Establishing Leadership and Bonding with Horses at Liberty with The Waterhole Rituals

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When I created the Waterhole Rituals, my focus was on developing leadership in an inclusive way, so that a horse enjoys following your lead. The Waterhole Rituals are a self-realization experience in learning how to connect, communicate and train a horse in the moments of flow from your natural instincts. The Rituals teach an inclusive leadership in which you learn to know when to support, when to pause, when to dance, when to follow, and when to lead.  When unity is achieved, leadership is shared.

Inclusive leadership develops naturally from the way my program is offered to you. It is without thought, without effort. You discover your natural ability to communicate with a horse which grows the bond from your leadership style as well as knowing how to connect to the very heart of the horse. 

When you startto lead a horse, you will begin by choosing to follow his lead. Following his lead, you step into the flow of connection with him.  This is what I call the entry point of connection. An evolution then takes place which will cause the horse to follow your lead. In this same evolution, you will naturally sense when to follow his lead.

This reminds me of a story.  I remember going on a cruise with my Dad…everyone on the boat was older while I was young and in my 20’s. I was hoping to meet people my own age…perhaps someone that I would connect with. There was only one person my age of the opposite sex, so we were rather thrown together and we immediately took a disliking to one another. It was quite funny in a way, and since we seemed destined to have to spend time together, we came up with a plan. When we were together, we allotted uninterrupted time of one hour for him to speak, and I would be silent…and then we would switch and it would be my time to talk. Through this process of sharing and listening we learned how to enjoy each other in the flow. In the end there was a shift in us, and we both discovered that when we relaxed, we actually liked each other. We had experienced how to quiet down and find that entry point of connection. 

When I set out to learn about the culture of horses in nature as a child, I was looking to see if a horse would naturally accept me onto his back without any form of training.  Like any horse girl ever dreamed… I wanted to have a relationship with a horse that was completely natural and magical. 

One of the things that my Dad had taught me was that anything that anyone can imagine is possible. So, I imagined that the relationship between horses and humans was magical!

The first year (actually the first summer) that I wanted to connect with wild horses, they chose not to interact with me. Because I had not made a connection, I felt I had gained no insight or understanding of these wild horses.  However, I was to discover a shift had indeed happened in me.  A learning by osmosis had occurred which manifested when I got back home to my own horses. I behaved differently with them and this difference was quite large and quite a surprise. Since I gained this information by just being with the horses, I can’t even tell you what the difference was, I can only tell you that there was a palatable shift. You will see that in the Waterhole Rituals program, this shift will happen for you too! It is an understanding of life before thought. It is naturally being able to see and feel how to interact with horses. The shift will give you the ability to follow a Code of Conduct which makes it possible for a horse/human relationship to be natural and without the need to train for performance. From the way that my program is offered, inclusive leadership grows the bond. It is without thought and without effort from a bond that grows naturally.

May the spirit of the bond be with you,

Carolyn

Manifesting grace through gratitude

I was in my office, getting ready to go out and play with my horses, when an email popped up from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. They were advertising their course, “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.” I was blown away when reading this, as I had recently had a life altering experience which prompted me to make a serious commitment to practice daily gratitude. I am typically a very grateful person. I feel grateful for all that has been blessed upon me, but I can’t say that I have been mindfully practicing gratitude on a daily basis. This was wonderful to find in my inbox, but it was no coincidence, and it was not the only reason that I was blown away by receiving it.

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I recently lost my horse Grace. She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on my birthday, July 9th, 2017. It was a shocking death and one that emotionally knocked me out! She died from a twisted gut and it happened so quickly that it did not even feel real. I experienced so many feelings over the loss of this precious gift who had been born two and a half years ago; fear, anger, grief, guilt, pain, heartache, sadness, desperation… The list goes on. The grief I was feeling was unbearable to me at the time. I could not bear that I had not been able to save her.

Only hours after Gracie passed, I remember being in tears while speaking to my friend Carolyn Resnick on the phone and as she was comforting me, I asked her, “Why on my birthday?”  She replied, “It is a sign of rebirth and you must fine the gifts that she gave you on your birthday”.  At that time, I could not imagine that there was anything good that could come out of this tragedy, but I was determined to find the silver lining. 

Just after Gracie passed, my friend, Linda Salinas, who is an animal communicator, and also a certified instructor in the Carolyn Resnick Method, presented me with the gift of an animal communication session with Gracie. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to have any connection with Gracie that I could have, so of course, I was all in. She told me that it is best to wait some time before reaching out to her, so finally last week Linda asked me to send her a photo of Gracie and to send Gracie a message that someone would be contacting her for me. I did what Linda requested and the following day Linda called me and told me that she had contacted Grace and that she had a lot to say!

The following are Linda’s notes on her communication with Grace:

Core essence of Gracie: Very feminine, young, sassy, not the most well-mannered horse, independent, loves people, “baby brat”, wise, curious, playful, loved her herd.   

Linda to Nancy: “The connection I am experiencing with Gracie feels very distant. There is a feeling a hook is in her that feels like she is being held back. It is coming from Nancy feeling she could have done more.” 

Linda to Gracie: “Gracie, do you have any idea what happened?"  

Gracie: “No I don’t I just know I kept getting weaker and weaker by the minute.”  

Linda to Gracie: “Is there anything we could have done to help you?”  

Gracie: “Not that I know of.  In the end I accepted my fate.”

Linda to Gracie: “Is there anything you would like to share with Nancy?  She has had a really hard time since your leaving. "

Gracie:  “Nancy is a doer and an action person.  There are many mysteries to life.  Nancy needs to pray for peace.  Nancy is so perfect just the way she is, but she lacks peace.  She has more of a connection to drama then she does to peace. This is one of the many benefits I hope that Nancy can learn from.  I know it is not easy but when one finds peace with what is, it takes the unnecessary pain out of life.  It is one of the hardest lessons in life to learn.  Look at us horses.  We have pain, we also have acceptance of what is.  This ability to make peace with the moment is something humans could learn from horses and other animals.  Humans have a very strange relationship with the concept of time.  Animals in general don’t.  We live in the present moment.  We are able to remember and recall experiences but we live in the moment.”  

Linda to Gracie: “Do you have a message for Nancy?" 

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Gracie: “I want Nancy to know how much I loved my life.  It was perfect.  The energy and kindness was more than any horse could want.  I am very grateful for the life I had.  I want you to know how grateful I am.  Please look after my mother as I know she is grieving in her own way even though you may not know it.  I want Nancy to know that I had a perfect life and there is nothing I would change about it.  Loving “what is” is just as important as loving one another.  Yes, we understand grief but we also know to accept what is.  This is a big difference between horses and humans.  I know that my message is easier said than done, but acceptance will bring you peace.  If you can accept to let go and surrender, while there is still pain, there is less pain.  Embracing “what is” is an important lesson for Nancy to learn.  Nancy volunteers often to take on the weight and pain for others.  It’s a beautiful trait to have but it is also a double edge sword.  There is a better way.  Sitting with your pain and finding peace. Simplify your thinking.  Train yourself to think differently even though you have old patterns to overcome.  It will be so helpful in finding peace.  Finding peace in the middle of a storm is attainable.  Being grateful for what you have or have had needs to be cultivated.  Gratitude is a very high vibration and experiencing gratitude in the midst of pain has infinite value.  The first years of our lives come with many changes and many learning experiences. The end of our lives come with lots of changes as well.  Mostly emotional changes.  Be a light for all.  Always hold on to the best parts of life, never the worst.  It’s a discipline.  

Animals are always rooting for you regardless of which side we are at (meaning physical or spiritual)  always.  One of the beautiful things about animals is they do not wish harm to anyone.  You have much to learn about the energetic world.  Thoughts, feelings, emotions, are all energy."  

Linda: “The connection just ended and I thanked Gracie for communicating with me."

Since the day that Gracie gifted me with her wise words, I have been paying close attention to each and every moment. I see that each observation Gracie shared with me was an accurate description of me and the things that I need to work on in myself. What she shared with me about her Mom, Anoushka, was even more amazing. 

Although I love Anoushka dearly, it had seemed that for quite some time she had not wanedt to interact with me like the other horses did. I chalked it up to her foaling and felt she needed that time with her new baby, so I spent my time caring for the 5 horses which I had rescued the year before. These horses were in bad health after rescuing them and also detached from humans. Shortly after rescuing them I had Linda Salinas come to my ranch in Costa Rica and give a Waterhole Ritual clinic. This method truly resonated with me and my horses and today I am studying to be a certified trainer in the Carolyn Resnick Method. I have spent many hours over the past 3 years training my horses in this method and it has totally changed their lives, as well as mine. Today we have an amazing connection with each other and I am overjoyed. The odd part of this equation is that I brought Anoushka into my life when she was only 6 months old. She was my special girl and we always had a deep connection and a special bond. Over the past two years, or so, she seemed detached from me and would either walk away when I approached her, or pin her ears to let me know she did not want to be bothered. I wrote this off to her being a mare and just having had a foal. I had so many horses to work with that it did not seem like a big deal to me at the time…I simply let her have her space. When Gracie told me to please look after her mother as she was grieving and I may not be aware of it, I decided to make sure that I did this for Gracie, as well as for Anoushka, and myself. I decided to take Anoushka into the arena and spend time with her just being together while Sharing Territory. She was very welcoming to this idea and again I felt a wonderful connection to her. I decided to begin to teach her some of the Waterhole Rituals and to my surprise, the magnetic connection that we had between us was undeniable. She performed like a pro and knew exactly what I was asking of her! She was an amazing dance partner and I would not have realized this at this time had it not been for Gracie’s request about her Mom. She is spreading miracles and helping guide me to cherish each and every moment. 

For so many of us when something like this happens the pain is so debilitating that it is difficult to see the miracles that can come from it. I am so grateful to have received the beautiful gifts of awareness that were bestowed upon me. From these wise words of Gracie’s I can now relate to my experience of her death on a completely different level than before. I now know that she was an Angel put here on Earth for a short time to help guide me on a path of healing and transformation. It is no coincidence that my journey into a life of healing and horses began only one month after Grace was born. I now know that Carolyn was correct. Grace passing on my birthday was about rebirth and her words to me my gift. 

I can’t thank Linda enough for sharing with me her gift in animal communication. Once again she has shined her light upon me and helped me find peace through the Gracie’s wisdom and what she has shared with me. 

Love to all,

Nancy Zintsmaster

 

The Controversy Over Lessons We Give Our Horses

"The blog this week is on a subject that I think everyone will be interested in. Nan Zintsmaster and I have been discussing the value of shaping a horse’s behavior to work in harmony with us. What we discovered is that this will create an optimistic horse who is excited for his lessons…much like the excitement a dog feels when learning to play fetch. A lot of people are concerned that any form of shaping behavior is not good for a horse. In the following article, Nan describes the detail of her experience with her horses in the Waterhole Rituals and the value this brings to the well-being of the horse.  I hope you enjoy it!" Carolyn

The Controversy Over Lessons We Give Our Horses

Lately I have noticed that there has been a lot of controversy in social media feeds about whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, to influence or shape a horse’s behavior in any way. I don’t normally get involved in “political” type viewpoints on social media forums, but I felt called to write this blog as I wanted to share my experience in shaping the behavior of my horses using the Waterhole Rituals and convey how it has affected them.

I recently read that because horses are sentient begins that shaping their behavior is not good for them. My personal experience has been quite the opposite. When I rescued my horses they were domestic horses that had been totally neglected by their owner. I rescued 5 horses…4 of them were from one family; a Mom, 21 years old,  and three of her offspring, the youngest being 3 months old and the oldest being 6 years old. They were very nervous and detached from humans and extremely depressed. After nursing them back to health for a year (they were malnourished, as well), I introduced them to The Carolyn Resnick Method of The Waterhole Rituals, and almost immediately saw amazing changes in each and every one of them. Their mood was elevated, they had a little spunk in their step and a sparkle in their eye. Before that time I had not influenced them in any way and I had hoped that through that allowance they would become less afraid and begin to connect with me. However, when doing “nothing”, nothing changed. I remember when Linda Salinas came to do a clinic at my ranch in Costa Rica she could not believe how detached they were. After she left (and after they had been part of the clinic), Apache, the horse that had the most fear, had jumped over the fence to get up to the arena to connect with me!  That happened almost every day for quite some time until I changed the set-up at my place so that they could access the arena and be closer to me whenever they chose. They were clearly enthusiastic about their training and I now continue to practice the Waterhole Rituals with them on a daily basis. 

Since playing with my horses at liberty, they now see me as a member of their herd. They run to me when they see me coming in the pasture whether I have a halter in my hand or not. They whinny to me when they see me.

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Through the evolution of our bond which developed through the Waterhole Rituals, all of my horses will lie down and takes naps near me while I am sitting in a chair Sharing Territory with them. I have no doubt this trust was built from my influencing their behavior, as horses do not lie down if they don’t feel safe. Spending time with me practicing the Waterhole Rituals has, without question, made a huge difference in their lives and in mine as well. They want to follow my lead. They want things to do. They love dancing with me at Liberty. They know that I am protecting them and they understand that they also have freewill during our time together. I feel that it is the way in which we choose to influence the horse that matters. I also allow the horse to influence me and I then respond to him. I listen to what he wants to share with me.

It has been my experience over the past few years that horses desire our company and, just like humans, they can become bored and social, interactive games can bring enrichment to their well being. My horses are a perfect example of this. They now line up at the fence and can’t wait for their turn to get into the arena for their lessons! My herd is as bonded to me as much as they are to each other, and their bond is very deep. As I continue working with the Waterhole Rituals, I am noticing that any herd-bound behavior is melting away to the point of being non-existent. You can see the evolution of the trust they have with me. Carolyn’s method is not about the training, nor is it about performance, it is about the relationship that we share togetherIt is about deepening the bond and sharing harmonious activities together. Working with my horses in her method gives them purpose and they feel good about themselves for their accomplishments!

I encourage everyone to spend time with their horses and learn to communicate with them in a language they understand. This can only enhance their lives! One thing I know for sure, my horses are better off having been shaped by me in the activities that we share together. 

In harmony with horses,

Nancy Zintsmaster

Telepathic Communication Between Me And My Horse

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Sharing Territory develops a spiritual connection to the very heart of a horse. 

From all of the years that I have Shared Territory with horses my spirit has always been lifted when I am in their company. My longing for a horse to feel this same spiritual connection with me is what led me to want to spend time just “being" with horses.

Strawberry was my first horse. I spent all of my days in his company just waiting for him to connect with me. I wanted him to have the same feelings for me that I had for him.

Strawberry came into my life when I was three years old. He was an old, retired plow horse and I loved him! I Shared Territory with him every day for hours. On the weekends my parents went riding and when they had time they would take me with them and I would ride Strawberry. 

I remember one time I fell from the saddle while Strawberry was cantering  across an empty lot. A horse fly bit him and he began bucking. Unfortunately, I was thrown and because my foot got stuck in the stirrup I was left hanging upside down. When that happened Strawberry stopped bucking and stood stock still. My parents wanted to run up and help me, but they were afraid to approach him for fear he would take off again. I remember that moment in detail like it was yesterday. I was around six at the time, and old enough to know that my horse could spook easily with me hanging from his side and that the precarious position I was in was very dangerous. At that same moment I felt an even deeper connection with Strawberry, which gave me the ability to communicate with him. I guess you would call this telepathy. Strawberry said to me “Carolyn I will stand here until you get out of danger, don’t worry."  It took me some time but I managed to right myself while my parents and some of their friends stood back watching in fear. From that day on Strawberry and I felt even closer. When the chips were down he had come through for me. I had always felt that our connection was deep, but after that experience I was now convinced. Sharing Territory developed a spiritual connection to bloom between us that had no explanation.  

On the day that I got bucked off my horse instead of being faced with a serious injury our spiritual connection turned Strawberry into a hero in my eyes. Today I know that the power of connection comes with a language that I can share with horses. When empathy and a bond is shared between two beings telepathy is natural. Sharing territory with horses is an important practice for many reasons;  it increases mental health,  it develops personal growth and it encourages telepathic communication.  Having a connection in harmony with horses is the foundation for any and all equestrian pursuits, from the ground to the saddle. It also has other important health benefits, to both horses and humans, that cannot be denied. 

Some people are more successful than others in finding that magical connection by just being in the company of horses, so I developed a program called 21 Days to Connection With Your Horse,  The Chair Challenge, as a guide so that everyone can have this deep bond with their horse. This program offers 21 guided meditation practices and exercises, as well as video and written lessons to help you develop a bond, trust and respect so that your horse will naturally follow your lead! The Chair Challenge is designed to  bring out your ability to truly connect, soul to soul,  with a horse,  like I had experienced with my own horse, Strawberry. From learning how to connect, bond and communicate with horses, it is my hope that The Chair Challenge will encourage  people to develop a soul to soul connection with all living things. If you are interested in my program this is how to get started.
 http://carolyn-resnick-method.teachable.com/

May the spirit of the bond be with you!

Warmly,

Carolyn

Liberty Horse Training From The Ground To The Saddle /The Story of Jerry and Scotty

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I developed a program named "The Chair Challenge",  for myself as well as for other people who are looking to share a harmonious connection with horses. Hanging out with horses and becoming a part of their world was more beneficial to my life than any horsemanship instruction I have ever received. 

As far as instruction goes, the most beneficial coaching I have ever received was from my Dad.  My Dad kept me focused on the rapport and connection that I needed to have with a horse before I asked the horse to do anything.  Today I call this the "entry point of connection".  He taught me that first you have to be able to make a connection in the moment; doing nothing, before you ask a horse to do something. It is quite simple to do, but so easy to forget. When a horse is willing to share a moment in the pause with you, before you can ask him to do anything,  the  interactions that follow will happen in a natural and spontaneous dance.  Another important requirement for easy, productive interaction with your horse is that they easily move forward when asked to.  One of the focuses of the Chair Challenge is showing you how to put a great “gas pedal” on your horse in a relaxed,  easy step by step process.

My Dad also told me that it’s important to find a certain quality in the connection that you share with your horse that will rise out of the moments you share in the pause.  This magnetic connection will bring you and your horse a sense of trust, respect and well-being.  When this quality is present while you are riding your horse whatever you do together is experienced in harmony;  you and your horse become one.  He could not explain what that felt like but when it happened for me I knew what he was talking about.  When it happens for you it will be the same. It is a very powerful pause.  Sitting in halt waiting for a horse to feel a sense of oneness is the key.

A couple of weeks ago I was giving a riding lesson to Jerry on his horse Scotty.  Scotty is a green horse that is just able to be ridden in walk and trot.  He is a very athletic horse.  Jerry and Scotty have a great relationship and a growing rapport from lots of time shared in the pause from the ground to the saddle.  I have only given him a handful of lessons.  There have been a lot of days between the lessons and each time Scotty surprises us with more advanced skill under saddle.  Scotty and Jerry have evolved very quickly and I contribute it to the partnership Jerry has with his horse,  and also Jerry learning the importance of this pause,  from his lessons with me and his practice in The Chair Challenge.

In the last lesson that I gave Jerry we stayed for some time in the pause as usual.  Jerry was sitting on the back of his horse in a deeper, more meaningful connection than usual.  Scotty looked like he was ready to respond to anything Jerry would ask of him.  I could feel that magnetic connection they were sharing together.  I asked Jerry to canter his horse down the center of the arena and halt,  turn around and canter back halting again and repeat. They did this without even warming up from a complete stand still.  Scotty stepped into canter, as pretty as you please, and cantered down to the end of the arena and stopped.  Then,  Jerry turned him around and cantered his horse back.

When I started coaching Jerry, Scotty did not want to stop when asked.  Before he began his lessons with me, Jerry had not done enough pausing in halt while riding Scotty.  Today Scotty has a cute,  collected,  energetic jog trot. His over all carriage is beautiful without any influence from Jerry.  He moves easily from the slow walk to a medium walk to an extended walk as if he had been trained previously to do it.  My focus in training Scotty is  waiting for the connection to bloom out of the pause.  None of this would have been possible with Scotty if it was not for us paying attention to the practice of sharing a connection while doing nothing together in harmony, so that when you do something together, magic is the outcome.  Jerry has spent more of his training time with Scotty doing The Chair Challenge than riding him under saddle.  Jerry has only ridden with me less than a dozen times. In just a short time they have become a flawless pair. 

Here is a tip - When you lose your rapport with your horse under saddle, halt your horse and wait for the rapport to return. Don't go back to what caused you to lose your horses willingness. When the rapport returns ask your horse to do something that will continue the connection you had with him.    Rapport needs to be present in communicating and training horses. 

 A secret to developing a horse under saddle is to have no expectations based on what he did the day before.  

Knowing what to ask and when to ask it, and paying close attention to the entry point of connection is key. 

I would love to hear about the rapport and connection you share with your horse and how you got there.  You can level a comment below.  This is a great platform to share our personal insight with one another.

There have been so many changes in the horse world since I have been writing  my blog over the past years. It is more than I could have ever dreamed possible. You and I are making the difference. One thing for sure is that the equestrian world is opening their eyes to the needs of horses more and more each day.  It comes from all of your support to bring the next generations to grow to a higher level of responsibility for the care, custody and control of horses.

Thank you for supporting my free blogs for so many years.  You subscriptions and sharing them gives me the interest to keep writing them for you!  Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings.  May the spirit of the horse be with you.

Warmly,

Carolyn Resnick

 

Managing pecking order disputes when training horses at Liberty

I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a journal and a book as a birthday gift for a friend. I wanted something that he could use while Sharing Territory with his horse. I found just what I was looking for!  When I got home I discovered a small brochure had been placed in the bag with my purchases. It was a brochure advertising Behr’s interior paint. As I was looking at the brochure I noticed the words Natural Harmonies. I then thought to myself this is what we all want to experience when training horses. We want to train in the conditions of what is natural to the horse and in the flow of harmony.

I then set aside the brochure and went to my Facebook messages. I found  a message from a past student wanting some advice.

I am sharing  her questions, and my answer, because they are on the subject of Natural Harmony, as it relates to horses. I believe it is valuable information for the Chair Challenge and Liberty Horse Academy students in how to communicate in a natural flow of harmony when dissonance is present.  My student wrote, “How do you deal with skirmishes within the pecking order between two horses? When I am with my horses Sharing Territory I want them to be polite and relaxed around each other. So, I tell them “no” and sometimes I also send the horse away that is being pushy. But, I am not absolutely sure if they understand me when I am doing that. What are your suggestions?”

This is a great question! Many times a person can get injured from one horse getting into a dispute with another horse while you are inadvertently in the middle with no ability to stop the dispute. When we are with horses it is important to train them in how to behave around us so we can stay safe. When horses are in our charge we need to be in control. It is especially important when you are asking for a horse’s full cooperation. For example; leading, riding, grooming, trimming, vetting, or hauling a horse in a horse trailer where a horse needs to be polite to the strange horse next to him.  Safety in training is also very important in Stallion management.

Carolyn training several horses while Sharing Territory

Carolyn training several horses while Sharing Territory

The easiest way to train a horse to be relaxed and willing in all situations is while Sharing Territory at liberty with his or her pasture mates.  

The first thing you want to develop in a horse is that he can be relaxed in your company and follow your lead. This is an important trait to bring out in your horse. It will support all of these activities you do with him.

In regards in how to handle a dispute between two horses, you are correct, in the beginning horses won’t understand when you send a horse out of your personal space. But they quickly learn. They learn to drop any form of aggressive behaviour when they are in your company Sharing Territory. Then, they will see you as their leader.

I would suggest that you do not use "no” in the beginning. It is not as effective as asking a horse to respond to his herding instincts. Herding returns willingness and removes aggression when done slowly. By separating the horses involved moving him or her far enough away will cause them to lose interest in each other. It may be a step or two, or maybe many feet.  As the horse catches on that you are directing him or her to leave his friend alone you can become more direct without upsetting the horses. Once the horse has a deeper understanding of why you are herding him or her away you can then use the word "no" because they now are responding to your leadership easily.

You can also avoid having to herd a horse away from another horse, when there is drama between them, by noticing that a dispute is about to take place and separating them before it happens.  You can easily see when a dispute is about to take place. This way you will avoid the conflict all together. The result of this kind of leadership creates social order. 

I have observed that in wild herds, once they have evolved into living in a harmonious herd, horses will allow any horse to herd them and will also respect a horse’s personal space. This removes pecking order disputes in general. From observing united herds and bands I learned how and when to lead, when to pause,  and when to leave well enough alone. 

In the beginning horses need to work out the details in how to get along with one another.  When a herd has evolved only the youths will engage in pecking order disputes. When the youths do not seem to evolve on their own elders will take an interest and will break up the disturbance.  This evolution, of the give and take process, is their natural way of life that ultimately leads to a deep harmonious bond.

How to approach your horse at liberty in a way that your influence and communication builds a bond, trust, willingness, and respect and a horse that will follow your lead is to follow the code of harmonious herds. This means that you will stay out of your horse’s way. When you do a horse does not see you as an obstacle. You will only approach a horse that will allow you to do so. When you ask a horse to move, you need to be sure he moves and when he approaches you, be clear about your personal boundaries. When Sharing Territory it is important to keep the horse listening to his herding instincts. 

Knowing how to interact, following this code, deepens the bond. You will have entered into the horse’s world where training is less important because you know how to communicate with him as a leader. From Sharing Territory, over time, you will learn the ways of horses. The first phase is to observe and do as little as possible to interfere with the herd dynamics.

We will be focused on these subjects in the up and coming Waterhole Ritual clinic at Return to Freedom on Aug 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2017. By attending this clinic, you will get to see the amazing results of communicating with wild horses by knowing how to interact with them following this code of conduct. We still have three spots open, so I hope to see you there! For more information, email me at info@carolynresnick.com.

THE OLD GREY MARE IS YOUNGER THAn SHE USED TO BE

The Waterhole Rituals Program is a method of training horses at Liberty that I developed through my observation of Wild Horses. 

Liberty horse training is a way of connecting with your horse without tack, in a free and open environment. The student’s focus is on growing their understanding of how to connect, communicate, and train a horse while being present in the moment. When horse and human are present in the moment they both experience a much deeper sense of well-being.

When Nan first rescued Luce

When Nan first rescued Luce

Nancy Zintsmaster, my business partner and student of the Waterhole Rituals, shared a story with me the other day which shows how the Waterhole Rituals can bring a horse sense of well-being.

Nancy rescued an old mare, named Luce, and her three offspring, a few years ago and began working with all of them at Liberty, except the older mare, for whom it seemed that daily life was challenging enough. She had 10 foals in her life and was in very sad condition when Nancy rescued her. She looked worn and was in very poor health. She moved very little and hung by herself in the pasture. She had a half closed eye lid that Nancy had to clean daily as some of her eyelashes turned inward and were irritating her eye. She felt working with her and training her at Liberty was too much for her to bear. She cared for this mare’s needs to the point of indulgence, as she felt so sorry for her. 

Several years after the mare was rescued, other than being in good health, she still did not seem much better in spirit, so Nancy thought she might try introducing her to the Waterhole Rituals. She had initially held back from introducing the Waterhole Rituals because some of the Rituals are challenging for a horse; in particular the ones where a horse must figure out how to work within the conditions you set for them to get to a food source, giving the horse the ability to control the food source, and others that require physical participation. More than simple exercises, the Waterhole Rituals are bonding rituals that I learned from horses in the wild. They seemed to create harmony within the herd.

When Nancy introduced Luz to the Waterhole Rituals she saw her mare come to life right away and immediately look younger and more vital.

On the third day when Nancy walked up to the pasture in front of her house, before she even had a chance to open the gate, guess who came across the field to great her? It was the new and improved, younger spirited mare that for years had looked like she was on her last leg. Even her eyes seemed better, brighter and more curious! 

I felt this was a good example to show how living in a pasture is not enough for a horse.

Luce today

Luce today

Horses are adventurers; they are nomadic in their natural state which brings adventure into their everyday lives.  Just living in a pasture with friends and having all of the food they can to eat does not provide enough stimuli for a horse to stay in shape and feel a sense of purpose and overall well-being. Life has more meaning for horses when we can bring added purpose to them through the rituals that horses enjoy sharing with one another. By sharing these rituals, a cross species connection is formed where the horse develops a bond with you deeper than those he shares with other horses.

In pasture life where horses are unable to live nomadically; they can easily become bored with each other to the point of losing their desire to interact with one another. Getting to play the same games with a human partner that horses experience naturally in the wild challenges the horse, helps them to grow a sense of self, by satisfying their need for adventure and enables the horse to express its opinions and true nature.

With the Waterhole Rituals a horse can build a partnership with you that brings him well-being and gives him purpose.

So who are the Waterhole Rituals for? They are the foundation of healthy communication between horses and humans and teaches both how to work together to form an amazing partnership. The Waterhole Rituals are the foundation of any and all Equestrian pursuits.

Ending Weaning Trauma

foal
foal

How to have the horse you hope to find:Years ago I developed a way to wean foals that did not create trauma. I used this approach for over twenty years. During this time, I learned that horses that grew up being weaned in this manner were smarter and had a deeper sense of well being created by the trust they had in human beings.  I feel one of the biggest opportunities we have to build trust with horses can be accomplished at weaning.

There were two reasons that I did not want a foal to experience trauma. The first being my understanding of the suffering that they go through. Ripping a foal from its mother as a way to wean is torture. I also felt that by avoiding the trauma I would create a super horse that could connect with humans. What I discovered was that less training was needed, and horses that were weaned without trauma were amazing partners as family pets and as performance horses.  They excelled at the top of their ability.

I began the process of weaning at around three months, or when the foal was interested in eating along with his mother. Inside their 80 by 50 foot paddock I set up a corral that was about 12 by 16 foot. There was a bar across the gate that the foal could go under, but it restricted the mom from entering. This way the foal got to practice separation on his or her own terms and the mother could call the foal out if she needed to.

Pixabay Image 794748
Pixabay Image 794748

At the afternoon feeding time I put the foal’s food down in his corral and waited for the foal to enter. Then I put the mother’s food down on the other side, close to her foal. When they were both focused on their rations, I closed the gate so the foal could not get out. When the foal discovered that he or she was locked in and wanted out, I would open the gait. (This act built trust in the foal. Instead of taking him from his mom, I was returning him.)

If he had not finished his food I would lock the gate so he could not get back in. The foal was fast to learn that he needed to finish his food before he left. If mom became concerned about the separation, I would accommodate her by returning her foal to her. In no time they had the routine down. (The adjustment time was in the hands of the foal and his mom.)

I increased the time before opening the gate when the foal asked to be let out. This built tolerance in the foal to accept being away from mom, without trauma. When the foal could wait for 20 minutes with no concern, after he had finished his food, it was time to move on to the next step.  I would feed mom and lead her foal to the next paddock where the foal’s food was waiting. I would return the foal to mom as soon as the foal was finished. In some cases, I would return the foal even before he was finished so he would look forward to returning. The foal was now around four months old.

running foal
running foal

By six to eight months, they were no longer worried about being separated and they no longer looked for one another. The foal became interested in exploring life without mom. By six to eight months, mom and offspring no long experienced anxiety being separated for any length of time. The foal lost interest in nursing and the mother dried up.

Weaning foals in this manner, along with shaping the character of the foal with the Waterhole Rituals, turns out a horse that is quite different than a foal that has experienced trauma. The foals that were weaned in this manner naturally enjoyed human company and training. Being lead on a rope is quite natural to them, and they shy less or not at all. They are more willing, secure and optimistic. They get into trailers easily without the need for training. They accept saddles easily, and less bomb proofing is needed. Being ridden was natural to them. Of course there were some that took a bit more care, still they took less care than horses that had experienced weaning trauma.

adult
adult

Note- I think it is very important not to keep a mom and foal together for too long as they will develop a dependence on one another. If left together too long, it takes someone experienced to remove this dependency without causing trauma. Many decisions need to be made on the spot; when to allow and what not to allow.  For adult offspring or two horses that experience separation anxiety, I use the same system I do for weaning a foal along with the Waterhole Rituals. I got the same good results…no trauma experienced.

What I wish for every horse lover is that they could experience a horse that was raised without the trauma of separation, to feel what a horse is REALLY like. I wish for horses, that their relationship with humans offer them a better life and that trusting them would be natural.

foal2
foal2

I know the damages of trauma, first hand, from dealing with my own trauma of separation. Trauma is like a scar on the body. It is always there to remind you. Trauma effects your first reaction to others. With time, it can be repaired through good relationships that heal. The Chair Challenge program develops a special bond and heals trauma both in horses and humans. The Chair Challenge is an in-depth guided program. It is the suggested prerequisite to the Waterhole Rituals course. Both programs can be started at the same time. Love to hear from you. I do read all your comments.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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Time is the Tortoise that Wins the Race

Firelight is in his new home at Horse Spirit Ranch with Lynn Hays, the owner. Horse Spirit Ranch is a boarding haven for horses. He is about 40 minutes from my ranch. At Horse Spirit Ranch there are trails, two round pens and two arenas. Boarding accommodations include group fields, private fields, paddocks, and stalls. Lynn has a great arena for horse play at liberty. There is most always a time I can turn my horse out.

On the weekends, often, clinics are being held by well known horse trainers and life coaches. I now teach out of there as well. The home of War Horse is also located there. They provide equine assisted psychotherapy for corporate leaders.

Fraklin IllonaFranklin Levinson and his wife Ilona provide riding and training instruction at Horse Spirit Ranch. They also put on these great community get togethers called "Horse Talks" once a month. The subjects shared are better ways to connect and communicate with horses. You will feel like family and everyone is welcome. I am there if I am not giving a private lesson or clinic myself.

This week while I was Sharing Territory with Firelight, feeding time rolled around. I sat with him about two hours. I noticed that some horses were in a hurry to get fed and some were not. I also noticed that the ones in a hurry were fed loose hay and the ones that were fed in hay nets were happy to wait for the bag to arrive and ate much slower.

When Firelight got his hay net he carefully picked at single pieces of hay, drew them out and chewed them up well. I tried to help him by pulling the hay half way out of the net to make it easier for him to eat. He had no interest in the hay I fixed for him. I then pulled hay all the way out thinking that would make a difference. Still he kept his mind on little pieces of hay he could gather for himself. I think that he was getting much more nutritional value from how well he was chewing up his food. I came to the conclusion that a good way to feed a horse is to have some loose hay in a feeder as well as a hay net, this way a horse can eat his preference as he would choose to do in nature.

That day I approached my horse with the same consideration. First I hung out doing nothing and then I worked Firelight.  Then afterwards I Shared Territory for a few hours. In this manner we felt we had experienced a complete well rounded day together. We filled our needs for companionship.

Tortoise_and_hare_rackhamI also did some journal writing. I wrote about my relationship to time. Time appears to move quickly and slowly depending on how I am experiencing the moment. I am reminded of the fable of the race between the tortoise and hare. The hare lost because he thought he had all the time in the world and fooled around till it was too late while the tortoise kept to the task of moving forward.

I remember years ago thinking that if one gets caught up with keeping your nose to the grind stone one could loose the ability to enjoy having fun. There must be a balance between work and play. As I was growing up my family would repeat to me “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” Today I understand that all play and no work makes me loose perspective on life and my ability to cope. Having fun all the time isn’t good either for I no longer want to be responsible. I find that doing daily chores then becomes a drudgery and I get depressed. There has got to be a balance in life.

In today’s world we spend more time being busy and loose our ability to be truly productive or present. The result is the stress we are carrying around with us. Being in the company of horses releases my stress. Fearful concerns are set aside and my body, mind and soul join with Firelight’s. Sharing Territory is a time of renewal where I find my groove. I am able to slow down and get in sync with the rhythm of life. Time does not race, I do. Time does not slow down, I do. When time no longer seems fast or slow I am in the company of horses and in these moments I am experiencing life to the fullest. I have learned that life is a never ending practice of the choices I make and horses always help to bring me into balance.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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Develop a Partnership not a Well-Broke Horse

Carolyn and Panadero
Carolyn and Panadero

I remember years ago in the early 80’s designing a brochure on Liberty Training explaining the purpose of the clinic. I went into detail on how Liberty Training developed the horse to have a desire to learn, perform and follow your lead. After reading the brochure, people actually expressed the fact that they did not care what the horse experienced as long as he was not abused. What they wanted was obedience and submission. They felt the first thing a horse needed to learn was that a human is stronger and that the horse needed to bend to the will of his master in all circumstances.

They liked to use the phrase a 'well broke' horse. They felt a horse that was going to enjoy being trained would not be dependable, though they could see that my horses were more dependable than they thought a horse could be.

A well broke horse will perform what you ask but is in no way connected to you or even wants your direction. He just does it. All he is do is performing because he learned in the beginning he has no choice.

If you asked a dead broke horse to do something that he has not been taught to do he will not be able to perform because he is just a robot and will need to be trained in everything you ask out of him.

"Times they are a changing..."

DSC01768
DSC01768

As Bob Dylan sang "Times they are a changing" and nowadays people are looking for a relationship and want to communicate with their horse rather than tell him he must perform whether he wants to or not.

Trainers are now emphasizing that partnering with a horse is the most important element in successful training. I saw on Facebook a quote from Ray Hunt; "You don’t make him learn. You set it up so he can figure it out. You have to give him that dignity. Once you start giving, you won’t believe how much you get back." What Ray is talking about is a win-win for both horse and human and is the secret to bringing out the best of a horse in the shortest amount of time.

The foundation of Liberty Training is to produce a partnership you can depend upon rather than a well-broke horse. It is also a study of the nature of horses and how to increase your leadership potential and understanding.

Instead of showing a horse who’s boss it’s better to show him that he or she can trust your leadership and that it’s not a trap but a benefit to their well-being. Care must be taken to warm up a horse so that he feels a connection and wants to follow your lead, even when using tack.

What drove me to connect with the true nature of horse and form a partnership with them in their world was that I didn’t like a horse having to go through a training method that would cause him to give up his sense of self or thinking he had to follow human leadership no matter what.

What I wanted was to find a magical partnership with a horse from knowing how to bring out a horse’s trust and desire to be ridden rather than just creating a well broke horse. Well broke horses have had their spirit removed. They know they must do what they are told and some of them may like that kind of life but I was looking for something else.

So where and how do you start to develop a partnership?

Let’s start with a couple of easy, baby steps:

Step 1- Always start each day completely relaxed. Give your horse your full attention and put your agenda aside. Having an agenda and focusing on your horse can make him nervous. Pause a while to give your horse some time to feel safe in your presence.

Step 2 - Seek permission to approach your horse so you may put on his halter. Spend some time, 3-5 minutes, waiting for your horse to come up to you. If he doesn’t come, then try walking up to your horse. If your horse moves away take the pressure off your horse by walking off in the opposite direction. If your horse walks off he feels pressure and does not want to connect. Wait for your horse to settle down in one spot and become relaxed then repeat in a very slow easy manner. Take as long as it takes.

Once the halter is on, feed your horse a treat and then remove the halter and leave. Do this exercise a few times and your horse will put the halter on himself. He will equate putting on the halter as a good thing. This is a very important step to use even if your horse is easily haltered because your horse will now be more at ease and see you in a more positive light.

TIP: This is how to fix horses that don’t want to be caught.

Whatever you are planning on doing, your horse will show more trust and willingness because you waited for him to feel safe and you asked him to go with you when he was in a willing mood.

PIC_1104
PIC_1104

The origins of this approach

If you’ve read my book ‘Naked Liberty’, you will know well the story of how as young girl I managed to integrate myself into a herd of wild horses over the course of 3 summers.

After the first summer of observing and studying the wild horses I found myself approach horses and everything in my life differently. I felt I had not really learned anything but when I got back to my own horse Mustang I watched myself be more of a leader, one he understood better.

I also had more respect for his personal space and knew better in how to communicate with him and companion up with him before we went out on a ride. The result was that when I sat in the saddle I could read his mind more clearly and because of that I could make better choices in how to support his focus, trust, willingness and desire to follow my lead.

The question I had always asked myself about whether my horse really wanted my company was no longer a concern because I knew how to truly read a horse and understand his natural desire to connect. What made the real big difference was using the wild horse’s social bonding rituals I had witnessed.

Other than the fact I was just a child at the time, what made my study of wild horses different is that I didn’t look at horses with a dispassionate eye as a scientist would have. Instead I was a participant. I become one with the herd.

Participating with a herd, being accepted and able to participate in their social games opened my heart to know deeply the true nature of horses. I found that horses are rich in a culture which teaches horses how to care of the needs of others in the herd.

It is natural for horses to enjoy flexible boundaries games with one another. Personal boundaries increase when a horse needs space from another horse and disappear when both horses enjoy being together in soft moments in unity and harmony. These fluctuations of personal boundaries helps deepen the bond between individual horses.

carolyn_resnick__marchador
carolyn_resnick__marchador

The Waterhole Rituals show you how to use flexible boundaries to communicate with a horse that would bring out a horse's desire to bond and follow your lead.

With my own horses what I do once the halter is on is start Sharing Territory with him for several minutes so it becomes a ritual. It takes the edge off a horse and builds a habit in the horse to self adjust to calmness. In a short time you can depend upon the horse self adjusting his calmness and connection with you.

This way you have a two way connection, human to horse and horse to human. When your horse is fully focused on you and also relaxed, your horse will be in the proper state to follow your lead.

My approach with horses will help you develop your leadership in how to balance the give and take in an amazing way without having to behave aggressively toward your horse.

It will support you and your horse’s natural development from a performance based approach to a relationship based approach. With a performance based method your horse must follow your lead whereas with a relationship based method, you allow your horse to learn and grow their connection with you.

Taking time it takes to meet that need will brings about a magical partnership. The result will be that your performance training and riding experiences will be the best they can be.

The Waterhole Rituals start with the Chair Challenge which empowers you to connect and grow the bond with your horse effortlessly, easily and naturally from your and his natural loving instincts to bond.

Discover the Chair Challenge
Discover the Chair Challenge

To us horse lovers, horses are the greatest companionship animals on earth. If you have read up to this point, the partnership dance at liberty is calling you!

You are the true student of your horse. You will become the leader he is hoping to find through the Waterhole Rituals. Hope to see you in it soon.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training
10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training

The Benefits of Liberty Training

The benefits for you of Liberty Training © and working at liberty

  1. Your horsemanship skills will accelerate such that you will be able to handle issues with your horse you could not fix before.
  2. It will bring unity and harmony between you and your horse.
  3. You will see an improvement in your horse’s response to your leadership with any and all pursuits on the ground and under saddle.
  4. Your horse is easier to read than with tack, which gives you a better understanding in how to go about your communication with your horse.
  5. Often you will safer than when using tack as you are not physically attached to your horse, especially when he becomes.
  6. Helps you learn how be more effective with your body language.
  7. It improves your all-round in relating to horses and this only continues to grow.
  8. Your instincts kick in to action and guide you in how to approach training your horse.
  9. Deepens the bond you share with your horse.
  10. It is a perfect daily warm up by exercising the bond, trust, respect, willingness, focus, connection and energy as a way to re-establish the willingness of your horse to respond to halt, walk, trot, and canter in a controlled rhythm for a perfect performance under saddle.

The benefits for your horse of Liberty Training © and working at liberty

  1. Most horses give up their ‘vices’ without you even having to address the issues.
  2. Your horse will be much more willing and engaged during show performances.
  3. It will work and improve all horse from shy horses, dominant horses, food aggressive horses and horses that are not trained to seasoned horses, young horses, old horses and even fearful horses.
  4. Your horse will be much more responsive and connected with you under saddle, whether you are riding a show horse or a family riding horse.
  5. It will bring your horse feelings of safety and security when with you.
  6. It helps develop healthy muscles and allows your horse to enjoy spontaneous freedom of movement.
  7. It increases your horse’s desire to learn and perform as now he finds it exciting and fun to be with you.
  8. It brings profound well-being to your horse’s spirit when he does not feel pressured.
  9. It develops your horse’s intelligence because he is excited to learn new things and to perform for you effortlessly, easily and naturally at liberty.
  10. It will bring your horse so much joy when he is allowed to spontaneously dance at liberty because it matches the social interactions of a herd.
  11. It will create a healthy ego in your horse from knowing he shares a 50-50 partnership with you.

Benefits to you for all your equestrian pursuits:

  1. Dressage riders can balance the energy and focus of the horse so that the horse brings the appropriate energy needed for what he is being asked to perform, from a relaxed walk on a loose rein to an extended trot with suspension.
  2. For cutting horses, reining and working cow horses, Liberty Training is a way to warm the muscles up to be able to move freely in spontaneous movement. It will also increase the desire for a horse to work a cow.
  3. For pleasure riding horses, it will bring about relaxation and a more dependable ride.
  4. For competitive horses over fences, Liberty Training allows a horse to listen to their instincts and take directions, while at the same time deepening his ability to be in sync with his rider.
  5. For English pleasure and Western pleasure, Liberty Training develops a horse to be in tune with his rider and focused on listening to the rider’s aids.

* NOTE: 'Liberty Training' © is a copyrighted term registered and belonging to Carolyn Resnick

A Code Of Conduct that will help your Ability to Connect Deeply with a Horse while Communicating and Training

A Code Of Conduct that will help your ability to connect deeply with a horse while communicating and training. Training a horse at libertyIf you are dancing with horses at liberty it is paramount that you practice this code of conduct that brings about a good relationship with a horse while communication and training. It is based on when to respect your horse’s personal space and when you should ask your horse to respect yours.

I first learned how horses create relationships from my experiences as a child observing horses in natural wild horse herds. At this time I discovered a code of conduct that produced a sense of well being and brought about a shared trust and respect. I discovered that squabbles over sharing territory and food settled down when the code of conduct was upheld and shared.

I have since followed this code all my life and it is the answer to an unbroken ability to stay in alignment with a horse. When I interact with horses at liberty and follow this code of conduct, horses respond to me as a family member that they trust and respect. In no time at all, following this code, a horse will choose to follow my lead and feels safe doing so. This code of conduct is universal to all living creatures, even humans.

This is how it works as it relates to human behavior. If we are invited to dinner we follow the social etiquette of the host. For example; when the host would like us to sit down at the dinner table we respect this custom. We also are careful not to over stay our welcome and we don't take off right after eating as that would be rude. We also do not ask for more food if there is no food left on the table nor do we take food from another person’s plate and so on. All of these behaviors fall under a single code of conduct that we learned from our elders.

Pixabay Image 743905Often times this code of conduct is taught to a horse soon after birth by their mother. The foal learns when it is ok to nurse and when it is not ok. The foal learns to respect the needs of his or her mother. This creates social awareness. The instincts of the foal at birth, along with the lessons he learns from his mother and the social interactions he shares with a herd, develop appropriate social behavior which contributes to getting along with other horses and forming friendships. The earlier a foal learns social behavior the more social conscious he or she is throughout it's life. The later the opposite is true.

When a foal looses it's mother and is raised by humans it has no idea how to get along socially. He or she most always will have problems wanting to listen and understand how to fit in. There is a name for this condition it is called Orphan Foal Syndrome. Orphan Foal Syndrome is easy to prevent by training a foal that there is a time to nurse and a time not to nurse, like a mare would teach.

When a foal is born he or she knows to follow it's mother instinctually. It also knows how to move away from anything that would try to approach. In the beginning this behavior is what makes it easy for a foal to learn the universal code of conduct regarding personal space, respecting how another horse is feeling in the moment, and how to behave around food.

Photo by Lynn HayesWhen a horse walks up to you, he is entering your personal space just like a guest that you may have over for dinner. In this situation he will listen to your wants and needs more easily. If you do not set your limits a horse can become pushy. It is important that you take the leadership role in regards to your personal space requirements. The limits you set need to be flexible for this is how a horse learns how you want to be treated in the moment. When your horse walks up to you, the more willing your horse is to leave your personal space the move you can let down your boundaries. If your horse then begins to be pushy again you go back to setting your boundaries higher. If you enter your horse’s personal space, you then need to follow his lead and respect his feeling and right to his personal space. It is a back and forth shared relationship. When this code is practiced and upheld trust, respect, and friendships are formed and a great harmonious connection is achieved. The dance you share at liberty is then shared As One.

What you learn working a horse at Liberty with my method will support anything and everything you do with a horse. What you learn about horses in these course will amaze you. This class is for you if want to grow your leadership, and grow a deep bond while learning how to develop your horse’s instinct to follow your lead. You will enjoy the journey and so will your horse. I hope to see you in the class.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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Timing your Leadership Communication at Liberty

This blog is a guide post in your leadership communication using The Carolyn Resnick Method of Liberty Training. When a horse is in control of what he chooses to learn, he is your report card in how effective you are with your leadership communication. By allowing the horse to respond as he chooses, you will gain a deeper understanding of how to communicate with your horse.

Have you ever wondered what leadership is? A leader is someone who makes a request. As a leader, applying my Method, you direct your horse only in the moment your horse is relaxed, willing to listen and you have your horse’s full attention. With this approach your horse will naturally have the desire to follow your lead because he feels no resistance. In my Method there is no drilling, persisting or asking a horse to face anything he does not trust. In my method great attention is given to the mood of the horse so that the horse feels safe, optimistic, and connected. The feelings and tone of the trainer creates the mood of the horse. Attention to the training is secondary to the attention of keeping the horse in the right frame of mind, secure, and focused.

You begin each day choosing a lesson that would gain the bond of teamwork that you had the day before. This process will best engage the horse to connect with you and feel ready to take on new lessons. You should not grade the horse’s progress. All your attention needs to be kept on developing the quality of the friendship, connection, and the bonded interactions shared in the training process. Having this focus shortens the overall training of the horse and brings about an amazing partnership in the performance that you share with your horse.

What I am pointing out in my blog is that the timing of one's leadership is essential to bringing about a willing performance from your horse; the moment of request, the moment of influence. Knowing when to ask is predicated upon recognizing the moment when your horse can put forth his best effort. Blaming the horse will cause you to go off on a tangent which will lead to more time needed in the training of your horse. Practicing the timing of your leadership will grow your ability to read your horse and know how to bring him a sense of well being. That is when you enter the moment together. You and your horse are as one. The energetic alignment between Horse and Trainer is then achieved.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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Free lesson - 24-Carrot Toss Game

Find the golden connection through the 24-carrot toss game. When I feel deeply connected to a horse in the moment and he wants to follow my lead our teamwork is extraordinary. To get to that place a horse needs to feel this same feeling with me. It can be normal for a horse when a horse follows the direction of his trainer that they can become nervous or unwilling or unfocused or overwhelmed. This game may help to overcome these attitudes. It will cause your horse to see you more clearly as his leader. It will cause relaxation and a sense of well-being through the interplay you share with your horse while getting in sync with him.

This is a game that will develop a habit in your horse to work with you closely. Your leadership communication aids will be lightly given because you will have the full attention and willingness of your horse to participate in the most natural way. It will cause a horse to relax and enjoy being directed by you.

How the game is played:

You are training at liberty or you could start with a fence between you and your horse for your safety without tack. If you feel the game is getting out of hand by your horse progressively becoming more agitated then discontinue.

All you are doing at liberty to gain leadership is to toss a piece of carrot at the moment your horse is relaxed and connected with you and not trying to reach for the carrot. Your horse will learn that you are in charge of the carrots and that you toss them in the moments that he is relaxed, willing to wait, and focused on you. In this state your horse will listen to your leadership for you have his respect and his attention. Your leadership is fun to your horse because there is a carrot in it from him.

Put your focus on when to toss a carrot and when not to. This will help your timing in when to toss the carrot to shape your horse’s attitude to follow your lead. Having your full focus on when and when not to toss a carrot your horse will understand more clearly what you want him to do.

The result of playing the game is to establish a clear leadership with your horse to follow you effortlessly, easily, and naturally. Knowing when to toss the carrot will give you the key to the best teamwork ever. You will be teaching your horse to pause before you send him out to get a carrot, which will help to get your horse into a state of neutral. You do not want your horse to have an agenda, the agenda being wanting the carrot and showing it through any form of nervousness. When he is like this and you toss the carrot you are teaching him the behavior he is exhibiting that you do not want. What you want is his full relaxed attention, with no apprehension. Your focus will be on watching to see that your horse does not cause you to toss a carrot out for him because he or she wants you to.

I see this happen with a lot of horsemen when teaching or asking a horse to perform a trick. The horse takes over the horseman from a flawed premise that a horse after performing a trick ALWAYS needs to be rewarded immediately. You can reward immediately for a couple of times but you must give up rewarding immediately as soon as possible for this reason - the horse will start performing the trick quicker to get the carrot. Then the horseman tries to meet the needs of the horse. When the horse sees this response from the horseman he gets more impatient and agitated. This can turn into rude behavior. The 24-carrot toss will fix this problem.

You want to put your focus on getting your horse to work at your pace rather than the pace he would like. If you work with the horse’s pace you most likely will loose your leadership position with him. What you are looking for is a seamless interplay.

Notes: If your horse is not so interested in carrots before you start the game just feed him a few to develop his appetite. For a food aggressive horse he may not be ready for this game and if so consider taking my online course to remove his aggressive behavior regarding food. You might try starting the game with him with a fence between you. If he becomes more agitated he might work through it or you could keep your sessions to 5 minutes throughout the day. In a weeks time he should come around.

Some Side Benefits:

This game will bring you closer to your horse and improve your horse’s IQ by how the game challenges him to work with YOU. Practicing the game will develop a habit in your horse to follow your lead when you need him to. Working with you will be the best part of your horse’s day, which will help to continue to deepen the bond.

The practice of the 24-carrot toss will also help to take the spook out of your horse when you go to ride him from warming up the connection and teamwork on the ground. The 24-carrot toss is a great way to promote your horsemanship skills. You will see clearly how to manage your horse’s energy and behavior to bring out the best connection that in turn will lead to a perfect performance in teamwork.

If this game is fun the outcome will amaze you in how your working relationship will improve. If the game is not fun please discontinue it and consider doing a coaching call with me. This exercise is particularly beneficial for horses under saddle in cutting events, competitive trail, hunter and jumpers, Liberty and any horse that needs to keep an eye on what he is doing and on you. It can help the Dressage horse not for developing his attention to a sight line but how it develops the team working skills needed for dressage.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training

'Liberty Training' © - A Definition:

"Liberty training is designed to bring a horse a sense of freedom and safety without using any tack, including no halters or rope. You work with a horse at liberty in a free, open environment where a horse does not feel constrained or restricted. This is performed in a large pasture or a rectangular arena, not in a round pen."

General guidelines for training at 'Liberty':

  • Never use any tack, including a halter or a rope.
  • Never use force or punishment.
  • Your horse always has the freedom to say yes or no.
  • If your horse leaves you, you must then leave him so as not to pressure him.

If you don't, your horse will lose his sense of freedom and will no longer volunteer performance and put forth his best effort.

10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training
10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training

The origins of the term Liberty Training

Liberty training with Carolyn Resnick
Liberty training with Carolyn Resnick

I first came up with, and coined, the term 'Liberty Training'© in 1976 *, when I began teaching the method at the training and breeding center I had at the time in Sonoma County, Ca, which was called Stonehenge Arabians.

The idea of training a horse without tack was not the way people used to start a horse in foundation training at that time. What I was bringing to the world was new.

This is why I called it 'Liberty Training' as the horse was completely free and at liberty from the start. There was no training with tack first and then we took the tack off. It was training without tack and then later you could add tack and ride how you wanted.

I had also done a successful clinic in Palm Springs for the Palm Springs Arabian Association, where I worked with 20 horses as a demonstration of the value of training at liberty. My audience at the time was around 150 people and each day it grew larger and larger as people really liked what they saw and heard.

The first ever Liberty Training video

Then Lawler Enterprises came to me and asked me to do a video of my method and so my first video was made, which was simply called 'Liberty Training'. This was the early '80s and was the first time the general public had come across training at liberty and yet now it is taught by everyone.

As a result of the video, I began to do a lot of clinics around the U.S and people started learning Liberty Training. Equestrians loved the results of the connection that they developed with their horses at liberty and what’s more, the results were permanent.

They were able to work a horse at liberty by getting a better connection at all levels in their relationship with their horse. They learned how to call their horse off food and walk and trot doing intricate patterns with their horses at their side better than they could with tack.

Their horses gave up their unwanted behaviors without their owners even having to address them and were much more willing and engaged during performances.

The results were almost instant

Training a horse at liberty
Training a horse at liberty

My students told me that they found that their horses were so much more responsive and connected with them under saddle, from show horses to family riding horses. They also found that their horsemanship skills zoomed forward in such a way that they were now able to handle issues with their horses that before the clinic they could not fix.

Students would write to me and tell me that they now enjoyed bringing their horse along from a new ability they acquired from just a three-day course with me. The secret was the freedom of my Liberty Training where a horse had the freedom to say no, which flipped a switch in him to bond naturally and follow your leadership. In this freedom both the horse and the human are able to connect in their own way, which brings about a living connection horseman could depend upon.

However happy my students were, I was over the moon. I was an overnight success. I had a tiger by the tail. In other words, I had a clinic every weekend either at my ranch or on the road. This went on for three years and then I put my focus on exclusively traveling on the road to bring horses and humans together in this new way – at liberty.

The word spreads about Liberty Training...

For two years I traveled with Laurie Parker, my travel manager, giving clinics across the U.S., from California to Florida and back again. I was booked most weekends. Laurie handled the bookings and the driving.

Before my book 'Naked Liberty' was written, while giving my clinics, I used to share a bit about my childhood learning the culture of horses in nature and getting accepted into their community. While sharing my stories, people used to say that I needed to write a book. At first I thought I could not write a book. How does one write a book of words where there were no words but just thoughts and feelings. But I did want to share them and over many years I managed to write a book about my childhood with horses sharing the experiences that were important lessons that lead me to training horses at liberty and the method I teach today.

The next phase of my life came from after the publication of 'Naked Liberty' and Stormy May’s documentary video 'Path of the Horse', which took me to the next level and enabled me to take my clinics online and then I was able to reach the equestrian world globally.

Everyone can learn and benefit from working at liberty

Carolyn Resnick
Carolyn Resnick

My Dad was my mentor and without his guidance my life with horses would probably be like most people, as I would not have cultivated my gift. I would have set it aside and followed standard methods of training horses that would have removed my innate nature to connect deeply with horses. He said something to me once though that I later disagreed with. He said, "You can not teach people how to connect with horses. That is something you were born with."

However, I felt that everyone could learn to connect in the same way that I found to connect. I felt that everyone had an innate ability and that I could awaken this within them. My feeling was that horses and humans have a lot in common and I wanted to get people to see the similarities.

I saw that Liberty Training would teach a person the skills to be able to communicate and train a horse from their own natural abilities. I could show people how horses respond to our influence without using force and on the horse’s own terms. It was my gift with horses and I found that I could share this gift easily with others because it is so simple.

How I got people to acquire this kind of leadership was to have them lead their horse at liberty to their favorite music after I had worked with the horse to bring out the magnetic connection.

This connection is a dependable connection, like when a foal shadows its mother and how horses are able to move in unity in a herd. This ability to feel and direct a horse from a magnetic connection instantly opens a person up with how to fit in with a horse and lead at the same time. It is quite magical. It brings out the type of leadership a horse would choose to follow.

I heard over and over from people who had taken my three-day clinic, "Oh why did I not think of that? Of course, it is so simple and easy. I can do that." These students were able to step into their own ability to connect and train their horse.

How you start and what to avoid

Carolyn and Panadero at liberty
Carolyn and Panadero at liberty

The first thing you need to do is to surrender the opinions of others as well as your own and leave your agenda at the door, so that you can step into your own natural talents you were born with in order to train a horse from their own instincts. By observing a horse in this way you will find that your horse becomes alive to his true nature, and in that state of mind he will be open to a feeling of trust and will naturally follow your leadership.

What you are looking to do is bring out the social side in your horse by waiting for him to come to you on his own terms. This will bring out his instinct to fit in, bond, connect and follow your lead. This is only true though if the horse is not being forced.

So often I see pressure being used to make a horse comply with what a trainer or his students want, all in the name of 'Natural Horsemanship'. There is nothing natural about that for a horse.

The same goes for forcing a horse to bond by confining him in a round pen, which just brings about his prey mentality and his natural fear and resistance. Yes, it might be effective in the moment but it is usually not long-lasting so you have use the same coercion the next time and the next time. More importantly though, it goes against the whole nature of the horse.

Little by little, his spirit dies until all you see is that horrible, blank stare where the horse has simply given up and checked out. Have you ever noticed that? When you do it's a result of this sort of continuous pressure and very sad to see.

The irony is that most people think that training at liberty takes too long and something you should only do later when the horse is fully trained. But the opposite is actually true, it takes more time and skill to train using pressure. Whereas you need next to no skill to train at liberty and it's far more effective because once the bond is in place and the trust is set between you, ALL training becomes so much easier.

If you find you are not getting along with your horse during your training together, it will be because you are being too aggressive or too ineffective. To fit in and be a leader at the same time is generally not natural for people, especially women. In the human world, leadership often brings with it a feeling of entitlement, which scares a horse and brings out his resistance. Fitting in as a leader is what brings the partnership alive.

Discover the Chair Challenge
Discover the Chair Challenge

If you take away nothing else from this article, please remember this: When your horse can work with you at liberty and feel a sense of freedom, he stops acting like you are the predator, which in turn opens the door to a whole new world of possibility between you.

Your horse is not lazy or stubborn or mean or dumb - horses learn faster than we do - all they want is to connect with you and dance.

Carolyn Resnick's Waterhole Rituals
Carolyn Resnick's Waterhole Rituals

Ultimately what Liberty Training will bring you is a completely different horse – one you never even knew existed. It will be more like having a highly trained, herding dog who feels a bond and enjoys his work, rather than an unhappy and reluctant stranger.

So what are you waiting for?

Carpe diem - seize the day and start Liberty Training your horse today!

Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.

Warmly, Carolyn

P.S. If you are current student of mine, I'd love to read of your experiences of working at liberty using the Waterhole Rituals and during the internal launch of the Chair Challenge, so please share in the Comments below - thanks!

10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training
10 Reasons Why You Should Begin With Liberty Training

The Benefits of Liberty Training

The benefits for you of Liberty Training © and working at liberty

  1. Your horsemanship skills will accelerate such that you will be able to handle issues with your horse you could not fix before.
  2. It will bring unity and harmony between you and your horse.
  3. You will see an improvement in your horse’s response to your leadership with any and all pursuits on the ground and under saddle.
  4. Your horse is easier to read than with tack, which gives you a better understanding in how to go about your communication with your horse.
  5. Often you will safer than when using tack as you are not physically attached to your horse, especially when he becomes.
  6. Helps you learn how be more effective with your body language.
  7. It improves your all-round in relating to horses and this only continues to grow.
  8. Your instincts kick in to action and guide you in how to approach training your horse.
  9. Deepens the bond you share with your horse.
  10. It is a perfect daily warm up by exercising the bond, trust, respect, willingness, focus, connection and energy as a way to re-establish the willingness of your horse to respond to halt, walk, trot, and canter in a controlled rhythm for a perfect performance under saddle.

The benefits for your horse of Liberty Training © and working at liberty

  1. Most horses give up their ‘vices’ without you even having to address the issues.
  2. Your horse will be much more willing and engaged during show performances.
  3. It will work and improve all horse from shy horses, dominant horses, food aggressive horses and horses that are not trained to seasoned horses, young horses, old horses and even fearful horses.
  4. Your horse will be much more responsive and connected with you under saddle, whether you are riding a show horse or a family riding horse.
  5. It will bring your horse feelings of safety and security when with you.
  6. It helps develop healthy muscles and allows your horse to enjoy spontaneous freedom of movement.
  7. It increases your horse’s desire to learn and perform as now he finds it exciting and fun to be with you.
  8. It brings profound well-being to your horse’s spirit when he does not feel pressured.
  9. It develops your horse’s intelligence because he is excited to learn new things and to perform for you effortlessly, easily and naturally at liberty.
  10. It will bring your horse so much joy when he is allowed to spontaneously dance at liberty because it matches the social interactions of a herd.
  11. It will create a healthy ego in your horse from knowing he shares a 50-50 partnership with you.

Benefits to you for all your equestrian pursuits:

  1. Dressage riders can balance the energy and focus of the horse so that the horse brings the appropriate energy needed for what he is being asked to perform, from a relaxed walk on a loose rein to an extended trot with suspension.
  2. For cutting horses, reining and working cow horses, Liberty Training is a way to warm the muscles up to be able to move freely in spontaneous movement. It will also increase the desire for a horse to work a cow.
  3. For pleasure riding horses, it will bring about relaxation and a more dependable ride.
  4. For competitive horses over fences, Liberty Training allows a horse to listen to their instincts and take directions, while at the same time deepening his ability to be in sync with his rider.
  5. For English pleasure and Western pleasure, Liberty Training develops a horse to be in tune with his rider and focused on listening to the rider’s aids.

* NOTE: 'Liberty Training' © is a copyrighted term registered and belonging to Carolyn Resnick

Free lesson on Liberty Training © - Why Liberty Training © the pause and the dance brings about a magical connection under saddle

Free lesson on Liberty Training © - Why Liberty Training © the pause and the dance brings about a magical connection under saddle. The foundation training at liberty to prepare a horse to be ridden with tack or otherwise starts with training the pause and then leads into the dance. I have found that training of the horse with the right balance between the pause and the dance brings about a most successful foundation training and warm up program. By balancing the pause with the dance one is able to create a horse that will stand still in a relaxed frame indefinitely when asked and go forward when asked effortlessly, easily, and naturally. This balance of requests will produce a horse that can be ridden without effort and a horse that will take care of his rider.

You start with asking your horse to stand and then when he will, and it is natural for him to listen to your request, you then teach him to go forward. At first you go back and forth asking for the halt and moving forward in short increments because if you stay in one too along it can erase the desire to do the other. So in the foundational work you are aware of a balnce needed between the two. On a slow horse you are focused more on the go and on a spirited horse you are focused more on the pause.

This balance response is created in your warm up at Liberty on the ground and then again under saddle. When a horse will stop and go easily a horse is easy to direct from the willingness you have created in your horse to these responses. Always keeping this balance in mind when you are in charge of a horse wether he is a finished horse or green.

Warming up your horse at liberty each day to the balance of the pause and the dance will prepare your horse to have this balnce when you ride. Continued work at Liberty your horse will be able to stand relaxed and to move out slowly from the rider’s request or to move forward in a moments notice into the tempo of the riders request. Even in an energetic performance a horse can be relaxed and listen to your direction. This is achieved from this balance of the pause and the dance by working and playing with a horse at liberty with this in mind.

This is why I never bother with the vises a horse shows under saddle like running away, bucking, bolting, baucking, pulling on the reins, running through the reins, wont go, can't stop, shying, just to name a few. All those behaviors have been trained onto the horse by improper management of the horse or simply that the horse was not warmed up properly. Because of taking care of this balance brings about the perfect performance under saddle. From this daily warm up training at liberty you can tune up your connection with your horse so that your riding and training under saddle is experience in perfect union.

Warming up a horse at liberty you are able to warm up your approach to direct your horse and your horse is getting to practice a performance that you might be asking out of him under saddle. Foundation training breaks down easily to practicing on halt and go, pause and whoa, fast and slow, left and right, large turns and turns that are tight in a relaxed manner, in a rhythm that brings you to a magical dance in haromy and unity without the resistance or the fight.

Working at liberty from the ground as the warm up is a better choice than warming up under saddle. You don’t ware out your horse’s body from the extra weight on your horse’s back. It is a lot safer to ride a horse that has been warmed up from the ground and aother reason is once the alignment and connection are present when you get on to ride the ride is experienced in unity and harmony. Your horse will feel your presence and will look forward to the ride, he is at his best with a desire to follow your lead.

Something important for beginning riders to be aware of: if you are always asking for performance without pausing in halt and relaxed walks, your horse can become nervous so that he loses the ablity to halt and enjoy the pause. We have this in comon with horses when we do not take time for the pause. The practice of the pause keeps the mind in a calm state so that the mind then can function at its best. The opposite is also true if all you do is sit on your horse in halt and move around slowly. A horse will eventually not want to go forwards which will possibly open the door to the baulking behavior. Any time you ride it is important to focus on balancing the pause and the dance to keep the connection with your horse at its best with the same focus you use in liberty training through the Waterhole Rituals.

If on a particular day your horse is nervous and antsy this means that perhaps a horse has been put to the task in continuous movement with not enough pausing, relaxing walks and hanging time. By adding the pause in his daily warm up in your liberty training and when riding, your horse becomes “right with the world.” If your horse is right with the world your horse will feel right with you. This state of well being will cause a horse to stand quietly in a strange place or under strange conditions without having to be managed to keep him calm and to perform effortlessly, easily, and naturaly.

When the pause and the dance become out of balance the result can be a horse that will pick up bucking behaviors. Warming up a horse at liberty with the Waterhole Rituals some days you will be working on the pause depending upon your horse's behavior and other days on the dance or going back and forth between the pause and the dance in a way that brings their balance into alignment. My favorite way to figure on what I need to adjust in my horse is to imagine putting a 5 year old child on my horse and ask myself the question, "is my horse going to take care of my child?" This way I am able to visualize where I need to put my focus in my liberty warm up program to have a horse that is dependable and willing. The easy way to develop the perfect connection under saddle is at liberty where in freedom, relaxation, and exuberance are easily expressed and managed. Balancing your horse's daily energy should help your partnership in performance and support your horse's physical and mental well being. I invite you to leave a comment.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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How to Communicate, Train, and be with a Horse in Freedom

How to communicate, train, and be with a horse in Freedom: In every domestic horse there is a free spirit looking for his freedom. Let’s bring back the free spirit of your horse so that he can TRULY bond with you in the training process. This is what I will be offering in my next Online Waterhole Rituals Course. You will be learning a method of Liberty training without the confinement of a round pen, tack, or need for treats as bribes. It is my belief that all horses need to be started at liberty in a free open environment. It’s not just the dream of a deeper connection; there is a practical reason to approach your horse in this way. The practical reason is that a horse becomes more dependable and your training comes along much quicker and without effort.

Firelight
Firelight

The Waterhole Rituals removes the prey response, which brings out the strength of a horse to know how to connect with you and learn new things, causing your horse to absorb your training lessons like a sponge. The partnership that grows out of it is beyond measure. After a horse is trained in my Method, when you go to use tack the horse feels it is a communication that is natural to him rather than using the tack to control him against his will.

A little bit of my history; in the beginning before I joined the wild horses in Garner Valley, which you may have possibly read about in my book “Naked Liberty”, I had plenty of practice training horses at liberty using my Dads rules. The first rule was that I was not allowed to use tack while practicing how to train a horse when he was not present. The second rule was that if a horse became resistant, excited, or concerned I was to stop the training and wait for him to become relaxed and willing. The last rule was that if what I was training him to do did not come easily, I was to change the subject or quit. He came up with these rules because he did not want me to get hurt. These rules will help you stay safe as well and they are a great guide in how to approach the training of a horse in the most artful way. I follow these rules even today. In the years I experienced following these rules at liberty when my Dad was not around, I learned how different a horse behaved when he saw me as a companion rather than a predator, or just an inconvenience.

Carlsbad Sunset
Carlsbad Sunset

It is also who we are inside that makes a big difference in how a horse chooses to respond. The energy inside of a human spirit is what brings a horse along quickly. When using tack, treats, and round pens, a person can lose their inner quality that connects them to the horse. Their focus is more on an agenda, than on developing a relationship. Focusing on an agenda rather than the relationship causes a horse to not feel safe, which triggers the prey response and removes a horse's natural willingness.

A human's agenda can even stop a horse's reasoning ability by causing a horse to step into the survival mode. When a horse learns from a survival mode, what is left is a slave mentality and a false bond. The false bond can be seen easily in a horse, for the horse gives up expression and interest. He just does what he is told and what he can get away with. Allowing the feeling in the moment that you share with your horse, brings the dance alive.

I am offering more program related to this subject in my new program - The Chair Challenge. The chair challenge is designed to bring you to the kind of consciousness that can relate to a horse effortlessly, easily, and naturally. The program is a self-realization experience that starts out as an inner journey to let go of concerns and agendas that could hinder the progress of your horse's training. Sharing Territory and letting go of agenda opens an amazing door that brings about a dance that most horsewomen and men are looking for.

Discover the Chair Challenge
Discover the Chair Challenge

The online Waterhole Rituals program has three phases. The first phase is finding your true nature. By Sharing Territory in this guided program you will download an inner knowingness in your ability to create a willing connection with your horse. The second phase is learning how to communicate with your horse in a free open environment and how to produce a working partnership from a bond at Liberty. The third phase is focused on keeping a willing connection while training and performing at Liberty. In this phase, you are working on being able to bring your horse's energy up and down at will to match what it is you are asking for.

PIC_1104
PIC_1104

In a nutshell, you are both the trainer as well as the student of the horse. You use your horse's guidance by his response in how you approach your horse. The purpose of the online course is for the student to learn how to work with a horse as an individual and know when to allow and when not to allow and when to lead and when to follow to keep your position as a leader in the eyes of your horse. It is not about being kind or strong, it is about knowing this.

All successful trainers that bring along a horse easily do not bring agenda to a horse, what they bring is intent; the kind of intention that magically moves mountains. What takes place in the moment directs the approach you take in the training of the horse. 

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

Warmly, Carolyn

Here is a fun video showing a student learning the Waterhole Rituals and more...

https://youtu.be/anlEzOq1mG0

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What are the Carolyn Resnick Waterhole Rituals?

carolyn 3
carolyn 3

First of all, I want to welcome you if you are new to my blog and to explain the new online Waterhole Rituals course that will be starting on May 29th. It is a course in how to work and play with your horse at liberty and get amazing results. You will learn how to be a friend to your horse and how to lead so that the friendship deepens and the leadership is effortless. From the relationship you achieve in the course your horse will begin to match your movements like a foal matches his mother’s movements. You will learn how to send your horse out and call your horse back to you, along with your horse circling around you at liberty and being able to ask your horse to stay in one place as if he is ground tied.

From the practice of the Waterhole Rituals you will able to keep your horses’ attention on you and he will follow your lead from the ground, which will translate to the saddle, and anytime you may need the cooperation of your horse.

PIC_0354
PIC_0354

The Waterhole Rituals Online Course is a co-creative course that develops your horsemanship skills though the collaborative interactions you share with your horse at liberty. You will learn what to allow, what not to allow, when you need to fit in with your horse, and when your horse needs to fit in with you. Through the process of learning how to dance with your horse at liberty, you will discover more about your natural abilities and how to approach your horse using your own instincts and values.

My method is built on natural bonding rituals that are instinctual to horses. Through the practice of the Waterhole Rituals you will develop an understanding of how to connect with all living creatures.  You will begin to learn about yourself more deeply and discover a way to be a leader in the eyes of your horse without using force.

What are the Waterhole Rituals?

The Waterhole Rituals are natural bonding rituals that I learned from watching wild horses in nature. They are the rituals that create harmonious communication within a herd. You can see many of the bonding rituals very clearly when two horses first meet and while then are grazing. Through shared grazing spots and claimed grazing spots they develop a unified herd and social awareness. Horses train each other to fit in socially within the herd and how to keep a position of respect with one another in their everyday relationships. This is my secret and I will be passing it on to you by showing you how to approach the training of a horse in a similar way, to be harmonious with your horse.

IMG_0474
IMG_0474

The practice of the Waterhole Rituals will deeply benefit any and all horse and human relationship; from trail riding, to training and performance, to every day management as they open the door to your OWN true nature.

To understand what it is to work with a horse at liberty, these are the rules you will be following to bring about the true nature of your horse; to connect with him and give him a desire to learn and follow your leadership.

Rules to follow using the Waterhole Rituals

In each Ritual there is an outcome to be achieved. How you achieve it is in your hands by following these basic rules:

  • You do not capture a horse against his or her will.
  • The only time you are to influence a horse is when he is relaxed.
  • If you excite a horse the horse should be able to go back to relaxation in less than 3 minutes.
  • Take a pause for the same amount of time that a horse became concerned.
  • If you create fear in a horse do not repeat what excited him, but rather move on to something that would bring back the trust and willingness of the horse to follow your lead.
    • In many cases it can be a good lesson for a horse to become excited to bring up his energy, but not if the trust is disturbed beyond three minutes. Bringing up a horse’s energy is desirable but not to be used to force a horse to do something that he does not want to do or to punish him. Bringing up a horse’s energy can return his focus and grow the bond deeper, but not if he feels threatened. He must feel like a dog at play and that the connection has improved from the energy you developed in him. We all know what that looks like.
PIC_0405
PIC_0405

What is so different and special about the Waterhole Rituals?

They bring awareness in how to create the want and the desire in a horse to dance in partnership with a human. What is different about the Waterhole Rituals is that they shed light on understanding the true nature of an individual horse from the same approach that horses use to get to know each other. The Waterhole Rituals teach people how to connect with their higher self and how to learn from the direct experience, just as I have done.

What is the Therapeutic aspect to both species?

The Waterhole Rituals are therapeutic for horses because it gives them social activities to do and it gives them a sense of family with humans that a horse would normally experience in a natural herd. The daily practice of the Waterhole Rituals grows a horses’ sense of belonging. Since the Waterhole Rituals are the natural rituals that horses engage in to increase their bond and connection to the herd, they bring meaning to a horses’ life.

IMG_0112
IMG_0112

The Waterhole Rituals are therapeutic to humans in very much the same way as with horses. From the direct experience of growing a deep bond with a horse, something awakens within a person to bring about a deeper meaning to life. From the practice of the Waterhole Rituals a well-being springs forth so that the student is able to discover their natural instincts for communicating with a horse. During the process of learning the Waterhole rituals I have seen people develop a deeper kinship with all living creatures. From the heart and soul exchanges that occur between horse and human; broken hearts heal, the lost find their way home, and for the student of the horse it brings a deep sense of joy and growing connection.

There are many similarities between horses and humans and unlimited insights that I will give you in my online course. These similarities, between horses and humans, cause deep bonds that are magical.  The Waterhole Rituals are the perfect way to deepen the understanding of your horses’ true nature and personality and how to develop a more willing partnership with him at liberty.  In searching for this kind of connection with your horse a person awakens to THEIR true nature and finds a UNIQUE connection with their horse.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

P.S. The online course is now available after taking the my new the Chair Challenge.

Discover the Chair Challenge
Discover the Chair Challenge

TESTIMONIAL: [thrive_testimonial name="Andree Castagne – Belgium" company="" image=""] "It took me awhile before understanding how to really Share Territory with my horse.  I was sitting in my chair going deep inside myself and nothing happened!  My horse was eating and I was gone.

After Carolyn's coaching, I became aware of my surroundings, fully present to the moment, and magic happened. My connection with Bhindi changed a lot and the trust is deep and constant." [/thrive_testimonial]

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Positive Energy is in the Air!

IMG_1188
IMG_1188

“Positive energy is in the air.” I read this statement on the front cover of a Bed, Bath, and Beyond catalog this morning that I had received in my mailbox today. I was quite delighted that this statement could be found on the cover of a chain store catalog that sold bath products and many household needs to the general population. To me this means that the mainstream consumers are beginning to see the need for taking an active role for bringing positive energy into one’s life. It is not about the things in our life. It is about the positive energy we bring to our “things”. “Things” being all matter, whether that is our possessions, friends, strangers, loved ones, earth, plants, animals, or atmosphere. In little tiny ways we can make a difference.

My husband and I owned a 13 acre horse ranch, Stonehenge Arabians - Dances with horses, in Sonoma California. It sat smack dab in the center of wine country. We breed and trained Arabian horses and grew Napa Gamey wine grapes. We bottled a Gamey Nuevo wine from what we grew. It was a wine you served during the holidays. In the first two years we stomped the juice out of the grapes with our feet. Everything I touched was approached from a labor of love. The positive energy we poured out came back to us from a never-ending stream of consciousness that continues to enhance my well being even today.

Every day I spent two hours in the morning preparing the ranch to create positive energy for all that lived there. I approached my chores in complete awareness and joy. I was creating positive energy in how I approached my chores of raking, pulling weeds, grooming, saddle soaping tack, cleaning the feed room, cleaning stall walls, dragging the arena, feeding animals, cleaning waters, picking up poo, repairing what was broken, working in the garden, and so on. The list was long, but it caused my every day life to bring me greater joy for being alive.

The joy that emanated from me was palpable which caused my horses, cats, dogs, students, ect… to deeply connect with me in this magical space. One of the things I learn about life is that taking action to create harmony and beauty in the environment we occupy is the answer for getting rid of the things that stand in the way of the connecting’s we long for.

carolyn
carolyn

Being awake to what it is that you are doing makes you feel more joyful. This is uplifting to others, radiates positive energy, and sends more well-being out into the world. I believe this is our purpose on earth and from this practice comes a deeper sense of fulfillment and the connection we may feel is missing. It is the Zen practice of, “chop wood/carry water” that unveils the deeper meaning of life and good heath.

Training horses is a lot like this. Training a horse, for both you and your horse, can be the best part of life by what you bring to each other in the relationship. If self-realization and Sharing Territory with your horse is interesting to you, you might like to look into my new program the Chair Challenge, which is a set of guided meditations designed to bring you an ability to know your horse and yourself more deeply. These guided meditations will bring about a beautiful cross species bond. It is the first stage of the practice of my Waterhole Rituals.

carolyn_resnick__marchador
carolyn_resnick__marchador

My method of training a horse is not a method of training. It is a method of practice where horses and humans grow into an alignment. From the every day practice of the Waterhole Rituals a partnership arises were a human may ride a horse from a bonded trust. A non-imposing leadership is shared and a way of life that flows effortlessly, easily, and naturally is discovered.

If you are interested in the Chair Challenge program it will offer you a more in-depth practice of Sharing Territory, which will help to grow your bond to prepare you for the online course.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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Free lesson on how to train a horse to rein with light aids:

Free lesson on how to train a horse to rein with light aids. I always like to share how to train a horse from my life experiences. Life experiences through story telling are an excellent way to learn because you can see better in how you would like to approach your own horse. It opens the door to your imagination and creativity.

Carolyn Andree
Carolyn Andree

What made be think of this lesson was a trip I took last week with Andree to attend the Arabian horse Show in Scottsdale, Arizona. I can’t wait to go back next year! After visiting Scottsdale we then went on to Sedona to visit my high school and enjoy those great big red, red, rocks and canyons in nature. I also wanted Andree to see how beautiful the desert was. As I was reflecting on our trip, I realized I needed to write a blog and give a free lesson.

The high school I attended was Verde Valley School where I took my horse, Lover, who was a four-year-old Arabian. Lover was from the Kellogg’s Ranch and she was a beautiful chestnut mare. She came into my life at the age of two and was only halter broke. I had started her under saddle at three. When we arrived at the school she was green but very dependable.

I was looking forward to showing her while I was there. I found out they had no horse shows and that the only thing they had was a rodeo that offered barrel racing. So I had no choice but to enter her in the barrel racing. This was going to be a challenge.

What I am about to share with you will help you to create a horse to have the lightest of rein aids whether it is green or experienced and it is fun, if you like training horses that is.

Think on how you might develop a green horse that would respond to light aids at top speed. I figured this out through meditation. We had an Indian Kiva that John Brown built where I went to meditate and to figure things out and develop a spiritual awareness.

I sat for some time in neutral before I asked myself how I was going to train Lover to run with the wind and go where I wanted her go. To this point when she ran I went where she went and she sort of took directions from me, if she was in the mood.

redrocks
redrocks

I had half of her training for Barrel racing on her because she could run like the wind and was very, very fast. Now all I needed to do was to get her to listen to where I wanted her to go and to neck rein while doing it. At the time she did not even neck rein. I had never trained a horse to neck rein, but I could figure this out as I went along. I want to point out to you that passion is the mother of all inventions. If you are not passionate it will slow things down for you, but do not worry because you can do it. The plan I am about to share with you is one I have used all my life. I hope you will try it and let me know how it worked for you and what things you learned along the way.

What I did was walk in the pattern next to her until she showed that she understood the pattern. Then I trotted with her until she got the pattern. Then I ground drove her to the pattern in walk and then in trot. I found her to be very light to the rein aids. I then began riding her around the barrels in walk. When she went wide I then would stop her and recalibrate her direction and stop her again until she was willing to stand without being held. I reined with a direct rein, with one rein in each hand, and used the neck rein along with the use of direct rein together. She already new the pattern, so it was quite easy. Once she began to walk the pattern without the rein aids I moved her into trot doing the same pattern and then when she could do the same thing in trot we moved into canter and trot transitions. Then when she could do that we then worked the pattern in canter. When she could do that without the rein aids she was light to the rein aids any time I used them from the connection we had developed together and I could run the barrels at top speed and all I needed to do was stay on.

The joy I got from taking it slowly I wish I could share with you but it is too great to put in words. I can only say that it is like a meditation and a dance in harmony and joy. In two months Lover and I had produced a miracle. I entered the barrel race and we won it. It was not the winning that mattered it was the feeling of accomplishment and the journey we shared together which brought us to a deep connection.

I can say that my experience with Lover was greater than I could have experienced with my own kind. Nothing could beat it. What happened in her training is that her rein aids were so light that they came from a thought and a shift of my seat in the saddle. From then on she would try to figure out my message that I would send to her through the reins. If I wanted contact on the reins she would give it to me or if I wanted a lose rein. I went on to show her both in English and Western dressage and jumping. You can do that at Arabian shows. We were hooked on the dance of adventure. I hope this story helps to inspire you.

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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What Happens in Sharing Territory at Liberty?

Photo by Teddie Ziegler
Photo by Teddie Ziegler

Liberty training when coached in the Waterhole Rituals is such an amazing experience. It is like being a child again living a dream where you can really communicate with the natural spirit of horses. It is a self transforming experience. Being in real time at liberty in a free open environment, a horse can be truly seen. In this venue it is simple to understand the individual make up of the horse.  It also causes a horse to be more willing to connect and follow your lead.

This liberty training approach, when no force is used on a horse, opens the door to an ability to connect with the true nature of a horse. It is an experience in real time where one learns in the most natural way from the horse’s response. Communicating with a horse when a horse is free, you find out your strengths and your weakness.

Being guided in the Method by Teddie Ziegler, Linda Salinas, or myself is a co-creative experience between you and the horse.

When tack is used with a horse for teaching a person how to read a horse, it just does not work as well as it does starting out without tack in a free open environment. A horse does not show his true colors when tack is used.  Yes, you can work alone at liberty but, working with a master coach is more valuable. Alone, a person can only choose to interact with what they already know. Working with a master coach, you are able to step out on the leading edge to enter the world of nature.  Working with a liberty coach is magical when one can experience energies and connections that you have not worked with before or even knew existed.

Pixabay Image 940820
Pixabay Image 940820

An example of how differently a horse behaves at liberty: I had a horse that when I first got him I could easily spray him with fly spray, if he was wearing a halter. It even appeared as if he liked being sprayed.  He was trained that well with tack, but without a halter on as far as he was concerned hell could freeze over before he was going to let himself be sprayed. We had no bond at the time.

What you want to have is a horse that would stand and wait to be sprayed whether he was at liberty or not and that you used no tack to train him to stand.  Once I had developed a bond with him he was fine with me spraying him at liberty. I was able to change his conduct from the practice of the first Ritual Sharing Territory only. I did not need to practice using the spray bottle, he became willing. This is the power of the first Ritual. There is much more to this Ritual than people have any idea in how deep it goes. It is not just sitting in a chair in a field or paddock and waiting for a horse to make a connection with you. If this is all you did you would not be in the right state of consciousness to be able to connect with your horse when he comes to you for a visit.

Sharing Territory you need to spent some time preparing yourself to be present to the moment and fully aware of the environment like a horse. So when your horse comes to you you have something in common with him. Feeling an intimate connection with the environment, a horse will see you more clearly and you will see him in the same light. In this awareness you naturally will be able to share a common language that is pretty amazing. That is the magic of taking time to get in the zone of connection.

Photo by Teddie Ziegler
Photo by Teddie Ziegler

Sharing Territory is a time to grow your spiritual understanding and to grow your awareness in the moment that will help you to connect to the true nature of horses. Sharing Territory is an opportunity for self realization and is a way to step into your personal power. It will enliven your spirit which will help you to awaken to your true nature.

I have created a program called the Chair Challenge that has developed the Ritual Sharing Territory into an in depth program through 21 days of guided meditations to bring you to a state of well being and to a consciousness that will meet and connect easily with horses. From Sharing Territory with horses, horses have made me a better person and trainer. What I learned from them is that the connection with them brings about a partnership great than anything I could have trained a horse to do. I found a better version of myself and a way to connect with all living things.

Discover the Chair Challenge
Discover the Chair Challenge

TESTIMONIAL: [thrive_testimonial name="Andree Castagne – Belgium" company="" image=""] "It took me awhile before understanding how to really Share Territory with my horse.  I was sitting in my chair going deep inside myself and nothing happened!  My horse was eating and I was gone.

After Carolyn's coaching, I became aware of my surroundings, fully present to the moment, and magic happened. My connection with Bhindi changed a lot and the trust is deep and constant." [/thrive_testimonial]

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

Warmly, Carolyn

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