When you have spent enough time on the first connection exercise Bonding Time, your horse should regularly come to you to seek out contact. At this point, it’s time to start with the second connection exercise, “Greet & Go”.
With Greet & Go, we turn things around: The human now takes initiative and approaches the horse for a greeting.
What is the purpose of “Greet & Go”?
The objective of this exercise is to build up trust. In this exercise, you move and walk towards the horse, which can signal to many horses: “Now something is going to happen, I will have to do something or go through something…”
But with Greet & Go, we show the horse that the human doesn’t always seek out contact because something has to happen (i.e. putting on reins, having a training session, grooming, or simply petting. Not all horses like being stroked all the time.)
The horse also learns that the human shows respect for his emotions and boundaries. It’s very important that you learn how to see subtle changes in your horse’s body language to be able to show this kind of respect.
Where do you do it?
Just like with all other exercises from Liberty Training, I advise practicing in a large space so that the horse can move away if he needs to.
How do you do it?
First, take your time for Bonding Time. At a certain moment, when the horse is eating grass somewhere or is looking around, you calmly step towards him. Always be aware of the boundaries your horse is setting at any given moment.
When you arrive at the horse you invite him for contact, letting the horse smell your hand. Then you just go away.
Don’t worry if the horse doesn’t really want to make contact. By repeating this exercise regularly, it will happen eventually. The horse needs to be given the freedom to take steps in his own time if you want to establish a true connection.
Together with the first connection exercise of Bonding Time, this is the exercise to make horses more curious and more people-orientated. Even if your horse already is curious and people-oriented, this can still be a valuable exercise because you will learn to better recognize your horse’s boundaries, thus allowing a deeper form of communication to grow.
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