The Waterhole Rituals™ are a way of being and interacting with a horse. Use the Rituals as guide and way of thinking to help you develop your ability to train and create a program for your horse in the most harmonious way. The Rituals help all equestrians find their own solutions and be creative by developing a program of training for their horse that allows the horse to shape their leadership to be effective and desirable. The Waterhole Rituals™ are not meant to be a problem solver or a method that should stand alone from other methods unless you are training with me directly. They are a support system for all other forms of horse training systems and techniques, including learning how to ride. My Method is an additive for any program and method that needs more support in developing the connection you share with your horse.
I would like to say that a lot of people get confused that my Method will help them to have a better relationship under saddle from the bond when they don’t have the skill for riding. To ride a horse takes experience and education. You can develop a great connection for riding from the ground with my Method but you need to back it up with the appropriate skills in riding and training from the back of the horse.
Groundwork and riding are two different skills of management. When you have the horse completely working at liberty from the ground and you then go to ride him, you must have the same amount of skill for riding in order to carry forward a good connection from the horse’s back. People get confused that when they are on the back of the horse it is the horses responsibility to take care of them. When this happens it leaves you in a passive position, as the horse is expecting you to lead the way. This does not work out for most horses and humans.
The good news is that over time you can acquire better riding skills from the practice of the Rituals, as your decision-making skills will also improve as well as your understanding of how to not get on the wrong side of a situation of your own creation. You will learn how light or strong your aids need to be, you will know when your horse is receptive or not and when is the appropriate time for ask for the performance and how not to over face your horse with what you are asking him to do.
Problems are caused by not having enough experience or not setting up the right conditions to get what you want, or from leadership that is not strong enough and inviting enough or indeed, choosing the wrong horse. If you are not getting the performance you want from your horse maybe you are over-facing him and asking him for something that is beyond his ability or your ability.
Focusing on the Waterhole Rituals™ will help you make sure the heartfelt strings of connection are in place and will give you many of the skills to achieve the confidence and connection needed to advance your abilities as a rider. With consistent practice of the Rituals, you will deepen your abilities on all these points, which will support you when you ride. This will also help develop a horse that wants to be ridden.
I am writing this earlier in the week actually as I will be on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles on Thursday giving a workshop. As a result, I won't be able to work with Mark on the next Insider Circle class but we hope to have more news for you next week. Thank you for your patience.
Hope you have a lovely weekend