I’d like to talk to you about the rules that horses have with each other. This is extremely important to grasp not just because for me, it is the foundation of what I do, but because it is the foundation for all horse interactions.
Horses in the wild follow an unwritten code. A would-be leader needs to follow the code of the herd to win their loyalty and apply the code to win the position of leadership.
The code looks something like this:
If I pay attention and accept your authority and leadership, you have no right to pick on me
If you ask me to do something that is for my own good, I am happy to follow your leadership
If I do not pay attention, I will lose my rank
If you are a tough guy, we can see who is dominant right now
If I cannot find a leader to follow, it is my job to lead
All horses know and respond to these rules. Horses can sense when their behavior is inappropriate from lessons they learned growing up with their mothers and lessons they learned from older horses in the family unit. The most important rule in the horse’s code is to pay attention. One way a horse can gain rank over another horse without a direct battle is to catch his opponent off guard.
My focus today for training horses is designed to be fun and entertaining for the horse. I believe there is a bond that exists naturally between horses and humans too. The root of this bond lies in a universal language that is shared by all living things, a universal language that creates the natural teamwork I mentioned above. My methods of training rely on this bond, a bond of friendship first. This has been the cornerstone of all my work with horses and forms the foundation of my Liberty Training Method.