Free lesson on Liberty Training © - Why Liberty Training © the pause and the dance brings about a magical connection under saddle. The foundation training at liberty to prepare a horse to be ridden with tack or otherwise starts with training the pause and then leads into the dance. I have found that training of the horse with the right balance between the pause and the dance brings about a most successful foundation training and warm up program. By balancing the pause with the dance one is able to create a horse that will stand still in a relaxed frame indefinitely when asked and go forward when asked effortlessly, easily, and naturally. This balance of requests will produce a horse that can be ridden without effort and a horse that will take care of his rider.
You start with asking your horse to stand and then when he will, and it is natural for him to listen to your request, you then teach him to go forward. At first you go back and forth asking for the halt and moving forward in short increments because if you stay in one too along it can erase the desire to do the other. So in the foundational work you are aware of a balnce needed between the two. On a slow horse you are focused more on the go and on a spirited horse you are focused more on the pause.
This balance response is created in your warm up at Liberty on the ground and then again under saddle. When a horse will stop and go easily a horse is easy to direct from the willingness you have created in your horse to these responses. Always keeping this balance in mind when you are in charge of a horse wether he is a finished horse or green.
Warming up your horse at liberty each day to the balance of the pause and the dance will prepare your horse to have this balnce when you ride. Continued work at Liberty your horse will be able to stand relaxed and to move out slowly from the rider’s request or to move forward in a moments notice into the tempo of the riders request. Even in an energetic performance a horse can be relaxed and listen to your direction. This is achieved from this balance of the pause and the dance by working and playing with a horse at liberty with this in mind.
This is why I never bother with the vises a horse shows under saddle like running away, bucking, bolting, baucking, pulling on the reins, running through the reins, wont go, can't stop, shying, just to name a few. All those behaviors have been trained onto the horse by improper management of the horse or simply that the horse was not warmed up properly. Because of taking care of this balance brings about the perfect performance under saddle. From this daily warm up training at liberty you can tune up your connection with your horse so that your riding and training under saddle is experience in perfect union.
Warming up a horse at liberty you are able to warm up your approach to direct your horse and your horse is getting to practice a performance that you might be asking out of him under saddle. Foundation training breaks down easily to practicing on halt and go, pause and whoa, fast and slow, left and right, large turns and turns that are tight in a relaxed manner, in a rhythm that brings you to a magical dance in haromy and unity without the resistance or the fight.
Working at liberty from the ground as the warm up is a better choice than warming up under saddle. You don’t ware out your horse’s body from the extra weight on your horse’s back. It is a lot safer to ride a horse that has been warmed up from the ground and aother reason is once the alignment and connection are present when you get on to ride the ride is experienced in unity and harmony. Your horse will feel your presence and will look forward to the ride, he is at his best with a desire to follow your lead.
Something important for beginning riders to be aware of: if you are always asking for performance without pausing in halt and relaxed walks, your horse can become nervous so that he loses the ablity to halt and enjoy the pause. We have this in comon with horses when we do not take time for the pause. The practice of the pause keeps the mind in a calm state so that the mind then can function at its best. The opposite is also true if all you do is sit on your horse in halt and move around slowly. A horse will eventually not want to go forwards which will possibly open the door to the baulking behavior. Any time you ride it is important to focus on balancing the pause and the dance to keep the connection with your horse at its best with the same focus you use in liberty training through the Waterhole Rituals.
If on a particular day your horse is nervous and antsy this means that perhaps a horse has been put to the task in continuous movement with not enough pausing, relaxing walks and hanging time. By adding the pause in his daily warm up in your liberty training and when riding, your horse becomes “right with the world.” If your horse is right with the world your horse will feel right with you. This state of well being will cause a horse to stand quietly in a strange place or under strange conditions without having to be managed to keep him calm and to perform effortlessly, easily, and naturaly.
When the pause and the dance become out of balance the result can be a horse that will pick up bucking behaviors. Warming up a horse at liberty with the Waterhole Rituals some days you will be working on the pause depending upon your horse's behavior and other days on the dance or going back and forth between the pause and the dance in a way that brings their balance into alignment. My favorite way to figure on what I need to adjust in my horse is to imagine putting a 5 year old child on my horse and ask myself the question, "is my horse going to take care of my child?" This way I am able to visualize where I need to put my focus in my liberty warm up program to have a horse that is dependable and willing. The easy way to develop the perfect connection under saddle is at liberty where in freedom, relaxation, and exuberance are easily expressed and managed. Balancing your horse's daily energy should help your partnership in performance and support your horse's physical and mental well being. I invite you to leave a comment.
Have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.
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