I have tried to find balance for my horses, mentally, emotionally and physically, also aiming to keep myself balanced in mind and body to help achieve this.
Many believe you cannot influence a horses posture at Liberty. Or that this is something people who work their horses at liberty are unaware of.
However, by building a strong bond and relationship with our horse first, we set ourselves and our horse up for making any other training easier.
When we have this bond, built up at liberty, so that the horse has a choice, he chooses to give us his very best try. He learns that he likes to say yes! He trusts his mind ,body and spirit to us. We form a ‘working bond’.
Our horse gives this freely there is no tension and we respect his wishes, we listen to how he feels about the training we are doing. He responds to our posture and body language, this way we do not expect him to move with correct posture immediately, he really doesn’t mind showing all three gaits in a crooked or upside down way in the field does he?
Once we have his trust and willingness through the relationship we have built, we can easily influence his body without force, either at liberty or with tack. We need to understand why we would want to do this after all we have an amazing relationship, what more could we want?
If we wish to ride or dance with our horse at liberty we can help our horses to experience less strain on their bodies. If we choose to ride our horse and he chooses to allow this, some help to make it easy for him is mutually beneficial.
Maybe we wish to work/ride at liberty or maybe with tack, if our horse is fit and supple enough it makes his job easier. It also makes it more comfortable for us, which in turn makes carrying us more comfortable for him.
If we help our horse to find physical balance as well as mental and emotional balance, when we have built a strong bond and relationship, it makes further training easy, including riding.
We give our horse a choice, then he chooses riding with willingness and trust.
So if you don’t think Liberty can help improve a horses posture on the ground or in riding, I would love to share this message, it can. As always it depends on us, we need to acquire the knowledge to do these things, we need to know what our intentions are and be clear for our horse. Time spent as the student is time well spent, it is never ending. Ultimately when we start with ourselves and our relationship with our horse, when we cultivate a ‘working bond’ what may have seemed impossible becomes possible.