Basic Liberty Work
 
 

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Basic Liberty Work

This is a discussion on Basic Liberty Work within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Things to teach a horse at libity
  • Liberty work horses

 
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    03-12-2012, 07:48 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Basic Liberty Work

I went to a little NH meet up. Some people were doing liberty work in the arena. Their horses did some pretty neat stuff -- Backed, sidepassed, lounged a circle around them -- without any tack.

It was kind of cool. How does one train their horse to do basic liberty? To follow at a walk and trot, to send over obstacles (e.g tarps, tiny jumps, bridges) and join back up at your side after afterwards?

I've always wondered how people went about this... It's been shrouded in mystery. My non-NH friends think there is some kind of magic at work, but the people at the meet up assured me it isn't magic. Just training.
     
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    03-12-2012, 08:26 PM
  #2
Weanling
Training for liberty starts with a halter and lead rope. The horse is taught cues with the halter and lead rope on, slowly the cue is made lighter and lighter until the rope can be let drag on the ground or removed altogether.

There are a few trainers that recommend teaching starting at liberty with the round pen as the main tool. I've done it both ways and gotten much better results by starting with the lead rope on. Though some things were faster to teach the round pen way, my horse's attitude suffered and he didn't seem as "happy" about it.

I suppose it might be possible to teach for liberty with a regular web halter and cotton lead, but a rope halter is much lighter allowing for much softer signals, and because it is so light the horse hardly notices the difference when the halter is eventually removed. The longer yacht braid ropes that many of the trainers use are also very useful in transferring the tiniest signals possible to your horse.

If you want to get one of these halters & leads I would recommend the ones made by Weaver Leather, they have Stacey Westfall's endorsement and are more economical than the ones sold by other trainers.

I plan to start posting a few videos of my liberty work soon to get opinions(little sacred) I am taking a NH training exam with my horse the first section is on liberty, I will be asking people what they think looks good or not so I can decide what to include in my exam.
     
    03-25-2012, 10:28 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargosgirl    
There are a few trainers that recommend teaching starting at liberty with the round pen as the main tool. I've done it both ways and gotten much better results by starting with the lead rope on. Though some things were faster to teach the round pen way, my horse's attitude suffered and he didn't seem as "happy" about it.
I have (now) done it both ways. I was one of those die hard "round pens are an absolute MUST for training" kind of people, until I bought a mare about 3 years ago. She HATED the thing, and I found that once I started using NH methods and took her outside of the round pen, she was a whole new horse. Today, she will work in a pen just fine? (She is so intelligent sometimes I think she does stuff like that just to vex me).

I usually start liberty in the round pen even now (but I usually start work with horses I don't know much if anything about...never know what they are going to do), but I agree that ALL of the horses seem much "happier" about it when I take them outside of the ring.
:)
     

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