Creating The Sweet Spot For Horses
My eight horses live together in a herd. They have an unlimited supply of fresh water, all the hay/grass they can eat, and the pleasure of being together. Thus, all their needs are met. So why would they choose to willingly leave the herd to go into the arena for training? They go into the arena because I have ensured that it is the sweetest spot on the farm. It is even better than the pasture! At any given time, I can call most of my horses out of the pasture and companion walk with them to the arena without tack. My horses know where the sweet spot is. They are never drilled in the arena and we stop training on a high note rather than at failure. Imagine how it would feel to go to a school where learning is fun, stimulating, and rewarding!
I have created a strong bond with my horses through sharing territory which is the first ritual in The Carolyn Resnick Method of Natural Horsemanship. My horses never mind leaving each other to spend time with me. I spend endless hours in the pasture with my horses bonding and just being with them. It is truly enough for me to spend time with my horses while making no request of them. One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned from my horses is to “just be” in the moment. Enjoying the pleasure of their company is rich and satisfying. Sharing territory has created a strong bond with my horses.
I’m sure you all remember Bad Baby Bella. She watches to see if any of my other horses are spending time in the arena. Often when I remove her from her stall, she will make a bee line to the arena which is in the opposite direction from the pasture and the other horses. She wants to be in the arena.
As you know from reading last week’s blog, I just taught a five day clinic in Costa Rica with a group of horses that were very disconnected and distrusting of people. Nancy Zintsmaster hosted the clinic at her beautiful home on the top of a mountain and her arena overlooks Arenal Volcano. Within a few days time, the horses became connected to people and we created a sweet spot in the arena. A week after the clinic Nancy posted the following on Facebook: (So for all of you that know Apache…he can’t wait to get into the arena. He is jumping fences to come up to the house and do his daily practices! Linda, we have definitely accomplished this being the “sweetest spot ever”!! Two days in a row, he has shown up in my front yard. So wonderful! Although Yorbin doesn’t think so. He has been running up and down the mountain to retrieve him! LOL)
I think that says it all!
Have a great rest of the week as you enjoy the sweet spot with your horses.