Maintaining a performance horse naturally

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.

Sharif paying attention to work done on his neck.  [Catherine Sobredo Photography]
Sharif paying attention to work done on his neck.
[Catherine Sobredo Photography]
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Degrees of working connection in equine liberty training

When people say they have a good “bond” with their horse, it can mean a lot of different things. I have talked in the past about the difference between an emotional bond and a working bond. What we work on developing in liberty training is the working bond. But the degrees of bond or connection people have with their horses when they come to liberty work can be varied. Here are some possibilities, including some not-so-good bonds:

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Spring Santa Fe Clinic builds the working bond with horses

Each liberty clinic forms a community. Some of the six attendees at the March 30th clinic held in Santa Fe at Arrowhead Ranch knew something about the Waterhole Rituals by Carolyn Resnick before coming, and some did not know them at all. We started out getting a feeling for the Rituals with a short video. In the arena, we worked at first with each other, which helps to ground everyone and helps them get the rhythm of motion with a horse. Later we would see how to adjust energy to each individual horse’s needs.

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I thought I had a good bond with my horse…

I hear this phrase from a lot of people. It’s startling and disappointing for people who have gotten a horse that they think likes them and then they find out the horse doesn’t want to do what he or she is asked. In some cases, the horse has “chosen” them in some way, and they feel a special bond with the horse right from the beginning. Why isn’t that bond carrying them through? Why aren’t they riding that horse through magical landscapes with the sun setting golden in the west?

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