Image

The Hare and The Tortoise, and Horses?

Most kids are told the tale of the Hare and the Tortoise, it is one of Aesop’s Fables. This tale could teach us something as horse trainers.

Once, a hare saw a tortoise walking slowly with a heavy shell on his back. The hare was very proud of himself and he asked the tortoise. “Shall we have a race?”

The tortoise agreed. They started the running race. The hare ran very fast. But the tortoise walked very slowly. The proud hare rested under a tree and soon slept. But the tortoise walked, slowly and steadily and reached the goal. At last, the tortoise won the race. This tale varies, some versions say the Tortoise offered the Hare a wager knowing he was proud he would think he could win. He would underestimate the determination of the Tortoise.

I was always told it as a slow and steady, sticking to your path gets you there kind of tale. It could also have the message. Pride comes before a fall!

This can often be the case with horses. I know from the relationships I have with my horses that sometimes taking what looks like a slower route, actually makes what ever you wish to do easier and quicker. They also keep me humble and remind me to feel excited about learning and finding what I don’t know!

I have had comments from people who think The Waterhole Rituals™ would take too long for them. They continue with what they know even though it is not working for them. They know there is a gap in what they are doing as their horses behavior tells them this. However spending time waiting for their horses to initiate a relationship and using no tack seems daunting for them.

I was doing the same thing!! I was trying to ‘train’ Noonoo with the knowledge and experience I had, it was not working for her!!! I knew this and I read a quote ” If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got” I was doing what I had always done and not getting what I had got with other horses, a light bulb went off if I kept on doing the same things, for her it wasn’t going to work.

I discovered The Carolyn Resnick method The Waterhole Rituals™.

Now I have evolved into the person she needed me to be, I put how she feels first. I was reading some comments about Liberty horse training on social media and there seemed a vast difference in how we can perceive Liberty .

I read comments like when I TELL my horse he rears. This shouted from the screen at me. I am so very pleased that Carolyn found a way to make training horses much quicker, safer, and more harmonious for both parties. She taught me look for entry point of connection, ask when the horse is willing. When we let our horse truly be At Liberty, which means freedom of choice we tend to make requests to which they will say yes and then they even start to ask what shall we do together. We find we need to use far less energy and aids. Our horses like this. The Carolyn Resnick method is truly liberty based and use’s rituals natural to horses. We become clear and make sense to them and this encourages them to seek us out.

Here Chester can leave me at any time and I will not pursue him, he knows this and when we pause he used to leave ( he was very impatient) now he stays breathing deeply onto me. He is very playful and can still bump me with his shoulder, he knows he is doing it but he is checking to see if I notice, I say yes I felt it move away please but you can come back if you like. He chooses to come back and enjoys being with me. This has made lunging , ground work and introducing riding so much easier. We still spend time with The Waterhole Rituals deepening the bond we already share. I will give him time, short cuts and trying to dominate him would not make either of us happy and I would miss out on the fun we share. I have to stick to our slow and steady path and indeed everything is evolving faster and with more harmony and flow than I could have thought possible.

Are you a Hare or a Tortoise?

Love Jayne x

.

Judgments who are they helping?

The other day I posted a picture on social media, I thought it was a nice picture, maybe because I remember how I felt when it was taken. It made me smile, I was with my horse Noonoo and she had made me pause while grooming her, it was one of those affectionate slow grooming sessions, we stopped and she breathed on my face so slowly, it felt like pure love to me. We stood like this for some time.

I remembered so clearly the sensations and feelings I felt at the time, even though it was taken over a year ago. I didn’t expect anyone to see something negative, so when a comment was posted that I didn’t expect I was surprised. I tried not to judge them for it. Luckily I was able to answer and reassure them my horses are not caged far from it, I also mentioned that Noons was free to leave me. The person who commented was pleased. I am sure they had the horses best interests at heart and strong opinions about stabled horses.

I meet many people on my travels sharing The Carolyn Resnick method, The Waterhole Rituals ™ , sometimes they keep their horses in a different way to me, do things differently. The horses are always there for us without Judgment. They have feelings, sensations, they are more drawn to people they feel comfortable with or who ‘make sense’ to them. They always try to understand us humans they love us just like we love them. So why do we let an emotion over a picture cause a judgment?

What if instead of seeing what we don’t like and judging it as ‘wrong’ we look for the good, the part we do like, or simply look and accept what we see???? Without judgement!!! Horses don’t judge.

This lead me to thinking, if I had not been fortunate enough to keep my horses in a way that they and myself are happy with how would I feel? I know I try to do the very best for my horses and most people feel the same. Suppose I had no choice but to put my horse away in a stable overnight? Many people do not have their own property and they keep their horses at a livery yard, maybe they don’t have many to choose from.

I used to teach a young lady who loaned a horse, the place she was kept was a competition yard. The horses were not allowed out in the fields in the winter, it upset me to think of them shut in tiny stables 24/7. The lady in question had no say about this, however she used to spend as much time as possible either riding out, in a large indoor arena riding or doing some ground work, taking the mare out for walks or sitting with her in a round pen just to get the horse out of her stable. She also worked full time so often it was dark. She was a person doing the best for the horse under the circumstances. The horse loved her and they had a great connection at the liberty clinics they came to.

Before you pass judgement please pause. Does it make you feel good to do so? Will it make the person you are judging feel good? will it help the horse? Probably not. If you lead by example and endeavor to show others a way you believe is good it may work better for all concerned. Please leave me a comment.

Love Jayne x

Time.

The greatest training secret I have learnt through my experience of The Waterhole Rituals ™ is to give my horses my time.

If we can give ourselves permission to SLOW UP and spend time with our horse, only for the sake of being in their company, not wanting anything from them there are many mutual benefits. The first of Carolyn Resnicks 7 Waterhole Rituals ™ is called Sharing Territory. This is what horses do together and most of us know how strong the bonds between horses can be.

When we share territory with our horse they have the chance to begin the relationship with us, imagine if your friend only comes to you when they want something from you? wouldn’t it be nice to know they simply want to be in your company? When our horse starts the relationship they are interested in us. When I share territory I don’t want or need this, I am grateful for being in my horses company, for having them in my life and for all around me. Horses find this far more attractive than someone being needy or demanding. I have done that too! They tell me they prefer that I don’t go there.

Beans and Sonny sharing territory.

7 years ago when I enrolled in my first Waterhole Rituals ™ online course I was something of a busy person, high energy and unclear to my horse, who was also busy, high energy and confused. She couldn’t stand still, would open doors, rush from one place to the next, rear and take off the moment my behind was in the saddle, even before sometimes.

As the start of the course was still a few weeks away I started to read Carolyn’s book Naked Liberty I had heard about Sharing territory and decided I would only read it with my horse. When I slowed down, so did she, she started to show me how interested she was in a relationship with me. As the course progressed everything got better she listen more when I rode her, stood still while I put the tack on and we became a true partnership. That partnership has never stopped growing and today we trust each other in every way all the time, I know how she feels and she knows me inside out. Noonoo started me on the path I was meant to find and my other horses are grateful too. In clinics I often find the horses can SEE ME they know when we are there to be with them and are open to seeing things from their perspective, ready to listen and learn from them, guiding them with flexible boundaries and interacting in a way that makes sense to them. They offer connection and show how connected to their human they already are.

Now Noonoo even lets me know when she has decided it is time to ride.

Noonoo has gone from the fidget who could not stand still to be tacked up to asking me to put it on, at liberty she will stand and wait while I tack up. I never rush and if there is not enough time for everything we still come together with a pause and a greeting and a feeling of” What would You like?” Always open to simply enjoying some time together. I always give my horses my time, luckily I am addicted to them so it is never hard, even when life is busy you will find everything becomes smoother, more peaceful and you will feel better for Sharing Territory with your horse.

Love Jayne. x

Turning your horses NO! into a YES!!!

Before Noonoo and I had been through the Waterhole Rituals ™ , poor Noons she was really cross! I didn’t measure up to her and she knew it. This was a favorite expression of how she felt. We didn’t trust each other and I was at a loss about how to tame this wild horse.

Thankfully I heard about Carolyn Resnick and signed up for her online course, it changed everything. The big NO! from her was changing into a YES! I became a better horsewomen and learnt about what she might like to do and how she might like me to be. We spent time together sharing territory, it was hard for me, I enjoyed riding and training horses, to do NOTHING!

However it was working something was changing, I learnt how to develop a bond, trust between us was growing, she started to respect me more, she became more willing and focused on me more. She chose to have a relationship with me!!! I could barely believe it.

Our relationship has grown and is always evolving, we share a very deep bond. Now 8yrs later it feels as if we know every cell within each other, share thoughts and indeed know how each other are feeling and thinking. It may sound hard to imagine if you have not experienced it, but it is possible for every horse / human partnership. I love meeting new horses and humans and I am very fortunate to be able to travel teaching The Waterhole Rituals ™ in clinics throughout the uk.

Turning her no into a yes has been the best experience, I would never ask anything of her if she was not willing, that is the key to turning things around. Sometimes we have to create that willingness in our horse, anyone who has studied The Carolyn Resnick Method, The Waterhole Rituals ™ will know what I mean when I say check those 5 strings of connection and deepen them. When you know they are constantly alive it is an amazing feeling to share with your horse.

We enjoy listening and learning from each other we never know how our day will look or what we might try. In the fog and rain we danced. No bit, saddle, whips or spurs just enjoyment of being together playing with what we might try today. My waterproofs and thermals will be out again tomorrow!!

I hope you find the yes in your horses.

Love Jayne and Noonoo x

Gentle Touches.

When we share a closeness with our horse we begin to notice more and more the subtle ways in which they are masters of body language, connection and energy.

Maya took a long time to come around to idea of closeness with me, I had to let her come to me in her own time, she wasn’t one for too much affection or grooming. Now she is a master of closeness and will catch me when I am not expecting it with a very gentle touch. I can feel the affection that comes with these very special gentle touches that my horses offer.

This is Woody the one eyed horse, he offered me very special gentle touches in a Carolyn Resnick Waterhole Rituals ™ clinic and I knew he didn’t want to stop, he buried his muzzle in my hand and when I took it away he buried it into my chest holding me in space and time. It felt very special. Our horses can also turn these moments into a sharing of breath and energy.

If we are always rushing, or sometimes wary, we may miss these treasured moments. I have noticed these touches come when I am calm and present, not expecting it, so it can be a lovely surprise.

Our horses also give us special looks, sometimes the two are combined. They can look at us in a certain way that draws us in, I know when they are doing this they look right at me with very soft eyes and I feel drawn to them. It can happen as I walk past them and they stop me with this look or with a gentle touch if they can reach me. The energy is very warm and it certainly feels like a deep affection and seeking of closeness.

Watch out for Gentle touches, drawing in looks, and sharing of breath and energy, from your horse and please let me know if it happens to you.

Love Jayne x

Gratitude.

I was so grateful for this moment with Brandy.

I have just finished a weekend Waterhole Rituals ™ The Carolyn Resnick Method, clinic here with my horses. The biggest emotion that was shared with me was gratitude for the horses, for the open hearts of the humans and lack of too much rain!. It was an emotional clinic at times with one participant who was so afraid of horses but also so drawn to them, taking huge steps in her evolution. This lady has attended many clinics now and doesn’t have a horse of her own she has managed to hire and borrow horses to work with as well as coming here to work with my horses. She had previously needed what felt like a ‘safe’ distance for her from the horse. However the last clinic before this one she had the company of a beautiful mare and even managed to bury her face in her neck when I asked her what she smelt like!

Dancing with Maya with some distance between you is easy she likes this and the lady in question felt a strong connection with her, however something told me she was ready for Noonoo. Now your Portugues bullfighter who likes to be really close is a very different thing! If you step backwards and draw her too much without being fully aware of your body language she can get politely pushy, only to let you know that is what you are doing. If you out walk her and leave her, letting her lag behind, she will pin her ears back clearly offended that you did not take care of the connection and partnership she is offering. A new dance for sure, it was emotional for those present who have seen this person grow and take on working with many different horses, stepping up a level in her knowledge and confidence each time. I hope she knows who she is and will leave a comment here. Noonoo captured her heart , as Maya already had, they shared mutual trust really close and in tune.

This clinic it was Jackie’s turn to end it on an amazing liberty dance with Maya.

What I love about this picture is the closeness Jackie created with Maya and the huge GRATITUDE she expressed for what Maya had given her. She was full up, couldn’t believe what they had done and in awe of Maya. My horses always get thanked by me for what they bring to me every day. I have never wanted them to meet with people who are always wanting more than the connection and lessons they have given them. The thing I ask of them is please continue to be my friends and family, exactly as you are. Keep teaching me and giving me your companionship when I deserve it. Continue to make me the best person I can be for you.

I loved the messages and the expressions of gratitude for my horses that were expressed after this clinic this is why I open my home and the companionship of my best friends to others.

My horses know I would never want someone to make them feel they had not given enough, they don’t need ‘a job’ being who they are and keeping me knowing who I am is enough. I am forever GRATEFUL.

I hope you find lots to be grateful for.

Love Jayne, Noonoo, Maya, and Chester.

Flexible Waterhole Rituals™. The Carolyn Resnick Method can work anywhere.

What if you would like to build a strong bond and connection with your horse but you have to keep him at a livery yard where you are not allowed to have loose horses in the arena??

Noonoo and I love everything we do together even doing nothing.

The Waterhole Rituals ™ are a foundation for all other pursuits, therefore even if you can only integrate some of the work at liberty into your life with your horse you will still see benefits. You can spend time with your horse doing nothing, yes NOTHING! Horses share territory together, they form strong bonds by being together doing things like eating and moving around and also resting doing nothing. How often does our horse ever see us come to him simply to share his company, wanting nothing more. If every time a human calls us up or comes to visit wanting something from us it starts to feel a bit needy to say the least. How does our horse see us? Sharing Territory is best done in an area where our horse can escape our influence, sometimes we need to remain flexible however, so even if you spend time in a smaller space be aware that you want nothing, you have no influence over your horse, nothing for him to want to escape from. The only influence we need is staying safe and expecting mutual respect. If out horse becomes pushy exploring us in a way that feels unpleasant we can always leave or request that he give us more space.

Here Shelley spends time and interacts with her lovely mare in a paddock.

You can always visit your horse in their field the Waterhole Rituals were designed by Carolyn Resnick from her observations of wild herds so your horses field mates are not going to have a problem if you share territory, say hello and walk away and as you grow your experience of how you influence your horse, who always has a choice, you can integrate the other rituals with your horse in all interaction and meetings.

If you use the Waterhole Rituals, which are a liberty based method, as and when you can you will still grow the relationship you share and improve your ability to read your horse. Even when liberty is not possible, take the feeling of choice for your horse into ground work, don’t hang on with a tight grip, use your body language and learn to feel your horses energy, if your horse feels unhappy about what you are doing and you feel he would leave you given the choice walk away to the end of the rope and pause, give him space and re-think your approach.

Ideally I would love every one to build the relationship and mutual understand the Waterhole Rituals have bought to me and my horses, when you think you can’t do it in your circumstances, THINK AGAIN, remain flexible and start to explore how it can be done and how you and your horse FEEL. You may discover new found joy and also improved, connection in performance.


Here a young Rafa started a bit grumpy looking but soon learnt that interactions, even in a field, can be fun and changed his attitude, he learnt that his human Elaine has good ideas and started to become more interested in seeking her company, more willingness followed.

Carolyn Resnick has an online course available this is how I started to change my life with horses, and indeed my whole way of being. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything! Don’t ever think your circumstances will not allow for you to gain the many benefits from the Waterhole Rituals, I have students who come to clinics who don’t even have a horse but they seek the company of horses. They know from learning how to read a horse and how to build connection how they can take this to any horse they have the chance to share some time with.

Amanda who built a lovely connection with a mare she was allowed to borrow for a clinic.
Amanda helps with riding for the disabled and also had some horses she was allowed to work with in their paddock near her home. I am sure from seeing her ability to understand how horses operate through the Waterhole Rituals that she will integrate this into her life with the horses she shares time with.

Maybe this is a more flexible method than you first thought? take a look you have nothing to loose. I travel around the uk teaching public and private clinics, I also offer the chance twice a year to come here and take part in a two day clinic with my horses. Bring your own horse for a private session or come for a private with my horses anytime. We have grown a supportive network of Waterhole Ritual students in the uk many of whom are now experienced and have a depth of Waterhole Ritual knowledge. They also have many other fields of expertise we are always ready to welcome you. If you learn online, and though the winter what better way! find a link below to Carolyn Resnick’s courses. Here is a link to a facebook group for uk clinics and all students, I share my events here too and always love to hear from you. Uk WHR followers and uk.Clinics. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1531387223759386/

I also have a liberty connections page you can message or email me from here. https://www.facebook.com/jayneforsterlibertyconnections/

Please leave me a comment I always read them here on my blog and reply.

LINK TO CAROLYN’S ONLINE COURSES.

https://carolyn-resnick-method.teachable.com/

Love Jayne x

I can see you.

This is the tale of Woody, here he is with his lovely human Hermina.

The subject of having a plan came up this weekend in our Waterhole Rituals ™ clinic. I said personally I think it is fine to have a plan, so long as we remain flexible, one of the participants found it easier to be clear for her horse if she had a plan. Our horses may offer us more than we ‘planned’ for though, so we wouldn’t want to miss something special they may offer by sticking inflexibly to our plan.

Woody was the horse that tipped me totally off balance, my plan was scuppered and we all paused to hear him. Woody has another human friend called Anna and she also came to the clinic, my ‘plan’ was for Hermina and Anna to play the carrot game with Woody this involves two people and it has many benefits for our relationships. Our horse makes decisions, they learn to be sent and to be drawn, it can improve our horses gas pedal, and focus. We improve our abilities and timing too.

You don’t need to look with your eyes to see the beauty of a spirit.

This was not how things went, I felt a strong connection to Woody almost straight away. He only has one eye and can be spooky as when a dog barked close to him and he spooked at the beginning of his session. I was hoping to put Hermina at ease by working with him a little, he has scared her in the past as he moves very fast. I felt he wanted me on his blind side he was very clear about this, so we interacted with each other, saying hello, leading him from behind a little and making connections, I knew his spook was long forgotten on his part and that is how he needed me to feel too. I felt very close to him. I was about to hand over to Hermina and get out of the way when he stopped me in my tracks and buried his muzzle in my hands telling me he needed a moment, so we stopped I explained he needs a moment. This moment seemed to go on and the longer it went on the more I was picking up from him. He decided I could listen like a horse.

Woody really showed me that he could ‘see’ right into me. He made me feel that sight is only one of our senses and he could still ‘see’ and feel us all the time. He let me know that he is a very special horse and maybe with his failing sight he wanted to be seen for what is within him, his huge spirit and presence are the things he shared with me in those moments. He made sure he was heard and pushed me to acknowledge that I could hear him, he stopped me in my tracks and made sure of it!

Woody really is a beautiful spirit and he so wants to connect and be heard. It felt very much like our paths were destined to collide.

I am very grateful to have met him and Hermina, we will stay connected I know that. I know he loves his human and trusts her and he came to teach me as much as Hermina. It’s a hard job sharing the Waterhole Rituals ™ and meeting the nicest, most open people I could hope to meet along the way.

I realised after writing this that I had written the phrase ” Listen like a horse” and I had that morning said goodbye to Kerri Lake who’s book is titled Listen like a horse, Kerri did a clinic before our Waterhole Ritual clinic at Brandy House Farm and there are plans for her return so please if you would like to “Listen like a horse” keep an eye out for my Waterhole Ritual clinics and Kerri’s Listen like a horse clinics in Wales. You can find links here on my website under the links tab.

When we open ourselves up completely, listen from our heart, a horse comes along who wants to open his heart up to us, completely!

Love Jayne x

Chester’s spooky party.

It has been the summer holidays for my grandchildren and they have all been getting involved with the horses, horses love children. They can be unpredictable, fast and loud ( The Children!) so for Chester who is spooky by nature that is something to learn to cope with.

The Waterhole Rituals ™ The Carolyn Resnick method help bring alive our horses spirit, they are allowed to show us how they feel and we learn to ‘read’ our horses better. I am so pleased that my grandchildren love this part of being around the horses, they never ask why we are doing something different and not riding, they have got used to the fact that this is the way we operate here. The other day Chester had a big spook with Maisie onboard she was upset as is an inexperienced rider although has very good balance and is on the lead rein due to Chester’s lack of experience as well. We decided today to help him see how brave he could be.

I asked the girls to help me set up a birthday party with ballons, banners, shakers and wild dancing, things to walk over and waving bags and flags. I had not done this before with Chester so we didn’t know how it would go. He watched from his pen and the back of his stable as Noonoo went up to everything touched it and calmly went to explore the next ‘scary’ item. I don’t desensitize my horses to things I simply build trust, ( The second of the Waterhole Rituals ™ ) I try to show them being calm is good.

I am so very pleased for Chester that he not only has a Nana (me) who wants to be with him and is rather smitten with him but also a little girl who is really taken with him. Maisie is always to be found in his stable hanging out with him when ever possible always says hello to him as soon as she arrives and clearly is forming a bond with him.

I will add that he can escape her influence as his stable has an attached turnout pen, my grandchildren all know we never pursue the horse, we request that they move for us but never chase them. Maisie learnt this early on back in the winter on a cold evening after school. Saying hello and asking Chester to move from one pile of hay to another.

The girls didn’t watch tv or play games on their phones, today they helped with yard duties learning having horses in our lives is a gift and we don’t stop caring for them when we dismount. They enjoyed making this little film, a snippet of what Chester bravely managed. We had fun and were all very proud of him.

I would love to think the next generation can learn a kinder, more thoughtful, more rewarding , and even safer way to be with horses.

Love Jayne x

Who’s opinion matters.

I was recently asked by someone why I use the tack I do as I can’t compete in dressage in a bitless bridle. In fact also why don’t I ‘do’ anything with my horses. Well I replied without really considering my response and this came out…..I am very happy not ‘Doing’ anything and in fact my horses don’t ever HAVE to do anything, though we ‘do’ a lot and they offer a lot. However I also don’t need the opinions of judges as the only one that is important to me is that of my horse.

I surprised myself here, as I used to compete a little, possibly I felt the judgement and opinion in the question. I wanted to help this person out and explain that if my horse likes me, likes what we do together and offers me a working bond, a true partnership then constructive guidance is a wonderful thing and in fact I have lessons and look for this. This is the place I come from in clinics I always hope to help grow a partnership using The Carolyn Resnick Method, The Waterhole Rituals ™ It is always my aim to empower, never to judge.

My horses opinion of me, who I am, how I show up for them is the one that matters. ( and they always give honest feedback ) I know people who feel pressure to perform in some way with their horse, or even take up some pastime their horse does not enjoy. If the horse is not willing and enjoying what you do together where is the joy and fun!

When I have been away, I have enjoyed the connections with other horses and humans, when I return I can’t wait to check in with my three and see how they feel about me, I am sure they know I have grown and learnt in some way and we always, connect again even if there is much to catch up with in my human world, even if it is a special hello or hanging out for a short time. We do love to move around together as well though. I never know how they will feel but love finding out.

Make a connection with your horse every day like you have been away and have missed them. Every day is the start of your relationship today!

Love Jayne x