Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog Video 9

Here is day three of Caroline Rider's "special presentations" at
the Timonium, MD HorseWorld Expo, this January 2011.

Caroline continues to narrate the conversations that she and her
horses Smokey and Sundance are having in this venue, where they
dance at liberty and do bridleless riding.

Each day is very different!


Some of you have been telling us that it is difficult to leave a comment on the blog:
I hope this is helpful:

To leave a comment on our blog:

1. Click on the red "_ comments" link at the bottom of the post.  

2. This will open up a new window where it says "Post a Comment" with a box where you can type your comment.  

3. Then below the box, it says "Comment as" and asks you to "Select Profile."  This means, what type of email address do you want to make a comment as, such as your google account - type in your google username or gmail address, AIM (aol) - type in your aol email address,  Open URL think means that you can do other types of email addresses.

4.  Press the "Post Comment" button at the bottom of the box where you typed your comment.

Below the comment box, you will also see a link that says: "Subscribe by email."  If you do that, it will alert you each time our new blogs come out.  Though we do try to get the new blogs out each monday, sometimes our schedules don't allow.  So this will alert you when the new blog is up!!

Let us know your comments and ask Caroline your questions for upcoming blog posts!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog video 8

Here is day two of Caroline's Liberty and Freestyle Demo
at this year's Timonium HorseWorld Expo.

Caroline narrates some of the subtle communication between she,
Smokey and Sundance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blog video 7

This is the first of four of the musical freestyle and liberty
demonstrations that Caroline gave at the HorseWorld Expo
in Timonium, MD this January.

Caroline narrates some of the subtle communication between she,
Smokey, and Sundance, and how she chooses to solve some of the
problems they encountered each day.

We will be showing all four of her musical freestyle and liberty
presentations over the coming weeks, with comments from
Caroline. This is Thursday's performance.

On another note - we wanted to thank Katarina for a beautiful
email she just sent us.

I am on a journey to finding the way with horses that is most suitable
for me... I have been studying a lot of what is out there, and find that
many clinicians either aren't able to explain their method in an
understandable way, or don't have accessible materials for studying them.

Most people that I have looked into are either too "mechanical"
or too "spiritual" and when I recently happened to come across
one of Caroline's Youtube-clip I was completely blown away
because it's just what I'm looking for: BOTH spiritual and practical :)

I'm looking forward to getting the DVD (and in time purchase
more of her DVD's) and have a "new beginning" with my two
lovely horses Silva and Ciwanne! :)

-Katarina, Finland

Thank you Katarina, so much for your beautiful words!
I am so happy that this way of being with horses strikes a chord
with you!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Session 2, Part 2 with Dulche.

We are putting up our blog video up a little early this week! Caroline
is going to be doing a private apprenticeship in MA on Monday,
and I'll be there doing video for them. So we wanted to get this posted
before we left. :)

Here is part two of the second time Caroline worked with Dulche.

We don't know much of this mare's history, but she has a lot of mistrust
with people, and has shown aggressive tendencies both with people and
other horses. We are starting to see that underneath that exterior is a
very soft and sweet heart!

So please watch to see how beautifully she halters and works with
Caroline doing some of her online exercises.

Have a great week with your horse(s)!
Until next week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creating healthy boundaries - how to handle biting and playfulness with your horse.

                     We would like to share this great question and answer with you this week!

Hi Caroline - 
I love the blog.  Especially the last two installments with Dulce.  Perfect for reinforcing my round pen techniques.  I just started round pen training with Stormy and Sandman (he is our pony).  I wanted to watch the DVDs a few times before I gave it a try.  Things are going pretty well.  

Here is a question for you....  everyday before I put Stormy's halter on, I go in his stall and pet him on the face and neck and ask him to put his head down.  He licks and chews, which I know is good.  However, every now and then, while his head is low... the look in his eye will change suddenly and he will go after my shins with his teeth.  I always have my dressage whip with me and I shoo him away from my legs without hitting him or going after him aggressively. I just stand my ground and  get him out of my space.  Do I keep on keeping on?  Or is there something else I should try? 

My round pen question also has to do with teeth.... but a different energy behind them.  It seems that he really wants to play!  When I go in his paddock with him and call him over, he approaches with his ears up, I pet him on the face and neck.  He is constantly nipping and nibbling at me, like I am another horse and he is trying to play halter-tag.  I use my fingers to shoo him out of my space and tell him that teeth are not appropriate no matter what.  I am happy that it is not angry energy, but teeth=me getting hurt.  How do I cross this hurdle?  I don't know how to safely 'play' with him yet and I have a feeling that the 'friendly nibbling' is still a dominant behavior so I have to establish me as the leader before we try to 'play'.  What do you suggest?

Talk to you soon,

Hi Karen;

That's great, so glad it is helping you:)

Firstly, I never go into my (or any) horse's stall. Out of respect (it's always about space) I wait.  I will wait and if they don't greet me, I will ask them over to the door to partner up for the haltering. This is so important as it allows you to gauge, immediately, where your horse is emotionally/mentally - where your join up is or isn't. This becomes part of your (my) pre-flight system to safety too (as it's all about connection and partnership). The round penning approach was created to help you achieve this level of "initiation" where the horse has time to accept and trust you.

Secondly, everything we do is about positive reinforcement. We never address a challenge, issue, head on or directly. Rather we go about identifying the issue at hand and indirectly presenting solutions. Example; my horse won't come to me. Going after him or bribing him with grain/treats AND, a passive side of myself doesn't work (ex: "it's ok sweetie....I'm not going to hurt you" you walk timidly and thing you know, your run over). Before I know it, I've created a "cookie" monster and a horse that doesn't respect me as I am a push over. 
Solution: work on the ritual of the relationship, meaning create (like in our round penning) the environment, space that will support your endeavors to make you the "sweet" spot BALANCED with a little TLC. Through my rpenning dvd I talk about what horse's need - love and companionship and leadership. The first two come before the latter. And, the latter is just as important as you won't be able to go anywhere or achieve anything if you, as a leader, do not have clear and direct action/direction. Bottom line, work on asking him into you, like I do with Dulce, allowing him to find joy and comfort when he joins up with you - while calmly, clearly identifying your space.

In regards to being more playful, a herd of horses, the lead or more dominant horse will not tolerate another nipping, unless he initiates it and engages in it. You need to be clear at identifying what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. Biting humans is not as we are much weaker and we need to maintain a status where we balance both partnership and leadership. This is how they relate naturally. In regards to understanding horse behavior, the more we understand what is innate, and natural to our equine friends - where we have the "right" to take charge and control, and where we belong in this relationship, the easier, safer and more enjoyable our friendship becomes and the more confident we are about reading and understanding the dynamic we share with them.

Again, it's all about sharing and taking space and when you have a dominant/alpha personality like Stormy's he is going to want to engage with you on his terms and this can be dangerous. This is where you can stay mentally and physically engaged with him but remind him where he belongs and all that means is that you are in charge of your space...use a carriage whip to help or lead line to reinforce your boundaries. Watching, listening to him and keeping the lines of communication open are key here as you are walking a fine line between bringing out both confident and un-confident behavior. Too much or too little can make or break it.

Have fun playing! And, please keep me posted!

- Caroline