The weather really is horrendous right now so I’m just taking my time with these lessons for my liberty challenge.
I have owned Bo for around 8 years now and I know him pretty well so I have decided to sort of do bits and bobs of lessons 1-3 together. I think if I had a new horse, I would do it more separate, but right now it works well to sort of work on the three together.
Lesson 1 is observing your horse. I have observed Bo in the stable and in the field. He usually quite likes to come over and have a chat. He is also the boss of the field so it’s always interesting to watch him move the other horses from his space.
Lesson 2 is allowing your horse to touch you first. Bo does every time I offer which is great. The fact that he is very keen to do means he is comfortable in my presence. A nice situation related to this was when we had the dentist out. The dentists partner was leaning on Bo’s door filling in a bit of paperwork and I was observing Bo from Charly’s stable. His eyes were wide and I could see he was worried about this man at his door. I went over and stood next to the man and Bo came right over to me and sniffed my hand. That seemed to boost his confidence and soon enough he was wiping his dirty nose all over the paper. It’s amazing how much more confident he felt with me there saying ‘look I’m next to him and nothing happened’.
Lesson 3 is about touching and listening. Basically my question was: “is Bo happy with me touching him everywhere?” and the answer was yes. I did anticipate this as I’ve done this kind of thing before and we are comfortable around each other but it was nice to check in.
Overall, while these lessons were extremely simple, I have found the main benefit to be that it slows me down. I am a teacher and so naturally I have a lot to do, I go from task to task and some days I come home and realise that I barely actually looked at Bo. I’ve definitely become more aware of that now and I am enjoying spending those little moments with Bo.
We are now moving on to lesson 4 and 5 which I am keen to get started on! I’m hoping the weather will improve a bit for these ones! (It literally rains all day every day in Scotland).
Do you work with your horse at liberty? Let me know.