horse liberty

I saw Jester (one of her pasture pals) riding in the field and I pointed him out to Ava, her reaction was priceless

We drink a cup of tea, but we do not know we are drinking a cup of tea. We sit with the person we love, but we don’t know that she is there. We walk, but we are not really walking. We are someplace else, thinking about the past or the future. The horse of our habit energy is carrying us along, and we are its captive. We need to stop our horse and reclaim our liberty. We need to shine the light of mindfulness on everything we do, so the darkness of forgetfulness will disappear.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh gems


Update on the Easiest Horse To Train Ever™, the purely R+ Xen. His training has been sporadic in the last year or so, since I’ve had a slew of other commitments. He’s had most of the fall/winter off, so this was just a fun day running through a bunch of liberty work.
We start strengthening and in hand work this week in preparation for riding, I think. You can see the beginnings of it in the last 4 gifs.

He’s a little uneven behind but the strengthening work should fix that, and he’s so close coupled he likely won’t need much, so it’s very likely I’ll be on his back again in March. I’m excited to start real under saddle work with him!

Guaranteed Obedience, Learned Helplessness & the Power of Aversive Motivators

Practically all of horsblr should know my stance on the fear based training techniques promoted by Clinton Anderson by now.  I try to dedicate at least some time each week to answering questions related to ethical training practices and methods of training.  I try to make it a mission of mine to give the average horse enthusiast at least some sort “learning theory” education in the hopes of slowly helping people make a transition from purely traditional training to a style based more on rewards, even if its just a little bit at a time.  I too am still learning and growing.

I usually try to be decently optimistic about the current trends in the industry.   Clicker training is a growing phenomenon, big name clinicians have expressed interest in the clicker, and many folks are discussing the 4 quadrants and their place in the training regime.  Clicker training is taking social media by storm and I’ve seen more of the “big” instagram accounts begin to openly advertise their clicker based methods or clicker trained behaviors, thereby lessening the stigma against the practice…

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