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.
Maya has been through a lot the past couple of weeks, it started with Laminitis due to grass, I was strip grazing the horses as Noonoo had an injury which meant she could only go out in a small space and could not run around. I put them out for an hour and moved the fence out to keep them calm . This was enough to tip Maya over the edge. Maya has metabolic issues and gains weight easily. She went on a diet and they were kept in with dry lot turnout and soaked hay. This lasted 17 days. at the end of this I put them out for 30 mins to start with on well grazed small areas of field.
After a few days of this Maya developed colic, I called the vet and she was given the normal pain killers and relaxants. Over the next week she had colic every day. After a rectal exam it was discovered she had intestine that had moved and her spleen could not be fully felt she was also very gassy. The cure for this is vigorous lunging for 10mins 5 times a day, in trot and if possible canter. She had meds every day from the vets, she was not allowed any hay only 10 mins grazing in hand every hour. She had a lot of pain relief and looked amazing lunging and lost weight.
The vets said that normally with this regime things would resolve in possibly 3 days so I was really pleased. I had been going to bed at 12.30 and checking her 4.00am as I couldn’t bear the thought of her being in pain in the night. However things did not resolve and she stopped eating and still had colic on day 5 I laid with her in the arena which is where she seemed more settled when in pain. We waited that Thursday thinking the worst was to come. The vet arrived and on a rectal exam reported things had still not gone back to where they should be. The worst was feared , that something more sinister was stopping the problem resolving. We decided it would be kinder to let her go. I went to tell the vet our decision and she started preparing. When I got back to the arena my husband said Maya had dragged him to the grass and wanted to eat again. I thought it was just the meds she had been given but there was something telling us to keep trying. 2 more days of lunging and no hay with a vet coming the next night at 11.00pm to give pain relief as bute wasn’t enough to stop her having colic.
Finally on the Saturday we had an out of hours call booked to check her again and there was some hope the vet said she was 80% normal this was real hope. Not out of the woods but the next day no colic and the following day another exam NORMAL! We had to introduce hay very carefully over the next week and due to her problems I soaked it very well, she also had an amazing product called pink mash, probiotics and gut soothing remedies. We started with mash every 2 hours and 2 handfuls of hay increasing very slowly, as we did the pain relief was reduced.
Maya went really lame, I couldn’t believe it she had looked amazing lunging and really keen too. It was obviously Laminitis again. Due to the cure for one thing another had come back. She is still very lame and sore so now after a week of no grass and back on normal well soaked hay rations we are crossing our fingers. I have made makeshift boots to cushion her feet and she has a deep bed to stand in, still on 2 bute/danilon a day and has hot feet and raised pulse which skips from foot to foot.
Maya has come back from the brink and while I walked her and sat with her willing her to get better I let my thoughts come out and spoke to her, telling her that she was very valued and needed, asking her to fight on, letting her know she has been an amazing teacher not just for me, but also having a big impact on others who have been lucky enough to connect with her at liberty.
Here doing what she does best being gentle and loving with Lily.
I have shared this experience as if ever you have this problem, or know someone who does, if your horse wants to fight then fight for them too. Maya told us to keep going and she is still here.
Respect, being respectful, mutual respect. for some people it seems that this is a difficult concept.
We have a problem when we are so in love with our horse that we allow disrespectful behavior to creep in. Some people struggle with setting boundaries with their horse and what one person is comfortable with and will allow could be very far from what another may allow.
I know from the many horses and people I have met in clinics that I have to tailor the question of respect to the partnership in front of me. I will ask my horses and when they ask me ( Politely ) I will listen. Developing respect does not mean demanding and using force, it means creating an understanding between two beings. Sometimes setting boundaries. I find children seem to naturally understand this and they have no problem with it. Well at least my grandchildren don’t, I wonder if it is the same for children who have not had boundaries I think it may be, their love is unconditional it doesn’t come from having more sweets or treats without limits. I believe security comes from a constant checking of our boundaries and checking if they are needed or not.
I know little Chester has become a confident young man he is the sort of character who will amuse himself if not occupied and focused on. He loves the attention he is getting from my daughter and grandchildren but I stay mindful that they are safe with him and they know how to read him and not let him slip into not being the gentleman he should be. They also grant all of the horses the respect they deserve never taking them for granted and always asking their permission to ride. Also now Noonoo is older they understand that what she has taught them is a great gift and they know when she offers canter it is hard for her, but she offers it willingly and they respect her enough not to ask for too much.
There seems to me there is much we can learn about mutual respect from horses and children, after all a child will not respect you if you are not in command of yourself and neither will a horse!
The Waterhole Rituals allow us the freedom to explore boundaries we may wish to set. Where are our horses boundaries? and how do we gain a Bond, Trust, Respect, Willingness and Focus to find the entry point of connection with a horse, so there become no boundaries. So that we can flow in harmony with our horse. If the word Respect brings to mind being uncomfortable or dominant then look within and reflect on how wonderful mutual respect can be.
This title may sound a little gloomy and many people do find winter hard. Not only do we have cold and wet weather to deal with, the dark days when the sky is gloomy and the sun goes down early can make us feel down.
This is when we can stray from staying present and look back, remember how even in the winter we can see our glass as at least half full, never half empty. When some winter sunshine appears I love it! I always feel grateful and when it is a gloomy day always remember it will pass and the sunshine will re-appear.
I think the latest restrictions make it even harder for many as unlike last time, we have been here before. However last time it was spring and we could enjoy the weather meeting outside, I am very fortunate that my horses brighten the gloomy days and the restrictions. As do my family even if we can’t hug ( We are a very huggy lot!) we still remain in close contact.
Today was a gloomy day, it was drizzly rain and dark, as I had in my mind I wanted to ride Noonoo brush all 3 horses and do some in hand work with Chester I decided to wrap up and carry on. The ride with noons started from the first Hello and grooming, she was very friendly and warm, keen as ever to ‘get on’ it was lovely to be back together riding as she has had some time off from this. Chester my plans went to pot, he felt so connected to me and calm it felt right to take the tack off and play at liberty. We danced in harmony and fun, he always feels as though he grows about a foot at liberty and where I have been working to help his posture today he showed off how proud he can feel. Always having a willing attitude and plenty of energy he can go from 0 to 100 with only a look, a gesture, almost from a thought from me and come back again the same way when asked. The joyfulness we shared will keep my glass FULL through the dark days of winter. I do hope your horses brighten your days and really hope to get out and meet more people next year and share the amazing life changing thing for me. The Carolyn Resnick method. I have very much missed meeting people old friends and new and sharing special weekends with you and your horses.
This was Chester last winter, we have continued to grow our bonds and renew them all the time. He makes me smile and we enjoy each others company. When that winter sun comes out I will get my camera out again.
Please do comment and share with me your horse tails.
Above is a link to Caroline Ingraham to explain more about this.
I was very fortunate that after our Waterhole Rituals clinic, Victoria Dorman stayed and offered my horses a big healing treat. A self selection session is such a treat, not only for the horses but for me too, I love to see what they take and how it matches with what I feel is going on for them too.
The horses choose what they need.
My Grandaughter Maisie was very interested so she stayed to watch. It has given me a good start to foraging for some things they may take as well as growing a little collection of herbs and oils. I already had some from a previous session with Kath Moore. Interestingly they took different things this time.
After the fresh foraged herbs Victoria moved on to dried ones roots and seeds. Chester even got to decide which order he would like to take things in! Next came essential oils there was a big moment here when Chester took a deep inhale of Melissa oil, he had to go away and process what was happening and we could both feel the emotion.
Not knowing his life before he ended up at World Horse Welfare I can only imagine there was a fair amount of neglect, his immune system was compromised and he was very nervous and wary of people and even his own shadow. I am so very proud of him for the trust he is showing towards others now. He is still a reactive little fellow and that is partly who he is which is fine, my horses are allowed to be who they truly are.
Noonoo, Maya and Chester all showed up to meet new people at our clinic and pass on The Carolyn Resnick Method of horsemanship they all took part and we enjoyed having a wonderful group of ladies. After the restrictions that have been placed on our lives this year it felt like a mini break to all come together and simply enjoy building connections and communicate in a way that makes sense to horses. I would have loved longer with this group who all had so much knowledge of different aspects of the horse.
New friendships are always made when we come together in this way, with mutual respect, willingness to connect and focus on each other, trusting, without judgments in fact all the things we wish to cultivate with our horses! and offering support for each other. Growing the already supportive community of people who want better lives for the horses.
This is a blog from a guest blogger who came to a Waterhole Rituals clinic hosted by our mutual friend Elaine Hutchinson. Elaine had mentioned that Victoria had a great experience she could share so I heard her story and asked her to write a blog about it. Here is what she wrote.
Harry is or rather was a showjumper. We don’t know much about his early years except that he came from Ireland but we do know that something awful happened to him. Friends bought him for their daughter but on the way home they discovered amongst his tack a letter from his previous owners suggesting that before they rode him, shod him or basically did anything with him they should give him a shot of tranquilliser as they had found it “worked very well”.
Not being the kind of people who would dream of doing that, they attempted, with a lot of love and care, to give him a normal life. But Harry without the drugs to keep his fears at bay, was just too dangerous. So they turned him out with a little pony for company and abandoned any hope of a relationship with him.
Three years later I had had the good fortune to make the exciting discovery late one night in a friend’s stables that a whiff of peppermint oil could turn an aggressive thoroughbred that wouldn’t let anyone touch him, into a calm, slightly spaced out horse that was happy to be kissed and patted. Three hours googling later I was signed up on the course with the wonderful Jo Rose, to study Herbal Choices for Animals, otherwise known as Applied Zoopharmacognosy.
Applied Zoopharmacognosy allows domestic animals the same opportunities to select the plants and minerals that are needed to stay healthy, as those in the wild. Wild animals have always used their natural instincts to select from nature exactly what they need to stay healthy. A horse in a stable or in the average paddock does not have the same opportunities as it does not have access to the incredibly wide range of botanical items that will allow them to make the constant minor adjustments to their diet to stay well. For example a mouthful of cleavers (goose grass) will aid the lymphatic system, a mouthful of dandelion, the liver and kidneys. Armed with a knowledge of plants as medicine we can bring the wild to the domesticated animal by offering herbs, aromatics (Essential oils or Hydrosols) and minerals such as green clay, for animals to choose what they need, in what order and and in the right quantity for them. In this way we can not only help their physical health but also improve their emotional well-being as certain nutrients and scents can aid the nervous system to reduce anxiety and even help release past traumas.
In my year of study I needed I needed five case studies and that was how I first met Harry. By this time Harry was still in the field but had become so wild and distrustful that he didn’t even have a rug on in the winter as he wouldn’t let anyone put one on. We used the little pony, Paddy, to lead him into the school. I had three sessions with him and he responded really well to the essential oils, yawning continuously (yawning is a stress release) for perhaps five minutes at a time after inhaling . We made progress but he never let me touch him.
I so wanted to be able to help him. I could tell that although he was obviously dangerous as he could take off at top speed at a moment’s notice (during one session he jumped the five bar gate to the school to be back with his friend Paddy) I could see it was just fear. I could see just how much stress he held and how he was always on full alert. It must have been exhausting for him.
So the universe led me, via Facebook, to the lovely Elaine Hutchinson and through her to Carolyn Resnick. Elaine showed me how it was possible to work with a horse at liberty. I had stopped riding in my 20’s and so was unaware of such a new way to connect with horses. I was blown away and very excited to see if this method would enable me to make contact with Harry and allow him to trust humans again.
I bought an online course from Carolyn Resnick: the first part of the Waterhole Rituals, the 21 day Chair challenge. So I soon found myself sitting in a deckchair clutching my mobile phone in order to hear the meditations, plus a journal and a pen . The next few weeks were a revelation. It took longer than 21 days, I think it was nearer 40. But during that time not only did Harry change but so did I. Harry did eventually come over to see just what this person was: he would stand right over me, his chin occasionally touching my head and yawn for ten minutes!. It was a hot summer and the flies were all over him but thanks to the Chair Challenge after a while he was happy for me to stroke them away, to scratch his back and from there to groom him, pick up his feet and eventually put on his head collar, take it off and then put it on again! With every day’s progress my confidence in every way grew and grew. I felt a new awareness for everything: for my own energy, for the nature about me and of course my relationship with Harry. A sense of wonder and joy filled me whenever I visited this beautiful boy.
Thanks to the Chair Challenge that winter Harry was able to wear his new rug. He was able to have his feet trimmed. And most magical of all he extended this newfound trust to his owners and at last they were able to engage with him and look after him as they had always intended to.
The Chemical Free Life.
Thank you Elaine for your continued support of the Carolyn Resnick method and my clinics.
Thank you Victoria for writing the blog I asked you to share.
I will add that Victoria lives over 2 hours away from myself otherwise I would be asking her to share Zoopharmacognosy with my horses! Luckily for me I met a lovely lady in Somerset who was happy to swap some sessions for some Waterhole Rituals with my horses. It was fantastic and I hope Kath will come over again. She kindly sent me a list of herbs and helped me get some green clay this is now a store cupboard must have. I also offer some marigold flowers, burdock root, rosehips, hawthorn berries some essential oils and various other goodies to my horses. If you can treat your horses to a session I would highly recommend it.
I have also been struck by how well someone with this training can read a horses emotions.
I have noticed there are a lot more trainers out there offering online courses and ebooks etc all about training horses at liberty.
I am very fortunate to have learnt from Carolyn Resnick who as far as I know was one of the first, if not the first person to interact with horses at liberty and to offer this as a way to learn more about how horses operate.
With The Carolyn Resnick method™, unlike most others, we start at liberty. We develop a bond with our horse when he is free in an open environment and able to escape our influence. We don’t start with tack or round pens. We never trap the horse or drill him in tack untill he carries on the same behavior without tack. We do not want our horse to be robotic we encourage his spirit to stay alive.
Here young Chester follows my lead, not because he has done this before a hundred times in tack, in fact we only just started doing this, but he has learnt being with me feels good, he knows I will try to work as a team with him and he enjoys obstacles. He follows me due to the time spent bonding, creating trust and our time spent at true liberty. He would not be chased or punished for walking away and leaving me and I would not be offended, I would allow him his freedom. He finds this way far more appealing and chooses to stay with me.
How do we do all this? it sounds long winded and difficult. If you are trapped in a mindset of thinking you have to control your horse and you can’t without tack then maybe take a look at this method in fact it makes training quicker.
We grow a relationship with our horse using behaviors and interactions that are natural to him, he becomes drawn to us naturally, as he would be to another horse. Our horse OFFERS CONNECTION AT LIBERTY. How can Liberty be liberty without free choice? When our horse stops thinking and decision making he is in fact much harder to train. When he chooses the training we bring to him it is very easy. His decisions come into line with ours, his energy blends with ours and anything we choose to do together becomes harmonious.
We can take this to any other equestrian pursuits, when I start AT LIBERTY I have my horses willingness when I use tack, lunging Chester over a jump for the first time for instance I would never ask too much and he was very happy to oblige. He seems to enjoy poles and jumps very much.
My mare Noonoo who taught me I needed to develop this partnership with her seemed untrainable and a bit wild untill we started with The Carolyn Resnick method. Now she enters into many different forms of partnership with me. We still love our time hanging out together, dancing at liberty, and we share an unspoken energetic communication in riding. Something I feel very grateful to have experienced. She is even teaching my grandchildren all about horses, At liberty, in ground work, and riding. They have her best interests at heart and they love riding bitless.
If you would like to experience this depth of connection with your horse please do contact me. Or check out Carolyn Resnick method of horsemanship. Where there are online courses.
What does Liberty mean to us and will Corona virus change how we see our liberty. That freedom we normally enjoy. I wonder if we will be changed by what has happened. I hope we will for the better, maybe we will waste less.
Maybe we will be more grateful for our planet, the animals, each other and our freedom. I hope we can get back to hugging our relatives and friends.
For our society to loose some of their freedom and liberty would have been unthinkable last year. To hear the horrific numbers of deaths and the suffering of those who have been really ill would have been unthinkable.
For my 86yr old Mum and all the other vulnerable people who have to do then social distancing they have to shield themselves it must seem like a prison sentence. Not going out other than for a short walk and some not able to do that even without assistance which they cannot have now. They truly have no freedom at the moment.
I am forever grateful to my horses for being in my life, I never forget how lucky I am and now more so than ever. My heartfelt wishes go out to everyone. I hope we can be free from this virus and enjoy the freedom we had. Be kind and don’t forget to send out love we are all connected even on lockdown.
I am very grateful for the freedom she gives to me. I hope you enjoy this little clip and can share how it felt. It felt like we were free.
This blog is from an email I received from the lovely Jo we met some 4 or 5 years ago now I think. Jack was a very young bouncy boy and they came to Somerset to a Waterhole Rituals clinic. Since then I have traveled to Wales and Jo has come to all the clinics there. I have got to know her and Jack and we have kept in touch even though I had to cancel the clinic due to Covid19.
It is always an honor to watch people grow, relationships grow and indeed boys like Jack grow up. What I loved straight away with Jo, was her horse was perfect to her even if he had the odd nip or expressed himself with some leaping and bucking. She adored him and he her. This tale shows how strong the bond, trust and connection are between them.
I haven’t got back to you about Jack as I was all ready and excited on Sunday as a friend up the road was lending us her arena, I went to the shelter and both Sid and jack were completely out of it, total snooze mode so as I didn’t have a time frame, I sat down with them, relaxed, shared snooze territory and felt good that for once I was able to go with the flow.
Jack decided to itch his head on the large wooden manger, which he does often. Then he walked right up to me holding his head to one side in a dozy low head manner. His eye was filled and pouring with blood! My heart stopped! I cleaned it up quickly, photographed it, sent to the vet, then followed it up with a call and found out how it had happened. Due to his scratching he had caused a screw to come loose, a flat head screw was sticking out by a few mm’s. The vet who is a friend was brilliant and after more pics we discovered he had cut his lower eyelid the whole way through, not touching the eye.
(As I read on I was picturing this in my mind, later Jo sent me the pictures)
I had given him arnica immediately, which was great as it prevented swelling, then had to clean with warm salty water, then apply a cream from a syringe by pulling back his eyelid and squirting it in. I am squeamish and this felt like it would hurt a lot especially as it was in 2 parts now.
I had questioned my connection with Jack just days before and yet in this moment and the days that followed it was heartbreakingly obvious that I was soooo wrong. He held his head so still while I bathed him, he held it low so I could reach and never moved when I held the cotton wool soaked salt water over the wound. My fear of hurting him further with the whole cream thing he knew, he felt and stood there for me in his pain and let me pull his eyelid down. It wasn’t just that moment, he was the same in the evening and the following day. I cannot describe the love, respect and humbling effect this has had on me from my beautiful and powerful horse who could have refused treatment. I didn’t need help or painkillers or drugs to make him dopey. He trusted me, even when I was shaking.
My husband knew I’d felt disappointed earlier in the week with my connection and he isn’t a man of many words, but that evening he said to me, sometimes I think you just expect too much of Jack. It wasn’t a criticism, I know he was being thoughtful for both our sake’s.(mine and Jack)
Sunday night I remembered a class I had taken about communication with animals, I fell asllep to the perfect vision of Jack’s eye, so big it filled my mind and it was well, it was healed, it was beautiful and gentle.
Monday morning I went up and I couldn’t believe how well it had healed, closed up, no swelling, no more bleeding and he was shouting in his usual way for breakfast.
Jack is special I know, when the vet who I bought him off saw him, he knew too, he bought him the day after he castrated him and Jack, a yearling, never haltered, never separated from his mum, was led straight onto a trailer, no fuss at all, they were all gobsmacked. He had a good life for 3 more years with the vet’s herd, then another mutual friend, a kind, intuitive highly experienced horse lady backed him and said he was the easiest horse she had ever backed.
So you see I can’t take the credit for him being the amazing trusting soul he is, but I am glad that he counts me as one of those he trusts and that I try to listen, that I try to learn from you and Carolyn the gentle subtle ways of gaining that trust which can lead to such an amazing relationship which is fun, relaxing, inspiring and ever evolving.
He has taught me so much about life and I know he has a ton more up his fetlock to teach me Jo x
I am so looking forward to catching up with Jo and everyone in Wales when it becomes possible. Jo rides Jack bitless across the Welsh hills accompanied at liberty by her shetland pony Sid. She also makes wonderful organic face creams, soaps, eye creams and lots more all of which (pretty much) I am using. There is a link to Earthbound organics on my links page. I love your smile Jo and thank you for sharing this.
Never underestimate how connected your horse is to you, we just need to tune in, give them our time, our full attention and speak their language.
These are the last 7 posts of 14 which I posted on social media during the social distancing and isolating with symptoms phase.
DAY 8 Today was for enjoying the sunshine, the peace and quiet and of course horses. If you are spending more time in your own company then this is time for you, time to find that peaceful moment, listen to spring appearing everywhere. I can here birds nesting. I watch a blackbird collecting moss for a nest. Nature goes on. I wish everyone with worries some moments of peace.
Today it was so quiet I rode Chester and then Noonoo, they were both so happy and so connected. The peace and quiet is appreciated by them. I am very fortunate to have the life I do but what ever circumstances I have found myself in I have always looked for the good. Here is Noons, I am so grateful she is feeling well now, despite me jabbing needles, dozens! into her bottom we are as close as ever she is so generous of spirit and tries to help me be a better person, rider, caretaker for them. We could learn so much from her. She was on springs.
Love Jayne x
DAY 9. Taking baby steps. When Chester came to us he was well….A bit feral he had just started basic handling and really new very little about how to be a polite member of our family. The most difficult part of his re-hab has been feet. He tried everything kicking, planting, squashing the evil human who tried to pick them up and biting. Through working with The Carolyn Resnick method, The Waterhole Rituals with him and giving him TIME FOR BABY STEPS he has become a willing partner. It took 20-30 mins to just pick his feet out in the beginning. I worked on the first 5 rituals which create, a bond, trust, respect, willingness and focus. He seemed to like me and wanted a bond the rest well needed attention!! I am so proud of him now he is stronger, happier and I can’t wait to see what we might do together. Early on with his feet I decided baby steps, however small was the route I wanted to take. His left hind was the hardest, if he just lifted his heel up after me asking for what seemed like ages I would reward him. I had to dig deep to not get frustrated. So this post is a lesson from Chester. Find the gaps in your horses what would you like them to do with more ease. If you can’t be with your horse why not make a plan see how many tiny steps you can take towards removing that gap. You could do this at home first even if you can still see your horse or you could go and share territory with your horse and write down the baby steps you could take. Ask them ” Can we take the first step together today” Grow the strings of connection in the first 5 Waterhole Rituals and give your self and your horse time. Our country is taking new steps each day to battle the Corona virus. It started with hand washing and warnings and has grown into social distancing. Please take what ever steps we need to. Stay home its not so bad.
Love Jayne x
DAY 10 I received a newsletter from my yoga teachers the other day at the bottom was this. I thought it was really good and wanted to share it. In a pandemic, self isolation is called quarantine. In Yoga it’s called retreat. There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness. Loneliness is a negative state, marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely. It’s a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself. Remember you are not alone – we will get through this together!
It is up to us how we look at this situation we find ourselves in, we have to take care not spread this virus but also take care of our own well being in every way. If we can stay positive and constructive support others where we can and find some time for self engagement we will come through it with more ease. Today I was still able to spend time with my horses and they always help me see more clearly who I am. Our horses have a great sense of self so maybe as well as having cleaner air and more peace we too might find a great sense of self.
Love Jayne x
DAY 11 Fear. As the numbers of people with the virus increases, it seems we are coming to terms with doing the right thing in order not to spread it any further. The numbers predicted are scary. Fear is a terrible thing. We can change our perspective if we decide not to allow fear in. I am not suggesting we do not behave in a thoughtful and responsible way. However fear helps no one it is a very negative emotion. Normally this weekend would be when I start going out teaching clinics and sharing The Carolyn Resnick method, The clocks change and the days are longer. One thing I do encounter sometimes at clinics is fear, fear in humans and also in horses. We can transmit our fear to our horses. When we give our horse free will and they are truly at liberty to choose our company we tend to get rid of fear both in us and our horses, as we learn new ways to communicate our fears diminish both for us and our horses. At the moment we are restricted and do not have the freedoms we are used to but lets not let fear creep in and drag us down. I will really miss meeting everyone at this time of year, I love it when over two days I can see relationships flourish and fear slide away. I have even met new people who do not know me and I appreciate they may feel fear towards me and a totally different way of being with their horse. This soon subsides as we find ways to connect with each other. I will greatly miss these connections and look forward to making them here on the internet as well as in person later in the year. Please stay connected. Here is a little taste of what was for me a wonderful year. I hope we can catch up this year I look forward to it very much.
Love Jayne x
DAY 12. Entering the world of your horse. ( Here with my Uncle, his dog, My Mum and her dog ) I can’t wait for them to be able to come and do it again. They are 86yrs and 80 yrs. old. Hopefully everyone is keeping well and able to see their horses. For us here we cannot be ill we have not only horses, but cows, pigs, geese, ducks and dogs. Andy still has lots of farming, harrowing , rolling, topping and spreading muck. Our fields need to be ready for the cows to go out and ready to make hay. We have had 4 new calves born, all easy births so hopefully more like that to follow. Our animals have such a great sense of community the cows will appoint a baby sitter and they are all interested in new arrivals. At this time when you might have more time to spend with your horses, you can Share territory and really enter into their world, I like to feel how they feel and often like today when it is windy if they spook I feel a shock of energy run through me, from them. When they are peaceful I can feel the silent shared communication, it only communicates connection and being at peace. In these troubled times I hope you can find those moments when your horse is at rest and share that sense of peace. I also enjoy our interactions that mimic how horses are together when grazing. I have been known to have a cup of tea with family and a slice of cake while the horses eat and drink with us. You could take a picnic lunch and hang out with your horse. No carrot cake!!! If there is cold tea left before you go…..Noonoo will spot it.Click the link below to see her in action. https://vimeo.com/285725107
DAY 13 of 14 days of posts to try and bring some cheer and stay connected. I was hoping to film our herd, Noonoo, Maya, Chester and myself mooching and grazing, moving into each others space and being invited in to share space, moving towards one another and giving way and some of the subtle body language that goes on. It wasn’t to be I had no one to film for me, but we did it anyway and it feels really good.
Before this I rode Noonoo first and then did some bonding and liberty with Chester, this followed on to some ground work using poles and cones. He felt like he wanted me to ride him!!! I went to get the saddle and he stood still looked round to make sure it went on. He is still very green as the backing and early riding process has been done slowly. (with thanks to Charlotte Wake) He is bitless and seems happy that way. He makes me smile, when we go to the mounting block he couldn’t get any closer and I know when he wants me to get on. We had a wonderful ride using the cones and poles it really helped to check out how he is listening for my aids, he really is waiting for me now.
Through the time we have spent building our relationship I have really come to know him, he had some lively moments in the beginning. Now I know him and he knows me I know intuitively when riding will be ok, he is becoming much more dependable as the bond between us is also more dependable and solid. The trust has grown and at last I feel safe to ride him alone. If you don’t feel this trust and dependability with your horse and you don’t intuitively know their mood you don’t feel safe. Through building a partnership where we work together, he has learnt not to take over or be too playful biting the reins and pawing the ground. My teacher in The Waterhole Rituals, The Carolyn Resnick method, Carolyn told me she needed me to find neutral and help Noonoo find neutral too. At the time I wasn’t sure I could! It has been a very valuable lesson for me. Chester and I have found neutral together and it’s a great place to be. He was very scattered highly focused one minute and then distracted the next. Now we can start in neutral I believe top gear will be no problem to find when we are ready!!!
I hope everyone can find neutral see the bigger picture, and find something each day to be grateful for and smile about. With our family members and those we live with we could at this time practice more kindness be more considerate and come out of this with cleaner air and better relationships with not only the animals in our lives but with ourselves and our human companions. I think many of us will be more thoughtful about waste and I know we are using our supplies cautiously. I am getting creative in the kitchen !!! Poor Andy. Please stay connected and look out for DAY 14 tomorrow I am hoping something in the pipeline will come about…………
WELL HERE I AM DAY 14!! I promised I had something in the pipeline and luckily it came together, I cannot think of anyone who I would rather hear a story from and get a special message from in this troubled time. When it comes to horses and how to start an amazing relationship with them, as well as connecting with our own presence this lady is the master. I have loved sharing with everyone and I hope these posts have bought some uplifting feelings. I will continue to share my horses, how they lift my spirits and allow me to connect with their world and I am always here for anyone who needs me. Please enjoy In conversation with…………… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5eDU1F7Td0
These are 14 days of posts I wrote on social media starting from the lock down and advice to isolate if we show symptoms.
Here are the first 7 days.
So now if you have symptoms you have to self isolate for 14 days, I guess it is going to keep changing all the time. I am going to post a nice picture or video and some ideas of things you can do each day with or without your horse for 14 days. I would love to hear from everyone. Valentina Galatioto thank you for this lovely picture of Maya. DAY ONE. If you can’t go to see your horse, find some good books to read, you could read them now of wait and read them Sharing Territory with your horse. If everyone could share a book choice that would be cool. My top two would be Naked Liberty Carolyn Resnick and Listen like a horse Kerri Lake. Find some guided meditations to listen to with or without your horse. Lets share some! Search for some music you might like to play while Sharing Territory, this is one I often play during a meditation in the clinics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evudcUa8jEU If you play an instrument would your horse enjoy you playing to them? Sending love and positive thoughts to everyone Jayne x
So here we go with DAY2 of 14 days of posts for everyone who is distancing themselves . If you are poorly and have the infection or have health issues or are over 70 which is the age our country are saying should self isolate. Other advice is for much younger 55yrs. If you are healthy and with your horse or not I am thinking of you all. Our horses have so many lessons for us. DAY 2. SAY HELLO! With your horse why not see how many different ways you can approach your horse and say hello, of course we can offer a hello but the horse has free choice, some like a playful approach some a very thoughtful approach. There are as many different hello’s as there are horses. There are many different responses from our horses too. When we respect how they feel about our approach they notice! Taking the lesson from horses on community and trust, something which is built by the Hello Ritual, the second ritual of Carolyn Resnick‘s method, The Waterhole Rituals. Why not phone an old friend, a neighbor or relative and say HELLO. Elderly isolated people need to talk and know someone is out there. I hope to keep in touch with all the wonderful people I have met through facebook and horses in this difficult time. Please share how the best of hello’s feel from a horse or a human. Even if we have to say hello from a distance as I am with my 86yr old mother, I drop her shopping and some films off and I hope that she knows even from 8ft away my eyes and my body langauge still hug her. I blow her a kiss and want her to stay safe. This picture was from very early on with Chester, we still say hello all the time. We have built much more trust and lets face it can you ever have too much mutual trust? We are building it every day on the ground as I walk past his stable, at liberty, with tack from the ground, and in riding. What has built more trust between you and your horse? Love Jayne.
DAY 3 of 14 posts, which is how many days you have to isolate for if one person in your home has symptoms. So with the announcement that schools will close tomorrow, why not learn something new. There are lots of online courses you can do to learn more about how to connect with your horse, care for your horse, train your horse. I have learnt so much from Lana Comeriato and I am so pleased that I can care for my horses feet in this time of crisis. You really do need bags of time, so if you are stuck at home what better time to start, there are lots of files and video’s to watch. I have read and re- read the guidelines and really have tried to understand the workings of the hoof, lots to learn still but Lana guides you through the learning so well. https://www.apextrimmethod.com/
Carolyn Resnick has lots on offer here. As anyone who knows me will be aware I love teaching The Carolyn Resnick method The Waterhole Rituals. This is the foundation for everything else. I started with an online course and never looked back. My aim for harmonious bitless dressage and for willing horses who offer their feet for me would have been much harder without this method. My life has changed through this way of being with my horses and I never thought I would travel to California to study in person. https://www.carolynresnick.com/crm-liberty-training-academy…
Here is a little clip of how these three online courses have helped us be able to have fun together and give things a go as a partnership. https://vimeo.com/338084231
https://vimeo.com/306873344/bf7d6dec0f DAY 4 of fourteen. Social Distancing. We are being asked to keep our distance from each other, avoid pubs, anywhere that we do not need to go where there are crowds. Even our own family if they are elderly. When we do see them it is very hard to keep our distance, I love my Children, Grandchildren and Mum. I am a very tactile person I love hugging!!! Some times the personal space we make between us may need to be much larger than normal. This is one such time. I have to respect my family’s wishes if they wish to see me for Mothers day and meet outside with distance between us and no touching I have to respect their wishes I hope the children understand, it will be hard as we always hug loads. I have had to set the boundaries with my Mum. As I go shopping for her I am not going in her home or getting close. I will visit drop a present and talk from the pavement.
Of course I always find the things we learn with horses transfer to us humans. Respecting each others wishes is one, another is respecting personal space early on Chester wanted connection with me, he also had to test me out, it is in his nature. It was hard not to laugh as he always carefully pushed his left shoulder into me, to see if I noticed and to see if he could move me. We came to an understanding over boundaries and personal space.
Chester learnt the hard way with Maya when he arrived. Her boundaries over her personal space are very clear, her body language could not be clearer and yet he felt compelled to test his luck, a small cut on his leg and one on her side was the result. They have a much better understanding now and often graze together.
Here is a challenge to try with your horses, my friend April Whalley learnt this from Maya, she was working too hard to ask Maya to move, I said lets take a break and sit back down, we chatted about April being Reiki practitioner I asked her about energy. I set her a challenge to move Maya with energy and less body language it was a wonderful moment the three of us shared. She found the distance where Maya could feel her influence. Give it a go how much distance can you put between you and your horse and ask them to move, you may find there is a different distance for different horses where they ‘feel’ you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work, if we don’t try something new now and then we will never know. Sometimes less is more. Stay safe don’t get to close, remember you can use it as an experiment, experiments don’t always work so you can abandon it and try a different approach. If you have a bumper like Chester why not set a boundary they will love you more for it. Stay safe and lets keep our distance physically where needed but not in terms of support and love. Love Jayne x
DAY 5. How horses look after the herd. Most of the time horses follow a code of conduct, my teacher and mentor in The Carolyn Resnick Method, The Waterhole Rituals talks about this. Carolyn Resnick teaches us that horses keep to the code, if they do not they are bought into line by another member of the the herd. They learn early on about the collective responsibility of a community. They like harmony and feeling safe. As the Corona virus has spread most countries have experienced the best and the worst of humanity’s reactions. I like to try to see the bright side of things in life, pollution being cut and acts of kindness are the up side of this. People are worried about family, friends but also finances. Some of the most upsetting scenes have been human greed, people panic buying and even fighting over produce. Other countries have had this and we can see things will settle. Messages from friends in Italy and Hong Kong tell us this is a phase they went through too and the shops restocked. So this is a simple post today,take care of the herd and we will all come through this, don’t be the selfish person who tries to carry on when they have symptoms, don’t be the person who allows fear and panic to set in and make you greedy. If we are all sensible this will pass. There are many good sensible people in this world, many brave health workers who deserve to be able to buy their groceries after a long shift. If we allow greed and fear to drive us we are not taking care of the whole, not even of ourselves. If we can even share resources we will get through it in better shape. Love Jayne x
DAY 6 of fourteen posts during the Corona virus. TAKE A PAUSE, Thank you Medina Brock for welcoming the Waterhole Ritual clinics to the amazing setting of Brandy House farm in rural mid Wales. Here Medina and Brandy pause and hang out helping brandy keep her energy down and encouraging relaxation. Today in the uk is Mothers Day. I went to see my Mum and left a present on the step, we talked for a bit across the pavement about 8ft. My Daughter and grand daughter’s came round, we agreed it would not be for a meal and we would stay outside at distance, we laughed and it was really hard not to cuddle the kids. We did elbow bumps and foot bumps and blew kisses. It was cold but at last, not raining, so the kids were really happy to see the animals and be outside. With no school I think there may mucking out and riding, with no contact over the next weeks! You can see in this picture that the connection between horse and human is there and growing, can you pause be peaceful like this? There is distance with affection, our horses know themselves and they know each other so well. We can look on the bright side of this TAKE A PAUSE from our normal life. My daughter will close her hairdressing salon now and it will give her time to pause. Anyone who has more time can take that time for themselves. Try not to stress it will end. Pause take some space for yourself. When I left my Mum she said ” I am not going to let it get me down it will be over in 12 weeks ( well who knows) I will see it as a challenge ” Challenge yourself to take this time to pause in life, nature is enjoying this pause.
DAY 7 today was a glorious spring day. It is wonderful that we can enjoy nature, get outside. I am lucky I can do this within my own home. However many people have been out over the weekend in crowds which our government has said WILL spread the virus. How am I possibly relating this to horses. If we only go out for essential reasons ie to buy food or to work if in a key role. We should expand our personal space. We can see very clearly from our horses when they respect personal space. This helps them stay safe if they spook or stampede they instinctively know where the horse next to them is. If we can respect the space of others and keep 2 metres apart we stand a much better chance of not spreading this virus. Here Jack respects Jo’s personal space.