Yoga and Horsemanship

For the last one and a half years, I have dedicated many hours toward training my horses at liberty using Carolyn Resnick’s method (The Waterhole Rituals).  My passion for this training has given my horses and me great joy and we have been able to build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.  Although I host a variety of clinicians and support my horses in learning new skills, I am very careful to select clinicians who respect my work.  I will never jeopardize the trust that my horses have placed in me to keep them safe. 

In March 2016, we hosted our first Yoga and Horsemanship Clinic/Retreat here in Arenal, Costa Rica.  Two amazing clinicians (Tammy Pate and Janice Baxter) guided our guests on an incredible journey through the practice of yoga and the development of skills in breathing, balance and oneness with the self to promote a better relationship between horses and humans.  Their teachings resonated with me because I feel that any actions we take to connect with ourselves help us in the development of a stronger connection with our equine partners.

A few weeks ago, we hosted our second Yoga and Horsemanship Clinic.  On our final day of clinic Tammy selected the topic of starting colts. We chose to demonstrate with my 3 year old colt named Wille.  He is a rescue horse with only my teachings of The Waterhole Rituals under his belt. Tammy and I delighted in how calm and relaxed Willie was under saddle for his first time.  He showed no fear or resistance and was eager to learn.  It was amazing to watch the beauty and ease in which Tammy “showed him the ropes”, so to say!  Watching them together was like watching a graceful dance with clear leadership and the willingness to follow. 

The Waterhole Rituals have given my horses a strong foundation to enhance their ability to learn new things without fear or hesitation.  Tammy’s method of teaching groundwork provided a beautiful way to transition my horses to the next level.  She is truly an inspiration and I am grateful for her gentle guidance, leadership and dedication toward putting the horse first. 

I look forward to our next adventure with the “Vaqueras Locas”!


Tammy Pate and Apache

Tammy Pate and Apache

From the Mouths of Babes

The weather has finally changed and we are having "springtime" weather here in Arenal, Costa Rica. Of course, we are thrilled, as this means lots of time with our horses up next to our home where we can bond and play throughout the day! For me, just sitting with them and watching them interact makes a perfect day! I am so grateful for what these beautiful, sentient beings share with me on a daily basis.

Yesterday, I was home doing a bit of work and going in and out to be with the horses. My grandson, Michi, who was spending the day with us, asked if he could give the horses some grass. I told him that I would love for him to help me, so I sat on the porch while he busily pushed the long stems of grass through the fence. The horses were loving it, and he was, too! Next, he wanted to ride Luce, our older mare, who is perfect for Michi. She is a beautiful soul, who until recently had had enough of humans! When we rescued her and her three offspring, they were starving and barely alive. It is no wonder that she did not trust humans. Over the course of the last year, in practicing Carolyn Resnick's method of training (The Waterhole Rituals),  she has finally come around and realizes that we might just be alright! I believe that she now knows that she can trust in our leadership and that she no longer needs to fear that we may hurt her, as so many did in the past.  So,  I began brushing Luce to get her ready as Michi sat on the top rail of the fence talking face to face with Luce.  I walked away to get the saddle, and when I returned, Michi said "Nana! I was talking to Luce and I told her that people just don't think!" This was no surprise to me, as Grandpa is always teaching Michi life lessons, and explaining what happens when people don’t think!!" Michi continued to explain with excitement, "When I told her this,  she nodded her head up and down two times!! She was telling me that she knows, Nana, wasn't she??" He was so thrilled and excited that he was communicating with Luce and I confirmed his realization and told him that she definitely knows that people don't always think!!  I then explained to him that horses are prey animals and their senses are so much stronger than ours. They live in herds and take care of one another and they live in the moment, as they must for their survival. They are intuitive and sensitive and some are great leaders. I explained to him how naturally they mirror us, so if we pay attention we can learn more about ourselves. He said, "we should be more like horses, Nana!" He is correct. 

Horses can be our greatest teachers! This was truly a moment of awakening for him and another strong message to me.  If we slow down and take the time to share these moments with our children and if we can teach the future generation how to live in nature, respecting all life, and give them the knowledge to know that there is more to life than themselves, they will learn to be more like horse and have confidence, respect, leadership, love, kindness, and compassion. Maybe then, they will have the knowledge to truly be able to help the change the world. If we could be more like horses, the world would be more amazing then we could have ever dreamed!