If you have managed to work your horse at liberty and develop a connection where your horse chooses to be with you, how can you carry this forward to riding? Many people get stuck here and are afraid they will loose what they feel at liberty. I think the key is inside us! Yes its all about how we feel, if we keep our hearts open to how our horse feels and always have his best interests as our priority, we may manage it. You can also give your horse choices just as you do in liberty,does he come over and stand calmly while you put tack on? you can learn to see if your horse chooses riding or not on a certain day. The stronger the relationship has become in liberty and the more fun it is for my horse the more she seems to choose riding, I always carry these things over to it, fun, challanges that are achieveable, rewarding, things that are of phyiscal and mental benefit.
Above all I keep a sense of liberty in that it has to be mutual,there is no force only a sense of partnership,give and take, and in the end pride. I am proud of how she tries for me and she feels proud of what she can achieve within our partnership.
We started some piaffe steps in our lessons with Joyce this time,it was a surprise to both of us, and we both felt pride in our achievement as a partnership, if I had felt she had wanted to leave as she can if she wishes ,at liberty it would not have been working,but even though she didn t understand to start with she never felt like she wanted to quit.