Opinions on Liberty Horse Training? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Opinions on Liberty Horse Training?

What are your thoughts and opinions on it and do you think it works for every horse?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 02:06 AM
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what is, "works"? I mean, what is it that you would consider a success?
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Being successful in liberty training to me would mean that you could do pretty much anything with your horse(like riding tackless) and that you completely established yourself as leader and your horse is very bonded with you, and he will follow you around willingly and you have completed all the liberty training 'games' together successfully.

I know very little about liberty and I'm just wondering if people prefer a different method to achieve a bond like that, and their thoughts and opinions on it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 02:31 AM
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It doesn't work with every human for sure... Not everyone is ready to let go.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 08:08 AM
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I think this is entirely based on one’s personal goals with their horse. This is a fine activity if it’s what you desire to do with your horse.

Personally my goal for horses is to prepare them to be straight up in the bridle and train them respond to cues that are so subtle that one would think that horse and rider are one. I find more value and satisfaction in this than spending time working at liberty, but that’s only my opinion.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 09:04 AM
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Liberty work is generally considered as guiding a horse's activities from the ground without any mechanical means of contact. Ideally, it should be done outside of a small enclosure such as a round pen. While one may ride a horse that is also worked at liberty, the riding itself is not liberty work.

A good book to read on the subject is "Gallop to Freedom" by Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon. While Delgado is primarily a dressage rider, Pignon is noted for working with several stallions at once in liberty. Understanding their approach to training horses can be quite helpful in considering how you might begin liberty work if you choose to do so.

One of Pignon's main concerns is learning to know each individual horse. He approaches training by trying to discover what interests the horse. By the way, Alois Podhajsky, who was the director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna for over 20 years, wrote that he also used a horse's preferences to help decide what movements a horse would be trained to perform at shows.

Pignon states that he varies his approach depending on the particular horse. When working with several horses at once, he would change his actions and the intensity of his efforts to match the needs of the particular horse he was trying to direct at the moment.

Riding without tack is a different matter. Such riding generally begins by riding with saddle and bridle -- at least with bridle. The bridle, along with a snaffle bit, provides an additional means of communication to help a horse understand what his rider wants. As other means of communication such as weight shift and leg pressure become more predominant, the bit and bridle become less necessary.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 12:15 PM
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I took an at liberty trail clinic one afternoon for fun.........and I have to say that suddenly three years of fighting about my trailer ended after that. I could send her easily with my hand from behind and now she walks on by herself without me leading, pulling, pushing, whacking. I swear it was that clinic. So I think it has some benefits!
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 01:21 PM
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but you don't have to have such work or skills seperated out into some category called "Liberty Work" for a person to use them. by this, I mean a person who never does any tackless riding or "playing" with their horse loose, can still use some of what you learned to load a horse into a trailer and never think of it as "Liberty" training.

just Training.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 01:35 PM
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^^^Well yes - it all depends on how far you want to go with it. For most people everything we do on the ground is aimed at riding (in tack) and general day to day handling and liberty work can help, even something as basic as having your horse want to come to you in the field to be caught rather than you having to walk over to 'it' is a start of liberty work
I don't think all horses are going to be equal in terms of what you can achieve with them but I think they are all capable of achieving something
What you put into the training and relationship is going to directly influence what you and the horse get out of it
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-21-2014, 03:22 PM
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Liberty training causes the handler to develop their skills so that the horse understands what they are asking. I discarded the lunge whip for a thin willow branch (leaves removed). Horse was more relaxed and then even that was discarded. I was learning too. It was a blast whenever all my body parts were in alignment with the heavens (just kidding) and the horse did as asked.
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