I want to address a problem that people are having sending a horse away from them at liberty. Many people have expressed concern that driving a horse away from them will hurt the trust and bond. I can understand this point of view because of the struggle it might take in their mind to teach a horse to leave you when he does not want to go.

But it is a very simple fix and I am surprised that someone who is having this problem has not figured it out. First, I want to say that for a horse not to leave you when you ask him to is a big problem if you are planning to use my Method because it requires the ability to move a horse quickly or slowly and at any speed you ask, going away or returning.

If horses are left to their own nature, they will usually not be difficult to move away from you if you ask them to. This lack of ability a horse has to want to leave you is a learned behavior. It is generally caused by desensitizing the horse to movements around their personal space and this creates a horse that will not respond to your body language and your intent. The horse becomes completely non-observant.

I want to point out why some people are looking for a method to solve their problems rather than figuring it out for themselves. They are focused on training methods for their answers rather than looking for a creative solution. I want to build in my readers a leadership that has creativity, planning, and humanity.

I really valued Kate from the NW’s comment to my blog entry A Lesson on How to Create a Better Connection with a Horse. I thought it showed very creative problem solving that allows her to be a leader to her horse and move the relationship forward. It is an example of creativity, planning and humanity in her ability to be a leader by reading the information on my blog and applying it to her situation.

I want to show you how to empower your leadership and problem solving skills. The first thing that is important about a method for training a horse is not the “how to” part. What is important is to look closely at the method to understand what the horse needs to learn from it. Then it is up to you to develop a plan that suits your horse and your philosophy. Coming at methods from this point of view makes for an easy solution. Of course, the thing to remember when training a horse is one must have some experience with horses to train them. There is a simple test to see if you qualify to have the skill necessary to train a horse.

Can you keep a good horse good and not take the good training out of him? If you can do that you qualify because every time you interact with a horse you are essentially training him even if you had no interest in the matter. Every time we connect with a horse, we influence his attitude and behavior for the next time he gets used.

This is why when someone buys a horse the horse can get better or worse. Because horses are prey animals, they spend their lives adjusting and making changes in how to respond to their environment, each other, and to you.

When a horse cannot be made to leave your company, this is an artificially learned behavior. Wild horses that bond with people do not have any problems responding to being moved away and coming back, because their nature has not been erased out of them through training in a way that would wash away the instinct to bond and fit in with herd dynamics and taking directions.

We must be careful in seeing the consequences of the training we put into horses and the problems we can cause training certain behaviors, like bomb proofing or stick with me. Most of the problems we create come from how we go about domesticating horses and how we go about training. Many people have no problem at all getting a horse to run away from them in fear but then the horse has no interest in coming back. Others cannot get their horses to move at all no matter how much they work at it, because they have spent too much time and energy on bomb proofing, or bonding with treats or whatever other interactions that have built the behavior.

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Comment by Jackie Cochran on November 19, 2010 at 1:18pm
I never had much problems getting my horses to move away--once I explained to them what I wanted. I never fed treats, it is just that my horses often did not want to waste energy moving away!

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