UK Horsemanship Clinic day one

Today was the first day of the FDTH Horsemanship clinic at The New Horse in beautiful Motcombe. First of all it is a gorgeous area. Beautiful english farms and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. oh and Stone Henge which I've never seen until now!

The day started with an Andalusion that I quickly saw was quite alert, a bit tentative, reactive and easily distracted. We worked on a session in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the morning, we worked with some Liberty exercises based on Carolyn Resnick's method. The horse was a bit shy about being approached so we worked on Saying hello and reading his body language to build his trust up. By the afternoon, after a nice break in the second session we worked using Eye Contact to help him and his person focus and they did beautifully. Even got a nice companion walk at the end. This horse is a good candidate for how Liberty work can help with mounted issues as I came to find out that no surprise, he was tentative, distracted, and reactive in his Dressage work. It is very interesting how I can usually see the mounted issues come out in the Liberty work and as such set about changing the patterns in a nice connection and trust building way.

I had a pony in another session who was quite food obsessed and I used Carolyn's food exercises to get him focused on first me and then his person more than food. In the second session, his person brought him in and we addressed his pulling away while leading issues by working with him on line and teaching him to follow a feel and watch his persons body language exactly as he did at Liberty. The equipment merely becoming an extension of the Liberty body language.

I then got to work with a 2 year old filly who was not handled too much and the focus was just on her having a positive experience in the arena at liberty and having her feel comfortable leaving the herd and "Being with us" We used Carolyn's Treasure Hunt game and when the filly was calm, happy and relaxed, we rewarded her further by taking her back to her friends.

My favorite horse of the day was a resident rescued Lusitano who I affectionately name "Taz" I met him in the morning in his herd and was instantly drawn to him. He clearly loves connecting with people and is just the kind of fiery, spirited "Dancer" I love. He was offering so much so quickly, it was like he had been doing Liberty work all his life and they had only had him for a very short time.

Anyway, we had a great day as usual with the horses leading the way and I look forward to tomorrow!
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