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New Horse Bonding?

This is a discussion on New Horse Bonding? within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        09-22-2013, 11:39 PM
      #21
    Foal
    Thanks about the advice on tail scritching! I had read that before. The lady that I bought him from showed me how he loved having his tail rubbed. I am trying to keep his scratchy spot time handled correctly. So far he only will walk forward and turn his butt *slowly* to me when I am on the other side of his stall door and I've been scratching his neck already. It's kind of like I'm scratching him and he's going "ahh yea there there now there oh now there now down there please please" and he wiggles his butt while I do it. Then after a few minutes he turns back around and snuffles me and I pet his head. The only time I scratch his butt when we aren't separated by a door/fence and already doing scratchy time is when I have him out and then I move down on my own and reach for his tail and scratch while he's standing where I told him to. So do you think that is ok? If he starts demanding it or doing it abruptly then I won't give in to him. It's kind of like a progressive - im already hitting his scratchy spots thing right now
         
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        09-23-2013, 01:48 AM
      #22
    Yearling
    I think bsms is giving you some good advice. And like him, when I hear the word “Bond” in relation to horses it tends to send a shudder through me. My advice would be to forget about some “bond” (stick with me here, I’ll get to the good bit where you get a real relationship in a minute).
    The first and foremost thin you have to have from your horse is respect, even if it doesn’t particularly like you, respect is what counts. For your part, you have to make sure that you gain and keep the horses respect appropriately, and CONSISTANTLY give it the guidance it needs to give you that respect. Keeping the respect can be hard, and loving on your horse with pats and scratches and treats, and just being there irritating it all the time, in the wrong ways, is a sure fire way to lose it. Try to think of the relationship you have with your horse as a very dynamic one in which the horse will rather be in charge. It will challenge you in ways you won’t even notice, unless you know what to look for, and if you don’t maintain discipline, the horse will start to get dominant. So even if the horse is all friendly now, doesn’t mean it will be later if you are not careful.
    The “bond” comes when the horse sees you as a fair, reliable and consistent leader. Whatever you do with your horse, make sure it can succeed when you ask it to work. Do this, and over time, the horse will “bond” with you. If you spend enough time in the saddle once you have maintained that kind of relationship, your thoughts will turn into the horse’s movement. THAT is the real bond. There’s nothing mystical or supernatural about it, it’s just that you are a reliable leader, the horse is a reliable mount, and you both become so physically accustomed to one another that all action transcends consciousness. That is the bond to go for, and it all starts with respect.
         
        09-23-2013, 01:53 AM
      #23
    Started
    Nicely said, AnrewPL.
         
        09-23-2013, 03:32 AM
      #24
    Green Broke
    I agree with your trainer. It is not a dog, and bonding is overused by too many also, as it is not necessary to be a good rider or handler.

    Horses work off of consistency in handling, a handler that is running the show and being well trained and having a well trained rider.

    As for sitting and reading a book and horse wandering over for mane scratch?

    Get a dog for that.
    MaximasMommy likes this.
         
        09-23-2013, 04:41 PM
      #25
    Foal
    Today I got him out of his stall and my trainer worked with me to get him to walk up onto the concreted grooming area. He didn't want to do it right away for some reason. She said he was testing me. She ended up having me hold a small grain bucket toward the back of the concrete while I held his lead rope, with her shooing and waving him from back where he was standing. So of course he goes right through me and walks over the concrete and out to the grass outside. Which got me in trouble... blah. Thankfully he walked right back to the concrete and where he was supposed to be when I asked him to. Then we put him out to pasture. I went out and got him after my riding lesson (which sucked because of me not the horse, altho after awhile she was kind of adding to the suck) and put him in his stall. I'm going to have a lesson tomorrow that's just lunging him and working with him from the ground. It's kind of depressing knowing that I have this amazing animal and just about everything I do with it is wrong but I'm trying to keep my head up and keep working on learning. It's the price I have to pay for getting him so early. And when I was out in the field with him, putting on his halter after he came up to me and put his head down for it, it was the only time I just didn't feel like bawling my eyes out all day. Because he's just so wonderful
         
        09-23-2013, 06:46 PM
      #26
    Started
    Don't be discouraged, MM - keep at it and it will only be a matter of time before you've got your tools and tricks to use just like the rest of us and you'll have a great partnership going with your horse.
    MaximasMommy likes this.
         
        09-23-2013, 07:22 PM
      #27
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MaximasMommy    
    Today I got him out of his stall and my trainer worked with me to get him to walk up onto the concreted grooming area. He didn't want to do it right away for some reason. She said he was testing me.
    I dunno... I'm no expert, but it seems just as likely that he was not familiar with a concrete grooming area (and maybe not even concrete surfaces), and so was afraid of going onto some strange horse-eating surface. Certainly I've found that to be true with my horse: she can be nervous about things she hasn't seen/done before (which I certainly can emphathize with ), like getting into trailers or crossing creeks, and needs to be shown that it's ok*. Once I show her that it's ok, she does it, and is fine with it from then on.

    If she kept refusing, or sometimes did and sometimes refused, I might think she was testing me, but that wouldn't be my automatic assumption the first time she refused any particular thing.


    *PS: And that's another reason I suggested lots of hand-walking. If the horse is used to walking with you, he's formed a habit, and will be more willing to let you walk him through something unfamiliar. I mean, think how you'd feel riding a strange horse for the first time: would you really trust him?
    bsms, EliRose, Dustbunny and 1 others like this.
         
        09-23-2013, 07:29 PM
      #28
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jamesqf    
    I dunno... I'm no expert, but it seems just as likely that he was not familiar with a concrete grooming area (and maybe not even concrete surfaces), and so was afraid of going onto some strange horse-eating surface. Certainly I've found that to be true with my horse: she can be nervous about things she hasn't seen/done before (which I certainly can emphathize with ), like getting into trailers or crossing creeks, and needs to be shown that it's ok. Once I show her that it's ok, she does it, and is fine with it from then on.

    If she kept refusing, or sometimes did and sometimes refused, I might think she was testing me, but that wouldn't be my automatic assumption the first time she refused any particular thing.
    I agree. Most hoses don't see concrete, and it certainly doesn't look like dirt. I've done a lot of road riding in neighborhoods to train the young ones, and stepping from the grass over a concrete curb onto the road always gets a very close inspection from the horses at the start.
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        09-23-2013, 07:58 PM
      #29
    Yearling
    Don’t get discouraged, just remember it’s a long road, and it will take time and effort to go down it. Your horse will test you, whether he did or didn’t with the concrete thing?, you will learn to be able to read the difference in situations like that eventually, and then respond appropriately. In fact you can get so good at it that you can just look at your horse from 50 feet away and you will be able to tell what kind of mood it will be in and how it’s likely to behave or the day.
    But, again, don’t let yourself get discouraged when your horse doesn’t want to cooperate, just think of it as normal. What I mean is that horses, being herd animals, that have a fairly hierarchical, yet fluid, social structure, will try to be dominant in any given situation if you leave a vacuum into which the horse can insert its dominance. It all comes back to safety in numbers and survival as a prey animal. The trick is to learn 1) how to read the horse in the situation, and 2) respond appropriately. And maybe 3) always keep your cool (even if there may be times when you need to convince the horse that you are about to eat it, say if it tries to kick or bite you).
    MaximasMommy likes this.
         
        09-23-2013, 08:21 PM
      #30
    Weanling
    Somethings I mentioned in a previous post.

    I wonder about this whole affection thing.(I might P someone off)

    I like AlexS statement about the horse comes to me and drops his head.
    I think this horse knows the pecking order and at that time AlexS was leader.

    Then there is the time when the horse comes to you to test the pecking order.
    This could be in the form of nudging, nipping your clothes, biting, etc...
    When this occurs I will usually pinch their nostril and they stop or back up one step.
    I feel that I just established the order by my reaction and they yielded.

    Celeste's last post made some key points about relationship.

    I have even seen my horses grooming one another I will call it.
    This may go on with nibbles on their neck or near their mane.
    After 15 minutes it may end with a nip and one moves off.
    Was this grooming or a casual test of the order?

    "while you ride so that the two of you work like one spirit"
    Celeste pointed out a handler/animal relationship quite well.

    I don't so much agree with all these huggy kisses stories about one's horse.
    My daughter is thirteen, we have taught her to ride, she has felt a little pain
    Though never really been injured other than pride.
    I am happy to say she does not look for affection from them like a dog.

    Stepping down from soapbox.

    My first year with my new horse involved 1 week in the field "to bond".
    I sat in a lawn chair and would not give him a treat until he became interested(knocked me over in the chair)
    Riding began in week 2(someone hold this horse so I can get on)
    Week 3-80 my this horse is fast, tight reins and let's try to walk these trails.
    Week 81-156 the 3 year mark, we got this, knows what I want usually before I ask.
    This animal/handler relationship takes time, patience, and many miles.
    I can only say it was well worth it.
         

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