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Posts Tagged ‘liberty horses’

fandtemp

When you truly love someone, it isn’t just about holding on. It is also about letting go. This Valentine’s Day remember those who are no longer part of your life, as well as those who now fill it. Be thankful for the time you’ve had with every human, horse, dog, cat, or other being that was special to you in some way.

In BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER: YOU AND YOUR HORSE, Frédéric Pignon and Magali Delgado, the original stars of Cavalia, focus on the evolution of the relationship you can have with your horse. As thrilling as the beginning can be, there is still, most always, an eventual end. For Pignon, his most heartbreaking loss was that of his beloved Templado, the gorgeous and rebellious stallion who many around the world witnessed as the soul of the original Cavalia show, his white mane so long it touched the ground, his eyes never leaving his human partner as his hooves danced across the stage.

Here is the letter Pignon wrote to Templado in BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER…a love letter that said goodbye:

It was the evening we got back from Spain after two months of Cavalia shows. As always, you were waiting for us and I spent an hour with you, telling you how great it was that you were still holding on even though your health had been deteriorating steadily for some time. But on that evening, you did not appear to be too bad and you were clearly glad to see us. I felt anxious despite your good humor so I followed my instincts as always and went back after dinner to spend more time with you. Next morning I gave you a good wash down; I don’t know why but I felt you had to be clean. You let me do it with patience even though you had long since gotten bored with showers. I called Magali to come and see how long your mane was now: it touched the ground. I let you out into the back yard to graze and then visit your friends whom you enjoyed irritating a little. It made me smile, but underneath I knew…. The sun was climbing into the sky: it was going to be a hot July day. At midday a friend came to see me. It was as if I were waiting for a bus: was it coming or not? Doubtless he could feel my anxiety.

Sipping coffee in the house I had one eye on you as you grazed in the garden. Suddenly, you lay down. I knew the bus had come. I ran outside to get you up: it was not good for you to be lying down in that merciless sun. You obliged and followed me to your stall where you lay down again. A sense of panic continued to rise in my throat. I knew the moment I dreaded had now arrived. I admit that for a second or two I wished I were miles away but your calm restored my reason and I knew you needed me to be there. We had to live this moment together: you to leave, and me to accept your going.

I came near you. I felt your warmth as you began to breathe deeply. I laid my hand on your head as a mother would on her child’s. You were perspiring and growing frailer by the minute. You tried to get up a few times perhaps to look out at the meadow where we had run and played together so often. You seemed to accept that it was time to leave and that there would be no returning. At the end you looked like a foal who had just been born and I was trying to tell myself that this was but life’s cycle: the coming and the going. Your strength was failing. You made a little movement of your head and then you lay still.

I understood at a profound level that life goes on: this last page had turned and the great book of your life had shut. I felt that nothing would be the same again for me. We had drunk the nectar of life from the same cup. You taught me so much and now being with you at your death the experience had helped me to understand life at its most intense.

Templado, I feel your energy around me; it radiates from the walls, the ground, and the longeing ring where we lived so many intimate moments together. I think of how sometimes a little white butterfly would circle about our heads. Chiefly, I think of you, my beautiful white horse, I picture your mane flying in the wind, and I smile….

 

We are all so lucky to have horses in our lives. Today, hug your horse, thank him for being there for you–a constant friend, companion, and inspiration.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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JonathanHere

True liberty with horses, says Jonathan Field, is much more than simply removing equipment and stepping outside the pen or arena: It is moving with your horse, communicating only with intention, and creating a seamless, smooth, and rhythmic dance.

“When you do liberty right, you become one with the herd,” he writes in his brand new book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES. “And not only do you develop an amazing connection with your horse, but it’s one of the most fun things you will ever do.”

In THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES, Jonathan provides a series of step-by-step exercises to move progressively from training your horse on line (with halter and lead), to loose lessons in the round pen, to playing together in wide, open spaces and (tempting!) grassy fields. Over 350 gorgeous color photographs taken on his breathtaking ranch in British Columbia illustrate his methods, ensuring that readers can see his concepts in action and apply them at home with their own horses.

Here Jonathan explains the relevance of his Connected Shaping Circle Exercise from THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES:

The Connected Shaping Circle combines elements of all the previous exercises—Path, Speed, Bend, and Balance, as well as active neutral—and will really tell you if your body language, or intent, is working. This is a challenging exercise because you will be giving aids to multiple body parts at once.

You must have a balance of drive and draw to get the Connected Shaping Circle to work correctly. It carries with it the delicate balance of asking a horse to leave on a circle, but not leave mentally; to move away, but not leave you. If you give aids correctly, your horse will connect with you while traveling on a circle with a bend in his body that matches the curve of the circle. He will also be feeling back for you and the rope will be slack as if you were at liberty.

At this stage, there is another concept you need to understand: I call it “press to connect.”

Photo by Robin Duncan

Photo by Robin Duncan

Imagine having an amazing conversation with an old friend over coffee. You are so excited to catch up with each other that your drinks grow cold as they sit untouched. Neither of you care, you are so caught up in chat.

What would your body language be like with your friend? Likely, you would both lean in toward each other, making the conversation easier and more intimate.

The Connected Shaping Circle is that conversation with your horse. There is a reciprocal “feel” between two individuals: a leaning in that’s not seen as pressure. I call this “press to connect.”

 

Learn how to do the Connected Shaping Circle—and other progressive exercises—in Jonathan Field’s new THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES, available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan's work with George in 2013

Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan’s work with George in Florida in 2013.

Canadian horseman Jonathan Field is recognized all over North America, and the world, for his engaging ability to explain and articulate his knowledge of horses and relate to his audiences. Like other trainers, he has a herd of horses he performs with live to sold out crowds, but what is wonderful about Jonathan is that most of his main demonstration and liberty horses are “cast away problem horses” that he has taken on, retrained, and grown with so that together they could become “stars” of the horse world.

After first traveling to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the 2012 Road to the Horse Colt-Starting Competition, Jonathan is now making a return trip south from his ranch in British Columbia to the 2014 competition in Lexington, Kentucky.

“It’s such an honor to be going back to Road to the Horse to represent my country while sharing my knowledge on starting young horses,” says Jonathan. “Traveling to Kentucky for a second Road to the Horse experience is exciting because I have much better idea about the event, how it is judged, and how to approach the competition in terms of strategy—however, having said all that, we must always remember that in the end it’s all about doing right by our young horses and their future. The horses that we are lucky to get to work with at Road to the Horse are the ones that ultimately determine how each of us go about our work over the weekend and how far we get.”

 

Watch this short video to hear Jonathan share a little bit of his story:

 

We at TSB wish Jonathan the best of luck the weekend of March 13-16, 2014, and we hope he, and the other competitors in the international field of horse trainers, can help demonstrate how we can all achieve a safe, educated, engaged start with young stock that can, “down the road,” lead to the ultimate connection with any horse.

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

Jonathan Field’s forthcoming book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES is available for preorder from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

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Frederic Pignon and Linda Tellington-Jones apply TTouches to one of Frederic's horses.

Frederic Pignon and Linda Tellington-Jones apply TTouches to one of Frederic’s horses.

Liberty trainer Frederic Pignon and his wife, dressage rider Magali Delgado, authors of the bestselling book GALLOP TO FREEDOM, are sparkling examples of how, as human beings, we can still come to know and understand our horses in a way that allows us to “dance” together without one dance partner becoming diminished in any way. Frederic and Magali are naturally gifted horsemen who have honed their abilities to keenly read their horses and so train them to accomplish great things and perform wondrous acts—all through the act of “play” rather than through the use of pressure.

One technique that Frederic and Magali have come to use in all their dressage and liberty work is the Tellington TTouch—the form of bodywork developed by word-renowned animal behaviorist and horse trainer Linda Tellington-Jones.

“Linda is one of the finest horsewomen we’ve ever met,” say Frederic and Magali. “It’s not often you meet someone like her. A lot of people want to help horses, but Linda has an ability to instinctively read horses, understand them, and determine what they want and need, and teach others to do what she does. Using her TTouches for a few minutes before you begin work with your horse establishes a fundamental connection at the start of your training session. It’s not only spending time, it’s spending good time.

“Most everything we do with our dressage and liberty horses now includes TTouch. We use it every time we have a little problem, if our horses are tense or seem tired. And even when there isn’t a problem, it helps us establish a deep connection with our horses. It is a part of all our work.”

Magali Delgado and Linda perform TTouches on one of Magali's horses.

Magali Delgado and Linda perform TTouches on one of Magali’s horses.

Frederic and Magali are featured in Linda’s new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL—due out February 1, 2013. Alongside Linda they explore how the idea of “play” can be used in formal dressage training and be an integral part of the development of top performance horses who are sound of mind, healthy in body, and enjoying the sport you pursue together, every step of the way.

Dressage w MBSYou can preorder DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL at the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

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