Learning Liberty - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Learning Liberty

Yay! My first longer video with Snickers! So, it's us, practicing freestyle riding, bareback and tackless, and a bit of playing at liberty. We're still at the beginning of our road, so it isn't all perfect and spotless, but the moments we spend together are all the same among the happiest of my life. I have my clumsy moments, though.

Learning Liberty - YouTube

As for the tricks he's doing - I'm an adult and responsible for my own doings, which, in this case, is trick training, and I have experienced trainers to help me if I need, but for anyone else I would not advise trying it if it is not something you already know how to do. Some tricks may be dangerous to both the handler and the horse, if done incorrectly.
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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 12:29 AM
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Awesome stuff! Haha I love the little fist pump thing you do when Snickers stops, it's really cute!
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 12:53 AM
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very nice! I loved the music, too.

Did you use treats to teach him some of those things? I wish I had your bareback skils!
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. :)

tinyliny, I use treats as an occassional reward when he does something outstandingly well, but usually I just praise him. All the tricks in this video were first taught to him with no treats at all, to encourage him to think about solutions, not just mechanically repeat a movement.

As for lying down - it wasn't "taught" to him at all. The ground was tapped from time to time by his legs, with focus concentrated on the idea of lying down, and one day, some 2 years ago, he just figured it out and was trusting enough to lie down all by himself - no ropes, no pressure at all.

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 13 Old 10-05-2012, 02:17 AM
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I don't think I could get Zulu to do all that without having plenty of treats on hand. The most I have been able to teach him is "put your nose on this". I want to teach him how to push a ball. Usually I am too lazy to take the time to train him, preferring to just go out and ride.

But you have an absolutely wonderful and so natural way with your horse. What a joy to watch.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) I spend a lot of time by observing herd behavior and then trying to mimic their "dances" in my moments with Snickers. I still don't get many things and I have to learn to be a better "lead mare", and also I have to keep things interesting for Snickers (his main motivations are learning something totally new and pride), and also my body language could be much, much better, but heck...it's a learning process for both of us.

I believe that you could do this all without treats with Zulu, you'd just have to start from the first steps to reset Zulu's motivations and prove him that doing things with you can be very interesting even without snacks. :) It really takes time, of course. I wish I could spend every single day with Snickers and maybe then I'd have enough time to do both riding and groundwork as much as I want it.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 08:39 AM
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Really nice!

Did you learn liberty techniques from anyone or videos or something? Liberty training is something I'd like to learn more about.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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I have just seen others doing it in videos, so I knew it was possible, but otherwise I learned my own ways how to do it, slowly transitioning from doing it on-line to liberty, first in a smaller enclosed area, as a roundpen or somethin alike, then moving up to an arena or just the open fields - on a good day we can play in the pastures or walk side by side at liberty in forest trails. To my mind, the key is a horse who is willing to follow, not is taught to follow, so I pay great attention to spending undemanding time with a horse and the whole herd in the pastures and interacting with them as a herd member. And also just taking long walks with my horse, grooming him, exploring our boundaries, my body language and his, and such.

From other horsepeople - Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling really inspires me. He has some books and DVDs, and I can suggest looking into them. I haven't read or seen them in full extent yet, but I really like the bits I've seen and his philosophy as well.
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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 09:19 AM
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Fantastic video-the time you have spent doing this & the trust between you two is amazing!
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 09:32 AM
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I really like your video!

Faites de lui un compagnon, pas un esclave.
Nuno Oliveira.
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