I've been meaning to write this post for about a week now but all my creative writing juices seem to be going into my assignments at the moment. Probably the best place for them to go but I miss writing here.
Anyway, a friend lent me the DVD of Carolyn Resnick's Waterhole Rituals. Her explanation of how she wants to train her horse and how she wants to be her horses leader match really closely with what I want. I like how her method is based on the natural interactions of horses in the wild herds she has studied. however this is also a downfall which I'll explain a bit later. Her theory is that there are certain rituals of interaction that horses follow in a herd. There is some dominance based stuff like one step called Taking Territory which involves chasing a horse off his food and keeping him away until you are ready for him to eat his food. But it is mixed with a lot of trust building and leadership defining.
Step 1 - Sharing Space
Step 2 - Saying Hello
Step 3 - Taking Territory
Step 4- Leading from behind
Step 5 - Eye Contact
Step 6 - Magnetic connection
Step 7 - Come up and Go trot
Her website is www.carolynresnickblog.com
We are slowly working through the steps. We can get to step 5 without too many difficulties but after that things kind of fall apart, so much more work is needed on those initial steps. They are fun to do and at the moment Fox seems to be willing to go with it.
While her concepts appeal to me and the methods she goes about them are generally agreeable to me, it is still too much about being the 'alpha horse'. I believe that leads to problems and still prefer the attraction based training aka clicker training so I throw a bit more of that in. The main point of me not wanting to be the 'alpha horse' is that I don't want a horse/horse relationship, I want a horse/human relationship.
The good thing is that these two methods are pretty compatible so I'm just mixing and matching and going with what feels right. Liberty training is another thing that I like and is the same as attraction based training. You are giving the horse the option to be with you and your goals are to make him want to be with you.
So yet again, another perspective. I really like the fact that I am now confident enough to say yes I like that bit of your training and that bit of another persons and no I don't like that bit and being able to melding them into something that works for Fox and I which I think is the number one goal of interacting with your horse.
An update on where Fox and I are in our rehab. The stiffness is mostly gone, still noticeable but only if your looking for it. We are up to half an hour hand walks which Fox is still loving. I took him up the hill behind his paddock a few days ago to start getting those butt muscles working again. I also want to start pole work but the arena is still closed grrrrrrr, apparently the ground is too hard now. But it's ok for her horse to graze on and run round like a mad thing whenever Fox and I walk past -eyeroll-. All I want to do is walk Fox over a few poles. But I knew I would have problems moving back here. The grass is almost all gone too so I'm on the lookout for another place again -sigh-.
So we're getting there and I hope in a few weeks I will be able to have my first ride!