Best way to build a relationship with new horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-10-2013, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Zealand
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Best way to build a relationship with new horse?

Hi all
My new horse arrived about 2 weeks ago and yesterday was the first time I rode him. I have been taking things slowly with him, letting him settle in etc and don't want to rush him or dent my confidence.
It was quite a short ride and went pretty well although he was a little nervous about leaving his new friends. I am really keen to establish a good bond on the ground as a previous trial situation with another horse the same age as Zander (6 years old) did not go well and I got dumped twice quite badly in the two weeks I had him. Their personalities could not be more different but I am still aware that he is a young horse and so want to establish some trust with him first.
Can anyone recommend some things I can do with him on the ground, I am going to a natural horsemanship course level 1 in january that my trimmer is taking but would like to be riding before then!
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-10-2013, 04:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Australia
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Ground work, grooming, patience youll get there :)
Do things to spark hes curiosity games exercises etc

Theres a thread on here in which i asked the same thing and people gave mnay very helpful exercises should be able to find it wasnt long ago, might be helpful :)

Congrats on the new family member :)

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post #3 of 4 Old 12-10-2013, 06:47 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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The only way to build a relationship, bond or trust is spending time and treating the other fairly. It's the same in everyday life and dealing with horses.

With that said, dealing with the horse is not only about building a relationship or bond. Horses look for a leader. Not a relationship or bond. As a leader, you set the rules, the consequences, and you look after them for safety. If you are nervous, as it sounds like you were, the horse can sense it and becomes nervous too.

Any ground work that you can do that gets them moving for you, sets up you as the leader. Lunging with changing directions often, yielding front and rear end, backing up, and side passing.

Things to help him gain confidence with you are working him with obstacles. Get him in a relaxed state instead of a tensed state. Have him go over poles on the ground, lay a tarp on the ground for him to go over, set up barrels for him to go through, back him up and down inclines like a ditch, anything that he's not used to. If you remain calm and get him to relax and go calmly through it, he will be more confident in you and himself. Desensitizing falls under this too.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-11-2013, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Zealand
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Great, thanks for the tips! I really want this to go well for both of us and I guess my nerves did show through the other day when I rode him. I will start on groundwork with those suggestions and see how we go.
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