Prince Elmelund is encouraged and coached to do all side movements at liberty.
He was able and willing to do shoulder-in and haunches-in without reins for a while and since last week he offers to do the half-pass and almost half a pirouette in walk without reins too.
Side movements at liberty increase his self-motivation and improve his self-carriage.
He still has to concentrate well, but he is progressing every day:
Haunches-in in trot
Like the circle we can perform shoulder-in and haunches-in when riding, in hand, on long reins and also at liberty.
Shoulder-in is the exercise where the inside hind leg is stepping under the center of gravity.
In haunches-in the horse has learned to step with the outside hind leg under the center of gravity.
At liberty in walk:
At liberty in trot:
What we strive for on the circle at liberty – like in longeing – is the so-called LFS:
1. Lateral bending of the body
2. Forward-down tendency of head and neck
3. Stepping under with the inside hind leg under the center of gravity.
So the L is for Lateral bending, the F stands for Forward-down and the S for Stepping
When the LFS is correct, a horse will move in a balanced way at liberty.
Straightness training is also important at liberty, because also at liberty a horse has to ‘turn’ on a circle finding his balance on the inside hind leg and he should not ‘fall’ on the inside shoulder.
In the video Prince Elmelund is moving with correct lateral bending, which makes it release his back muscles. Also, he brings forward his inside hip so that the inside hind leg can step under the center of gravity and can move in a balanced way.
You might be able to do a wonderful piaffe with your horse and a bridle, but is he able to do it without?
Does he WANT to do the piaffe rather then to be MADE to perform this exercise?
Does he have not only a balanced body but also a balanced mind?
And do you have a balanced relationship, so that he stays with you during the exersise or does he leave you?
Check out ‘the truth’ by doing straightness training at liberty!
You will find out if he trusts you, if he respects you, if he likes to work with you and if he WANTS to do what you want! Because at liberty you can’t control your horse physically and you can’t MAKE him do something and you can’t MAKE him to behave.