How do I help build a trusting Relationship between horse and rider. . - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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How do I help build a trusting Relationship between horse and rider. .

My Boyfriend, Garrett and I are very different when it comes to horses. I love them and ride constantly. Garrett on the other hand is intimidated by them. When we first met I was in the middle of a busy semester and wasnt riding often. He figured horses were a hobby I had out grown and didnt take my horse experience or love for them seriously and was trying to convenience me to sell them. like that would ever happen.

Anyway during our winter break, he would sometimes drop me off at the barn, then it turned in to him staying and watching me ride. Then one day to my surprise he went out to the field to catch them with me.
He seemed more comfortable with Hannah my two and half year old QH filly so I taught him how to halter and lead her, now he comes out with me every week and will groom her and lead her around while I ride Grady.

Well two weeks ago while we were out with the horses I caught he "snuggling" her and started teasing him about it, he laughed along with me but then held her face and said Nah I like her, she should be my horse. And told me that he want to learn to ride her, but that he's still nervous just being on the ground with her.
So this week I taught him how to lung her and he did GREAT!

I have given lots of riding lessons but I've never worked with anyone who has a fear of horses, so I am a little lost on where to go from here so my question is, is there any good trust building exercises that can help him feel more comfortable around her.

Don't breed, buy. Don't buy, adopt.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 07:16 PM
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He doesn't sound like he has a "fear" of horses, more like he is just inexperienced or uncomfortable around an animal so large and unpredictable. Which is actually good I think, because you don't have to get over "fear".

I'd do a lot of ground work doing things you know your horse will be fine with. Tell him what the horse will do, like if you are lunging tell him if you say "halt" she halts, so he can get used to the idea that he can accurately predict the horses behaviour which will give him a somewhat illusion of control. Control makes everyone feel safe.

Then move onto saddling, rugging, picking out feet, and eventually riding, and maybe just do it for 5 minutes the first time, literally get him on and get him off even. Then go longer and longer, but just make sure your horse is good with everything you tell him to do. So when it comes to mounting ensure she will stand stock still, ensure the saddle won't slip etc.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Thanks! And yea discomfort is a better word then fear. I have an obstacle course which I use for ground work, like lunging over poles and jumps, water and large steps. That might give him a chance to have fun with her, and for her to do more then just move around him.

Do you think I should lung her with him on her I usually do this with my younger riders to improver their balance. But I think will also be good for him so he gets comfortable with her movement and knows what to expect ie. Speed, and smoothness?

Don't breed, buy. Don't buy, adopt.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 08:22 PM
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Thanks! And yea discomfort is a better word then fear. I have an obstacle course which I use for ground work, like lunging over poles and jumps, water and large steps. That might give him a chance to have fun with her, and for her to do more then just move around him.

Do you think I should lung her with him on her I usually do this with my younger riders to improver their balance. But I think will also be good for him so he gets comfortable with her movement and knows what to expect ie. Speed, and smoothness?
I wouldn't move to speed until he can balance himself. I usually give my friends pony rides at a walk and then let them loose to walk. Then when they're ready, we trot on the lunge but that's a long ways away.

But some don't even want to trot, they just want to be on my horse bareback :)

You can start him but I would try to find him a trainer if he wants to pursue it some more and then you can help him practice.

Either way, lucky you for having a boyfriend who has an interest in horses!!!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 08:28 PM
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yeah definitely stay on the lunge at walk for a bit, nothing worse than moving ahead before your'e ready. Sounds like he's doing good though!
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Yea I was thinking about that I give lessons about 20 hours a week but I have a feeling If I tried giving him lessons he may respond to me the way kids respond to when a parent tries to teach them something... I think Ill start him slow though like you said and I ride bareback all the time maybe Ill ask him if he wants to sit on her while I lead her around...
And thanks I am excited because he was exhausting me with his whole sell your horses bit BLAH!! Hahah glad where past that!!
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 09:41 PM
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and thanks I am excited because he was exhausting me with his whole sell your horses bit BLAH!! Hahah glad where past that!!
Yeah that wouldn't sit well with me :P I can't wait to hear of his (and your) progress!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 09:42 PM
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I don't get why so many guys are intimidated by horses.

Being a horseman and a rider is about one of the manliest things on earth.
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Thanks I will =)
An O yea

Don't breed, buy. Don't buy, adopt.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 09:48 PM
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an O yea
And if proof is needed, I leave this here for your BF


Last edited by mildot; 02-15-2012 at 09:53 PM.
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