Are you looking for a deep connection and better communication with horses? Would you like to learn a method that creates a strong bond and saves you time so you can spend more time enjoying your horse and less time struggling?
Do you want to increase you and your horse’s confidence and have more fun during your interactions and training?
Then you are going to LOVE liberty training! Liberty training with intuition and energy blows the doors off conventional horse training methods.
WHY? Because it honours the horse and the relationship between you.
Principle 1: Your Horse Must Want to be with You
Every detail of Liberty training must be positive in order to progress with your horse.This means that your horse must prefer being with you over everything else.You must be more interesting to him than what’s going on outside the fence, you must be more pleasurable than goofing off. Being with you must feel better than being away from you. this can be more challenging than you think.
The Liberty handler wants every moment and every detail with the horse to contribute to the relationship in a meaningful way, even if the activity is passive. Generally, the Liberty handler views the horse’s exuberance and energy positively and seeks to channel it into their Liberty sessions.
The Liberty handler gives their horse freedom, ideally in a large open area, or freedom to leave the handler and choose not to participate in a smaller area. When the horse is permitted to leave or not participate without negative consequences to them, the horse begins a very truthful dialogue on how they feel about being with the handler. These truths are revealed by the choices that the horse makes. When the horse chooses, freely, to be with the Liberty handler, it is a truthful display of how they feel about being with the handler and the sessions that they are enjoying together.
(Paradoxically, it is this very freedom that produces the desire within the horse to stay with the handler, and learn new ideas with the handler.)
Principle 2: Your Horse Must Come to you Anytime You Ask
It’s easy to “chase” your horse away from you, and in fact, this is what most folks call Liberty. It’s not quite so easy to cause your horse to come to you… anytime you ask him to. Simply, you, your space and your energy must be inviting to your horse. If there’s anything about you or your energy that is off-putting, your horse may not come to you. Focusing on Principle 1 dramatically helps your horse come to you anytime you ask him to.
Principle 3: Positive Reinforcement Causes the Above 2 Principles to Occur
An immediate and obvious truth will emerge as you and your horse are learning Liberty – if it doesn’t feel good to your horse, he won’t keep doing it. Positive reinforcement, which is the reinforcement of desired responses with a reward or something pleasurable, is key to Liberty training.
This very powerful application of positive reinforcement may be one of the most profound aspects of Equine Liberty Sports. In conventional training, horses are taught that your “silence” or removal of pressure, is an indication that they are doing the right thing. In essence when the handler “goes away” in traditional methods, it is presented to the horse as being desirable. In the Equine Liberty Sports teaching program, your presence, and a connection with you, is presented as being preferred, and silence is used to motivate your horse to reconnect with you.
he Liberty handler puts the horse’s experience above their wants, needs and goals. This is a natural result of seeking a horse experience that is aligned with the Liberty handler’s core values about the horse/human relationship, which seeks to create a mutually enjoyable and mutually rewarding experience.
Principle 4: Less is More.
The fastest way to blow Liberty is to overdo it. Horses are intelligent and can learn new ideas in a matter of minutes. It does take thousands of repetitions to create conditioned responses, but these are two separate training activities. The Equine Liberty Sports teaching elements has both elements, but all lessons should be approached in short bursts, 10-20 minute sessions only. When you play with your horse, try to end your sessions just when it seems that your horse is getting hooked. This insures that the next principle will occur.
Principle 5: Your Horse Must Never get Bored!
When your horse gets bored, he starts to make things more interesting. In Liberty training this can mean he may not come to you, he may not do what you are asking, he may decide to goof off, he may do the opposite of what you are asking… just to shake it up! Boredom to the horse is the “devil’s workshop,” and this truth becomes more apparent, more quickly, when you remove the lines. In Liberty training you must keep it stimulating, you must change it up, you must keep your sessions short and fun!
Liberty training is for anyone of any age and any experience. Learn to be present, read your horse’s body language, energy and intention to communicate with horses. You can start out at a distance and then begin to work closely with each other as your trust in each other blossoms.