Video Review: Liberty II Training with Allen Pogue

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I bought this DVD off of Amazon after hearing many wonderful things about the trainer Allen Pogue. I have seen a few of his other dvd's and his style is patient and gentle. I really wanted to purchase Liberty 1 but it was out of stock. Liberty I starts with one horse at liberty and teaching the different verbal cues and basic movements. This video continues further to training 2 to 5 horses at liberty. I bought this video so that I could implement some of the exercises with Douwe and Rovandio. They live together and I have been working them together a lot this winter season. What I love about this video is that Allen shows the audience a full training session and he doesn't cut out the parts where he and the horses make mistakes. He has a great sense of humor and understands that all horses have their own personality and that, as a good trainer, you should try to incorporate each horse's individuality into the routines.

He started out with a pair of the horses in the roundpen. They were joined together by a short rope with quick release snaps on both sides. This is how he teaches the horses to pair up together. The pairs must always be consistent with the same horse on the left and the same on the right during each session. He then progressed through a variety of movements like the turn, waltz and change. He worked with younger horses, showing how their personalities can affect the group dynamic. He uses the more experienced horses to help teach the younger ones as well, pairing them up together.

Allen said that most circus trainers will use assistants to lead the horses through the routines and teach them the movements/cues. He is usually working by himself so he shows the audience his own adaptations, using lunge lines/ropes to help guide the horses. It would certainly take a lot of practice and training to attempt most of these maneuvers but it is fun to see a "behind the scenes" look at liberty and circus training.

To learn more about Allen and to purchase his dvd's please visit his website: