That Trust Factor - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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That Trust Factor

Well, I wasn’t planning on writing a thread like this... but...
Anyway, I’m not talking about riding trust... but more like ‘handling trust’, if that makes sense.

I was just outside with my two horses and they were both lying down, along with the other horses in our herd. The other horses jumped up as soon as they saw me coming, but my two just looked at me and didn’t budge.

With my gelding, he let’s me rub all over him when he’s laying down, and I can push gently on his neck and he flops over on his side for me and closes his eyes completely and grunts and ‘groans’ when I scratch his neck and stuff. I can sit on him with him lying down and I can sit beside him using him as a prop. I can lie beside him, play with his mane and tail, stand over him, play with his mouth, play with his legs and hooves, and do literally anything I want with him. He loves the attention and if he goes to stand up, all I have to do is push on his neck and he flops over on his side again. To me, that’s like, ultimate trust.

My mare isn’t quite as trusting as my gelding is, but I figure that’s because my gelding was raised at the house and was mine the minute he was born and I got my mare as a seven/eight year old. She’ll let me come up to her when she’s laying down and I can rub her all over and scratch her and sit on her, but she doesn’t ‘flop over’ like my gelding does and she stands up after a bit like she’s tired of the attention. That’s trust, in my opinion.

I was always told that you should never approach a horse while they’re laying down because it could scare them and all this other stuff... (told that by my family), but I have long since abandoned that mindset. I think it’s a great thing that horses trust people enough to allow us to do that.

Yeah, sorry for writing this and taking up space, but I just got to thinking about trust when I was out with my horses earlier...

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 12:59 PM
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I agree that it is great to have a horse that trusts you that much. If you want to earn the trust of your other horses, I HIGHLY reccomend looking into Monty Roberts' training methods. Using pure body language in a round pen, he can completely capture the trust of a horse within ONE TRAINING SESSION of 30 MINUTES! I have tried it with my horses and it WORKS! You can look on his website, www.montyroberts.com, and his book, The Man Who Listens to Horses. You will build a strong bond with any horse you work with.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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The other horses aren't mine, lol. As I don't even hardly mess with them, I can see why they don't trust me as much... it doesn't bother me as long as I have that bond with my two.


I've read that book before and loved it... never tried the technique, though.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 01:23 PM
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I had always thought that if your horse didn't get up when you came that it meant it trusted you or was very relaxed/secure with you too.

However, I went to check of my friends three horses while she was out of town, and they don't really know me at all.

All three were laying down, and when they saw me, only one got up, the other two stayed laying down. Now, flattered as I was that two stayed laying down, I don't think it had much to do with trust between us.

Probably more security with their surroundings and each other? Just thought I share this for any discussion/thoughts.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 01:31 PM
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I had a moment like that one day. We had a herd out that I normally worked with all of them. There were 3 that would flop and didn't care. The other two were like the mare you talked about. One was a two year old stud and the other was a field trial mare we had just bought. They were both sweet and were jsut gaining that trust. People always told me not to walk up to them, and I won't walk up on the side near their legs or straight in front of them. I talk to them and everything else to try to be sure that I don't startle them.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah...

With my two, when I see them laying dwn, I yell a greeting to them, like 'hey, Gypsie, Dakota!' so they know that I'm nearby... it startles the other horses, but mine don't do a thing.

I've also always heard that a horse won't lay down if they don't feel safe. I believe that, and I was amazed when last year my mare lay down in the yard for the first time ever. Lol... My gelding doesn't seem to have any problems laying in the yard... he's been doing it his whole life.

Some of it may be they feel secure and all, but I still think a large part of it has to do with trust...


Or maybe I'm just sentimental... Lol.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britt View Post
Yeah...

With my two, when I see them laying dwn, I yell a greeting to them, like 'hey, Gypsie, Dakota!' so they know that I'm nearby... it startles the other horses, but mine don't do a thing.

I've also always heard that a horse won't lay down if they don't feel safe. I believe that, and I was amazed when last year my mare lay down in the yard for the first time ever. Lol... My gelding doesn't seem to have any problems laying in the yard... he's been doing it his whole life.

Some of it may be they feel secure and all, but I still think a large part of it has to do with trust...

Or maybe I'm just sentimental... Lol.
It's ok. Either way it shows that they feel secure with you which to me equals trust. :) You can always tell a horse that is really uncomfortable with you if they are eating and you enter they start watching warily and/or move away. To me when a horse continues eating, comes up to you adn then begins grzing, is laying down and allows you to come to the, etc. it shows trust.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Lol... then my two horses trust me with their life. They don't care if i'm there or if I come up to them or not when they're eating, grazing, or laying down... or anything... lol. They keep right on doing whatever they're doing.

Lol...

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 04:53 PM
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I think another piece of the puzzle of trust is how the horse (s) has been handled. In my friend's horses case, she takes care of them and handles everything concerning them. Since she is a very gentle and kind person, I believe her horses have that positive view of the human animal. They have only known gentle and fair handling.

Certainly that is the case with my Walka. He has known only gentle, fair consistent handling. If it's a rule on Monday, same rule is followed on Wednesday (just like the children). He is very open to meeting and greeting anyone new.

Now T came to me from North Carolina and I was her 4th owner. Somewhere down the road someone was very heavy handed with her and she learnt to protect her head. It took years of gentle/fair consistent handling, but she now will put her beautiful head on my chest and I can hug her to me.

So, that sense of security can carry over I think to a friend visiting (like myself and my friends horses) because they have never experienced any reason to not trust. Just a thought.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-01-2010, 05:18 PM
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That's pretty amazing that your gelding lets you stand over him while he's lying down. That's the most vulnerable position for a horse. You should be proud!

I can walk up to both of my guys when they're lying down and pet them. It's a pretty cool feeling to have a horse that's so comfortable around you.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968
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