I have a student I want to tell you about today because she has used my Method in an interesting way and it might help or inspire others to use it this way. To give you some history she once had many horses of her own and ran a successful riding, training and equine therapy business. Since she shut down her business and was without horses, an opportunity presented itself years later to help a stranger with an Icelandic
Pony in need of attention.

When she arrived at the farm, she said she was immediately disappointed. She had hoped that there would be a space large enough to practice my Liberty Method. But, the pony was cute and she could tell that she needed him as much as he needed her, so they began their journey. At first, she just sat in his small pen and practiced the first ritual, Sharing Territory. This was something she said she found difficult to do at first even though it is a simple task. What was hard for her was to do nothing at all but connect to herself and act

disinterested in the pony. That is after all why she was there, to “DO” something with the pony. But she sat with him five days a week for an hour or so each day for several months as there was no place to go and do the liberty work that she was interested in and she discovered the pony was very ill. Since the space available was so limited, when they did go outside the pen she used my Uberstreichen exercises to begin
developing a bond and respect.

Blaise, the pony, had foundered and it was later discovered that he had Cushing’s. This became increasingly troubling to her as Blaise was in a significant amount of pain and all she could do was sit there with him. During that time she said something interesting happened. She started noticing his attention frequently turned towards her and during the time she sat with him he would stand beside her and they would play little games. These games were just simple interactions like touching him lightly on his chest to see what the least amount of pressure was that would cause him to back up. She then created a signal that brought him forward to come back to her. She became aware of the connection and communication that was available and present.

Much of her time was spent touching him eventually finding all the spots he enjoyed and assisting him in any way to feel better. She showed up one day and he was lying down in pain, which she had noticed had increased and the inflammation in his feet was causing him great distress. She sat with him for a while and then lay down beside him sharing that space with great concern. During this time he was seen and treated by a vet and began to stabilize.

When he was able to walk without pain, she took him on short walks off the property. One day she noticed that there was a house nearby that had two horses in the backyard. As she passed the house, she said the pony “told” her he wanted friends and indicated he wanted to enter the property. As it had a gate, my student “said” to the pony that she understood his communication but she had to follow human rules. She would need permission before entering. This seemed to satisfy him and later with permission to visit, they discovered the perfect place for liberty was next door!

In a very short time, they worked their way through the Waterhole Rituals™ creating a deep bond and connection. Their journey continues, and she continues to keep me up to date on the relationship as it develops. What I want to share is that many people focus on horses that are healthy, fit, athletic, etc. This is a great example of how my Method can give well being and joy to any horse regardless of circumstances. How nice for this pony to have a relationship and connection that provides a feeling of belonging and being led, of connection and being understood.

Also, it may be that the time that she spent with the pony created a miracle. In the Spring the pony shed out his coat which is a sign that he doesn’t have Cushing’s so either there was a miracle or a misdiagnosis but either way I believe that attentiveness can create miracles like this.

Carolyn Resnick

Natural Horsemanship from the Ground Up

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