There are probably as many methods for horse training as their are different breeds of horse. The focus of any training program should be to enhance and build the person/horse relationship, and safety as well as physical fitness and performance. Even the most phenomenal athlete, without guidance or confidence, will never succeed. The method of Liberty Horse Training you are about to explore is based upon an understanding of the language of the horse and how he or she perceives his or her environment and the other beings in it.
Horses perceive the other beings in the world around them as their “herd” and most likely not as individual species classifications within that herd. That is to say a domestic horse does not look at a horse and think “horse”, turn it’s head, see you and think, “person”. They do, however, look at each being in accordance with a perception of “rank within the herd” and behave toward that being accordingly. The following is a simple breakdown of the categories into which you may fall and the resulting behavior:
Are you Alpha or higher ranking? Then the horse is likely to treat you with respect, submissive behavior and the trust that comes from being seen as a leader.
Perhaps you are Beta or middle ranking? Should your horse also fall into this category, you’re likely to see the behaviors reflective of “pals”, i.e. affection, comfort, along with the occasional test to see where the limits may or may not be.
Is your horse Alpha, then what? This is a very dangerous situation for both you and your horse. You will experience complete lack of respect, no personal space, and little to no response to anything you ask of the horse. If the horse is fearful or aggressive, this is very likely to result in serious injury at some point.
This particular method of Liberty training is geared toward complete respect toward the trainer or handler creating an Alpha – Beta relationship. The person is the Alpha and the horse is the Beta. While being Alpha sounds glorious, it is a constant effort and great responsibility. In this situation, the horse is completely dependent upon you, your judgment, and your ability to see the world as your horse sees it. If you falter, your relationship falters and, naturally, your horse will falter.
The videos you are about to view contain training methods based on herd behavior. More specifically, they are based upon the training behaviors used by the Alpha mare in the herd. While the lead stallion is the danger lookout and the breeding father, it is the Alpha mare who holds together and enforces the rules of the herd, acceptable behavior, and the teachings for the foals.
Ok, having said some of the boring basics, let’s eat dessert first! Below is an example of an advanced Liberty horse. He is a 3 year old Gypsy Stallion named Tyson and Trainer Brandy Worley has been working with him since he was a little adorable foal. In reviewing this video, please note the resulting behaviors from the training and keep those in mind as you move backwards with the next videos so you can see where we begin and how the very basics are taught.
Video #1 Brandy Worley and Gypsy Stallion Tyson, 3 years old Liberty Clinic Demo:
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