Bonding and ground manners when unable to ride?
So winter seems like it's almost here. At the barn where I ride, there is only an outdoor ring and this is already frozen, which means no real riding for me for a while. While I will still try to ride/lunge whenever I can, I want to make the most of all the time I spend at the barn. I've been riding the horse that I free lease for about a year now, but we still don't really have that bond that I hear so many other riders talk about. So I was wondering if anyone had any ways to work on bonding or improving ground manners with your horse? Thanks!
My mare I have had for 7yrs. now and we are bonded really great, I trust her and she trusts me......I still go out and bring the five horses in for a good grooming with a little extra alfafa while I am grooming them. The horses will line up at the gate waiting to see who comes in next, that is their treat and the grooming is another treat for them. Sometimes I even just give them the regular hay but they love coming in and getting pampered....
For respect take the horse for a walk, does it lead nicely, walk behind you, not try to run into you or over you?
Can I ask? How often do you ride? You lease, does anyone else ride that horse? Bonds are a life long thing. My horse has been with our family the longest, my wife and daughter upgrade all the time. No bond for them. They haven't found the "one" Well my wife did but that didnt work out. Honestly, I doubt you'll know that "bond" till you have your forever horse. Ever see the old guy with an old horse grazing out back? That's his buddy.
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Bonds are thing that are built upon, though when you find your right horse it will just click that Oh this horse likes me, and I like him/her. It took me five years and over 100 horses that I looked at before I found my girl. I went to see her twice, first time the owner had run her so hard that she was tired and didn't care about anything going on. So I went back a second time, it was fantastic, i went out to the pasture and she came over to me first, not woman that had owned her for a few years, i gave her a pat she put her nose close to my face and breathed out, i blew gently into her nostrils and then for the time in the pasture she kept her head right next to me.
That was it. Only 10 minutes and I knew I liked her and most importantly she liked me. We have had bumps along the rode, but what I found most important that has bonded us is plain ole spending time with her. In the summer when I was staying at my boarders for the day I would just go sit inside the pasture, read a book or tan (try to tan considering I am whiter than most paper :D) she would graze close to me and every so often come over to see what I was doing and if I'd let her sample my book. (lol) After I decided to I wanted to loose some more weight I would jog around her pasture, my mare would get curious and watch me. Later she started to join me in our little group jogs :)
The way I bonded with my girl was just being there, grooming and just hanging out with her. She likes the relaxed atmosphere and so do I. Not every horse is the same, nor is every person. Each experience is different and each horse has his or her own way of getting to know someone. Spending time outside the training aspect of it is from what I has experienced a good way to bond with them.
When not doing serious "training" sessions, I like to go out and just hang out with the horses. Sometimes I do ground work (but really, any handling you do at all is training), and other times I just take them for walks like dogs. I also like to make up little challenges for them to complete. It makes it interesting for them as well as me.
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