Here are a some words from a few people who have experienced working with Robin Gates and the Carolyn Resnick method.
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!
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
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
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.
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!
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.
What I learned from Robin Gates
was life changing for me and for my horse!
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.
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.
Barbara K. Rector
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
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.