There is so much information on this post, wow!!
As some of you already know, I've started the Waterhole Rituals with both of my horses, Magik and Corado (about 6 mths ago).
I started off with Parelli with Corado but big mistake. Being a TB, he was so sensitive to phase 4. He was pretty much submissive. Since AND, he learnt to love me and trust me but, like many, had no play drive (except chase the tiger). Other than that I would run around and I felt like he thought I was chasing him. So I stopped.
Magik, on the other hand, Parelli would have probably worked since he is so defiant. Everything I ask (teaching him new things), he would argue (lift his head, stomp his feet, etc.). What I would do is leave him and go to Corado. That would piss him off. He would come towards Corado & me and his look was so funny. So then I would go back, and he would then at least try to learn.
Anyways, once I started with the WHR, Magik changed from night to day. He still shows signs of argument when teaching him new things but our relationship is so much intense. He will put his head on my shoulder now and breath so slowly (I get the shivers just thinking about it), his look is so real now. And, he's starting to play!!
As for Corado, our relationship changed since I stopped Parelli and started AND. Everyting became a game. To me, he was a dangerous horse because of his quick and overreaction. And since I had no experience around horses, I always had to be careful where I was. He could take off anytime. After doing the rituals with Corado, he is now a happy and lively horse and just LOOOVVES to play. Of course I clickertrain too so they get treats when try to please me.
This, is exactly the relationship I was looking for with horses. I am not an expert on horse behavior like our moderators, but I do agree that horses behave for a reason .
Magik is a biter and Corado is a kicker. So now I've taught Magik to pick things up with his teeth (ball, glove, anything he can put in his mouth. He loves it.
Corado, I've taught him to lift his leg (mistake cuz now he's doing it all the time even when I'm not expecting it), taught him to stretch, every morning we do our forehand stretches and hind. So now, he's not really kicking agressively but I'm asking him to do specific things he likes to do.
Just a thought .
but one point I truly believe is everyday we must spend some "sharing territory" with our horse(s).
It can be for 15 minutes only but during this time, you sit with your horse and no interaction. You don't touch him, he doesn't touch you. You read a book, or doze off, but you don't even look at him. If he comes to you (and he's the agressive type), you get up and shooh him away (I use a dressage whip and just swing the air in front of me. when he leaves, the second he moves away, you sit back down and do what you were doing. You never touch the horse without his persmission. Just like he shouldn't touch you without your permission. That's the start.
I always say to myself "if I were a horse, would I like to be treated this way". If not, then I'll find a way that I know my horse would love.
Great subject. We're learninig alot !!
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!