circling-at-liberty-horses

January 9th,  2014

By Karine Vandenborre

Spontaneous Circling

Connection Exercise #7, Spontaneous Circling, requires a strong connection that you can obtain by doing the first 6 connection exercises.

If it happens spontaneously, you notice that the horse walks or trots around you (or maybe even canters) while you walk in a small circle or maybe just rotate around your axis. Your horse is active, looks at you, wants to move and still be around you. Maybe he is challenging you to play: head high, tail in the air, snorting through his nostrils…

Or maybe your horse is actually very relaxed, shows a round topline, correct lateral bending, tail moving along with the rhythm of the trot.

Horsefulness circling at liberty

What's the goal of Spontaneous Circling?

First of all, it's a lot of fun.  When it happens you feel deeply connected to the horse, especially if it happens spontaneously.

However, you can also work towards it and invite the horse to circle around you.

During Spontaneous Cirling you learn a lot about body language and subtle communication with your horse. 

Because to be able to ask your horse to keep moving, while it stays around you, you need to be very aware of your energy, your own movements and your own position on the circle.

Spontaneous Circling you do... together!

The word “together” is key: moving together and circling together. You too move in a circle. “Being together” in everything you do at liberty is very important and especially when inviting the horse to circle around you.

The “technique” of putting pressure on the horse when it leaves the circle, until he returns - which is used in some training methods - has nothing to do with Horsefulness Liberty Connection Training.  Pressuring your horse in such a way has nothing to do with communication, but everything with fear and intimidation. This is not what you want.

If you want to build trust between you and your horse, fear and intimidation is not the way to go. Putting pressure on your horse when he decides to go away from can make your horse feel anxious and distrustful. Some horses eventually do what is expected but suffer inside, or will start to behave more like a robot than a horse…

So never, ever chase a horse that wants to go away from you. Let Spontaneous Circling arise from free choice, communication, trust and the intention of “being together”. In this way, a connection can arise from the heart instead of the head (= force and control).