Reflections on the Beyond The Waterhole Rituals Clinic - March 2012
Another Beyond the Waterhole Ritual Clinic has come to a close. Each group has its own heart beat. Every class is as exciting to me as the next because of the people that attend. This group was effusive and we were all about having fun in and out of the clinic. This group told me that the bond they had formed was a forever bond and they plan on getting together as a group for vacations.
Liberty Dancing with Aline and Rosalie
I set up my class so people can create connections with the horses and with each other. This bunch became a cohesive herd quickly. They were instantly having fun and learning skills through games and signing harmony lessons that were brought to the class through Robin and Molly. Robin is preparing to teach harmony in a choir in her home land in New Zealand and she led us in harmony and round songs that were bluesy and heart felt by all of us. Molly taught us how to do the cup game and sing a song that goes with it, I am still practicing. The cup game is an infectious game that can help to break the ice with new friendships as it challenges everyone’s coordination. The cup game put us squarely in touch with our body language and made horse communication easier.
The lines were blurred in where the clinic stopped and where it began from the group continuing their lessons in the evening back at the hotel. I saw dramatic changes in individual outlooks by my focus in shifting attitudes that are more supportive and optimistic.
When I lead a class I do not lean on pat answers in general. I always try reaching into my creative bucket and coming up with something spontaneous and new that is truly heartfelt and empowering for a person in that particular moment. This approach brings alive in a class an authentic response, and many times laughter as well, to bring the students an ability to use their inner knowing that works for them.
In one point in the class I saw the need to point out an attitude that would help people know how to think on their feet and know how to direct a horse in their lessons with the Waterhole Rituals. What seems to be a stumbling point for many horse lovers is the worry that their leadership will destroy the existing bond they have created. I believe it to be the biggest hurdle for a student in my program to face.
I was at that point in the class with a student that was feeling this concern. I thought about when in my life I felt I had the strongest conviction that horses had unconditional love for me and I had the same feeling for them. I recall it was in my precocious stage of life when I was a child and you all know how horses love and take care of children that love them.
More photos from the Beyond The Waterhole Rituals Clinic:
The Precocious Child
A horse really begs us for this kind of optimistic approach with them. A precocious approach is like the cup game. It is the ice breaker in many cases when communication with a horse is offered with intelligence and flexibility at the same time. Just imagine being armed with the knowledge of the Waterhole Rituals and imagine that you are two people: one that is the precocious child and the other the chaperone of the child’s behavior. Hope this gives my students some more food for thought.
The definition of precocious:
Molly wrote this as an example of what the word meant and I thought it was so well put that I want to share it with you.
“I'm a precocious kid. I own the world. I can fly really high. Sometimes I'm a horse and I race the wind. I always win. Well, not always, but mostly. I can run and jump and skip and turn cartwheels. I spit whenever I want to. Sometimes I shoot water right out of my nose. I'm funny like that. Don't you just love me?”
How to Set Clear Boundaries to Deepen the Bond and Build Respect at the Same Time
In close relationships we can offend each other, we can do things to one another that we could not do with a casual friend. We can make mistakes and the make up deepens the bond more than if the mistake had never been made. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake with your horse. Relationships are all built on experimenting and getting to know the social adjustments that lead to a sweet understanding.
I see that this is the hardest thing for people to understand about any relationship whether be horse or human. A horse learns quickly that the connection is not really broken from leaving your side and this is when the magic begins to take over. He learns that the dance you are guiding him to take is fun and rewarding.
There is a “break-in time” when the horse is not going to be happy with you when you ask him to leave your side. He will feel a little like a child feels when faced with having to go to camp for the first time and not wanting to go. At first a child may not want to go and have a tantrum about having to leave home and then in a few days of camp they are having the time of their life. I also have exercises to help the transition with a horse take place like the Carrot Game and the Intimacy Bucket Game.
When a horse does not want to leave your side is just the time to send him away and ask your horse to work with you from a distance until he is willing to give you space when you ask him to. When he is willing to respect your space you can then choose to work with him in close interactions again. Be careful not to over do this by sending him away too many times. This can teach a horse that you never want him to be with you. What you want to do is send him away and then be very careful to keep him in a great distance until he is happy to be on his own. This one lesson will have a great result. As time goes on your horse will become reliable and love any direction you give him. He will become optimistic and enthusiastic in the dance you are asking of him if this is your goal and I know it is.
For all of you in who attended the Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic I would love to read what you felt was the most empowering ability you gained in regards to your connection with horses and your ability to communicate and train them or any thing that you would like to share.
Attention New Readers
If none of this makes any sense to my new readers you can get a better understanding in how to use my method to train your horse at Liberty by joining me in my online class as an Extended Student. Here you will receive lots of materials to study on learning the Waterhole Rituals. Class starts April 15th, 2012.
Video on Dolphin Rescue in Brazil
Watch out for new horse and human sighting and may the horse be with you. warmly, Carolyn