how does one tell if they have a strong bond with there horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-15-2009, 02:25 PM
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What is a "bonding game"?
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-15-2009, 02:25 PM
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I'd say that free lunging counts as groundwork. I do a lot of free lunging with Lacey because she has to focus on me and my body language/words to know what's going on and that's one of the areas she struggles with. It's really helped her get more in tune to me. For instance, she has a tendency to be hard to catch in the field but because of all the free lunging I've done with her and because of how in tune she is with me because of it, I can easily block her movement from half the pasture away and she'll either come up to me or stand still, instead of running away.

I feel that it depends on the horse on how to reassure them in a scary situation. It's kinda how some people like to be told the mechanics of a scary thing, a roller coaster for instance, while others just want to be told that it'll be ok and to just try it. Lacey responds the best if I just squeeze her on, she needs to know that I'm there for her and that I also see the "scary" thing but that we'll be ok. Another horse I ride needs to be able to inspect (sniff it, look at it really hard) the scary thing before he's not scared anymore. I've tried using the squeeze method on the horse that needs to inspect and he began spooking at the scary object everytime he saw it, but when I let him sniff and look at it he neer spooked at it again. On the other hand, if I let Lacey sniff and look at scary things she starts freaking out about the scary thing and she has actually reared and bolted away from me (I had gotten off to let her look at the object.)

Edit: Spastic dove- I'm not really sure. Haha I was thinking of it as sorta a free lunging thing or basically anything that causes the horse to focus on you completely... But I'm probably not right. =P

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-15-2009, 04:18 PM
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Oh gosh, this is such a broad question! lol. I'll just run down the list of things that I think show if a horse and human have a good bond.

The horse comes when called (the human doesn't have to go get the horse), you can clip, bridle, saddle, blanket, groom, etc. without the horse being held or tied, the horse follows you and plays with you at Liberty at all 3 gaits and also going over obstacles and never leaves, you can ride the horse bridleless and/or on a loose rein and the horse is calm, you have no problems with your horse-everything goes smoothly and the horse shows no negative behavior, there is no fear and/or frustration from either party, the horse OFFERS to do things because he WANTS to, not because he's being made I said, this is such a broad subject, there are sooooo many things!
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-05-2009, 07:04 PM
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My horse slick I KNOW has bonded with me. When I first met him everyone calls him a problem horse, They didnt realize that horses have feelings and their not machines. I got up on him after he was lunged for almost an hour because he crow hopped for everyone else (by now my trainer had given up on this "Problem Horse" ) I got up on him and went into the ring. I asked for a trot and he bucked and then would not trot. My trainer was making him scared and I started crying because I felt horrible, You could feel fear just coming through him. Now in the first 3 weeks our bond got very close and even his owner said that he was doing great with me. A half a year goes by and Im interested in a horse, I was wondering about a thoroubred at another barn until I found out he was for lease. To late, A girl who was pretty much a miniature version of my trainer was leasing him. He kept his ears flat back while she was riding him and I couldnt ride him for 2 weeks because he was even worse with her. Next time I rode him he was acting Terrified! and would side step away from anyone who got near him, I approached him and spent a half an hour regaining his trust, I tacked him up very carefuly and talking to him while I was waiting for my trainer to get ready and call us out. She walkes in with a whip and is very rough with the tack yanking on his bridel, pulling as hard as she could on the girth and Shaking the saddle. Now his ears were pinned back and she walkes forward next to him. he lashes out and bites her arm, She grabbed his halter and punched his mouth! I asked her why and she responded with "Im telling him what to do!" she held the whip up to him and he lifted his front feet about a foot off the ground then backed up. Now Today, I was assigned him in Walk Trot Canter unassisted. For my first class I rode a small morgan named tiffany, I entered and we did fine first direction. I started second direction and they asked for a canter I started and she broke into a gallop, I slowed her down and she crow hopped then bucked seven times all over the ring, I stopped her and took her to the middle, Second place. Now my next class and I plead to the judges and my trainer for a switch to slick. She told me he would kill me and I would fail, You guessed it He got worse and they stopped riding him for 2 weeks now. She told me if I wanted it that bad then I could ride him. I talked to him and patted him before our class and I hopped up on slick. We went out and We did PERFECT! I got first place and had a standing ovation from the crowd! (I didnt expect that!) It was the best horse show I had attended and I also proved my trainer wrong. Which she addmitted. I walked away with A medal, two ribbions, Most Dedicated Award and A boost in confidence. Sorry if its long but! lol
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-05-2009, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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what a great story slick!
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