The Horsefulness Liberty Training program consists of 8 basic exercises. I call them the 8 Connection exercises, because the most important goal of these exercises is to build up a bond with your horse and spark a deep connection!
By doing the exercises, your herd of two becomes solid and strong. Liberty training is the perfect preparation of any future training you will do with your horse.
Just like a house needs a strong foundation, so does your relation with your horse! This foundation is built during Liberty Training. In my opinion, Liberty Training is the foundation of everything you will do with your horse.
Because how can you train a horse that walks away from you when it’s free? This horse is actually telling you it doesn’t really want to be with you… Training a horse that doesn’t want to be with you at all, let alone do something with or for you, is actually very disrespectful towards the horse. Essentially, you are forcing the horse to be with you, with no regard for your horse’s enjoyment or satisfaction.
Or how can you train a horse that doesn’t show respect for your personal space? There is a big chance that this horse will push or kick you during training and literally will take your place. And how can you train a horse that does not feel safe with you yet? This horse will be tense and incapable of learning anything. A horse that does not feel safe with you will be hard to lead, in any exercise.
The truth …
Liberty training is not only for horses just beginning their training. Even when you have gone through all the at-liberty connection exercises with your horse and have started with groundwork, lunging and/or riding, these exercises are a good way to know how much the bond with your horse has strengthened (or not) through your training.
A horse that always walks away from you as fast as it can as soon as you remove the rope or reins and that doesn’t want to come near to you afterwards… well, that horse speaks the truth.
Of course it’s important to look for the reason why your horse wants to get rid of you after training, and to do something about it! Together with changing your training methods, doing the 8 connection exercises will strengthen and deepen the relationship you have with your horse.
So the goal of the exercises from Horsefulness Liberty Training is:
- To develop a clear 2-way communication
- To develop a deep connection with your horse, but also
- To maintain this bond or
- To rebuild and re-establish this bond.
- To prepare for groundwork
–> teaching your horse driving aids (Your Spot My Spot, Easy Herding, …)
–> teaching your horse the different lead positions ( Easy Herding, Liberty Leading)
–> preparing for circlework ( Spontaneous Cirlcing)
Can you see how everything builds onto itself and is connected?
The 8 connection exercises are
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