We realize the sensitivity of horses; we also see that horses are resilient with a powerful spirit. We horse lovers have been drawn to horses for centuries. Horses possess a freedom that we humans search for. From our connection to horses, we strengthen our spirits.
Through the ages that horses and humans have shared the world, horses have overwhelmingly suffered because of humans’ self-serving nature.
A new consciousness is growing to give horses a better deal by taking a deep look into a horse's emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Rather than attempting to harness their soul in an afternoon, there is more interest in taking time to get to know a horse’s personality and developing a heart connection by keeping company with your horse to get to know him or her better.
Meditation in the Company of Your Horse at Liberty
I have felt that meditation in your horse's company brings a sense of well being to both the horse and human, which opens...
Last week Nan wrote a blog about how to help horses get over herd-bound behavior/separation anxiety. I wrote this week’s blog years ago. Many people around the world have used this method of weaning and have had much success, so I wanted to share it again today. This way of weaning a foal will help a horse begin on the right foot at the beginning of life and hopefully be less herd bound as he/she grows up. This exercise can also be modified and used to help herd-bound horses.
Years ago I developed a way to wean foals that did not create trauma. I used the approach for over twenty years. During that time, I learned that horses that grew up being weaned in this manner were smarter and had a deeper sense of well-being created by the trust they had in human beings. I feel one of the biggest opportunities we have to build trust with horses can be accomplished at weaning.
There were two reasons that I did not want a foal to experience trauma. The first being my...
Herd bound horses can be difficult to deal with if you force the horse to separate from other horses that he does not want to leave. For this reason alone it is important to help a horse to get over the overwhelming need to be with the herd.
Also, when working with horses at liberty, herd bound behavior needs to be removed from your horse to help him focus on you and allow the connection between the two of you to grow. When I first began Liberty Training in The Resnick Method of Horsemanship my horses were extremely herd bound and it was difficult to work with them individually, so Carolyn shared some exercises with me to help them get over the fear of being separated and now I am going to share them with you. These exercises are a fun way to train your horse to give up herd bound behavior. It is certainly more enjoyable for horses to play these games rather than having to accept the conditions of being separated by force. In the Resnick Method, we are always looking to find a...
As a horse trainer and breeder most of my life, in my late thirties (oh, to be that young again!), I discovered something that I was not ready to accept. It was something I read in Robert Vavra’s book, Such is the Real Nature of Horses. He wrote that horses communicate through eye expressions. As a student of horses, studying the social behavior and culture of horses, I couldn’t believe that this could be so. I thought horses read facial expressions and energy but I hadn’t thought about how the eyes alone could play a part in communication.
I had a mind for details, I found how wild horses in nature create harmonious herds through a code of conduct that had yet to be discovered. It took a comprehensive effort to pay attention to the slightest nuances for anything a horse might be doing as a way to communicate. I was also aware that horses and I were communicating better than most people do with each other. I didn’t see the value of the eyes playing an active...
I love the term 'conscious connection’ with horses and I feel that it is spot on with what we at The Resnick Method of Horsemanship teach our students. Over the years, as people have become more evolved in their understanding of how to gentle horses safely and humanely, horses are slowly getting a better deal. Whenever I ask someone what drew them to The Resnick Method they usually say they were looking for a kinder and gentler approach to horsemanship. Although these same people know that they want something different, they don’t always know what that looks like, or how to achieve it.
So, what is a conscious connection with horses?
Creating a sacred space, only interacting with horses when our entire being is focused on the horse, having the awareness to read the horse’s responses to your requests, and a...
Had a rough year? Really, who hasn’t?
For those of you with horses, hopefully, you have been able to spend time with them and got some reprieve from the isolation of this crazy time in 2020.
Many of you may not have been able to spend as much time as you wanted to with your horse and feel that it is time to make a change.
2021 is almost here and it's a good time to plan to have the best year ever with your horse. Try these 5 tips and step into the New Year with success!
Rituals give structure to our time, especially when we often only have limited time with our horses each week. You may already be practicing a ritual of meditation, or exercise, or spending quality time with your family. Double up on tasks and include your horse. Use the time you go to your horse to meditate, or read a good book, or listen to podcasts that you want to catch up on. Creating a regular time to spend with your horse during the week is...
In last week's blog, Carolyn shared how to stay out of trouble with our horses and gain a strong leadership position. I want to expand on this subject based on an observation I have had of students when I am teaching clinics.
It is so important that we are consistent in our leadership with horses. It is much like raising a child. The horse needs to know that he can depend on us no matter what the circumstances. Often, I see students at my clinics do amazing things with their horses at liberty once they have an understanding of how to interact with their horse in The Resnick Method, but I see them enter and leave the arena leading their horses with zero leadership or awareness of the horse because they have a rope in their hands. The horse's mind shifts into fear and uncertainty because of the shift in the student's energy. I have noticed that people take their horses for granted because they feel that they already have a great relationship with the horse. They do not pay...
To be a student of the horse, ask yourself, ‘does your horse feel safe with your leadership?’ and do you have the full attention of your horse when you make a request?’ These questions will help you improve your leadership and gain the trust and cooperation of your horse.
If you are a horse lover and have a strong bond with your horse but are only interested in providing your horse a nurturing environment, leadership may seem unnecessary. This can put you and your horse in jeopardy in many situations such as emergency conditions, natural disasters, and vet and Ferrier care. By being a leader, your horse will seek out your leadership, feel safe in your charge, and connect with you more deeply. When this happens, your horse will give you a high grade on your report card!
Avoid focusing on trying to 'fix' behavioral problems. Focus on getting the horse's full attention in the moment so that you can redirect unwanted behavior. This is a significant point that is...
To Move or Not to Move a Horses Feet- That is the Question!
What knowledgeable equestrians, trainers, and happy horse owners have in common is that they know how to move around a horse to build trust and when to ask a horse to move around them to develop and keep a leadership position. Horses inherently look to follow a leader. We need to know how to get a horse to choose our leadership.
We see many people who are letting horses move their feet, causing the horses to lose respect. This blog addresses this matter.
Word of warning: letting a horse move your feet or habitually moving around your horse rather than putting your horse where you need the horse to be can cause a horse to become dominant and unwilling to be directed. It is essential to know when to surrender by giving room to a horse and when to create respect by moving a horse's feet. This will bring a horse to a willing connection with you.
The benefit of knowing when to ask your horse to...
"The blog this week is on a subject that I think will interest everyone.
Nan Zintsmaster is my business partner and a master trainer in The Resnick Method. Recently we discussed the value of shaping a horse's behavior to work in harmony with us. We discovered that this would create an optimistic horse excited for his lesson, much like the excitement a dog feels when learning to play fetch. A lot of people are concerned that any form of shaping behavior is not good for a horse. In the following article, Nan describes the detail of her experience with her horses in the Waterhole Rituals and the value this brings to the horse's well-being. I hope you enjoy it!" Carolyn
THE CONTROVERSY OVER LESSONS WE GIVE OUR HORSES
Lately, I have noticed that there has been a lot of controversy in social media feeds about whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, to influence or shape a horse's behavior in any way. I avoid getting involved in political type viewpoints on social...