LIBERTY TRAINING SEMINARS
with Robin Gates
*Certified Trainer in the Carolyn Resnick Method
The Human heard
at a seminar I recently taught at Lynn Elston's beautiful farm in
Snohomish, Washington. (Photo: Randee Fox)
Calendar of Events
(Click here to download a Seminar Registration
(*Click here to download a Seminar Registration Form)
Come see what all the
excitement is all about!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Here are some comments from
current and former students:
Hello, Robin. My first exposure to you was almost 2 years ago
and since then you have come to my Farm to present yourself and
Carolyn’s method half a dozen times, with two more seminars scheduled
and filled to capacity for 2012! That, in itself, is a remarkable
happening, but that is only a small part of all the happiness, freedom
and love you have brought into my life!
Where to even start? My dear friend, exposure to you and your incredible
zest for life and passion for relationship has melted so many of my own
personal boundaries and self-restrictions!
My relationship with my horses, under your caring guidance, has
burgeoned into something so satisfying, on a daily basis, that I cannot
wait to get up in the morning to see what we will discover together each
day!! My mind zig-zags back and forth between almost ignoring the depth
of my bond with Moon and Pilgrim, and the growing bond with
Yogi..because I have come to expect it and so can grow lax in taking it
for granted. The zag to that zig is when I decide to go out and see “if”
we can try this or that adventure around the property and they check in,
tune in and then stay with me while they figure it out!!! So awesome!!!
But, just as amazing, is the liberty your teaching as brought to my own
life...the freedom to dream big, to expect miracles, to not settle for
less than I want. This Farm has never enjoyed such a period of
prosperity as it has since you have been coming here to share your
gifts. And, I am not just talking about dollars! The community that has
formed around your events has become a supportive entity for me, for all
of its members, and by extension, for all the horses involved. How
perfect is that??
Okay, that is enough gushing...I am a taciturn person and this emoting
is NOT my style (or should I say “was” not my style???)
I will end this by saying that you, Robin Gates, have my deepest
gratitude and never-ending support for all that you have shared, all
that I have gained from you, and all that lies ahead for the two of us
and for those our two paths will cross!
Wow, where to begin... It was my first Robin
seminar, my first time paying more than a perfunctory amount to audit, my
first time in a sharing circle at a horse related event; however
everything else was very familiar and amazingly effective.
It's quite rare that I find a group of people not to mention a whole
training methodology based on authenticity, truth (however far from our
assumptions), and integrity. It has been my recent experience and
"awaring" that my horses were talking to me but Robin's seminars and
Carolyn's material are really the horse/human dictionary. Actual
conversations are now possible where we create our success together. It
eliminates any upset or frustration or even difficulty in practicing the
"techniques" since it's just a matter of time and recognition rather
than getting something right or making them wrong. It's really genius
and although I function this way in life with people, who by the way can
be so much more resistant than horses/animals, it's so refreshing to
have the truth so clear. Where people can often struggle to maintain
attachment to the past or the stories they tell themselves, etc. animals
don't know how to be outside integrity. Now that I think about it
perhaps people don't either since that's probably what "mental illness"
and the like are all about.
I think these seminars/learnings would be incredibly helpful to the
veterinary world, horse rescues, animal control, etc. I believe in the
theory when the student is ready the teacher will arrive however it
never hurts for the teacher to ask the student if they may want to get
started early lol.
Thanks to all involved! The best money I've spent auditing in a LONG
time and a very potent channel to health and human potential!
Lynn and I just returned from a 3-day intensive with Robin and I just
wanted to share a few things.
First, I just want to express my unending gratitude to Lynn and Robin
for sharing themselves and space with me while I continue my horsey
journey. Lynn and Robin are truly great mentors, friends, and always
provide a really safe and genuine place to learn - I so appreciate that.
It was an honor to spend three days examining how far we have come and
increasing our awareness of how much deeper we can go. The first day was
spent settling in and learning to apply what we have already learned in
a new environment with different horses. It was a great day to begin
exploring new opportunities and to experience all that Robin and her
horses have to offer their students.
By the second day the nervous feelings associated with the newness of it
all had totally disappeared, allowing me be become even more engaged as
we worked with horses in the arena and pasture. In the pasture there
were lots of opportunities to practice leading from behind and just be
together in the bond. At the end of our session we also had the
opportunity to work with the herd in the pasture with food allowing
everyone to eat from the same bucket without incident.
The third day was rainy so we started the day off watching a video of
wild mustangs and having a little Q&A. Later that morning we trailered
Will and Fresco to a nearby covered arena. Will and Fresco are two very
big dynamic boys with a lot of presence. Robin first worked with Will
who had not been off her property in a while. Needless to say, Will was
very enthusiastic about being in a new location! Robin then worked with
Fresco for bit and invited Lynn and me to play.
After a bit of play with Fresco, Robin decided to try something new and
work with both horses at liberty at once. Robin was first up and then it
was our turn to give it a go. Lynn went in and did a fabulous job,
managing some trepidation regarding working with the magnificent giant
duo, and managed both horses wonderfully! Lynn even took Will over a
small jump at liberty. I was up next and had to face my own anxiety, but
I also had a fabulous time working with both horses.
In the end I walked away with such a sense of pride, appreciation,
growth, and fulfillment. There is something so unique about being around
and learning from Robin that it cannot be described, but is just deeply
felt. The natural evolution of the three days could not have served us
better and I look forward to my next opportunity to work with Robin.
I would suspect that you are overwhelmed with testimonials and thank
you's every time you leave a seminar, and so I will try to keep this
brief, especially since words really fall short of expressing the
gratitude that I feel. I am not a person who runs around hugging
everyone, but yesterday when I thanked you, I just wanted to hug you
from the bottom of my heart for what you helped me see and understand.
Thank you soooo much!
Your amazing love for people and horses is so apparent, and I so
appreciate how you use such perfect and funny metaphors to instruct and
keep us all in seeking mode so we can really learn. I am so excited
about all the new beginnings I am about to explore, and I thank you so
much for all that you do!
I feel Robin is master teacher--teaching even when it seems she
isn't teaching--and I soaked it up. After the seminar, I felt an
energetic shift where I could sit in my power with Solo and not daydream
or spin out with busy mind, and that change, I feel, was largely due to
what I saw modeled by Robin and her work at liberty with the horses. Not
to mention the myriad other smaller shifts in perception that helped me
think like a horse and become aware of the message I was sending in his
Robin, Thank You for doing this Seminar. I had some pretty
amazing insights. it goes waaaaayyyy beyond just playing with my horse.
Tigre has been quite the gentleman since returning. We have had a few
conversations but some big piece has shifted in me and he seems to be
responding to that.Yippee! I found this to be such an emotional journey
I cannot even express in words all that is moving around in my heart,
head and soul.
Dr. Debra Harraka D.C.
I am still glowing from an amazing 2 day seminar with Robin
Gates. Robin's teaching style and information brought me home to a
natural way of being with horses. The way that nature intended, that has
been socialized out of us humans. I found the seminar to be uplifting,
spiritually educational and full of herd mentality common sense. I
highly recommend liberty training through the eyes of Robin Gates.
Lisa Renae Nelson
Marriage Family Therapist
As 'horse-people,' we've all momentarily experienced that
magical heart-union-connection with a horse. Trying to consciously
replicate it is often another matter. Robin provides a template for how
to create a human-equine heart connection via Liberty training. She
personalizes this template for each person. With Robin's direction, I
easily accessed that heart and mind state to walk in tandem with the
horses during the Liberty training seminar. The very next day I was
looking at a horse for sale. I smiled at the horse owners look of
surprise when I requested he unclasp the lead line off the horse's
halter. Within seconds, "Woody" and I were Liberty walking together. We
took our time, this person and this equine, as the unseen, but very real
heart-connected tether kept us close on our path of interspecies
Diane, Rowan (the horse) and Archer
I had been looking forward to attending your seminar for a whole year and
was excited about finally being able to do so. I loved your seminar and
have already recommended you to several people. You have a wonderful
sense of timing and your sense of humor is truly unique, It was a relief
to finally find someone who plays AND connects on a training, teaching
and energy level. This not only benifits the person but also their horse
because you stress a way of 'just being' that connects from the heart.
What a rare and inspiring combination!
I thought i would have a hard time sitting for 2 days, but the time
flew, you have a great gift in covering a lot of information in a clear
and focused way, keeping the whole experience light and uplifting.
Thank you so much for sharing Carolyns Method and adding your own
special spark to it.. The seminar was even better than what i had
expected and the connections you made with the horses were beautiful to
your techniques are already helping us.
A few days after I returned home, my boy Archer coliced. I was able to
keep him up and felt our connection was a bit stronger (he was down, and
wanted to go down several times).
I asked him to make an effort to walk and we walked around the big field
in the dark for an hour until the vet came and tubed him. He is doing
I felt a difference in how he responded, because i've walked him around
before when he had gas, so in dealing with a horse in an emergency type
So, perhaps even a subtle shift in how you connect can make a Huge
difference how your horse responds whens he's feeling horrible and not
at all himself - and really needs you to be there.
Robin, I deeply appreciate your willingness to share your Heart, Humor
and Talent with all of us.
Robin’s liberty training seminars are AWESOME! She teaches
people how to relate to horses in a way that is similar to the way that
horses relate to each other. By establishing a bond of trust, she builds
a relationship with horses that they can understand and enjoy. The goal
is to have the horse want to be with you, to be interested in
interacting with you, and to truly enjoy the experience. And then…the
Thank you, thank you for such a wonderful seminar experience. It was well
worth the trip down from Seattle for the weekend!!!
I feel like I've renewed my vows to my horses, to love them
unconditionally and to celebrate the joy they always, always bring into
It is just too easy to take those things for granted and lose myself in
the everyday worries and concerns of running the farm and caring for
them. They carry on, always steady, always giving, ready to pitch in as
lesson horses, ready to dance with me or allow me to ride. And because
they're always "there," I too often simply expect these things of them,
losing sight of what gifts they truly are.
Well not anymore!! In the days that I have been back, I have felt like
an 8 year old, chattering and laughing and playing with them...loving
them for all their silliness and steadiness, their curiosity and their
Your essence at the seminar is what gives me permission to be in this
joyous state, to play with them, entice them, reward them, give back to
them...rather than expect them to do all the giving. And, what I've
found is, at the end of a session with them, I feel happy! Not powerful,
not "in control", just plain happy...and it's wonderful!!!
So, much, much gratitude to you, and to Lisa, and to the horses, for
creating such a magical two days.
I'll give you a call soon so we can talk about the possibilities of
getting you up here to the Seattle area this winter!
Dr. Suzan Seelye, DVM, CVA, CVT, Certified Centered Riding Instructor
Healing Heart Wholistic Equine Veterinary Specialty Practice
Yelm, WA 98597
You truly are the next link in what I have been seeking. I come from
being an upper level eventer - could ride a Xcountry course in one
breath and hold on tight with all my muscles, especially those strong
arms pulling on that mouth. My own restructuring of my body and mind has
been facilitated by my beautiful equine teachers through their patience
and wisdom. Much of what you do I also teach to clients, a client and
fellow participant at Lynn's seminar turned to me and said "you hold the
rope the same way". I too consider myself a lifelong student - I love
knowledge and then having the experiential. Am still working on
releasing the need to react or maybe I should say the habit, and the
vulnerability thing - a work in progress.:)
I found myself years ago treating many "natural horsemanship" and
"Parelli" horses that were stripped of their soul, robots. My work is
largely on releasing the biochemistry of tissue memory and creation of
new neuronets that don't carry the past and boy when I worked on those
horses did so much anger come out. I learned more about it only to
understand what was happening to these horses. Although my closer
friends went this route I knew it was not my path so have waited and
been a little stagnant in my own progression with my horses for a couple
years. You are what I was waiting for. You have so much wisdom and
experience I do hope you will put some of it in book form soon so that
the world can have greater access to you. I have never come across one
who embodies presence and the ability to change in a moment like you do.
You set a high standard! That weekend with you was as much of a
spiritual teaching as a lesson in true horsemanship. Thank you for that,
I am truly grateful.
Robin - I wanted to thank you so much for coming up to do the
seminar. I learned a lot during the weekend and am still sorting through
things. It was a pleasure to watch you work with the horses but also
teach the humans. You have a wonderful way of presenting new ways for
folks to shift how they are interacting with their horses. Most
importantly you create a space where people feel comfortable taking the
risk to make that shift. :) I personally had some big insights regarding
my power and how I use it or not. I think my horse Marco is really here
to not only teach me but help me heal. It is very difficult for me to
stand in my own power when faced with big confrontation - lots of angry
or dominant energy. Of course has to deal with experiences in
childhood... I have been playing with being still and being with his
dramatic energy outbursts. I picture in my mind a serene lake and
generate the quietness, peacefulness and stillness. The ability to be
with what is happening but not affected by it - to be able to be with
the emotion Marco is demonstrating (excitement, fear, etc.), meet it,
feel it, but not be it. It has been pretty amazing. One day he came out
of the barn did a lovely capriole not on command and then just stood
there with me - grounded his feet and walked on. As I lunged him, he was
able to move his feet as needed but was able to keep connected to me and
to the stillness. Now I see him looking to me to really provide that
grounding for him - for me to provide him that leadership. For him and
me that is a big shift. He is a pretty macho horse and I think felt I
needed to be protected and it was his job. Now I am able to be more in
my own vulnerability powerfully and be his leader. Thanks again Robin -
I look forward to seeing you again in July.
Robin, thanks for taking time out of your life to share your
gift and acknowledge of horses. When I saw you’re video dancing with
your horses I knew I wanted to know more about your connection to these
beautiful animals. What I saw at your seminar was an energy connection. I
watched you walk to the left and the horse stopped his seeking towards
you and saw your body lean towards this horse as your energy came across
from you to this horse. Your energy hooked on to his shoulder and you
drew him to the left as if he had an imagery line to you. I watched your
body language draw, quiet and talked with each horse at this seminar. You
made me think about this new language. It’s the same frames but done in
slow motion. I talk, eat and walk fast. But to watch you speak with your
body in seconds with puffing up your body, tallness, a head gesture, a
look, a finger movement – a stillness that silences a horse. I learned
that day; maybe I too could silence my body to be a better teacher to my
horse. Wow – Thanks.
Gillian Marrah, MSW
As a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner, I highly recommend
Robin Gate's Liberty Training to be considered for CEU credits. The
skills that I learned in this sensitive, powerful and unique training
are invaluable for Equine Assisted Seminarians.
Robin brings a sense of humor and play to her work with horses,
that is contagious. She shares with us how important it is to be aware
of what we are bringing to the horse. She teaches with creatively and
joy and creates a safe space for others to learn and be vulnerable.
The piece that captivated me the most over this learning weekend was
witnessing Robin's “Out of the box” creativity. Robin was able to
communicate a palpable sense and understanding to us of how to transmit
stillness, oneness, and safety in the present. As she was describing her
technique while in the presence of horses you could see and feel it and
watch the horses receive and react to this bliss transmission. This for
me was the magical piece and I am so grateful for the experience. A
heartfelt thank you to Robin, and everyone who helped, supported and
assisted the seminar experience... and of course all of the horses that
shared themselves with us.
Orcas Feathered Horses
What an awe-inspiring week-end I spent with the very gifted
teacher, Robin Gates! Sharing her visceral experiences with the ability
to present them in a way that the student hungers for more is Robin's
gift to people and equine alike.. And all through the blessings of
laughter! How can one not want more?
She can't return to our area soon enough!
Mary Lou Calo
You make learning fun and joyful! I laughed and learned all
weekend, and now I feel ready to take the next step in connecting with
my horse. What a beautiful journey we are all on together! Thank you for
sharing your gift and making this a better world for horses and humans.
I'm looking forward to your next seminar at From the Mother Farm in
I am aglow from having just spent 2 1/2 of the most wonderful
days with Robin, absorbing the wisdom and light(ness) and humor she
brought to each of us, equine and human. I'm sure it will continue to
inform my way of being with my horses forever. Having had my first taste
of what she has to offer, I want more! Robin's gift is not just in how
she works with horses -- which is brilliant -- but in the way she's able
to convey it to us two-legged, "in-our-heads" types. She brings enormous
heart and compassion, deep experiencing and authenticity, to her work
with all of us. This is the beginning of enriching my relationships with
my horses in meaningful, transformative ways. I'm sure I'm just seeing
the tip of the iceberg! It's one of the best things I've ever done for
me and for my horses. And it's SO MUCH FUN! My little mare Gidget
agrees. We like the path we've just stepped on to and are looking
forward to the journey ahead. Thank you, Robin!glow from having just
spent 2 1/2 of the most wonderful days with Robin, absorbing the wisdom
and light(ness) and humor she brought to each of us, equine and human.
I'm sure it will continue to inform my way of being with my horses
forever. Having had my first taste of what she has to offer, I want
more! Robin's gift is not just in how she works with horses -- which is
brilliant -- but in the way she's able to convey it to us two-legged,
"in-our-heads" types. She brings enormous heart and compassion, deep
experiencing and authenticity, to her work with all of us. This is the
beginning of enriching my relationships with my horses in meaningful,
transformative ways. I'm sure I'm just seeing the tip of the iceberg!
It's one of the best things I've ever done for me and for my horses. And
it's SO MUCH FUN! My little mare Gidget agrees. We like the path we've
just stepped on to and are looking forward to the journey ahead. Thank
Certified Black Belt Nia Educator
Next Generation Nia Trainer in Training
Artist, Equestrian Educator
What an incredible seminar that we just finished with you Robin
here in Western Washington State. You are an incredible horse trainer,
human trainer, philosopher, life coach, humanitarian and comedian! My
smile muscles are well worked out, my heart is light, full of laughter
and positive energy, my horse training satchel is full of new tools (and
treats!) and my faith in the horse-human connection is fully restored
and more deeply rooted in this gift of an Earth that we all share. You
taught me to trust my instincts, to go for creativity and play, to
choose and lead with love vs. fear and to always keep my fascination
high and frustration low when handling my dear horses.Thank you for
being brilliant, beautiful, graceful, YOU!
I thank you and I know that my horses already sense the transformation
in me and thank you too.
Just attended one of Robin's seminars in Woodinville, WA with my
wife. What a fun and insightful weekend we had. It added the missing
pieces of understanding and perception I need to complete my
relationship with my horse. I also think it gave me insights into human
relationships as well. We would like to attend her ranch and train
Tina Crawford and Amadeus
Robin, you are truly a gifted communicator. I would highly
recommend your seminar to anyone who is seeking to understand the
language of the horse and what is deeply important to them. Your seminar
was a life changing experience on many levels. Thank you.
As I left the Robin Gates two day seminar, I
found myself walking on air to my car! So many of my questions had been
answered, but there were so many questions that I didn't know I had,
were answered as well.
Robin's technique of teaching is one of joy,
love, gratitude, respect, humor and leadership. Funny, there are all the
qualities that are a part of "Liberty work"...or "Liberty fun"!!! Robin
is informative, without being overwhelming. She is "in tune" with her
students, encourages questions, and makes you feel comfortable in asking
the most basic of questions.
I started out with the one word, Euphoria, as
I felt in awe of watching these gentle horses trusting strangers, and
teaching those strangers. It is evident that so much work (or play) has
created these lovely teachers for our benefit of learning. What patience
they have! I was imparted with knowledge that I knew was "out there
somewhere", but I hadn't yet found in my many searches. I was empowered!
Thank you Robin!!!
I find Robin's teaching approach to be
thoroughly engaging and communicated in a grounded, truly human context.
I am reminded that my relationship with the horse is also my
relationship with the totality of life, including my intimate and
personal relationships, and to the natural world as well. Skillfully and
humorously guiding participants in the feeling dimension between horse
and human; Robin clearly and emphatically demonstrates that relationship
is key in training our equine friends. Nothing is forced, but rather,
playfully enjoyed. I believe all who attend Robin's seminars, regardless
of past experience with horses, will leave with a smile on their face
and a joy in their hearts.
Thank you so much for your seminar last weekend. You touched my
heart! The possibilities are endless with my horse once our
relationship strengthens, thanks to you! Much thanks.
In my five day intensive, Robin shared her
passion for truly understanding the horse, and explained what motivates
him to be my true companion. As a BHSAI riding instructor and
veterinarian, I did understand many things about horses, but not using
herd dynamics to train them. Before Robin, on bad days, I was always
lucky to catch my young rescued horse at all. Through
liberty horse training, I created a kind and respectful mutual bond.
This bond with my young, fearful horse is what I was sorely missing and
Robin gave me the tools to create this bond not just with this horse but
with any horse. It was a transformative experience that fits with my
belief in holistic medicine because, like Robin, as a veterinarian, I
choose not to force a patient's immune system into suppression with
harsh pharmaceuticals, but rather, to nurture and redirect it where
possible. So rather than using ropes and force, liberty horse training
gives the horse a choice. Because I am now an effective leader (and I
know his favorite scratching place on his withers), he
chooses the bond.
Offering a shift in point of view—this is what it
was all about at a weekend liberty training and horsemanship seminar I
recently attended with Robin Gates. Using a teaching style that employed
analogies and parables, Robin drew upon our deepest experiences as human
beings to offer a new paradigm for our relationships with our horses.
Among the many seminarians I have studied with,
none has offered the spiritual, philosophical, and ethical depth of
thought that Robin did. Drawing on a profound understanding of horses as
a species and their natural interactions with one another, Robin showed
us how to develop leadership without disrespect, connection without
aggression, and training without coercion.
Whether you’re just starting out on your journey
with horses or are a veteran horseperson, if you can afford only one
horsemanship seminar this year, this is the one to take. Your viewpoint
will be forever changed, and you will be fortified with fundamental
principles that will temper and inform all your future equine
The Seminar was absolutely wonderful. Auditing it really helped me "see"
the actual application of the Carolyn Resnick method with a variety of
different horses. I had been reading Carolyn's blogs and using them with
Snowy for some months, but I did not have "the feel" yet to make it
smoother. Working with you individually at your ranch with Frank was
wonderful, but I did not quite know how to translate it to an untrained,
difficult horse (although my pony "got" it quickly.) And Snowy's
reactions sometimes, like having a temper tantrum with bucking and
kicking, when asked to do things made me think that I may be doing
something wrong. But watching you and the owner of the very sweet well
behaved Thoroughbred, and watching the "inner horse" that came out of
him when he was pushed to do leading from behind was absolutely a
revelation--he ran around bucking and kicking just like Snowy has done.
Snowy, like the Thoroughbred, on the surface seems well trained and
compliant, except for the spooking at little things. Seeing the
Thoroughbred reveal his inner resistance made me realize that I really
was seeing Snowy have temper tantrums, and that I did not need to back
off from them, but rather pause, and then continue to push him to lead
from behind. Since Snowy is a bit more difficult a horse than some of
the ones I have read about in the blog and all the horses I have owned
over the years, sometimes it has been hard for me to trust my ability to
read him. But I feel much more confidant now, and things are working so
much better since I am not letting him play his games with me. It also
really helped to see just how much of a real ritual the "Saying Hello"
ritual is--so subtle in the forward and back, and so respectful. When I
take the time to really pay attention to the horse in saying hello and
spend the time to do the ritual fully, it seems to be really making a
connection. You showed how to combine the two, asking the horse to move
off in the leading from behind, and then pausing, and saying a friendly
hello to maintain the bond, even when the horse is not necessarily
liking the leading from behind.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful help and for your wonderful
teaching. You are a marvelous teacher because you dramatize things in
such an entertaining way--it makes the whole experience so memorable and
From the moment Robin entered the arena you could
see the dynamic effect her training had on each and every horse. It goes
beyond words how she delightfully entertained us with her ability and
talent. She masterfully showed us the language of the horse and the
horses ability to connect with us.
Glen Ellen, CA
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the day yesterday. No
matter how many times I observe and listen to you, I learn many new
things each time.
I can't emphasize enough how effective the humor is in terms of
conveying the information in an approachable way. You manage to do it
without making light of the subject or losing the impact of the point
you are making. I think that the humor allows people to identify more
easily with the examples you provide, and to feel more open to
acknowledging the areas they need to improve in their relationship with
I am so glad that you are doing these seminars.
Sandy Mc Mahon
Vancover Island, BC
Robin has an engaging style that clearly illustrates what the
communication can be between us and our horses. After studying and
applying Carolyn Resnick's Waterhole Rituals for eight months, I was
overjoyed to hear about Robin's seminar in California. I traveled from
Vancover Island, BC to attend and I am so very happy I did. Thanks so
Santa Rosa, CA
I really enjoyed Robin's seminar. This is what I've been looking for...a
great approach to connecting with my horse.
Robin is a very good, kind teacher. She gave me ideas and methods that I
could take home and put to use right away. This is a program that any
horse person could benefit from. Thank you!
Shingle Springs, CA
I just wanted to let Robin know how much I enjoyed the seminar. Robin is
an engaging and totally accessible person with a gift for teaching. She
made me so excited to get home and start playing and increasing the bond
with my horse. I can't wait to attend another seminar.
Auckland, New Zealand
Thank you Robin for a graceful and heart centered weekend. Robin's
presentation uses lots of stories that let me recognize what I already
know and leaves me with the feeling not of how great Robin is [though
she is definetly in a level of mastery in this] but that it can be
simple and I can go out and explore the work from here.
Thank you for a wonderfully informative and educational experience.
Robin is a teacher who communicates her skills with humor and is a model
for the kind of centered being our horses need us to be.
I’m not ever surprised to learn something new about my horses and
usually it’s exciting when it happens. I attended the Robin Gates Seminar
in Sebastopol June 5-6 and found something EVERYONE could benefit from.
Newbie to Old Timer, this is a marvelous opportunity to expand your
relationship with your horse.
I’ve attended a number of “natural horsemanship” seminars, articles and
discussions and come away with many tips and thoughts about how I would
or wouldn’t use the ideas presented. Most often, the dominance
game…showing them you’re their leader was present in one form or
another. I understood the mechanics, push them away until they decide
that you are a less tiring, worrisome, bothersome item than whatever
you’re making them do…circle, run around the round pen, back, whatever
physical response you were shown to use to demand their attention and
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing to have learned. However, I am saying
that there’s another method that makes it possible to offer the “choice”
of having a relationship of trust, a choice that the horse makes based
on their desire to come to you out of curiosity, herd instinct and
reward…but not for avoiding negatives rather attracted by positives.
At Liberty training, start back at square one, asks the horse to accept
your invasion into “their space”. Robin explained it so much better than
I can, but it puts the human into a trust thus leader position instead
of a dominance leader position. It changes the core of your relationship
with the animal. It changes the long term relationship to one I had once
with one horse and have hunted for through several other wonderful
horses always close but not quite achieving the same mutual trust
relationship. Robin understands and is able to communicate to us as the
human part of the relationship HOW to begin again in our relationship
with our horse.
This isn’t about bits and training with tack or to begin, isn’t about a
horse with any tack on at all…no, not even the halter. This is about
communication with no demands, no force and no hidden agenda. The horses
know it and respond in a different way. After all these years with
horses, watching horses, watching horse whisperers and horse trainers
(some excellent at what they do) I have only found a few that I can
admire. Now I know why.
Carol and Snoop, and Deb W and Blue have this type of relationship with
their horses and I love to watch them with their animals. The time spent
just “being” with them. It’s a combination tho, as I know exactly how
difficult it can be to “connect” or get a start on that relationship… my
paso fino gelding Tiago was for me hesitant to allow a relationship due
to his trust having been damaged by previous owners . His new owners are
still working to build a relationship. There’s Concho who Donna has
spent endless hours working with is another. Whatever his previous life,
it’s taking years to get his trust to a level that allows a mutual
relationship. I applaud Donna for persevering.
Its difficult to take a horse with severe trust issues and make this
journey to trust together.
Equally difficult I suppose is having to decide that you can’t do it.
I’ve had to give up on a few horses where the “magic” wasn’t there.
Fear, personality differences, past abuse…you don’t always know what
triggers the lack of trust in a horse. Always though, I’ve found that at
some point, I know there’s nothing else I can do. That’s what has
excited me about Robin being local (Sonoma Valley)…she’s doing another
seminar the first weekend of September. I don’t care what else is
happening, I am enthused about going to this seminar instead. With or
without a horse, the communication is felt by everyone there…including
It’s worth the money, the time and you won’t be sorry you go.
I had attended two of Robin Gate's weekend
seminars prior to a five day intensive that began in early July, 2011.
Although I had learned many things from the weekend seminars; there was
no comparison to the intimate and detailed instruction that flowed
through Robin for five days. I highly recommend any one who is
interested in Robin's approach to participate in one of her intensive
programs. Truly you will be transformed; not only in your relationship
with your horse, but that most important relationship with yourself and
how that shows up in the world. In many ways I see Robin's intensive
programs as great leadership training: leadership that is not dominant
or aggressive; but a supremely intelligent and sensitive leadership
which truly sets an example!
The five day intensive which I participated in
was quite unique. I was also accompanied by my good friend who has
worked with camels for many years and we had brought three camels to a
ranch in Sonoma, two young bulls and a five year old gelding. We would
work with the camels in the morning and afternoon, and in the evening we
would go to Robin's ranch and work with her amazing horses. This
provided a really nice balance because the camels were fairly new to
training whereas Robin's horses were more in the bond with people and
very responsive to even very subtle commands. This was Robin's first
time working with camels and truly as a sign of a great teacher, she was
open to possibilities, often asking questions and trying new things. It
was really great to share this experience. We all began to notice that
the camels were very responsive to our suggestions and were willing to
work with us. Over the course of five days we saw a very strong
foundation develop in our relationship with the camels, and this has
continued to grow to the point that the camels are 'lining up', eager
for their turn to play!
One of the things which really impressed upon me while working with
Robin was a sense of playfulness. That sense of playfulness is so
important. It can be difficult to remember this when things get
difficult. Robin often reminds us that it is not about just training
specific behaviors, but how all of that relates to the dance and
relationship that you enjoy with your horse, or camel. It is good to
relax, enjoy yourself, and remember the love you share with your
companion in training.
The five day intensive was a life enriching experience which opens news
doors of possibility and magic. Once again, I openly encourage anyone,
regardless of past experience with animals, to engage this process with
a open heart and see where it will take you. Robin Gates is more than
willing to be your guide and to dance the dance with you. Enjoy!
I made the trip from England to the US specifically
to learn about natural horsemanship, as its a has been a much neglected
part of our more classical and competitive English equestrian heritage.
I was wary of being drawn to some of the more commercial, and
circus-like trainers that currently promoting natural horsemanship in
the US and was seeking instead someone with a genuine sensitivity and
passion for connecting with horses. Upon meeting Robin, I instantly
recognised that I had found the right trainer - graceful, dignified,
strong and yet extremely gentle and nurturing. What I learned from Robin
during my (sadly far too short) stay has changed me on a deeply personal
level. While of course, much of Robin's training focuses on the natural
behaviour or the horse - its the human aspect of Robin's work which I
found most inspiring and beneficial: Robin managed to coax out of me the
raw courage, sensitivity, assertiveness and and pure joy required to
connect with horses at a deeper level - all aspects of ourselves that
somehow become lost or buried in the daily grind of our normal everyday
Elizabeth Staff, London, UK
What a wonderful experience !!! You are so articulate
and have a great ability for verbally bringing the horse world and our
own humanity together so that we can understand the horse through
ourselves and ourselves through the horse. The parallels and comparisons
with all relationships/politics (inner and outer) unfolded before our
eyes delightfully and with gentle humor......insights and subtle
understandings were continuously
running through me and since I always need time to "translate" my
feelings into words, I often found myself at a loss for them when trying
to share them. But know this, that your gifts are enormous and I love
working and playing with you....it's just plain fun !!! I thank you and
can't wait to play with you again privately when I figure out just what
I want to focus on.
Kudos to Lisa as well, her facilities were wonderful and greatly
Author of Learning Their Language and Beyond Words
Carolyn Resnick’s method of liberty training makes
more sense to me than any other natural horsemanship technique and I
think the horses feel that way about it too. It most closely
approximates how horses actually think, feel, and interact with each
other. It is also the most natural of all the natural techniques. Done
in an open field, the horse can choose to completely ignore you and walk
away. No other technique can take that kind of chance. As Robin says,
this method of interaction makes your horse fall in love with you. I
have thoroughly enjoyed learning this wonderful practice from Robin. She
is an honest, straightforward and compassionate trainer of humans and
horses. I recommend her to all my clients who are having problems with
their horses or who are just seeking to enhance the bond they share.
Andrew M. Leeds, Ph.D.
Licensed Seminaral Psychologist
Santa Rosa, CA
Robin is more than an extraordinary horse trainer.
Yes, she has a keen ability to perceive each horse’s temperament and to
discern the effects of prior, adverse human interactions on the horse’s
current behavior. Yes, she has a deep grasp of the innate behavior of
horses. Yes, as a wise and skillful horse trainer she uses these clear
perceptions and deep understandings as the foundation for building a
relationship with a horse based on mutual respect, firm boundaries and
love. But most important of all she is able to model and transmit her
understanding, her skills and her compassion to even the most timid,
uncertain and awkward of her students with profound patience and abiding
grace. As a result her students gain not only a relationship with a
horse that comes to love and respect them, and is eager for the
opportunity to follow, but they gain a clearer eye, a firmer stance and
a stronger, more open heart.
Robin's approach, based on Carolyn Resnick's methods,
is to create a horse who is thrilled when his person comes calling for
the daily training session. When it's training time, Robin's horses say
"Pick me, pick me!" I see this everyday in my work with dogs. How
wonderful it is to see that it is possible in the world of horses, too!
Robin is not only passionate and talented in her work with horses, she
is equally gifted in her ability to relate to and communicate with her
human students. You'd be hard pressed to find an instructor who cares
more about assisting you in achieving your goals of connecting with your
horse than Robin does. She patiently supports and guides, celebrating
your successes, tiny to huge, with incredible sincerity. The icing on
the cake is that Robin has a wonderful way with words. She instructs
with clarity, vivid examples, and a delightful sense of humor.
Half Moon Bay, CA
My horse can be pushy and stubborn, and after
listening, watching, learning and practicing what Robin Gates teaches
about how I should correctly behave with my horse, I was amazed to see
what a difference there was in the way my horse reacts to me. He
immediately responded to the requests I made, and is changing his
behavior towards me so quickly - it's a joy! The manners he's learning
to follow on the ground have related directly to the manners he shows me
when I'm riding. I highly recommend that if anyone is thinking "if only
my horse didn't do this..." they should sign up for help from Robin
Gates. She helps in a way that is both fun and very effective!
Attached is my photo which I would dub "true bliss".
It's been a long time since I have felt so full in my heart. Robin's
work with Liberty Training for me is about tapping into a primal
language of love, trust, respect and honesty that we all want and need
so desperately to express. My experience with DJ, Cobo, Willie, Frank,
Red and Jordan has touched my heart in the most profound sense, enabling
me to find and tap into the courage, confidence, forgiveness and purity
that we all have but sometimes have difficulty accessing.. Not only did
I feel an indescribable sense of joy in this work, I felt honored by
these great creatures who believed and trusted in me enough to allow me
to be a true leader.
I vow to continue along this path of enrichment because I am convinced
it will emanate outward to those near to me as well as to those I have
yet to meet.
With deepest gratitude for sharing this most precious of gifts, and for
sharing those beautiful animals who taught me so gently, safely and
Santa Rosa, CA
What I learned from Robin Gates
was life changing for me and for my horse!
As an amateur rider and one time breeder, I spent
the winter of 2006 in a complete panic over my 2.5 year old warm-blood
gelding named Paulo. Although he had been hand reared by me, and was
completely comfortable in my presence, he was dangerously sensitive and
explosive. If I allowed Paulo to stay in his comfort zone, I was safe.
If I tried to teach him anything new, or forced him into a frightening
situation, everything changed. His eyes would glaze over and he would
rear, spin, bolt. Paulo never struck out at me, or anyone else, but he
was huge, powerful and oblivious. I knew I was in trouble and I couldn't
find anyone to help. I was terribly depressed, thinking that I would
never be able to manage this young horse, and more importantly, I was
terrified that he or I would be seriously hurt. We were out of control
and my heart was breaking. After years of planning and dreaming I
believed that I would need to let him go - and to what? Who would want
this out of control horse? I feared for both of us. Finally, after
working with a number of professionals, one of them told me about Robin.
He said, the problem is not the horse, it's your relationship. This I
had not heard before. I had heard that Paulo was highly responsive,
athletic, sensitive, explosive, expressive and probably only appropriate
for a professional - in fact I had heard this more than once, but no one
had said - work on the relationship and you'll be fine. This was new and
although I didn't really get it, I had nothing else to try.
The first thing I recognized about Robin Gates is
that her heart is open, full and powerful. Robin is soft spoken, slender
and a lady in every way. I must admit that I couldn't rationally
comprehend how she could help. If I wasn't safe with Paulo how could she
be? Well, my concerns were totally unnecessary. Paulo figured it out
long before I did. He trusted her and respected her. He sensed her
strength, he breathed it in, he immersed himself in Robin and then in
me. We began to relate in a way that we had never related before. Where
once there was concern, now there was curiosity; where once there were
explosive outbursts, now there were expressive movements; where once
there was bravado, now there was confidence. Through Robin, Paulo found
himself, his true self, and words cannot express my gratitude for this
And so, my depression changed to joy and my future
with Paulo was saved. After spending the summer of 2007 with Robin,
Paulo and I moved into a facility where he could start his training
under saddle. His trainer found him to be playful, sensitive, kind, and
willing. There were never any antics, he didn't buck, didn't kick or
bite, and never bolted. He is still Paulo – sensitive, athletic,
responsive and reactive, but we revel in his movement and expression and
we honor his curiosity and surprise. All is well. He is my partner, he
is loved, he has a place in this world and thanks to Robin, it is with
Pat Slater and Dan Senters
On a sunny day last November my husband Dan and I
were taking a walk with our two quarter horses Lucky and Tuffy. Lucky,
our seven year old, was a very nervous horse and could hardly stand to
be near Dan or any man for that matter. It was hard just leading him
down the lane because of his fears.
As we were walking we were arguing heatedly about whether to sell Lucky
or keep him. After 1 ½ years of working with this horse Dan couldn’t
take it anymore. He wanted a horse that was calm, gentle and easy just
like our other horse Tuffy. I, on the other hand, adored Lucky. He loved
women and was not a bit afraid of me although still a very nervous
On our walk we happened to meet a lady who noticed our problem with our
horse. She told us about a weekend seminar that was about to be held at
an arena in our neighborhood. Robin Gates would teach this seminar.
We went right over to inquire about this seminar. Believe me, I was
shocked that “my cowboy Dan” was even willing to inquire let alone
attend. He believed that a horse should do what is asked of him and
nothing less. After working on a cattle ranch for many years he was firm
in his thinking. He told me he would go but if Lucky did not benefit
from the weekend we would sell him with no argument from me. I agreed.
On November 22 we met Robin Gates for the first time. She spent just a
minute with our Lucky and talked to both Dan and I. When the seminar
began, Robin started with our horse. True to form, Lucky was petrified.
Dan, after following instruction from Robin, was able to build a better
relationship with Lucky. After about ½ hour, I saw changes in both Lucky
and Dan. This horse started to approach Dan with a little less fear.
After two days with Robin Gates we knew that there was hope for Lucky.
With the help of her Liberty Horse Training method and her guiding hand,
I have watched both Lucky and Dan blossom.
This is February, only a few months since we started working with Robin.
Lucky is almost a pest following Dan around. They love each other. A
bond exists, one that I never thought possible. The fear is gone,
replaced with trust and respect. Dan trail rides on Lucky and both seem
to really enjoy their days together.
If you ask me Robin Gates is a hero. On the day I met her I had tears in
my eyes, tears of worry. Today, as I write this, I have tears of joy
knowing that Lucky is with us to stay. And by the way, Tuffy is learning
a few manners himself.
Robin, I can’t thank you enough!
Koda, a 16-3 Paint gelding who I have had since his
birth 20 years ago, has had a tough time of it. Diagnosed with severe
navicular disease and ringbone at age 3, training on and off depending
on his degree of lameness and frequent stress colics have made his life
difficult. He now spends carefree days on pasture with his herd, but has
remained dominant, aggressive and very pushy around people.
Koda has been the biggest equine challenge of my life, so I took him to
a Robin Gates seminar in hopes we could achieve a deeper level of
communication and some peace of mind for him. Robin worked around the
issues of aggression over food and the tug of war when leading in
What unfolded was miraculous. It was as if Koda was just waiting for the
magical key of shared language to bring him fully to life. His attitude
softened and - now 4 months later - he continues to relax in and enjoy
the company of humans. Robin is now working with our Quarter Horse Emmet
using a slightly different approach but attaining equally spectacular
results in opening up his heart.
This was the wonder of observing Robin in a seminar situation with many
different horses - that she sees each as an individual being with
different histories, experiences and needs and approaches them
accordingly. There is no pressure, the horse leads the dance, and a bond
forms that is solid and powerful.
Barbara K. Rector
Director Adventures In Awareness, LLC
Students of Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine
Facilitated Psychotherapy will benefit from study with Robin Gates,
primary teacher of the Carolyn Resnick method of liberty horse training.
Regardless of one's skill level this process teaches the true language
of Equus and allows the observer and practitioner alike to engage in
relationship development with horses. While most 'natural' trainers use
gadgets gimmicks and round rings, Robin and Carolyn work in wide open
pasture and arena spaces that allow horse choice; to come or to go.
Lovely to watch and awesome to practice.
It was wonderful to see the principles that Carolyn
describes in her book, Naked Liberty, used & then presented in a manner
that makes them feel applicable to my life. I was pleased to actually
experience them even though I didn't have a horse of my own to work
You and Lisa created a very safe & comfortable space for opening to
these ideas. Everyone there seemed to feel honored no matter how
experienced or not each participant was. This allowed me to further see
what moves worked better than others & that no move was "wrong". I loved
that each horse's individuality was also honored & shown to be perfect
with no personality type better than another. Your explanations &
metaphors made the principles feel more natural to me & easier to be
understood. I loved being able to both see & feel how one moves their
body in a way that the horse can really understand & very easily read.
games & play just made everything more fun & easier to enjoy for both
the people & horses.
Thanks so much for this experience. I hope to be able to do more with
your trainings & your work.
Dear Robin, Jan and I have been buried in the moving
box shuffle but after another lovely day with my horse "Tigre" I had to
write and thank you. The things you taught me at our one day seminar have
made some surprising changes in me and my horse. To begin with he is a
much nicer guy to be around. Perhaps I am as well because I am not so
frustrated with him pushing me around with his head. The most surprising
thing though is that is has made a big difference in our trail rides. He
seems much more content to just stay with me when another horse goes
cantering off ahead of him. In the past he would fuss and toss his head.
No more! Really! He is no longer bluffing me into believing he is afraid
of hands in his face, sunscreen, flyspray, and baths. I can walk him
back to his paddock on a totally loose line carrying his "snack-bowl"
and he's respectful, walks next to me and even though he's excited he
doesn't try to run around me and grab a bite. I expected improvement in
ground manners but having him stay "with" me on trail rides was an
unexpected and wonderful surprise. Thank You so much. I am looking
forward to working with you again soon. Next time we'll have hot water
for your shower I promise.
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