Exploring the Diverse World of Liberty Training with Horses.
Lets talk Liberty!
I love sharing things I love! And liberty training is one of these things. Why is it so special and are there different types of liberty training?
For me, it's all about connection. It's about discovering the true nature of my relationship with my horses. I aim to achieve a level of liberty training where we can communicate freely in open spaces and maintain the connection - even when there's lush grass around! And in doing so, causing a strong bond that leads my horses to become herd-bound to me.
A practical note for skeptics: If done right, this connection translates in many ways to a riding horse that looks to their human for connection. It's not a perfectly direct translation to riding, but a horse that connects softly and willingly with no ropes at liberty is a significant difference from a horse that is hard to catch and barely tolerates humans. So, it's worth the pursuit for any rider!
Liberty training isn't a one-size-fits-all practice; it encompasses distinct disciplines. Let's look at a few:
- Movie Horses: These equine stars are trained to hit their marks and establish a connection with the leading actor or actress for the camera.
- Circus Performers: Liberty training is an integral part of circus acts, where horses showcase their grace and agility.
- Trick Training: This type focuses on teaching horses impressive tricks and maneuvers.
- Colt Start Pre-Ride Training: In a round pen, young horses receive foundational training in a confined setting to set the stage for future riding.
- Then many more Liberty Training disciplines like Clicker Training, Equine Rehabilitation, Equine-Assisted Therapy, to name a few extras.
A Foundational Approach: What I call “Liberty In-Feel”
I personally approach liberty training with a practical focus, always considering its relevance to my relationship with the horse and my riding. I aim for consistency in aspects such as the ear and eye connection, bend, softness, and balance. These qualities are fundamental to a well-trained riding horse that is truly 'In Feel' with the rider. I have a purpose: to trot out after cows on the ranch, jump a course, or share the beauty and subtleties of the horse/human relationship with a large audience. But my overriding goal is to become the center of comfort and security for the horse, not just a source of pressure. In pursuing this goal, we achieve an 'In Feel' connection. Cultivating a deep connection with our horses isn't just a goal; it's a purpose that guides us to become their source of comfort and security, allowing us to truly understand the art of being ‘in feel’ with a horse.
The Art of Liberty Training
In my book, The Art of Liberty Training for Horses ~ Attain New Levels of Leadership, Unity, Feel, Engagement, and Purpose in All That You Do with Your Horse, I delve into the intricacies of liberty training. It's about building a bond with your horse that goes beyond conventional methods. No matter what you are trying to achieve if you endeavour into the world of liberty training, I can tell you there is so much value in the learning for any level rider or any discipline. Even if you don't intend to ride - you can enjoy a lifetime with horses learning, playing with horses online and then eventually 'at liberty.'
I want to give people simple, understandable, doable steps that lead to playing with a horse "at liberty" in a safe and progressive manner.
When I started this journey, I had thousands of hours riding but my feel for horses and their sensitivities didn't really begin until I tried to have a relationship without ropes. By pursuing this as a foundational art for connection with horses, I learned so much more than another 10,000 hours of riding would have taught me. Like reading the subtleties of behavior, a true connection with a horse versus a mechanical signal or force and most importantly, I learned to be more sensitive to my small asks and cues with my body language. I learned to turn my communication on. That completely changed things for me every ride after.
Join me on a journey into the world of liberty training. My goal is to make this training accessible to all.
My book provides clear steps for safe and progressive liberty training. For a deeper dive, I offer a home study program called Liberty Training, in both DVD and streaming formats, with demonstrations using horses that are still learning or join our Open Field Membership where there are over 25 individual lessons about liberty as well as an additional library of over 100 other horsemanship lessons and videos!
Whether you're an experienced equestrian or simply passionate about horses, there's something uniquely rewarding about the connection between humans and horses. Let the world of liberty training enrich your horse journey.
Keep me posted and thanks for being so "Inspired by Horses®."
Learn Jonathan's Liberty Program:
DVD Series: The Liberty Series: DVD Program
Open Field Membership: Open Field (7 Day FREE Trial)
Attend a Clinic or Live Event: Jonathan's full schedule HERE.
Read MORE articles from Jonathan HERE.
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
FREE Horsemanship tips, articles or videos shared monthly. Stay connected!
We will never sell your information, for any reason.