I've been enjoying doing Carolyn Resnick's water hole rituals with all of my horses.
I'm really seeing a huge difference in each of my horses attitude toward me, I feel like I am truly being "accepted" into the heard, instead of the human who just comes to visit.
For over a week I did the first water hole ritual. The first day, nobody would visit me, It was rather sad but true moment, to know they choose the grass over you. But I thought hard about it, and came to the realization that usually the only reason I visit them is to "Ask" something of them. Stepping into their bubble without permission, haltering with no permission, saddling with no permission, riding with no permission. No wonder nobody wanted to come see me. All always wanted something out of them. Sure I would sometimes hang out with them, but not nearly enough.
The second day I waited 30 minutes, just reading a book. And next thing I know everyone comes to visit me, Except for the ones who were not allowed near the dominant horses-Aka Blaze and Fire. But everyone was kinda RB about me sitting their, since I usually don't come up their to hang out. But everyone started nibbling on me and then they started crowding me so I moved about 20 feet away and Blaze came to visit. It was so sweet that he fell asleep next to me, then got a rude awakening by some rude dominant horses. He got ran off and Spirit, Angel, Joie, and Amour came to me wanting some petting. After about 15 minutes everyone went to sleep: Spirit rested his head on my shoulder, Angel rested her head on my lap, Joie rested her head on top of Angel's head, and Amour rested her head on my arm. I felt a huge break though that day.
The next day everyone visited me even quicker, and so on and so forth.
The last day before I moved onto the second ritual I couldn't believe it-- Blaze was the first one to visit me, he was in a rush to get to me. He came to me and allowed me to pet him and then he went behind me and put his face right up against mine, This is very unusual for Blaze, he does not like his face being touched much. then went to sleep. Fire came up to me and kinda stood in front of me and just wanted some petting, and Amour attempted to visit me but fire did something very strange, he started doing this little nicker at her, I still don't know what he was doing but it was almost like he was saying "Get back!!" and she came closer and Fire chased her away and came back. Then before I knew it Fire tried to bite me, and Blaze got very mad and chased Fire away. then came back behind me and rested his face against mine....It actually made me tear up cause Blaze is not that kinda horse, he gets jealous, but he never tries to protect me. And he does not care to stay near me for long..He stayed their an hour, then I had to leave and he followed me.
By the time I moved onto the next water hole ritual all the horses said "hello" to me first, so I was like well...I guess I can move onto the next one. But the only one who needed to next one was Joie, because she'll run you over for food.
But anyways I'll get to the main point.
The other day I decided to play with Blaze online and liberty, (It has been awhile since I have done either). And Blaze was very responsive, I think we kinda lost our 4 canter circles online but honestly I don't care for him to have to do a million circles. If he doesn't like it why do it? he doesn't find no point in it, and neither do I. So we worked on some jumping, and usually Blaze will hit his hoofs up against the barrels a bit and be very lazy and "Blah" about it. This time he jumped almost 2 feet over the barrels with ears up and very enthusiastic about it.
I also played at liberty and he was AMAZING.
The next day I wanted to try to do a cross country course bridle less, and bareback. But I wanted to gradually increase the amount of jumps. So that day I only put 2 jumps, about 60 feet apart. When I first started, Blaze dodged the jumps, so I slowed it down and showed him what I wanted him to do., and then asked again and he galloped to the jump and flew over it and I was going to ask him to stop but he ran right to the other one and jumped it perfectly, he did not touch neither jump. It was incredible
I really think Blaze is starting to jump higher and more enthusiastically though heart and the desire to please me. It is a really incredible feeling when he wants to clear every jump, with ears forward, with so much impulsion. You can just feel the power as he jumps. Very humbling.
He wants me to be his partner--Friend. 50/50 partnership.
"We need to set an example for our horse in the kind of leadership that we would like him to offer us. This way, the horse learns to treat us exactly like we treat him in regards to leadership. This creates a 50/50 partnership, with the exception that we are the ultimate leaders of our horse because we are setting leadership by example. Captivity requires leadership."-Carolyn Resnick
before I truly believe that the only reason we could do great liberty etc, is because he felt like he had to be....Not anymore!
And Blaze is not the only one who is making more progress, All of my horses are. And this is all because 1 water hole ritual...Can you imagine what will happen when I do them all? I can't wait.
Sorry for the long post, but I just had to share.