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Wanting a horse's love
Many moons ago when I was a teen, bonding with a horse wasn't something we even thought about. We all enjoyed the horses, respected them and demanded good manners in return. It wasn't a matter of wanting the horse to love us nor us needing to love on and cuddle the horse. We groomed them, rode them, and put them away and left them to be horses. None were barn sour or herd sour. People that I knew rarely ran into difficulties with their horses. Something changed and now people, women want the horse to love them and have this idea that demanding respect is akin to a beating. Because of this we hear of many many cases where the horse has no respect for it's owner. I sometimes wonder where I was during the transition period.
Life always seems simpler in the past, and yes I agree...things have changed.
Sometimes I think if I hear the word 'respect' one more time I'll scream because far too many people seem to think it involves running a horse around until its fit to drop and then when it comes to you because its totally exhausted and bored they cry out in delight that they've bonded with it and it respects them!!!
If you make clear boundaries for your horse, treat it fairly, take care of it on a daily basis - not just when you want to ride and drag it in from the field once a week - then they respect you and trust you
I used to head off on my own when I was 11 or 12 and be out all day - I'm not sure I could say that pony loved me but she certainly did take good care of me!!!
Are you sure you don't have on some rose colored glasses today? when I was a teen, teen girls always wanted a horse to love them. they didn't just ride them and put them away. the love affair fantasy was alive and well, 40 years ago.
It's not just women. I've met my fair share of men who wanted to love a horse into being trained.
Also, I don't think that it's necessarily more common, but I do think it's more commercialized. After all, 20 years ago I never would have known anything about all those silly teens running around on youtube making fools of themselves but now it seems I can't get on youtube without being bombarded by 20-30 of them daily.
Certainly when I was a girl most people didn't have a pony or horse unless they'd first learnt how to ride it and had someone on hand to help them learn how to care for it - nowadays they seem to hurl themselves in at the deep end
Most ponies and horses were broke by people who knew what they were doing too and a beginner almost always bought or leased a real schoolmaster
There were very few 'pasture puffs', people couldn't or wouldn't afford to keep a horse that did nothing - other than a few people who kept a retired one as a companion for a riding horse. If they were no good physically or mentally they went to the kennels or to the slaughter yard if you wanted some cash out of it
Well, we never talked about "bonding" with a horse, I honestly didn't expect my ponies to love me but I honestly think that it is only over time that I have started to understand what they are capable of :wink:
Even when I was a little kid I understood that the horses "loved" the treats I gave them more then they "loved" me. Lol In all seriousness though, I wish the whole idea of loving your horse into respecting you, would disappear. I've had to fix way too many horses that were "trained" this way. It's total crap and so many people get hurt by those kind of ideals because their horse has become dangerous.
Beating a horse up won't earn you its respect either though - I really think that too many people get stuck with either the loving or the bullying and totally miss what really matters
I was always taught that any "love" from the horses came from years and years of a working partnership between the two of you. It wasn't the lovey-dovey teenager youtube crap, it was having a horse that would rip his heart out of his chest to do anything you asked of him. Love for me is having the horse that always worked for you, had good manners, and that never left you behind. For these reason I do believe that my two love me. A safe and working partnership with the horse is first priority for me, any form of love can come later because it's built on years of respect and work, not fifteen minuets a day and you can ride without tack.
Then again I was taught that "bonding" was knowing the individual horse inside and out and know how to communicate with them. One of my instructors would just send me out in the field to watch the horse I was going to ride in the herd because I needed to know what and how he thought, know his movements and basically be able to read him like an open book. I had to figure out how to calm him, how to communicate with him under saddle and on the ground and how to earn his trust/respect/get good results from him.
(And I've seen a lot of men baby their horses as well, it isn't just women :wink:)
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