My horse doesn't enjoy spending time with me, thoughts? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 07:38 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: USA
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Honestly, 4 months is not really that long to expect a "bond" to have been formed.

In all seriousness, as other people have stated, horses are not dogs. They can learn to like our presence because they associate us with food and such but they are not a dog in terms of forming actual relationships. If a horse is respectful and pleasant around you, that's all that can really be asked for. To expect a horse to trot up to you and softly nuzzle you on the neck and allow you to hop on bareback and ride off into the sunset is just not accurate. (I'm exaggerating a bit here) I don't want to burst your bubble but horses are wild animals and are simply not the type of animal that inherently want to cuddle with you.

But I certainly hope you and your horse form a mutual respect!
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post #12 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 08:28 PM
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My trainer says that it takes about a year for a horse to become a team with a person, and I feel like it's true. I've been leasing my current horse since last June (2014), and only in the past month (April 2015) has she stopped eating at the round bale and walked a few steps toward me when she sees me come into the pasture. Before that, she usually made me earn my ride by chasing her around the bale a bit and separating her from her buddies. :) It's taken about 10 months, with at least 3 hour-long rides per week, to get that kind of response from her, where I feel like she's showing me that she's looking forward to working with me with her body language. My trainer keeps saying that she'll move me up to a new, more advanced horse this fall after this show season is over, and says that all of the relationship-building will have to start over again. It just takes time to build that communication and mutual respect and even enjoyment of working together.
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"If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you."
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post #13 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 09:03 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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[QUOTE=Dreamcatcher Arabians;7343674]Horses are funny creatures. They hate each other out in the pasture, make ugly faces, kick each other, pin ears all that. And then when you're taking one of them away, the others are all of a sudden, "Wait, She's my BFF! You can't take her, I neeeeeeed to be with her!". And then when she returns to the herd, they're making faces and all, "You skank! I hate you, take those heels to your rib cage!". So be glad she doesn't love you like her pasture mate, we're not built tough enough to take that kind of lovin'. "


So True!!

I take X out, and his pasture mate cries for him and runs along the fence line. "That's my best boyfriend you're taking", while X ignores her.


then, bringing X back, here comes Missy, cantering up and hollering. put X in the pasture, and he's snaking his head over to bite her, and she's like . .'Oh, yes, now THAT's how things should be. but, I'd better run!"
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post #14 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 09:21 PM
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Location: Los Angeles
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i fully accept the my horses excitement to see me might be because i feed her her grain after riding or give her a treat here or there... And I totally let myself believe it might be because she "likes me" just in general even though it's probably just the food. :)

To be honest, i don't know if she knows the difference between liking me and liking me because i generally come with food (whether daily feeding or a treat). I think she just knows I take care of her and therefore maybe they are actually one and the same? I mean good things: getting out of her box stall (someone mentioned that might be a key and that pasture horses are less likely to bond.. you are less their savior when you come to get them), hand walking, baths, grazing, rides, dinner, occasional treats. I don't know how she'd really "show" it other than respecting me, tolerating my cuddling, etc.

I've decided to start teaching her the 'hug' command. (when i wrap my hands around her neck, i'll give her a treat by my side so she has to bend her head back and 'hug me' back). but even if we 100% master this maneuver, it will again be me applying human qualities to her otherwise trained response. :) She'll just learn "if she hugs me and i move my head like this, good things sometimes happen."


it's a little bit living a lie, but I get a lot out of it on my end.. and she gets to be fed and well taken care of :)

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #15 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the feedback and replies!

A PP asked what my expectations were/are. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure? I know they aren't dogs, and I definitely do not expect to have the relationship with her that I do with my two dogs.

On the other hand, I also think that there's another faculty or aspect of the human/horse relationship that her and I haven't figured out yet. She is respectful of space, and is a perfect horse for me-- so in that regard-- we ARE a great fit. I'm still learning her nuances, so I know that will be a lifelong endeavor in and of itself :)

I'm more wondering what specific exercises/experiences have you done that you felt enhanced that bond, or let you in on their personality?

I definitely understand and respect that it takes time-- and I'm certainly not expecting a Disney fairy tale horse experience! I'm sure I'm not the first first-time horse owner to think, "HEY, I do X, Y and Z for this mare and she doesn't even LIKE me!!!!" But... patience, patience and more patience.
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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 #16 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 11:33 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Texas
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When I had had my horse for four months, I posted something just like this.

I've had him three years now, and it's totally different.

My advice: More time.

What I find bonding is when my horse really tries for me.

What he finds bonding is when I scratch him.

A win/win for us is my teaching him something small, him trying hard, and my rewarding him with scratches. And we spend lots of time together. :)

Give it some more time.

Also, I'm going to admit, my previous horse (whom I had for 15 years) never did like me, though we did have a good working relationship. Not all horses like humans, or maybe not all horses like THEIR human. But it's too soon for you to know that yet.
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post #17 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 11:37 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gossalyn View Post
i fully accept the my horses excitement to see me might be because i feed her her grain after riding or give her a treat here or there... And I totally let myself believe it might be because she "likes me" just in general even though it's probably just the food. :)

To be honest, i don't know if she knows the difference between liking me and liking me because i generally come with food (whether daily feeding or a treat). I think she just knows I take care of her and therefore maybe they are actually one and the same? I mean good things: getting out of her box stall (someone mentioned that might be a key and that pasture horses are less likely to bond.. you are less their savior when you come to get them), hand walking, baths, grazing, rides, dinner, occasional treats. I don't know how she'd really "show" it other than respecting me, tolerating my cuddling, etc.




I've decided to start teaching her the 'hug' command. (when i wrap my hands around her neck, i'll give her a treat by my side so she has to bend her head back and 'hug me' back). but even if we 100% master this maneuver, it will again be me applying human qualities to her otherwise trained response. :) She'll just learn "if she hugs me and i move my head like this, good things sometimes happen."




it's a little bit living a lie, but I get a lot out of it on my end.. and she gets to be fed and well taken care of :)

hug command? I guess some folks do this sort of stuff, but I am a bit stunned. I would not be teaching my horse to wrap around me. Rather, if I do hand feed him, he is required to back two steps away from me and wait politely.
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post #18 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 11:40 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,419
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelwithacause View Post
Thanks for all of the feedback and replies!

A PP asked what my expectations were/are. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure? I know they aren't dogs, and I definitely do not expect to have the relationship with her that I do with my two dogs.

On the other hand, I also think that there's another faculty or aspect of the human/horse relationship that her and I haven't figured out yet. She is respectful of space, and is a perfect horse for me-- so in that regard-- we ARE a great fit. I'm still learning her nuances, so I know that will be a lifelong endeavor in and of itself :)

I'm more wondering what specific exercises/experiences have you done that you felt enhanced that bond, or let you in on their personality?

I definitely understand and respect that it takes time-- and I'm certainly not expecting a Disney fairy tale horse experience! I'm sure I'm not the first first-time horse owner to think, "HEY, I do X, Y and Z for this mare and she doesn't even LIKE me!!!!" But... patience, patience and more patience.

ok . specific exersizes . . . well, putting a rope on them in a way that is a bit confining , and then helping them figure a way out.

getting them to lift and hold up their feet, and allow you to put them back down as slow as a glacier

carrot stretches

sending them ahead of me (on a leadline), through a gate, through a small area, down the road. walking beside them instead of ahead of them, then asking them to halt, back up and go behind me.


backing them up.
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post #19 of 30 Old 04-20-2015, 11:56 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
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Time (as in days and weeks), contact and consistency.
It's so very cool when they come around. I hope it happens for you.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #20 of 30 Old 04-21-2015, 12:47 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 13,725
• Horses: 9
I've never really thought about "How do I make a horse bond with me?". I just spend time with each horse. I brush, bathe, groom and hand graze them for hours and hours over time. Whenever I ride, I make sure I have the time it will take to cool them out, bathe them (or at least rinse the sweat and dirt off thoroughly), walk them dry, brush and curry them, hand graze with no expectation other than that they will eat. Then when they're dry, if we're home I put their tail back up and rebraid their mane and turn them back out with their buddies or put them in a nice, clean, deeply bedded stall with lots of hay and their grain ration ready for them to eat. If we are out at a ride, then I load them back in the trailer with a full hay bag for the ride home. Sometimes I just sit in the barn and listen to them eat. I LOVE to do that when it's stormy or really cold out. I go around and check their blankets and make sure they're all in good repair, straps all done up and check under to make sure they're all warm and snug in their blankets. I make sure to warm up their drinking water when it's really cold, I take all the ice off their water buckets and make sure that the de-icers are all in the stock tanks and plugged in so they won't freeze over. I just sit on a hay bale and listen to them munch. If they're all out on pasture, sometimes I'll just go sit in the middle of the round bale and watch them. Or I'll fall asleep in the round bale and wake up with them all around me. I walk out on pasture and scritch their favorite spots, every day. I look them over for boo-boos because goodness knows they get enough of them. I treat their wounds and their sicknesses. I sleep in the barn if somebody is really ill and needs extra watching. I stay up with my mares until they've foaled, and passed their placentas, and I watch to make sure the foals get up and nurse as they should.

To make a long post a bit longer, it's all about time and how much you're willing to invest. My horses know that there's no place I'd rather be, or any one I'd rather be with than them. I've been at it for 50 plus years, so I'm going to say it works.

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