Carolyn Resnick Horsemanship: Liberty Horse Training

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

My Name is Kedra Holderman and you may have met me if you came to the Beyond the Waterhole Rituals clinic in December 2012. I am an apprentice in Carolyn’s Method. I have 5 wild mustangs who reinforce daily how necessary it is for me to be a leader, no matter what my mood is or the events of my day.

I have a challenge for you!
It is a simple challenge, however it will require a certain amount of self-awareness. Through many observations I have come to realize that often times, as humans interacting with horses, we allow our gift of speech to become a false leader. What I mean by this is we have a habit of raising our voices thinking that it will help us to be heard if we are louder. This is a false sense of security, or in the horse’s case leadership.

On the same token, we baby our horses in an attempt to keep things peaceful and serene. If when you work with horses you experience being startled, confused, flustered, or possibly a bit annoyed, this challenge and Carolyn’s last blog may benefit you tremendously!

Here it goes….
For one week DO NOT speak when interacting with your horse. Use only your body language to convey what it is that you want. Practice this in all interactions with your horse.  I expect you will notice some behavior changes, these slight changes may make all the difference in the world.

Some of us talk to our horses like they’re human; we share our secrets and our hopes, as well as our fears. Others of us however may not be so mushy. Our horses know us inside and out, in spite of what we say to them. Whether it’s your deepest secret or you’ve told him “good boy”, sometimes it is a lie to subconsciously make yourself feel better. Your mouth said “good boy”, however every cell in your body may be radiating annoyance. Or you’ve both been startled deeply and you think you’ve kept your cool, but your horse knows you almost lost your boots.

Horses Know
Photo by Mena CanonicoThey have survived thousands of years of doing this very thing, reading body language. This simple thing is absolutely pivotal to a wild horse’s survival and every horse, no matter the breed, is born with this instinct.

Those of you who came to Carolyn’s clinic in December will remember that not only do I have 5 mustangs but they are also all very young. A mistake my mother and I did not realize we were making.  For the first 2 years my understanding of being a leader and my practical application of the concept were two very different things.  Carolyn’s method helped me to see what I was missing. It started with seeing the power of the “Pause” demonstrated by Robin Gates at a clinic I attended in Ashland, OR. Oh my! I was inspired. It’s been a year since my “AH HA” moment and I recently had another that I want to share with you.

Picture This:
My mom and I arrived at our stable after a long two days of rain. The horses had been in during the rain, however on this day we let them out into our large arena. They were running, bucking, squealing, and generally causing havoc, as any sensible herd of mustangs would do upon realizing its dinnertime.  I turned to my mom and said, “I don’t feel comfortable moving them right now so lets just go in, walk around and take some territory away from them.”  When I say take territory what I mean by this is if I am walking in one direction and 1 of the 5 horses attempts to walk towards me, or generally interact with me, I calmly use my body language (painting a picture to them that they are unwelcome in this specific spot).

Using only our body language our herd calmed down within 5 minutes and we were able to halt and move them safely while maintaining our role as leaders. A job, that on occasion can be extremely difficult due to exaggerated levels of excitement, was quickly transformed into an enjoyable experience.

I am not asking any of you to give up talking to your horses. I’m just hoping to make some of you aware of how much you allow your voice to communicate without using body language.  Sometimes we also use our voices to say one thing when our body language is proving otherwise.  I suggest attempting this for one week. I would like to hear all about it.

Carolyn’s Response:
Photo by Mena CanonicoWhat I would like to add to what Kedra has written is that there is an optimum time to speak, listen and act in your communication with horses. What Kedra suggests is a lesson to bring more power to your body language and the timing of your leadership communication. Experimenting with this exercise I’m sure will help you to evolve your horsemanship. For those of you who use your voice allot as a training aid, it will be interesting to see what it is like to try using body language alone and what you discover about yourself and the benefits this might bring to your training program.

I use my voice to communicate with horses more than most people
When I speak to horses, they understand and most of the time they will follow my lead. This language arose from me learning how to first communicate with horses in silence. This silence brought me an awareness of how to connect and communicate with horses in the same way that Kedra is asking us to do in the exercise she proposes.

When you use your voice, it can be a voice from the heart that a horse would naturally follow. It comes from a balance between the pause of silence, listening, speaking, and acting; there is a rhythm in it. It is like music that you are creating together. But the voice can also be a hindrance to you in that you use less body language, instinct and feel.  You use the left side of your brain, that is built on logic, so feel and intuition take a back seat. You can also get into bribing a horse, which points out to him that you have no connection and your leadership is in question.

Connecting with the true nature of a horse
Photo by Mena CanonicoTo do this you will need to become more alive. By not using your voice, you can give more attention to your body language. By upping your energy and focus, you will direct your horse more effectively, which in turn, will give him a clearer understanding of what you are asking him to do.

When a person talks too much, and it’s ineffective, it is usually because rather than focusing on the relationship and connection, they are focused on the performance. Connection should always come first in any interaction.

Chatter to gain performance does not work
It is an indication that you are giving up your leadership through trying to manipulate your horse. Horses lose respect and attention when a person is always talking. Kedra wants to help you to move past this bump in the road that is created by wanting to control a horse through manipulation, begging, cajoling and bribing a horse to perform. Approaching a horse in this way, you lose his interest.

By begging, bribing and cajoling, you are skirting around what you need to be focused on, which is taking on an active leadership role. Once you choose to practice silence, it moves you into the world of horses.  In a short time, you will gain a new personal power where a language will arise that your horse will listen to and he will follow your lead.

If your horse is not performing from your voice with just a few words, this is a sign to find another way to relate to him
Photo by Mena CanonicoWhen I start training a horse on a new behavior, or working with a new horse, I do not speak to him because words would only get in the way. I am looking to catch the rhythm of the horse and develop the first language of the horse.  This way I develop a personal connection with him. The connection is always more important than the performance. As the horse becomes more advanced in the lesson we’re working on, I can then speak and what I say has meaning. When you start practicing your leadership using only your body language, in the beginning, it may seem crude and less effective, but truth be known, you are becoming more aware of what your horse is not doing because you are not covering up his lack of response with constant chatter.

When you use your body language you want to get a response in a timely fashion, whether it is what you want or not, even if you break the connection with him. You must get him to respond either with a “yes” or a “no” to keep the respect of your horse. Waiting too long for his answer will cause a horse to no longer follow your lead.

Do not be afraid to break the connection
Photo by Mena CanonicoThis will create more willingness in your horse, if you allow him to respond as he chooses. The reason for this is that he sees you as the leader and sees that you are not going to force him to do something. Your horse will respect and trust you more and a deeper bond will form.

It is ok to be clumsy
It will smooth out, like letting a clutch out on a car for the first time. At first, the car might lurch forward and stall out. With a little bit of practice, you will find it easier to shift through the gears. No matter how crude you feel, if you stay with it, you will soon enter a world that is what you were looking for the whole time. Effort and stepping up your courage to allow your horse to respond as he chooses, with practice, will help you to open the door to communicating naturally with all living things.

Horses want a leader
They want a leader that will suggest, direct, influence and know when to lead and when to allow. Horses do not want to be manipulated through begging, bribing and cajoling. These are not leadership interactions. Knowing this one point will cut down the chatter. When your body language alone is followed and understood by your horse, this is when your voice will support your leadership.

What Kedra is suggesting will help you to improve your leadership approach with horses. Please let me know how it goes and stay safe at all times. I am here to answer any questions you might have.

Upcoming Clinics

Linda Salinas in NC, USA is offering an Introduction to the Waterhole Rituals clinic to introduce people to my method. I am proud to support her work with horses through my method. This year she is working on getting certified in my method through the clinics she is offering from her amazing facility with her beautiful herd of horses as your teachers. Check it out and good luck to you Linda!!

LindaMarch2013

** click on the flyer above to view a printable PDF **

Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.  Have a great weekend.

Warmly, Carolyn

For those of you following my mother’s progress, I have an update for you.
A couple of things happened that are to me very exciting. My mother has had great difficulty in getting out of a chair, not because she is weak, but because she has forgotten how.  Her legs won’t straighten to be able to stand.  If I ask her to get up she cannot.  I need to help her.  I also noticed that even though she cannot talk to me about her needs, she still laughs in all the right places.

So that got me thinking.  I don’t really know where it came from but I tried this and it worked.  I asked my mother to please go into the kitchen and get me a glass of water and she did and she had no problem standing.  So if the context is given to her in a certain way, I can empower her more.  I explained this to her and then I was able to say to her stand up or let’s go to the bathroom and she is able to do that.

The other magic that has happened, has come from Teddie.  Teddie is on all kinds of programs to eat right and put into her body things that are very healthy and she commented to me about this water she is drinking that she felt was hydrating her body.  My mother at night must get up and go to the bathroom every hour on the hour.  Upon giving her this water, it stopped that and now she only gets up three times at night rather than eight times.  It is just amazing.  My mother now is much more relaxed.

We are still keeping up with the exercises, that you saw in the last video, but what is new is that we have added my mother leading exercises that she wants me to do and she is very good at it.  We will be videoing that soon.

So that’s what is happening here at the Ranch.  If you’re interested, the name of the water is Qure 9.5+ph or +essentia 9.5ph, depending on the store.

Thank you again for your support, your interest and maybe I am bringing some information to you that will help you with your loved ones as well.

Thank you and warmly,

Carolyn

Share Button

94 Responses to “What is Wrong with Talking to Your Horse?”

  1. 40
    jannie smit (ic spring and summer . BWHR december 2012 says:

    Hi Kedra and Carolyn,

    Just my last update on the challenge you set Kedra.
    I started to introduce voice again. But I am using it now with much more awareness.
    I can really see the use of voice and specially with Ivanhoe he reacts to this very well. I always make sure my Body Language is there first but I can see that voice can be a great tool as well.

    Kedra, thanks so much for this great challenge I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was very helpful.

    Cheers
    Jannie

  2. 39
    Bonnie Beresford/Canada/Folly and Chance/ BTWHR 2012/WRIC X 4 and counting... says:

    Dear Kedra and Carolyn,

    Not talking is a great idea! It makes me focus more on my body language, but it also makes me focus on my horse’s body language. And there is a lot more eye contact between us now. It keeps us both in the moment, paying attention to each other.

    Carolyn, when my mother was in her last few months of life, she had forgotten so many things that she believed that she was stupid. Of course she wasn’t, and it was not her fault at all. And then I discovered that, although her mind had forgotten, her body remembered.

    I asked her one day what was my brother’s phone number, and she couldn’t tell me, even though she has phoned him every day for many years. So I waited a few minutes, and then I gave her the phone and asked her please to phone my brother, and she said “Sure”, and her fingers knew how to do it!

    After that I planned activities that she could do by heart, and one of them was playing the piano. She could still sit down and play her favorites like “Rhapsody in Blue”, which she used to play at night when we were children, after she had tucked us all in bed. And she remembered how to play all of her favorite hymns from church, and she could sing all the verses.

    Another thing I did was to pull out the old family photo album. It has a lot of pictures of her parents, and of her brothers and her aunts and uncles and friends from childhood. She remembered who everyone was, and she remembered many funny stories about them.

    Those days were some of the happiest times with my mother. I hope your days with your mother are happy too.

    Warmest regards,
    Bonnie

    • 39.1

      Dear Bonnie,
      Thank you for these suggestions. My mother’s eye sight is not good enough for photos but I will do it any way I am sure she will love the activity. I keep my mother with activities everyday. Today we are going to take a drive with Apollo. She loves car trips and wants to be with me every minuet. If I am with her she is happy.
      She likes to watch tv but I do not think she can see what is going on really.
      I am so glad your had such a good time with your mom. My life with my mother has and is always a joy.

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

  3. 38
    jannie smit (ic spring and summer . BWHR december 2012 says:

    Dear Carolyn,

    I had a great session this morning with Ivanhoe! I did indeed work with the Clover Leaf pattern. First at Liberty and that with tack. It went so well.
    I really had the feeling yesterday that this would help us a lot and it helped us more than I had expected.
    And Kedra, I did not speak!!

    I even believe that the resistance that I experienced yesterday has brought us today at a different level again. I was really more focused on what we were doing and on his reactions. I think I was much more there for him to guide him with what I asked of him. I did not expect anything I just went with the flow.

    We worked really quiet and every so often I did get a grumpy face but that was all good and would soon disappear again.

    I even had more space between us, he was not crowding me. I believe this happened as I had a clear picture in my head on how I would like to have our relationship and how I would like to see the movements, and it worked.

    I am really happy that I went through this experience and that I had the WHR to guide me with this.

    It is so important when you work with your horse or even just be with your horse and you want to be that leader that you are there for the horse. The concentration on you and your horse in that moment in that space is so valuable. Quiet down the mind and be in that moment and that space.

    Ivanhoe is a very intelligent young man, so it is very important that I am there without any clutter in my head.

    Thanks Carolyn for just being there.

    Hug
    Jannie

    • 38.1

      Dear Jannie,

      It’s really important when we’re working with our horse at liberty that we give 110% of ourselves because that’s the tack that we have. I think that a lot of people miss the point in how much focus and leadership they have to bring to the table. I am glad that you’re enjoying the Waterhole Rituals.

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

      • 38.1.1
        jannie smit (ic spring and summer . BWHR december 2012 says:

        Absolutely, but I also think we should keep that 110% concentration even when we work with tack, so that we don’t tend to rely on the tack.

        I had an instructor who used to say to me when you lunge your horse at liberty, pretend you have a halter and lead rope and when you lunge your horse with halter and lead rope pretend you lunge your horse at liberty. I always quite liked that. This way when you work with tack you are not just relying on your tack but still use your body language and energy etc.

        Enjoying the WHR a lot thanks.

  4. 37
    kate says:

    Dear Kedra and Carolyn: This exercise is wonderful awareness experiment for me. What I have noticed is that although I am a very quiet person with humans, I tend to talk constantly (some may say babble) with my horses and donkeys. It is a way that I can express my love and excitement to see them, be with them etc. The love is so great that I think I may be discharging it with the talking. Now that I have noticed this , I am remembering to experiment with not talking. It is asking me to hold and express my love and delight differently. It comes more from the heart than the mouth. Thanks! I have a ways to go on keeping quiet but am starting….

  5. 36
    Ruella Yates says:

    Dear Carolyn,
    I just returned from the Oklahoma Horse Fair where I spent 3 days telling people about The Carolyn Resnick Method. It was a great pleasure explaining our gentle way of foundation training without the use of tack. :)
    Love to you and Paulina,
    Ruella Yates

  6. 35
    Janet Fisher says:

    Hi Kedra and Carolyn -

    Using the challegne of silence I have discovered I “hear” my horses so much better. I was missing so much by my constant verbal conversations. My horses verbally greet me and for the past several days I resisted the temptation to verbally talk back and instead let my mind and body and expressions do the talking.

    Today, when ST with the herd of 9 in a 5 acre pasture my 6 year old QH mare, Chic, began to CW with me for a while and when we were quite a distance from the herd she stopped. I thought to myself I made a mistake by moving too far away from the herd. I waited for her to continue but instead she just stood looking at me so I chased her away. She quickly ran away kicking up her heels and I went the opposite direction. She made a big circle and then came back to the same spot and stood looking at me again. After a couple of minutes of staring at each other I moved away and she begain to follow. When I stopped she stopped and again we looked at each other. When I moved toward her she turned again and I tapped her on the back end and sent her away and she squealed and ran kicking up her heels again making a big circle as I went the opposite direction. Then she returned immediately. Pretty soon I found myself engaged in a game of meeting up and stopping and then running in opposite directions each of us making big circles and then meeting in the middle (her circle being much bigger then mine). A 6 year old gelding decided to join the game and get Chic away from me. He ran up to her and reared. I sent him away and he respected my wish and found another horse to play with. So, Chic and I played hide and seek around a tree and played our circling game. After about 30 minutes of this game I sat in a chair I had brough to the pasture and she lowered her head and grazed nearby. All the other horses in the herd came to greet me again one at a time. Then, Chic walked me to the gate and I brushed and groomed her face which she loves. I wanted to stay but had to go home so my mom’s caregiver could leave. I am not sure if I played all of this correctly, but I had a good time with my precious Chic. I like the challenge of silence. The horses seem to be even more respectful. I am not sure if my responses to Chic’s actions were the best choices, especially when we were having our staring contests. She started the game and I let her lead and she seemed to stay hooked on me with her eyes and ears forward the entire time so I felt it went well. I think she was telling me whe wanted to do someting new and interesting. I like the challenge of silence. But, I feel I need to be more interesting and resourceful. I can’t run as fast as Chic so I jumped and twirled around at times. I think she appreciated my efforts.

    • 35.1
      Kedra says:

      Janet, this is so fun. I wish I had pasture and trees to play such fun games, once I am sure my horses are with me. I bet Chic enjoyed and appreciated it very much. I am so pleased with the response this blog has had. My intent was to gain more self awareness and what I got out of this challenge has been so much more then that for me.

    • 35.2

      Dear Janet,

      You certainly had an amazing connection with the horses in the field that day. The response you got is truly brilliant. My concern would be that if my horse stopped and wouldn’t go any further, I would have taken her back to where she was comfortable.

      I want you to know there is no way that a horse gets bored at liberty. People do; horses don’t. When people say that the horse is bored, it just means 99% of the time, you’ve just lost your gas pedal. I wish you many more days like this spectacular day with your horse.

      Love,
      Carolyn

      ps When your horse doesn’t want to be with you, don’t chase him away, because eventually you will lose Companion Walking, so please be careful.

      • 35.2.1
        Janet Fisher says:

        Carolyn and Kedra -

        Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement. My horses are fortunate to live in such a nice pasture and I have my good friends to thank. I have found this challenge to be so rewarding and a great learning experience. Please keep bringing on the challenges. I love reading everyone’s experiences and Carolyn’s feedback.

        I have played hide and seek around a tree with Chic before but have not experienced the circling game she was teaching me. I did CW with her back to the area the herd was grazing in when I realized her discomfort in the runway between the lower and upper pastures. Once we were back in the lower pasture with the herd she took off running and circled and came back to me. She seemed to want to play this game and I did not know the best way to respond, but rather thn do nothing I tried to jump and run and meet back up with her. She would look at me as if to ask the question what are we going to do next? In this case she was teaching me and I was staying in the moment by showing energy in my own way. There are so many responses one could make. When I brought my energy down she came to me. After the game she licked my hand for about 2 or 3 minutes non stop.

        I watch the horses playing and they chase each other (LB) and even nip to keep the horse in front moving. The ones being lead from behind often kick up at the horse behind, all in fun. Then they meet up facing each other and play fight nipping each other and even getting on their knees or rearing at times. I cannot play like a horse so am trying to figure out what I should be doing to be better at the game she is teaching me. I need all of the help and advice I can get to be better each day.

        Carolyn, I will listen to your advice and be careful about sending her away at the wrong time. You could write a book about understanding the best time to send and when not to send. Having her not want to be with me is the last thing I would ever want. She hears me drive up and is at the gate waiting on me. But, lately, I feel she is hoping to get some of the green grass on the other side of the fence or play games that involve getting a reward in the way of something that is tasty. For that reason I am not using food a much as I did in the past. I try to let her graze grass instead when we are going from the barn to another area. Chic loves to eat and I have found if I let her eat grass on the way to the pen she seems to be more willing in what I ask of her. It is a give and take, a partnership. I have such a long way to go to figure all of this out (LOL).

  7. 34
    jannie smit (ic spring and summer . BWHR december 2012 says:

    Dear Carolyn and Kedra

    This morning I started working with Ivanhoe in the arena. I have been doing LFB with directing him and also trotting and doing this without words has been amazing. Ivanhoe’s gas pedal is not the best, it does take a bit to move him but now I have been quiet and concentrating on my energy levels to regulate his energy levels it is going a lot better.

    We were having fun and after LFB we went into some Liberty Lunging what works really well between us. I can lunge him around me and go straight and lunge him around me again. All good.

    I then went to do some US and he is getting much better in accepting me doing the floating halt. Sometimes he tries to bite my hand or tries to shake me off but by just holding he starts to be much better with this. I can bring his head down on the level I want etc.

    We then went on the 20 meter circle to do the next step of US, here is where we got into resistance. He was getting impatience just with walking next to me and he knows from history that by making himself really big (what is easy for him being a Friesian) and turning into me that he can over power me. So he tried doing that. I stop and asked him to move back on the track (like in the single lining exercise). Well he did not agree on that one and left me. I still had the lead rope in my hand and sent him straight on the circle around to lunge. This went very well, we did the same as in the Liberty lunging, go straight, lunge etc. But then he had enough and did his same trick again and just cut into me and cut me off. I only have this problem when we work with tack. I asked him again to go the other direction but he only comes more around the other side of me. So, I stopped, paused and asked again. The only way he would respect me was if I brought out the “apron” (my raincoat) and really sent him, after this he comes beautiful around me. But it seems like when I work with tack (halter and lunge line) that he has much more resistance and I need much more energy (like the apron) to get him to respect me. I know this has to do with history, he has been able to get away with this so it is still in his memory.

    I do however now when he was trying to over power me that my fear came back again a little, not as much as it used to as I now Pause and come back to my normal me again. But obvious he must know this.

    I also sometimes feel when we CW that when he comes very close to me that I feel somewhat uncomfortable (not scared I don’t think but it just does not feel great), I think this is because I know that when he wants to control me he comes really close.

    I had an idea myself but would love guidance from you.
    My idea was to go back to the clover leaf pattern and first without tack (what we can do really well) and that do it with tack. Just to show him that with tack we can do this as well.

    I also would like to know your thoughts on teaching him to keep somewhat more distance, like I would like to have him 1 meter away from in CW (I start to feel uncomfortable when he is 20 cm away from me, what is quite close). He likes to be on top of you.

    I am booked in for the coaching call on the 21st and we can talk about it then but I would love to hear some thoughts already. Maybe something I can work on up to then.

    I will also video all this so you can have a look at it.

    I have to say we finished off with some LFB, what went wonderful again and I tied him up to brush him and clean his feet and there is so much improvement in that. He has learned to just stand there. so wonderful.

    Jannie

    • 34.1
      jannie smit (ic spring and summer . BWHR december 2012 says:

      ps. I almost have the feeling that it has become habit for him to have that behavior when I have tack on him as he has been able to do that in the pass.

      Kedra, I have to say when this little episode happened I was not silent anymore either. I spoke up when he was really good. I did however worked with my mare Paradox as well and with her i did not speak at all and again it went beautiful. Thanks.

    • 34.2

      Dear Jannie,

      What you can work on is teaching him to stand still and not fidget. And then ask him to do right hand turns into halt. From the halted position, walk forward, halt, stand on a dropped rein. From a stopped position, turn right, halt, back on a dropped rein.

      Also, single lining cures this problem. Remember, do not work both directions until you have one direction the way you like it. Hope this is of help.

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

      • 34.2.1
        jannie smit (ic spring and summer . BWHR december 2012 says:

        I must have read your mind already as that is exactly what I have been working on. I am only working on the left hand side at the moment but it is going really well and I feel that it won’t take long and I can start working on the other side.

        I have not been able to video this yet as we have showers of rain around us and I don’t want the camera to get wet but Marty will be able to video me in the next few days so I have some more footage for the coaching call.

        Thanks for the reply.

        Cheers
        Jannie

  8. 33
    Lois says:

    Hi,
    This is off the topic, but I really need help with this. My OTTB has developed head shaking syndrome. We are trying everything from medications to acupuncture and essential oils. It’s triggered by wearing halters. Have you had any experience with this?

    Thank you.

    • 33.1

      Dear Lois,
      I have only heard of this condition. Maybe someone else will have an answer for you on my blog. You might try talking to a cranial specialist and a chiropractor. Your horse’s jaw may be out of lineament.
      Taking my on line course would be a good think to do also because it might cooling down the nerves in your horse, also you do not need to but a halter on your horse. Time connecting with your horse may help the healing.

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

      • 33.1.1

        Re the photic head shaking, what I personally observed was a connection between the head shaking and equine herpes, which in turn was connected to the rhino vaccine. I used homeopathic thuja for the vaccinosis, 1000 mg daily of L-lysine, and a good basic supplement program to resolve it. Email me and I can tell you more about what worked for me.

        • 33.1.1.1

          Dear Carrie,
          I hope Lois gets your message. I now remember about head shaking being related to equine herpes created by rhino vaccine. I can see that this is the solution that would really work. Thank you for your help.

          Warmly,
          Carolyn

        • 33.1.1.2
          Lois says:

          Carrie,
          Thanks for the info about head shaking. I will email you on your website.

          Lois

    • 33.2
    • 33.3
      kristin says:

      Lois,

      I don’t know what type of head shaking your horse has so my thoughts may not apply to your horse. I lived in NC for 10 yrs. with my TB gelding. He would do head slamming up and down which was not only annoying but dangerous if I was riding down hill on the mountain trails. It took me two years to learn what was causing it. He had severe allergies and every time he would ride by flowers in bloom it would drive him crazy!
      His sinuses went nuts. as soon as we would ride to an area free from blooming flowers within seconds he would be calm and the head shaking would stop.

      I hope this helps.

      Kristin

  9. 32

    Dear Kedra and Carolyn,

    This is an exciting post because I had no idea how much I talk to my horses. It’s going to be a real challenge to curtail that. But I’m trying. Despite my efforts, I still caught myself saying “good boy” on numerous occations. A very enlightening post!

    Carolyn, I love how you used trial and error to find a way to empower your mom so that by providing context she was able to stand up. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself in your journey with your mother.

    Karin

    • 32.1

      Dear Karin,

      It’s easy to help my mother because she is my teacher in how to connect. Thank you for checking in. I always love to see you reading my blog.

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

  10. 31
    Avril Wilson says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Loved this whole blog entry and i am going to work my horses oshe and Serenity tomorrow in silence.

    My mother is also ill like your mother and I welcome any info.

    Thank you

    Avril

    • 31.1

      Dear Avril,
      My heart goes out to you. My mother has sun downers. How I put her to bed is with a message and she then sleeps well between getting up to go to the bath room. I am glad you enjoy this blog.

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

  11. 30
    Tamara Blits says:

    This is a good point, not talking to horses, but knowing how to use body language, to get a horse to understand. My horse hears my voice, and knows what I say; Though he knows much more with my movement. I am 66 yrs. old . and I have always loved horses. Now I know why I love them. I bought a mustang , that has been hurt in the wild. he was owned by 2 other people. He is very friendly, and big and strong. I have had him for three years come Feb. 14th. My Dakota is my friend. We have come a long way together. I love him, because he follows my direction and watches me all the time. He has learned a lot. I believe in him, though he can be stubborn. He has shown me so many things. He wasn’t ridden very much, and I have just lately started riding him. This is my first horse, but I think he is the smartest horse ever. He teaches me everything. I used to be afraid of him, because he was so scared. Now I know he is okay. I have a lonely life, with my family all spread out, and a mentally ill son, that is not on medication, he is my worry now. Life isn’t perfect, but my horse helps me live it right. I also have a macaw, who loves me dearly. she is my body guard. She will chase everyone who comes in my room. Dari is her name, and she is my love. She wakes me up every morning. and My dog Charmin hides under the covers. Dari goes through seasonal changes. She’s at her best now. A month ago she was hibernating in her box, and would only come out to go potty, and eat her breakfast. She loves her babies, they are little toys, she loves her eggs, she laid 3 of them this year. You have to take them or she will sit on them forever. Now she is all over the house, looking for me. I just thought I would let you know why I have such a hard time doing things that I wish I could do . I am glad I have learned so much about horses. Carolyn I love what you do. it take a reason to do things, and your mom knows what it is.

    • 30.1

      Dear Tamara,
      Thank you for sharing. Horses can be great partners and friends without the need to ride them. You have such and interesting life with your animals. It would be great to have pictures and share them. You could even do a journal of your life and have your own blog. This way you would have lots of like minded people you could get to know through your animals and your adventures with them.
      Thanks you for sharing with me about my mother, I will care this in my heart.
      Make a list of every everything you can do and see how magical it all is. If you are really present to the moment and present to what you can do right now, what you can not do as little meaning.
      I rode horses everyday for hours. I was more on a horse than on the ground. An injury stopped my ability to ride. I had my love of horses to carry me to the next phase of my life just like you.
      I bet if you had a blog it would cheer you right up!

      Warmly,
      Carolyn

  12. 30.1

    Dear Stina,

    It’s always a pleasure to see your comments.

    I send all of my love,
    Carolyn

  13. 30.1

    Dear Sally,

    One of the things that my mother enjoys in her day is the chimes that you gave us.

    It is really nice when we can speak to our horses by name and that they know their names. Where voice is really very valuable in the training of horses is when you’re driving a team of horses. It would be much harder to drive a team if we couldn’t talk to them. Driving horses are amazing; it is like they are fluent in the language that you speak to them.

    Thank you for emailing me on all the support regarding my mother’s care.

    Warmly,
    Carolyn

  14. 30.1

    Dear Linda,

    I can’t wait to hear your report back! I’m sure we are all going to enjoy it.

    Wish I could be at your clinic. I know it’s going to be a big success.

    All my love,
    Carolyn

  15. 30.1

    Dear Jannie,

    Thank you for this update. Waiting patiently for the next one!

    Warmly,
    Carolyn

  16. 30.1.1
    Hannah says:

    Thankyou for answering my question, i am using your program more with my horses and we are really enjoying it!!! :)

    P.S maybe you can do a future blog on the subject :)

  17. 30.1.1.1

    Hannah,
    That sounds like a good subject. Could you out line the things you would like to to cover so I do not leave out what you are interested in.

    Warmly,
    Carolyn

  18. 30.1
    JoyNichols says:

    That is wonderful! Glad you figured it out. I’m going to try the tart cherry juice for sleep. I was told to try putting himilayan salt or celtic sea salt in my water. Just a pinch per glass. Also going to try silence with my horses.

  19. 30.1

    Hi Carolyn,

    I’m still practicing the silence when I’m with my horses and I love it. I’m a lover of silence as it is and in my interactions with my horses it truly adds an extra dimension of depth and connection. I won’t be stopping this experiment when this week is over!

    I’m sad to say that during the winter season I’m hardly able to work/play with my horses. The low temperatures make it impossible for me to share territory with them; I’m the extremely shivery type and I freeze when I’m sitting with them, so that’s not an option. Also there’s much more work with feeding hay and scooping poo in winter than in summer, which takes an awful lot of time and energy, energy that I don’t have a lot of in this season to begin with. Especially January and February are usually quite depressing months for me. I wish I was born in California, I’m just not made for this cold! As opposed to my Icelandic horses, who are doing GREAT right now; they just love snow and ice!

    One thing I have been doing daily though, is practice the One Pile of Hay with my 25 yr old gelding Frosti. I do this at feeding time with the hayfeeder bin being the ‘One Pile of Hay’. Perhaps you remember me writing about this before; I started this exercise with Frosti last September, because he is the type of horse that easily isolates himself from the rest of the herd. I hoped that by doing the One Pile, I could teach him that nice things happen when he joins the herd (me being ‘the herd’). It took me several weeks before he was even willing to come to me to go to the hay together but – like you always emphasize – I just kept on practicing and knew it would work one day. It did, and it even had the outcome I hoped for, i.e. he started seeking the company of the herd much more than before.
    These past weeks I started asking a longer stretch of Companion Walking before returning to the hay bin. Again, it took quite some time before he agreed. But today was the first time he just did it! My goal was to Companion Walk with him around a group of trees and then return to the hay. And what was even more special: we did this in total silence and not even with a reed or any other tool. It was just body language between the two of us and it felt soooo special!
    I hope this story is not too long for you to read; I couldn’t make it any shorter ;-). Hope you enjoyed it.

    Much love,
    Marja

  20. 30.1

    Dear Marja,
    Thanks for the up date. It was not too long. I am in the house these days so it was a pleasure to read about your progress. I am always excited about the details of the evolutionary process using the Waterhole Rituals and also from your life with your horses.

    Warmly,
    Carolyn

  21. 30.1

    Dear Carolyn,

    Today my husband filmed my daily Companion Walk with Frosti (see my previous comment). This was the very first time Frosti walked with me without any hesitation, I was thrilled! I thought you might like to see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOh10cKMGrE

    Hugs (including one for your mom!),
    Marja