Good Vibrations Sharing Territory™

Here is some information that should help you in how to approach the first Ritual- Sharing Territory. The approach is especially important in how you go about doing nothing with your horse. Sharing Territory in a certain way will help you to establish a deep connection in friendship.

When we begin to share the same vibrations and feeling a peace in the moment, a natural friendship takes shape. It takes no effort or skill just being with your horse and following some simple criteria. Start by sitting with your horse. Read a book, or write in a journal, or any other quiet activity that puts you into the moment will draw your horse to you while you are waiting for him to connect.

sharing territory

To create a true bond with a horse from the horse’s perspective, you need to wait for the horse to come to you first, without tack, and fully able to choose when he would like to get to know you better. This is something humans rarely think of doing. I have found that sharing this little secret with my students has changed their horses’ performances to a complete harmonious dance. For those of you who have not been interested in performance, it will allow you to develop a relationship as deep as the one you could share with your dog.

If you go to the horse and bond with him by pressuring him to bond like the typical round pen approach-the horse learns that it is better to bond than not to. This is a false bond, or a bond that requires many conditions for it to exist. In this case, the horse will always prefer being with other horses than with you. It takes skill to use a round pen to even try to develop a bond and many things can go wrong. It doesn’t take any special skill to sit with your horse and to read a book and share a harmonious space together. If you have forced a false bond, you can start over by Sharing Territory with your horse and it will deepen the bond to a true heart connection that a horse is capable of having.

Sharing Territory without any need for connection is a strong icebreaker and a big draw to a horse. From the pause, your vibrations will begin to match your horse’s. This causes a horse to want to be with you- and both you and your horse’s well-being will increase.

If you would like to share, I would love to hear from you in your own words why the pause has so much power to develop a relationship with your horse to a deeper connection. Also, if you would like to ask any other questions you may have, you can always put them in the comments section in the current blog. It would also be fun if you sent pictures showing the connection in friendship you share with your horse!!

Carolyn

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Elizabeth - a few days ago Reply

Hello Caroline,
I have been following your instruction now for some time. My x pacer has been damaged both physically and mentally through the “sport” of pacing/ trotting. I did drive him in a competition when I was not aware of his problems. When I arrived home after a 5 hour journey, I realized he was not quite right. He went for me teeth and all. Got me too. Then I found you on Horse Consciousness. The beginning of OUR journey,
I was determined to give him time, and encouragement to heal. He is now in pretty good shape physically. His feet are now in good shape, his chest muscles have repaired, and his ligament in the hip joint are promising to heal eventually. He will require ongoing therapy. I am told he will be OK to work at a easygoing pace. He has never been ridden, and I intend for him to push a light weight sulky ( jinker)
We began with the Chair challenge. So far so good. It is only sometimes he will walk away, and hide behind the draught horse, his friend. In the round yard he will walk with me, in the paddock he often, will not. The companion walking went well the other day. When we work at liberty he will trot and walk and canter, and do what ever I ask. He follows me around objects at liberty. He reads my energy like a book. I can ask him to move away from food and to wait for his dinner. He learnt that very quickly, and I learnt that I was important enough for him to acknowledge my energy, when asking him to move. I find leading from behind in an open paddock, challenging. He is not a spooky type and seems to enjoy some work although not ar 40*C.
I feel I am changing as well and I wait now for a communication that goes both ways, and it was, and still is difficult at times. It brings tears to my eyes when we have that magnetic connection. My time with my boy Jharma is limited, and I feel we need to have that special mutual trust, as carriage driving is not for the faint hearted. No legs, only hands and voice.
Just want to say thank you.
Elizabeth

Vivien - a couple of weeks ago Reply

Hi
I am planning my first attempt at the Chair challenge on Wednesday, could someone tell me if this would be best in the field that he shares with two other horses and quite a lot of mud or would this be best in a manage or stable, as we have no gass to speak of and he is usually Hungary I suspect he will want to be with me as he sees food when I am around, and same in the manage, but in the stable he will have haylage to eat , as food is far more important than sharing space with me .

    Carolyn Resnick - a couple of weeks ago Reply

    Hi Vivien – In answer to your question, you might try sharing territory in different places, this way you can choose the best spot, where he’s least likely to look for food from you. What’s most important about sharing territory is your ability to get in a state of neutral. In this state, you will develop an ability to communicate with your horse naturally. Sharing territory is not just about being together, it’s more about having that shared state of being and this creates a deeper connection with your horse.

Susan Warner - last month Reply

You know, I really took a “pause”! I took a pause from my whole way of being with horses. I decided to just stop riding my new rescue mare, Lois Lane and break it on down to a proper “getting to know you” because she had some deep fears R/T being ridden, which showed up big-time when I first bought her. I decided to do the Chair Challenge and NO other work at all, though I had been ground-driving her and riding her almost daily for the month I first met her. Now I look at this and understand that here I am…bursting into her world…ready to ride, to say the least…and, well, not even a proper hello! This horse is clearly of a very gentle nature and has great ground manners, so she was no “problem horse”, so I figured this would help. Now I am so detached from expectations that I will just see what will be, but in the meantime, I am learning from her more about horses than I knew was there, and this is after over 30 years of riding and competing in gymkhanna. The pause is healing me and I can’t think it would not heal her as well!

    Carolyn Resnick - a couple of weeks ago Reply

    Hi Susan, the major purpose of the Chair Challenge is what you have hit upon. I believe what you have shared here, will help others to see the value received in practicing the “pause”. What I would like people to understand, and which you have pointed out so clearly is that one’s communication ability, one’s understanding of horses, how to read your horse, how to get your horse to fall in love with you from your actions… comes from the practice of the pause. I would like to hear what transpires with you and Lois going forward. Warmly, Carolyn

Elodie Belz - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,

I just wanted to say that I will be Sharing Territory with the horse I am taking care of for the first time next sunday morning. He is a 13 years old gelding with a bit of a sad story, and he does not trust humans. He just wants to runaway from them. One cannot lead him with a halter, only with the bit in his mouth.

It really breaks my heart to see him like this. I would like to protect him, to show him that it does not have to be like that. But I know that first, I have to let him all the time he needs and let him come to me on his own free will. Your post is an inspiration for me. I will remember your words when I will be waiting for him. And I will give you some news of us later!

Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge,
Elodie

Emma - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
What a wonderful post. I have printed it out to read it it again and again. I don’t know if you remember me. I was in your last WRIC course….”in the Box”. I am the one with the mare who has been abused….and does not trust me at all if I approach with a reed or anything hinting at a conventional whip.
I learned so much from studying the first ritual and my mare…mostly about my intentions. My agenda was that she would love me – and trust me. I love her very much. But, my intention was not pure…it was not about my showing her I loved her…..no strings attached.
So, after i had simply walked up to her with the reed – a very simple gesture but a big mistake with her….I had to start over. She actually started charging me at the fence line. That is how deep her distrust is. I took stock, reread and re-listened to your talks and realized that I needed to just show her that I loved her and that I respected all of her boundaries….moving at her pace. It is working.
I have come to the point where I don’t think about whether or not she will love me. I think about my gratitude that she is in my life and how beautiful she is in the pasture and how glad I am that I can offer her a safe home with food and shelter and companionship. It is a blessing to see her relax and to become more comfortable “in her skin.” I can see also, in her eyes, that she is grateful for this understanding I have reached.
Thanks so much for your blog, Carolyn. It is a real gift in my life.
Emma

Hannah Rivard - 6 years ago Reply

One of the ways the pause has been so helpful with Maia and I is that is seems to actually release endorphins and make her feel so, so good. She has learned that at certain times when I am resting, praising, etc, she can drop her head and totally relax if she wants to, and she often does. She gets into such a happy state that a lot of craziness can be going on and she doesn’t even mind — the other day I was on her bareback and bridleless in the pasture and the whole herd took off running and she just stood with her head low and barely even flinched.

Without the pause, it is just flailing hands trying to grasp each other, but with the pause, the hands connect, and it becomes a dance.

Blessings,
Hannah

stina - 6 years ago Reply

checking in

Louisa - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
I do not own a horse, but I just wanted to say that before I discovered you and your wonderful techniques not so long ago, myself and my two daughters (8 and 5) were walking through a field when we came across 14 horses who were free to roam at will and we decided to approach them.

We found ourselves spending the entire afternoon with them, just sitting, moving amongst them and relaxing. We talked to them, stroked them and got the feeling of who was boss and who was not. I have to say that this was one of the most magical afternoons of my life. It seemed that my daughters knew what to do instinctively (if I did not) showing caution but no fear and we all ended up sitting underneath the heads of two horses who wanted to stay with us whilst the rest of the herd moved off. We spent a blissful half hour feeling their sweet breath on our hair and backs of our necks.

When the dominant female returned after that half hour, I became more vigilant with my girls, but she seemed to want to protect us from the rest of the herd who would rush around together and seem a little overwhelming at times. This one mare got everyone in order, including us, which actually made me feel very safe and allowed me to relax again.

Anyway, I was inspired by your post to write this story and I have at last been able to understand (through your waterhole rituals) how, when one comes to a herd of horses with no agenda, only perhaps a desire to experience being with them, magical things can happen.

I still think of these horses and talk with my daughters about them from time to time as we gave them all names that afternoon and even though we have never seen them since, I still feel overwhelmingly connected to them.

thank you for a great blog,

Louisa.

Terry - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn,
I apologize if I am a bit off the subject, but I would appreciate your opinion and advice on this .
My 10 year old daughter and I have started spending a lot of time ST with her mare Anya and Anya’s 10 month old filly. They are both adorable and gentle. They are very attached to each other. Anya is a very nurturing mother and doesn’t like Anoushka far from her sight, though Anoushka is often very eager to go on an adventure. Hpwever Anya is very okay with us doing anything with Anoushka. My question, dilemma, is of weaning and separating them. With my other mare, the colt eventually lost interest in his mother and buddied up with an older gelding, he was quite independent, and the mother was happy to see him off. But Anya and Anoushka are very different, they are very tied to each other, maybe because they are both female, I don’t know. I would hate to cruelly separate them, if it is not necessary. When my daughter rides Anya on the beach, Anoushka follows, it is not always easy and she can be a bit of a danger as she races around her mother, jumping ,dancing and kicking with glee. She is very happy.
In the wild this would happen naturally , and I would like it to happen this way for them, they obviously have a strong tie. I must add, Anya is also in foal , (we bought her this way, we didn’t know til we already had her a few months, apparently it was an accident)Am I doing the right thing ,leaving them together and when she has her next foal, they will naturally be more independent of each other? At feeding time with their grain ,i have gotten them into the habit of eating separately in their adjoining stalls, but at night they sleep together and during the day they are in the pasture together.
They have a loving connection, is it really necessary to break that? Or can I just let them be, which is what I would like to do?
I love this blog and reading every post and have just ordered the DVD of Panadero’s Journey.
Everything is going very well with my adopted stallion and ST is going so well with him, we are getting to know each other. I am definitely the more meditative type person, so dancing will be more of a challenge for me.
Thank you for inspiring me.
Terry

Samantha Martel - 6 years ago Reply

Hello,

My husband and I have been spending time and space with our horses, Tucker and Wandosa, every day for a few months now, and feel a bond between us that I never thought was possible. I don’t ride very much – mostly because I can’t ride well anymore (I had an accident riding a long time ago and some things hurt a lot when riding), but when I have ridden it’s been wonderful but short.

I wanted to write though and say that the trust that has developed with our horses is evident in how they are acting to us. About two weeks ago, we had a very severe wind storm (two tornadoes touched down in our town), and many large trees came down on our property, some quite close to the paddock. The horses were safely inside during the storm, so no harm came to anyone, however the next day the wind was severe again. Rob and I were outside in the paddock just sitting and talking, and Tucker and Wandosa were at the far end grazing. The wind caused a tree, which had broken with the first storm, to fall – making an incredible crashing sound, this was only about 20 feet from the end of the paddock, so quite close to where Tucker and Wandosa were. Both horses startled and bolted, running the entire length of the paddock – and they came straight to us (we were in the farthest end away from them at the time). They both stopped about 5 feet or so beside us – both were notable agitated, but they came right to us and seemed to calm almost instantly. They just stayed beside us then, and we continued talking – Rob casually began to pet Wandosa’s neck. It made us feel very good that when they thought there was danger or trouble, they knew they could come to us and we’d be there with them and all would be fine. After a few minutes, they were relaxed and happy again and went about grazing.

thank you for giving us a way to communicate with them and have them understand that we care and will stand by them

have a great weekend – it is a lovely time of year here, Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.

samantha

Hertha James - 6 years ago Reply

Here is a new horse sighting. Bob is a 4-year old quarter horse. He is beginning to learn the rituals. We’ve just spend time with him over 8 days doing them and getting him happy with girthing and bicycles, but that’s another story!.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSdI0DfjZLg

Toni Farrell - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Thanks for the post. I usually S.T. with my horses by “grazing” with them. My pasture is 4 acres, and it has some weeds. So, I go out and say hello, walk away a little and pull weeds for about an hour. I find myself working my way away from my horses as I search for weeds, but my horses keep their eye on me and follow. They come over to say hello, see if my “stash” is better than theirs, then keep about 5 feet distance. This little dance goes on for the entire time I’m out in the pasture. If I go into the pasture without saying hello first, and just start pulling weeds, the horses come over, say hello, and stick around. It feels wonderful.

Last Monday, my husband and I spread 13 yards of stall dirt down the center isle of the barn with a skid loader. My horses were very curious. Nothing bothered them, not the sound of the machine, the bucket going up and down, the dirt slamming onto the ground, the movement, nothing! They followed my husband while he loaded up and dumped each load, sniffed around while we both raked the dirt into place, and generally supervised the whole thing. We both were laughing at their antics and curiosity. When we were finished, the horses inspected everything for a long while, and then went off to graze.

It surprised me a little because my horses are not used to such things, but I can tell that they were making a statement of trust. If I wasn’t afraid of all the clammor, neither were they. In fact I encourraged them to sniff and explore. It became a fun game.

Toni

    Moyna Smeaton - 6 years ago Reply

    Hi Toni,
    I share this ‘grazing’ ritual with my horses too, it’s just as you describe. Most enjoyable, as well as practical. It has also cured my Paso “Rinaldo’ of his fear of the ‘scary, noisy chaff bag’ I use to collect the weeds in.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Moyna & Da Boyz

Holly Vanasse Insiders Circle - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
Sharing Territory is my favorite ritual! I think that for me it has been so powerful to deepen the relationship that Gunny and I share because I finally have let go of having an agenda. I have many pictures of magical moments that have occurred during Sharing Territory, but unfortunately they are all only in my mind because these moments happen when you least expect it.

I use the pause within all of our interactions together. When we are doing the other rituals or anything at all really and it starts to go in a direction I don’t want, I will pause and notice the birds singing and the sun on my face. After awhile I will feel a shift and the harmony returns and we can continue on our way.

During Companion Walking, sometimes the energy shifts from walking together, to one where Gunny thinks he is telling me where and how we are going to go. When this happens, I pause for awhile and then we are usually able to walk together as one again.
~Holly

Rathel Gincig - 6 years ago Reply

I am a deliquent poster, but a regular reader. I did the first insider class. It was life changing. Over many months I have worked with the Rituals in most of our program horses, one in particular. He has turned around dramatically. I rarely use a lead rope with him. However, last week we were companion walking together as we often do, and he was particularly mellow. Then somehow I became aware of a type of energy field between us. I was aware when I was in it, and when I walked out of it. He was, too!
I was so excited I could barely speak. I thought “this is it…the magnetic connection!” I had seen it behaviorally and knew it happened, but after months this is the first time I actually felt it myself!

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Rathel,
    Thank you for sharing. You will keep increasing your awareness for the magnetic connection. At some point you will start to feel where you need to be in relationship to your horse to activate the magnetic connection, once you can feel where to be with a horse that is not feeling connected to you it takes only take a slight shift away for the horse and then to sway gently back and repeat it will pull the horse right to you like magic. He will be as attached to you as if he has knowing you for years.

Marja van Run - 6 years ago Reply

I just remembered a very special experience I had with Sharing Territory.
My husband and I had been away all day and when we got home I was very tired. I needed some peace and rest and decided to go sit with my horses. I sat down in the center of the round pen and one by one all seven horses entered the round pen and slowly formed a kind of star around me, all facing me. They were very peaceful, not bugging or chasing each other at all, and taking turns in touching and sniffing me very gently. It felt like I was being absorbed in a bubble of peaceful, uplifting energy. I sat there for what felt like about half an hour (but in fact I really don’t know how long it was), then the ‘star’ of horses slowly fell apart and all horses went their own way again. It was an awesome experience which had totally refreshed me with new energy!

    Marja van Run - 6 years ago Reply

    P.S.: what a beautiful, awesome tree there is on your picture Carolyn… It just radiates such a powerful peace and safety!

Angela Frey - 6 years ago Reply

I love your blog Caroline, you are such an inspiration to me here in South Africa. I have had the most wonderful experience, this week my mare Shasta gave birth to her foal(a colt) Fuji Fire Star. I have been waiting with baited breath his arrival. She allowed me to be present at the birth and to touch and handle him from the first day. He is quiet a firey little man, at 6 days old he gallops circles around him mother.
I am a bit concerned though, in that because he is my first experience of being with a new foal from the start I am not sure how to encourage correct behaviour around people. He already mounts his mother and has started play rearing at me and it is not a behaviour I want to encourage but nor do I want to stifle his enthusiasm for play. How do I correct or stop this behaviour? Should I rather limit my interaction with him?
I have just been rubbing him all over and chatting, he also mouths me and tries to suckle any clothing or body part he can get hold of! It has been my habit to sit daily with the horses ST(I have a pony too) and just chill out with them watching the chickens do their thing. I do not want to stop this because they are my sanity keepers and I need to hang out with them. Please can you give me some advice? Thanks so much…

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Angela,
    At fist your foal will not understand he is being pushy because he is to young to understand the concept and when he does not understand you allow him his behavior. When he seems to have move understanding, When your foal is not trying to connect with you or tell you he is the big one, you need to chase him from you so he can learn how to stay out of your space when you need it. Do it kindly but get the job done. It is the way horses socialize the young. After he learns this at a time he is not being too pushy you can then tell him not to be pushy by asking him to leave and he will leave with out a fuss.
    It would be a good idea to take the next Inside Circle program with him.
    It will be fun for the class and a good way to develop his intelligence and develop his desire to fit in with others. It will being in the Spring
    Hope this is of help.

tine laperre - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn
I did sharing territory with all the horses together. Patusco wanted to play with me. I thought about all kind of situations in which we had to response as a team and so we started our act, introducing the rituals whenever needed. Sometimes we had to run away from danger (go and come) , or we had to walk in an indian line on a small path, or I showed him where we could find water or sometimes I asked him where he would lead me to to find something to eat or we walked together over the prairie (companion walk) etc. It was just a big game! He just loved it! When we finished, I stayed a while with him, he was so tender and soft and loving. I let him with the others and after leaving him, he made little noices and I wished I was a horse and could stay with him. It was the first time he spoke to me that way, he repeated it several times when he could see me.
I think that the best games are these you believe in!

I do have some questions: when I’m around the horses, the mare leaves Jaguy alone and accept him but when I’m not there, she chases him away. Is there something I can do about that?
What can you advice to introduce a new horse in a herd. The new one stood alonet for one week, he is very interested in the herd. He already had contact with the lower ranking horses and they don’t care about him. The two higher ranking horses are vere close to one another and they try to attack the new one in team. They have grass and can run from one pasture to another. What would you suggest to do? Thanks for your reply. Tine

Stuart - 6 years ago Reply

As you know, Carolyn, my favorite ritual…. : )

Stuart

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Stuart,
    It is my favorite ritual as well but as social directors we must develop the herd to grow in how to be a partner and work well with others. It is important to develop The mind of the horse to want to fit in and serve others so he becomes a care taker. We need to show a horse how to take harmonious action when asked to in times of needed communication and interaction. The other part is horses love this kind of leadership and long for it. There is always the pause and the dance. I find that people who like meditation alot need to practice the dance more and the dancer need to meditate more. Life is a stretch to be enjoyed.

Kath - 6 years ago Reply

I love ST and am delighted to have found someone who advocates it publicly and has come up with a program to grow from it. We have 4 horses who are all very different in past history, likes and nature. I have found many different ways to ST with them (I don’t separate them, but let them move around me in their normal herd interactions). Sometimes I simply sit and meditate…..I find that being with them helps me find that very powerful place “In the Moment” which is magical. When I’m in that space, they all are very quiet and respectful, happy to simply stand around me and I’m convinced they are supporting me in holding the NOW and the strong awareness that brings. Other times I might read a book, in which case they will each take their turn to say hello and check out my book, perhaps ask for a scratch and either move off or stand around lazily. I’m lucky enough to have a partner who also loves the horses and supports the idea of just being with them….so we will often end the day sitting down with the horses, enjoying quiet conversation, letting the horses choose if they want to interact and having the dogs tussle around our feet. These days when I go out to dig out weeds in the horse pastures, the horses all move with me, grazing but keeping a casual awareness of where I am and moving as one as I slowly move across the land, zig zagging as I look for weeds. ST has helped me to learn to enjoy even the most mundane of chores!

So thank you Carolyn and also to everyone else who shares these beautiful stories.

Michele - 6 years ago Reply

Hi,

I have only been riding for one year and currently lease an ex-racehorse Thoroughbred Gelding from a local equestrian center. I am considering buying him and this would be my first horse ever. I want to share territory with him to help develop our bond but he lives in a stall and the center won’t allow me to take him into the corral and when we’re in the ring we have to work. Am I crowding his space by sitting in his stall with him? It’s about 15ft square.

Thank you
Michele

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Michele,
    I can not judge this. Ask someone if they thing you could do it safely. Sometimes sitting in a stall is fine. Not all horses would I choose to start sitting in a stall first because a horse in a stall in the beginning can react defensively.

Berenika Bratny - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn
The Sharing Territory Ritual changed my relationship with all of my horses. I don’t know anything that can deepen the bond so much. I have a TB mare, who was previously seriously abused. For years I tried to make her like me and nothing worked. So I decided to let her live her life the way se wants. She was just grazing with other horses. She never approached me. She wasn’t aggressive any more, but she never looked for my company. I thought that this is still a success and that I cannot count on anything more. Then I found Your method and tried ST with her. And suddenly a miracle! She loves reading a book with me. When she sees me coming with a chair and a book she approaches and never leaves my side. Sometimes she grazes near the chair but most of the time she just sleeps with her muzzle over my head. I do not ride her but we spend a lot of time together, she goes for a walk with me leaving all the other horses. That would never ever happen before. I live in a wonderful place with a lot of meadows and pastures so sometimes friends visit me with their horses. I tell them about Your ST ritual and everybody wants to try. I noticed that people have a lot of problems with it because at first they are so focused on their horses, wanting them to come so much that they make pressure on them by gazing or even thinking. So I give everyone a piece of paper and a pen and tell them that if they cannot concentrate on the book, they should write down their feeling, emotions, thoughts and tell them to mark it in red when the horse approaches. And most of the cases the horse comes to them when tey stop thinking “wher is he”, “why doesn’t he come”, “I want him to come” and they focus on something else, like the clouds above, or the cat that plays in the sand or when they come back to their book and really get involved in reading. It is a lot of fun to watch this miracle happening infront of our eyes. For me ST is the most groundbreaking discovery in horsetraining, really. It changed my way of thinking not only about horses but about many other things in life. Thank You.

Carolyn - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn,
Another wonderful uplifting post. The sitting had so much impact on how True and I relate I will never be able to thank you enough. More to do but what a change that has made for the both of us. And what transpired during that early time between the two of us, I will never forget. How to do want pictures sent?
Leanna(Inner Circle.)

    Carolyn - 6 years ago Reply

    Carolyn,
    Was there a reply to my note, that got deleted somehow? Have a wonderful day.
    Leanna

cris davies - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn

i have a large lawn and it has never been mown as i dont have a mower, my horses are my lawn mower ,and i have always sat in the garden with them,just being 🙂 does this count as ST. I have had lots of interation over the years, but moving away from them when they become pushy ,was just fantastic , watching their faces was a treat ,then the respect that comes is amaizing . it didnt take them long to get the message …..

thanks for the reminder,
chris

Dianne - 6 years ago Reply

Thanks again for another timely post and timely reminder to “pause” and just be.

Stephanie Morse - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn

I’m going to send this to some of my horse-owning friends, I hope they realize the power of this ritual.

I don’t do anything with my horses at the moment, they are all unbroke and I don’t want to start trying anything until I can do it consistantly. But I do notice that when I do sit with them on an afternoon, they are much more willing to do the simple things I do ask of them, like just going into a stall or something like that.

Since I shared territory with the fellows last weekend, Monkey has been a little more willing to come into a stall for his feed and let me put a halter on him. If I don’t share territory for a while, I know he will decide that I am no fun and he won’t be willing to be haltered and brought in the barn.

I read a great book last weekend and you and some of your followers might also find it enjoyable. It’s called ‘A Horse of a Different Color’ and was written by Jim Squires, the breeder of the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. He tells his story with a sense of poking fun at himself and I saw myself in parts of the story. I got a few good chuckles out of it.

I do have a question, I am rather isolated so my horses really only deal with me, the farrier every 6 weeks and the vet, very occasionally. the youngsters (and all of them) are comfortable in my presence, but other folks make them nervous. Aside from trying to have the farrier come out and share territory with them, do you have any suggestions as to how I can get them to be more comfortable around other people? Would it come from me spending more time with them so they can see that if the new people don’t bother me, the horses shouldn’t be nervous around them also?

I would love to post some pics of me and the crew, I’ll have to get someone to come over and take some for me.

Diana - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn,

I am a newbie practicing the waterhole rituals. A friend introduced it to me, and I was immediately taken in by it all. The peaceful lessons, and the profound meaning I find in the exercises had me hooked.

I recently lost one of my horses and the relationship changed between the horse that was left and myself. Either that, or it became evident to me that I did not have the bond I preceived to have with him. I had this strong connection with the horse that I lost. I was with him for many years, and my second horse, that I have now, has not been with me as long. He is younger. The horse I lost was older. I would describe him as the wise, faithful friend where his prescence in the room meant an unspoken connection. A communication that was telepathic. I miss him, but I have my horse Jay to think of now and our relationship. So, the Waterhole Rituals I practice for the higher goodness of us both.

I think the part that has become a more heightened awareness with the waterhole rituals is not just the relationship with Jay that is developing, but the profound lessons I am learning about myself and the human relationships I have or have had. I can clearly see now how stuck ways of being have resulted in unpleasant relationships. I can see many things about interacting with others, as a business owner, as a person with many types of relationships are changing my ways and perceptions. I have become aware of the correlation between what I learn from the waterhole rituals, developing a mutually respectful and peaceful space with my horse, can also be applied to other areas and relationships in my life. That is what has become the most insighful lessons for me.

Thank You!

Christian Gundermann - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I agree with what many others have said here before. The pause brings magical results with horses.

I’ll share a little story about a horse I haven’t written about here before. I have an old companion horse (30 years now) for my mare (Lili), a retired police horse (Gambler) with many many issues. He didn’t like to be haltered or fly-masked when he came to us. Trimming his feet was a real challenge as he would go ballistic from even seeing a rasp (and I only trim him myself because there is no farrier here with the skills that could make him comfortable). Worming was a drama, too. Over this past summer, I have spent lots of time sitting with my horses. I have never “worked” with him as he was already quite unsound, muscle-atrophied, and severely undernourished when he came to me. But he indirectly received the benefit of my sitting in the paddock (consciously for Lili). This summer, without me ever doing anything in the way of desensitizing or training him to lower his head (he is 17hh2), one day he just offered to lower his head and put it in the halter. The same with the fly mask, which used to truly frighten him. The last time I wormed him, and had put on my oldest, dirtiest t-shirt and had gotten ready for a l-o-n-g experience with wormer paste all over me, he just opened his mouth and stood there with his head down and I squirted the paste in his mouth. No adverse reaction. It blew me away, because he is literally the one of my three horses that I have not “worked” with ever (nothing beyond the first two rituals). And he came to me at such an advanced age and with so much baggage. It just happened “by itself”….. The result of never making him do anything, and spending lots of time doing nothing (and not even focusing on him). We have a real bond of friendship now, and there is one other horse who comes in the paddock with Lili and Gambler during the day (not mine), who sometimes attacks Gambler (not viciously, I wouldn’t have allowed that). Gambler is old, weak and defenseless. Both Lili and I shield him and defend him, and the other horse has become mellower, as a consequence of our protection. Gambler knows and appreciates the protection he receives. Horses age with such dignity. It never ceases to inspire me.

My best to all,

Christian

tine laperre - 6 years ago Reply

Sharing territory is like magic! I regularly do yoga exercices among the horses while they are eating their hay. It brings a calmness over the whole herd. They are no longer interested in chasing one another away.
When I’m finished doing my exercices, the horses are watching me with soft eyes and some leave their hay and come to say hello and then go back to their haypile.
I just love it! Tine

Erin Rodriguez - 6 years ago Reply

I think that sharing territory helps the human to enable to match the horse’s vibration because the human FINALLY stops outflowing to the horse trying to transform the horse to his ideals in a clashing of energies; instead he enables himself to just be still and allows him to align to the vibrations of other beings (all of nature including the horse). This creates, as you’ve stated before, a deep cellular bond and then along with that, we can flow along with nature’s energy and guide it productively as we see fit, by working with it.

Toby Houtman (insider circle) - 6 years ago Reply

Hi, checking in, always enjoying your blogs and also always enjoying sharing territory with Juno.

Fiona Blachford - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
I have also had incredible breakthroughs with my 2 boys sharing territory. I have been practising your method for around 2 years now, and the time we share, the better the connection gets. I never felt confident enough to get past sharing territory and saying hello last year, with a little eye contact and reciprocal movement thrown in at times. We developed such a solid bond and easy relaxed feel with each other just hanging out together. I think all the time spent out in the field has done wonders for my sense of calm and I now feel a lot more confident to ask for more pace and energy without feeling frightened by it. I have some ‘gas pedal’ issues at times, with my 8 yr old TB gelding who is dominant by nature, but he’s mostly very polite with me these days.
We often go for long walks on line for exercise and a change of scenery and they love to go down to river on a hot day to paw and splash in the water and to roll around in the deep sand. Passers-by sometimes comment that it looks like I’m taking a couple of big dogs for a walk. It must look funny watching the three of us wandering around the countryside, but I don’t care! Its great fun for all of us…
Last weekend, I had to walk them both to a new pasture on another property. At about the halfway mark, we stopped to say hello to a little mare friend who was on her own in a paddock and when it came time to move on – after about 5-10 minutes, George, (my big guy) just refused to go any further. i wasn’t too phased by this, so we just hung around some more and waited a while until I asked him to move off again. the other horse was getting pretty impatient to go by then and he was all up and ready, but George still refused to budge. He was a bit footsore and I had to do some thinking about this, as I didn’t want to make it into a big issue. the thought came to me – ‘What if I just tie the lead up round his neck and walk off with the other horse, then he can make up his own mind about whether he wanted to come or not’ – so that’s what I did. He let us go ahead a bit and I called to him while we waited for him to catch up and sure enough, he gingerly, picked the easiest route to get to us and came along side. It was a huge moment for us, as I have never allowed them to be at liberty away from home (in case of running off and getting hit by a car or any number of other hazards) It all felt so normal and relaxed and we just kept on going until we got home.

Sorry, for the ‘novel’ but I really wanted to share this experience with you all to show how valuable spending time sharing territory is to form that deep bond and ‘magnetic connection’ where time stands still and you can just about read each other’s thoughts, enjoying every moment in each others company….

Thanks a million Carolyn – You’re such an inspiration…

Marja van Run - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, you can never write too much about Sharing Territory and pausing with our horses. I have learnt appreciating the value of the pause so much, not only the pause by Sharing Territory, sitting and reading a book, but also the many little pauses during working on the other Waterhole Rituals and the other training that I do (straightening exercises from the Academic Art of Riding – Bent Branderup). The pauses make it possible for experiences and thoughts to ‘sink in’, in the horse as well as in the human. And I love to watch the deep sigh and the chewing and licking of the horse.
This morning I was doing some academic straightening exercises with Saegola and all the work we did felt like not-working, but like one big pause. It seems like the taking many pauses in the beginning has brought me the ability to now work with my horse in that same attitude/intention as I would have while pausing, even when I’m not pausing. Does this still make sense ;-)? I felt so relaxed all the time and Saegola as well; she was licking and chewing all the time and moving with such eagerness and flexibility. Heavenly :-)!

Monique Ros - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolin

Sharing Territory I do a lot, it’s like a meditation for me.
The horses come and go, and some times the standing around me from a little distand if the reading the book with me, so beuatiful. Or maybe they see the pictures i create in my mind, when i reading a good book Carolyn?

I notice that the horses only come to me closer after i reading for i wile and become more in to the book. The vibration from the hoses put me in a quiet energy.

I guess that’s why you’ll have builds up a better relationship with the horses if you do Sharing Territory. Because often, we are not there.

I am there Carolyn, thank you so much

Lots of love

Monique

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

Checking in- Life is good – Thank you

Linni - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn,
.
This is the first time I have responded to any blog, have been inspired by recently starting to adopt the waterhole rituals. The search for something more profound in my training techniques started with the arrival of a small loan pony, following the death of my beloved old mare. We drafted in loan pony, who came as “hard to catch but fine to lead rein” My 5year old son was delighted, a pony to ride !We started to gently handle her and realised before too long that she was seriously unhappy around humans. The poor pony was very evasive of any physical contact “tolerate” is the word I would use.

Gradually over 8-9 weeks, I have been able to handle her more thoroughly, halter and bridle her, even touch her hind legs, and now tentatively pick her feet out. She is naturally very mareish, but had calmed enough to be lunged gently and long reined recently, what a quick learner ! Another clue to her problems.

My son asked after lungeing one day “may I sit on her near the stable ?” This did not seem a big thing, as he had been sitting on her and fussing her in the stable for some time. She thought for 2 seconds , then bucked him off. Shock horror ! for her as well as my son !

So her back is ok, her teeth are ok, this must be related to past, deep mistrust and bad handling, so back to the very beginning we go. After much research we stumble upon various methods, then the Light-bulb moment, attachment without force and tricks. I have discovered you Carolyn, Have sucked up as much
information as I can and implemented the start of a meaningful connection with our newcomer, but the effect on my homebred boy is bordering on the supernatural !

Time, stillness, deep thought, love security and more trust, wow more to come, I am thirsty to develop as far as we can go, pony is gradually improving, can now approach her in the field and she calls loudly to me on arrival. I notice that she lingers nearer when I am in the field. We may not have a riding pony, but she has opened my heart and mind to another entirely different relationship with horses, thank-you Carolyn

Warmest Regards Linni

pnaake - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn. Wonderful blog and timely again.
The other day I shared Territory with my horse by sitting with him for about an hour while he ate some hay occasionally getting up to say hello and do eye contact. When he had finished the hay he came over and stood beside me and seemed to dose. It was a blissfull feeling.After a while I got up and he immediately started to conpanion walk with me all around the paddock.
We had such a deep connection at that point just from sitting and sharing space. It felt really wonderful.
Peta

Virginia (In the Box) - 6 years ago Reply

Hi, Carolyn, Lovely blog. Sharing Territory is so wonderful. Things with Snowy really have shifted so that he is much more affectionate. I was giving him treats when doing other WRS, leading from behind, taking territory, etc. and I was using treats to make lunging him more enjoyable. he loves any reward, but being somewhat food aggressive, he started to put his ears back again when he thought I should be giving him a treat. So I just ignored him and stopped treating temporarily again. And even though I did not give him what he wanted, he was back breathing on my hair and nuzzling in a way that he never did before. I have had him 2 1/2 years now, and it has taken 10 months since I learned about your program, and the In-the-Box program in the spring and Sharing Territory as often as I can (at least 3 days a week for around 40-60 minutes when I feed in the morning). But there is finally now a deep connection there now even when I ask him to do something he does not want to do (like fly spray him), or give him wormer. He may grump, walk away, and I wait and ask again, and then he agrees, and gives me a nuzzle. The mistrust and aloofness seems to have melted. We still have so many things to work on, like him getting enough exercise, my beginning to ride again, but your program informs me in my dance to pause, pace things, talk about things, make it fun for him and keep the connection between us. It is becoming wonderful.
Virginia

Kirsty (insider circle) - 6 years ago Reply

So simple and so powerful. The more we do it the more in love we become! And the subtle sharing of emotions grow clearer.

Brenda de Lang - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, your blogpost came at the right time. I have been neglecting sharing territory for a while. My horse needs a lot of exercise and I’ve been working her instead of developing the bond. This is a great reminder to keep me on the right track, thank you.
btw. I can’t wait for the book to come out!
Regards

StephanieCamfield - 6 years ago Reply

Hello, Carolyn!

Such beautiful insights on the profound power of BEING. Horses are masters of it and I stand much to gain by following their example. Years ago a friend asked if I was aware of “how much doing I do and how little being I be.” I’m beginning to understand what she meant…

The pause feels like opening a door, putting out the WELCOME mat and just allowing the horse to walk thru when s/he is good and ready- curious and trusting enough to take that first step. In my experience there is no comparison between the quality and depth of connection that occurs from being with the horses in this way and anything else.

Carolyn, I’m really curious about NO. I’m finding myself running into my resistance to the horses’ no’s.

I’d like to know more about:
* How and when to respect the no
* What I can do to help shift it into yes (when that is appropriate.)

Grace - 6 years ago Reply

Carolyn,

Thank you so much for clarifying the sharing territory waterhole ritual! I have a pony, who is very dominant sometimes and I’ve always felt like maybe if I could just keep round penning him and showing him that he had no other choice he would work with me. Now I see that although you may be able to get some things done and he may be willing do what you tell him his enthusiasm will not be there completely. Up until now I found sharing territory to be quite a bore and I think that is because I put tremendous focus on trying to “think” my into coming to me. I think I would really prefer to take some paper and pen down to the barn, this would help me to relax and let go of my expectations.

I have one question. When your horse willingly comes to you and begins chewing on your chair and then on you what is apropriate, polite stance to take in that situation? My horse does this a lot and when I send him away I feel very ineffective and rude. Any thoughts?

    Terry - 6 years ago Reply

    I have exactly the same question, what is acceptable, should I send him away, or is he just being friendly?

Candle Hill - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Since you called my attention to using a simple pause to shape the way I deal with my horses, I am constantly amazed at the vast power that doing nothing at all at exactly the right moment can exert on my horses’ behavior.

A few days ago one of my horses, Juan, a middle-aged TB gelding, was injured and required a dose of Banamine (flunixin meglumine). Since there has been a recent cluster of clostridium infections apparently linked to intra-muscular injections of Banamine, I no longer give it IM. The alternatives are to administer it IV or orally. Since on this occasion the problem (lacerations and strained muscles from a fall at a fence) was not acute, I chose the less intrusive alternative and put 12 cc of Banamine into a 60 cc catheter syringe filled with yummy papaya juice.

Juan, unhaltered in his stall, reached for the papaya juice eagerly as usual (he gets some every night). He put his lips over the tip of the syringe and waited for me to squeeze it into his mouth. After the first squirt, however, he realized this stuff did not taste quite as yummy as usual. He moved his head away from the syringe and turned away from me, presenting me with his butt as he stuck his head out the rear window. Instead of pursuing him into his stall and putting on his halter, as I would have done six months ago, I continued to lean in the doorway and offer the syringe. We stood that way in an unmoving tableau for about four minutes. Then he sighed, moved back to me, and mouthed the syringe again, this time swallowing everything.

I did nothing overt, nothing at all, to make Juan change his mind about swallowing the rest of the contents of the syringe. I just put the moment on pause. He decided all by himself to do it. Maybe it didn’t taste so bad after all. Maybe my total lack of reaction or movement convinced him that he was safe from whatever caused him to move away in the first place. I really am clueless about why Juan decided that my doing nothing was sufficient reason for him to do what I wanted. But it worked! The power of the pause! The total lack of stress in the whole experience was a cause for celebration. Juan certainly did not need any more stress at that moment. Both of us walked out of the stall well pleased with each other. For which I thank you, Carolyn. Juan does too.

    Christian Gundermann - 6 years ago Reply

    Hi Candle,
    (Carolyn, forgive me, but I have no other way of getting in touch with Candle). You recently wrote something about having a ridgeling. My 2 year-old colt also is a ridgeling, and I am very curious to talk with someone else from this environment who is dealing with that situation. I didn’t find you in the Insider Circle Social Club network. Are you on there? If not, but if you cared to join, we could connect there. The URL is: http://carolynresnickwric.ning.com
    Nobody wants to put their email addresses or phone numbers on public blogs….
    Hope we can connect.
    Christian

Laurinda - 6 years ago Reply

My mare Kate and I haven’t been as close lately as we have in the past and it has been worrying me. she is pregnant and moody at times. Kate wasn’t saying hello anymore, just demanded to be scratched and fed. you had advised in a blog to send the horse away and to use grooming as a reward. for a long time when I sent Kate away, she wouldn’t return. the two geldings Mac and Levi (and my stud Tahintate in another field) had no problems saying hello properly, being respectful, even affectionate or wanting to just hang out with me. My mare was a whole different being and I needed to change something.

I have enjoyed your recent refreshers on the first waterhole rituals, because to be honest, I hadn’t been able to keep up and was lost. I started just sitting in the paddock reading a book. I’d done it with the stud, but for some reason never Kate and the geldings. It was so totally relaxing sitting there listening to the birdsong and just being in the moment. why hadn’t I taken the time to ‘pause’ before?

I tried not to get discouraged when Kate ignored me the first couple of days. then the other day after the ‘boys’ said hello, Mac walked away and Levi stood and rested lengthwise in front of me. Kate came over on my right side and rested her head against Levi’s side without acknowledging me. I sat protectedly inside the ‘T’ that their bodies had formed around me and kind of basked in the affection Kate and Levi shared for one another. When I spoke out loud of her obvious deep friendship for Levi, Kate softly laid her cheek against mine and tenderly stroked by head with her own as if to say she felt the same about me!

all those phrases people use to describe a magical moment, well they all applied. I was estatic! I rewarded her with a scratch under the chin and the little smarty pants did a repeat performance a few more times for more scratches. I finally had to softly tell her ‘that’s enough now. you are getting too pushy’, and she slowly walked away licking and chewing.

Kate and I are slowly making progress and reconnecting. she is even saying hello now and I have finally realized that she prefers to touch and be touched on the cheek during ‘hello’. thank you so much. I am looking forward to the publishing of your new book so that we can continue to take baby steps to a stronger relationship together and with the new foal.
Laurinda

Jean Clark - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn,
I really enjoyed your elaboration on Sharing Territory. My horse, Savvy, was used in a video a few years ago for a class work assignment by a student of a “join-up” technique. Savvy’s response was clearly “text book”, as she lowered her head, put her inside ear on the trainer, licked and chewed, and made her circles smaller and smaller. At the conclusion, she was following, as you might expect. I was instructed on all of the specifics and did indeed do “join up” with her myself. I was able to replicate the same experience but I will say that I came away with a sense that something very critical was missing in this technique. At the time, I did not fully appreciate that the round pen exercise represented a forced bonding. Only after employing the Waterhole Ritual of Sharing Territory did I come to experience what that missing element was….the heart connection. You are so right that even if you have used a round pen technique you can indeed deepen the bond to one of the heart. After some consideration and reflection on the “power of the pause”, I would have to say that it is the art of allowing, for both the horse and human. The art of allowing each to be themselves and the ensuing bond that emerges from that authenticity. It makes sense to me that without the ability to allow your partner (be it horse, dog, or another human being) to be authentic and true to themselves you have no chance of building a genuine and faithful heart connection.
I would like to add at the close of this comment that I am not saying that other training methods by extremely talented and respected trainers are not valuable and appropriate, but for me personally and for my horse, the Resnick Method is an excellent fit.
Carolyn, your Waterhole Rituals have been invaluable to me in more ways than you can ever begin to appreciate. Thank you is not close to being adequate but I know you gain your satisfaction more from knowing you have dramatically altered the course of one horse lover.
Jean

Alethia Saladino - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn, Checking in ….Thank you for your wonderful inspiration , reminding us all to pause in the presence of our horses , waiting for them to initiate contact , wow how this “little secret” can turn every thing around. Just what i needed to read @ the perfect moment!
Alethia Saladino

Lisa Hill - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Thank you so much for letting us share with you and ask you questions. I believe the pause with our horse is creating a bond. Just like I have with one of my childhood friends. We spent many hours as little girls playing and sharing and sometimes doing nothing together. And now 47 years later we can pick up right where we left. The bond is still there even though we don’t see each other everyday. Now to ask my question if I may. I have been ST with my OTTB Magnum. My question would be. To get him to where we can ST. Am I doing it right? Do you just go out in the field and get him with your halter and lead and make him come with you? Do you say hello first then put the halter and lead on him and make him come with you? So my question is, what is the best way to get your horse to the place where you want to ST with him. Then after ST if your horse bonds or not how do you say goodbye?

Thank you Carolyn for sharing your love and knowledge of horses with us.
Lisa Hill

    Carolyn Resnick - 6 years ago Reply

    Dear Lisa,
    I will help you with a couple of your questions. For the rest I would advise you to take the Inside Circle Program. You want to Share Territory at first in your horse’s home where there is food and water and comfort and nothing new to distract the horse from the state of being in relaxation. Then follow your every day program as you always do. Where ever you ST you need to put food and water down so the horse understands that this territory you have taken him to is his new home.
    I walk up to a horse and then pause until I feel a shift that is a strong connection that happens from standing still together. I then put the halter on. If the horse moves away I go way too and wait for a while before I approach. It is all explained in My DVD Introduction to the Waterhole Rituals.
    The rules to my method is that if a horse moves away or turns his head away from me I move way and give him his right and then try again. The horse learns to trust that I will always work with him and not force anything on to him he does not want.
    The idea is that the horse looses the ability to object from the bond that is developed by my following these rules regarding personal rights.

    For everyone how reads this; Just thing to yourself how would you like someone to treat you. Would you like someone to move you around until you because willing to bond. Horses in natural can always escape for what then do not like. The round pen is not a condition that is natural to horses. Horses do not like to be captured. It creates extreme fear of resentment. If you work a horse in an open environment and always leave your horse when he leaves you there is no danger of working with a horse that would not want to bond in the first place. You do not need to use pressure.

    Constant pressure is aggressive unfriendly and arrogant. When a horse turns to you when being chases it is how they respond to a predictor when they surrender.
    How would you like to be pressured to bond with someone when you could never escape from your aggressor until you give in? Whatever your answer pressure is not need to develop a working bond with a horse. As soon as the gait is open the horse will choose to leave. In general If he does not leave he is scared to.

      Christian Gundermann - 6 years ago Reply

      Thanks, Carolyn, this is such a wonderful statement against round pen work. And the difference between a horse who chooses to bond with you, and one who is forced to, and submits out of fear or resentment, even though at first glance, the “product” might look similar….
      Christian

      shelley dunkin insiders circle - 6 years ago Reply

      thank you for this explaination, carolyn. how do i know if i am pressuring them when i am trying to get them cantering for the liberty dance? is it the attitude i bring to them?

Phyllis Whitlock - 6 years ago Reply

I have done this some, just sit out in the pasture among the horses, and have always come away feeling better. It is good to read about them coming to me as I didn’t realize how important it was.

I will see about spending more time with them in this way. I am curious to understand this concept better. It makes a lot of sense!

Thank you, Carolyn, for your words of wisdom and encouragement about “Good Vibrations Sharing Territory.” I have enjoyed the times I have spent sitting out with the horses; now, it is good to know that it is of great value to our relationship.

Thanks,
Phyllis

Moyna Smeaton - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
have just started catching up on the blogs after moving to our new property, 34 acres on the NSW (Australia) mid north coast… horse (& dog & human) heaven!

This notion of ‘doing nothing’ has been my greatest breakthrough with horses in general & in particular with those who are frightened/traumatised.
If we think about it, in traditional training/interactions, we are always ‘doing to’ them, imposing our desires on them, even in benign ways.

By learning to be still in myself & expect nothing at all from the horse, I have indeed found something inside me that draws them to me. This ‘offering’ of themselves is the greatest joy in my life.

I have been having beautiful experiences with Rinaldo, a 7yo Paso gifted to me. He was a stallion up to age 4 & I suspect he was wrongly handled. A seriously sensitive & wary boy, after just a month he seeks contact with me, though he still flees from a halter.
Recently he got a fright while drinking at the dam (kangaroos sometimes jump out of the bush unexpectedly) & he ran TO me! Big progress!
Then last week he challenged me over food. He had stolen Hero’s & I asked him to move off & go back to his own. He moved, but circled back & tried to push me away. I asked him with a bit more energy.
He moved off & seemed a bit ‘annoyed’… he had decided he really wanted THAT food, not his own! Then something truly magical happened…
He circled round again, this time he was huffing & puffing himself up, arching his neck, looking very stallion-like.
He came in to face me from about 6 feet away, he visibly made himself ‘bigger’ stood very tall, looked me in the eye & snorted, flaring his nostrils!!!!!!!!
He was so beautiful, my heart thumped with the thrill of it.
Quite unconsciously I said “Oh Rinny, how magnificent you are, how beautiful & how brave! But you still can’t have this food, sorry! Off you go now.”
I didn’t move at all, just waited. I felt something pass between us…
Rinny sighed a very big sigh, relaxed & went quietly back to his own food.

Everything settled down & when all 4 horses were happily munching I left them to it. I came inside the house & tears of joy burst out of me.
It means so much to me that he had the confidence to challenge me, what a change from the nervy, flighty boy who arrived here!

Also, before starting on the WRs, this challenging behaviour from a horse would probably have made ME a bit fearful, but now I know better.
So thanks for sharing this knowledge with us all, you are a constant inspiration to me.

By the way, how do I post pictures?

Much love,
Moyna & Da Boyz

Tami Chock - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn,

Thank you for differentiating a false bond from a true, heart-felt bond! As you know, I adopted a beautiful 5-yr old Mustang who is fearful, dominant and distrustful. Sometimes he still jumps at the movement of an arm and keeps a close eye on me when I am working around his pasture. But after we spend our daily time sharing territory and building trust through intimacy with the bucket exercise, his disposition changes. He is more relaxed, social, and friendly. (I also use the bucket to lower his head and with the intention to move to Uberstriechens.)

I admit that I have a hard time reading when I am with my horse. I like to meditate and enjoy nature. Sometimes I draw and write. For me, Sharing Territory and the pause is like the Zen practice of doing nothing, being nothing, going nowhere. Its induces a calm state of mind and gracious way of being in me, and this causes relaxation in my horse. Its slowing everything down until I can feel with my senses the myriad of things happening all around me that are shared with my horse, including consciousness. But, even though we are not interacting, its still highly relational because we are sharing all of those things in the same space including our vibration! Sometimes its sensory – the smell of the breeze, sound of the geese passing overhead, feel of the grass in my hands or against his muzzle. Other times I’ll get a feeling from him – comfort, tiredness, hunger, boredom, impatience, curiosity. I’m sure he gets feelings from me – love, trust, chocolate cravings : ). I know that my horse has a soul that seeks harmony and wishes to be peaceful, just like me. He also has a spirit and instincts that make him who he is. I feel that Sharing Territory helps to bring out the best in him and me.

I wish I could wake up every day and make sharing territory the first thing I do.

    Kalee Gracse - 6 years ago Reply

    Tami,
    Thank you for sharing how you connect to your horse when you share territory and thank you for writing it so beautifully that I can feel it and take it back with me to try with Oz.

    Carolyn,
    Thanks for providing a place for us to grow from you and from each other.

    Kalee

Julie Mazur - 6 years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
Is it best to sit with my horse by himself? He is very attached to my friend’s mare and paces and calls for her when they are seperated. I have been sitting with him and his two companions (the mare and another gelding) because of this.
Also I have to mention that sharing territory has been wonderful for my own mental state, I have been very stressed and suffering from bad headaches, I decided to make a big effort to start the waterhole rituals ( I tryed off and on with my previous horse) I am trying to be as consistant as possible, I have not had a headache since I started! I love to read and have found that I relax out in the field or in the run in with the 3 horses. On the days that I cannot make it I really miss it.
thank You,
Julie.

Kalee Gracse - 6 years ago Reply

I wonder if we need to be sitting or if we can be moving too?

I like to spend time with the horses while they are eating in the pasture so I’ll clean up, sometimes for hours. They don’t usually come to me while I’m cleaning.

I also like to stretch while I’m in the pasture with them. They usually come over then, maybe they are curoius as to what I’m doing?

I would love to know what you think about sitting, stretching, cleaning, etc.

Thanks
Kalee

Terry - 6 years ago Reply

Hello Carolyn,
This comes at a perfect moment for me. I while ago, I wrote that I had adopted and abused stallion. He was then stolen from me again, by his old owner, but now is once more with me. During this time I have come to know him better, to trust him more and he me. I have ridden him several times on the beach, he is amazing and so talented and wants to please, I have never ridden a horse such as this. I was rightly told to be careful, that I should geld him, that I must take care with Sharing territory. Which I agree and understand. But now that I know him more, I have named him Brego, I feel more at ease with him and vice versa. So I have started just sitting with him and reading a book. He comes up to me and sniffs me gently, blowing on me. Sometimes he gets a little too close, so I swish my book or get up and move my chair. He can get a little persistent, not respecting my space, so i swished my book a bit more, he left, but not very happy about it, his ears went back,but he went off to eat elsewhere. This is where I am uncertain of how to react. That I should move him off when he gets too close,sniffing around,very close, or that by sending him off I am telling him I don’t want him, when he was only trying to make contact. My gut feeling is he wanted to come to me, but wasn’t respecting my space and I needed to move him away. Is this correct? Or?
He is very special, very gentle for a stallion and in general very well behaved. Easy to lead. However one thing he reacts very angrily to, is beoing lunged. He hates it and will not do it, even will attack if you push. His ex owner told me this too. A bad experience in his life somewhere. So I don’t even try to do it, there is no need, for the moment. So I would not know how he would react in the future to dancing. We will have a long way to go before we ever attempt that. A lot of mutual trust and respect must be earned first.
Yet , interestingly enough,you can lead him from behind and he will also follow meekly behind you after you ride him.
This is turning into one amazing experience. I am so happy I found your site at this time in my life and Brego coming into it.
When my finances are better I really want to do a call lesson with you. Til then I have your DVD and will be reading your blogs with great pleasure.
Regards Terry (I am a woman,not a man, people get confused with my name, thought I should clarify)

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