We teach the opposite here: We capture a Horse's heart and mind, knowing their bodies will follow.
What we do at Liberty Foundations is a paradigm shift in horse training, but at the same time we haven't invented something new. In past postings, we've discussed similar ideas learned from the Native Americans and the ancient Germanic people. It's that fine-tuned lightness and ease in training that people attempt to put on a finished horse...but we think the lightness and ease should come first, completely at liberty. When you get Liberty Foundations on a horse, the rest of the training continues to move in the direction of ease.
First and foremost, we connect with the horse's heart and mind, knowing that when we get that right, we will have a willingness to follow our lead, and a working relationship that is priceless.
The Liberty Foundations are actually a code of conduct for trainers and horse owners, combined with skill in communication with horses. Our purpose is self-development, moving toward clarity and openness, seeking to make ourselves a consistent and constant Caretaking Leader for the horse. When you can maintain this gentle strong leadership, your horse will offer you their world.
We start in connection with the natural world, always made sweeter by the presence of horses. We free the horse of any restriction of movement and work completely at liberty. When a horse's heart and mind are open, everything else we want follows, including a working relationship.
We don't have a strict 1-2-3 list of what to do, but a group of Foundation activities natural to the horse, used in no particular order. Once the Foundations are mastered by our students, they become a seamless practice with their horses. Horses are not straight-line thinkers, so this is particularly effective.
Our progression is from Liberty to On Line, continuing to lead as if the horse is still at Liberty, overcoming any resistance in the horse and ourselves. If a person wishes to ride, the natural progression to On Board takes that same Caretaking Leadership to the back of the horse.
The Foundations work on every horse, every time. To get an idea of what the training looks like, please watch this short video of a Saddlebred gelding's first lesson with me, establishing leadership and a calm attitude, capturing his heart and mind. He was brought to the arena and released, with the understanding that he was free to leave me at any time. (It makes better teachers out of us when we know our students can 'vote with their feet' and leave!) I use Lead Horse Behavior to establish myself as his leader. No violence or dominance is permitted. Relaxation and willingness is the result. He was prepared with breathing/meditation in his stall, which convinced him he wanted to work with me. Caution: Please understand that without proper instruction in Ruella's Liberty Foundations, this could be dangerous. It must be accomplished with no resistance from the horse; if your horse resists, please seek instruction in this method. I welcome your questions and invite you to study with me at Spirit Horse Ranch; online/phone coaching is available. Copyright (c) Ruella Yates.
This photo is of Michaelanne Kelly and her Haflinger filly Rose in their first session a year ago. I received this note from her last month, after a year's study and practice of Liberty Foundations:
"I rode my horse today, for the first time in over 2 years. Last time I rode we had an accident and I broke a vertebrae in my back; it was extremely painful for several months. The most painful part though was the anxiety that robbed me of my greatest joy, riding my horse. A little over a year ago I was led, I believe by God, to a wonderful woman with a beautiful soul who thought like I did about being with horses. She became my teacher and my mentor on my journey to overcome my anxiety and build a relationship of mutual respect and love with my horses. Through Liberty Foundations where the horse is free to leave at anytime my whole herd and I have built a powerful bond that is based on love, affection, mutual respect, and trust. Today when my horse stood quietly at liberty as I tacked her up and then stood still and relaxed at the mounting block as I got on my heart was so full of joy and thankfulness for my teacher Ruella Yates, I burst into tears. I will always remember this day....forever!"
LIBERTY FOUNDATIONS CLINIC
with Ruella Yates* and Susan Smith*
Founders of Liberty Foundations Training for Horses
Capturing the Heart and Mind of the Horse
April 5-6, 2014
Join us in this 2-Day Clinic
Spirit Horse Ranch
near Oklahoma City, OK
in Relationship with your Horse
Spirit Horse Ranch is centrally-located, near the confluence of Interstates 35 and 40.
*Includes Friday evening potluck with Ruella’s ‘Natural Horsekeeping’ presentation!
*6 Guest horses accepted! Price includes lunches, snacks, water.
Only 12 students accepted, for personal individualized teaching, so reserve your place now! Email Ruella at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and enrollment details!