Today we have a question from Michelle from Canada who is already using the Waterhole Rituals™ to good effect by the sound of it but was seeking a little more clarification. Michelle wrote:
When I go to “Say Hello”, Amber (my mare) will sometimes walk towards me, so do I retreat, continue and still walk off or what?? She also did this to me later on during the Eye Contact ritual, so I did some “Companion Walking” to compensate for her decision.
My response to Michelle was:
When Amber walks up to you, she is greeting you. She is in the driver’s seat and she likes you. This is what we want to achieve using this Ritual. From this Ritual you want her to understand that your desire is to deepen the bond just like when people say “hello” and “how are you”, to show that they care. The other part of this display is to point out to her that you respect her and that she is in charge of your advances and leadership.
You have achieved your goal as you have reported it to me. If she is a sweet horse, you can let her greet you. If she is more aggressive by nature, which I know she is not by how she is responding to the Eye Contact Ritual, when she approaches, you approach her faster using body language to suggest that she needs to stop her approach and with your voice, ask her to stop her movement forward. When she stops, walk up to greet her and walk away.
On the Eye Contact ceremony when she walks up to you, take her back to the food in Companion Walking and start over. She has her own style with these rituals. She is very smart. As long as she is responding by keeping an “eye on you”, you are building her focus and again more respect as well as developing a greater right to lead her in her way of thinking. Forty-five minutes of eye contact in this manner or any other way of responding will increase her focus and I.Q.