23 december 2008
Prince Elmelund is getting more and more perky lately, so I thought it was time to do some Freestyle training in liberty with him.
Freestyle at liberty
In the beginning of PE's education, I did not start with the Freestyle work at liberty, because I did not want to chase him away at that stage. I wanted to connect with him first and teach him how to learn. He has learned to learn and he is starting to get perky so the time is right to do some Freestyle training.
He sometimes displays some "inappropriate own initiative'': every new intern is being tested: if the intern walks in front of him, he wants to push you forward. That's what stallions do with their herd 😉 But it is not nice to have him bite your coat. One time one of the interns was leading him when I was hanging on his back. She wanted to ask him to move forward, but he was too busy challenging the intern and he was not paying attention to my weight on his back. I slipped off at the wrong time, which lead to a little burst in the trust of PE.
So today I did the Freestyle liberty training for the first time. I am working in an arena of 15 x 15 metres. PE is wearing nothing, not even a halter. Through body language you get control over direction and speed, and to create more space for yourself you use a line. This way you display leadership, and you put yourself in a dominant position.
From the beginning, he did very well. At the end he made perfect circles around me, free from the fence, (instead of following the fence) and he was relaxed and moving in balance. So some of the interns will be doing this training with him also, so that a good understanding can be established.
In the end, I put the 'Bare back pad' on him. Since he was responding so beautifully during the training, and he was so full of trust and respect, I climbed on his back, without a bridle. ''Don't try that at home'', but I think that a rider should only sit on a horse's back when there is mutual trust. If a youngster wants to buck, he will do it anyway, you cannot prevent that with a bridle.