Rules and Guidelines Working with the Waterhole Rituals

As you all know, I am working full time on my next book. Right now, my focus is on compiling the rules and guidelines to follow when using my method.

Rules and guidelines are what makes any method functional. It is all about the dos and don’ts in how to approach a horse. Following the rules judiciously is what creates the success of any method, not just following the rules.

Here are some of my suggested rules and guidelines:

  • Wait for the horse to come to you and want to interact before interacting with him; or wait until you feel the bond is mutually shared in the moment.
  • Never work a horse in a place he is not comfortable in.
  • Never ask for anything until your horse is feeling safe, secure, and willing.
  • If you lose willingness, change your approach, and focus on returning the willingness and relaxation.
  • When using tack, when a horse resists or pulls, release the contact.
  • When using tack, do not pull against resistance, unless you are using it in the Uberstreichen Exercises in a relaxed, benign manner.
  • When your horse walks away from you, you walk in the opposite direction, to accommodate his needs.
  • Likewise, regarding a horse’s personal space when touching him to accomplish tack adjustments or medication or grooming, when you reach to touch your horse and they draw back, you draw back and do not force your touch.
  • Never use the fence to trap or block the horse.
  • You can use the fence line to your advantage as a supporting element if it is not used to trap or block the horse.
  • Work on what your horse wants to do and stay away from what he does not want to do.
  • Use the Waterhole Rituals to warm up the connection and to shape the horse’s character and social behavior toward your leadership.
  • Spend as much time sharing space in companionship as you do in training.
  • Train in short windows of leadership, and focus on building the horse’s ability to be directed for longer periods.
  • Do not drill.
  • Do not reprimand for a lack of performance or resistance, only for a lack of focus. Do this only through the third and fourth Rituals.
  • Your horse has the right to quit anything they do not resonate to.
  • Your horse has no fault insurance.
  • You have no fault insurance.

Change the rules if you feel they are unfair to your horse, and work with your own belief system to empower your relationship and dance with them. This is how to be a conscientious caretaker to your horse and your own spirit, to stay within the bond and free spirit of your horse. The focus of your training is always to enhance the well-being of your horse and deepen the connection.

Maybe you would like to share some of the rules that have supported you with the Waterhole Rituals.

Have a great weekend. Remember to watch out for New Horse sightings.

May the spirit of the bond be with you! Carolyn