Unlike the current Natural Horsemanship definition, “Liberty” is not something you do with your horse once you have trained him up real well on line, in a round pen, making the wrong thing uncomfortable and the right thing easy. This may get you a well trained horse, but it may not ever get you his whole self, his very heart. Negative reinforcement (do the right thing or you'll face consequences) is the opposite of relationship building.
At FromtheMother Farm, Liberty Horse Training is based in positive reinforcement. The horse is free of all ropes and halters, from the beginning of every session, in a space large enough for him to get far away from the human's sphere of influence. In this situation, the horse always gets to choose if and when he will give you his attention.
And you have no rope or halter with which to use your hands and strength to make him do what you want. You must find that open, positive place, inside of yourself, that creates the peaceful, compelling vibration that will draw him to you. Once he has acknowledged you as part of his world, you can use your breath, body posture, energy , awareness and intent to communicate to him what you would like him to do.
This is not a quick fix, 30-day process. It takes time and patience to bring your horse around to accepting you of his own choosing. But, once that bond is in place, everything you do together will strengthen your connection. It just gets more and more magical!
While the results of this process are truly magnificent, the learning is the quintessential “Simple but not easy.” Time consuming? Yes! Worth it? Absolutely! The self discoveries you'll have as you make your way through the learning curve will benefit you in every aspect of your life journey.
You will use your body more efficiently in your everyday breathing, walking, sitting and communicating. You will become aware of your surroundings and how your senses take them in. You will find more patience. You will find yourself being more assertive, protecting your space and looking for creative ways to get what you want.
In short, when you learn to come into true relationship with your horse, through Liberty Horse Training, you will become a better human being! Ask any of us here on the Farm!
With Nancy guiding your efforts, the FTMF horses, who are already familiar with choosing to be “in” with humans, will teach you when your efforts at horse-human communication are clear and when you are not coming through. What you learn from them will translate directly to your own horses. This is like taking a riding lesson on a schoolmaster.
Begin or continue to explore how your horse and you are relating. How strong is his draw to you, his push in sending him away from you, and can he stand still when you ask him to? Where are his holes, his hot buttons and how can you break your approach down to keep your energetic connection, no matter what is happening?
Treat yourself to a deep immersion into Liberty with your horse. Create your own time frame...one day to three days, all Liberty, or Liberty and Centered Riding. Whatever you would like to really come to understand at a deeper level. Each day you will have a morning and an afternoon learning session, with plenty of time, in between, for just "being" with your horse and yourself. Stay in the Bunkhouse, board your horse in the Dorm and on the pastures. You can do this privately, or arrange to bring friends with you, whatever feels best to you.
Centered Riding's core techniques of body, breath and awareness dovetail beautifully with the Liberty Horse Training connection. Once Nancy has you properly aligned, she can continue to refine the way you communicate to your horse from the saddle. Since your horse will already have consented to be in communication with you, you'll be amazed at just how little you'll need to do to take your horse where and how you want him to go!
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