How to keep the attention of your horse during liberty training


February 25, 2021


Do you know those moments when your horse finds everything more interesting than you?

And isn’t really on the ball at all?

When riding, your horse should stay with you if possible.

Otherwise, if you separate, it will have unpleasant consequences for you ? .

But also in ground work and liberty dressage it is important – and much nicer – if your horse is mentally pulling the same rope with you.

First we start with a status analysis: Why is your horse not paying attention?

Of course, depending on the horse and the situation, there are different reasons why your horse is not paying attention to you.

And before you can do anything about it, you should try, if possible, to find out why your horse is not paying attention.

Attention span: The concentration

Horses – much like young children in school – tend to have a short attention span by nature.

This is why breaks in horse training are so important, so that your horse can really absorb what it has learned and “gather strength” for the next phase of concentration.

For example, if your horse is still very young or has hardly been trained, the time in which it can concentrate is relatively short.

In this case it makes sense to build up the training accordingly: With short and precise units, in which you clearly work on certain exercises – and extensive breaks in between.

You don’t have to train your horse for an hour right at the beginning of your training like in a classical riding lesson – often shorter units are much more effective. And also the ability to concentrate wants to be trained little by little. By the way, it’s the same with frustration tolerance.

Learning to deal with frustration…

It describes, so to speak, the degree of frustration that a living being can endure in a more or less relaxed manner without becoming aggressive or withdrawing into itself.

It is the ability to endure frustrating experiences over a longer period of time – for example, the feeling of not knowing what a human wants from you, of standing still or of not getting a treat.

And also this ability wants to be increased slowly at the beginning and especially with young horses! Therefore, it is advisable to build up the training steadily – and also to gradually increase the demands on your horse.

More dynamic training

However, if you want to get your horse to be more attentive, you must first start to be attentive yourself during your training.

Only by noticing when your horse’s attention wanders can you react and rekindle his interest.

If instead you are constantly distracted by something or you are even talking on the side and are only with one eye on your horse, it is actually completely understandable that he is also not completely with you.

In addition, of course, the training must be as simple exciting and varied for your horse.

Some horses appreciate routines and sequences that are repeated over and over, but many horses get bored with the same routines and lessons over and over. So if your horse tends to become inattentive, surprise him with a new lesson or something else he’s not expecting.

You yourself should also “ramp up” your own energy if you want a more dynamic horse.

It’s true that your horse is your mirror, so your horse will never jump beside you full of energy and motivation if you shuffle around the arena listlessly with your shoulders slumped.

For example, while working on the ground, I sometimes let my horses circle around me and then abruptly run off in one direction – this causes a real burst of energy in my horses!

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However, make sure that your horse does not become distant and that you have enough distance to his hooves, because this power must also be tamed somehow ?.

Nevertheless, always remember that dynamics and calmness should be balanced in training and that we don’t necessarily want more action at the beginning, but rather a more concentrated horse.

With a clear body language and a varied training structure, in which you pay attention to the signals of your horse, you are already on the right track!

With this in mind, I wish you a lot of fun trying things out and playing with your body energy! Just becoming aware of it will make a huge difference!

All the love

Your Kenzie

Circensic Seminar by Kenzie Dysli

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