Free Lesson – Playing Games to Bring Back a Horse’s Natural Instincts

Photo by Teddie ZieglerA good thing to know about training horses is that when you introduce something new to a horse for the first time it is natural for him to not know what you are asking.  Saying that, it is still our responsibility to set him up to be prepared and willing to figure out what we are asking him to do.  That means giving requests in smaller or easier segments in order to prepare your horse for the next part of his training.  You would not start training your horse to jump a 6 foot fence if he had never jumped before. Someone said on my last blog that she felt the horse I had talked about in that blog was frustrated because he didn’t understand what was being asked of him.   She may have been correct in her assumption, but it brought up a subject that I would like to discuss with everyone today.

It is natural in nature that everything is learned from not knowing. 

Photo by Teddie ZieglerAnd this is what makes horses easier to train than people.  So if you run into this problem with your horse and you feel he is frustrated choose an exercise that you have confidence in or make up one that would get you closer to what you are trying to teach your horse.  For example:  the exercise that I find is the hardest to teach my students, long distance, is the gas pedal.  So here we have lots of people that have desensitized their horse to the whip, so much so that the horse sees the whip and instantly turns into a statue because he was taught that the whip meant to stand still.  The horse also by standing still can see that it can dominate the whip and you.  He has learned to be in control of the whip by refusing to respond to it.  So we have developed a pecking order situation that was created by not understanding the purpose of the whip.

Because of this desensitization when you try to influence your horse to move or to leave you, he goes very slowly, if he moves away at all.  The most important thing that I tell my students is that if you have a good gas pedal on your horse, everything else will come easier in your training.  When the gas pedal is removed, you have taken the natural instincts off of your horse and created in many times a dominating attitude.

Photo by Linda SalinasHorses can’t play with each other if they do not have the response in them to move away from anything approaching and to follow anything leaving.  This play in the wild creates this instinct to stay in the horse.  Desentinzing can remove the play drive.  The Waterhole Rituals work with the horse’s natural instincts and teaches you how to talk to your horse by using their natural communication, as if they were still in the wild.

If your horse still has a natural gas pedal, all your training will be much easier to do.  If your horse leaves your side when you ask, but doesn’t go quickly, that is something I can help you with, even at a distance in my online classes.  However, if your horse no longer has that natural instinct at all, it can still be fixed, but it is something that I or one of my Certified Instructors can help you with in person.

Prepare your Horse for each Step of Training:

Photo by Teddie ZieglerMy online class is starting March 16th so I am giving my students a sneak peak and a tid bit that will help them even before we start classes and my readers a free lesson.

My Waterhole Rituals are set up in small easy steps for you and your horse in order to give your horse the time and ability needed to move onto the next step.  Each Ritual prepares you and your horse for the next Ritual as a fun interaction that you both do together, because you both are learning.

As the first step, before you even begin the Rituals, you want to have a good gas pedal on your horse.  This will make the first Ritual much easier and so on and so on.

The gas pedal will bring back the natural instinct in your horse to move away from something coming towards him and allow you to influence your horse more easily in every step of training.

Playing Games with your Horse

I love to play games with my horses and bring back all those fun, playful memories of when I was a child alone with my horses.  There wasn’t anything I didn’t do with my horses because as a child it was all about the love and fun that me and my horse shared together.  I could be out all day and it still wasn’t enough time, I didn’t want to go in for the night.

 Here is a heart-warming YouTube video that shows the beautiful connection between a child and a pony having fun together...


When you are doing these games, first sit on the outside of your horse’s stall and spend time thinking about all the joyous moments you had as a kid, either playing with your horse or just playing in general.  Bring up those fun, happy moments when you couldn’t stop giggling (for us girls) or just laughing uncontrollably.

Once you are in that beautiful moment in your mind, and you can feel it all through your body, then try one of these games and just have fun!

Played with two or more people - Carrot Game Video with Trinity


I hope you enjoy this fun carrot game with your horse and being a child again reliving that moment of happiness.

While you are playing games I want to warn you to play games that are not going to make your horse  aggressive or fearful.  You can’t just go out there and play absent minded.  You need to see the results.

Please let me know how you and your horse liked the games and let me know if you made up any that might be fun for my readers to play.

Have a great weekend!  Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.

Warmly, Carolyn



Upcoming Events for 2014

(Register now by clicking each link)

* Online Waterhole Rituals Courses starting -

March 16th & 17th

* Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic in California -

May 29th - June 1st

* Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic in California -

June 19th - 22nd

* Online Waterhole Rituals Courses starting -

September 14th & 15th

* Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic in California -

November 20th - 23rd

* Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic in California -

December 11th - 14th

...for other information regarding the clinics below please email

- Private Lessons given in California at the Ranch

- Private 3 - Day Clinics given in California and/or will travel

- Group Clinics given in California and/or will travel

...or to set up any of the above with a Certified Carolyn Resnick Trainer please email