Details of My Method- The Waterhole Rituals
Our Insider Circle Class and Extended Circle Class will be starting on May 15. Each year I look forward to teaching these classes because of how well they have been received. I am able to guide people to understand the true nature of horses. I am able to bring an understanding of humanitarian values in what horses need from us, rather than what they need to do for us. Horses can give us a better life from the bonds we share with them- more than the performance they put out for us. Having this kind of connection heals the horse and heals the human. It is interesting that both the word horse and human start with the letter “H”. I believe that by putting more importance on mutual well being, life would be better lived and better served, and humanitarian values would grow.
The first step to drawing a horse to us is to be focused in the moment on the horse and on the environment. It is important to offer a lighthearted respect for a horse’s personal space with slow purposeful body language. In all endeavors, we need to find the joy in the journey. It is interesting that joy and journey being with the letter “J”.
It is important to have fun and unleash the play drive in us when taking on roles of leadership. Whether we are working with care taking leadership, supportive leadership, directive leadership, or synchronistic leadership, decision making all can be done from a light hearted connection because it works well with horses to approach them in that manner. Using the rules in the Waterhole Rituals, the act of leading can only happen when the horse is willing- which puts your attention on maintaining the connection of the horse, and leading when the horse is willing.
An Inside Peek at the Insider Circle Course For those of you who would like to read more about the class to get a better feel for what the classes are like, this is what happens: when the class is going on I work a horse through the Waterhole Rituals along with my students so we experience the Waterhole Rituals together. I find it helps me connect better with the class. I also share videos with my project horse to guide you further. I have a great library of videos on working with various kinds of temperaments of horses so you can better know how to approach your horse.
In these classes, we are going through the course slowly and methodically. We are focusing on developing a common language, leadership, friendship, and partnership at liberty. A common language is so important to have with a horse. A common language opens the door to trust, friendship and the ability for a horse to match your movements like a foal shadowing its mother.
These classes are not like other classes, other classes have set curriculums that are not flexible. It is not important that you get through all the Rituals. It is only important that your journey brings you a deeper connection and respect that you give to each other, and that you develop an understanding in how to use the Rituals in the future when your relationship is ready to take the next step.
As you are taking the class, I adjust the Waterhole Rituals to suit the nature of your relationship and to keep the lighthearted connection flowing. In the moments of connection, you will get plenty of practice in your leadership and out of that, a new language will form that will deepen the bond further.
Communicating your leadership when the connection is strong, you will reach a truly comfortable place in yourself. You will learn that if you break the connection in these moments, a better connection will form later so there are no worries. When you learn this, and begin to rely on it, not being afraid of being the one who breaks the connection, a glorious freeing of your own spirit is experienced. You will never experience this feeling and connection working with horses with tack. Tack hides a way a horse feels and removes you and your horse’s ability to truly respond naturally.
There are Three Segments of Development Using the Waterhole Rituals First, the focus will be to create a stronger bond in a certain way that I will guide you through. You will discover better who your horse is and learn what leadership your horse would resonate to. Once the bond is gained, the rest of the Waterhole Rituals have meaning to your horse- so he sees you as a care-taking leader rather than dominate or worse, a predator.
The next segment you focus on will be on socializing your horse’s behavior around food. You control when he is allowed to be with you and when and where he can eat with you. When a horse discovers this is your focus, there are two responses, one is to open your horse’s instinctual reaction to follow your lead automatically, the other is to refuse your leadership by leaving the area you are in. When this happens, he will come back- and each time he comes back he will be more willing and more bonded. He will quickly understand how to fit in and get what he wants and when this happens the game becomes fun and he will want to play until it is second nature to you both. The games that horses play in nature develop the social harmony.
A cross- species bond is difficult to explain. This connection can be as difficult to define as to define the edge of a cloud. In truth, there is no edge. The cloud becomes the sky and the sky becomes a cloud, a cross- species bond forms like that.
Being truly open to new ways of being with horses we need to wait for the horse to bring us to a place of connection and understanding, and we just don’t know how that journey is going to unfold until it arrives or how far we can take it. From working in the open, and giving freedom and coming from a strong sense of care taking leadership that gives a horse no-fault insurance, friendship is the natural outcome. If you have a true friend, you will have a natural dance partner as well.
The third segment I have not taught in this class. The third segment you are focused on developing your ability to create the energy in your horse to match his performance at will. For example, you might be asking your horse to walk slowly with a low head, this would call for a calm relaxed energy. You could ask your horse for a colleted trot, this would take high energy. This ability comes form Sharing Territory, personal space, and food. From these activities, you will discover a magical connection that is more than you thought possible. When the bond is in place, the strength of your intent is what causes your horse to want to fit in with you and dance.
If you have any questions about the up and coming Insider Circle or Extended Circle courses, I would love to hear from you. You can post your question on the blog or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject title “Insider Circle Question” or “Extended Circle Question”.
May the Horse Be With You!