My Journey Through The Waterhole Rituals

OCTOBER 15, 2017

How My Journey Began

The purpose of me writing this Journal is to share with you my experience in The Waterhole Rituals. My hope is to raise awareness that will lead to a better relationship between horses and humans. 

My name Nancy Zintsmaster.  I live in Costa Rica and began studying the Waterhole Rituals in February of 2015. The Waterhole Rituals is a relationship based method of training a horse at Liberty, as well as a Self-realization experience.  Carolyn Resnick created this method based on her many years of studying the social interactions and bonding rituals of horses in the wild. Carolyn teaches students all over the world how to connect, communicate and train a horse in the moments of flow, from ones natural instincts.

I decided to document my journey through the Waterhole Rituals, as I have been invited by Carolyn to be an instructor in her method. It is a dream come true and I am honored to share her method with the world, as not only does it fulfil me beyond words, but it also gives me a platform to be a voice for the horse. In the  following pages, and in my blog section, I will be sharingsome of the miracles that I have discovered since I began this journey in 2015. I hope you enjoy them! 

Carolyn Resnick and Nancy Zintsmaster at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary

Carolyn Resnick and Nancy Zintsmaster at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary

One day I was going to look at a used saddle that was for sale when I stumbled upon four emaciated horses in desperate need of help. My husband and I came to the rescue with our close friend Lilander who is a fellow horse lover. We drove back the following day and after much negotiating with the owner (who was no longer in Costa Rica) we brought the horses home with us. Since we already had three horses of our own, we needed to find an additional source of income to support our growing family. We started an Equine and Wellness Center which we named Kindred Connections. Our original plan was to invite like-minded clinicians to Costa Rica to hold clinics in the form of vacation getaways or retreats. Our intention was to use the income generated from this business for the feeding and care of the horses since the medical bills were piling up daily. We also wanted to learn different methods of training which is a difficult endeavor in Costa Rica.

One of my horses, Apache, was very difficult for me to handle. He was terrified of humans and his fear became dangerous. Many horse people in the village where I live in Costa Rica told me that this horse was going to kill me and to bring him to the auction for my own safety. When I rescued Apache I promised him that no one would ever hurt him again, so the auction was not an option for me! I then made a decision to contact Carolyn Resnick and see if I could host a clinic here in Costa Rica, so that I could learn her method! That was the beginning of my passion for this method! 

I had been dabbling in other methods of "Natural Horsemanship" prior to contacting Carolyn, but none of it resonated with me, or Apache. Carolyn explained that she did not travel internationally, but that one of her certified instructors, Linda Salinas, did. I called Linda and she agreed to come and teach a clinic here in Costa Rica. I was elated and in February of 2015, we held our first clinic in the Waterhole Rituals at my ranch in Costa Rica.  It was magical to watch Linda work with these shy, detached rescue horses who did not trust humans. Linda commented that these were by far the most difficult horses that she had ever worked with. Participants also worked with the horses each day. Slowly but surely we made progress. By Day 5, all the horses were enjoying The Waterhole Rituals and could hardly wait for their turn in the arena. Linda mentioned that we should make the arena the "sweet spot" which is better than anywhere else on that ranch. It is a place where the horses can feel safe to explore, participate, and connect if they so choose. I think we accomplished that goal! After the clinic ended, the miracles continued. Much to my surprise the next day, I discovered that Apache had jumped a fence to get to the "sweet spot" where he stood patiently waiting for me to come out and play with him. Each day my horses now gather around the arena as they wait their turn to play.  

I had finally found a method of training that felt right, one that gave the horse a voice.  Studying and practicing the Waterhole Rituals has been life-changing experience for me, and my horses. I knew I would have to make it my mission to spread the knowledge of this method to others throughout the world.

After the clinic,  I continued to work with my horses at Liberty in The Waterhole Rituals.  I took Carolyn's online Waterhole Ritual course, as well as a private clinic with Linda and several public clinics. During this time I  began to feel a shift happening within me,  a greater sense of peace and a deeper knowing of myself.  I quickly realized that I wanted to make this my life's work. 

Teaching is in my blood  and I knew that it would not be easy to master this method, but I was determined to show Carolyn Resnick that I would be beneficial to her program as an instructor! Over the next few years  I developed a deep bond with my horses and magic began to happen. Soon, I was dancing with my horses at Liberty! The were loving it and so was I.  Now, my passion for this method grew even stronger and I decided that my commitment was serious and it was time that I meet Carolyn and work under the Master herself, so I did just that.  Studying under Carolyn has been an amazing experience  and I finally found my happy place. This is my true calling. Carolyn is brilliant and so much fun to work with!  For the last 10 months she has been mentoring me and after much practice and determination, Carolyn  asked me if I would like to teach her method!  Of course, I said YES! It was definitely meant to be, and it just goes to show that dreams really do come true! For me, it has not been about the destination, but about the journey! I am loving the path I am on and love sharing my experience with others. I hope that if you are reading this that you will take the journey with me!

Lots of love and much thanks to you, Carolyn! I will make you proud!