Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesdays with Tex: Liberty Work

During the long, wet winter Tex and I didn't do much in terms of structured training.  We did spend a lot of time hanging out together over the fence, had a few grooming sessions, and maybe one ride.

He's been doing great.  All the storms were actually beneficial as there was a lot of catching, haltering, and leading back and forth between the barn and pasture.  There was one day recently when he was very worried about things, and stepped back when I approached.  But, he didn't leave and he didn't flinch when I touched him.  Most of the time, he comes to greet me and one day he even nickered when he saw me standing at the fence.
Remember a year ago when I was thinking about doing liberty work with him?  I still work on it a little bit with him; more to develop relationship than to do tricks.  Last March or April, I sent an email to Robin Gates, a renowned liberty clinician.  I didn't hear back, and figured she was no longer giving clinics.  I forgot all about it, to be honest.

Last week she sent me an email.  She was very seriously injured a few years ago and is only now starting to get back to work.  We had a long conversation about horses, and trauma, and connection.  She said she would be happy to work with me and Tex.  Can you imagine doing stuff like this?  The connection?  The fun?

In late May, Brett will trailer Tex and I to her Sonoma ranch for an intensive three or four day clinic.  I am so excited.  So. Excited. She said Brett can watch, and take pictures, so I can share it all with you.


  1. That will be WONDERFUL!!! My trainer, Rebecca, does a little of that work with us in our clinics. She really feels that your horse needs to want to be with you every step of the way and that your aids shouldn't be necessary. Last clinic, my granddaughter (who LOVES the liberty work) took Penny through the entire SCARY course all %100 hands free. Sophie was beaming with love and pride in Penny. At liberty is the pinnacle of the horse-human relationship, in my opinion. And it really tests if your horse is actually with you.

    I was wondering, have you ever ponied Tex from another horse? If he has a good buddy that you can trust to pony him from--it might be a fun thing to do to get him happy about being ridden again.

  2. Tex is actually very good on the trail and he has been gold each time that I ride him. The last time I rode him, he was able to relax and enjoy himself. I think his years as a performance rodeo horse took the joy away from him. He worries about doing things wrong and getting in trouble. Initially, I wanted to do liberty work because I didn't think he was safe to ride. Since then, we've progressed and I feel that he is safe to ride but he needs to continue learning about trust. I see liberty work as the ultimate in trust and relationship. I think that with time, (lots of time), I could ride him bareback with no halter or bridle.

  3. Oh my goodness- this sounds fabulous! I wish I could join you!

  4. An American in TokyoMarch 15, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Yay!! Sounds wonderful!!
    I can't wait to see your photos and hear how it went!!

  5. I'd be excited too! Can't wait to see how it goes.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.