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This is a discussion on Bonding! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Bonding with a horse
  • Horsebonding

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    02-23-2007, 08:56 PM

I didn't really know what section to put this in lol.... but I just got a new horse and I was wondering if you guys had any exercises to like bond with the horse and stuff... likkeee obviously spending a lot of time with him and grooming him and stuff but does anyone have any other ideas????

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    02-23-2007, 11:03 PM
My best advice, would be find something he REALLY likes.. anything from a treat, or a favorite place to be scratched.. and always leave him wanting more =) For example, don't scratch the same spot until he moves away. After a few minutes, stop scratching and walk over to the other side of his stall.. see if he follows ;)

A lot of horses bond with a specific person when they take awesome care of them, especially if the horse is sick or recovering from an illness =)

Good luck!! =)
    02-24-2007, 04:06 AM
with each encounter

How old is the horse?

I would start with each time before you feed, do a bonding session any where from 15 mintues on up.

A short walk, a few strokes with a brush, walk them through cavalletti layed on the ground

Do some neck flexion exercises by taking a carrot and directing your horses noise to his side and keep doing this till you can get your horse to hold his noise to their side for three minutes. Do this on both sides until your horse can touch his nose to his side. It won't happen in one setting. Each mile stone of achievment let your horse eat the carrot.

There are a lot of good videos out too that will help you to bond.
RFDTV also has a few horse shows on that might give you some ideas.
    02-24-2007, 10:35 PM
Groundwork!! Best way of bonding and getting your horse to respect you. Groundwork accomplishes SOO much! Grooming. Just sitting around with him getting to know him. Rub him all over. Just let him know your his friend.
    02-25-2007, 12:32 AM
The best situation I was ever in was just doing my usual thing. An owner shouldn't have to beg or bribe a horse to like them

I can best describe my situation to get my point across:

I worked the farm and took care of all the horses. I handled them multiple times on a daily basis- fed them, watered and picked their stalls. I was around them quite often on a daily basis. When a new horse would come in, I would be pre-cautious but not nervous or over exaggerative. I would just do what I normally did. I would also take them out of their stall, groom them quietly while 'petting' my hands all over their body. I would handle their legs, sides, belly, head, tail, feet, everything. I would understand what actions made them nervous and then worked on them. If I felt the need, I would take a horse out to graze on a lead or lunge line alone.

Next would be the round pen. Once some familiarization was established, next would be asserting myself as the leader by use of the round pen. (if you need help with this, ask). Once I saw that the horse's ears were turned towards me, they were responding to the best of their ability and that they were calm with a low head, relaxed jaw and chewing, I would then lead them on a lead line. I would do circles, tight turns - whatever and then suddenly stop. If they are paying attention and quietly following, they will respect your space and quickly stop. If they are not paying attention and DISrespecting your space, they will run you over. If they do, back them several steps, stop, pet them, walk forward and then repeat. Soon, they will stop when you do rather then running through you. Once this is established you should be able to put this to the test by being able to successfully lead without the use of a lead line or halter. They just follow.

One thing I would never do would be to get a horse's attention or love with treats. This in no way gains respect from the horse or puts you as a trusted, reliable and loved leader.

Keep it simple, quiet and go with your usual routine. Horses work the best in a comfortable, calm and predictable environment. The horses respected me (more then their owners, teehee ) and very much looked forward to my company and relied on me as a leader.
    02-26-2007, 06:01 AM
Join-up. It is a simple, yet effective way to develop trust, and a great bond with your horse. I have joined up with Zanath on many occasions, and it ensures that she knows I am the alpha horse, and she must listen to me. We have an ever growing bond.

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