Me and my horse have zero bond - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 43 Old 04-18-2019, 03:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,615
• Horses: 8
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
In the military, we joked bonds came from shared suffering.

Mia & I had a bond. We always liked each other. She spooked, spun and bolted more times than I could count, but she always LIKED me while doing so. We eventually made some progress, but I'm certain she thought she was wonderful for saving my life from so many threats!

Bandit and I don't have nearly the emotional connection, but we get along. We understand each other. We can get thoroughly annoyed with each other and then be fine 2 minutes later. We both trust each other and rely on each other for help while riding.

I've had Trooper for over 10 years. At the very best, he tolerates me. If I die before he does, he'll probably giggle. He's quite obedient when I ride him but there is zero bond. Truth is, when HE dies, I may giggle. Just a little. No love lost between us! Good riding horse, though!

Cowboy likes me well enough, to the extent he likes or trusts anyone. He's had a lot of owners and I don't think he'll ever really trust a human. It is sad but his trust of any human is skin deep. It is heart-breaking to see him ALMOST trusting and then drawing back. I really like him. Wish it was truly returned.

Mia & I had a bond. We both really liked each other. And that was true from the beginning. I don't know why. And yet, in spite of our bond, I have a measure of PTSD from our years riding together. I'm probably 20 times safer riding Bandit.

Sample size of 4. Take it FWIW.

This may be one of my favorite posts from you, ever, good sir. Especially the part about Trooper.
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"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #42 of 43 Old 04-18-2019, 03:17 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,615
• Horses: 8
Originally Posted by mysticalgirrafffe View Post
Thanks for the advice

Anyone have any good ideas for a daily routine filled with bonding exercises?

Also does anyone have any tips and tricks for natural horsemanship?

Wellll. I'd like to think I have a bond with every horse on our place. Each 'bond' is to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the horse and their personality quirks.

But Trigger is m'boi. He's the squirrley, untrusting, hot, reactive, 'crazy' horse, the one my husband thinks is going to get me hurt.

BUT I TRUST HIM. And he trusts me. I spent an entire year getting him to this point, and while it's no longer as intensely needed as it was at first, I still have to take time, regularly, to be in his company to keep that bond strong.

Best thing you can do is be in your horse's company, as often as possible, daily if need be, asking nothing of them. Or you can simply groom them. I used to softly sing along to Seven Spanish Angels, on repeat, because for some reason that causes Trigger to just melt and when I hear that sigh and feel him fully relax, when I see that lower lip quiver, his head lower, and his eyes get that dopey glazed over, half asleep look? That's the best.

I used to tie him up to the post outside my tack room, when I was first getting started on seriously trying to 'save' him. I offered a lot of treats, groomed him often and unnecessarily - but I learned all his scratchy places. Under his jaw, up in the thick soft hair at his neck that feels more like fur? That's the place for him. I was able to get him to trust me enough to touch his previously abused ears. I learned he has allergies in the summer and it makes his eyes crust up - he appreciated it greatly when, that first summer, I would go out with a warm damp kitchen towel and wash his face and gently cup his eye with my hand and the towel and rub his itchy eyes.... that's when the bond really started to deepen, I think: When he would trust me with his eyes.

We're three years into this and it's ongoing, though like I said, not as intense as it once had to be. Now we're taking it deeper still - and we trail ride and camp. He will go anywhere I ask him to go, even when he KNOWS it's a bad idea, and he will fuss at me afterwards... and then he forgives me. I'm learning to trust him to go off roading, to jump a few logs and creeks, and to gallop - so we're getting there together.

I have access to four adult horses to ride - and they're all wonderful horses. I adore being in their company and know all their quirks, but it's the squirrely one I trust the most and have the deepest bond with - because he's the one I've spent the most time with on the ground and in the saddle.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #43 of 43 Old 04-18-2019, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,688
• Horses: 4
From my journal discussing a lazy, laid back arena ride's finish:

Originally Posted by bsms View Post
...Obviously a very lazy day. There is a thread about "bonding". I've come to dislike the term. But if, at the end of a ride, your horse ignores his food so he can rub his face against is kind of "bond-ish". Even if it mostly meant his eyes itched.

Of course, Trooper continues to believe I'm the distilled essence of Hitler, Mao & Stalin. But Bandit and I goofed around as the sun started to set, then I cleaned the corral with relaxed horses...and Bandit sought me out. Sweat on my back. The dusty smell of the corral with a touch of horse manure. The sun going down. Just a touch of a breeze. And a sociable horse.

Life could be much worse!
No idea if that involves bonding. But as I look out at the dry lot Arizona corral, where the three horses are playing musical chairs with four piles of is good enough.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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