I have been having so much fun back at my ranch training horses with Kai. We have been training from the ground with tack for preparing a horse to be ridden bit-less. We are working with Honey and Maestro. I want to share with you these lessons.

If you are a new reader and have any questions let me know so you can better understand the lessons on bit-less riding. My method offers a unique approach with horses from the very beginning, working first at liberty in an open field or arena rather than a round pen.

The other unique thing about my method is that the rules I follow training horses are different. Most every method agrees to the same rules in how to approach a horse, but almost all the rules you will be following with my method are different. Here is one way in which they are different.

When a horse looses interest or you hit resistance rather than asking again and again until you get what you want, you change the subject to something that your horse would rather do. You never force your horse to give up his resistance or pay any attention to it. When you find resistance go about getting your horse to relax and follow your lead in something that would create more willingness.

Resistance is  a sign that you need to take another approach. Usually in training it is a sign that you have chosen a program that is not appropriate.

My method of training starts a horse at liberty from the ground and then moves on to riding him without a bit.  Once you have done the Waterhole Ritual training you are far enough along to start your horse with bit-less riding.

My program for bit-less riding is a simple program to follow for anyone and any horse. Training is easy if you take one step at a time and are a natural leader. I believe we all are. The first part of being a good leader is to enjoy being one and knowing how to fit in with a horse while you take a leadership role with him. I find that many times people do not want to be a true leader for their horse. They would like their relationship to be not from training but just from the bond alone. Wouldn’t it be nice if life was that easy?  I would like that too but training adds so much more to you as a person and also to your horses’ life. Horses love training if not pushed to do so.

Being a student of horses while you are taking the leadership role increases your personal power. Training a horse can easily bring you to a greater understanding of life and a peace that is more valuable than what you have taught your horse to do. I like to look at leadership as a choice of the heart and that the connection you seek with a horse is always at your finger tips.  Asking a horse to perform and then waiting for his response the next step will magically appear. You must be strong and gentle in the right places to be a leader of a willing horse. Mistakes are going to happen while learning my method and the good news is that the mistakes will deepen the bond and it will grow your training ability at the same time. When you hit the resistance, if you allow your horse to respond naturally and then wait for the connection to return, the bond will deepen even more than if you didn’t make a mistake.

If you can imagine your horses’ response to your leadership it is a great guide to what to do and not do with your horse.  The only rules set in stone are ones regarding social interactions and keeping your horse polite, respectful and willing.  All other training is to stay flexible. With tack you only train when your horse is willing.  All of this is taught in my online course on the Waterhole Rituals in the spring and fall of every year. It will cover how to interact with your horse as a leader as you are training him to dance with you at liberty.

Why I like a foundation at liberty for horses and humans is that you develop a deep skill in your horsemanship for training a horse with light aids. Light aids can be used on any horse including a naturally heavy horse. You can use light aids with a heavy horse 99.9% of the time with my program.

I want to introduce you to my horse Honey.  Honey has had three months of training in the Waterhole Rituals.  I am now starting him with tack and preparing him to be ridden without a bit. I will share our journey with you on how to create a light horse without a bit using a simple halter. I will show you in my upcoming blogs a video once a month on Honey’s training from the ground for bit-less riding, so stay tuned. You will get to see his progress on the ground all the way through to the transition of being ridden. Honey started out as not being a good riding horse because of his disposition under saddle and being very heavy to the aids.  He can throw big fits as well on occasion. This is how I was able to acquire him and I am now re-schooling him.
You will be able to track his journey with me on the blog. So far I have started Honey on the loop de loo exercise and I have done two of the Uberstreichen Exercises with him. I have also worked him twice with the single lining program. The video I will put up first will show you where I am at this time and what he can do.  If you have trouble following along take what makes sense to you and add it to your existing program. If you like, you could join my online course on the Waterhole Rituals, which will help you better understand the videos I will be posting.  Maybe you have a horse at home that is at the same level as Honey and it will be easy to follow along with his program.

My last few online courses have had such energetic, excited and fun students that have progressed in my method so well that I am offering a new advanced online course that will coincide with Honey’s training. I will offer an online six-month course on bit-less riding along with the free introductory lesson on the blog. If you feel that you and your horse are ready for this next step, to transition from groundwork into bit-less riding, the following are the minimum requirements:

  • Your horse will companion walk with you and need no coxing to do so.
  • Your horse can keep up at your side at the speed you choose – both in walk and trot.
  • He must have a great gas pedal as well as you being able to direct and influence him.

This Advanced 6 month Bit-less Riding Online Course will include:

  • Explanation and detailed steps to create the performance that is shown in the blog video
  • A classroom conference call once a month
  • From your videos I am able to develop a personalized program for you and your horse. You will learn allot from the class and all the things that occur with the other riders.  This sharing between the class will help you with your own horse.
  • In addition you will be able to speak to me privately.  You will be allotted one hour broken up into any length segment that would be helpful.
  • Materials included: Carolyn Resnick halter, reins, lead line, single line, double line and whip

This new advanced program is open to ten (10) students.  To qualify for this program you will need to submit a video of your horse’s gas pedal and companion walking at liberty. In appreciation for enthusiastic early birds I want to offer you a Thanksgiving special of 10% off the course and materials. The course and materials are $3,420. If you book before Thanksgiving you will save $342.

The class starts at the beginning of the year so in the meantime you will get to experience the journey with Honey on the blog.  This will help you to decide if you would like to join the course starting in January.  “Whoppie whang joy”!

If you would like to submit your application to join the Bit-less Riding Online Clinic program in 2013 please click here.

Click here to view other training and coaching programs

Look out for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.

Warmly, Carolyn

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