Tips on Bonding w/ horse (long) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Texas
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Question Tips on Bonding w/ horse (long)

Hello everyone~ I hope I posted this thread in the right place. Sorry if I didn't...
I just lost my confidence building horse in Sept. I decided not to buy a new horse at this time. My thought was to start giving my husbands horse some attention. This horse was given to us 6 months ago. He was used in lessons but bucked off the owner and hurt her shoulder over a year ago. The child taking lessons doesn't want him. So he was offered to us for free. He is a 11 yr old TB. (never raced)

I just wanted to know how you guys developed a bond? I have been grooming him and of course I do the feeding and chores. I just don't feel a connection with him yet. Is that normal?*L* I have not ridden him yet either.My husband has and wasn't bucked off.. I am trying to get comfortable with him. He is more energetic than my gelding was. But he is a cute/comical horse.I need to rename him as well...His name is Fantasy, and I can't seem to get the name to stick for me.

He is the chestnut with the flaxen mane on my profile. Do you have any tips or name suggestions? And does it just take a while to get that connection? Thanks for any ideas....

RIP~ BUDDY~ 9/2010
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 10:22 AM
Green Broke
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Sorry for your loss. But understand that it will take time to connect with another horse. Spend time with him, take him out hand walk him, let him graze, talk to him to get him used to your voice. If you go to ride him, start out slow and if you have an arena that will help. Or maybe your husband can be with you to help with your confidence. Do whatever you can with him to get him used to you and you can learn from him on his quirks and behaviors. Hopefully you can turn him into a great partner. Maybe not. Not all horse and riders bond or work well together but it doesn't hurt to try. I hope this helps. Good luck! Oh and send some pics. He may give you a hint on names after you spend time with him.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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yup, lots of time. When i got my first horse he hadn't been handled in a long time, so i spent a LOT of time just doing stuff on the ground. grooming, hand walking, grazing, i also did a lot of round pen work, which in this horses case was a great help! i agree talking to him will be helpful. i talk to my horse all the time, hehe!

Marianne and Twist

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I hate to admit it but with me if I didn't bond with the horse within the first week or two then I never did. It's always been that way for me whether it be horses, dogs, or people it either happens right away or it simply doesn't.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 11:07 AM
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I agree with mbender. Just handwalking him and letting him graze is great for bonding. If you have a trail-like area you can take a walk with him in, thats great too. You can get an idea of his spookiness and reinforce trust on the ground.
I think its great that you took him on! :)

Hmm.. names... small picture..
Pretty horse!
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 11:16 AM
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If he is gentle to work with on the ground I'd suggest setting up a sort of obstacle course that you can lead/maneuver him through. This is great for trust. My favorite is placing two barrels (or any object tall enough) beside eachother and backing the horse through them. Once they have done it well at a decent width, keep making it more and more narrow until it is just wide enough for them to squeeze through, it takes a lot of trust on the horses part.

Another thing is setting up small jumps (or obstacles of some sort) to jump over on the ground with them. Before you attempt this of course you should be able to get him to follow you with respect and very close attention on the ground.. make sure he will trot when you jog and walk as soon as you stop. A great exercise to improve this is jog (he trots) then quite suddenly (but with enough warning) walk and stop altogether. Once he stops, get him to back up then right from the back up go into a jog again. I've found this really gets the horse focusing in on you and makes you feel like a team because you aren't sitting on top of them making them do the work, you are both sharing it.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 11:30 AM
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Try doing some ground work "games". It never hurts to take a horse back to the very basics, and by reviewing or even expanding his training you'll be sort of mimicking the process of training him under saddle. I find that this has always been important for me to get to know and really bond with a horse... not purely relaxing things like grooming or grazing.

There's several helpful books that could give you ideas for what sorts of things to do on the ground... many of them focused on training young horses to start them under saddle. Think of it this way, you're not the teacher, you're the tutor helping the horse refine and better understand what he should already know... and filling in any gaps where he may not have gotten training.

Some helpful books that I have enjoyed:
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thank you for all of the tips and info to check out!! He is gentle (thankfully). I am going to set up my round pen again and start doing ground work with him that way. I also loved the idea of obstacle course. That would make things more fun for us both. I don't want him to start running from me when I catch him. He is easy to catch as of now.
I downloaded an album on here of what he looked like when we got him and now. Any idea on names?? We did call him Pacer. But he stopped pacing after the first month.*LOL* Right now it is "Red" nothing special about that name..Hmmm.

RIP~ BUDDY~ 9/2010
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-13-2010, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I've always wanted to name a gelding of mine Talisman and call him Tal for short. You could certainly name him that if it appealed to you. I like it because the definition of a talisman is an object that someone believes has special powers, especially the power to protect them from bad things.
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