In the case of my latest Liberty Foundations Online class, perhaps that ancient proverb When the student is ready, the master will appear was working as I came together with one of the most dynamic and dedicated group of students I could have imagined. One of them suggested this saying to me, but I could certainly apply that in reverse, too. The situations arising within this group have been astounding in many ways, and the students became a cohesive unit, supporting each other and me in a beautiful way.
We have horses labeled by trainers with the "That horse is gonna kill you" curse. We have horses damaged from past abuse brought together by kind hearts. We have sassy little ponies looking for leadership. We have a herd of rescued Pintos on the California coast and a woman searching for true connection with them. We have women making their horse dreams come true. And sadly, we had a mare die before her first lesson and a family, both horse and human, in need of healing.
And it is all happening in our Liberty Foundations Online class now. How is it possible to set about changing the lives of faraway horses and the people who love them? The ordinary magic of body language, love, trust and respect combined to bind horse and human together, as we worked together, and in six short weeks dramatic changes have occurred through the gentle application of Liberty Foundations.
Please read, in their own words, what some of my students wrote about their experiences. Read them all. Each is not-to-be-missed, if you love horses. There are more, so stay tuned!
"Time is a funny concept. It seems as though I have waited a lifetime searching for the training method that would resonate with Chico and me. Truth is I have only had Chico for about 4 years, although it feels as if we have been together forever. When Chico and I found each other we were both green and suffering from issues of neglect and abuse. I spent much time just sitting and being with him..He learned he was safe and could trust. When I searched for a way to train him so I could ride and move beyond the paddock I had a difficult time. I wanted a partner with Chico. I wanted a willing yes. I wanted a conversation.
"Each Natural Horsemanship trainer we sought out left Chico rearing and ready to run circles 'till the end of time. I was left feeling like I betrayed my best friend. I was told endless times how this was the way to train a horse...That I was too soft. I just couldn't do it. So I waited and after awhile discovered clicker training. Clicker training was great but I felt I needed something else to help me communicate with him.
"Then I stumbled upon Ruella Yates and Liberty Foundations training. This class is amazing. It is so worth the wait. In such a short period of time I have gained such insight and understanding about Chico and myself. The horse is always honored and given such high regard. I feel for once that I am finally learning how to communicate and join up with Chico. He is learning in a relaxed and clear way. We both are.
"It is so wonderful also to be surrounded by others who are like-minded regarding our interactions with our horses.I no longer stand out like a sore thumb or am exiled because of my refusal to beat my horse into submission. Things finally make perfect sense and resonate with my heart. We are finally where we can move forward with our training. It's been a long time being alone on our journey. Finally we have found an incredible teacher and a beautiful group of equines and humans...This class offers so many blessings and insights and practical know how that I feel it is worth every cent!"
"Learning to combine the energy work with information on herd behaviour and dynamics, has really given my horse and me a new way of interacting.
"The format really works well too. Instead of having to do everything in a couple of days, we can go away, work on it, videotape it and get great feedback. It allows for a lot more fine tuning of techniques and more personal attention. But you still have to do the homework! And in between, listening to the other sessions helps enthuse me to go back and try and try again!"
Suzanne has sent fun videos of herself experimenting with projecting energy that made us all laugh! She says she works in an office, but we all think she's a comedic actress! We have the proof on film! :) And incidentally, her horse Caminos thinks she is the greatest person ever!
Kathy says, "To say the least this course took a different path very quickly at the beginning as my beautiful mare Lizzie who was to be my partner for this course, became very ill and died a month ago.
"This event changed so much and at the same time it revealed even more as I began to look at my other horses, especially Lizzie's children - JR, 7-year-old gelding and Lily, 4-year-old filly. Spending meditation time with these two after their mother's death has been a healing and learning process for all of us. Meditation and Greeting creates a circle of three and we are learning to move with each other.
"For me this has been an introduction to a different kind of grieving process than I have experienced in the human world. When I lost my grandmother who was very close to me my family told me to get over it and move on. Lily and JR are embracing the feelings, missing their mother, supporting each other, and supporting me. Then with my mare Stella, I found I was already walking her down with a small tree branch and didn't realize it....She loves the meditation and greeting time. My time with Ruella and the wonderful women in the class has given me a new way of connecting to my herd as well as a vision of what continuing this work will look like and giving me the confidence to know I can do it. Stella and I are looking forward to it. "
Jacqueline writes, "I rescued a herd of neglected horses a few years back. The herd has grown since that time and we are working on birth control. When they came into my life, I knew nothing about horses except that I loved them from afar.
'Having so many horses and chores has at times been overwhelming, to say the least. Liberty training and Ruella have brought back the joy of just being with a horse without the burden of responsibility. It is fun and relaxing to meditate with them, whether with the group or one at a time.
"In the six weeks of the class so far, I see a gradual shift in the herd as many of the horses are very curious about what is going on. One time when I was meditating with one of the horses in the holding pen, I noticed the rest of the herd was also resting/meditating, all facing the same direction! I have never seen them all do it at once before.
"A yearling from one herd, who was recently gelded, joined the closer herd and was very stressed. At first he did not enjoy meditation as he was nervous about his place with his new herd and wanted to be with them, so I sent him back out. However, now he wants to do meditation with me and is very relaxed. He even asks for it when I am just out filling the water troughs.
"An 8-year-old gelding is the primary horse I am working with this during this class and he really enjoys having special time with me and has caught on to many aspects of Liberty. He especially enjoys walking with me at his side.
"Ruella is an inspiration and I am very grateful to have found this amazing way of being with my horses. It is such a gentle approach of connecting with them and I see great potential for me and my herd to fulfill my vision of them being free while at the same time connecting with the human. Instead of me demanding something of them, they get to choose to be trained in a manner that speaks to them at a deeper and profound level. My bond and love for them grows every time I am out doing Liberty with them. Best of all it is fun!
"Ruella is wonderful in the way she has set up the course so we can learn online from far away. Via webinars, phone calls , Facebook group posts, and videos it is amazing and wonderful that we are learning Liberty at home with our own horses."
"The FB page was also quite helpful. Being able to stay in touch with you and the other gals enrolled in the class and to read about their own personal situations going on with their ponies was educational AND entertaining!"
Here's an example of Deb's fun communications on our Liberty Foundations Online Club page:
So after a chilly but peaceful morning of feeding, poo patrol and fun critter time, I relaxed in my chair for about 30 minutes. After about 10 minutes Cassie came and stood behind my chair for awhile...then beside me. She did nuzzle my leg, my arm, then my cheek. She was not rude about it though... so I did not move my chair away from her. Then off she went in search of more hay. I just love that little girl! =-) Deb
Karen writes, "I am a student in Ruella's Online Liberty Foundations Course beginning in Aug 2014....I was skeptical at first that the foundations could be taught online, but they certainly can! The 'live calls' that we have are invaluable learning opportunities, because each person has different challenges along the way.... We get to talk our way through and offer our opinions with each person....Ruella records them and I have continued to learn from listening to these recordings......Ruella has such a peaceful way of speaking and is always encouraging positive thoughts....Sage and I are learning to have a deeper connection and I know that it will show in our ridden work....
"I have just signed up for the Advanced Course, even though I know that I will only be able to be on 1 of the 4 live calls....I can listen to the recordings and if you aren't able to be on a call 'live', Ruella will schedule a time for a private 'make-up' call between you and her!" (Yes, I really do that! --Ruella)
"Two years ago this Sunday I bought my first horse. I had waited almost 50 years for this dream to come true and within 2 years I had 6 and then down to 5, then 4 and now 5 again!
"Yes I adore them, they are my life, but they are more than that to me, much much more. They are my family, my teachers, my guides, my freedom and I always had in mind how I wanted them to be treated in return for all they give to me and to my family.
"Learning the Native American approach and learning Liberty to dance with my horses was always how it was going to be... but how?
"We had no such trainers I thought, until I got into contact with Stina Herberg (Ruella's colleague in the Independent Liberty Trainers Network) and she referred me to Ruella and in 7 short weeks of an online program with lessons that are not difficult to learn, my already-lovely herd has changed and things are so very different.
"Ruella does not teach training in my opinion; she offers more than that! She teaches horse language and how to speak in their language. It seems simple but only if your heart is already there for the learning. It is where I wanted and needed to be. My herd loved/s me and I them, I knew that, but now my herd respects me as leader without need of malice, aggression or forcefulness, only communicating in their own language. I owe a lot to Ruella and I am not sure she knows this. :) Thank you my new-found friend from my heart and my horse and pony family. xxxx"
Or you can do as the women whose stories you just read and study online! Ruella's Advanced Liberty Foundations Online starts October 7; her next beginning class is on the calendar for January 15. Can't wait until then? Enroll in Susan Smith's beginning Horses at Liberty Foundations Online, starting October 7! Enroll in Ruella's clinic and classes at www.libertyfoundations.com. To be placed on a waiting list for the beginning class in January, email Ruella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Free Horse,
Copyright Ruella Yates, 2014