Filed in Category: horse training
Hi Ross, Was taking a look at the video of the 'waterhole ritual' - While I love hanging out with my horse, if only I could walk Rompy into a puddle and magically find inner peace for the both of us! I didnt feel much was happening for the horse, I dont think the horse felt more at peace standing under a tree with a human than without - it come across more like a meditation type, peace finding process for humans with use of horse, which is just fine and lovely so long as everyone feeling good I guess! .............was I missing something??!
I think the waterhole ritual thing is for people who need something to make them feel good. My instinct tells me it attracts troubled folk who need the companionship of something that makes no demands on them. I think they could probably substitute the horse for a puppy or bird or water buffalo and they'd get the same result. I doubt horses get much out it.
I have decided to commit my thoughts on this video. I thought it cute but “big deal” I can lie down with Archie too, though admittedly I have to lay him down. I haven’t had the luxury to hang around him til he lays down, though once I refused to leave the yard so he could roll and waited in the yard till he rolled with me in there. The horse didn’t follow her into the water, he/she followed the other horse. I didn’t see her ask the horse to do anything other than just hang out with it.
The laying down segment had the other horse in the scene again. Did she lay this one done and hope the difficult horse would follow suit?
Nice meditation tape, but light on any training. I hardly think a tiny touch on the nose as teaching the horse to like being handled, touched, brushed. How long do you wait for a horse to decide to accept you.
This video would not make me send my horse to her for training, but maybe I am just too cynical.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I agree with you in that I don't see the big deal with hanging out with your horse. It's a wonderful think to do, but I don't know that people need a trainer or a clinic to be able to enjoy that time. Plus I think you should see it for what it is - quiet time. It's the quiet time that many people need and find ways of having by different means.
I have seen video of Carolyn Resnick's ridden and ground work and I don't think it is very good. There does not seem to be a lot about her training that benefits the horse any more than average. The water ritual seems to be about people feeling good about themselves. I don't see how this benefits the horse when it comes to riding.
The whole water ritual thing confuses me. I'm sure those horses in the video would not have stayed for long with the lady if they were not on a lead rope or there was no fence around her pasture - they just weren't that into her.
I'm a tic upset and angry, which I'll get into in a bit, which might be coloring my opinions, but I spent a little time looking at Ms. Resnik's site, and I took her quiz, and I feel that she is a predator.
I've been to a few clinics by several clinicians, and by and large I love to do that. See things that I do and don't think will work for me, and I ALWAYS learn. One other thing I see is that horse clinics seems to attract troubled people and especially troubled fragile women. I mean abused scarred women that really need professional help. No doubt you know way more about this than I do. These people are very easy to take advantage of.
People like this Resnick prey on these women. Can horses help you feel better? YES!!! My own horses have prevented me from murdering several people. They do put things in perspective. But if you are truly troubled you need professional help, not a woo-woo wannabe expert. The other thing that really galls me is the financial aspect. You are quite right, hanging with your horses is something ANYONE can do, you don't need to be taught this skill, and in fact, I think someone teaching this kind of closeness would ruin it.
AND she is charging over $3000 a week!!! Sorry, that's a predator.
And now, why I'm upset. I feel stupid and inept. I'm especially kicking myself for not paying any amount of money to get myself and Tort to that clinic with Harry Whitney. But I didn't and here I am.
I've told you a bit about this very sweet TB/Connemara cross I bought last January. I bought him as I could cheerfully canter him around the greenie cross country jumps in the middle of winter. If a horse is going to be silly it will be out in the open on a 20F day. He was kind and perfect. He looked around, but that's all.
Well, it's been a roller coaster up and down since then, with things gradually getting worse., and Tort felt less and less confident, and more worried. I've complained to you a bit about my trainer focusing on his headset. I stopped taking lessons with her when she told me to ride him with drawreins. This is a little pumpkin of a horse that just wants to please. I don't need leverage I need to fix what I am doing.
The drawreins were the last straw. My current trainer has never liked this little horse, she was upset that I paid too much money for what she considers a school horse. Well I WANT a schoolhorse!! I KNOW he is a school horse that's why I bought him! I had her ride him a few time, and all she could say was how BAD he is and all the things that must be fixed. She is a very aggressive rider, and when a friend came and said the trainer had been very hard on him, I stopped asking her to ride him, although she did occasionally get on him during one of my lessons.
So... I called the trainer that I had bought him from, explained the problems. I asked if I could come take a lesson with her on one of her other horses so we could evaluate my skills and work on me. I did, and she did not see anything that should be causing the worry in Tort. She had me do some jumping, and she said I think too much, and when she had me discuss a recent news story while I went over the jumps my riding improved dramatically.
So Tort has been there a week or so. I talked to the trainer yesterday and she said I was quite correct, his confidence is shot, and he actually trembled when she got on him. This is horse she used to give lessons to five year old children. She said she needs a few more days to figure out what is so troubling for him.
So, it would be easy to blame my current trainer, but I KNOW I am the one who works with this horse the most. My trainer or her mother (who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury) do bring him in and out from pasture each day, but I am the one who is riding him, and I've stopped taking lessons. My trainer tells me she feels the horse is stressed, he runs for several minutes when she turns him out. I don't see this when I turn him out. Another factor might be the stalls. This is an old saddlebred farm, and the stalls are clastrophobic. But again, I don't see the same behavior she does.
I feel like a schmuck, as this is a very nice little horse, and I have managed to screw him up in only a few months. The new trainer is suggesting NO DRESSAGE lessons for at least six months or longer. My old trainer is not a monster. She does not wake up planning on how to ruin horses. She thinks she is doing the right things as well.
But things are quite messed up. What I need to figure out is why, and what I need to change to make them right again. The mirror is the first place I am looking but remember how I said it's possible to lie to yourself? I don't trust me either.
Any chance you have a psychic woo-woo hat that you can wear and magically see 8000 miles and figure this out?
Thanks for your thoughts re: the waterhole ritual. I know people who run therapeutic clinics for people who get to spend time sitting in a chair with a horse in a round yard. I remember one the ladies took her horse for a ride and after putting him back in his paddock with his friends, suddenly ran back to the paddock. She caught him again and lead him to a yard where she spent several minutes with him before returning him to his friends in the paddock. I asked her what that was all about. She said that after her ride she had forgotten to thank her horse for the ride, so she had to catch him again and tell him how thankful she was for the ride.
I was a little perplexed because I figured the best thank you would be to have left the horse alone with his friends. But I think that type of relationship is all about the people feeling good. Bringing the horse back to thank him made the owner feel good that she had expressed her appreciation to her horse. But that was how a human would think of it. I suspect a horse would see nothing good about being dragged out of his paddock again and have a human blabbering away with words of gratitude. So who was she trying to help feel good - the her or her horse?
I don't really know what to tell you about your horse. I think you are in a difficult position of being unsure if either your old trainer or your new trainer are really helping. Your horse won't lie to you and you can only take your cue from how Tort responds. The fact that you are now dealing with trouble that you believe was not there at the beginning means something is going wrong.
Despite the years of experience your instructors might have, in the end you carry the responsibility for the outcome. You have already shown concern regarding some things your new instructor has been advising. If, after discussing the why and wherefore of her advice, you continue to feel it's not what you want then you have no excuse for continuing to have lessons with this lady. You can't sacrifice your horse's well being for the sake of protecting your instructors sensibilities or upsetting a friendship. It's not fair to the horse.
It's also not fair to your horse to have instruction where you are working on one approach to the training and then using a different approach when you are on your own or going to your old instructor.
You have no choice here. If you accept the responsibility of owning a horse, you are then responsible for putting the horse's welfare first. You (or any of us) don't have the moral right to play Russian roulette with a horse's mental state. If you believe any type of instruction is not in your horse's best interest, then you are bound to do something about it. That may seem harsh, but your horse doesn't get a say in any of this and is the victim here. You have to stand up for him, since he can't do it himself.
Best of luck.
Filed in Category: horse behaviour
The Carolyn Resnick Video
Thank you again for running a great site, what fun to have a horse related place to go that makes me think but doesn't overwhelm me. with details I can't achieve.
FYI, the post you had the other day hit straight home for me. I've struggled for years wondering why the Timing Feel and Balance Fairy seems to have passed me by. Maybe she hasn't.
Consistency... that's a concept I can focus on, and that's something for which I can judge my own progress. It's hard (although not impossible) to lie to yourself. Thanks for the inner tube to help me float down this river of horsemanship. Maybe the timing feel and balance will start improving if I can get consistency working better.
As for the video. I don't know Carolyn Resnick from Eve, but that is a reflection of me, not her. Certainly there is a lot to be gained from learning to live in the moment. My old TB is having a tough time with heat and has abscessed to boot. I've enjoyed spending time visiting him and the herd of geriatric horses in the retirement village. All good kind old horses, happy to see your, and happy to see you walk away. Fun to watch them interact. My old boy was so sore he just stood outside the herd with his bestest friend in the world, an old chestnut mare. He wanted a drink at one point but told me he couldn't because one of the geldings was in his way. I led the gelding away from the tank, and he hobbled up. A few days and a set of shoes later, and now he can chase that gelding off on his own. (whew! hate to see the old guy sore). Point is, I don't often take the time to just enjoy him or his friends. I think that is one message from the video.
However.... I thought I was laid back but the women in the video makes me look like I just drank a gallon of coffee.
The horses tolerate her, seem to be fine with her presence but I didn't see a huge amount of interaction. Not much more than I was visiting with the old retired horses. It's great that the horses are not threatened by her, but I also didn't see that they were paying much attention to her. The old retired horses are just fine with me too, I also know that might change if I wanted to do something they weren't cracked on. I don't think they would be violent, they just probably wouldn't. I don't know enough about this trainer to know if she can ask horses to do things for her.
No doubt I've missed something vital. I will be looking forward to hearing your thoughts and that of others.
The video is of one of Carolyn's students and her horse. I've never seen Carolyn Resnick in person and have only watched some videos, read her web site and talked to folks who have been to clinics.
I guess I just don't get what Carolyn does for horses. The waterhole ritual seems to be all about people hanging out with horses. It is about helping people feel good about themselves because the horses accept them. But what does it do for the horses? I enjoy being in the paddock surrounded by my horses as I sip a cup of tea or giving each a scratch on their favourite itchy spot. It's very peaceful and enjoyable. But it does nothing for my relationship with my horses if when I saddle and ride them they are miserable. It's not hard to have a horse feel okay if you never ask anything of them. But few of us are in a position that we don't ever have to direct a horse to do something they don't want to do. Even if you don't ride, a horse still needs hoof trimming, dentist, vet care, worming pasting etc. All things that most horses would not choose to have done themselves.
I have seen videos of Carolyn riding horses and they all seem not very happy. Even in the videos where the horses are not ridden, I see horses that tolerate people but not actually enjoying the company of people - like they might enjoy another horse. So I don't get it.
There is nothing wrong with people getting pleasure from hanging out with horses, but do we need trainers, clinics, books and videos to tell us how to do that. Shouldn't that be just a normal part of owning a horse?
Maybe I'm missing something. I was hoping a student or two would write and explain it to me, but I until then the meaning of it eludes me.
Filed in Category: horse training
The Waterhole Ritual
I’d like you guys to watch this video clip and write to me with your thoughts. You can do it anonymously if you want. I particularly would like to hear from students of Carolyn Resnick, but happy to get everyone’s thoughts. I have some thoughts too, but I will hold back until I can a few responses.