Getting him to want to do what I want to do! Bonding techniques?
The horse I'm talking about is amazingly well trained, hacks, jumps, automatic lead changes on the straight. He just hates being worked in the ring, he will work nicely in the ring if he's doing stuff he likes though. I usually just trail ride him and leisurely jump him around, but I'm probably going to end up showing him this summer. He goes in the ring now, but just acts pissy about it. So I need to develop a bond with him. I've ridden him here and there for a while now, but never consistently to develop a bond. He goes around amazingly if he likes what he's doing, I just need to figure out a way to help him think ringwork is more fun for him! Is there anything I can do to help create a bond with him, and things I can do to help him associate the ring with fun time? Because there's absolutely no fighting with him, he's big, strong, and never (i mean never) tires out. So there's no lunging him into submission, or anything like that.
Well, I do not think you have a problem with a 'bond' or any other such 'personal problem'.
I've spent a lifetime training and showing (until I got too dam*ed old and infirm) and you simply have a 'ring soured' horse. His time spent in the ring have been tedious, boring and have been 'work' and his time spent on relaxing and trail riding have been 'fun'. Where would YOU rather be in his place?
I have always made it a point to have students ride hard and work VERY hard outside of the ring and immediately after leaving it. I NEVER let them give a horse a pat and dismount after leaving the ring because that would be rewarding leaving.
I do not know what discipline you show in, but do your hard work and show preparation in an open area away from the ring. Put all of your training pressure on him outside of the ring. When you are done, go in the ring area and ride on a loose rein, putz around and ask for nothing. Let him stand for 10 or 15 minutes when you are done, dismount, loosen the girth and lead him out of the ring. You need to make the ring into a pleasant place to be -- from his standpoint.
If anyone that wants to seriously show would use this routine before they start showing and they would ride hard and work hard after leaving the ring, there would not be the number of 'show wise' and 'ring sour' horses to contend with.
I hope this helps.
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