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The Boomerang

Liberty training the boomerang
I call the eighth connection exercise “the Boomerang”.  This is a very active exercise., so your horse has to be in a playful and energetic mood for it or you have to try and instigate this playful energy in your horse.

What is the objective of the Boomerang?

playing at liberty boomerangThe primary objective is to have fun! This exercise fuels the fire of your horse which makes it run and play and eventually makes it jump and buck of playfulness. But only if you do the exercise well!

If you start up this game on the wrong moment, play it too long or too many times or don’t come across as playful but aggressive the horse no longer experiences the Boomerang as a game but as something very annoying and it will break the connection with your horse.

Where do you do this exercise?

I allready explained that all connection exercises are done in a large arena or meadow. Especially with this exercise this is especially important because you definitely don’t want to give your horse the feeling that you are chasing it. In a large arena you can play, go crazy and be energetic as much as you want, because the horse can take his distance if he would misinterpret this.  It will notice that you are not chasing it around or staying close so your horse will understand then that it’s a game.

This can only happen in a large area. Of course your intention is very important! Your intention is “let’s play together” and not “you need to run away now and then return”.

How do you do it?

Because of the preceding connection exercises you are now at the point that your horse enjoys your company very much and that the horse also happily follows you when it’s at liberty. So your bond is now so strong that you can send your horse away actively, trotting or galloping. You do this with a playful intention: “I feel like playing, do you want to join me?”

liberty training boomerang

So we invite the horse to actively go into trotting or galloping. If the horse feels like it we send it away in front of us and let it run away from us energetically and invite it to return to us afterwards. As if you were throwing a boomerang. That also always returns if you throw it away correctly. Here it is like that as well, when you send your horse away in the right way it will want to return itself most of the time!

It is not an obligation but an invitation to return. It is not a command but a game!

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    7 thoughts on “The Boomerang

    By Olivia on 2 February 2015

    So you keep mentioning, inviting your horse to turn, or inviting your horse to gallop. How do you invite your horse to do these things without it coming off as a demand? I own a highly sensitive horse and I’m worried that he will misunderstand my invitation as a demand.

    By Karine Vandenborre on 24 February 2015

    If you invite your horse to turn, the horse can say “no” and then it doesn’t turn. If you don’t react on that by giving pressure, the horse feels no demand at all. Every movement towards you can only be an invitation. The horse decides if it will come or not.
    If you ask your horse to move away from you, that’s another thing. You can do this with the idea of: “now you have to do as I say” or “let’s move together”. Horses are very sensitive to this. With a very sensitive horse like your horse it is important to keep enough distance.

    By Candice on 13 June 2015

    Will you be doing any videos on your methods? Think that will clarify a lot of questions.

    By Karine Vandenborre on 17 June 2015

    Hello Candice, at the moment our Dutch online course (with video’s, articles, live webinars, …) about Liberty Training and the 8 connection exercises is being translated into English. In a few months it will be available for everybody who is interested in online coaching. You will hear from it when the time is there!

    By Hannah Freeman on 4 September 2015

    I really want to learn more about this, its what I’ve been looking for for a while, such a nice gentle approach.

    By Karine Vandenborre on 5 September 2015

    Hello Hannah, this year we will launch our English online program on Liberty Training. So if you didn’t download my free ebook yet, I recommand to do it, than you are in my email list and you will be updated about it!

    By Shannon on 20 April 2015

    I recently got a 9 year old Fjord gelding who hasn’t been worked with in a long time, and has never been broke to ride. I have some experience in training, though not in a very long time, and I’m an inexperienced rider. I really want a strong bond with my Indy before I get into training him for riding. I think this will be safer all-around for the both of us, and prevent a lot of problems in the long run. I’ve been doing lots and lots of research on training, and I’ve found that I like the ideology of a lot of trainers out there, but not the methodology. Until now. This is the first place I’ve found methods that really work for my style of horsemanship, and though I’ve only just discovered this website today, I’ve been doing many of the liberty games with my horse in the three weeks since I got him. Thank you so much for your clear, concise directions on how to bond with my horse!

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