Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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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