Bonding and Trust exercises?

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Bonding and Trust exercises?

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    11-23-2009, 08:37 PM
Bonding and Trust exercises?

I'm looking at buying my dream horse, though I am a little worried about him. He's gone through many owners and I'm afraid he wont trust or bond with me at all.

What are good exercises that help build a bond with a horse and trust. I know the friendly game by parreli's good, and spending time with him and being the only one to handle him will help, I'm just worried he wont think anything different of me than his past owners. He's gone through two owners but 5 homes and a LOT of different people in his 9 years. :/
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    11-23-2009, 08:43 PM
I completely understand your worries! My warmblood had been through 2 trainers, an equine behaviorist and had been tormented at a college riding program, and he HATED people when I got him. He didn't look at me any differently...after all, all other people were bad, why would I be any different?

I immediately started Parelli with him. The 7 Games are a wonderful tool to use in order to gain trust and respect (and I needed both with my guy!). In Level 1 they outline a great exercise where you spend 30 minutes of undemanding time with your horse for 7's VERY revealing, lemme tell you! Lol.
    11-23-2009, 09:00 PM
Sounds good! If you're guy could learn to trust you, then hopefully Genie can too!
    11-23-2009, 10:19 PM
Absolutely! There is always hope with horses who have had unfortunate experiences with people.
    11-24-2009, 03:12 AM
I had the same problem with my gelding--he was a racehorse for nine years, and from looking at his race records, I can count fifteen plus owners just in the last three or four years of his career, sometimes five or six in a year. When I started seriously inquiring about buying him, I really would just go out to his house, take him up to the tie ring and start brushing him, talking to him, and then we'd do a little bit of work. I didn't think it would make the difference but the first day I brought him to his new home, I called his name and his head lifted right up from the grass and he called out to me. There were also some other littler things, like how he acted around people he didn't know versus me, but honestly just consistantly showing up and being a presence in his life will make a difference for your prospect.
    11-24-2009, 08:21 AM
Great advice thanks!

When I owned Leia, she wasn't really affectionate to anyone but me, and now that I sold her, she treats everyone the same.
    11-24-2009, 09:09 AM
Horses, same as people, have different personalities. Some horses are "people" horses but many are weary of the different homes they have been to. I've had horses that took to me right away and came to me when I called after the 2nd or 3rd day. Then there were others who took months and one or two that took nearly a year to get comfortable. Consistency is the key.

Initially I'll spend a great deal of time with a new horse, just talking to him and maybe a pet or two. If I sense that he is going to turn away from me, I'll retreat before he gets a chance to walk away. I'll wait a few minutes and go back to him. What I also like to do with all horses is to halter them, attach a long lead, and walk them around the farm. I'll go about normal things like picking up a rake that I may have left against a tree the day before, or fill the water bucket for the ducks. I may even walk to the mailbox out by the street and watch the cars go by. I try to keep him out for at least an hour or so. Basically it is like the Stockholm Syndrome when a captive person begins to associate with their captors after a while.

I've never had a horse that didn't respond - but some just took a lot of time.
    11-24-2009, 11:42 AM
Thanks iridehorses!

Genie's not afraid of people, if you go into the pasture, he'll come up to people and follow them around, and he comes when called, but he never really seems to care about if people are around or not, and he usually looks for food and if you have none, he leaves.

He's generally a very friendly horse, but he doesn't really care one way or the other.
    11-24-2009, 12:04 PM
If he's had a lot of homes, then I suspect that he's learned to build a shell around himself. He is basically friendly but only if there is something in it for him. Hollywood is somewhat like that. He spent the last 6 years as a guide's horse at the Biltmore House in NC. He was used, groomed, and fed but didn't have a bond between himself and any one person. I've had him for about 6 or 7 weeks now and he still hasn't developed the bond I like - and I have the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with him.

As one of the lines in my signature states, "Time and Patience". He'll come around - he just needs to learn that I'm not going away and that he can trust that I am the one who will take care of him.
    11-24-2009, 12:50 PM
Thanks iridehorses! That helps a lot!

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