How to use the Waterhole Rituals
The definition of a spiritual connection is that when the mind, bond and soul is entirely shared in the moment with your horse in a bonded connection in harmony and unity. Please do not use the Waterhole Rituals until you understand how to apply them and their purpose. There are seven heartfelt strings of connection. 1. Bond 2. Trust 3. Respect 4. Willingness 5. Focus 6. Magnetic Connection 7. Desire and energy necessary for dancing.
For example in the last step if your horse is really too relaxed and not paying attention, then work him fast with you at a moments notice following your lead. Alternatively, if working fast would make him nervous because he is too hyper then his energy needs to be aligned.
When you go to your horse with my program you first must be in the moment and wait until you are completely balanced with no thought of the past or future outside of the territory you are sharing with your horse. You open your awareness to everything in the moment and the changing conditions that occur like a lead horse would. To get in a state of mind like a lead horse causes a horse to respect you from your focus and state of being. This is so important to understand and powerful.
At this time, evaluate your horse and what he is feeling in the moment towards you. Check the heartfelt strings of connection and identify the ones that are missing. Begin to repair them using the appropriate Waterhole Rituals to mend the string of connection that is not vibrating. Your horse is ready to step into your program for the day whether riding, training, or dancing with your horse at liberty once all the strings are vibrating between you. As a leader, you need to follow these rules to maintain the connection when you go to ride and train with tack.
There are two sets of rules you must follow one for the Waterhole Rituals and one for riding and training.
The rules for the Waterhole Rituals are:
- The horse must pay attention to you and must respect your direction and do what you ask if he choose to be in your territory
- You must pay attention to your horse and must respect his direction if you choose to be in your horse’s territory
- You must respect your horse’s personal space
- Your horse must respect your personal space
- If you walk up to your horse, you must follow his direction
- If your horse walks up to you, he must follow your direction
- You must give your horse your full attention at all times
- Your horse must give you his full attention at all times
The rule for riding and training is:
- Do not force your horse to do something he does not want to do
Riding and training is a self-serving act and you must always have your horse’s approval to participate. Think ahead and ask yourself the question. Will my horse do what I am going to ask him to do easily? If the answer is no, then don’t ask. Your job is to keep leading in every moment of your agenda and to pick the activity you know your horse will do and stay away from what you think he might not like. If you make a mistake and loose any of the heartfelt strings of connection then stop your agenda and repair the relationship. This is best done by asking your horse to stand still for while and relax on a dropped rein, until he is happy. Then reconsider how to get on a better program with your horse. Ask him to do something you know he would do and then build your horse up to more challenging exercises by asking for mostly easy stuff with a little harder things when he is in the right state of mind to try them.
The following might be a useful template you could follow when training.
- 3% of the time on activities your horse finds difficult to perform
- 10% of the time on activities your horse would rather not do and would not resonate with
- 2% of the time on new activities
- 85% of the time on activities your horse knows well and enjoys
Mix the activities up to give variety to the program. These percentages can change a lot but consider them in some form.
Have a lovely weekend