Beginner here: How to endear a horse to me? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 01:35 PM
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^^^^^Being thankful is always a good thing!
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 01:53 PM
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I'm not even sure my own horse knows me or cares. There is one lesson horse at our barn that I just LOVE and I smooch on him and scratch him all the time when we're there (4-5 times a week). He still shows no recognition when I walk up. I know some horses bond w/ their people, but I think it's way less common than with other pets. Still, I love doing nice things for my horse like letting him hand graze after a lesson or bringing him carrots.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 02:15 PM
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Time. Alot of time. Your quiet manner is a plus around horses. Let me just say that they kind of "know" what you're thinking. They feel your energy, what you are putting out there. If you give this horse a good place to be every time you are with him, you might notice he begins to take more of an interest in you than just standing there rolling an eyeball. If you are sensitive, you might notice a slight cock of an ear towards you. His head may just turn a tiny bit in your direction.

If he is safe to groom loose, even just in the stall, preferably a bigger area, roundpen, paddock, etc. and you can work with him loose, he'll have room to move around a bit and show you. When you quietly walk away from him, does he follow you? Can you go off to the side behind him and will he quietly turn and come to you?
If you're really wanting to do this, a lesson horse will be a tough nut to crack, as has already been said, they earn their oats by ignoring a whole lot of stuff. But if you approach it with no goal of riding and no timeframe, you might just be surprised if he seeks you out. And then if you give him this good place to be each time you show up, he'll recognize it and welcome it.

Sounds mushy, but it works if you're sincere and patient.

I think it was Ray Hunt that said something like, "The horse knows when you know and he knows when you don't know."
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Horse's bond with the people that take care of them on a day in day out basis. Don't expect to form any sort of a bond with a lesson horse or one you only see occasionally.
Horse's do feel secure around people that aren't afraid of them but at the same time are firm, fair and consistent. It's something that comes with experience
Typical good post from jaydee. After 8 years with my little guy and 18 with my big guy, my horses are somewhat endeared to me. It's a little counter-intuitive, but horses do seem to like people who are able to make them mind. So if you focus on achieving excellent behavior, the affectionate stuff often follows. Just remember that every time you are with a horse you are training it.
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabettesFeast View Post
Does the typical barn appreciate help with grooming the horses? I'm thinking that - once I have mastered grooming - I'd like to be there between lessons, making myself useful and getting to know the horses. Do barns offer lessons in exchange for grooming? I'm not able to muck stalls due to a low back problem, but I can do other things!
I found that some barns allow grooming and saddling and others don't. Typically, smaller, less busy schools do have time for you to groom and saddle your horse whilst the big yards don't really have the time or facilities to allow a large number of inexperienced students to do that.

Go to your lessons and just observe what more experienced students are being directed to do, it should be fairly obvious.

Even if the barn doesn't typically do it, you might be able to ask for grooming and handling lessons. Just make sure that you give your instructor enough time to realise that you are a responsible person, that will make it easier.

I went about learning how to handle horses by offering to do the boring stuff first. Sweeping, putting equipment away (might be a problem with your back) or general cleaning away from horses. Eventually, a couple of months later, my instructor started asking me to do horse related chores, and voilà- I now have my own horse and i had zero trouble with general handling from day one.
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I know it's sentimental and likely incorrect to expect endearing myself to a horse. I think we do them the greatest service by being as they are, not projecting our needs onto them. And I wonder if women do this more than men ...
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-09-2016, 09:08 PM
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I think you have to take each horse on his or her terms. When I bought Goldie & Dunny on the same day and brought them home, Goldie was inquisitive and Dunny was just fearful. Both hadn't been handled much but Goldie was always more interested and accepting than Dunny. So, I just pretty much ignored Dunny and worked with Goldie first. Dunny grew less fearful and came along pretty well in some things, others...not so much. Two years later, that horse will crawl in your pocket if you'd let her. She's the first to greet you at the gate, wants her withers scratched, stands awesome for the farrier (from you were taking your life in your hands), ties, bathes, rides in the trailer, yak yak yak. She just needed time to figure things out on her own. Goldie......she's still a pest!

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post #18 of 19 Old 06-10-2016, 02:32 AM
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Goldie! <3 She didn't know me from Adam and just let me love on her and love on her, talk softly in her ear and pet her. She acted like she could stay there forever and go to sleep!

I like spending time with other people's horses (obviously) it's wonderful. But I wouldn't want to bond with one. That would be too heart breaking. And I wouldn't want them to get overly attached to me. I wouldn't be around permanently in their lives either. As much fun as I had visiting at Dream's place, I'm happy her horses are responsive mostly to her and her husband, not to me. Better for the horse. Better for me. I can't afford to get emotionally invested in every horse I encounter. Like them, sure! I haven't met a horse yet I didn't like. Some more than others. But if I go truly falling in love with a horse I know I can never own... Setting myself up for heartache.

Now that I have started riding lessons at a local barn and they managed to fit me into my weird and freaky schedule at their place, I'm meeting a LOT of horses. I'd be half bat **** crazy if I went and fell in love with all of them. I'll pet them, groom them, see to their care, enjoy their company, but at the end of the day, time to go home.

I'll save deep emotional stuff for a horse I own myself. Until then I do TRY to hold back. Until then I will enjoy what time I can get in with a horse, have some fun, pack my stuff home again. I'm kind of the same way with cats. I like all cats, enjoy time with them. But at the end of the day my "Sophie" is the cats-meow. None will ever get my heart as deep as she does. And she benefits from it. Spoiled kitty. Best of health care, bed food I can get her, top notch care at home, daily training.. Spending that much time with her, plus our cuddle sessions, can't help myself. She's my favorite kitty! I can't tell you what a mess I'm going to be when she gets old and leaves me behind. I absolutely love that cat. I know I'd do the same with a horse. God help me! Maybe worse.. >.< Wouldn't matter if the horse didn't love me back. It would matter to me if the horse was well behaved. But it's more of what I can do to make sure the horse is happy, healthy, getting its needs met more than how much the horse loves me back... Maybe in time it will bond to me the way I am hoping, maybe it won't. Wouldn't stop me from loving the animals I own.

And by the way, me doing my best for my "Sophie" paid off. She likes other people, is well behaved around them, I trust her 100% to behave herself even around the smallest of newborn babies, or the roughest of pull-tail toddlers. But at the end of the day, she loves her mama! She lets my husband pet her. He likes to talk to her and tease her about how much she's attached to me, but she'll just turn her tail and head right to my lap! haha..

The only thing evil needs to thrive, is for good men to do nothing. - Edmond Burke


Last edited by Kyleen Drake; 06-10-2016 at 02:40 AM.
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-10-2016, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabettesFeast View Post
I'm taking my first English lesson in 30 years tomorrow! I've been reading tons, have been glued to YouTube videos, etc. My question is what kind of human behavior is best for horses? What can I do to begin to have a bond with my lesson horse? I'm very calm and "at home" around horses, even though I haven't ridden in years, I hung around at the barn where my daughter wrote when she was little. I guess I'd like to show my appreciation for whatever horse I ride and switch things up a little by my attitude; the poor lesson horses must get bored to death!
You should realize that horses are individuals. Bonding with a horse is much like bonding with a human. By this, I mean that you should pay attention to the individual to learn what the particular horse likes and dislikes.

Some horses are more transparent that others. Some horses – especially some lesson horses – have learned that it is best to remain “neutral” and simply go through the motions.

Much depends on the facility and attitude of the people there, both professionals and clients. Some facilities make riding a very formal interaction between horses and humans. A student comes, mounts, rides while responding to the instructor, dismounts, and leaves. It is difficult – though not impossible – for students and horses to establish much of a true relationship under such circumstances.

Facilities that encourage students to spend time with the horses, both before and after the formal lessons, provide much more opportunity for students to develop deeper relationships with the horses. Such an atmosphere also provides greater opportunity for individuals to learn more about horses in general.

It is interesting to note that Alois Podhajsky (director of the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna for many years) wrote that riders sometimes had more intimate bonds with horses than the grooms who fed and cared for them. Why would this be?

Relationships are more than “what” you do with others. Relationships involve “how”. Good relationships involve empathy, listening as well as speaking, and displays of appreciation. How these elements develop depends on the individuals involved. Put somewhat scientifically, the development of relationships involves experimenting with one’s approach to another, observing the response, appropriately modifying the approach, and trying again. At the same time, one must realize that relationships are not constant. Situations change and the individual must be able to adjust to new responses to the same approach.
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