The trail followed the creekbed then crossed it, curving like a snake up the side of the canyon. My horse stopped to drink in the creek, then scaled the rocky side of the canyon and the switchbacks, a steep drop on one side, a canyon wall on the other.
There is a spectrum from 0 – 100+ or maybe more in terms of engagement and levels of interaction for horse and human.
Everyone who has taken on a rescue horse, or a horse from families who have passed them on, or a horse they have purchased, but then found the horse really is a rescue – experience the great unknown.
Like most things in life, when I learn about them, chances are somebody has already thought of it, researched, packaged and marketed it and knows way more about it than I do.
Liberty work takes on a life of its own. Even when I know the horses involved, they do not always do what I expect.
One thing that new liberty students may find troubling is their horse moving in and out of connection. In the beginning, when the student first gets a connection on the ground, real movement together, it’s very exciting. It feels wonderful. Then the horse decides to break connection and go visit with someone else or another horse. The student looks over at me, crestfallen, as if to say, what do I do now?
Horses generally love an open gate. An open gate even if it’s one they’ve been through before, signifies something different, something to be curious about. Going places. Perhaps the grass tastes different there, or there will be an adventure.
When there is trouble in the herd – one horse picking on another, or a horse or horses continually picked on by the others, the Liberty Foundations can help.
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to talk about what we think of “love” between ourselves and our horses. We don’t really need studies to tell us what we feel about our horses and probably we have a good sense of how our horses feel about us. So much of what we feel would be considered “anecdotal evidence,” yet it is powerful and real. But there have been pilot studies done on the relationships between people and their horses, with some surprising, validating results.
These days we are inundated with information on how to manage our performance horse, geriatric horse, and what ever, usually from the companies that sell supplements. If there is a problem with your horse, there is probably a supplement designed for it.