This blog was written by Sophie Hunter, who is a student in the Carolyn Resnick Method Waterhole Rituals online class. I hope everyone gets a chance to read this and tell your success story in my online class. My Dream with Horses:
I had a dream. In my dream I was living with horses that chose to let me ride them at liberty, not from my training them but from a natural desire to be ridden. My husband, Hakan, and I wanted a life where we could live in a natural environment with our horses and be able to explore the wild mountains together. Together we would create a life where luxury was based on our own true and personal values and we would honor each other's body, heart, spirit and soul with our horses in nature.
My horse, Pamuk, is the lead mare of our little band. Pamuk means cotton. She is around 12 years old, an Arab and getting whiter and brighter every day. She has almond shaped black eyes and white eyelashes. She looks like a femme fatale. When she sheds her coat it looks like plumes dancing in the wind.
There was something mysterious about Pamuk. She would do all I asked but she had this shield and a closed heart. She was protecting herself from human assaults and who could blame her? She was a street horse used as a taxi service in Turkey. She was loved but handled rough. She had a hard working life prior to entering my life.
I sat quietly with her getting to know her and slowly the walls started to crumble between us, and rays of love had begun to emanate from her being. When I met her two years ago on an island, the owner of the horses asked if I would like to go for a swim with the horses. I was over joyed with his invitation! So there I was in the Marmara Sea with these horses enjoying their weekly swim. When Pamuk entered the water I was holding on to her as she let go of the ground and began to swim.
When she put her hoofs on the sea floor I slid onto her back. She had no objections and we walked back to the shore. When she started to paw the sand I jumped off, knowing all too well that she was about to roll.
Pamuk arrived in the mountains the following November, with her son Düldül (formerly known as Bozo) and her colleague Ceylan, who shortly there after gave birth to Dolunay. They were to spend the winter on their own to reacquaint themselves with being horses, away from the terrible life that they left behind.
We were in the process of building a roundhouse for the horses to use as their shelter so we could join them in June and start our lives together. And that is when Carolyn turned up. During Carolyn's childhood she had been living a version of my dream and her vision of life echoes with mine. Her wide open knowledge of horses and her ability to become one with them, pulled me into her world. I became convinced that she would be the one supporting me on my journey. I read about the Waterhole Rituals and Sharing Territory in order to grow the bond and trust. This I can do with confidence. I had spent my childhood doing just that and craved to come back to it.
So here I was, up in isolation on a mountain face, with horses and a heart full of dreams. I soon had the bond and trust but I needed to develop more respect and believe in my leadership ability. I needed to know more about how to interact with horses at liberty and understand their true nature.
This is why I joined last year's fall class with Carolyn and then spent a rather rough first winter in nature. In the morning I would call the horses and lead them out of the pasture to roam the meadows. After my afternoon nap I would go out and find them by using my intuition and following their tracks. I'd spend most of the day with the horses and bring them back before darkness enfolded us. I loved this so much that the roughness of winter was balanced out.
One day I felt really cold and I felt Pamuk's warm back calling me. She walked close to a rock and I stood on it, she did not move, I remembered how I got on her in the sea and got on her that easily again. She looked at my leg. She looked at my face. She went back to grazing. I stayed a few minutes, then dismounted and thanked her profusely. I did not feel cold any longer.
Then I started to sit on her maybe twice a month while grazing in a meadow. I would ask her to go forward and give her carrots or step off once she had responded to my request. By then the Waterhole Rituals spring online course had started. Looking back I realized that I had made a lot of progress. Using Carolyn 's principles my magnetism had grown and I was no longer in danger when I carried food. I had the respect from my horses that I was looking for and everything flowed more naturally. I could easily have my own space, but my horses were not interested in following my lead for I lacked confidence. And that is when Carolyn turned up with her shinning armor and her angel wings. You must trust me, she said, trust yourself she said and accept that you have it!
Accept that I have it!!!
Accept that I have it... I went to bed and woke up filled with another energy. I stood just a little taller, shinned just a little brighter. I could clearly feel the change with my horses too. They chose to come to me with more eagerness, their eyes were a little bigger, their companion walk more joyous.
Then a villager called. "Your horses are grazing in our fields!" Oooops. So, we got in the car and drove to the village and there they were, munching on wheat grass. By "Leading from Behind" I managed to get them on the dirt road. I was feeling relaxed and confident, the sun was strong and the road back up was steep.
"Get on already" Pamuk said, and I did. I gave her a cluck she moved forward. With my weight and my mind she chose the right directions when a choice arose. We moved together as a herd. When she chose the wrong direction I let it happen for a bit and then asked for the direction I wanted to go in. It worked! I gave her carrots now and then. We were in harmony. We even had a little trot when Düldül decided to overtake his mom, then more carrots.
I have changed inside and have come a little closer to my dream. I am so grateful for it all, the horses, the mountains and the isolation. From Carolyn's amazing wisdom and knowledge and her ability to share it with me, it got me to see that I do have it!
by Sophie Hunter
Notes from Carolyn:
Thank you Sophie for a great blog. I am so happy that I could play a part in your dream with horses. It has been a pleasure to watch you and your horses grow and learn in my online classes. Congratulations on realizing your dreams.
Have a great weekend everyone! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.
2015 Apprenticeship Program with Carolyn Resnick
If you are interested in being totally immersed in the Carolyn Resnick Method and learning more about the Waterhole Rituals and about yourself, you can join the Apprenticeship Program for 1, 2, or 3 months living at the Dance with Horses Ranch in Escondido, California and work one-to-one with Carolyn.
June 11-14, 2015 Group Clinic - Dance with Horses
The "Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic" takes the Waterhole Rituals and the cross species bond to the next level of the Carolyn Resnick Method. You will work with different temperaments and personalities of horses to practice getting to know the true horse as an individual and hone your approach. With personal coaching from Carolyn, you will begin your journey of self-realization through training horses at Liberty.
October 2015 - The Waterhole Rituals Fall Online Course
In the Waterhole Rituals Online Course you will be studying the true nature and culture of horses. You will begin to understand how the Waterhole Rituals relate to a horse's natural way of communicating in a herd, and then you will learn how to apply these to develop the horse of your dreams.