Bond or not? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Bond or not?

Well, iv read several threads on NH and liberty etc and a lot of people seem to be saying that the only reason the people can ride bareback/bridleless etc is because their horse is trained up to the eyeballs. I appreciate that it must be very well trained as you couldnt just hop on a green horse or one you thought you had a bond with and do it but surely if you didnt have a bond the horse wouldnt want to work?

So whats everyones opinions?

Is it just training? Can you have a bond with your horse? Do horses love?

There are several tales of horses saving peoples lifes etc so surely horses must be able to form bonds.

Ideas/opinions?

Thanks all
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 04:24 PM
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People and horses can and do form bonds. That's been proven time and again.

However, even if you're not bonded emotionally to an animal, you most certainly can ride it and both of you get enjoyment from working together.

If a horse wouldn't work unless it had a bond with every human it encountered, there would be no school/lesson horses, nose-to-tail trail ride places, or even higher end ranch ride places.

It's silly to assume a horse won't want to work if it isn't bonded to that particular human.

Last edited by Speed Racer; 08-25-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 05:30 PM
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I can ride my horse bridleless and bareback. I don't think he particularly likes me - I make him work and he is lazy :]

I could put anyone else up on him with enough ability, tell them my cues and they could do the exact same thing. They wouldn't get 100% the same performance I can, because I know him inside and out, but it would still work.

I believe that some horses and people like each other and some don't - like people.

I don't believe that it has much bearing on riding - Or that it should. A well trained horse should perform for anybody who asks in the right way.

A riding bond I beleive comes from hours in the saddle and knowing your horse inside and out. I have that with my heart horse, Wildey. He performs for everyone, but gives that bit more for me - I don't fool myself that it's because he loves me - He is just as happy now being spoilt at the RDA school as he was with me - But it is because I have been riding him almost exclusivley for 9 or so years. We know each other like the back of our hands.

Training (And bridless is simply an test/proof of good training) has nothing to do with a bond or the horse wanting to work. It is teaching clear concise cues and making it uncomfortable for the horse to resist. Even NH does it this way - It is the only sucessful way to train a horse.

They don't react to cues because they want to please us - They react to cues because we have conditioned them that it is the path of least resistance.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 05:37 PM
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I agree. Horses can form bonds. Dobe and I have a great bond, he calls to me whenever he sees me, he will walk up to me in the pasture (nobody else can catch him without running him down), and do anything I ask with every ounce of his not inconsiderable sized heart. I can ride him bareback and bridle-less when I want to but that isn't because of our bond. IMHO, being able to ride bridle-less shouldn't be a goal to train toward, but a byproduct of good training. Pretty much anybody who knew the basics of riding could hop on him bareback and ride with nothing more than a rope around his neck.

I believe that having a bond helps, but it isn't necessary to have a good working relationship with a horse.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 06:13 PM
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Horses have personalities like humans do. With that, some riders/horses get along as if they were one being performing flawless movements, and some hate each other with a firey passion and their discontent for one another is evident.

You don't need a bond with a horse to work with them, but it would make a bit of a difference when working around scary objects/concepts. I believe that if a horse believes it can trust you (and does), it makes acomplishing tasks that much easier.

And the right horse with the right amount of training can do anything...but we live in reality and this isn't the case. Not every horse was meant to be a cutting horse, and just the same for every other trick and disipline out there.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 07:36 PM
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Well, this is kinda interesting that I saw this thread today, because I was riding a girl at the barns reining horse (the best little pony EVER! lol she is an amazing reiner, but she got injured, so I ride her sometimes along with other people to get her back in shape) and I decided to ride her bridless/bareback, She was perfect, turned sharply, heck, I could even spin on her like that! she was PERFECT. but I dont have a bond with her, she is jsut a well trained horse, But my horse (rena) can go bareback and bridless, and I have a great bond with her. Shes the best horse ive ever ridden,we just click. But she doesnt do bridless nearly as well.

So I think its good training mostly. but a bond helps a lot too.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
It's silly to assume a horse won't want to work if it isn't bonded to that particular human.
As a matter of fact my paint did NOT work for other people. I tried 4 trainers (all very know in area, all highly recommended by other people), and she refused to work completely. Neither gentleness, nor force worked. So yes, she MUST bond first before she does anything. And BTW, it's not about NH etc., it's about personality.

Although I agree, most horses give nice ride without any "bond" (or there would no lesson horses, show horses, trail horses, etc.).
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-26-2010, 12:01 AM
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I agree with everyone else :) A bond and how well trained a horse is are generally very different things and you can have one without the other. Its wonderful when you can have both at the same time and compliment each other but they are not a package deal.

I do think that a bond and trust can help you teach new things and let the horse have more faith in you when something is scary or weird.

I think it's probably very difficult to work with a horse for years and perfect those natural horsemanship techniques with it and not form a bond! Bonds are formed by time and work and compassion as well as personalities and learning and experiencing things and trusting one another is very likely to create a lovely bonded relationship.

I think that we grow up watching a few too many family horse movies where the wild killer animal is gentled by the heroine and requires no training to be a lovely riding partner. It's very romantic!

All horses are individuals and all have personalities and pasts that shape their behavior. Some horses may have trust issues and need to be won over before they will perform. Some horses may not like men or may not like women due to past experiences. Some horses couldn't care less about who is around and will perform equally for anyone with the right cues and some may have different reactions depending on how much they like/know/trust the person. I think it probably boils down to trust and if a horse is not trusting of strangers or someone it doesn't know intimately that's not necessary a bond issue but a trust issue.




Last edited by Deerly; 08-26-2010 at 12:04 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-26-2010, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
As a matter of fact my paint did NOT work for other people. I tried 4 trainers (all very know in area, all highly recommended by other people), and she refused to work completely.
Conny was similar; he'd work for other people, but let everyone know he was not happy about it.

I was his rider/owner/companion/caregiver, and he preferred me over everyone else. I haven't had a bond that strong before or since, but I think JJ wants to be that way.

Our bond had nothing to do with NH, since Conny was trained well before any of that NH woo-woo, mystikal, magickal bonding crap hit the markets.

I'm not particularly bonded to Casper, but we're a good team and he looks to me as his leader. I'm his preferred rider, but he has no trouble lugging anyone else around. He's more bonded to me than I am to him, but that's okay.

I think the NH gurus do a grave disservice in telling people that unless you and your horse have some sort of mystical rapport you're doing something wrong, or the horse will never be properly trained. That's garbage.

Last edited by Speed Racer; 08-26-2010 at 10:36 AM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-26-2010, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Conny was similar; he'd work for other people, but let everyone know he was not happy about it.

I was his rider/owner/companion/caregiver, and he preferred me over everyone else. I haven't had a bond that strong before or since, but I think JJ wants to be that way.

Our bond had nothing to do with NH, since Conny was trained well before any of that NH woo-woo, mystikal, magickal bonding crap hit the markets.

I'm not particularly bonded to Casper, but we're a good team and he looks to me as his leader. I'm his preferred rider, but he has no trouble lugging anyone else around. He's more bonded to me than I am to him, but that's okay.

I think the NH gurus do a grave disservice in telling people that unless you and your horse have some sort of mystical rapport you're doing something wrong, or the horse will never be properly trained. That's garbage.
Lol! To be honest I never heard about NH, Parellis, and all that till I came to this forum. You just work with the horse and care for the horse... Or you don't...

I hired a "NH trainer" once to deal with my paint regarding the VERY bad loading issue. After listening to those "NH trainers are the best on ground" thing. He was telling me all about flowers, butterflies, special bond, and magical movements. Ripped me off on good chunk of money (because those NH also heck expensive) + zero result (he couldn't even lead a horse my non-horsey mom can lead). After that I'm very careful about "flowers and butterflies" thing. And other trainer I invited I asked directly if I have to pay for zero result (and I must admit he said NO if he won't be able to load a horse..... he did though and it was a tough task!).
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