To be original... Hello! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-31-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: France, near Dunkirk
Posts: 59
• Horses: 0
Smile To be original... Hello!

Hi there!

So my name's Stéphanie, usually my friends call me Steph. I live in France, near Dunkirk and my horse lives near Belgium in Ghyvelde. He is a gelded French trotter, he is almost 10 years old, bay, his name is Nello. As for his temper if I get started I don't know when I'll finish it so...

The point is, I'm studying English - German too but I do prefer English... - and I am fond of horses. And I hope I will be able, here, to learn still more things about horses and at the same time improve my language...

Actually I'm not really used to speak about horses in English, not used to really speak in English in a casual manner in fact - in France they seem to deem it more important to learn how to comment upon a text from Dickens than to know how to order the right pizza or give right instructions to get to a peculiar place so...

So please don't hesitate to tell me if a phrase is wrong, if a word is a bit too formal or familiar or so on... And give me plenty of things to read!!!

Here is a little view of my lovely hooved alter ego, on last Saturday when he moved to his new home where people will take good care of him when I am in England next year, where he will have two companions to go in pastures, have fun... Here on the picture he's kind of nervous, discovering the place, he does not like much changes in his habits - like me - so I spent the whole day from 7 am to 8 pm with him.

Too hard to be brief, I just can't! So to tell you a little more about us, I got Nello almost 8 years ago, he was 2, scared, bored, ugly... really not the horse of my dreams but he was so sad that I thought I could not let him like that... a few months later he became just furious, hard to manage, because he was young, did not understand what we were trying to teach him, and I let "pro" and "experienced" people try to tame him... of course it didn't work... so after 2 not really pleasant years - I mean physically he was really in a good state and all, but morally... - I decided I would roll up my sleeves, speak aloud and take my own decisions instead of watching some other people trying to dominate my horse. I won't claim it was all easy... We had a long road... I read a lot, registered on a great forum, so with a mix of good sense, affection, patience, Véronique de Saint Vaulry, Parelli/ANdy Booth, and above all listening to what Nello was telling me, I managed gradually to become someone important to him. Perhaps not as important as he is to me but he grew both confident and confiding, so did I...

Finally ( I never know which to use, finally or eventually? I was told there's a difference but it always slips my mind... and I don't feel like looking for that in my papers now!) I think it was 1 year or so ago, I started a new "breaking in" (what's that expression by the way? Do we intend to break the horses? Just a question I've always wondered about...) but bitless. We had been working with a halter on foot for 4 years or so, he knew perfectly well my codes, I use a lot of words, gestures, postures, and my breathing also means a lot for him... So I started afresh as if I had never ridden him. We spent 3 months only walking, trying to be able to go left, right and stop easily and going out everyday. Some people laughed at us because I could only let him free or work on lunge to have him trot or gallop and we looked ridiculous, an 8-year-old gelding only wlaking around, and not even with a beautiful dressage-like attitude. Then I felt I could start to trot. As to galloping, it is hard "indoor" (the French word I'm looking for is "carrière" but I can't find it in my dictionary - maybe arena?) because he lacks motivation (we say "impulsion", the desire to go forward you know?) and as he is a trotter it is still harder - and I am no excellent rider... , and outside he tends to get really excited, and then I can't stop him and it's dangerous, or if he stays focused he does not show much energy so it is uncomfortable. But I mean I think it is not really a shame for a standard rider like me, afraid of jumping, afraid of going too fast, to have managed that. We can jump a bit, not high obstacles, not even several in a row 'cause he really likes that and gets crazy and I get afraid... so I put obstacles and we also jump them on foot, he is quite funny when he does that, sometimes he goes to jump one obstacle and then stops, turns round and looks at me with his very pride eyes "hey see what I've just done, don't I deserve some massage or even a carrot?"...

Well what we mainly do is going out, walking and trotting calmly around the country, enjoying ourselves. My master is my horse, my aims are: to have him enjoy me being there, to enable us to have much fun, and to protect us from any danger - physical, or moral danger. Safety, trust, respect, and pleasure are my laws... Sometimes I look "chicken" because I don't take risks and I never seem to "force" my horse, we rarely fight, because when I feel it is getting tough, when I feel I'm losing my nerves, I leave my horse in the round-pen or in his loose-box and go for a walk until I am calmer, until I know why he refuses to do what I suggest, and then it's ok.

Nothing impressive I guess in all that... But that's precisely what I wanted to have, a horse that seems to move just because he felt like it, and a rider or a "pedestrian leader" (still, already in French we get confused to name the rider who works on foot but not lunging, how do you call that?) who seems to be there only to do a "walk-on part" and give strokes and carrots. I think when people tell me "hey, you didn't ask him to go there and do that, did you?", that's when I was doing th right things.

Sorry for writing so much that's really me... talkative and enthusiast, especially with horses, especially with mine...

Hope I wasn't too boring and didn't make too many mistakes!

See you soon!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 04:10 AM
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: France, near Dunkirk
Posts: 59
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Thank you!
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
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Hiya, I'm from Belgium myself so we are kind of neighbours ;) And I study English and German aswell!!! What are the odds :)

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cave City, KY
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Hello and welcome.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: France, near Dunkirk
Posts: 59
• Horses: 0
Thank you!

wow catzkillz great!! Ghyvelde is really near the border between France and Belgium actually... I went to la Panne once to have a ride on the beach with two friends of mine, it was fantastic... Not as great as with my own horse though but really great!
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Montana
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Hello and welcome!
See you around the forum....

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post #8 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: France, near Dunkirk
Posts: 59
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Hi! Thank you ;)
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 05:48 PM
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Welcome! Your story of your journey with your horse is really sweet!

You've got a very good command of English, already! Enjoy the forum!
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: UK
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Hello! I loved reading about you and your horse. It sounds like you're building a special relationship. I liked it lots. Also, your english is amazing very impressive. I wish i could speak french or spanish fluently. I'm at a level where i can count to ten, introduce myself, tell you where i live and order a beer ..... all very useful in everyday conversation! Only comments are, I think you meant to use eventually and not finally and don't like the term 'breaking in' for the reasons you mentioned. The purpose is not to break the horses spirit. I prefer 'backing' . Welcome to the forum.
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