This article is for the Insider Circle and In-the-Box students. I am sharing it this time on the blog page to give us more time on the calls for questions. I am sure my blog students will find some benefit as well. Companion Walking and Liberty Dancing are two out of my seven Waterhole Rituals. To ensure a good connection with the Companion Walking, you choose your speed and course to keep the connection intact. If your horse loses interest or energy, take a break and then after a while, you can activate his energy by putting him into canter and maintain it until his energy has picked up.
For those of you in the class you can now consider working your horse in a space that is small enough so you can influence your horse to keep your horse going. Now that you have the basics of my method down through your practice, you can begin increasing your horse’s energy for a stronger magnetic connection. If you choose to start working the last Ritual Liberty Dancing make sure that the space you choose to work him in is large enough that the horse still feels he can escape your influence if he chooses. I prefer you to work a horse in a triangle than a circle because a horse feels freer in a rectangle. The more freedom a horse has the more secure he feels and a person tends communicate with their horse better if the horse is more secure. Some horses work well in a small place and others need a larger place to be at there best with you. You can choose what you think will work for you and your horse.
If you choose to start working with the last Ritual Liberty Dancing in a smaller place you want to approach your horse in the same way you did when working him in a larger space. Try to stay away form the fence line.
What you do not want to do is use the fence line to trap the horse in the moment of your request. All you want a smaller place for is so you are able to keep him close enough so you can keep him going if you need to. Your horse is ready for a smaller enclosure when he still feels his freedom and is happy to be with you in the smaller space and very willing to take direction happily. I think Mary’s field is the perfect size for most horses. Take a look at her you tube in the comments section.
Up to this point, you have been focused on the Strings of Connection that the Rituals produced as a way to achieve the magnetic connection. You have not been focused on controlling your horse’s energy. Now you are ready to begin creating the energy of your horse as a way to keep the magnetic connection working for you. Let’s say you want to have your horse trot big and come to a halt. That takes a lot of energy to want to work at this pace so you would ask him to canter in the field freely until his energy is built up and your horse wants to perform fast stuff. If your horse gets too excited, you would then keep your horse way from you until he settles down.
Not using tack or fences to trap a horse in the moment of a request you need to strategize more.. Not using the fence line and listening to your horses feelings and only working with him when he is willing, causes you to pay more attention to the decisions you make and the direction you would choose to take. If you choose to work in a smaller place, it is important to keep the same kind of thinking you have when your horse has all the room in the world to get away for you.
What not to do.
Working at liberty, you are always paying attention to what your horse is thinking and what he will be thinking soon. You are building your mind reading skills. While Companion Walking without tack, you would not walk your horse to some place you know your horse would not want to go or someplace your horse would want to stay. Eg: someplace scary or where the treats are.
What to do.
The way you would communicate to your horse while Companion Walking is that you would choose the speed you think you would be able to get your horse to accept. If your horse wants to walk faster than you, you can use your leadership influence by slow down. Or if he is too slow you would raise your energy and body language, lift your posture, and push to the outer edges of the magnetic connection you are sharing. You can feel this place. It feels like you are sharing a bubble together and you don’t want to step out of that zone. It is what I call the heart area. If you go beyond this place, you will lose your horse. If you see your horse is focused on something ahead that would lose the magnetic connection, you would immediately turn to a new direction to take his mind off what was ahead. If he were walking too close you would halt and wait for your horse to be at ease and then change your course that would cause him to turn away from you giving you more room. If a horse is too close, you turn toward him causing him to move way from you. When he is not close enough you make a sharp turn away for him to cause him to step toward you. You are working with your horse in companion walking the same way a mare handles her foal. She has no tack she can only call upon the tendencies in her foal’s instincts to move away from anything approaching it and to follow anything that is leaving. A mare cannot run after her foal to keep him safe, she can only run away from the danger that draws her foal way from the danger as well. She must plan the path she takes to keep her foal connected.
From the practice of my Method, you start to read what the horse will think before he thinks it just like the mare with her foal. You acquire your ability through working at liberty practicing the rituals and from sharing territory with your horse. From Sharing Territory your brain downloads programs of how to lead and how to be and causes you to focus on keeping the connection rather than wanting your horse to perform in a certain way or thinking that your horse needs to be a certain way for you to feel good or loved or respected. All those qualities are up to you to develop in your horse. You learn that relationship is something you need to focus on for the bond to deepen and from this focus; it will bring to you the best part of life and the best part of others to your life.
Giving freedom to a horse causes you to think like a horse whisperer. My Method working at liberty causes you to develop your skill as a leader that is desirable to everyone in your life. You learn how to not expect anything but what you have right now and to be able to read your horse better.
Horses are great guideposts in shaping our attitudes as leaders, friends and partners.
There are three operatives in keeping the connection; Push, Pat and Pause, they are used in courting, shaping and relaxing. In leadership, you court instead of force. In moments of connection, you shape behavior instead of repromand. In freedom the pause and push creates the magic and the draw.
If you can train a horse at liberty, you learn how to lead without force. You are never disappointed with your horse’s behavior because you have no control over it. You learn the importance of predicting what your horse might decide to do next. You learn how to please your horse without losing his respect and how to adjust his attitude to be respectful and connected.
If anyone is watching you in the training of your horse, it looks like a dance not a drill. It is important that your horse enjoy his training most of the time. Not all the time! If your horse is always getting his way, the horse will not develop good coping skills for life and would not have a desire to fit in with you. Just the right amount of challenge makes life enjoyable and more rewarding as well as wanting to fit in. You want the training to continue to grow the bond and the respect. If the bond and the respect are growing you are on the right path. The dance in harmony and unity is the out come.
I hope you find that helpful.