The Hello Ritual is a ritual I use a lot. It is so important. The Hello Ritual has the power to keep deepening the bond as much as Sharing Territory with a horse does. How you go about saying hello is important. The Hello Ritual needs to be performed with feeling and sensitivity. In your approach you can carry on a conversation with a horse by when you step toward a horse or pause or back up and walk away. It is a dance to show a horse your good attentions and respect for his feelings. It exhibits your intentions in respecting his personal space. It shows your horse that you can read his feelings when you respond to him like he would want you to.
This ritual is most useful for working with wild horses that do not trust people. It is a real ice breaker. It works with all creatures. It is the strongest dance of respect I know off. The dance of the hello ritual really pays homages to the rights of animals. It will help you inter the other side of nature kingdom. In this world you can experience unconditional love. Here is a video that shows how powerful this ritual is.
This week I’d also like to share a story from a student …
One can’t be reminded about the essence of your method too often. In one of your replies, you captured the difference between your method and that of Pat Parelli beautifully. My own experience verifies what you say about the phases being too much pressure. Also, when I acquired Amigo (my most recent partner) at 6 months, we began with the Waterhole Rituals, first building the bond and trust. Doing Parelli now is a “breeze.” There’s no need for any phases.
Learning and teaching is so much easier. It doesn’t even feel like training. I had purchased Amigo for $1 from the people where I board; they were that glad to get rid of him. I had to sign a statement acknowledging that I had been made aware that he had dangerous behaviors (kicking, striking, and biting). Amigo responded so well to your method that I never had to experience any of those behaviors. He is a wonderful little guy, confident, eager to learn, just plain well adjusted. Curiously, no one has ever asked me any questions concerning the method I use with Roscoe and Amigo. I am pleased and happy, however, that everyone can see the positive results and that Amigo is no longer viewed as a misfit.
My experience with Roscoe, my first horse, did not go as smoothly. I purchased Roscoe four years ago. At the time, I knew very little about horses. I heard about Pat Parelli’s program and tried to follow it to the letter. First mistake. (I recall that in one of your online classes, you said about training methods that they all work and they all don’t work.) Roscoe was dominant, strong-willed, aloof, and dignified. He also has a strong sense of fairness, much like Alessandra’s Rosalie. Since working with your method, Roscoe has revealed another aspect of his personality that is soft, kind, responsive, and fun loving. Anyway, we were constantly butting heads in phase 4. But phase 4 did not bring the desired results, quite the opposite. Roscoe braced and resisted even more strongly. You’re right when you say that at this point it becomes possible to be abusive because the logical progression of the phases is to continue increasing the pressure. To my credit, I never did that. Many of you reading this may be saying to yourselves what an idiot,, why didn’t she just stop and do something that her horse would like to do, which is what I now know to do. But I just didn’t have enough experience and knowledge then and had not yet found the Waterhole Rituals, although I must admit that a little voice was telling me to stop everything. Throughout, Roscoe was applying his own version of the phases, kicking and nipping. Finally, he leveled his rendition of level 4 porcupine game on my hip, a humdinger of a bite. That brought everything to a screeching halt at last. Our relationship was at its lowest point when I discovered you and the Waterhole Rituals.
Things turned around almost immediately. With the Waterhole Rituals, I learned to communicate more effectively. My tone, which to Roscoe must have been loud, obnoxious, shrill, rude, unfair, and demanding, became calm, quiet, supportive, clear, assertive, clear but flexible as well. I was learning to become a leader that Roscoe would willingly follow. I no longer was giving him something to brace against. Our relationship was no longer confrontational. We were able to relax in each other’s company. At liberty, Roscoe could let me know when I needed to adjust my leadership. Riding, which was also fraught with resistance, has become pleasant for both of us. I ride him bareback and bitless, and he is very responsive to light aids. Parelli is now a breeze. No phases!Two horses, two very different starts. They both taught me valuable lessons for which I am grateful. And I am grateful to you, Carolyn, and your method.
~ Karin Kozlowski
Thank-you for sharing your stories on my blog I look forward to more horse and human sightings. In fact today is Day 1 of our Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic and the ranch is buzzing with excitement.
May the horse be with you,
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