How to get my horse to enjoy my company? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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How to get my horse to enjoy my company?

Just got a new horse but I'm such a beginner with horses I have no idea how to bond etc. help please.
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post #2 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 07:38 AM
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There are no tricks. Spend time with him, groom him, and with the time you put into him you will build a relationship with him.

Stop for a minute, open your mind, learn. You may not agree with what I say, I may not agree with what you say but we will both learn something new.
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post #3 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by memeseku View Post
Just got a new horse but I'm such a beginner with horses I have no idea how to bond etc. help please.
You probably should have gotten 6 months of lessons on the ground and in the saddle before you bought this horse. You really need some sort of experience with horses before you buy them.
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post #4 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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I know D: but the owners of the horse needed her gone asap because she was getting to expensive since they have 3 other horses. Luckily I have a friend whos been riding for 11 years whos horse is in the same paddock as mine, and she teaches me a lot.
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post #5 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 08:07 AM
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Spend time with him just being together.

Do groundwork and earn his trust and respect. When he sees you as a gentle leader your bond will grow.
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 08:38 AM
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Agree with PP's re time spent.

I am also a new horse owner, and one thing that has helped me feel more connected to my mare is not only ground work but time spent in the saddle. I try to do everything-- retrieve her from her pasture, groom her, tack her up, ride her, untack, groom again-- hang around while she cools down, feed her and then return her to her pasture.

It's going to take time, I've only been around my mare for about 6 weeks now so does she know I'm her boss? Probably not, considering she is boarded and daily taken care of by another person. But she does know that when I show up, we have some work to do and I'm going to take care of her. So, with you-- as your relationship progresses, you'll start to get used to your new horses quirks, habits, smells, etc and they will do the same for you. Use the time you do have with him to start building some trust, even though you're new to horses, show that you do know some things. You do expect him to do some work. You will take care of him when you're there.
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The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 08:39 AM
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How will you know if he is "bonded" with you? How will you be able to tell if he likes being with you?

He may be already. :)

I suggest this because many people have less experience with how horses show emotion than, say, a dog or cat does.

Sometimes it is helpful to watch horses together. When they are peaceful and calm, all's well. When they are peaceful and calm with you nearby, all's well. Facial expression and body language is more subtle than with the more common and smaller domesticated animals.

So, if your horse is calm when you are with him (leading, grooming, riding), you may already have "it." You will learn your horse's subtle expression by spending more time with him.
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post #8 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 10:21 AM
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respect and leadership = groundwork
bonding and relationship = grooming

there was recently a study on chimpanzees that showed an increase in oxytocin as a direct result of social grooming

oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the "bonding hormone" becuase of it's effects on pair bonding
oxytocin also reduces stress responses, including anxiety.

so yeah .. grooming for establishing and maintaining a good relationship --- groundwork to establish yourself as the leader of that relationship
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post #9 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 02:01 PM
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Rather than focusing on bonding, try doing everything else well and bonding will happen naturally.

Part of an owner’s responsibility is to meet the basic needs of the horse. This includes food, water, medical care, and the like. Many of the things people place emphasis on such as indoor shelter, rugs, and showers are generally more tolerated than appreciated by horses.

Companionship is also important to herd animals. People often want their horses to bond with them, but they are only around their horses for a small portion of their horse’s day or week. More constant companionship is best provided by other horses. However, horses have been know to bond with other animals. I even read of one horse that bonded with a tortoise.

Most horses prefer being followers to being leaders. Provide leadership for your horse. Horses will generally respond to any form of leadership. However, the type of leadership you provide will make a big difference in how your horse responds. The best leaders keep the horse’s well being in mind.

Think of the kind of leader you would want and become that type of leader for your horse. When you present your horse with a task, be sure your horse understands what you are asking and is capable of responding. If he doesn’t understand, try to find another way of explaining so he does understand. If the horse is not capable of performing a particular task, first provide the exercises and knowledge necessary to make him capable.

Horses also respond well to praise. When a horse tries to do what you ask, praise it – even if it doesn’t get things quite right. Rewards can vary depending on circumstances and the personality of the horse. Sometimes, release of pressure may serve as a reward. Verbal praise expressed in the right tone of voice can be very rewarding. Rubs and scratches are often appreciated. Pats are generally tolerated. Most horses like treats, but these should generally be looked at as rewards rather than bribes.
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Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #10 of 28 Old 12-19-2014, 02:12 PM
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Yes, spend time grooming your horse EVERY day and talk to him so he learns your voice. They would rather have 15 mintues a day with you than 2 hours on a satruday. having a pocket full of treats can help, but you need to be careful with treats or they can get pushy. Horses like consistancy and routine.

Good luck! Most of the time the above works, sometimes though you end up with a horse that just doesn't want to bond with you. That happened to me once with a mare. I gave it 8 months. My 2 geldings have been my best buds though.
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