This is the sort of work I enjoy the most. It is not a show nor a trick: it is a basic stage in the training process, previous to the use of reins and to riding.
With the means of increasingly slight body signals, I direct the horse's movements and control his speed; in this way, he learns how to move in balance without the mechanical interference of tied reins or a taught longeing rope. These exercises develop trust, obedience and relaxation; but also collection, turning and quick responses, among other important aspects which prepare work under saddle.
This sort of training is not an end in itself, but a means to teach the horse movements through subtle and effective stimuli, from the very start.
This video shows how a three-year-old stallion responds to this work.
I used to call this "Liberty Training", but I have changed the title of the video (and the "label" of my work at this time) for now I know that the term is not precise. Carolyn Resnick, to whom, by the way, we owe the phrase, defines it like this:
"Liberty Training is a method of training a horse in a free environment without tack from the ground in a wide open space large enough for a horse to avoid his training if he wants to."
The implications of training horses at liberty are, like the work itself, boundless. There is much truth in Carolyn Resnick's way of being with horses, which is why I am currently studying her method. This is an example of my work with her method:

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Comment by Cyndi on November 27, 2010 at 8:57pm
I appreciate your feedback, Martin. Thank you!

I've heard a lot of great things about the Carolyn Resnick Method.
Comment by Stina Herberg on November 23, 2010 at 8:49pm
great video Martin!
Comment by Martín on November 22, 2010 at 10:19pm
Thank you for your comment, Cyndi. You are right about the style. I did that part of the training inspired in Hempfling's books.
I don't like giving advice just through texts, as I am constantly striving to steer clear off formulas, but here are some thoughts:
I think you are right about your body language, but I don't think you have to worry about small postural details just yet, especially if you don't have qualified guidance. I would focus more on your mare's position and attitude towards you. If she is crowding you, you can teach her to also move away upon your request, and look for -but not expect- the "happy medium" right from the start.
At the time of the video (end of 2008), I used the walls and corners of the "picadero" to help me shape the horses' movements. I have since continued to study thorough training techniques, trying to polish and deepen my communication with horses. Thus, I am now working with the Carolyn Resnick Method, which leads to beautiful work at liberty ( If you are interested in getting to know your horse better and communicating with her in more effective ways, I highly recommend looking into her work.

Hope that was of help.

Comment by Cyndi on November 21, 2010 at 7:38pm
I really enjoyed watching this video! Your movements and style remind me very much of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling.

How do you keep your horse moving around you in such a playful manner? My mare always wants to stop and look at me, or else come to me. I think it's my body language. Should I be "facing" her shoulder with my belly button? Should I be looking at her eye?, or her shoulder?

Even in a large field, she will want to crowd me, and if I wiggle a rope or whip to move her away, she will sidepass rather than move out. If I use a bit too much energy, she will trot away from me. I can't seem to be able to find the happy medium between these two extremes.

I am calm with her and not aggressive. She is smart and very sensitive.

Any thoughts?

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