This is one of those new words I have learned over the past year, at Liberty.. its a funny word to me.. I love the video’s I have seen of it, I like the dance between the horse and the person, having said that, I have no desire to see that in my field..
Well, sort of, you see the heart of liberty rings a bell of truth with me, and yet the “art” of liberty rings a alarm bell..
Now this is just how I view it, and as most folks know, thoughts and views are based on how we each see things..
The heart of Liberty rings true to me because I don’t believe in making a horse do something without asking, without teaching, without giving them a choice.. It rings true to me because when I teach, I like to teach to the point of liberty..
Today was a perfect example, most of the time, I call the horse’s and they come to me and I put their leads on and they come out and go to the grooming/tack area, but you see you need to mix things up so today I went out to them, its awesome to call your horse but you should also be able to walk up and catch your horse (this move was at liberty) they choose to stay where they were at and let me walk up directly to them..
I moved them by voice to the spot off the trail I wanted (brandy did what I wanted without issue the first time) Sam took three times, as he is still very unsure about how to do things by voice and body only.. he wants to have that touch.. but he is willing and he wanted to be part of the process.
They were groomed, they had their feet picked, they had their massages, they had their eyes cleaned, they had their teeth checked, they were asked to lower their heads down, all at liberty.. this means that at the one point that brandy said no, she was allowed to walk off, and I just waited till she circled back, engaged again, allowed me to line her back up and continue with my grooming/feet work..
She could have taken off, she could have said, NO I won’t work with you, but that’s the thing one of the things that makes me have concerns about the “art” of liberty, why would a bonded well treated horse not want to be with you..
Now, part of the heart of liberty is that you can ask your horse to leave, this was done as well, I would move between the two horses a couple times, (well four to be on the point, I groomed, picked a foot, snuggled, and then “drove off” the horse I was working with, asked the other who had to wait to come in, repeat till all four feet are done.
Miss Brandy had to be spoke to sharply twice, not because she was moving in but because she was putting samwell on edge by lowering her head, and pinning her ears, Sam needs to know that when I send Brandy out, she is respecting my choice to be with sam, and that she no longer has herd control over sam when I am in the picture.. after the verbal correction, she relaxed and stood just as she should.
Now here is where I have a issue with the “art” of liberty as I see it, that is the speed, the turns, the rearing, I saw a ladies working some her horses and it was all about the dance, loved it, but I have seen so many video’s where they are doing things that I consider pushing the bounds of safety in some cases over and over.
I respect that they are working one horse at a time, and I do that as well but I think that to me the heart of liberty should be about being able to work with any horse in your pasture if you want to do so..
I want calmness, control and safety in my liberty, I want a willing working horse, I touched on that earlier in the post.. you see when I am teaching something new, I teach each part, I work it together, then I work it from beginning to the point that I feel they understand it, then we have a period of success, then we work it at liberty, if they truly understand what I have been teaching them, they should be able to do it either totally free in the pasture or by nothing but voice or leg pressure..
That’s when I know they truly understand.. that’s that point of meld.. and its beautiful..
I am interested in exploring this more but I can’t see myself paying to go to clinics or paying for a program, rather I would spend time with my horse’s.. because at the “heart ” of it, like all really worth while things in life, that is what is needed most.. time together