Free Lesson – The Third Ritual of the Waterhole

Here is what several students have asked me to write a blog about:

Taking Territory – the 3rd Ritual of the Waterhole Rituals:


I no longer teach this Ritual in my online courses for a couple of reasons. One thing is that I have developed many games that will get the same result and require less skill. I still use this Ritual myself, but seldom.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Third Ritual, Taking Territory, its purpose is to create respect and it raises your position in the pecking order. You can gain the right of passage to be accepted in the horse world as a leader.  Taking Territory is not about chasing a horse around; it is about Taking Territory away from your horse when he is not paying attention to you.

All animals in nature experience the loss of territory in social interactions and it is what builds their character and social behavior to fit in and be responsible in the community.  You can Take Territory easily with a horse by surprising him in order to initiate his flight response.

The Proper Guidance:

Carolyns rosesThis ritual is a ritual which is seldom used without my guidance and that is a good thing.  In most cases it would not be applied in the way it needs to be without proper coaching. You do not need it at all in order to train a horse because of the new games I have developed while Sharing Territory.  In Taking Territory the horse is never touched, but only encouraged to move forward by being surprised.  This causes the horse to take off by responding to his flight instincts. The horse is only scared for a second and when he finds out it is you and your purpose was to Take Territory, he is instantly relieved and wants to join you, showing no fear at all!

Why you would not want to use this Ritual without guidance from a certified clinician of my Method. My Dad told me that whenever force comes into the picture with a horse you better know what you are doing. My father left me alone with horses as a small child and the rules he laid down were for my safety.  The main rule was to only work with a willing horse and never try to force him to do anything. My Dad felt that as long as there was no tack involved and that I never asked a horse to do something he wasn’t willing to do, chances are that I would be safe. He was right and I did stay safe my whole childhood because I lived in harmony with horses. Wouldn’t it be nice if more horsemen took this approach?

Taking Territory is one of those times when you need to know exactly what you are doing. A person must be guided with their individual horse and be advanced enough in their understanding of horses in order to see if this Ritual is needed on their horse.  However, I will explain it and you can write me in the comments section of this blog.

Taking TerritoryTaking Territory by surprise activates the flight instinct of the horse!  A lot of my students/fans would object to this ritual and the good news is that this ritual in no way needs to be used to get a perfect relationship going with most horses using the Waterhole Rituals. There is, however, a true magic in this Ritual. This Ritual, if done properly, will return the free spirit of the horse. It will also bring out his herding instincts to want to connect with you. Many people have brought horses to me just so that I could use this Ritual on their horse in order to bring about a willing horse and bring back the horses’ spirit and personality.

I have had many students who did not approve of this Ritual because they thought it was too forceful.  However, as they moved forward using my Method and they formed a deeper understanding of horses, once they were open to using it, they found that this Ritual took them to another level of connection that they had no idea existed.  So the choice is up to you whether or not you feel this Ritual would have a place in your life, but you still need proper guidance. I am warning you like my Dad did me to keep you and your horse safe by following his main rule.

 Timing in the key!

When the bond is in place, it is natural that a horse will become pushy or no longer give you his attention.  This pushiness is a state that is brought about in a horse from the horse perceiving you as a family member. This is when the true work begins and, step by step, you develop a horse to his greatest ability to fit in harmony and unity with you as his leader.

carolyn and trinityIf we can bring out the pushiness in a horse we have also developed the horses’ bond and trust with you, which is a good thing.  Then when you initiate the Taking Territory Ritual you bring out the right response in your horse and you gain his respect.  In Taking Territory the horse gets back his natural instinct to be watchful and he learns to have a care taking nature rather than a self serving bullying nature with you. A bullying nature is a natural behavior to most all creatures on earth, including humans.  This is the case until they learn social adjustments and learn to consider the feelings of another living being. When this happens, their care taking behavior and character is developed.  Most children are bully’s by nature until they are properly guided in social awareness and activities which in turn will bring about proper conduct without having to manage it.

A surprising thing, to most horsemen, is that a sweet horse can also be a bully, but we overlook this. The way this happens is that a good natured horse becomes the center of attention and learns how to take control, not paying any attention in how to fit in with others.  It isn’t the sweet horse’s fault. What happens is that the sweet horse didn’t have to make any social adjustments because of his nature.  However, these adjustments still need to be made in order for the horse to learn how to fit in properly.

Each horse is different in when to use Taking Territory in order to gain the respect that would help grow the bond. Some horses you can not use this Ritual with because they are aware of where you are at all times. So these horses need to be handled differently.

PIC_1494In my online course, which is going on right now, I guide each person in when and how to apply this Ritual with their horse. Many times we pass this ritual by depending upon my judgment of each horse and their individual program.  Once you have built a horse using my Rituals and you see the choices that I have made on this subject, you will know how to use this Ritual and when it’s needed.  When the timing and approach is done appropriately, what happens is that your horse will respect you and then want to follow your lead with a shocking positive result. If the respect does not happen right away then something is wrong and you should stop this Ritual and email me for guidance. The “quick” results take about two or three attempts of your horse moving away very quickly and then your horse will want to be completely in your pocket and will appear to try to win your favor. He will be all about you! Though there might be times that you would need to re-establish your position with this Ritual. The reason for this is that leadership in animals fluctuates and so does the pecking order. Your position in the herd is not set in stone.

Here are a few reasons why Not to do this Ritual without proper guidance:

  1. It could break the bond you already have for good.
  2. Your horse might become too upset from not being approached in a timely manner and this would cause you to receive no benefit.
  3. Your horse would take offence to this action and become aggressive.
  4. You might not be ready and/or capable of carrying out this Ritual in the proper manner.
  5. You could run up to your horse too close and your horse could charge backwards and kick you.


While working horses at Liberty, a horse has a sense of his own personal power and sometimes he can be much harder to deal with because of the freedom you have given him. Being at Liberty, he learns right away that he is in charge of whether or not he will listen to your direction. Working with a horse at Liberty, in a free playing field, a person must use prudence to develop the relationship rather than keeping a horse on a rope.

When the horse is on a rope, he has the mind set that he can not get away and that he must tolerate his handler. Working and connecting with a horse using tack, a person does not get to know who their horse really is, until he has been given his freedom to speak the truth.  Without a rope, you know exactly what your horse his thinking because the horse knows that he is in charge of your leadership.

Spritied horseIn this freedom you connect with a horse by being in control of your personal space, by not letting your horse come close to you if he is not willing to listen to you or if he is aggressive.  You also are in charge of his “extra” food sources. In no way should you ever keep him from his regular daily rations. My Method shapes a horse to be a caretaker as your horse shapes you to be a caretaking leader.  From the freedom you experience with your horse true harmony is born.When horses are raised and trained by humans what usually happens is that a horse becomes dull. The horse learns to stay close to their handler from the use of tack that holds them to their handler.  They then loose their natural instincts and will. The horses’ spirit generally drops away as well.  You can recognize this in a horse’s performance under saddle in his spirit and when enthusiasm is not seen; when the sparkle in the eye is gone.spirited horse 2Many times I hear people say “my horse loves me because he doesn’t want to leave me”.  However, I suggest something else is array.  If you think you have a great bond with your horse ask yourself these questions. How much time do you spend with your horse?  Does your horse prefer other horses company over yours? Is your horse hanging around you because of the cookies you have in your pocket? We want those cookies to be added bonuses and not the whole reason your horse wants to be with you. If your horse will perform with complete enthusiasm without cooks or tack… this is a bond I want you to have.From your interactions of Sharing Territory, Taking Territory, using the pause, and from using flexible boundaries that you share together in freedom, you will become more giving (or more assertive) and your horse will bloom into his true nature and spirit. Then a partnership will form and a true loyalty arises. You and your horse will look at life optimistically because of the magical connection you have with one another.StoneyI am so proud of the fact that I have affected people all over the world to get interested in giving freedom to horses and to take the time to make a real connection with their horse. You know you have that “real” connection when you discover in no way could you ever sell your horse.  If you are planning in the future of selling your horse, your approach to your horse is different than that of someone this is going to keep their horse forever. The plan that you are going to sell your horse puts a wedge in the relationship just because of your vibrations.What I’ve shared with you, I hope causes you to take the next step to join my Winter online course this November. Our classes fill up quickly, so early registration is important.  Keep reading my blogs so you can see when the Winter registry is open to ensure a spot.I hope you enjoy my free lessons and let them inspire you to the possibilities of what a true magical connection with your horse can be!Have a great weekend!  Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.Warmly, Carolyn


You and Your Horse: Connecting Through Freedom

with Linda Salinas ~ Carolyn Resnick Suggested Trainer
June 8-9, 2013 – Gastonia, NC, USA


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Sarah - 3 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I so much appreciate the time you put into your blog. I understand how much time it can take – my mother blogs as well. Even the little things that you mention in passing always help me. I have a question regarding getting my horse to move away from me at any speed, but first I would like to share with you a little of the background that my horse(s) have had.

I’m 19 and I have 4 horses that came into my life about 4 years ago in an unusual and unfortunate way. About 11 years ago my father bought 3 of them and the 4’th was born at our farm. Two of them (and the next year, 3 of them) were not trained and we knew almost nothing about horses at the time – not a good mix though no one ever got hurt! They received nothing but love from our family even though they were pretty much neglected and left to themselves. (They had a 35 acre pasture in which to roam.) They did get a few lessons in “I move your feet and you don’t move mine.” i.e. They knew not to push us around. And then 4 years ago my parents divorced. My father did not want the horses. My mother did not want them and could not afford them, but told me I could keep them if I would pay for them. I had always wanted horses and dreamed of riding, so I could not bear the thought of selling them. It has been a real struggle financially at times to keep them, but they will never need to find another home. And so, not knowing anything, I began to try to train them….
Betsy was 6 months old when we bought her and her mother. She is a Belgian/Quarter Horse cross, and came from an Amish farm. I’m not sure if you are familiar with how the Amish treat their horses, but in general they are very rough. Betsy was no exception. By the time she was 6 months old she was desensitized (or whatever word I should use!) to the extreme! She basically ignored almost everything – including a slap on the rump! She would just look at you and not bother moving at all. The gas pedal was gone! She has improved in the past 4 years, but in general she is just a very laid back horse. I can move her away from me at a walk and maybe a trot. I’m actually not sure what I would have to do to get a canter or a gallop. I read this in your reply to a comment on your blog, “All you have to do to reclaim the respect is to get your horse to move away from you in a strong gallop and that he would be willing to keep going if you wanted him to.” I need/want to be able to do this, but I just don’t know how. I’ve tried just about everything I can think of fully expecting it to work, but with the same result every time. How can I “re-install” the gas pedal in her? I also need to do this with my other two horses as well.
I’ve seen several times on your blog that one needs to be able to move their horse away from them at any speed for any reason, but especially before ST. Since my horses have experienced only love (there were rules too) they have never threatened to kick or hurt me in any way. Therefore, I have carefully ST with them and not been nervous about doing it.
I was really hoping to be able to take your online WHR class this spring, but was unable to due to financial reasons. (We had a 500 mile move this winter and the horses had to come along.) I’m so glad you have the online classes available. I can’t wait to join the WHR class some day!
I am also wondering how to know which horse compliments my personality. The 3 that I am trying to train all have very different “horsenalities”, and I am just curious which particular one I really “match”.

I thank you very much for your time, and understand if you cannot answer my question at this time. I wish you well in caring for your mother.

CrisseaGrovener - 3 years ago Reply

Hullo Carolyn

I love your blogs Carolyn – they are priceless with down to earth advice and wisdom imbued with a bit of magic. I have not used this ritual with either Andre or Ransom but I did find it helped me with Zar.

I offered to take Zar in 2009 because it was impossible to ignore his fate. Formerly a brilliant city sprinter he had developed problem feet and his brilliance came to an end. He had just run his last race and was bound for the sale yards. He was broken down and shut down.

He took two years to recover but then one day he galloped down a hill
rolled, got up and puffed himself up and said do not meddle with me. He is in fact pretty fearless very strong and has explosive speed and does not tolerate pressure. I had problems because I could not move him and he became threatening and frankly he frightened me.

Thankfully to Carolyn I now have a very good connection with Zar and I did find that the third ritual helped. I was able to surprise him and so take his spot without him having time to resist. It was the element of surprise and I used the ritual in a playful way. So then he became very responsive and I was able to use soft requests. Then I found I could really move him with danger tape on the end of a soft short whip
then he really took off with defiance and spirit. This way we developed more of a dance. I no longer use the third ritual with him but in his case I did find it helped to turn our relationship around.
Carolyn continues to evolve with her method and enjoyable exercises and so I now understand that the third ritual would rarely need to be used.

thank you Carolyn
warmly Crissea

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Crissea,
    Thank you for your story about your horse Zar. Each story on this Ritual helps people to see more clearly the way to appraoch this Ritual. One day you realize you need it and at that moment and need it works. I suggest that people work with the rituals and get a feel for them and use this Ritual when you see that there is no other appraoch that is going to be effective. Then when you use it, you find the magic and the respect and connection you were looking for just like what you experience with Zar and the Third Ritual. Thank you for sharing.


Tamara Blits - 3 years ago Reply

I love the way you explain things, your dad was very smart, to teach you not to do the wrong thing, and let you figure it out. You are so good with teaching. I love reading about everything you post. I feel your ways, and love what I have learned from you. I have a horse who can be very pushy, but at the same time can be my best friend. I don’t like to put him in a place where he feels is scared. I don’t know where he’s been. I just like it when he is comfortable. He was caught in the wild , and he might have fears that won’t ever go away. I am very careful not to scare him. When He plays with his friend, they run crazy together, play so good. I can ask my Dakota to come to me. and he stops to come to me, his friend looks my way. I have got them both to follow me. Dakota loves playing with his friend. I have to lead him away, when it’s time to get little man, his buddy. Dakota doesn’t want little man to leave first, and he knows when I want him to come in. Sometimes he runs away, He just wants to have fun. He is so playful. Hope everything is good with you and your mom. God Bless you always.

terrynewtoncr - 3 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
I loved reading this and am enjoying learning everything on your online course. I am on the EC but in fall I would like to take the IC with my big Iberian Brego, who is very powerful and a handful! Doing the WR with Shiloh now is preparing me for Brego. I just wanted to say all my horses have a home with us forever, which is a problem ,as every time we adopt one, its like, okay, here is another member of our family, financially not always easy, but I couldn’t risk them suffering again!
Your course is more than I even dreamt for when I started and am seeing the results and changes so quickly with both Shiloh and Greyjoy.
Thank you!

UlrikeKraft - 3 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

in your blogs you always seem to cover exactly what I have questions about at the time. I didn’t write because my question came up after the classroom comments closed on Thursday.

There could be a few reasons why I was having trouble with the 5PH exercise and one of them could be that I made a mistake doing Taking Territory without proper guidance about a year ago. I think that is one of the main reasons why I’m doing the online course. I only tried to do it twice. The first time had a good effect but after the second time he didn’t want to know about me anymore and just stood in one spot until he was released from the field we were in. After that I stuck to ST and Hello, until now in your course.
So after the two good times with the piles of hay I got sick with a bad cough and I thought maybe it’s just that someone sick can’t be a good leader. Also my interest in the bitless program might be putting him off.
What happens when I’m asking him to move in the pasture, is that he won’t go without resistance and once he moves, he tries to loose me by making sharp turns away from me. With hay he’s okay for about two times, with lots of time in between, but after that he rather stops eating than being moved and walks away from the hay.

It’s probably a combination of all that, but I hope I didn’t break anything for good, wrongly taking territory.

Thank you,


    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Ulrike,
    When he takes off just follow him slowly and when you get to him, say “Hello” and then go get him a carrot or just wait with him until you feel a connection. Keep this feeling for a few minutes and then move him on. When he runs off repeat. This is all very normal behavior. After a few weeks at the most he will not want to run. His gas pedal is stuck and when it gets unstuck then he flies off. Once the gas pedal is unstuck then he will move off easily and without resistance.
    I am concerned for you to move forward in the course because you may not be able to read him well enough at this time. Being able to read your horse is a pre-requiset because this ability to read your horse is what causes you to use my method in an effective way.
    I strongly suggest for your safety as well as not to break the connection you have with him that you Share Territory only throughout the course and continue to take the course by observation. You will learn allot this way. Slow everything down and the evolution you are wanting will appear. When I was a kid studying the wild horses it took me two years of Sharing Territory before I tried to interact with them. This was the best education I could have ever received. Relax and really enjoy your horse as your horse is right now. Don’t worry about layering information and training onto him at this time. Let my course help you with the information that will remove your apprehension.
    I can see you are not yet ready for the Bitless Riding program. With your love of horses and your instincts you will eventually get to your goal and when you do, you will have a deeper knowledge than if you just speed along.

      UlrikeKraft - 3 years ago Reply

      Dear Carolyn,

      I know that my idea to be part of an advanced program in your method before completing the beginner’s course is causing me to have an agenda. That’s why I have already dropped it, because I knew it would be in the way of my learning and I have said that much.
      The reason why it has come up is because it all started out so well I thought by the end of this course we might be there, but at no time have I thought I am, yet. The other reason why I felt I wanted to try is because it looks like this is the only course of this type you’ll be doing.

      You don’t need to be concerned about my safety around my horses. I have spend a lot of time ST and they basically live in my house under the veranda. They have very good manners around food and I don’t even have to worry about children eating apples around them.
      I have always been able to read my horses well enough to keep them happy and willing when riding (bitless) and I have never forced them to do anything. That’s why I was feeling alarmed when I read that I might have broken something for good, trying TT without proper guidance.

      I will follow your instructions from the beginning of your reply and if I feel that our connection is suffering I’ll go back to just ST. I really am not in a hurry as it must seem to you through my comments. I’m very happy with my horse the way he is and the joy and bliss he has given me in our shared time is without words (I used to only do it with the whole herd). There is nothing about him I want to change and I’m only here to work on myself by studying your method and to learn as much as possible about all personalities of horses for my work as a dentist and natural hoof care/rehab.

      Thanks for your reply,


Jeannette Heinze - 3 years ago Reply

A comment on “forever”.

I plan to relocate in a few months. It’s a big move – about 2000km. Although I have a horse float (trailer), I’m going to use a professional horse transport. This will cost a fortune. My well-meaning Mum suggested I should consider selling my two horses and buying a new young one at the new place. Even though I talk to my Mum about what my horses mean to me, I know that most people, including her, just can’t grasp it.

Horses have been seen as mere sporting equipment for so long, that their value is measured by their achievements and their age. My horses aren’t worth much. One is 20 and the other is 15. I don’t have them for sport. We ride and explore together, and spend loads of time just hanging out. My time with them is the highlight of every day. To think of parting with either of them because of the challenge and expense of relocating them, is as outrageous to me as leaving behind my little dog and getting a new one when I get there. NO-ONE would think to suggest such a thing about the family dog. And yet horses are considered a commodity that loses value with age. For me, this is just the opposite of what is true of my “old” horses because our relationship just keeps getting richer and deeper.

Yes, the relocation may be hard on the 20 year old, even though his health seems perfect. And the new colder climate will also bring challenges. But when I imagine this horse being separated from his family and from me, his trusted leader, I know that he would certainly suffer seriously. It doesn’t matter to me how many “useful” years my horses have left. Every moment with them is priceless to me because they are a mirror to my inner self and are my dearest friends. Forever.

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Jeanette,
    The work that I do, the training I teach, the blogs I write, the bottom line to all of this is that I create more people that feel like you. In the past I have said if I had nothing, I would still have my horse on a rope. May your move be gentle on your old guy.

claire preddy - 3 years ago Reply

Claire and Honey ICC x2 2011

Hi Carolyn,
I love your dad’s advice it seems to sum up an attitude that we all should have with our horses.

I don’t know if you remeber us from 2011 – Honey is a bay purebred Hackney I had on loan and she came to me with a secret foal hidden away in her. She was a very nervous mare that it took weeks of ST to get near. Well things have moved on, she is less nervous and I think realises she has her forever home at last. She belongs to me now and her foal came, grew and left. Well today I decided to see how she felt about starting work again, so I left her in her stable loose with no head collar or anything and I returned carrying her saddle and numnah.

The agenda was to see if she was willing to work. She was totally at liberty and free to walk away to the rear of her stable, free to lay back her ears – whatever – to signal to me she wasn’t ready. I introduced the numnah to her, she sniffed and allowed me to gently place it on her, same with the saddle. There was no rejection of it at all from her. That is all I needed to see and I took them off her and left her to her hay.

At twenty I feel she has earned the right to say yes or no to being ridden again and each time she will be given the choice for she owes me (mankind) nothing. We have a partnership and she has a choice. We will go out and enjoy our rides so long as she is willing to go and the Rituals as always are an integral part of our life together. They will always form the bedrock of any work with any horse I have.

With gratitude,

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Clair,
    Thank you for sharing the next chapter of your journey. I am so glad that Honey has a forever home and that you understand that the agenda we have for what we would like to ask from our horses would not be followed through if the horse isn’t up for it. Sharing Territory would be the first step in reconnecting with your horse when you’ve been gone for awhile. I personally Share Territory with my horses before I would have anyone ride them at any time. What you might consider doing before you get on is hand walk your horse in nature as a way to re-establish the trust and your relationship. Thank you for checking in.

      claire preddy - 3 years ago Reply

      Hi Carolyn,
      I think the walks in nature is a lovely idea and will be a lovely prelude to our ridden work together especially as spring finally comes to our neck of the woods.
      kind regards,

BonnieJBeresford - 3 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
Thank you so much for this explanation. This ritual has been one that my horses have never needed, and I was never very sure just how to do it anyway.

I did use this ritual just once. I used it on a horse that was not mine, but I had known this horse very well for many years. It happened last fall, and he had recently been added to the herd I was working with.

There were three important things to know about this horse: first, he was a Belgian, so he was very big. Second, he was dominant and a bully with other horses. Third, he had only one eye.

It was in the fall that he arrived, so the ground was muddy, and that made it more difficult for me to move quickly around the horses if I needed to. So it was important for my safety that I impress on this horse that he must look out for me.

I approached him first and said hello. For the next hour, I repeated the hello ritual several times and I watched him interact with the other horses. He was trying to dominate the hay feeder. In between hellos, I repeatedly asked him to move way from the feeder when I approached. I asked for eye contact from him if I came near him and he was not looking at me, even if I approached from his blind side. Now and then I started leading from behind for short distances.

Then I happened to walk past the hay feeder when he was eating, and he had his back to me. I clucked at him to get eye contact, and he ignored me. So I walked quickly toward him and (at a safe distance) startled him by whooshing my reed and growling loudly. He spooked and ran away, and then stopped and turned to look at me with surprise on his face! I moved toward him and I kept him away from the feeder for awhile.

After this he was unfailingly polite and attentive to me, which is exactly what I wanted. Whether the horses were in the paddock or the pasture, he was the first to greet me when I arrived, and he would hang around near by, watching me. He was always eager for a hello. Once, after we said hello, he took a step right into my space. I simply raised my hands up in front of my face , and he immediately backed off several steps.

I felt a strong sense of mutual understanding and respect from him. It was so remarkable that I have never forgotten that feeling. It was a little bit like falling in love.

Cheers and blessings to you and your mother,


    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Bonnie,
    Thank you for writing this, I hope everyone reads your experience. You did a brilliant job with my method. This is what Taking Territory can be like when you make no mistakes. The other rituals can allow for mistakes. However Taking Territory there is less room for making mistakes and this is why I don’t readily share it anymore. Giving warning to this ritual I think causes just the right people to use it and the other people to stay away from it. I’m sure that your words will educate many of my readers. What the message here I believe is that you knew you were spot on by the result that you got. Thank you.

      BonnieJBeresford - 3 years ago Reply

      And thanks to you, Carolyn, for the wise way you have taught me over the years. When I finally needed to use the Taking Territory ritual, experience and confidence just showed up and I knew exactly what to do. I hope my story is helpful to others.
      Kindest regards,

Stina - 3 years ago Reply

Beautiful blog again!

I will share it with my students.
I use the third ritual very seldom, maybe once a year and I do not teach it on clinics.

I wanted to share a student story on how your method changed her life, hope this is ok.

Featured on Horse Girl TV

Have a wonderful weekend and hope to catch you on skipe

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Stina,
    I enjoyed the article. Can you get in touch with me on Skype? You said you were interested in the Bitless Program. I would like to talk to you on that subject and see what we could put together. I just love that photograph and video you made with the couch.

StephanieMorse - 3 years ago Reply

“I lived in harmony with horses. Wouldn’t it be nice if more horsemen took this approach?”

Yes, it would. thanks for going into the in depth explanation of this ritual. I’ve been following you and your methods for around 7 years now and even though I haven’t been able to take a class with you, I believe my horses and I have benefited from your book, the Water Hole Rituals, and this blog. One of these days, I’m going to be able to take an on-line class. You are, for horses, what most clinicians think they are – God’s gift.

It should be mandatory that when a person buys or in any way interacts with a horse, they read your ‘users guide’ and follow the directions.

It’s in my 3 year plan to move to North Carolina and I get a weekly newsletter from the Tryon area. I noticed it mentioned Linda Salinas’ clinic and I am happy to see someone like her is in the area.

But, what is a ‘suggested trainer’? That wording made me wonder if she was truly certified by you, or just someone who had read your book, used the dvds, and was ‘hanging out her shingle’. I was glad to see her recommended by you on this blog.

Carolyn, have a wonderful week, please keep up the good work for the horses, and I hope your mother is doing well.

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Stephanie,
    I’m so happy to hear that you have enjoyed my blog for so many years. It always surprises me that I have such a long list of readers over a long period of time. This encourages me to continue. Linda Salinas is working on her Certification closely with me. I highly recommend her. I know you will be extremely pleased. Have a great weekend!

Geerteke Kroes IC 2011 BWHRC 2011 - 3 years ago Reply

@When a bond is in place it is natural that a horse will become pushy or no longer give you his attention………………..

One sunny afternoon, 2 days ago, Marcello was grazing leisurely. So were all the other horses in the neighbouring fields. Also this one pony in the field right next to his. Marcello was grazing close to the fence between his and the pony’s field.

Every day Geerteke enters the field with the wheelbarrow for the daily picking manure routine. She walks up and down the field to check if and where there is manure. In doing this she passes Marcello a couple of times. Sometimes she stops on her way and Marcello and Geerteke exchange the ‘hello’s’. Sometimes she doesn’t pay attention to him and he comes up to her to say ‘hello’. Sometimes she can see from afar and from the corner of her eye that as soon as she enters the field and starts picking manure Marcello is keeping an eye on her moving his feet and turning his body on a small circle whenever Geerteke changes direction .

This sunny afternoon, 2 days ago, Geerteke entered the field and noticed that Marcello did not pay attention. When she passed him he paid no attention and neither did she so there was no Saying Hello Ritual taking place. Geerteke just continued with her picking manure routine. Once again she passed Marcello and initiated a ‘hello’. She got hardly any response from Marcello.

Then what happened next was really interesting and exciting.
The neighbouring pony, at night being stabled next to Marcello, was led out of his field by his human. Marcello, probably having had an eye on the pony all the while, suddenly transformed from a quietly grazing individual into a sort of panick-stricken horse. His yells rolling like thundering waves in the wind across the field as soon as he saw his ponyfriend disappear from sight. His gait transitioned from an elevated trot into an almost stampede-like-gallop. Along the borders of his field coming to a screeching halt/sliding stop at the gate in one of the corners of his field.
Geerteke’s presence in the field at that moment made no difference whatsoever. In his perception apparently Geerteke just was not there. His feeling of being left behind must have been too overwhelming.

Geerteke decided to leave the field – which probably inreased Marcello’s feeling of being left behind even more, Geerteke was not sure though, she almost acted intuitvely – to get her long ‘stick’. The one she always uses instead of a reed when e.g. doing LFB or any other WHR. When she returned to Marcello’s field he was just doing another round of galloping and yelling as if he was being chased by some frightening horse-eating-monster.

Geerteke entered the field through that one gate and decided to stay there. Mentally she drew a couple of lines forming a triangle with the gate in the top of the triangle. The horizontal base of the triangle was where Geerteke moved from left to right and back. Depending from which direction Marcello approached with the speed of lightening.
Geerteke´s moving from left to right and back along that base line using her ´stick´ as an extension of her body prevented Marcello from getting to the gate. From getting into the space which the gate was a part of. Geerteke had taken possession of that piece of territory and was telling Marcello every time he came galloping towards her that it was her territory now and she was not giving him permission to enter that piece of territory. She had made it her personal space and she wanted him to respect that.

After a short while the ´heat´ visibly disappeared from Marcello´s gallop. He made a transition to a canter, then a trot, before slowing down completely and standing still. As soon as he got to a halt he started looking Geerteke in the eye. Geerteke started dropping her energy and dropped it even more when she decided to approach Marcello in a slow mindfull walk. Breathing in and out in the rythm of the walk. When Marcello and Geerteke faced eachother they said ´hello´. She then positioned herself next to his left shoulder. Continuing with the breathing in and out in a mindfull manner. Taking the time for Marcello to completely readjust and settle down.
When Marcello started dropping his head Geerteke invited him to ´companion walk´ and they ´companion walked´ alongside the fence where Marcello moments before had apparently experienced a feeling of physical and emotional abandonment and total discomfort.

During this ´companion walk´ Marcello felt and looked as if glued to Geerteke. Following her every movement. Geerteke had put her right hand on her heart, so she could remain focussed from the middle and to support her to remain in the NOW. Almost instantly Marcello positioned his head between her right shoulder and elbow. His head stayed there even when she put on the halter, attached the halter rope and took him with her through the gate, out of the field into his stable.
Other visible and physical symptoms of relaxation were chewing movements and an occasional deep sigh.


The human sighting here in my personal view is that I have stood my ground, that Marcello´s outburst says nothing about me personally, that all the different people that have inspired me up till now melted together into the choices I made as described above and that …… @When a bond is in place it is natural that a horse will become pushy or no longer give you his attention………………..


PS Attending any of Carolyn’s courses is a very worthwhile, valuable and valid investment in strengthening and making even more transparent the connection between your horse and yourself and in supporting the unconditional connection between you and your Inner Self……….

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Geerteke,
    Thank you for sharing this with me and my readers. I can see how this experience must have opened more insights of the true path and connection that is available even in the moments of chaos. You found the middle of the tornado and nothing blew you about and your horse Marcello saw your strength, poise, and leadership which brought him back to reason.
    Thank you for sharing,

susan garvin - 3 years ago Reply

Thank you for this in-depth explanation of the ritual, Carolyn, it contains the essence of the reason to train in liberty and that is very useful when chatting to people who are asking about your method and how it differs from others. I am planning on taking the winter course and will be looking out for the announcement for sign-up: finally I will have the time I need to really dedicate myself to the WR and to deepening my relationship with my horse, as I am retiring from full-time work in the autumn and can at long last truly experience the WR, I’m so looking forward!
best wishes, Susan (Italy).

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Susan,
    Looking forward to seeing you in my winter class! Thank you for checking in and letting me know that you enjoyed this blog.

KatherineHarberd - 3 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn. Very many thanks for explaining about this ritual … I was wondering where it went to in the on-line course. When I first came across your Method in 2011 I tried all the rituals out on my horses and it wasn’t until I used this one that Kizmet’s attitude really improved (combined with sending him away from an empty bucket and the smallest, most uninteresting feed). I Took Territory once and he paid attention for weeks. Since then I never think about this ritual he has reverted more to being his own master, which has obviously not been a good thing. When I have fully recovered and with your guidance we will reclaim the ground I have lost. Best Wishes, Katherine

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Katherine,
    Sending a horse away from a pan of food is not the Taking Territory Ritual. But sending a horse away from a pan of food can really help in not needing to use the third ritual, Taking Territory. What has probably happened to you, and I could be wrong, if I’m not wrong this could help. I think you have lost your gas pedal. All you have to do to reclaim the respect is to get your horse to move away from you in a strong gallop and that he would be willing to keep going if you wanted him to. Then walk up to him, Say Hello, go back, get him a carrot and Share Territory, take two aspirins and he’ll be fine in the morning 🙂 🙂 🙂

      KatherineHarberd - 3 years ago Reply

      Dear Carolyn. Apologies if I wasn’t very clear before. I know that TT is very different from sending my horse away from a pan of food (or no food) but I felt that those two different activities were the ones which particularly brought about his change of attitude in 2011. I think you are right that he lost his gas pedal and we’ll work on getting that back as you suggest. I am a bit confused about the aspirins … do you mean that I take them to get over the shock of watching him gallop away? Best Wishes, Katherine

        Carolyn Resnick
        Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

        Dear Katherine,
        “Take two aspirin you will be fine in the morning” Is what a Doctor tells you for just about anything if they think that you are not an emergency case.
        You are right that these exercises help will the dominance issues and can remove the need to Taking Territory.


Iliza - 3 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Time and time again when I read your articles on training with liberty, I’m totally insipired and more often then not I would have tears in my eyes cause I really feel what you’re trying to say.

I’m from Malaysia and I own a 10year old Thoroughbred(ex-race)gelding. His name is Cherokee. Im very new with horses. Cherokee is my first horse and ive only had him for two years. I’ve brought him a couple of times for endurance racing(40km only) But now…, due to the heat and humidity of this country he has become dry coated (anhidrosis). Despite being in that condition, I still spend a lot time with him trying to cure him. I have not found the the right cure up till today. He does sweat a little but in patches.

I’m totally able to relate to what you say when you know that you never sell your horse not matter in what condition he is. Cause that’s how I feel towards Cherokee.

I now have this strong urge to want to understand him better. I would like to attend your class. Is it possible being so far away from where you are? I also feel that i’m still very much incompetent in a lot wAys and there are so many things that i’m unfamiliar with. Please advice me on the best way to learn…

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 years ago Reply

    Dear Iliza,
    I’m so glad that you’re giving your horse a forever home. I think that your race horse would have less of a skin problem if you didn’t take him on those long rides, but I could be wrong. If you’re interested in my online class I don’t think you’re too far away. If you can read your horse well to be able to stay safe and you can send your horse away from you easily in walk trot or canter you qualify for my course and would enjoy it. Thank you for your interest in my method.

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