Introduction

Combining freedom and beauty with a spectacular demonstration of the bond between horses and people that can be achieved, liberty performances are inspiring horsemen and horsewomen around the globe. Whether competing, enjoying a scenic trail ride or performing at liberty, liberty training makes everything safer and more rewarding for you and your horse. The foundation training that is essential for a performance liberty horse is no different than what is used to educate horses of any age or reeducate horses with disciplinary problems. Liberty horses are trained to work free of tack, taking cues from the handler to perform specific feats. Liberty is a specialized discipline; no different than reining or dressage, and a solid foundation is the key to success.

Ground Control

Each horse regardless of breed, age and history begins liberty training through ground control. Boosting the confidence of both horse and handler, this stage of education teaches horses to become soft in the halter, supple, desensitized and respectful through a series of easy to follow exercises. Valuable steps for any discipline, the ground control foundation aids in developing understanding and willingness.

Long Reining 

Long reining allows you to start a young horse in the bridle, work through specific problems, overcome training obstacles and develop softness in a safe, controlled manner. An invaluable step in liberty training, long reining is used to introduce advanced maneuvers used in liberty as well as those performed under saddle such as lying down, half pass, passage and piaffe. Improving patience, cadence, flexion, suppleness and developing lightness in the bridle, the transition into the saddle or liberty work is much easier as the horse has a better understanding.  

Liberty

An electrifying liberty horse presentation displays the ultimate relationship between horse and handler, a bond built on trust and respect.  Unrestrained, free from tack, requiring communication between horse and handler on a seemingly magical level, amazing feats are performed like rearing up, sitting, lying down, side passing over one another, running to marks and working in multiple directions and patterns. Utilizing the foundation built with ground control and long reining, the relationship between horse and handler continues to grow in liberty training.

Conclusion     

Starting with ground control and progressing to more advanced liberty techniques explained in this presentation, the pathway to liberty is clear and easy to follow. Building a solid foundation of trust, understanding and respect, a more productive and harmonious relationship between horse and handler is achieved.