liberty-leading-horses-

January 7th,  2014

By Karine Vandenborre

Liberty Leading

Liberty Leading is the sixth connection exercise. Liberty Leading can happen spontaneously, but you can also invite your horse to follow you into Liberty Leading. 

When it happens spontaneously, then it's up to you to accept it and lead the horse as long as he feels like it. When the horse decides to leave again, then that's ok. Later you can also actively ask your horse to follow your lead again, so then the initiative comes from you.

Why Liberty Leading?

When a horse follows you, without you holding him or pressuring him to stay near you, this means that the horse enjoys being with you.  In that moment he freely chooses to walk together with you and follow your lead.

Then you can decide the speed and direction, and the horse will stay with you and adapt his speed and direction to you. By doing this exercise, you learn to show confident and calm leadership.

First take your time for Liberty Leading

That’s why it's wise take some time before each training session to work towards Liberty Leading. ' Cause when your horse lets himself be lead by you, he's really saying: “Yes, I want to be with you”.  That's the perfect start for training your horse in groundwork, or riding, or...

Sparking the right connection

Often the first 3 connection exercises (Bonding Time, Greet & Go, Greet & Groom) are very good exercises to do to get your horse in the right mood and spark the right connection to get him to spontaneously let you lead him while he’s at liberty.

However, for some horses you will need to be more active in your body language/energy. Then Your Spot, My Spot or Easy Herding often encourage your horse to be more alert and attentive.  Especially for horses that are easily distracted, these two exercises seem to work really well if they are applied with the right intention: assertive but still friendly.