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The Art of Natural Dressage forum

The Art of Natural Dressage (AND) Forum is a studygroup for everybody who wants to think along about training dressage at liberty on the basis of positive reinforcement.

Officially, Bianca, Josepha and I started the AND forum in May 2007 in order to brainstorm in a positive and constructive way about training classical dressage at liberty. At least, that’s the theory. In reality though I was literally dragged to the forum by Bianca and Josepha when I had become completely forum-depressed after the aggression and negativism of the Nevzorov Haute Ecole forum. I only wanted to start a forum is we would shun all negativity right from the first post. And Bianca and Josepha felt exactly the same!
Esprit chasing the Tiger Barbara and Beau with one foot on the plateau Hannah and Caspian in collected canter Blacky in pesade
Helen and Esprit hunting down a Tiger Barbara and Beau on the plateau Hannah and Caspian in canter Blacky in pesade
Our philosophy is that it’s just a waste of time to focus on everything that you’re against. Natural Dressage, training classical dressage at liberty, indeed is something that differs a lot from traditional dressage or regular Natural Horsemanship, but that doesn’t make all those other methods bad. On the contrary, you can still learn a lot from them even when training Natural Dressage because those trainers will always have ideas that you might be able to use at liberty, and because they will help you define what you personally don’t want. Looking at the horse world from that angle enables you to learn from everything and everybody. And that is exactly what the AND-forum is about.

Another reason to start the AND-forum was that we didn’t believe in all the secrecy surrounding dressage at liberty in other methods. If you really believe in your method, then why keep it a secret and only share parts of it with a select group of followers? Another problem with that is that it implies that there is only one correct method to train dressage at liberty, and only one teacher that can teach it to you – something we actually just don’t believe. After all, every horse and every human combination is different, carries a different past together and that makes each training session unique. We abandoned the traditional teacher-student structure on our forum because in practice every member will be able to learn from the experiences of the others, regardless the level they feel that they’re in.

Romy and Titum jumping at liberty Helen and Esprit focusing on improving the trot Hannah and Caspian moving towards piaffe Blacky conquering a mountain!
Romy and Titum Helen and Esprit Hannah and Caspian Blacky and me
Nowadays the forum has hundreds of members from all over the world who all share their questions, answers and experiences with others in order to contribute to the search for methods for training dressage at liberty. Some only train at liberty, others ride competitions, a big part only trains bitless and some also use a bit – the bond they share is that they’ve decided to brainstorm together about training dressage at liberty. And I personally still learn from them every day.
Are you interested in joining the forum? Then you’re most welcome to read, think and write along on the Art of Natural Dressage forum!
Read, write and ask more about Natural Dressage at the Art of Natural Dressage forum.
For info (in Dutch) on clickertraining and the book Vrijheidsdressuur: www.vrijheidsdressuur.info
© of this site, pictures and texts: Miriam Nieuwe Weme