I have no bond with my horse, I feel like I failed - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 29 Old 12-02-2012, 08:06 PM
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Sometimes I want a horse that acts like a lap dog. Actually, that's mostly what I like. If the horse isn't all over me, I sell it on and no regrets. It'll be the perfect horse for someone else. If it's a show horse that I'm riding and strictly want it to do a job, I'm ok if it's not a lovey dovey soul mate kind of horse. Most of the time when I buy outside of my program I'm looking for a work type horse and I'm ok with stand offish.

The ones I breed, and raise for ME, absolutely have to have that in your tent personality, love me to death and I love them to death type thing going. They can be opinionated as all heck, a complete PIA but they gotta come running to the gate to say, "HI" or they go down the road. I have to look forward to seeing them everyday or I don't want to be bothered with the work.

So, you have to figure out what's important to YOU and then get that horse. Do you want 'My Pretty Pony who is all over you'? Or is 'butt ugly but jumps to the moon' more your style? Or, 'I'll do my job but not exactly act thrilled but give you 110% all day everyday and when you're done leave me alone' what you're looking for? Once you figure out what pleases you the most, and what you're willing to overlook to get the most important traits, then you'll find just the right horse.
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post #22 of 29 Old 12-02-2012, 08:26 PM
Green Broke
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Horses aren't like dogs. I don't believe they "bond" quite in the way that people expect, and that often their affectionate responses are just a result of people "training" them to be like that. Like if your horse neighs to you and comes over and you give him a carrot... you're training him to do that. People expect horses to "bond" to people like dogs, and they see this in the movies or read about it in books but I don't think its really reality. You can get a good understanding and your horse might even like you but its not the same.

Its taken about six/seven months for me and my mare to develop an understanding. I did extensive ground work with her, but it wasn't just that but time as well until we started to work each other out. I suppose we have a "bond" more than she has with any other human. Now that we're working each other out things are going a lot more smoothly and we have better times together. I think it often takes 6 months to a year to develop this.

You say your horse has no personality.. and to be honest this is how I feel about a lot of geldings, not all, but many of them just seem a bit nothing. That's why I like mares - they never seem to lack in the personality department!
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post #23 of 29 Old 12-02-2012, 08:58 PM
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I have to have a connection and bond with ANY kind of animal i have! If a horse is a good working and is suitable for what Im wanting to do but theres nothing between us i pass or find a new home for them. If you and your horse dont mesh well together then you can work with him if you want but you cant force a bond to happen. If your unhappy he'll be unhappy. I wouldnt feel like a failure at all. It happens.

~Being on the back of a horse is my idea of heaven!~
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post #24 of 29 Old 12-02-2012, 11:55 PM
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I just went through this - I got my new show prospect Ivy 6 months ago, and despite EXTENSIVE ground work and care, didn't get the right feel from her. Sold her last week at the first offer... she was not the right horse for me, and too many good ones are out there for great prices right now.

Put Whiskey up for a lease too, as her sarcoid is growing (again) and I can't show her - came to my senses after a few sleepless nights and told the interested parties I couldn't part with her. She is the type like dreamcatcher's mare - she hikes in from the back pasture at my call - always waiting at the fenceline with her ears up and eyes soft- and has done everything I've asked of her with a willing spirit... she is priceless, sarcoid and all.

You are the only one paying your feed bills, and horses are very expensive. If they aren't earning their keep, find the one for you who will...

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Nelson Mandela
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post #25 of 29 Old 12-03-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
You say your horse has no personality.. and to be honest this is how I feel about a lot of geldings, not all, but many of them just seem a bit nothing. That's why I like mares - they never seem to lack in the personality department!
This is so funny to me because I am just the opposite! Well, not exactly. I do think mares have personality, but the ones I've had have had the annoying, moody, clingy personalities. I like my geldings because they're funny yet independent.

Rusty and I didn't bond right away. He was a complete pain in the butt, and he still is. You don't know how many times I considered selling him. But we FINALLY bonded after a year. I miss riding him right now (he hurt himself), and everytime I ride a lesson horse, I long for those little things about Rusty I never knew I liked: how he just plods around the arena on a loose rein, how he isn't ADD, how he isn't hard mouthed, how he doesn't try to bite when I tighten the girth, how I can slip the bit right into his mouth, and how he doesn't sweat too much ever, and how he loves to have his face scratched after you take his bridle off.

Brushing doesn't mean a thing to this horse. He's the most aloof horse in the world when it comes to brushing. And he doesn't run up to me in the pasture like my other horse, Knight, does.

I took Knight on a trail ride a while back with my friend and her horse, Sunny. I love Knight, but it just wasn't the same without Rusty. Knight's his own character and pranced a lot and tried to buck at the canter (which was quite amusing), but I missed Rusty's independence and how he doesn't mind being left behind, and how he doesn't buck and doesn't get scared, and how he is the one that will lead the others past a scary object or into water. And Rusty and Sunny are both alpha types - they have this "bond" where they might pin their ears, but they never kick each other and like each other - poor Knight kept getting threatened by Sunny because Knight is so low on the totem pole.

Yeah, Rusty has issues. He is trouble for the vet, lacks some manners here and there, is stubborn to load in the trailer, and gets heavy on the bit and gets fast when we jump if he's excited. But he's my baby.

Knight is a perfectly nice horse, but we just don't have the bond. It's not a failure, it's just preference. Sorry for the novel on Rusty, but I just miss riding my buddy so much!
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post #26 of 29 Old 12-03-2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
My old "friend" had a mare with a goldfish personality. It happens.

If you don't feel like he's the horse for you, you can sell him and find one you think is a better fit. He might do better as a weekend trail horse or a jumper or whatever else. He might be better suited for someone who wants a working relationship more than a bond and that's okay!

You didn't fail. He's just not the right horse. As long as you aren't unrealistic about the kind of bond you want [Black Stallion and Flicka are stories, not real life], it's not a big deal.
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I really like what you brought up about the working relationship but bonds like those films can happen my mare jumped the gate of her pasture once when I was on the ground passed out my trainer saw it happen
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post #27 of 29 Old 12-03-2012, 01:29 PM
Green Broke
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I don't know if these "bonds" happen. There were many times I wanted to trade or sell Hunter. I didn't enjoy going to see him, he hated to be groomed and I thought he hated me. It was when I got his respect and trust that things began to change. He is still a grumpy brat who doesn't come trotting to the fence BUT he does now occasionally meander to the fence when I go to get him. I am not sure if we ever will have a "bond" and I know he will never be a huggy horse (sometimes I miss that) but I think we make a good team. And he is so darn cute too.
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post #28 of 29 Old 12-03-2012, 01:49 PM
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things like that happen... it would help to know how long you have had it and what all you have done with it.. i've had something like this happen to me before
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post #29 of 29 Old 12-06-2012, 02:50 PM
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A lot of times certain people and certain horses just don't click. No matter how much work or effort you put into it....you might not always get the bond that you want out of it. And that's okay. It happens to everyone at some point. I knew people that absolutley HATED the horse I ended up buying, telling me she was "untrainable'' and out of control...only because no one had given her the patience she needed. We clicked, I've owned and been training her for over 2 years. Those old little things people hated with her, she never once did too me. We bonded really, really fast. But her barn buddy(my dad's horse) and me...we never clicked. She's an ottb and I'm not an ottb person, and we could just never really bond. She's a hard one too bond with and sometimes horses are just like that.

Keep trying! But if you feel like its just not working out and your not happy....you can always look for another horse. And remember riding and working with horses is supposed to be FUN!!!! If its not then you may need to change something. Its so hard for people to remember that sometimes....and too admit that they need a change.
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