The purpose of my blog is to make a connection with you. I can connect with people all over the world, thanks to the computer, and we can explore and correspond with one another on the experiences we’re having with our horses in our life! I also use the blog as a way, to educate, to raise consciousness, and to use philosophical viewpoints that will lead to a better relationship with horses; for training, partnering, and performance.
The blog is also here to help support interested people and my students who are learning my method through the educational material I offer and direct coaching. Feel free to ask questions on horse behavior, pecking order, leadership, self-realization, meditation, and the training and performance of horses. I may answer your question, or I may choose it for a blog topic for a later date. Of course, I can’t answer everyone’s questions, but I will read all your comments and I will respond to several questions on each blog.
I look forward to dialoging on the subject of what creates a better connection with a horse. Enjoy!
In a playful way you and your horse will learn how to work together in a precise manner to learn how to following a specific set course like in agility.
You will have an easier time educating your horse to engage playing with a ball if you have already developed the Waterhole Rituals with your horse. This is because of the partnership, communication, and teamwork skills you have acquired from their practice.
Benefits for the Waterhole Rituals and my focus working with horses
Once I have the Waterhole Rituals developed on my horse, I have a horse that is eager to learn new things like playing with a ball. Once I have the Waterhole Rituals as my foundation, my horse has an ability to learn new tasks easily. My focus is to keep building the horse’s interest to accomplish new tasks. In doing this, the horse continues to grow his capacity to learn. It builds the horse’s reasoning skills. I am looking for the horse to use all this ability to think, reason and respond. Putting him to work in this way brings more meaning and enjoyment to a horse’s life experience and creates a well-rounded and well-adjusted horse. Working with the Waterhole Rituals brings you more ability to keep the horse under control without having to be actively controlling.
Why work at liberty before you train with tack
From the practice of the Waterhole Rituals, a person develops a deeper understanding in how to work with and lead a horse without the need of tack. This way when you use tack, you use it in the way that it was meant to be used – to enhance your ability to communicate rather than restraining the horse to control him.
The importance of socializing with horses
Taking the time to socialize your horse in how to communicate with you and follow your lead is invaluable because the interactions you share with a horse at liberty, bring out this attitude.
Because the culture of horses is based on pecking order, it is important to develop a horse’s understanding that he must respect and follow your lead over his desire to lead and control you. It is very important to make an effort to get a horse to accept your leadership. Horses require that their relationships be developed by interactions where they work out who is going to be the leader and who is going to be the follower. Horses that have no desire to control you also need to be developed in their willingness to follow your leadership. Once you have developed a partnership with your horse and your horse has chosen you as the leader, from your efforts to become his leader, you are able to work with your horse in harmony because your communication is clearly understood and because both you and your horse are on the same page.
Developing a partnership with a horse creates the order you will need to train your horse to do precise interactions like moving a ball through a set course and being able to pass it back and forth between the two of you. In precision, we can connect with life deeply and to share it with a horse is magical.
How to start playing and educating your horse to interact with you with a ball.
I begin the lesson by asking him to stand still so I have my horse’s full attention and cooperation so that he will pay attention to what I am going to do next. Horses learn easily through observation. Once he will stand still on his own I bring in a ball to the schoolyard. I then push the ball around the schoolyard and when I get back to where the carrots are, I offer my horse a carrot. I repeat this for two or three minutes or however long it takes for the horse to get comfortable with the ball and get the idea of how important it is that the ball comes back to where the carrots are. When your horse is relaxed and into the game, we can then move onto the next step.
The next step
When you get back from your trip around the schoolyard you look at your horse and say, “touch the ball” and then wait. Give your horse a carrot for any movement that shows more interest for the ball. Upon waiting for a period of time and your horse shows no interest, give him a carrot anyway. Another thing that will build a horse’s enthusiasm is to ask the horse to touch the ball only once and then wait until your horse touches it before he gets a carrot. This will help your horse to process so that your horse will touch the ball to get a carrot on his own. You also want to practice with your horse how to wait to touch the ball from your request as well. This helps to build the enthusiasm to touch the ball because in the waiting, there is no carrot. He learns that touching the ball is a privilege.
Another way to start your touching a ball lesson:
If your horse will not touch the ball from what I have suggested, this might help to get him started. Just touch him with the ball yourself and then give him a carrot. In no time at all he will touch the ball.
Here is a video about pushing the ball:
A suggestion in what kind of ball you can use
Most often I use a regular exercise ball, so if you do not have a big ball, you can easily buy a yoga ball for less then $20.00 at a discount store.
Have a great weekend and remember to watch out for new horse and human sightings. May the horse be with you.