Focusing on Your Personal Journey

Hi

I want you to know how much I look forward to your comments. It lets me know that my blog is being enjoyed and appreciated. If you have no comment to make, it would be nice if you could leave your full name and say something short like “checking in, thanks.”

For new people coming to my blog, my blog is a classroom. It is not meant to be a typical chat room. I am here to inspire, encourage, and support you in how to use my methods. Lately, I have noticed that the comments are changing a bit. Some comments are about what someone else might learn from your knowledge or expertise. However, I want to be the guide rather than the class calling on one another for guidance. There is much to be learned by staying in your personal journey without advising others. This is the atmosphere I want to continue to maintain.

Focusing on your personal journey as a practice in awareness has an extraordinary ability to grow your understanding and connection with horses. Recall when you were a child in kindergarten enjoying a learning opportunity. You were only aware of your journey, not whether or not your classmate needed guidance. This way, you can stay in the “beginners mind.” In this state, a true heart connection is gained. Staying in the “beginners mind” with your horse allows you to let go of opinions and the left-brain consciousness that has little ability to grow the bond.

I do not know if I have a standard definition of a heart connection because the meaning of the word changes from what it is I am referring to. Maybe a rough meaning would be a connection that is undeniably heart felt, a mutual friendship that is deep. It is a constant desire to be together in harmony and unity without effort. Looking at a cross species bond is a good example of a heart connection. It is a state of agreement where communication is natural.

I hope to have a place on my site in the near future where you can advise each other and network and grow as a community, and help me with my school. Thank you for staying in your own experience and sharing your experiences with me. Any time you have a question, even if it is off the subject, leave it on the current blog comments section and I might get to it.

I want to review some important points on what it is that we want to accomplish at liberty with the last Ritual- Liberty Dancing. We certainly do not want to make trained bears like in a circus, that are trained from cues. What you do want to gain is a dance partner you have been practicing with. The goal is to create in the horse a consistent response to your movements and leadership. We are looking to influence the instinct horses have that causes them to move away from what is coming toward them, and to move towards something that is leaving them. This is the herding instinct natural to all horses. Horses are born with this instinct and it is what causes the herd to move together in a united form. It is what gives the foal the ability to match his mother’s movements without thought.

How we bring out this ability is to focus on practicing the magnetic connection through Companion Walking, which is explained on my DVD ‘Introduction to the Waterhole Rituals’ (click here to get it), and the practice of the last Ritual- Liberty Dancing. Put your focus on the “send” and the “draw”. Send your horse away and keep him inspired to move faster and faster. When he gets going, try to influence him back to you by running backwards, and call his name. He should respond easily to this. When he gets to you, let him relax in your company and then take him with you to the treat bucket. Then, give him a treat if he can wait next to it in a relaxed fashion. Let me know how this works out.

Do not try this exercise until you understand all the Rituals and what you want to achieve with each one is working for you. I also practice this “send” and “draw” with sharing pasture life in a slow way. An example would be if your horse walks toward you – you move way from him, and when you walk toward your horse- move your horse away. Practice going with the flow, creating movement or the draw and staying connected.

I think it would be fun to share in the class books that we have enjoyed on the subject of energy awareness and heart connection, the support system nature provides and interspecies bonds. Or, stories that inspired you in your life. Some of the titles I have enjoyed and would like to share are:


‘West with the Night’ by Beryl Markham

‘The Tribe of the Tiger’ by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

‘The Spell of the Sensuous’ by David Abram

‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho

‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach

‘Song for the Horse Nation’ by the National Museum of the American Indian

 

Hope you are doing fabulously!

Carolyn

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Sheri - yesterday Reply

Hi Carolyn – Just wanted to say hi. I’m new to following your blog, as I am a novice rider. i never even got near a horse until my twenties, and then my first instructor (who had been injured) instilled a lot of fear in us. Safety is important but it truly scared me! I came back later in life and tried again. We focused entirely on what my body was doing and there was never any discussion of the horse, except to ‘get after him’ if he didn’t listen to my aids. Finally, almost three years ago, i committed to riding each week, and really allowed myself to ask a ton of questions plus I’m reading whatever I can. I have several books about equitation but what I’m most curious about is the connection. I’m almost 50 and enjoying the process of learning to ride but I”m also loving learning good horsemanship.

When I first started, the way I had seen some horses treated made me sad, but when I shared that I’ve been laughed at. I was told more than once in no uncertain terms that horses are “lazy”, “naughty”, will hurt you, harm you and disrespect you unless you lay down the law. None of that felt intuitively right. So I decided I wasn’t going to get bullied into relating horses the way other people thought I should, I needed to follow my heart on this one.

What I’m learning is 1)it’s ok to love the horse, even if it’s not yours. yes, the horse feels it 2)be clear but gentle in whatever you ask, whether it’s to put a halter on or to change gaits. Be consistent. Use a gentle voice. 3)be patient and don’t rush. Horses don’t like to be rushed. I actually think they feel disrespected when we hurry them. Will the world really end if I pause and allow this horse to look at the goat, smell the ground, or simply stop? I’ve met horse people who attach all kinds of motives to horses and demand immediate “respect” but don’t really show it.

I also notice that getting frustrated at a horse does nothing.

I’d like to buy a horse of my own in the next year. For now I’m a barn rat, petting the loving up the lesson horses.

I’m still riding twice a week, and I’ve kept searching for more information because when i do get a horse, i want to be sure I’m ready. I watched a Buck Brannaman clinic here where I live and I loved how he focused on the smallest movements, emphasized patience, and consistency. And showed such respect. I am part of another online community led by a trainer who is similar to Buck and Ray Hunt in their style. I watch his videos. I also read Monty Roberts’ old classic book. I also watch the horses at the barn.

So then your site came up in my FB feed. I just want to thank you for providing a perspective that is such a relief to me. I feel validated, that my gut has been telling me to connect with horses as a partner not as a dictator. I am just getting started reading your material but knowing my future with a horse can be heart-centered – and that it has worked for so many others – makes me tremendously happy. I love the thought of my own horse galloping over with enthusiasm to greet me! I’m so eager to learn more about your techniques.

thanks –

Wendy - yesterday Reply

I value Monte Roberts’ books, Horse Whisperer and Horse Sense for People. I did not see anybody mention them, but I have used what I learned from them as suggestions for people I help.

Candis gerulsky - a couple of days ago Reply

Thank you for sharing what looks to be a great book selection! I just ordered Spell of the Sensuous. Looking forward to reading this and others!!

Jane Klarner - a couple of days ago Reply

Thank you for all your insight. I am enjoying the blog and other readings very much. Looking forward to the Chair Challenge in May.

Lahluna Ochre - a few days ago Reply

Thank you. I am enjoying the blogs very much & learning lots…Blessings

virginia fenwick - 7 days ago Reply

Hello just checking in and reading,Hope your doing great too!!!!

Susan Oliver - 7 days ago Reply

I finally made it over to your blog and love your approach.

Sadly am unable to own a horse at this point but am grateful to go trail-riding about once a week. If you could occasionally give some advice to those of us who are in this situation, it would be greatly appreciated, cheers.

Lorraine Cruz - last week Reply

Checking in! Reading when I have time!

Annie Jones - a couple of weeks ago Reply

Checking in!

Anne - a couple of weeks ago Reply

Reading and enjoying, thank you!

Melissa - a couple of weeks ago Reply

I am really enjoying your blog and learning a lot
Melissa

Kathleen - a couple of weeks ago Reply

I can’t Thank You and your Team for all the attention and caring concerns for me . I sincerely want to finish the program but right now I can only give a few hours a week. So Please don’t give up on me.
My filly is getting better as far as being so aggressive when I’m sitting with them.
Again Thank You All for knowing Our Horses are as connected to love and Feeling as we are.
Again thanks
Kathleen Hickey
Alabama

Pamela Pack - a couple of weeks ago Reply

I am enjoying your blog Carolyn. Thanks so much! I have been leasing a horse this past year and enjoying him, learning lots along the way.

I owned horses in my early twenties and loved my horses. I unfortunately moved away and didn’t get back into horses until the last few years, now in my late 50’s. So much more seems to be happening with training and understanding of horses and their ways. I’m just loving it and learning every day.

I have started to look for my own horse now and continue to save and learn until I find my new partner. Thanks for all you are sharing.

    Amanda Healy - last week Reply

    Thank you for all this wonderful wisdom. I have been working with my ponies on the CC though here in the North West of UK it is still dark after work (I don’t have electric) so I am limited until we get further into spring. Though I did sit in the moonlight with them last night sharing consciousness.

lisa walker - a couple of weeks ago Reply

Checking in and reading with interest!

Alison - 3 weeks ago Reply

Just found your blog and it is very interesting. My first horse at 59y is a curious but anxious thoroughbred aged 15 who is learning basic dressage with me, becoming stronger and more balanced and is very playful. I am hoping to build a strong relationship of fun with him and do not want to build in bad habits. I love your sensitive but sensible teachings. I should be grateful for any suggestions of exercises to do.

    Carolyn Resnick - a couple of weeks ago Reply

    Hi Alison, Congratulations on your first horse…how exciting! The program you would enjoy doing with me is the Online Waterhole Rituals Class. I would also be happy to have you schedule a personal one-on-one coaching call with me. You can find both of these on my website HOME page under PROGRAMS. Have fun playing with and building your new horse/human relationship and I look forward to hearing back from you. Warmly, Carolyn.

Leslie - 3 weeks ago Reply

I don’t want to use food as a reward for my horses. I use rubs and scratches on itchy spots.
I think some horses can handle food treats and others turn into pocket pickers. Maybe I am old fashioned but to me treats are for dogs and dolphins.

    Carolyn Resnick - a couple of weeks ago Reply

    Hi Leslie, I agree with you that you must choose the right approach that works for your horse. I didn’t use treats for many years, but when I added treats both my students and horses learned more quickly.
    In certain circumstances if a horse is looking for treats I stop using them and let some time pass. When training horses there will always be variables from day to day. If you’ve taken my course or worked with me personally, you would see that my program is focused on teaching a horse not to be focused on the treats but on the connection with you. Thanks for sharing, Warmly, Carolyn

Barbara - last month Reply

I am enjoying focusing on being “with” my mare. Loving the sitting and journaling. Our groundwork is coming along beautifully but I still am having such a challenge with relaxation and collection at anything beyond the walk. She is learning to relax on a free rein and respond to leg and seat but as soon as I pick up the reins up goes the head and the anxiety. I have used my Micklem bridle bitless this week with the same results. She is 12, Percheron saddlebred, 3 months new to me and a sweetheart and so well mannered. Trained to novice 3 day. Any exercises for relaxation?

Janet Brown - last month Reply

Things were going very well then weather and illness have me a bit on hold at present. Love the concept and will continue as soon as i am able. thanks Janet Brown

Martha - last month Reply

Thanks Carolyn. Reading your Naked Liberty book and enjoying all your stories/experiences/lessons. I’ve loved animals as long as I can remember, and i’ve been told i have a special way with them, but have never thought much of it. My eyes and understanding are being opened 🙂

gagnon.schell - last month Reply

Hi Carolyn,

Just checking in to ‘read’ your mind 🙂

All the best for 2017! As always, thank you for your teachings. Big hug and love, Jose Schell

karen - 10 months ago Reply

I have been learning a lot ST with my horse during the chair challenge. I enjoy noticing his curiosity about my changing behaviors.
He has recently lost the vision in one eye – I am wondering if you have any thoughts or resources that may be helpful regarding ways I should work with him differently now.

Thank you for the inspiration and support you provide to envision new ways of being with horses.

Kathy Peers - 10 months ago Reply

Checking in Carolyn – loving your articles and plan to join in on the extended circle in May 🙂

Debra - 10 months ago Reply

I am going to try the Send and Draw this weekend.. I usually do send and get him going.. but I don’t have a bucket o’ Treats waiting for him.. so this weekend if it’s not freezing cold I will try the draw.. I can hardly wait.

Mimi Leggett - 10 months ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
Checking in. I have just started with you and love reading and learning from your blogs. I did the Chair Challenge and sat in the pasture with our three horses. They came up to me, almost immediately, the oldest one first, and surrounded me, very curious about my presence and the books etc. I had brought with me. I thought they wanted to sit in my lap! I moved away slightly, to be safe, and they grazed nearby and then moved off. I sat there a long time ,till sunset, and felt a great sense of peace. This feeling remained when I returned to the house and I found I had slowed down my pace and was not rushing around. Did Sharing Territory with them make me calm?
Thank you!

Juanita - 10 months ago Reply

Thnak you, nice article!

Rhonda - 10 months ago Reply

Sharing territory has been one of the most rewarding exercises my horses amaze me with their curiosity & desire to just BE with me.

Pam - 10 months ago Reply

Checking in

Kim - 10 months ago Reply

Just checking in! Thank you for this. 🙂

pamstent - 10 months ago Reply

Thank you for your blog, your teachings, your wisdom.
I have been trying to find quiet , gentle, non-violent ways of working with my ponies. I long for a deep, close connection with them. I will keep listening and hopefully learning.

estelle Nix & Duma, BC Canada, IC Summer2012 EC Fall2013 - 10 months ago Reply

I sat with my horse the day after the tragic accident that took my daughter. It just so happened I was a couple of weeks into a WHR extended circle class of Carolyn’s two years ago.

An old brood mare that never cared to interact except to interfere with my gelding came and stood a little ways from my chair. I was lost in a sea of pain and took no notice of the horses until she broke through my conscientious; somehow aligning the loss of my daughter with the loss of her foals. Suddenly I knew she felt my pain in a way no human could share with me.

Once she got my attention it was if she spoke to me verbally. She said: ” I don’t suffer fools gladly”
She was a grand old Dame, fearsome and wise. I’ll never forget the infusion of life she offered me in my loss and grief. I often reflect on her attitude to my grief. She challenged me to raise above self pity.

Katrin - 10 months ago Reply

Checkin’in, thank you so much Carolyn 🙂

Vicki Faeo - 10 months ago Reply

How do I keep my two horses safe from rattlesnake bites in the high desert, where I have a high population of rattlesnakes, and my land is uncultivated sage brush bordered by miles of BLM? My dog was bitten and so was my neighbor’s horse. My land has a creek at the BLM end. I have only lived here a year. My horses are not here yet. One was born in Alaska where we do not have any snakes at all. Thank you.

Vicki - 10 months ago Reply

I am Just now reading about your bond with Sagebrush during your first childhood summer with wild horses. I just moved from Alaska (no snakes) to the high desert of Montana where there is a high population of rattlesnakes right on my 20 acres that borders vast BLM all the way to Wyoming and Yellowstone NP. How do I bring my two horses here from their safe temporary boarding ranch 60 miles north of here to my sage brush and rattlesnake habitat? How does one safely house horses in rattlesnake country? Certain fencing? My neighbor’s horse was bitten and so was my dog. How do you do it?????

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 10 months ago Reply

    Hi Vicki,
    About the rattle snakes, where I was in the desert it was not a problem for my horses. I think it was because there was no grass for a snake to hide in so the horses had a change to avoid them. Here is another reason. Humans have killed off the ones that rattled and the ones that did not were able to live on and breed a new kind of rattle snake that does not rattle. Also there is a time a day a snake is more active, at that time have your horses in a dry lot rather than on grass.
    Hope this help and I am glad you are enjoying my book.Let me know if this of help. Warmly, Carolyn

    Vicki Faeo - 10 months ago Reply

    Carolyn, thank you! I did not realize that my question posted, so please disregard my repeated one, unless you have a new idea. Your information does help. I will make a dry lot separate from a pasture. The snakes are active 24/7, but mostly at night, and ours do rattle, usually. The species is Prairie Rattler, while I think yours are Western Diamondback and Majovie. But I think your information will help.

    Sincerely, Vicki

sherry thomson - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn , I would like to share with you an experience I had this week-end. I attended an epona workshop in the area yesterday and the horse I worked with was a big handsome thoroughbred stallion he was the lead horse. We were to go into the pen and do an excercise that was very different from what I had been practicing with your mentoring. When I walked into the pen the horse whispered “come walk with me” so I used what you had taught building the magnetic connection by standing out of his view from various angles and then his invitation came again as he slowed his beat and waited for me to accompany him it felt amazing and my heart opened big time which was my objective to build trust with males so that I could open my heart to meet someone. I have been divorced for 16 years and still working on the trust thing. The other participants were kinda blown away because I went outside of the box and they said it looked like a dance.Of course I told them about your method and the instructors complimented me on the stories I shared. Thank you so much for your on going wisdom and mentoring it is changing my whole life not just with the horses. This morning I was writing in my journal and started writing a poem to Mozarts owner from him. I would like to share it with you. Keep in mind I am not a poet.

To Melanie
I wish to lead not be lead
I will wait for you
Be there for you

I will dance in the wind
with you by my side

Just trust in me
and I will lead the way

I am your guide
I have walked this path

With you by my side
I will waltz and guide

If you let me lead
I will keep the beat

You’ve been by my side
through many lives

You are the one
I’ve been wating for …………

This is just how it came to me I did not change a thing words spelling or grammer.

Jo Titman - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn, It has been a long time since I have contacted you. At one point during the ‘In the Box’ programme you commented that my horse Del may be too much for me as a beginner. I had no choice but to carry on regardless, he is my one and only horse and due to his rather bowed tendon, selling him or even giving him away was not an option. He had also been lame for much of the time I was on the course. So hadn’t done as much with him as I had hoped.
What i wanted you to know is firstly he is much better now regarding the lameness but most of all let you know how we are doing with regard to our relationship.
Whenever I have felt our connection has been lost which happened recently when his herd changed it took only one session with leading from behind and companion walking to restore it. He had been getting very stressed when his companions were taken in to be ridden, being left out on his own and getting him to move away from their gate seemed impossible. I would go stand with him and he would calm down, gradually I coaxed him away using just what I have learnt from you. At first he would only companion walk with me a few steps until getting stressed and returning to the gate. As soon as I felt this I would turn and walk him back. After a couple of days we got half way across the field, then we did the whole field. When he realised what he had done he did stress a bit and I half expected him to gallop back to the gate. I was thrilled when he stayed with me the whole way back. Giving him the choice has transformed our relationship and my understanding of him. I have to confess I don’t very often do the ‘Rituals’ as such any more just when I feel the connection may be broken, now it has become simply a way of being with him using it every day almost as a matter of course in everything I do with him. It has become so easy and natural now it solves every problem I may encounter.
Incidentally he loves it when I up my energy and play ‘horses’ with him, I just have to do it when no one is looking!
I have also been taking lessons at an excellent school called Holistic Equitation, I have swapped doing some large horse pictures for their ménage in return for the lessons which I could not have afforded otherwise. I would send you a copy of my first picture but don’t know how on here!
I have been lucky to find them as they are of a similar philosophy regarding lightness and putting the horse first. I may even get to meet Philippe Karl next year as he is coming to teach at their school next year which will be great. Thank you for everything and please keep doing what you are doing!

Kerrie Stepnick - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

Last night while reading Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “the Little Prince” in both Spanish and English (I learn a language by reading it), I thought of you when I came to the part where the fox asks the little prince to tame him in the twenty-first chapter.

The little fox says his life is monotonous, that everything is the same to him. He says if the little prince tames him, his footsteps, to the fox, will sound like music to his ears, also mentioning how other pleasant associations will begin to form in his mind from their friendship.

The little fox goes on to lament that humans have no time to understand anything, being so busy.

The little prince asks, “what do I do?”

The fox says first he must be very patient. That the little must sit down a little distant from him and say nothing. “Words are a source of misunderstandings.” He instructs the little prince to come back every day at the same time. That if for example he always visits at four o’clock, then each day at three the little fox will begin to feel happy. But he warns that if he comes at just any old time, he will not know when to prepare his heart to greet the little prince. “One must observe certain rites.”

“What is a rite” the little prince asks.

The little fox goes on to explain this forgotten thing which makes hours and days and times distinct from one another.

I don’t know if you ever made reference to this book and I missed it, but if you haven’t read it, I think you will be amazed at how this captures the spirit of the Waterhole Rituals!

Hannah Rivard - 6 years ago Reply

One of the most inspirational horsemanship books I have read is “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley, as well as the prequel, “The Hero and the Crown.” They are fantasy stories, but featuring heavily in them are magnificent bridleless warhorses who have a truly mythical bond with their people.

Those books alone were one of the greatest influences in my desire to learn how to develop a bridleless performance horse. Often when I need inspiration, I simply flip open those books and drink in the beauty of a legendary story… one that I believe can be true.

Blessings,
Hannah

    NANNY - 6 years ago Reply

    I haven’t checked in for quite a while. Looks like I’ve been missing out on some amazing things, so it’s time to catch up. Regarding inspirational books:
    a friend has left several videos and books with me, among them, The Hero and the Crown, which after Hanna’s recommendation, I am now eager to read. I own & have read, West with the Night, The Spell of the Sensuous, and Illusions. The Alchemist and Tribe of the Tiger have been on my to read list for a few years. The only book I had not heard of recommended by Carolyn was Songs of Horses, which I will add to my list. I always enjoy reading anything by Monty Roberts, Mary Wanless, and Klaus Ferdinand. Two other books I recommend are Straight on til Morning (Beryl Markham’s biography) and Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation. Thanks for all your valuable input!

      Hannah Rivard - 6 years ago Reply

      Let me know what you think of the Robin McKinley books! I’d love to know. 🙂 (And by the way — I also love Albert Payson Terhune’s books. They are my favorite dog books in the world!)

Diane Brooks - 6 years ago Reply

Just checking in. I am in sunny California right now! Although it’s raining today. Now I wish I would have sent my journal in.:-(

Thanks for the post. I’ll watch the video now. Can’t wait to read the books that have been recommended.

Tracy Litle - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

Checking in, faithfully reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Lynell - 6 years ago Reply

Hi, Checking in! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom!

ian Rowcliffe - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn

I haven’t written much lately, so it may be difficult for you to remember me and Sebastian who started on the OEs last winter, combined in part with the Waterhole Rituals, but I thought it important for you to know that he remains the most consistent and well behaved of all my horses. In our world today, we are assailed by so much advice that it is difficult to know what to accept, but the truth is that yours continues to ring truer and truer.

A funny thing you might appreciate is that I had two friends over from the States here in Portugal and constantly referred to your approach and philosophy, which they loved and appreciated. Now, they are back in the States, they may feel inclined to meet you personally – I know I would in their shoes. It is also possible that they will send their friends.

Thanks for the reading list. You mentioned the Paul Belasik book last year, too, so that I have already read that one and followed up on lots of leads. It finally led me to the classic, Dressage in the Fourth Dimension by Sherry Ackerman – another formulation of your direction, the singleness and uniqueness of each of our personal journeys together with horses.

Much love, happiness and thanks to you and your particular form of sharing

Ian

P.S. After so much heat, we are now rained in, so the first OEs will come in extra handy with the filly, Frida, born THIS year.

Monique Ruiz - 6 years ago Reply

A note to say how very much I enjoy your postings and many times I am moved to tears about what I read of your lovely ways with horses, the way it should be. I know that my journey with my two horses is growing me in ways I had never imagined. I am learning about what they need from me, being enough for them and your blog contributes so much to that. Thank you for helping me be a better person for my horses!
Monique

Virginia Ede - 6 years ago Reply

Hi there from overcast Downunder NSW Central Coast,
I absolutely love reading the blog and I totally understand where you are coming from.
It is totally about focus and travelling u[on your own journey, expanding your own experiences and no one can truly understand you except for you!
I thank you for your inspirations and I look to finding out more and more from my beautiful horse teacher, Donahue, and you!
blessings

Vicki Bilski - 6 years ago Reply

WHRIC – Just checking in. I have had an extremely busy summer with so many other things, have shared territory more than any of the other rituals, as with the limited time I do have with the horses, it brings us “all” back to a calm. It is my favorite ritual! I do hope to progress past this point at some time, but am happily enjoying this stage! I am so thankful for being introduced to your method, and am reading your book of past blog posts now as well.

Kerrie Stepnick - 6 years ago Reply

Hi, checking in.

Toby (Elizabeth) Houtman - 6 years ago Reply

Classic and beautiful books on heartfelt connection are for me Le petit prince (The little prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Winnie the pooh!

Jana - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
I, too, love your blog and am always excited to read new posts… though this is my first time to comment.

Thank you for putting out this wonderful information!

Jana

Alethia Saladino - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
Checking in, thank you for writing your blog!
Alethia Saladino

Shellina Ryals - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, I am so thankful for your advice. I have been a horse lover my whole life, but never had an opportunity to ride but rather to longingly look over the fence a the “rich folks” with horses and dreaming one day.
My stepdaughter and I began riding lessons together and then after a tragic situation we lost her. I was devastated and unable to even look at horses. On the advice of my trainer, she suggested I push through and allow the “work” with horses to heal my heart.
I listened and I am so thankful, with prayer and horses it’s amazing what God can do.
I was blessed with an opportunity to rescue an old brood mare thoroghbred. She had just lost her last baby and was set to be put down. I can’t explain it but she and I had an instant connection.
I found your videos and my heart flooded with warmness. Your approach with horses is exactly what spoke to my heart. She and I will be working together to keep her fit and challenged as she gracefully ages into her twenties. I am so thankful to have found your blog and appreciate all the information you share. I am looking forward to soaking up as much information as possible.
I’m looking to move from a casual rider to being able to train and challenge my horse to stay mentally active.
I look forward to learning more from your work.
Thanks for all you do!

Jamie Schultz - 6 years ago Reply

Goodevening! Checking in to soak up the wisdom that Carolyn’s perspective and experience offers. What a gift Carolyn’s life is to us all.

Thank you,
Jamie

Toby (Elizabeth) Houtman - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, checking in
That video really made my day!

Andrea Schwiegel - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
just checking in to tell you that I don’t miss any of your posts. I just love them and always find inspirations and solutions to problems. I learnt through your blog, through the practising the WHRs and through my mare Clarence to stay in the moment and enjoy every bit of it, just LIVE it – even boring everyday life activities like housework can be wonderful meditations. I am always in a beginner’s attitude, when I go to visit Clarence, because every time there’s something new I discover. I thought, she was not playful and only interested in eating grass, but I see now how curious she is. She’s always there with her nostrils , sniffing me all over. She is curious of anything I hold in my hands. She pushes balls and unrolls carpets to find the carrots inside – and any time I come, even if some days had passed ( unfortunately I can’t see her every day, but I think of her every day) she’s always there waiting for me, when she sees me coming. That’s more I expected, it’s a gift I receive every time I come to stay with her.
Thank you.
Greetings from Italy
Andrea

Martha - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn:

I have been a reader of your blog for some time now, but have never posted anything. I just want to let you know how much I much I have enjoyed this blog. I love the “classroom” format. So many other blogs serve as nothing more than personal chat rooms, and that’s NOT what I am looking for.

I have some challenges in that I don’t have an arena to work in- I have only a small pen area with stall and an open pasture to work in. Also, it is very difficult to move move him/send him away from me. He has been “desensitized” to swinging ropes, swishing limbs, crinkly bags, lunge whips, etc. so I will have to find a way to work with this. I don’t have a lot of training experience, so it may take a awhile to work this out. IN addition, I work fulltime so don’t have as much time to spend with him as I would like.

The other challenge we have is that Gus is blind in one eye due to a severe infection and recurrent uveitis. Since he can’t see me on his left side, I have to adapt things with that in mind. He gets along quite well though with only one eye.

He’s my best friend and I wouldn’t trade him for all the world!

I plan to do LOTS of sharing space for awhile. Unfortunately, I will be recuperating from surgery for the next 6 weeks, but sitting in the pasture I can defintely do!

karin kozlowski - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Your blog continues to inspire, motivate, and revitalize me. Recently I started trying the last ritual in a large pasture (instead of the arena where we usually practice that ritual). To my surprise the first time we tried it, we were successful, but not consistently so on subsequent attempts. Sometimes after sending Roscoe, he would simply eat grass instead of being drawn back to me. No big deal, though. It just tells me that the connection was not as strong as it needed to be in such an open space.

Karin

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Karin,
    A handy hint; When this happens stop trying to draw your horse back to you.

    Focus on getting your horses energy up by continuing to send and keep influencing your horse to wake up her energy and focus on respecting your driving request by springing into action and attention and spirit! Become very active with your posture and bring life into your body and stay active so your horse can read that it is that you are wanting her to be. Put more energy into your own being and stay active yourself. Remember it is a dance and partnership and shared movements.

Candle Hill - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Still scrambling to get my journal into final form. Will send it as soon as I have done so, hopefully today. Then I’ll come back and read all the comments on this post — they look really good, as usual.

Martin Contreras - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I have been off the radar for a couple of weeks, but I am back now and blessed to be able to read your blog posts on a regular basis. Thanks, again, for sharing your wisdom and helping us in keeping it real.

Love,

Martin

Michelle Twohig - 6 years ago Reply

Dodger will never be that magnificent mover, prancing horse; he’s really an energy conservation kind of guy. But he does love a good game. So the closest we’ve gotten to liberty dancing, so far, has been more about athleticism and facial expression than about grace and beauty. But it has been fun!

The indoor arena where he’s stabled has a large sliding door at one end behind a gate, another sliding door on the side (also behind a gate) and a long open half wall down the interior side. The other end wall is solid except for a window I can spy on him through. Some days I start our companion walking with him in the arena and me on the other side of the half wall, in the aisle. As I walk or skip, run and turn and back up along the aisle, he companion walks, trots, canters, turns and backs up with me.

Until recently he’d been just about impossible for me to send away. I could draw him if I walked away from him, but I couldn’t send him away from me to start. He’s often stuck to me like glue. One day, however, I accidentally figured out a way to send him when I told him to “go trot” as I often did, hoping he would one day just do it, when I kept walking and disappeared outside the arena from his view. To my surprise my suddenly leaving him caused him to take off. I started rewarding that. Eventually, I kept walking around to the first sliding door, opened it just a little, and when he saw me, he ran to me at full speed, coming to an incredible sliding stop at the gate in front of me, dirt flying.

Now I can send him off and reinforce it by leaving the arena. He’ll run to the center of the arena, ears way up, and listen for where I might show up next. Wherever I do show up (and I always try to mix it up), he comes running like he hasn’t seen me in a year, spraying dirt everywhere with his sliding stop.

I give him a carrot, and walk off then he runs around the arena until I appear again. This gets his energy up while solidifying our connection so much that when I do come into the arena with him, he’s his most attentive self. We’ll walk and trot, turn in circles both ways and if I say whoa when we’re at one end of the arena, he’ll stand there and get really tall with his ears way up while he watches me walk to the other end of the arena (it took me a long time to get him to stand still while I walked away). Then I turn around, face him and say, “come up” while holding out my hand. He races toward me but what is so cool is that he always comes to a halt about 20 feet away, a very respectful distance for his very dominant personality. And he will have the sweetest question on his face! His eyes will be so expectant, and his ears so perked up, then he’ll slowly start backing up (his way to ask for a treat).

At that point, I’ll ask him to whoa (stop backing up), then I bow to him. He bows to me, then I walk up to him and give him the carrot. The look on his face when we’ve played this game is priceless. He has so much fun doing it.

Does this count as “liberty dancing”, Carolyn?

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Michelle,
    Yes it is wonderful liberty dancing. Practice more sending exercises.
    Put some music on that your horse can hear and keep dancing too. IF your horse stops moving keep dancing and focus on getting your horse to stay moving until your horse is in self carriage. Be careful to pay more attention to the flow rather that your horse follow your specific signals. Focus on spontaneous expression not cues. Focus on keeping the life you have created going. Don’t let your horse’ energy die down to an energy that is just obedient. When this happens the dance looks trained with the spirit is not dancing. Liberty Dancing is about spirits connecting and coming alive and sharing a one minded magnetic connection that is enthusiastically experienced as you have described it. Be sure to not let your horse’s energy return to what it was, focus on keeping your horse’s energy alive more than on your horse’s obedience.

      Michelle Twohig - 6 years ago Reply

      Good ideas. I’ll have to try adding music. It will help me keep moving even when he isn’t and take it out of the “obedient energy”…I think you’re right…he thinks I want him to be obedient because we are doing certain “moves” he knows rather than just free-flowing. And I’ll work on the sending!
      Thanks!
      Michelle

Bonnie Beresford (Insider Circle) - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
I’ve been away for much of September and am catching up now. I hope to re-submit my journal, but it needs a lot of work because the original was much less than 75 pages. I will try to make the deadline of October 1.

One of the most influential books I ever read was the original story of Bambi, by Felix Salten. In this story, the animals of the forest are in constant fear of Man, and their lives are very different from the Disney version. It is not a children’s story. What the book did for me was to show wild animals as individuals with purpose to their lives, complete in themselves rather than lesser creatures. I believe it was the first time I consciously began thinking of animals as having an equal right to life, space and freedom as humans. Another book that makes a profound statement about what our species could learn from the others is “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.

Two series of books I loved when I was younger were the Black Stallion and Island Stallion series by Walter Farley (I still have every one of them) and the books about the Sunnybank collies by Albert Payson Terhune. His stories were based on his own dogs, often fictionalized but showing that animals have admirable qualities like courage, loyalty and love.

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Bonnie.
    I will read Felix Sultin’s book and the Sunnybank Collies. Great list. Thanks for sharing.

    NANNY - 6 years ago Reply

    I too was (am) a huge fan of Walter Farley’s and Albert Payson Terhune’s books…I read them all through junior high school.

Regina Walter (Insider Circle) - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn
Thank you for the wonderful blog. I’d like to share two things quickly. Last evening I let my two boys out in the orchard for some grass but I have to supervise because there is much fruit to be had. Micah was under the plum tree where many had dropped. I had my reed and walked over to claim the plum tree. He ran off bucking and did a few circles then very slowly made his way back and asked with soft eyes “may I have some more please”. Very cute.

We also have a treat bucket ritual. After they get their supplements in the barn, it’s time to go to down the hill to the hay shelter, but Micah will wait at the top of the hill next to the barn for me. I will prepare the hay and fill hay bags etc. Even if it’s 15 minutes, Micah will wait for me and watch me and draw me to him. Becasue when I come back up to the barn we share an intimate little treat bucket with a few special cookies. I wrap my arms around the bucket and stroke his head and eyes and whisper to him. It’s just a special time between me and him. It feels like a heart connection when he watches me and draws my eye and body to him. Love that.

Regina

Raylin Dean - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, Just checking in. Thank you so much for all the help you give in helping me to communicate with my horse . We are getting along fine now that I’m able to understand her an she is trusting me more . She surprises me all the time . And she is understanding me. Have not rode her since I got her 6yrs ago.She would buck a person off if she didn’t like them . I am a beginner I am also 61 yrs old not an experienced rider,never trained a horse in my life and had a fear of her. She was a gift from a friend. So I am working up to her letting me ride her. I bought a pony to keep her company, got him from the auction. He was such a frightened little guy skinny, his hooves were so long, didnt notice till they brought him home to me . He would just run from us . I use your method of training on him .He is so loving and he lets us give him hugs follows like a puppy dog, just a little rude but such a happy guy now. My husband is old school when it comes to training horses ,but now he is a firm believer in you…….. Thanks you so much ,Carolyn

Janice Mulhern - 6 years ago Reply

Just checking in…thanks!

Leanna Kielian - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn,
I have a journal from the inner circle class, I am not sure if it is 75 pages but I need to transcribe it, to make it readable. I can send a copy of both the origional and the deciphered version in a few days if that would work? I think it is quite interesting and in some parts I was writing how emotional I felt as I spent such close and intimate time with True.

We had a very interesting happening yesterday. In giving my elder horse Prefect(now 30 years old pretty good for a warmblood) his Legend injection with a routeen of carrots, words of I am sorry got to do it, he will stand absolutely still for the IV injection. We finished with a very nice ripe pear and were also using a special “treat bucket.” Raisin and True were in the field and Raisin started chasing True away from the fence. We wanted True to watch Pref. go thru this. Then Raisin chased her off enough that she let out a squeal(not common) but no fear seemed to be involved. Then Raisin went into True’s open to the field paddock and stood at a sort of full attention looking at us(he really likes pears.) He is not usually found in this paddock if it is open and True didn’t try to enter it at all but instead stood at a different the fence right near us as well at “full bright attention.” If was as if they were lining up to be next for the “experience.” Prefect seemed to enjoy the pears in a bliss so much that when he was finished wouldn’t leave us alone, even though he had just had a shot and usually walks off after his snack and scratches and went all the way to the exit gate trying to let us know he would like more. I think that was one of his first pears, I really hadn’t tried them with the horses in the past because the trees were still young. I had even shown the needles to True before I used it on Pref and she does know what they are about. True is the only horse of the five still needing needle acceptance but we have never had Raisin line up and volunteer before or set True “straight” before taking her “evening zone” that way. I swear he was standing up by the gate close to us smiling and flirting “hello!”

We smiled a lot and enjoyed their individual inputs on the experience, and brought a few pears back to share, they were not budging their locations or going back to grazing or giving up easily on this subject. I should mention that Prefect all 17 hands of him, was once so difficult to give injections to that the DVM would give up after wasteing them and ask if I could do better. I later took this experience to the speciality referral veterinary practice I was working at and used a similiar method with some nervous dogs that needed regular blood draws with much success.

John and I both feel very fortunate to have such amazing friends and the opportunity to both observe, share and interact with them.

Thank you Carolyn for the opportunity to keep fresh ideas in front of us to learn and have even more experiences with the little herd.

Erin Rodriguez - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn. You said we could pop in with questions or problems we are having so here I am! Last summer I did the WHR program as a friend who was in the insider circle was doing it, with my horse. I try to continue incorporating the rituals periodically during my visits. Last month I changed barns to a new boarding barn and my horse is kept in a long property, near the front of the property in a six stall barn and is turned out twelve hours per day. She is comfortable in her barn and paddock, but gets very nervous and anxious of boogeymen/animals/things when she is taken out of her paddock. She is much better if taken with another horse but is very jumpy and spooky and ‘not with me’ when we go alone. What can you recommend my daily routine be with her, in order to help build her confidence in the new environment? Thanks for any help and let me know if you need more clarification.

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Erin,
    Spend time with her taking her places she would like to go. In the places she has fear have treats there, feed them and then leave and take her back to where she wants to be. This way she sees you as the one the will take her to places that are wonderful and that you will not force her to stay in places she does not want to be. She will quickly learn that you will listen to her concerns. Your horse will natural adjust. After 10 days she should show signs of stabilizing. Try putting your focus on relaxation, It will help your horse.

Dyann Johnson - 6 years ago Reply

Dyann Johnson (Insider Circle)

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for this reminder to follow our own path.

Dyannn

Joanna Blake - 6 years ago Reply

Dear carolyn,
Checking in, reading and continuing to be inspired!
I shall respond to your call for experiences in more detail but today I need your email address to send the journal book to – it is coming, I promise!
Many thanks,
Joanna

cris davies - 6 years ago Reply

hi carolyn

much appreciation, reading your bloggs has become part of my life,along with tai chi,and my horses.

the philosophy of lao tsu is simple:

accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. study the natural order of things, and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistence.

sounds familiar……

Lila "Horse Muse" Harding - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn,
I read your blogs at least twice a week and am happy at the invitation to ” check in” and let you know how appreciated you are for your commitment to this work. I learned so much while working with you over the summer and I apply that knowledge in some way everyday.

I feel the heart connection most strongly when I am working with a new horse I send him away and call him backup and he comes but pauses or stops short as if to say “I’m not sure” I stand there lovingly with an intent or a focused idea that I am putting out that I want him to come back to me and I also let go of my agenda and just pause there and wait. When that horse begins again to walk towards me with no other prompting or no encouragement, that is when I feel the heart connection. It is really a gift so humbling amazing absolutely every time.

Thank you for who you are

Lila

Geerteke Kroes - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
Just checking in.
Thank you for the reminder. I always enjoy reading your blogs.
Best wishes to you.
Geerteke

Toni Farrell - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Loved your post. As I was reading, I found I have been doing the “send” and “draw” quite by accident.

When my mustang, Lyle, is at liberty, he has the tendency to engage me in his games – with his rules. His games and rules can be quite rough for a human, so, my way of convincing him that I have fun games – with fun rules, is to do the “send” and “draw”. After a while, he starts to ask me questions. Then I know we are playing the same (safe) game. We both get to run, and chase, and play, but Lyle exhibits much more respect for me and my space.

He has also become more intuned to me under saddle, and his courage has greatly increased. He is a very curious and playful horse by nature, and I am thankful for that. It makes the time we spend with each other much more fun!

The Elephant Seal video was wonderful! It is a good thing the woman wasn’t allowed to touch the seal (as we humans are prone to do), because her body mimicked the seal’s movements. No preditor “claws”, just undulating movement – same as the seals. It was wonderful!

Thanks, Toni

Holly Vanasse Insiders Circle - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
I really liked reading your definition of a heart felt connection. It is a fleeting thing for Gunny and I because we have a deep, mutual friendship but the “desire to be together in harmony and unity” part comes and goes. I have the desire but I haven’t figured out how to cultivate a consistent desire in Gunny for that piece.

Thanks for your guidance as I am on this personal journey to figure out how to achieve that second piece.

Sincerely,
Holly

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Holly,
    What will help you is to not notice the things you do not have because it will give you the vibrations that will be more attractive to your horse.

      Holly Vanasse Insiders Circle - 6 years ago Reply

      Dear Carolyn,
      Thanks for the advice, I will pay attention to keeping my focus on what I want.

      I think that in my efforts to be short and to-the-point, the meaning of what I was trying to say in my first comment was unclear.

      The reason I found your definition helpful for where I am on my journey is that the second piece was missing in my picture of what a heartfelt connection was. I was only looking for the deep, mutual friendship because I thought that was “it”.

      When I read your more complete definition, it filled the picture in for me on another nuance to notice, acknowledge, and appreciate when I see it. Because my picture didn’t include this part, I wasn’t giving it my attention when it occurs.

      So rather than noticing a lack of something, your definition allowed me to fill in a blank in my understanding of another thing I need to look for. Noticing a lack of something can cause a person to experience more of that lack. But also, an incomplete picture can cause a person to not experience something because they aren’t even looking for it. For me it was this second instance.

      In particular it is the word “desire” and thinking about the areas Gunny already has this desire and also thinking about how to set up exercises to create this desire in other areas too.

      Just this morning I felt some “desire to be together in harmony and unity” from Gunny and because of my new, more complete picture, I noticed and acknowledged it as it happened. And I know it will grow as I notice and acknowledge it when I see/feel it.

      Thanks again for more food for thought.
      Holly

      Holly Vanasse Insiders Circle - 6 years ago Reply

      Dear Carolyn,
      My reply ended up in the wrong spot for some reason. I am going to try to put this in the correct spot this time, for your ease of reading.
      ===================================

      Thanks for the advice, I will pay attention to keeping my focus on what I want.

      I think that in my efforts to be short and to-the-point, the meaning of what I was trying to say in my first comment was unclear.

      The reason I found your definition helpful for where I am on my journey is that the second piece was missing in my picture of what a heartfelt connection was. I was only looking for the deep, mutual friendship because I thought that was “it”.

      When I read your more complete definition, it filled the picture in for me on another nuance to notice, acknowledge, and appreciate when I see it. Because my picture didn’t include this part, I wasn’t giving it my attention when it occurs.

      So rather than noticing a lack of something, your definition allowed me to fill in a blank in my understanding of another thing I need to look for. Noticing a lack of something can cause a person to experience more of that lack. But also, an incomplete picture can cause a person to not experience something because they aren’t even looking for it. For me it was this second instance.

      In particular it is the word “desire” and thinking about the areas Gunny already has this desire and also thinking about how to set up exercises to create this desire in other areas too.

      Just this morning I felt some “desire to be together in harmony and unity” from Gunny and because of my new, more complete picture, I noticed and acknowledged it as it happened. And I know it will grow as I notice and acknowledge it when I see/feel it.

      Thanks again for more food for thought.
      Holly

Michele - 6 years ago Reply

Checking in from Los Angeles. When I see a blog post from you in my in-box an immediate sense of happiness floods my body. I love the videos which I always repost on my Facebook page. I’m new to riding having only started it one year ago at age 45, but I’ve fallen madly in love with the horse I’m leasing at a local equestrian center and want to learn everything about these spiritual beings. The moment I met him I experienced a heart connection, its unexplainable and it is changing and healing me in so many ways. In the past year I’ve read so much about these incredible beings and their capacity to heal, transform and teach all of us. Your blog is an inspiration. It’s so wonderful to know there are people like you out there teaching relationship, respect and love. I learn so much from you and take it out into the world and share with anyone who will listen. Thank you for your committment to spreading the word. You are a wonderful healer and messenger.

Michele

Katja - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn
I do read your blogs pretty regularly and I enjoy always to stay in contact with you and your spirit. I enjoy being with my horse much more and my riding and our relationship are growing with it. I understood better about leadership also in the saddle.
I visited Robin as we were in the US in summer, we staid in northern Callifornia for one week. It was worth it and fun and I took something home. I think it was important to experience it directly and not just over the blog and books and DVD.
I liked a lot what you say about the personal journey, not being influenced by what others do or what we think should be, but completely focused on that what concerns me and my heart.
I repeatedly watch your DVDs and feel I learn each time something new. The playfulness of everything and “getting out of the box of control” as you name it. It is a fluent process and it is about faith in the progress and enjoying the process. I love to create the space for that more and more. The space in ones own heart.
Thank you and take care!

Karla Lauritsen - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I look forward to all your blog entries. Sometimes what you present is uncannily exactly what I’m addressing and wondering about, seeking another way of being. Thank you, Karla

Priscilla - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
Just checking in. I’m always learning.
Priscilla

Monica Butschek - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

I read your blog each week and am so very grateful for it. I have chosen to give up all riding to simply focus on having a wonderful friendship with my horse, King. The WHR are so rich and my time with him is always so rewarding thanks to what I’m learning here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Best wishes always,
Monica

cleavoy - 6 years ago Reply

Just checking in Carolyn. I participated in your Insider Circle last year. Thank you for your blog, your book, DVD,s and everything else that you share from your heart. You will always be in my heart and a stepping stone to truth and wisdom. I love your stories!

Berenika Bratny - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn
I just want to say that Your approach changed not only the life of my horses but it also had a great, great impact on my personal life. I live in a remote place with a herd of horses. My work is quite hard, it is a kind of a rescue for animals and I have a lot to do around them. So I used to be frustrated, always in a hurry, always not quite satisfied with what I get from life. I started to read Your blog a year ago, I red Naked Liberty i started to use WR with my horses. It changed our relationship and I noticed that problems I had with them suddenly dissappeared not because I worked on those particular things, but because our relationship grew. And because I changed. I started to perceive things differently. I realized that recently when my father moved in. He is 90 years old and needs a lot of care. It is hard to explain but somehow reading Your blog helps me to live with everything in harmony. It teaches what is love, it teaches that all is One. Every time I feel frustrated I read some parts of Naked Liberty or Blog Archive and I receive a great supply of Hope. Things like this you tube film about experiment on DNA makes me really happy. I wake up and I recall that and I know I want to live in this world. Thank You for that.

Christian Gundermann - 6 years ago Reply

Thanks, Carolyn.
Have a good week.
Christian

Kolina Crowe - 6 years ago Reply

Checking in from Canada!
Thank you for the inspiring (yet again) Blog entry!

Brenda - 6 years ago Reply

Still checking in – always enjoy the information you have to offer. I haven’t yet got a really good start, as I am still having to work on my house. my goal is to get it ready to refinance, then by Spring, ready to sell so that I can start seriously looking for a place where I can keep my horses with me & be able to spend more time with them consistently.

I am also having an issue with the trainer the other boarders are using to train their horses where I board my horse. I do not agree with her methods of training & she endorses heavy handed reprimands that she used on my horse for biting her over the fence last Friday while I was not there to see exactly how she “discipliined” him. I asked her to not hit him unless she could respond immediately, & to only pop him on the nose with her hand. she stated that she would do whatever she felt like she needed to do – & also stated the next morning that certain other well known trainers endorse hitting them upside the neck with a shovel if need be. I let her know there would be consequences if something like that ever took place with my horse.
I am in the process of writing an official letter & having it notarized stating that she is not to handle my horses – either of them at all due to her attitude.

I have a friend who lives in FL who has been helping me some & will be up again in the next day or two. Thankfully, the other trainer is only out on the premises on Friday evening & Saturday morning. By then, my friend (who has methods very similar to yours & has been training for over 30 years) will be out there with me & I will have the letter ready for delivery.

I so wish you were here or I were out there – one day when I get my house & finances in order, I would love to be able to plan on one of your one on one weekend clinics. I have your Waterhole Rituals DVD & the Pandera’s Journey DVD & have enjoyed them immensley! I just watched Waterhole Rituals again (for the 3rd or 4th time – I am wanting to make sure I understand completely) & my brother watched it with me & thoroughly enjoyed it as well. We both had a good laugh when you were talking about staying out of your horse’s mouth. It is so true! If you are paying attention, the warning signs are all there!

If you have any advice as far as how to handle this trainer, it would be greatly appreciated. I do not want to get in a war with anyone, but I simply will not tolerate someone stepping over their boundaries into mine when they were not invited. I do not tell the other boarders how to handle their horses or what trainers to pick & I will not have a trainer forced onto me.

Thank-you so much for all you have done to inform everyone!

Sincerely,
Brenda Adams

Fiona Blachford (In a box 09 & 2010) - 6 years ago Reply

Just love the ‘How to cuddle an elephant seal’ clip.
Lots of sharing territory, saying Hello and reciprocal movement……Beautiful

Dorothy (In a Box 2009) - 6 years ago Reply

Still here in Ireland always appreciating,listening,looking and learning.Thank you all.

susan garvin - 6 years ago Reply

Checking in, Carolyn, thanks for the book titles!
susan
(Insider Circle)

Fiona Blachford (In a box 09 & 2010) - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn, I have to say you feature very regularly in my day to day life.
I look forward to your blog posts with your pearls of wisdom to keep me on the right track and challenge my thinking at times.
I often listen to replays of the Insider Circle calls from last year and this year on my MP3 player while wandering around doing chores or just sitting and relaxing…Its great to have your comments and answers to many of the issues that come up for me from time to time.
Your Naked liberty book is so inspiring. It must have been the most wonderful time for you roaming the desert with no fences and going up into the mountains to be with the mustangs over several summers. I was transported in my mind imagining it all and reminiscing about my own childhood, where we would be out exploring the countryside for hours on end and only come inside at sunset.
I have been using your method with an 8 yr old thoroughbred gelding who was bred to race but sold off at the age of 3 when he started ‘roaring’.
My daughter bought him to get back into riding after her first child and train for eventing, but she just got too frustrated having to push so much to get him to do anything, let alone compete! This horse was very ‘wired’ and ended up with a serious hoof injury after running into a fence. It needed several months of rest and NO riding so I agreed to look after him for her. This horse wasn’t one bit what I expected though – He was very rude and pushy, barging right through you to get to where he wanted to go!! To be honest, I felt very intimidated and even a bit scared of this huge, nervous creature when he first arrived. I decided I needed to focus on getting him calm and relaxed so his foot would heal and I don’t remember how I first found you – But I’m sure glad I did!
We’ve been going pretty slowly with the WR’s and sometimes it feels like I’m a bit stuck…but its an organic thing that changes and grows depending on what’s going on at the time. He has calmed down so much and is mostly very soft and polite these days. We still have a way to go though, as he gets a stuck gas peddle sometimes and resists moving forward. At first I would just change the subject and allow him to say No, but lately, I have been playing the ‘eye contact’ game and using the reed more to send him away. I use leading from behind a lot and it is definitely having a positive effect, he is more focused and interested in doing things together. He has another gelding for a paddock buddy and most of my interactions with them are in the pasture at liberty where we ‘hang out’ together a lot.
I have had some absolutely wonderful experiences sharing territory and going for long walks ‘in hand’ with the two of them. We go for adventures to find sweet grass to eat and roll in the sand down at the river – its great fun….I have only ever heard him ‘roar’ once in the whole time he’s been here (going on 3 years now) and I’m convinced it was all connected to stress and anxiety anyway….

The waterhole Rituals and your guidance have really helped to build my confidence and understanding of horse behaviour and I’m sure he feels much more confident of me…I just wish I lived a bit closer!!!

Thanks so much Carolyn for your generosity in making yourself available to us all…It is a very big commitment on your part and like everyone else, I appreciate it very, very much…..

Annzara - 6 years ago Reply

Checking in!I love reading your blog and always find something inspirational and helpful for my journey.

Sabina van Duijvendijk - 6 years ago Reply

Hello,

To stay in touch with your childhood innocence…. That was what I somehow lost along the way while working with horses. At the time I did not know what I had lost. Although it is hard for me as a grown up to find back that innocence and to get out of your head. To me it was the key to be really in the present in stead of worrying what to come and what was while working with the horses. Fun has come back and the fun response of the horses also but I am still learning. Thanks for the inspiration and I will follow this blog.

Sabina

Kerry Wright - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn

I commented on your last blog and didn’t put my full name so thought I’d let you know that, this is me! I’m an avid reader of your blog and am hoping that my personal journey will include being a student with you on another level very soon!

In the meantime I’m practising remaining patient and alert, ready for the opportunity to arise!

Thanks again for lifting the mood on a wet Wednesday in England
Kerry

PS Am I correct in thinking that the journal competition is just for the ‘actual’ students, so in-a-box or inner circle students?

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Kerry,
    Thank you for leaving me your full name.
    The Journal contest is for the box and inner circle only. Thank you for responding. Maybe next year you can join one of these programs and summit your journal and win a free spot.

      Kerry Wright - 6 years ago Reply

      Thanks Carolyn

      It seems fair that it would be for the box and inner circle students but I felt compelled to ask all the same!

      I’ll be there next time on both counts.

      Kerry

Carolyn Bourchier U.K. inner circle. - 6 years ago Reply

I also love your blog and am checking in. Thank you

Marja van Run - 6 years ago Reply

(In a Box 2010)

Carolyn, thanks for your advice of staying in our personal journeys, I completely understand why this is important and I will remember it. As former participants in your Inner Circle or In a Box courses we can exchange our experiences and discuss them on the Ning community site. Together with your blog this feels as a whole to me; thank you for giving the opportunity of participating in both.

Chris - 6 years ago Reply

Still checking in every week and enjoying the wisdom in this wonderful resource. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
Chris

Natalie - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn

Always read your blog and love it!

Thanks

Natalie

elisa - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
I love your blog
Thanks
Elisa

Abigail Morris - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I have been working through the WHR with my horses having watched and rewatched the DVD many times. I think it is important to stress that there is an awful lot going on in the DVD – it is much less simple than it appears on a viewing or two. Each time I watch (concentrating on one ritual at a time) I pick up on a different subtle reaction or cue that I missed before. This is deep stuff, and as you have stressed, not a simple how-to program.

I have been concentrating for the moment on work with a 9 yr old Spanish horse I rescued 9 months ago. He had been starved but not beaten or otherwise maltreated. He is quite timid with other horses, and quite cautious of new things but has a lovely temperament. When we began the WHR he was fairly unresponsive, which I think was due to my clumsiness in communicating. I have got better and refined my approach and for the first time a few days ago we danced!! Not only has my relationship with him changed but he is less timid and more sure of himself with the other 3 horses in the field. Working with the WHR has helped me to be much more aware of what I am presenting to my horses and to be less goal-orientated.
As you have said and stressed, sharing territory is fundamental. I am lucky to have my horses at home so I see them a lot, but like most people I am busy all the time. Sharing territory and sitting with one horse or another (I have fenced off a WHR work area in the field) has slowed me down and changed my relationship with all the horses. I highly recommend it!!!

So, thank you for taking the time to communicate with all of us – I live in France, isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!

Abigail Morris

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Abigail,
    Thank you for sharing and offering how my DVD is a helpful tool for you.
    The internet is a wonderful world for sure. It creates a way to find a family of like minds and hearts.

Monique Ros - 6 years ago Reply

Thanks

Lots of love

Monique

Kathy Cavanah - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

I look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday. I open my email and I wonder, “What does Carolyn have to say to me today?” I love your blog.

I have just started reading Connie Funk’s, “Beauty from Brokenness,” and I already highly recommend it.

Hertha James - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

I am helping a friend and her young horse gain an understanding of the rituals.

Like always, the horse knows them already. The person takes a little longer :-). But the progress is wonderful because they already have a very close and trusting relationship.

Bob, the horse is delighted that we are able to spend so much time with him (a special effort over two weeks). We played for a while and stopped for lunch. After lunch we took our chairs into the paddock he shares with his friend, for some more sharing territiory, and the two of them trotted over to us from the other end of the large paddock.

Bob is the sort of horse who looks quiet and maybe dull, but he is actually super sensitive and really wants to know what we’d like him to do next. His attention span is wonderful. He’s more quietly contemplative than outgoing and flashy. I think often horses like this get ‘overlooked’ and pushed way too hard.

Ruella - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
Just checking in to tell you I’m still practicing the WHR with my gelding, Renn, and our relationship has become the stuff of dreams. We were in your first WHR class, and loved the results. Now that I’m more experienced with the Rituals, the others in my herd are having the benefit of my learning, with lovely results. Eight months ago, I added a Welsh Pony mare to my little herd; she didn’t like humans at all, for her own good reasons. I sat with her for almost 6 months, determined to make her life better, until she voluntarily came to me with a lovely first contact. She is progressing nicely and is quite happy now; I’ve started her, and expect to begin riding her soon. I have so much more I’d love to share with you, but for now I’ll just say ‘Thank you’ for all the advice and instruction. I’m forever grateful, Ruella

Pat Lawrie (Insider's Circle) - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
Tho I don’t always comment, I do read all your words of wisdom each week and thank you for them.

I am in the process of completely changing the inside of my property in order to eek out a 50 foot round/square pen in which to have a dry area to work my horses. This is no easy task, but I simply decided it must be done. We’ve had so much rain this year that the field I currently use is muddy and too many mosquitoes to deal with in the tall grasses, not to mention the lush grass for them to eat. So I’ve not been doing much with the horses and am so looking forward to working with them more consistently once again when I have my own area. The thing I have noticed tho, is that once they have learned something, they never forget it, so it’s not like starting over.

In fact, when I went to the field down the street to get them tonite, it was dark and I couldn’t see them. But when I called them to me, I could hear them thundering over to me and came to a screeching halt when I said “whoa”. But there will always be “new beginnings” as we continue on our journey.

Pat

Amber Hinton - 6 years ago Reply

I sense your checking in with us, Carolyn. You don’t know how many times you have been in my living room, for I’ve watched your Waterhole Rituals DVD over and over to watch your movements, the horse’s movements, where your body is, the horse’s ears and energy and so on (Carla, order them, you won’t be disappointed!).

I don’t check in every week because only in the last three weeks have I had a separate arena in which to start the exercises, even though I’ve followed your blog for months. My goal was to soak in the teachings so I could practice them when the opportunity arose. I even practiced alone so I could be good and clear with my horse.

I do have a journal but am not sure how to send it to you? It amazes me how quickly we progress through the rituals, they are so intrinsic to us as spirit and the expression of Life itself. It’s like I always knew them and as an orphan foal I just needed to remember.

These are life skills that are applicable to all relationships. Clarity, authenticity, awareness, kindness, and above all, JOY! 🙂

Thank you, Carolyn. I deeply appreciate you. Amber

Dianne - 6 years ago Reply

Just checking in. I have learned so MUCH from the Waterhole Rituals. Dianne

Juergen Rust - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn,
You don’t know how much you inspire us (in this case: me). Each blog brings something so valuable that encourages me to go on. Your support is extremely valuable and very much appreciated.
While I am reading every blog it is often not possible to answer right away, but during the next hours and days my mind comes back to various points, which enforces what you wrote.
Unfortunately my office work keeps me rather busy, and I have to steel the time for you and your blog.
Last week you had that video clip 2/7 of the DNA connection, which explains to me telepathy of family members, who are very close, which I found fascinating. I have to follow up on this.
As far as my work with my friend “Pagan” is concerned, I can now slowly start again since we have found a way to help him with his soft soles, and he can now walk properly, without pain, again. He is 25 and enjoys the pasture during the week with his two buddies, and I do as much as I can during the weekends with him.
You asked recently for special moments. Mine is the memory of a solo trail ride with Pagan a few years ago, which led us through a 4 ft wide path in between dense hawthorn brush on both sides. Coming through this in a controlled canter we suddenly encountered a fallen ash tree right across the path. We could not easily turn and there was no way around the tree, which with all its branches closed the way. We stopped, I dismounted and, holding the reins in one hand, crawled under the trunk, which was not too big, but in between the branches. I put my shoulder underneath and lifted it up as much as possible, first with the shoulder than with my out-streched arm. There was only about a 5ft space below, between ground and those branches, and I asked Pagan to go through.
He carefully lowered himself and crawled through. I followed him and let the tree down again. When I mounted him and sat in the saddle he suddenly let out a loud sigh of relief. He had virtually kept his breath through the whole procedure. I gave him the reins and he instantly galopped out of this inhospitable area.
I am very much looking forward to next year’s insider circle in which I like to participate again. You mentioned often enough to take the time it takes, and we are making, following your advice, slow but steady progress.
Thanks, Carolyn for your blog, and I will check in more often.
Juergen,

Cynthia Cooper - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
One book that really started me on my journey of interspecies communication is ‘Kinship with all Life’ by J. Allen-Boone. Its an amazing story.
Other recent books that have helped are ‘Horses from our side of the Fence’ by Sandy Lagno and ‘One with the Herd’ by Liz Mitten Ryan.

There are so many great books out there – and I can’t wait to read your new one when it comes out.
Have a wonderful day,
Cynthia.

Catra - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn
I love your blog and I love all the sharing stories of how your students get on with their training of their personal journey with their horses. I understand your dilemma though of space on your blog. I look forward to the time when you will have a section dedicated to this area of sharing. I have learned so much from your blog and hope to keep learning.
Though this is a little off the subject I was curious about your WHRs DVD. Does it show how to do them or is it just horses communicating with each other? If I purchase it will I have an idea of what to teach my horse? Most of your students have liked your books and dvds, but there were a couple that wrote that it didn’t help them any, so you can understand my concern. If I do not like it do you have a money back guarantee? I am probably being over cautious, will it help me or would I just be better off to wait for your book coming out in Dec.?
Thank you,
Catra

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Catra,
    the Introduction of the Waterhole Rituals shows how to do each ritual by my interactions with a horse in couple of public clinics on how to use my method to create a working bond with a horse. You also have my blog to support you on anything you do not understand about the DVD. If you buy my DVD you are helping the blog stay alive. The sales helps to keep my sight running. I have no guarantees.
    If you are caution I would advise against the purchase of my DVD for you. I have a style of teaching that does not work for everyone especially if you are cautious by nature and are not sure of yourself and do not have a strong understanding of horses at liberty. I thing to grow with my method you need to read both books and watch the intro of the rituals first and once you get that down you then need to watch Panadero’s Journey to get a feel in how to approach the games around food. I have a Meditation DVD out that just shows horses in nature but I never meant it to be a DVD to teach the Waterhole Rituals. It is a DVD that can have a profound effect on your daily connection with yours if you watch in on a daily basic. It is meant to put the watcher in a state of bliss by watching horses in nature that are in family grounds and feeling alive, connected and happy.

Marianne Spitzform - 6 years ago Reply

Thanks Carolyn. I appreciate this emphasis. Just checking in.

Marianne

sherry thomson - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, (insider circle)
What I gained from working with you in the insider circle has been life changing and life altering. When I first spoke with you on the telephone I wished to work with a herd you gave me confidence and now because of the work I have done with the herd the gentleman who owns them has given me 3 of his horses in exchange for me working with his herd . Can you believe it ……. my passion my joy my love is now my work. I have quit my job as a nutritionist and now work with the herd full time, I love each of them and work with them in different ways mostly giving to them and asking what I can do for them ……. It works. Yesterday I was riding a big beautiful Canadian quarter horse she has amazing presence and stature, she actually communicated to me that I needed to ride her and as I was walking her around the grass ring a 4 wheeler came tearing up the back field where a herd of cows reside they stampeded off with the llama in pursuit and this created a small ruffle amongst the horses in the paddock beside the grass ring. Merie, the horse I was riding started to trot but I just remained still on her back and she stilled. What an experience of mutual trust and connection even among her herd mates in the next paddock. I love what I do! Thanks to you and your methods. It also reminds me to be still outside of the herd . Thanks so much. Blessings Sherry

Lisa Hill - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

Today was just one of those relaxing ST with my OTTB Magnum and his two mare friends. I grabbed a book and a bucket to sit on in the field and started to walk up the runway to the back pasture where he was. When I got to the top of the hill and he saw me. He came running up like where have you been I missed you. He has never done that before. Actually it kind of scared me at first. But he stopped right in front of me and stuck out his nose for me to pet. Some days I thought nothing was happening. But like you said something is happening.As I practice the WHR I can see little changes in our relationship and bonding. Thanks Carolyn!

Connie Huibregtse (insiders circle Spring 2010) - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn!

I will be turning in a journal! Just have abit more to do:)!

I like this post. I also like how you describe staying in the beginners mind. It is a very good reminder and I have found it to be true in the last couple weeks.

I had to change barns a couple weeks ago because my barn was unable to become a ‘legal’ boarding barn. Yowahtee and I had been there for nearly two years. I was uncertain how this would go, but it has gone very well. I am spending much time with him at the new barn, just being with him. I sit in his pasture with him, or on top of the round bale. I walk around with him, to show him the new place, and allow him to see all the horses that are there. I sit with him while he explores different areas, introduce him to his stall and the different hitching posts. The place is new to me, and it is easy to be in the beginners mind with Yowahtee.

We are becoming even closer. He had felt all of the turmoil at his prior barn and it is interesting that yesterday I noticed, he has lost his faded color look. His hair has returned to the beautiful dark brown black and bright white that is natural to him. In just two weeks, he has a glow around him. His lips are always relaxed as are all of the other horses lips at this place. He is not circling in his stall.

Yowahtee and I are again beginners at this new place and we are loving all the new learning and enthusiasm that is around us. We are also enjoying having the Waterhole Ritual consistency. It is something we share that is very special. Immediately, it relaxed him because of its familiarity to our relationship.

We went on our first trail ride of the season this past weekend and it was wonderful because of our connection. We were both in a completely new place, and yet, we were together to explore it.

We are working slowly through the rituals at the new barn and I feel they are an amazing part of our relationship, especially during this change. The bond is even more amazing and there is such a sense of warmth having these very special rituals to share where ever we find ourselves.

Diane E. - 6 years ago Reply

Dea Carolyn,
Thank you so much again for inviting us to your webiste and sharing all those examples of your method.
I attended Robin’s class and loved it and feel very lucky to happen upon you. it’s wonderful that you are expanding your teaching base to help more people connect from the heart and move with their horse, I can’t say enough good things about Robin, she’s simply amazing and a great ambassador for your Method- I learned a lot in 2 days! When I was young I used to exercise horses at Palo Verde Arabians in Sonoma Co. They had a trainer who bloodied their sides with spurs and bloodied their mouths. They even nerved their stallions tail (Aflame) to show better in western and he was mean after that because they took his beautiful flag away, and his pride. I loved working with those horses but had to quit because it was just too disturbing.

I love the beautiful light you are casting on the world, and the horses are surely noticing a difference.

Best Wishes to You,
Diane

Jane Karol - 6 years ago Reply

I am thoroughly enjoying reading your blog and loved Naked Liberty. Can’t wait to meet you in a few weeks.

Jane

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