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I don't feel a bond with my horse

This is a discussion on I don't feel a bond with my horse within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        12-05-2013, 11:15 PM
    Originally Posted by tzoidbk    
    I feel like my horse hates me. I don't really know why I feel this way but I do. I feel like he doesn't really want to be around me. It's driving me crazy. I just want to be able to have my horse love and care for me as much as I do for him.
    Bonding tips?

    I feel unloved and everyone on Instagram is posting liberty pics with perfect bonds. And Im just like... "Eh, my horse would never do that"
    ok, I'm going to be lazy and not read all the other post so I'm sure I'm probably going to repeat some things. Sorry about that.

    Your horse is never going to "love" you. If I sit in the pasture my younger mare will come to me within minutes and the older one might look at me, but will have not interest in coming over unless she thinks there is something in it for her (i.e. A treat). So if I'm working with the younger one and she earn a treat the older one may come over and want me to work with her (she'll even start doing things on her own in hopes ). Neither of them "love" me, but the younger one sees me as the leader and likes being scratched so coming to me is a natural response to that. The older one accepts me as her leader, but would prefer to be .

    You can train a horse to come to you when ever you are around it, but that's it doing what it was trained, not showing you love.

    Love is a human emotion. Dogs, horses and other pets/livestock don't love. People attribute human emotions to them, but those emotions don't really exist. They react to us in ways that fit into the way nature made them. In some cases we use that, and in other cases we train to over come that, but in both cases we seek to (and hopefully succeed) fit them into our world and have them react to us in a way that we want. When they do that (for whatever the "actual" reason) people put a human trait to it, but it's not.

    If you really need the horse to come up to you so you feel "loved" you can spend a few days, weeks or even months working on that. You can train and condition your horse to come to you. Teach him to come to a whistle and you can teach him to be waiting for you from hearing the whistle. But just remember that's not love. They don't have that concept. Even in cases were a horse as reacted to defend someone it's not done out of love. Horses will fight and defend naturally and if you hold the right position with them they'll feel the need to defend you. A feral horse will defend, but not our of love. It's just one of many things that has enabled them to survive without human protection (even we've been eating since before recorded time )

    The loving horse that does everything for it's owner is a product of books and the entertainment industry. It sells well and comes off well (mostly with people who have dealt much with horses ), but it's still fiction.
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        12-05-2013, 11:44 PM
    Green Broke
    I'm on the fence about how much a horse can "love" a person. But I certainly think they can be very fond of a person and have a strong bond with them. And I do believe they "love" each other.

    My mare loves her 3 yr old son. She nickers when I bring him back from a ride and they mutually groom all the time. If he left permanently I think she would miss him and maybe even mourn for him. Is that love? I guess it depends on someone's definition of love. I think she loves him with a mother's love.

    I think it's arrogant of the human race to think we are the only ones with emotions. Animals show emotion all the time. At least mine do.

    bonding, help training, liberty training

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