Vlog series: How Liberty work helped me with riding part 9

In this installment of my Vlog, I am still working on the same concepts with the Waterhole Rituals as the previous videos. There is continual huge improvement. In this one I continue to build the Companion walk and have even touched on the trot which has been my goal all along. I am still using Eye Contact to work on focus and confidence and Draw to improve the Companion Movement. I use some Leading from Behind. To compare our mounted work from now and when we started is night and day. We have stops, transitions, relaxation, hugely improved rhythm, and focus. All from doing this work. It is a fun and interesting session each time we work together!


Vlog series: How Liberty work helped me with riding part 8

This video shows so many good things that have developed which I talk about. The Companion walk is there with halts which has impacted our riding. The halts are coming softer and more responsive when riding. The relaxed soft Long and Low posture she is exhibiting is light years away from where we started. We are generally just more together. It is so much fun to see it all unfold! The Leading from behind is relaxing to her, and the send and draw are much improved.
Carolyn Resnick's Blog


Vlog series: How Liberty work helped me with riding part 7

In this 7th installment of my Vlog series, There is a visible and dramatic change in Phoenix's demeanor and attitude.
First, we are achieving a relaxation and peace together that was elusive before. Second, because of this our mounted work has a much more relaxed, pleasant, and joyful quality to it. We are working more as a unit and it starts to become more apparent as the videos progress. I never know what will transpire when we start our sessions but I am always pleased to see a growth in our communication and connection. In this video there is a continuation of the previous exercises and body language, I'm using Sharing space, Leading from behind, eye contact, Draw and eventually companion moving.
As I stated before in my previous Vlogs, The Sharing Space helped with our bond and connection and gave a platform to depart from. Phoenix and I love Sharing Space, she hangs out with me and often rest together with her pasture mates in the field. This is mine and her favorite ritual. The Leading from behind helped me with her willingness. The Eye Contact helped me with her confidence and focus issues, the Send and Draw helped me with working with her energy and the Companion moving (the second most important ritual) is helping us with our Transitions and halts and speed control in a harmonious way. Here is the latest video.


Being a good leader

What does it mean to be a good Leader to your horse? In a lot of training the focus is on "being the boss" being the dominant one or the alpha. I have heard this uttered by many trainers at many competitions and even Natural Horsemanship clinicians.
First, lets talk about Lead versus Dominant energy. In a herd there are Lead, Dominant, and submissive horses. In people there are the same. Lead horses can be in charge of the herd but so can dominant horses. A herd lead by a Lead horse tends to be more balanced and peaceful then a herd lead by a Dominant horse.
So what's the difference? Lead horses are looking out for the highest good of the herd and individual. Lead horses don't make demands they make reasonable requests which seem inviting to horses. They tend to not use aggressive body language in general because they don't have to. Dominant horses can be aggressive if not out right mean at times to take rank and ownership of territory. They are much more likely to use big gestures and body language and engage in "Dominance games" with other dominant horses. These are the horses you often see playing roughly and wrestling when paired up.They are also likely to get this way with a person that approaches them with this type of energy.
To me being a good Leader to my horses means behaving as much like a lead horse as possible. It means that if I want to be followed I should behave like someone who would be good to follow. Think about that. Are you someone you'd like to follow? Ask yourself this question. Would you happily follow your lead if you were a horse? It means thinking about what you are requesting of your horse and how they might feel about it. It means acknowledging their fears and helping them overcome them in a supportive way not a forceful one. It means thinking about the overall balance of the herd and all involved including yourself. Balance is so important. Yes we the people are included in that. Some people put so much focus on the horses well being that they fore go their own and that is not balanced Leadership either. A Leader is only as good as they are feeling in their core being. That means a happy balanced healthy Leader mirrors the same to their horses. Always think about that when you are getting ready to "Lead". We all have bad days and we are allowed to have them. In fact saying out loud "I'm having a bad day and it's ok" is a very freeing experience. Horses like emotional congruency much more then when we try to be perfect for them or cover our hidden fears, depression, anger or anxiety. We are only kidding ourselves if we think they can't read that in us. So next time you see your horse, think about preparing to be a good Leader and remember this is an ever changing role for us. Each day brings us different opportunities to Lead and Learn how to be better Leaders.