how does one tell if they have a strong bond with there horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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how does one tell if they have a strong bond with there horse?

so, how does one tell if they have a strong bond with there horse? in most cases this is an opinion, but i was just wondering what everyone else considered a strong bond. by the way this is a VERY random question but i have been confused, what does PM stand for and how do you do this? lol, i know its a stupid question but...
thx in adv! =]
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 09:29 PM
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i feel i have a strong bond with all of my horses as they all neigh when i go to the field, they all come over to the gate, if i get off in the arena and let go of them they'll follow me round and most importantly i know that they trust me - i do a lot with my horses to ensure that they trust me and it has obviously taken time for them to be like this, especially my 5yo who was very nervy when i got him.

also, i think the showing of trust is different for every horse, my warmblood had previously been neglected i think (because of his personality when i got him) you couldn't touch his face (he has a big scar across his nose) and if you managed to touch his face, you couldn't get anywhere near his ears, also he is from holland so the way he had been trained really showed in his personality - he basically didn't have one ! (as they dont have any time spent with them, they are intensely schooled and then put back in their stalls) . . . the first year i had him i spent every day of my 6 week school holidays bringing him in, bathing him, brushing him, riding alone, and just generally spending a lot of time with him - i have had him for 2 years now, for about a year i have been able to touch his ears and just last week he suprised me by letting me get flies out of the inside of his ears ! (which has never happened before!)
also, within the first month of having him he got conjunctivitis and i had to put eye drops in his eyes 2ce a day for a week - he practically reared up when the vet tried to put them in, and by the third day i was giving him his eyedrops without a headcollar on !
even though he is still funny with his ears sometimes, he's the one out of my 4 that follows me everywhere, trots or canters to the gate and neighs every time he see's me (even if i just walk into the barn to get something, he watches the door until i come out again and neighs). i have also heard that before i had him, every time someone tried to get on he bucked until he got them off (sometimes they didn't even get in the saddle) then he'd escape - i even saw him try to do that with his previous owner . . . i have been warey of this when i haven't ridden him for a while but thankfully he has NEVER bucked with me or tried to get away, and i think he's just one of those horses that clicks with one person - and i'm so so glad that i'm that person - only me and my mum can touch his face, and i trust him with my life, i know whatever we encounter he'll keep me completely safe !

What do you feel your bond is like with your horse ?
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 09:29 PM
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oh gosh sorry, i didnt realise id gone on that much !!
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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see im not sure, thats why i posted this i have had my horse for three yrs now and absolutely ADORE him! i wouldnt trade him for anything in the world and if something happened to him i dont know what i would do...
i know i love him, and i would think he loves me back. i never do anything to put him in danger unless of course i had no idea what i was doing, and im always sweet to him, i always get nagged for being TOO nice. so...who knows? lol! he doesnt run up to the fence when he sees me, tho he does watch me approach and looks happy to see me, big blue eyes, ears pricked, but he doesnt neigh or anything. he follows me sometimes, but just sometimes. i dont get to see him everyday like some of the other lucky ducks on this forum, but i try to go down as much as possible.

you know i always read about all of these great things to do w/ your horse like parelli or, i dont know just a bunch of bonding stuff that most people would do when you first get your horse but i didnt know about it at the time...i kinda feel like its too late to do some of it but i guess its never too late. do you guys think its too late to do some of this stuff, or do you guys go with the saying "its never too late" anyways, all i know is that i love my boy more than anything! wow this turned out longer than i thought lol! share your thoughts! thx! =]
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 09:55 PM
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When you're riding and you can trust your horse as much as you expect him/her to trust you, you have the bond of a lifetime, each taking care of the other.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 10:21 PM
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i know i have a strong bond with my horse for two main reasons: 1. he always comes to the gate when he sees my car and knickers; he'll shove his face into my chest for pats when i come into the pasture. 2. he really takes good care of me when we're riding. i helped him to gain confidence on the flat and reassured him when he needed it. now we're jumping and he's doing the same for me. see, i had some bad experiences with jumping and i've just started back up. last lesson my instructor had us canter the jumps instead of trot them. the first time i got so scared, right before the jump i just kinda threw the reins at him and held on. and what does my precious boy do? just calmly takes the jump and canters off waiting for instruction. we ended up doing the line 3 more times, each time with me more and more confident. i know my bond is strong with him because we understand each other. i take care of him when he needs it and he does the same for me. lol sorry this is so long. i just love this subject
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-14-2009, 10:37 PM
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oo dont worry. i never did any "bonding games" with my horse and i can say with absolute certainty that me and Rocky have an extremely strong bond. i know this because he comes to me when he's anxious and seeks me out in the pasture just to say hi. he curls his head around me and wants pats when we're just hanging out. but the most important way i know this is by our time riding. he takes care of me like no other horse has before. its a two way street though. when i first got him and he was insecure i encouraged and reassured him. now that we've started jumping he's doing the same for me. just last lesson, my instructor asked me to canter a line (i had some awful experiences jumping on previous horses and i'm still really really nervous). so we round to the first jump and right before it i absolutely panicked and threw the reins to him, just clutching mane. and what does my precious boy do? he calmly takes the jump, canters away and waits for instruction from me. he jumped it so smoothly bc he knew i was scared. we ended up jumping that line 3 more times, each time i got more and more confident all bc he went so quietly and took care of me. i take care of him and he takes care of me. thats the kind of bond i have with him.
it sounds to me like you and your horse are plenty bonded, but does this happen when your riding? does he seem to want to take care of you? i dunno how to really explain better. i hope this helps

edit: oops apparently it actually did post my first post. it said it wasnt able to load....but apparently it did. so sorry about that. not intentional
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-15-2009, 12:03 AM
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I'm pretty sure that Lacey and I have a strong bond because 1. I'm the only person to ride her in the last year or so that hasn't fallen off of her at least once, 2. I'm the only thing she makes any noise for (nickers, whinnies) other than food, 3. she doesn't neigh for her friends when she's with me, even when they're neighing for her, 4. she's totally comfortable with me and in scary situations I'm the person she tries to get to to get comfort. I could go on. lol

I did do (and still do) bonding type exercises with Lacey when I got her because she's the type of horse that can be dangerous if she doesn't feel her rider is worth her trust (it's more of a "will you protect me?" type of thing) and since I didn't want to die I made sure she trusted me. Now that she does trust me I'm pretty sure she'd do just about anything for me. For instance, last week we went riding on a pretty intense trail and suddenly around 50 quail came shooting out of the bushes and trees around us. Lacey was so scared that she was literally shaking underneath me but I squeezed her and let her know it was ok and she continued to walk forward without a fuss even though she was terrified. That's what I call a bond.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-15-2009, 12:51 AM
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It is never too late to do bonding games and groundwork. Just think of all those rescue horses that later on develop really strong bonds with their owners. just because you ahve had him for three years doesn't make it too late. the bond I have with my horse is not that strong yet (only owned her for a month) but it is definately getting stronger. I know this because the other day when I went to hang her rug on the paddock gate for use later that evening she walked all the way from the other side of the paddock to see me (I think she just wanted food but was happy to stand around when she knew she wasn't getting any). She has never done that before. Also during our lesson she was much more attentive to me. I think our bond will grow stronger as I continue to do more groundwork with her. I do groundwork every time I see her, some days I only do groundwork and no riding. Having days where you spend time together without riding is important if you are able to. Some horses (mine included) need to know that you are worthy of their trust and respect and if you show that to them through groundwork they will love you more for it.

Boxer Diligent, loyal, strong
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-15-2009, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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great words guys! my horse does do some stuff like that, if i fall off 9 out of ten times he waits for me, he doesnt dump me off at jumps if i throw the reins at him on accident, and yeah...what kind of ground work do you guys do? does free lunging count as ground work? how do you tell if your horse trusts you? and in a scary situation whats the best way to reassure them? i usually talk to him in a calm voice and try to squeeze him forward. just the other day he shook his bridle off (long story) and i had to jump off and grab him...i couldnt! lol! he took off w/ the pasture horses running but when he finally stopped i walked up to him and he waited for me to halter him. then we went for a calming walk in the arena. this is not usual behavior for him (taking off) but im pretty sure this was a matter of being at his new barn and wanting to let loose. i kinda forgot my point...
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