In my upcoming clinic in Greenville, New York, I will be focusing on helping people learn Natural Response Training. It is a way for you to make training effortless and fun for you and your horse. It involves learning how to use your Body Language and your Touch in a way that causes a horse to understand precisely what your request is even for more complicated movements and exercises.
I find most often people rely heavily on tools/reeds and equipment to do the talking for them. The horse then learns to listen to the tool or tack and not to you. When we start the conversation at Liberty (or with Liberty Principles on line), The Body Language and Touch Training communication carries through the work on the Ground, In hand (and on line), then to Mounted.
What I have learned from working with so many different horses and people is that there is no need for training if you are aware of what and how you are communicating. The horse just understands the request. If you are in your body and aware of your energy, movements and feel, you can become an exceptional communicator. As always, training involves first Listening and then Responding. Fitness for various disciplines is different than training.
Energetic inflection is the first step. What are you saying with your energy and Intention? Body Language is next. Are you precise and deliberate in your body movements. Next is Energy mastery. Are you able to move your energy up and down like a horse can. Can you bring energy up in a grounded way and all the way back down. Finally, and very importantly, do you know how to communicate to your horse how to use his body in a healthy way and with his full energy spectrum in a grounded way.
A mistake I see frequently is people focused on relaxing their horse too much. Especially, if the horse tends to be difficult or high strung. The horse then learns not to express energy because it’s being asked to relax constantly. The result is low energy, low impulsion and expression in the horse. The horse then needs to be re-balanced to get in touch with his expression again.
It is important to work with the horses’ natural energy and learn to communicate, shape and explore the full spectrum of energy. It is also important you and your horse learn to be comfortable with all each others energy levels.
Hopefully, some of you will be able to join me at the next clinic in NY on July 27th where we will explore this concept of Natural Response Training further at Liberty, on the Ground and Mounted. Click here to get more info and register here. I’ll be in Australia and NZ coming up in November for clinics. See upcoming events for info and registration. Photos courtesy of Natalie Bourchier photography