Carolyn Resnick Horsemanship: Liberty Horse Training

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

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.


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…


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

Photo by Teddie Ziegler

Why the Carolyn Resnick Method?

My method will grow your ability to clearly communicate with your horse.  A true working partnership with your horse will emerge. The curriculum I offer in my online course, working a horse at Liberty, is designed to fit your individual skill set and your horse’s personality rather than following a step by step method with no consideration for your individual needs.  I designed my method to train a horse without any force that is strictly relationship based.

I have witnessed some horse training systems where the rules have made people feel stripped of their own personal truth. This feeling can corrupt the bond and partnership between horse and human. How a horse should be handled for training has been a controversial subject for years. Training horses nearly always seems to boil down to the rights and wrongs in ethical values and how the training of the horse SHOULD be approached. We all have our own way.

Photo by Teddie ZieglerWhat I want to contribute in the training of horses is a method that trains a horse from a spiritual bond without force, at Liberty, where a horse is not made to feel that he must comply and is … Read more

Such a lesson to be learned here in training your horse using the Waterhole Rituals. If you keep driving your horse away, eventually he will not come back. While playing with your horse at Liberty one must pick a play interaction that would develop the training of the horse rather than making a brat out of him; becoming too out of hand or turning him into a bully.  Remember, you are responsible for your horse’s behavior.

Discovering this, through experiencing it yourself, develops your skill as a horse communicator and evolves your understanding of nature and an awareness of how your horse sees you.

Carolyn, Jazz and Apollo

The Bond Between You and Your Horse:

I see how truly and deeply some people want to feel a bond with their horse and they are analytically trying to figure out how, but the emotional aspect is somehow disconnected. When we think of a bond I also see that most people have no idea how to bond with a horse.  Many times I see that a horse feels a special bond with their owner, but their owner is not even aware of, or sees, how their horse is feeling.  The opposite of this is that the … Read more

It is my belief that you can ride a horse without training for any and all the movements in dressage, even to the aires above the ground.

When a horse wants to be ridden he will perform, and understand, your aids naturally and willingly like magic. Not every horse and not every rider, but I do believe that it is hidden within us. However, the human needs to be a highly sensitive and an admirable man or women for a horse to agree to what is being asked of him.

The direction given to the horse must inspire the horse to want to dance due to the soul connection he has with his rider. This is where the Waterhole Rituals come into play.

Marino LattoMy Method prepares the horse to respond in this manner by doing exercises that will evolve the horse to perform the maneuvers in dressage.  This happens by doing the exercises in my Method that precedes a particular movement. It is not at all unusual to develop a horse in this manner, except that we start training at liberty first and that the exercises I offer are different.   My exercises are designed so that when you ride your … Read more

This is an actual letter I received:

Dear Carolyn, Would it be fair to say, that your work is not “horse-training”, but instead a creation of allowing. This allowing is the expression of two beings existing in their truth? Would it be fair to say that instead of training, your work gives behavior a place to exist that mirrors a relationship – mirrors the strength of a bond established?

I am trying to wrap my head around just how truly different your method is from the others. The others operate from doing, forcing and demanding. While your work has no limitation, because of just how beautiful it can be.

My Response:

I was so excited to get this letter as it gave me the opportunity to speak to you about my feelings on this matter.  I love to talk about the freedom you give your horse while training and the amazing relationship that this freedom brings about. It is all about a real relationship that makes sense to the horse. Your letter definitely speaks from a heart driven position and my method also comes for this position as I have always warned people not to slip into “the trainer’s mind”. … Read more

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