01-10-2013, 10:43 AM
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It may sound weird, but with my four year old mare and I, grooming and bonding are two totally seperate things.
My mare is not 'normal.' She has extremely sensative skin (to the point where I have to use padded leather) and her personality calls for very little touching 'just to touch' because it actually annoys her. She's learned to put up with it, but she's really just not a touchy feely animal and quickly begins making icky faces at me when I'm brushing her. She doesn't care if I mess with her mane, but I'd better not take more than 20 minutes because she is 'soooo done, mom' by then. She'll tolerate a little bit of brushing with a soft dandy brush and a rag for her face, but more than that and her skin starts twitching, her face starts contorting, and she over all just doesnt look like she's enjoying herself. So for that reason, I only brush her before working her, going somewhere, or if for some reason I'm not working her that week, once a week just to get the grime out of her coat. And believe me, she's fabulous at getting dirty. She always rolls in the burriest, muddiest, smelliest spots she can fine.
Bonding though? I do that at least a few times a week. But her idea of bonding is different from others. For some bonding might be just taking her to hand graze, hanging out with her, etc. For us it always has to have some element of 'go-go-go.' She's not the type of animal that likes to do nothing, nor am I. She needs a purpose in what we're doing or she tries to act up. So for us, a leisurely drive around the farm, a hand walk through the trail, or learning a new 'game' on the obstacle course is our bonding time. She'll do anything I ask whever I ask if I make sure to cut out all of the 'fluffy stuff' but immediately turns into a grumpy old witch if I try to do a little too much petting, grooming, or loving xD