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  1. #1
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    Oct. 9, 2000
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    Default Dressage makes a horse more confident?

    Has dressage made your horse more confident? It certainly has for my mustang - he's actually gotten a bit full of himself and cocky. It's like he thinks he's All That - especially around the ladies. I think he finds confidence from the strength in agility in his body and his increased athleticism.

    How about your horse - has dressage changed his or her 'tude?
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  2. #2
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    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Default

    With all due respect, I think your assessment is a bit anthropological.

    I'm glad your horse is doing well, but I've never seen a horse become cocky with other horses in their herd because of their development in the riding school. Two different worlds, IME. And surely is not gender related.

    Glad to know you are liking your horses' attitude. But I doubt it has much about the riding discipline. He may just may be feeling better because he's a bit more "muscled up" and is more fit, that can be achieved in any riding disciple.



  3. #3
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    It may or may not be anthropomorphism. I know that dogs get more confident as they learn things -it's actually suggested for very submissive dogs -so why not horses. It may not be dressage in particular, but training in general.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  4. #4
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    Sep. 26, 2010
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    Default

    I've found that dressage has helped my young mare immensely. I think it has increased her confidence because it gives her something to focus on.


    If she is tense, I turn to a particular exercise, perhaps a 20m stretchy circle, or a leg yield or some other thing to keep her mind busy. As soon as she realizes "oh, we are doing *that* pattern", she relaxes and goes back to her normal self.

    This has carried over into our jumping where she is much easier to rate between jumps which gives us a smoother trip.



  5. #5
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    Oct. 13, 2006
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    Default

    Of course it effects it all to a degree. They are more fit and their body is able to "sustain" longer and those things effect placement in the herd. My horse in the teens is fitter this winter than last and she plays harder more tail up running which of course tells her buddies dont mess with this! lol

    After a good ride and you are walking them back to the stall they usually have that power walk going like they could go another round.

    I think it also helps them feel that you are their partner more and they are brave to obsticals and situations. Less insecure of their own seperation from their buddies.

    You really can require a new form of supple and obedience and keep control with the larger burst of energy needed with the forward movements. I think that knowledge really leaves and impression on them that is ever lasting. They can GO without losing their relaxation and attention.

    Its a hugely ideal to notice these things IMO
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  6. #6
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    Jan. 27, 2006
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    Default

    I know dressage helps my horses. My mare is a great example of an ok horse becoming a very good horse. Dressage taught her balance and coordination. Being worked correctly did wonders for her body and soul. I think that no matter your discipline of choice, dressage can't hurt your horse.



  7. #7
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    Jan. 13, 2008
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    Default

    Definately makes them more confident, and especially if you use them over varied terrain.

    It also makes them far more athletic



  8. #8
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    Aug. 14, 2004
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    yes, it makes them more confident, happy and they really get into the work..... just like someone who works out hard and feels good afterwards - no anthropomorphizing needed



  9. #9
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    Aug. 22, 2012
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    Yes! My horse is still learning the very basic. He was a trail horse. He has a much more clear idea of what is expected of him and knows when he does it correctly. No more wondering what I am asking him to do. Maybe it is just good training in general but I think that dressage helps control all of him, not just steering him around. It also is handy when we do trail ride and encounter something he may be unsure of. I just ask him for something from a lesson and he forgets what he was worried about. I also have noticed that what I am learning carries over to more than just when we have a lesson. I have noticed that I am riding better in all situations. I am really enjoying it.


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  10. #10
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    I dunno---I have had a number of foals born very confident, fearless and independent. I have even had a few that would be considered "bold'. The two Im thinking of were naturally athletic and very well balanced both physically and mentally---but each had that something a bit 'extra' in terms of "happy in their own skins" and 'user friendly"--in otherwords I think the were born "confident". Ive had others that were less naturally confident (not really shy or nervous) but not naturally bold or outgoing by nature. They were more the "follower" types---easy to work with but gained confidence and poise through consistent handling and training---these ones also happened to take longer to become physically and mentally mature. So in a way training seems to build on the innate personality traits and character of the horse---provided it doesn't diminish in confidence through mishandling/training or management.

    I have one guy that is just quirky--it is who he is. He can be a very cool customer or 'clown' depending on how the mood strikes him. He was definitely not one of the "confident" youngsters---instead, he was one that always looked to his human for direction.



  11. #11
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    interesting... maybe we are talking about different "things" ... when i say "confident" i dont mean like how bold they are ... i mean how they use their body - ummmm..... i think the best analogy i can think of is the difference in how i feel from when i work out a lot and have more of a connection with my body and when i dont. physically i am more confident when i am working out...

    i dont think i am making sense! lol!



  12. #12
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    Well I agree horses do change as they grow more 'fit' and more "trained" they become more energetic and exuberant and more able to respond correctly and with consistency---but when I think of "confidence" its more in terms of interior character and personality. I have known horses (and bred them) that posses an internal calmness and noble presence---they are born "confident" and are 'comfortable in their own skins" --- in a weird way they seem to possess a kind of unique "Purposefullness' to their being. Now I am not making since-hahahaha.



  13. #13
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    Fella went from a tulip to a daisy. He went from a quiet, beautiful tulip to

    "HELLO look at me I'm a DAISY!"


    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    interesting... maybe we are talking about different "things" ... when i say "confident" i dont mean like how bold they are ... i mean how they use their body - ummmm..... i think the best analogy i can think of is the difference in how i feel from when i work out a lot and have more of a connection with my body and when i dont. physically i am more confident when i am working out...

    i dont think i am making sense! lol!
    Makes sense to me.



  15. #15
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    My horse went from confident to "if I had opposable thumbs, I could TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    My horse was born confident. But he seemed to change from "I'm awesome so I don't really care too much what you think" confident to "It's fun doing dressage together so I can show off how awesome I am" confident.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by psb View Post
    Yes! My horse is still learning the very basic. He was a trail horse. He has a much more clear idea of what is expected of him and knows when he does it correctly. No more wondering what I am asking him to do. Maybe it is just good training in general but I think that dressage helps control all of him, not just steering him around. It also is handy when we do trail ride and encounter something he may be unsure of. I just ask him for something from a lesson and he forgets what he was worried about. I also have noticed that what I am learning carries over to more than just when we have a lesson. I have noticed that I am riding better in all situations. I am really enjoying it.
    This is exactly the same with my guy...right down to the former trail-horse-only occupation. He used to be a spooky, "OMG what is THAT?!" sort of horse. Now, he still has a spooky side, but he focuses on me alot easier and quicker. He also has seemed to relish the more frequent work and attention. I love the changes dressage has made in him.
    The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.



  18. #18
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    Of Course!!! The same thing happens to humans too. A strong, fit human is more confident than a weak, unfit human. As they build their strength, they develop self assurance and confidence, just like all humans do; and, all the endorphin release from correct workouts does not hurt either. I know my horse is getting bigger an attitude since we started riding dressage seriously. He used to think he was a good old boy; now he thinks he is a stud, in a very good way, .



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    With all due respect, I think your assessment is a bit anthropological.
    With all due respect, you use that word and I do not think it means what you think it means.


    I do think there's some anthropomorphism involved in how we interpret it, but I think mbm's idea is also accurate.

    My horse looks much more confident to me from a human perspective in that now when he's doing his "show off for the new girl" prance instead of being hollow and tail up in the air at a somewhat uncoordinated full gallop he alternates between extended trot, collected trot, shoulder in and renvers. It looks far more impressive to me as his human, seeing how VERY uphill he gets playing on his own.

    He also seems more confident to me from a human perspective in that he used to freak out if other horses were worked up at all, but now he pretty much ignores the hissy fits the girls throw when I take him out to work. Sunset, blowing garbage, live bands playing at the short end of the arena, cattle being roped up the hill - all are things which used to cause meltdowns, but now in his barely worked stage as I'm recovering from an injury he simply accepts me telling him it's not something to worry about and goes on his way, aware of things happening but not concerned.

    So if you want to apply a human term to it, he's more confident, and more confident *in me*. In a horse term, he doesn't feel threatened and believes predators to be kept at bay, and understands what expectations are.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post

    After a good ride and you are walking them back to the stall they usually have that power walk going like they could go another round.
    I definitely notice that power walk at the end of the ride. Not sure if it has something to do with the horse knowing there's gonna be carrots when he gets to the stall, though
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

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