How can I effectively bond with a new horse prior to bringing him home? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-31-2012, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alaska
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How can I effectively bond with a new horse prior to bringing him home?

I found my next horse but won't be able to bring him home til summer. He is a 6 year old stud but he is to be gelded in April. I have other horses, including a mare, so his owner wants to keep him there until after he is gelded. If I go visit him a few times a week, what sort of things can I do to get a head start on building trust and bonding in general? It is hard to set a routine because of my work schedule, or lack thereof. Also, does anyone have any advice in general for working with a recently gelded horse? He already has excellent manners and is such a cool mellow guy. Especially for a stud! But he has never been ridden, so he will be my first real project horse. I am seeking any useful knowledge I can get. I like Stacy Westfall's methods but so far I have only observed them. I want to be well-researched when I make my decision about how to communicate and work with my new friend.
Wow that's a lot to ask! For starters, just ideas on how to help him get used to me would be great! Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-31-2012, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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It is going to be difficult to get a good bond when you can't have consistent contact. A visit or two each week will get him used to seeing you but it wont be until you can work with him daily that he will begin to bond.

Still, the basis, walking on a lead, letting him graze with you talking to him or stroking his neck, just being around him will start the process. Make all of your visits extra pleasant so he associates you with all good things and starts to look forward to your visits. Grooming relaxes a horse, work with his feet, Stroke him all over so he gets used to your hands....especially work with his head and ears if he doenst like his ears touched. You want him to associate your touch with something akin to comfort and to keep him from becoming a girafe whenever you do something near his bridling :).

At this point I wouldn't "work" him just due to an inconsistent schedule.

As for work after gelding, I am pretty sure there is a recovery period though I have only seen a gelding done once. That particualr horse was on turnout only for a week before even light work was started and another two weeks before he was back to his normal workload; and then only with final vet approval. He will be over the issue when you do take him home so no worries there on work..just have to take it slow in the near term afterwards.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-31-2012, 08:32 AM
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^^ Good suggestions. Please keep in mind that he can still breed your mare for a time after he is gelded. Talk to the vet about how long you need to keep them separated.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
iridehorses is offline  

new horse , recently gelded , trust building

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