Carolyn Resnick Horsemanship: Liberty Horse Training

The Foundation for All Equestrian Pursuits Through the Horse-Human Connection.

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Written by Sophie Hunter For the September issue of Magma magazine in Turkey

SophieThe first time I saw horses I must have been no more than 4 years old. I found them so magnificent with their hair flowing along their powerful bodies as if they were dancing with the universe itself, and those dark dark big eyes that seemed to be looking straight at who I was. No-one ever had looked at me that way. I was love struck!

Of course there was no way to keep me from learning to ride and care for them. I was taught the classical English riding style and soon entered competitions with my beloved little horse black-jack. But everything was not without trouble, no no although we were best friends we also had daily fights and I must have fallen off of him over a thousand times. Strangely, our fights only happened when riding, when following the rules I had been thought. When we were spending time playing together, hanging out, there was only love, I often used to take naps on … Read more

The horse arrives like a mystery box

with puzzle pieces inside.

Some of the pieces are broken or missing

and others just seem to hide.

But the HEART of a teacher can sort them out

and help the horse to see

the potential for greatness he has within

a picture of what he can be.

Her goal isn’t just to teach knowledge

by filling the box with more parts.

It’s putting the pieces together

to create a work of art.

The process is painfully slow at times

some need more help than others.

Each horse is a work in progress

with assorted shapes and colors.

First she creates a classroom

where the horse can feel safe in school

where he never feels threatened or afraid to try

and kindness is always the rule.

She knows that a horse

can achieve much more

when he feels secure inside.

She models and teaches good character

and respect for one another.

How to focus on strengths…not weaknesses

and how to encourage each other

She gives the horse the freedom he needs

to make choices on his own

so he learns to become more responsible

and is able to stand alone.

He’s taught to Read more

Herd moving togetherThe many people that train horses at Liberty are wanting to grow their connection with a horse without training, in the same way that the boy made a connection with the Black Stallion on the beach in the movie the Black Stallion. I try to have evolution and Sharing Territory do most of the work for me in my training programs. This way as I move into training a horse for bit-less classical dressage, I have a true dance partner that I can communicate with that finds dressage, and a partnership with me, as second nature.

So how does a relationship develop with a horse where training is omitted, in the training of the horse, and that free choice is in the hands of a horse?

Of course Sharing Territory is the answer as it allows the relationship to evolve in a natural way.

So what does that look like?

When I start developing my relationship with a horse and I am Sharing Territory with him, I hang out with him and interact with him in the same manner as another horse would do in a herd, where one horse will influence another as to where they choose to go.… Read more

 Photo by Linda SalinasBeautiful Serena

As a mother of four, I learned years ago that motivational techniques which work with one child may not work for another. This realization has helped me immensely in the training of horses. Just as there are no two humans alike, there are no two horses alike either. Obviously, it is impossible to use the exact same methods with all horses.

An experienced horsewoman named Barb Fenwick recently hosted one of my clinics in Canada. As Barb picked me up at the airport and drove me to her home, she shared with me the story of her horse named Serena. Barb stated that she was at a loss concerning how to move forward with Serena. Five years ago, Barb rescued Serena yet she still carries emotional scars from her formerly horrific life. Upon hearing about Serena, I offered to work with her right away.

Putting Serena into a paddock area by herself was not an easy task. First, we brought Serena and her pasture mates into the paddock. Then, Barb took the other horses out and put them into an adjacent paddock where Serena could visit with them over the fence. As I sat with Serena in the … Read more

I have known Carolyn Resnick since 1990 when I took three horses to her ranch for a clinic. That was the start of a friendship which has now spanned nearly a quarter of a century. That clinic and many subsequent lessons were responsible for a total paradym switch in the way I now train and work with horses.

Photo by Lauri ParkerThis brings me to the present when I am now engaged in starting a just-turned-three year old Gypsy Vanner filly, Dutchy, lovingly referred to as “My Dog Spot”. After researching the Gypsy breed, I flew to Abingdon, VA, where I purchased Dutchy, a darling coming to two-year-old filly with a huge heart and even bigger personality. Upon being introduced to Dutchy, I took her to an arena and turned her loose. Starting through the 7 Waterhole Rituals just to see who she was, it took about 15 minutes for her to join me in companion walking. There was an instant connection and I had my heart horse.

This is a filly who is hungry for interaction and hungry to learn, so I believed that the Waterhole Rituals in depth was a perfect way to start our training program. As I knew there … Read more

The idea of looking at communication with horses in a purely scientific manner as opposed to a heart felt relationship aspect is an interesting topic for discussion.  This was brought up in a testimonial I received from a student, which I copied below.  I discuss my opinions on this topic in my response.

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A Testimonial from Leanna Kielian:

Dear Carolyn,

Photo by Leanna KielianI just want to tell you again how much I look forward to reading your posts and how much your waterhole courses have changed my way of communicating with the horses and also the dogs here at the “little farm.” Nothing I have ever been exposed to even comes close. This includes all the scientific evidence based information taught in school for my Animal Science Degree at Cal Poly, SLO. It doesn’t come even close.

I learned a great deal in college and from other excellent and some not so excellent sources (you can learn something from all), but they just didn’t have the successful impact and outcome of your teachings.

Sometimes of the insights I have gained from science are so simple, so obvious, except…. they are just not so easy to reach. This is because of what … Read more

meditation2I got to know horses similar to the way that Jane Goodall did getting to know the Chimpanzees.  Though admittedly I did not spend the amount of time that Jane spent in nature. I have spent a lifetime using the training of horses as a way to allow the horse to guide me to become a better horseman. Even at my age of 72, I see my horsemanship skills growing. This is one of the reasons that I stay with it, being a student of the horse. The big reason for my continued interest, beyond my love of horses, is the joy and life enhancement it offers to my heart and soul. It keeps me young and excited about life. I actually wish that all horsemen could experience this amazing journey.

I want to share a story with you the might inspire you to take the lifelong journey to developing your understanding of horses through the training of them, as I am doing. I read this in a book titled “Zen Mind Zen Horse” by Allan Hamilton. M D.

What I remember of the story went like this…

20-1

There was a Japanese Horse master that had lived to the ripe … Read more

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