Liberty Training with its 8 connection exercises is the foundation of Horsefulness Training. The goal of Liberty Training is to develop a true connection between human and horse based on how horses interact and communicate within the herd.
During Liberty Training you work with a horse that is set loose in a big riding arena or even in grasslands. You don´t hold the horse but you give it the freedom to leave your side when it feels the need to.
This enables the horse to not feel any form of pressure or force. Because the main goal of Liberty Training is to strongly bond with your horse and for a real connection between you and your horse to arise, and that can only occur when the horse feels free to express himself.
People often train horses too fast without there being any opportunity to really get to know one another or build the foundation for a good relationship. However, when you take your time to work with your horse at liberty, play into your horse’s natural behavior and do all of this in a kind and friendly way, you will really connect and eventually feel the deep bond needed to enjoy pleasant problem free training sessions.
It is important to convey good intentions, give off a right attitude, empathize with the horse and understand his natural characteristics and behavior. During Liberty Training you take the time to get to know each other.
Horses first need the opportunity to become curious about “their human”. Trust and friendship grows from there. At liberty we also establish hierarchy and develop our leadershipskills.
If the horse notices that you can lead him in a grounded, calm and assertive way his trust in you will grow even more. Liberty Training is a first step to partnership and natural leadership*
* Horsefulness Training uses the term “natural leadership” to emphasize the fact that this method responds to the nature of the horse and it accounts for the natural needs of the horse. For this you need to understand the psychology of the horse and look at everything from the horse’s point of view. That is what makes leadership natural. Methods based on fear and intimidation might succeed in making the horse obey but will not spark trust. However, you are only a leader if the horse follows you out of trust and not because it is forced to. That is why I don’t work in a round-pen or square picadeiro, at least not in the beginning. In such a small area the horse cannot move far away enough from me when he feels the need to. When there is enough trust and friendship it is a possibility for some exercises but not a necessity.