So I just found this thread and thought I'd pipe in!
I love working with my horses at liberty! I train primarily with Positive reinforcement - so most of my work has been done on the ground at liberty in a fenced field. But just recently with my project mare I've taken my liberty work to a new level. She hasn't had a piece of tack on her in the past 2 weeks. I've been turning her in and out at liberty - now when I say this, this isn't like letting a horse run from the paddock to his stall or vice versa. This mare has a chronic phobia of tight spaces, and our very narrow barn aisle has taken her months to overcome her fear of. It started with her freezing at her stall door - not even willing to leave her stall! Then when she progressed past that she would rush in full panic through the tight aisle and out the door. So for me to be able to lead her at liberty through the barn aisle with her walking calmly beside me (which there is just enough room for the two of us) this is HUGE for her!
Also, being a spooky horse in general I've spent a great deal of time counter conditioning her (adding heavy reinforcements like food for being calm in the presence of something concerning). I started with easy things like plastic bottles with noisy things inside and moved up to a power drill (with the bits taken out). She now targets new objects (when asked to) that concern her - with her nose.
Since doing this I've been working with me at liberty riding (which is done in a small fenced area that's familiar to her).
All that being said here are some fun pics of some of or liberty work
I also lunge her at liberty - she will do this in any size field (not a round pen) the tack was there this time because she was learning about her new saddle, but as you see there's nothing connecting us :P
Oh can't forget my pony! We do at liberty agility together, like dog agility with different obstacles. Here's him going over his elephant jump xD we built that jump for our minis so a little short for him!
This is her very first time doing any counter conditioning with a scary object. I love watching this video because in 5 minutes she went from pretty concerned about those jugs to wanting them around her! This one while she's not wearing tack, she does have the confinement of her stall to set her up for success. The next session with those bottles were in a large field, where she had the option to be with me and the scary object or to go away and eat grass.
This is Tank lunging at liberty, she only does walk and trot and changing direction - I don't like the idea of cantering on such a small circle, plus my footing isn't ideal for it.