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Liberty Riding *** Rant!!

This is a discussion on Liberty Riding *** Rant!! within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        09-11-2013, 03:16 AM
      #21
    Yearling
    For one, the situation described was extremely stupid.
    For 2, someone said "tack is unnatural", yeees, so it is, and so is riding, and so are helmets.. we weren't born with hard hats on our heads So let the "naturalist" liberty folks crack their heads open. Hospitals aren't natural either
    As a friend of mine jokes... "Naturalists don't shave, or even know what soap is... " Then again, that is just one attitude.

    Yes, Liberty work is pretty for the eyes.. Dressage at liberty, jumping at liberty, that western video.; wooow... also all those many trainers like Honza Blaha and what not.. wow, all riding bridleless.. However, where are the helmets, and how many of us do have a horse who listens that well?

    My babies love me, they come to me, they follow me. But I refuse to get on without a saddle or a bridle. My previous horse I used to ride bareback with a bridle or a halter. Another horse I worked with I refused to ride bareback (also because of her uneven gaits) but I did gallop full speed with a fluffy halter, and another time the Dr. Cook bridle, bitless. And imagine, where some people cannot ask that mare to stand still, I could stop her with a fluffy halter, from a full blown gallop, without hanging in the reigns for my life... however, that we did at home... trails - bit, bridle, sadle, HELMET!

    All those people who claim that tack is unnatural and harmful, have never seen it be used properly. And a lot of people have been ruined, so to say, their minds damaged by listening to this kind of stuff. So then you hear "aaaaaw, poor horse, sports are horrible, they have such horrible bits, and spurs and what not.. " Somehow the same poor horse ridden with a complex bit and spurs can jump Grand Prix level for a few years and win... Whilst their backyard pony ridden in a halter continues to run head up with a hollowed back...........

    Ok.. rant over.
         
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        09-11-2013, 11:02 AM
      #22
    Foal
    I have no desire to liberty ride. You can't really controle there actions. Accidents happen.
    One time I was just sitting on my old mare in the pasture. Nothing on her because I was just sitting on her. And she bumped the electric fence and jumped. I fell right off. She came up to me like she was sorry and didnt mean it. But that's how quick things can happen even in the best of horses.
    KigerQueen and SirComet like this.
         
        09-14-2013, 03:17 PM
      #23
    Weanling
    As long as the only person you can possibly hurt is yourself, I am totally okay with it.

    So, yes to liberty riding in an arena.

    No to liberty riding down the beach with 3 riderless, tackless horses cantering behind who then go and chase down innocent riders to their own ponies

    (Had that last one happen to me, I beat off a crazy young colt with a dressage whip while the other (tackless) rider cantered on past, whistling.)
         
        03-24-2015, 04:07 PM
      #24
    Weanling
    It's true so many people don't practice liberty correctly or even understand. Don't hate on liberty itself but the people who lack common sense, which can be said for anything you do with horses. I always wear proper attire such as a helmet and boots, and I don't just randomly hop on my horses and expect them to ride around tackless. As for riding on the trails tackless, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. If a horse spooks terribly all they are thinking is to run.There will be no stopping them even with a bridle, or at least it would be very hard, so the only thing you can do is hang on.
         
        03-24-2015, 04:26 PM
      #25
    Showing
    I've watched a few top-notch dressage horses perform with only the neck rope. They put on a nice show but there's something missing - the finesse of a highly trained horse in a double bridle. What a lot of more novice riders don't realize is that the dressage riders hands barely move. This enables the horse to back away from the contact a little so it's more comfortable. I have felt this many times and the horse becomes light as a feather.
         
        03-24-2015, 04:37 PM
      #26
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    I've watched a few top-notch dressage horses perform with only the neck rope. They put on a nice show but there's something missing - the finesse of a highly trained horse in a double bridle. What a lot of more novice riders don't realize is that the dressage riders hands barely move. This enables the horse to back away from the contact a little so it's more comfortable. I have felt this many times and the horse becomes light as a feather.
    You can take this even one step further, on a well trained western horse, performing on a total loose rein
    It is this response to a bit first,ie finesse, that then allows people like Stacy Wesfall , to drop that bridle completely.
    That liberty riding, is a demo of degree of training, but even Stacy would not recommend a scenario as seen in the Black Stallion, with Alex galloping completely at liberty along a beach, on a horse only he can ride.
    It is sort of, something you do to show degree of training or ability, as in a kid, riding his bike and shouting, 'look Ma, no hands'
    It does not mean that it is therefore practical good horse sense or even a goal for every rider and horse to achieve, unless you wish to be part of Cavalia!
         
        03-24-2015, 06:54 PM
      #27
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by franknbeans    
    Riding in a halter, like I ride in a rope halter-is NOT the same as at liberty. Honestly-I think too many folks watched Stacy Westfalls famous bareback, bridless routine a few years ago and think they can all do it. Fairy tales and butterfly farts. NO. SHe is a professional, whose DH is also a professional trainer.
    Completely agreed! She has stated herself that she put 1,000 hours of training into that horse to get it to where it was for that famous ride. In addition, she doesn't ride all of her horses with the goal of being bareback/bridleless because not all of them are cut out for it. If she can get a horse to bareback/bridleless, that isn't the only way she rides it, either; she continues to ride in a saddle with very loose reins so that she can make corrections and maintain the training level.
    SirComet and hamptonsgringa like this.
         
        03-24-2015, 07:55 PM
      #28
    Foal
    I saw this thread and felt a little embarrassed at myself, and then giggled because I can empathize with the folks that have done liberty and had it blow up in their faces.
    I had one gelding I rode who I can and could ride in a neck ring w/t/c and not just laps around the arena. He also loved to jump so If I didn't feel like putting the neck ring on I could set up a low grid and he would faithfully put himself through without my direction. However I would not consider him liberty trained as I took it up as one of those brilliant teenage genius things where with very little preparation one does something extremely stupid and gets away with it.
    I did not realize how stupid it was till later when I tried it with a different horse- a mare who was extremely inconsistent mood-wise, occasionally psychotic under saddle, with a tendency to buck, rear and bolt- in that order under three seconds.

    So I put my neck ring on this horse and swing up. Alright. She just stands there. I give her a little nudge and she- a bit confused as to why she's naked takes a few steps forward. Having figured out I haven't put any useful tack on her, she tries a few buck steps and I push her forward, This is the moment she figures the true nature of our situation and picks up a canter that quickly turns into a bolt and proceeds to run laps around the arena at dead gallop with no inclination of ever stopping. After a few minutes I end up doing a flying dismount and she slams to a stop beside me. Luckily the only casualty was my pride. However I think I am better off without it.
         
        03-24-2015, 09:24 PM
      #29
    Foal
    Hi All!

    The American Indians rode w/o tack except for maybe a blanket and a neck string. Kicked a lot of Honkey bootie doing it too. I suspect it takes considerably more "relationship" than most modern equestrians have time for, tho.

    But sure; ride buck-naked if ya want, why would I care? Fall off and bust your A, "Evolution in Action" I say.

    That said, I am still in awe of Stacy Westfall.

    ByeBye! Steve

    PS: I can ride George bareback with a neck string. We mostly stick with Georgies agenda tho, and it's real easy to fall off. Don't _even_ ask me how I know :-)
    hamptonsgringa likes this.
         
        03-25-2015, 12:30 AM
      #30
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by george the mule    
    Hi All!

    The American Indians rode w/o tack except for maybe a blanket and a neck string. Kicked a lot of Honkey bootie doing it too. I suspect it takes considerably more "relationship" than most modern equestrians have time for, tho.

    But sure; ride buck-naked if ya want, why would I care? Fall off and bust your A, "Evolution in Action" I say.

    That said, I am still in awe of Stacy Westfall.

    ByeBye! Steve

    PS: I can ride George bareback with a neck string. We mostly stick with Georgies agenda tho, and it's real easy to fall off. Don't _even_ ask me how I know
    Those Indians rode with a rawhide thong in the mouth. Ever feel what a thin piece of rawhide feels like, esp once it has gotten wet, and dried un evenly?
    Sure, those Indians became great riders-had to, for war, hunting etc, but read some of the ways that they broke horses ,and one would not say that they all had any great empathy or kindness towards horses

    Ever see some of those Indian saddles, used by some tribes? They make even that saw buck pack saddle look kinder!
    Sure, Stacy rode tackless, but first she had that horse very broke to traditional tack, esp a bridle.
    I got to watch her in person at some clinics at the Mane Event.
    She explained as to how she was able to ride tackless. Riding with a neck rope is not in the same league, as any horse well broke to the indirect rein, can be ridden that way. I often rode horses out of the pasture that way.
    Craig Johnson has a great reining video, riding with a neck rope.
    Anyway, Stacey used the stop, to illustrate her training basics for those tackless demos ( you will note, she kept her spurs, and probably used them a bit harder then usual, just watching the horse's tail!
    She gets the horse to stop by each cue by itself, that she used together, in a regular reining ride
    Thus the horse learns to stop, just by the verbal command 'whoa'
    Just to stop , using the bit and reins
    To stop, just using body position and legs
    Thus, when she does that tackless reining demo, she still has two of the three cues left, that she uses together in a regular reining run

    The point being, there are many professional horse people that are probably way better riders, have more finesse on their horses, and could well ride them with a neck rope, and some do, for demos, but don't do so as aregualr aprt of their riding program, because the entire point, is, well, pointless!
    A well fitting saddle is way easier on a horse, then a rider sitting directly on his spine, in a concentrated area
    SirComet and hamptonsgringa like this.
         

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