Last week Sally asked a good question in the comments section of the blog about how the practice of the Waterhole Rituals™ relate to riding and training horses when there are no fences or arenas to contain the horse. I will answering this question for you in my two blogs this week. The Waterhole Rituals™ are a unique method of working with your horse by working with the horse’s natural instincts. The Rituals do not train your horse per se but rather they provide a means whereby you can communicate effectively with your horse in a language that he understands that also builds the trust you need when you go to ride him. By communicating with him in this manner, you create a bond of friendship and trust with your horse where he sees you as the leader, which in turn causes the horse to be more willing and more connected. The strength of this connection allows the horse to feel secure and so in my experience the horse offers you more performance under saddle than you would have without the practice of the Waterhole Rituals™.
Consider your own relationship with your best friend. If you have a great relationship, your friend will go to extraordinary lengths for you and this exactly how I have found my horses respond to me and why I have been able to command championship performances in all disciplines from both them and my students. This is why I refer to my Method as being the Foundation for all Equestrian Pursuits.
When using the Waterhole Rituals™, you are working with the culture of horses and learning how to interact with a horse to develop a bond built on respect and trust. The same way that a lead horse goes about collecting a herd of mares and how lead mare keeps the order in the herd and how the young are raised in the wild. All these abilities to form unity and harmony are achieved through seven daily bonding rituals that are instinctual to almost all horses. The Waterhole Rituals™ mirror these seven bonding rituals and help you create a real connection with your horse. This connection is comprised of seven strings, which I call the heartfelt strings of connection. The strings are:
- Willing Attitude
- Magnetic Connection
There is a Waterhole Ritual™ to help you develop each one. When you have all these heartfelt string of connection in place, you will experience more reliability from your horse under saddle from the connection you have formed and you will know what you can and cannot expect from your horse from what the Rituals have taught you. By being more connected and attuned to your horse, you will know how to create the proper energy he will need for what you are asking him to do. You will know when he will respond well to being ridden and when he will not. You will learn how to put a program together that will give you the performance you would like to have from your horse when riding him.
It is important to remember that heartfelt strings of connection are always changing and you must continually check in and make sure all the strings are in place. Horses in a natural herd are always changing their personal boundaries to create order to support the good of the herd. Through flexible boundaries, I have found that I can create manners, respect and responsibility both in my leadership and my horse’s ability to follow my lead and feel responsible to it. By respecting my horses boundaries at all times, along with teaching my horse to respect my personal space through changing my personal boundary lines, I am able to get the horse to choose me as his leader. From the way I choose to work with flexible boundaries, I can build the horse’s confidence and attitude towards not being too shy or dominant.
I hope all that makes sense and will write some more on it on Thursday but if you have any comments or questions, please write them below.
Thanks and enjoy your week