That Magical Bond...Does It Exist?
   

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That Magical Bond...Does It Exist?

This is a discussion on That Magical Bond...Does It Exist? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What is a magical bond
  • How to bond with a horse that doesn't like me

 
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    02-09-2011, 05:35 PM
  #1
Weanling
That Magical Bond...Does It Exist?

I think we all (or most of us, anyways) want that great, amazing, "I'd do anything for you" bond with our horses. And as I looked back through many of the threads, it seems many of us wonder how to achieve it.

And now I'm wondering: does such a thing exist? I want that bond, I'll be the first to admit it, and to some degree it's always bothered me that my horse merely tolerates me-she has never shown any real affection or indication that she enjoys my company. No matter what we've done together, always in the back of my mind has been: "Why don't you like me? Please, please like me!"

I've been told that kind of relationship is not real-it's not in a horse's nature to feel the same way about relationships as we do. So yesterday, I went out to work with my horse, resigned to the fact that she doesn't like me so I may as well move on with my life.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't see my adorable, beautiful baby pony; I saw a horse. I was much more demanding and strict with her than I usually am, and any emotional ties I had to her didn't affect my behaviour. And guess what? She was really good. She was good, because finally I was treating her like a horse and truly, honestly didn't care whether she liked me or not. And, dare I say it, she even looked half interested in me.

Now I'm seeing that real, true respect is what's going to get me places with her. Will this lead to us having a great bond? Perhaps. What about you? Those of you who have amazing relationships with your horse-what came first? Respect, or love?
     
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    02-09-2011, 05:46 PM
  #2
Showing
I had that bond you're looking for with my now deceased heart horse.

Respect ALWAYS has to come first. If you don't set boundaries and demand respect as the leader, you're not going to get it or any real bond.

It's true that horses don't think like humans, but they can and do have great affection for their owners. But like children, they need definite rules, regulations, and to know in no uncertain terms that you are the boss, will always be the boss, and they will defer to you.

That doesn't mean your horse will become robotic and never have an opinion or a bad day. On the contrary; once they have the security of an established leader, they can blossom into the animal they were always meant to be.

Certain training gurus have ruined new horse owners by making them think it all has to be sunshine, butterflies, fluffy bunnies and lollipops with their horses. The worst thing you can do with a horse is try to make it your equal. Horses understand hierarchy. Even with horsey buddies, there's always one who is of a higher rank than the other.

Once you've established respect, trust will follow. Once you have respect and trust, the bond you want is more likely to happen.
     
    02-09-2011, 05:50 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThePrettyHorses    

Now I'm seeing that real, true respect is what's going to get me places with her. Will this lead to us having a great bond? Perhaps. What about you? Those of you who have amazing relationships with your horse-what came first? Respect, or love?
Respect always comes first.
With stan we set out with respect and over a short period of time it turned into love. Same with Reeco, I established that I was boss, that I was herd leader and he had to do as I said first and foremost. You Having the position of leader puts the horse in a comfortable space mentaly, they don't have to be boss or be brave and someone is there to tell them what to do and what will and wont eat them, so my little 3 yearold who will walk quietly past tractors, articlated lorrys and ambulance sirens, he does so because he trusts me.

When I invite him into my space he is amazingly affectionate.



But a horse will only be affectionate when it feels safe!
     
    02-09-2011, 06:44 PM
  #4
Showing
As for "Does it exist?" The answer to that is yes, but it is usually pretty rare. Like SR and Faye said, respect must come first. My horses are working partners first and companions second and they seem to really enjoy their work and the fact that they have rules and structure when dealing with humans.

At this point in my life, I have several horses who are just working partners and who I feel absolutely no shared personal connection with. However, I have 2 that are working partners and also trusted friends. They will both try their hearts out for anything I ask of them but for other people, they are blasť at best. Denny is virtually uncontrollable for anyone else but he and I get along perfectly.

You can have respect without love but you cannot have love without respect.
     
    02-09-2011, 07:03 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I believe it does exist very much so.

First off we still working on the whole respect thing. I believe my horse and I have a bond. I go out in the field and play with her and she prances around me in circles and runs back and forth when I call her name and has fun.I call her name and she looks up and looks at me and begins to walk and I call her again and she will gallop towards me but she always makes she she doesn't run me over.She also will put her head against my chest and hold it there. I believe we share a bond but we also have our battles.It comes with every relationship I believe.
     
    02-09-2011, 07:06 PM
  #6
Teen Forum Moderator
I completely agree with the previous posters.

When I got my mare, it was obvious that she had no respect for me or anyone else in her life, for that matter. I then spent a year just gaining her respect and then her trust, and now we have that "magical" bond. Now days (3 years later) I do treat her a bit more like a friend than I used to because now she knows the rules and follows them, whereas before, she had no clue about the rules so I had to be very clear about what the rules were and how strictly they were to be followed.

At first, I had serious doubts about whether she would ever be the kind of horse I wanted. That first year, I spent more time in tears after I worked with her than anything else (and I'm not an emotional person, at all). I felt like I was getting no where and that I probably should just give up before one of us got hurt. However, I stuck in there and now I can safely say that she probably is my heart horse. I love her dearly and I know she loves me dearly too.
Actually, yesterday I was looking at my senior pictures that were taken with her, about 4 months after I got her, and it's crazy how much has changed about her, emotionally, since then. In those pictures you can just tell that she's lost, doesn't know what to do, and is very much "shut down" by the worry in her life. And now when I look at recent pictures of her, I can just see the life in her eyes. She knows her purpose and she's pleased as punch with that purpose.
She's still not a very affectionate horse and I suppose she probably never will be, but seeing that joy in her eyes is worth more to me than any physical affection.
     
    02-09-2011, 07:10 PM
  #7
Green Broke
That is like my horse,Wallaby.
We are still working on respect as I have mentioned in my previous post.She is the type that will always try and test you and so we work on that but I have to say we have come A LONG way. She use to run away from me and now she no longer does.
     
    02-09-2011, 07:14 PM
  #8
Weanling
I have often wondered the same thing. I've never had that bond with a horse, not my previous one and not Cookie now. I have hope that some day it'll happen but for right now....nope.

I've decided that if I want unconditional love I can get that from my dogs. If I want to be tolerated and have something that will eat my money....that's what I have a horse for.
     
    02-09-2011, 07:26 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeeaddict    
I have often wondered the same thing. I've never had that bond with a horse, not my previous one and not Cookie now. I have hope that some day it'll happen but for right now....nope.

I've decided that if I want unconditional love I can get that from my dogs. If I want to be tolerated and have something that will eat my money....that's what I have a horse for.


Love this!

I agree with what SR, Faye and Smrobs have said. Respect first. Trust will come and if you are very lucky, he/she may show affection in their own special way. It may be very subtle, but they will show you.
     
    02-09-2011, 07:27 PM
  #10
Green Broke
I think it does help if you can afford to take the time and expense of finding the absolute right horse for you.

I've always been lucky in that I have a fairly large budget when I go horse shopping. I've also been willing to travel to see hundreds of horses before settling onthe one I want and take the time to buy the right one. I've even flown into mainland Europe whilst looking for the right horse.

When trying to Find a horse after stan died I travelled 400miles to see one connemara that was on paper everything I was looking for. Dun, 14.2hh HOYS quality, 3 yrs old, started but not broken. His temprement was lovely but it just wasnt right for me.

I was actualy offered Reeco by a contact of mine and I travelled 300 miles to see him. Fell in love with his personality there and then. His old owner was very much of the same school of horsemanship that I am and Reeco and I just clicked. I paid a rediculasly large amount for him but he was worth every penny.
     

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