This is the story of my quest to train my three Dales Ponies for classical dressage, primarily by using Alexandra Kurland's clicker training methods, with a touch of others such as Philippe Karl and Anja Beran thrown in. I turned to clicker training because I had come up against some issues that I didn't know how to fix and because I wanted to inspire them to become enthusiatic partners. Bella and Jack are all my own work and have never been ridden by anyone else.

Bella, Grace and Jack

Bella aged 6

Bella aged 6

Treat Delivery

Jack aged 7


Monday, 10 November 2008

One last quote from Charles De Kunffy's 'The Ethics and Passions of Dressage' that I just have to include. I SO wish that I had read this book before I backed Jack; I would have been SO much more patient with him.

"Therefore riders must ask and not command the horse to do anything. Sophisticated riders on precisely schooled horses may appear to dictate and command to a push-button horse that just loves discipline. What superficial nonsense! The instant willingness of the horse to respond to the imperceptable suggestions of a sophisticated rider is the very by-product of years of harmonious familiarity and the resultant attitude of joy to please. The partnership, when right, is not sadomasochistic (the most immature of relationships) but love-based (the most selflessly mature).

Riders should ask the horse to do things in harmony, and in the horse's time, because it is his body being borrowed for the athletic efforts. The mind of the rider can wait, and hold in check impatience and impertinence. The horse is a calender; ask and wait. The horse will deliver when he is ready."

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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!