My first Horse, any advice on Bonding? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 08-05-2014, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New York
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Thanks for all the input everyone!! I look forward to spending my time with her! and of course I respect her age and don't plan on over working her by any means..we just like to go for walks through the woods and have fun! I have been working with horses for 12 years now so Im not jumping in blind but of course theres always much more to learn! thanks so much again everyone!
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post #12 of 28 Old 08-05-2014, 02:57 PM
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So glad you two found each other.

I knew an Arab looked a lot like her, and he was very healthy until he got to be about 37; then after a short time when he just stopped being interested in life (like eating) he was gently allowed to pass on.

You should have quite a few good years together!
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post #13 of 28 Old 08-05-2014, 06:06 PM
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Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
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I say phooey on that advice, Palomine. Bonding and affection are very important to many people who own horses (and their horses too). I've done a lot of reading and there are plenty of experts out there who agree. Yes, you need to be herd leader, but that doesn't mean being a hardass or not affectionate or caring towards your horse partner.

Watch horses in a herd. They stand close to each other, touching, blow gently into each other's noses, groom one another, and stand in a circle with butts out to protect one another. That's affection, love, and trust.

OP sounds like you're doing it the right way! I'd also say give her some treats because that's worked well with my horse and me, but I know some are anti-treat around these here parts. :)

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #14 of 28 Old 08-05-2014, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Respect her age and do not necessarily run her as much as you think she wants, since more than likely she has more heart than her bones and muscles can support without pain or trouble . Arabs can be like that, Be a good steward of her.
Could not have said better.
She has most likely been there and done that, all of that and more.
If she is well behaved spoil her.
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-07-2014, 09:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiafoxmorgan View Post
I would suggest not lunging her all that much. it's hard on the joints, and she's an old girl. Take it easy on her. As for bonding...that comes with fair riding, feeding, cleaning, grooming, and daily handling. You can also lead her and hand graze. It makes you a herd of two. Maybe teach her some tricks.
Nice suggestions on bonding activities.

About lunging: That was my Arabian mare's mainstay physio when I was still riding her in her late 20s. I free lunged her on soft footing in a good-sized round yard, at least every second day, with work mostly at trot and canter, and some walk breaks, in 15-25min sessions, enough to dilate the blood vessels and raise a light sweat. Lots of transitions and direction changes, which she liked. The key thing with any exercise is to do it consistently rather than sporadically, and to build up gradually when the horse has had a spell so you don't overtax. The lunging was super for my mare's back muscles (which need extra TLC in old age) and general conditioning, and helped her body deal with ridden work, kind of like my Pilates helped me.

And like tinyliny said, I had to make sure she didn't overdo it when riding. Noone had ever told her she was getting old... and she still wanted to gallop up every hill, but I no longer let her. She was allowed to trot all she liked and canter, but no flat tack or heavy sand work anymore, and no heavy sweating allowed.

My mare at 27:







Wonderful bonding and trick training on this site:

Augustus the Mustang | Adventures of Augustus the Mustang

Really worth looking at. This HF member is training a mustang and the level of relationship and cooperation between her and her horse after only a couple of months is wonderful. She plays all sorts of games with him and he lies down on request and she can sit on top of him lying down etc. Videos of all that are on this site but you may have to dig into the archives to see all that cool stuff.
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Last edited by SueC; 08-07-2014 at 09:41 AM.
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post #16 of 28 Old 08-07-2014, 10:00 AM
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Location: Australia
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And just as a PS: I didn't ride the same day I lunged. I increasingly lunged instead of riding when she got older, to keep her in good shape without carrying my weight around. Driving is also a good alternative activity to riding and less stress on the back. My mare had no noticeable arthritis at age 27. Old horses (like people) lose their fitness far quicker than younger ones, hence the need for consistent light conditioning (in horses or humans) to prevent injuries and reduce deterioration.
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-07-2014, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post

....


Wonderful bonding and trick training on this site:

Augustus the Mustang | Adventures of Augustus the Mustang

Really worth looking at. This HF member is training a mustang and the level of relationship and cooperation between her and her horse after only a couple of months is wonderful. She plays all sorts of games with him and he lies down on request and she can sit on top of him lying down etc. Videos of all that are on this site but you may have to dig into the archives to see all that cool stuff.
I just read through that entire blog!! What a cool thing she's doing!!
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“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-07-2014, 11:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Put your horse on a lead line and just sit in the field and read a book. Time tha tinvolves no work is always good! Anything in a round pen/ground work is always a good way to go as well!
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-10-2014, 08:48 AM
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Spend time outside in the pasture with her just enjoying her company! When I got back into horses about a year ago, I found Dad's old copy of The Man Who Listens to Horses and took it outside with a cup of coffee and sat on the round bale. I like to think Charlie and Alfie enjoyed my company and I would sometimes read aloud to them!
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-10-2014, 09:22 AM
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That's so cool, Winston! And that reminds me: Some horses really like being sung to. Think lullaby or madrigal, nothing vibrato or opera though... They'll stand close to you and kind of breathe in little sighs if they like it, and make crinkly eyes like when you scratch an itchy spot.

Also had a memory: When I was completing my schooling I was away from home during the week, and came home Friday nights, and after dinner I'd go sit in my mare's loose box at the edge of her pile of hay, and just keep her company as she ate. She would come right over and eat with her head almost touching me, and she would lift her head up every now and then and just look me over and sniff my hands, and very politely breathe into my hair, and occasionally nuzzle me. If I scratched her, she'd nuzzle me back. Listening to her chewing was very meditative. I really liked hanging out with this horse.

I also used to play "paddock tag" with her when both of us were young. I'd look at her and run off, and she'd follow, and I'd turn around and go "boo" and she'd kick up her heels and skedaddle off in big circles and meet up with me again. It was really fun, and we both got lots of exercise. When the pasture was bad in summer, I'd put her on a long lead and walk her to patches of still-green grass in the surrounding countryside, and just lie in the sun and watch her eat, or look at the blue sky. I think just that meant as much to me as winning an Olympic medal does to some. Those are largely unsung moments that make life incredibly beautiful.
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