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I'm looking at buying my dream horse, though I am a little worried about him. He's gone through many owners and I'm afraid he wont trust or bond with me at all.

What are good exercises that help build a bond with a horse and trust. I know the friendly game by parreli's good, and spending time with him and being the only one to handle him will help, I'm just worried he wont think anything different of me than his past owners. He's gone through two owners but 5 homes and a LOT of different people in his 9 years. :/
 

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I completely understand your worries! My warmblood had been through 2 trainers, an equine behaviorist and had been tormented at a college riding program, and he HATED people when I got him. He didn't look at me any differently...after all, all other people were bad, why would I be any different?

I immediately started Parelli with him. The 7 Games are a wonderful tool to use in order to gain trust and respect (and I needed both with my guy!). In Level 1 they outline a great exercise where you spend 30 minutes of undemanding time with your horse for 7 days...it's VERY revealing, lemme tell you! lol.
 

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Sounds good! If you're guy could learn to trust you, then hopefully Genie can too! :D
 

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I had the same problem with my gelding--he was a racehorse for nine years, and from looking at his race records, I can count fifteen plus owners just in the last three or four years of his career, sometimes five or six in a year. When I started seriously inquiring about buying him, I really would just go out to his house, take him up to the tie ring and start brushing him, talking to him, and then we'd do a little bit of work. I didn't think it would make the difference but the first day I brought him to his new home, I called his name and his head lifted right up from the grass and he called out to me. There were also some other littler things, like how he acted around people he didn't know versus me, but honestly just consistantly showing up and being a presence in his life will make a difference for your prospect.
 

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Great advice thanks!

When I owned Leia, she wasn't really affectionate to anyone but me, and now that I sold her, she treats everyone the same. :|
 

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Horses, same as people, have different personalities. Some horses are "people" horses but many are weary of the different homes they have been to. I've had horses that took to me right away and came to me when I called after the 2nd or 3rd day. Then there were others who took months and one or two that took nearly a year to get comfortable. Consistency is the key.

Initially I'll spend a great deal of time with a new horse, just talking to him and maybe a pet or two. If I sense that he is going to turn away from me, I'll retreat before he gets a chance to walk away. I'll wait a few minutes and go back to him. What I also like to do with all horses is to halter them, attach a long lead, and walk them around the farm. I'll go about normal things like picking up a rake that I may have left against a tree the day before, or fill the water bucket for the ducks. I may even walk to the mailbox out by the street and watch the cars go by. I try to keep him out for at least an hour or so. Basically it is like the Stockholm Syndrome when a captive person begins to associate with their captors after a while.

I've never had a horse that didn't respond - but some just took a lot of time.
 

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thanks iridehorses!

Genie's not afraid of people, if you go into the pasture, he'll come up to people and follow them around, and he comes when called, but he never really seems to care about if people are around or not, and he usually looks for food and if you have none, he leaves.

He's generally a very friendly horse, but he doesn't really care one way or the other.
 

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If he's had a lot of homes, then I suspect that he's learned to build a shell around himself. He is basically friendly but only if there is something in it for him. Hollywood is somewhat like that. He spent the last 6 years as a guide's horse at the Biltmore House in NC. He was used, groomed, and fed but didn't have a bond between himself and any one person. I've had him for about 6 or 7 weeks now and he still hasn't developed the bond I like - and I have the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with him.

As one of the lines in my signature states, "Time and Patience". He'll come around - he just needs to learn that I'm not going away and that he can trust that I am the one who will take care of him.
 

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I'm looking at buying my dream horse, though I am a little worried about him. He's gone through many owners and I'm afraid he wont trust or bond with me at all.
Honestly - some horses never trust or bond with some people. If they do - it's a time and circumstance thing. You cannot force it.

Some horses are not 'friendly' in your face creatures. We have an outstanding brood mare. Throws the best foals. Standoffish. We can do anything we want with her, she rides like a dream. I've used her for lessons, etc. But she will never be there begging for attention like the rest of our horses. I accept that.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it at all. It's like putting the cart in front of the horse. Lol! If you love him and show him your love (attention, pet, talk, groom, etc.) he'll come back with love. I worked with horses from auctions for while and never ran into one, which would stay inert. Sooner or later the horse will start to recognize you and look for your attention.
 

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Honestly - some horses never trust or bond with some people. If they do - it's a time and circumstance thing. You cannot force it.

Some horses are not 'friendly' in your face creatures. We have an outstanding brood mare. Throws the best foals. Standoffish. We can do anything we want with her, she rides like a dream. I've used her for lessons, etc. But she will never be there begging for attention like the rest of our horses. I accept that.
Those are some of my favorite horses. The ones that are all business. They enjoy what they do and I can do anything with them but they don't care to be petted or coddled, just get the job done and kick back in the pasture untill the next time. I have had horses that I could walk up to anywhere and catch but would not be bothered to walk up to me. They are willing to work and great at what they do but when the work is over they prefer the company of horses if they want any company at all. I see nothing wrong with that.
 

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Those are some of my favorite horses. The ones that are all business. They enjoy what they do and I can do anything with them but they don't care to be petted or coddled, just get the job done and kick back in the pasture untill the next time. I have had horses that I could walk up to anywhere and catch but would not be bothered to walk up to me. They are willing to work and great at what they do but when the work is over they prefer the company of horses if they want any company at all. I see nothing wrong with that.
I agree. That's how my gelding is.....he does approach me in a pasture, but over all is not very affectionate. Sometimes he wants his face scratched, but that's about it. He just wants me to get what I'm doing done so he can go back to his food. He doesn't even necessarily like other horses either, I think its because he spent so long keeping to himself. I am always commenting about how I know that he trusts me not to beat the crap out of him, but he doesn't necessarily trust me in that I know what I'm doing all of the time. I would rather have a horse who questions something (like say, on a new trail) than one who would just walk into a fire if I wanted them to.
 

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I wanted to share this picture. My guy is all work and loves for me to come and get him. He always meets me at the gate and if I ignore him and walk out into the pasture he is like a dog at my heals.
I believe in force, it is all my way. I do hobble him, I do tie him, I do ride him hard and alot and yet whenever he gets the chance this is how he likes to approach me. Head in my chest, I scratch his cheeks and ears and whisper sweet nothings in his ears. After a hard run we stop at the head of the laneway, I dismount, loosen the girth and then stand in front of him while he puts his head against my chest and I tell him what a good boy he was.

I tried pulling the picture but can not. It is too large.
 

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If he has had so many homes, or bad experiences you may just have to make a point to simply spend time with him; not time necessarily 'doing' things, but just hanging out with him. He's been a show horse, and that's all he's been expected to do, so that's all he really expects to do, and he probably does it well. Unfortunately the show life often leaves out one essential part of the horse's equation...relationship. If you want it with Genie, you are going to have to work for it...Give him every reason to WANT to be with you. Don't go you there with expectations every time you go to his paddock, just go out and be with him, whether he comes to you or not. If you can, have him in a paddock by himself at times, so you can really focus on your relationship, as he will want your company more.

My mare came to me with a rough past; currently I am the only one she trusts. I am okay with that right now, although I know I need to ensure she gains the trust of someone else somewhere down the line, as I will be traveling with the students in the spring, and if something happens I need to know she can be caught and handled by someone. But it has taken literally the months I have had her, for her to realize that I am someone she can trust. I have not pressured her, or forced her to be with me, but she is now choosing to do so. Yes I have had to do some exercises with her to teach her to be caught, but that taught her to stand for me to walk up to her; she has only recently learnt to walk up to me on her own. So while you may not have a horse that doesn't have issues being caught, you do in a way have a horse who doesn't trust people; he's been 'tossed' around from person to person, and now he's at a point where he just doesn't care and isn't interested in bonding with someone. You will have to work extra hard for it. I would spend every moment you can just hanging out with your new horse; take him for walks, brush him, figure out the 'little' things that he enjoys, and do those alot, teach him simple tricks, basically, do alot of stuff on the ground, because this is the place the relationship really forms.
 

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Thanks mom2pride that helped a lot.

Yea, all the horses at my barn are either show or lesson horses or both. No one ever really goes into the field unless theyre taking the horses in to ride or feed.

If I get him, I'll definitely ask he be put in a field by himself or I'll just take him out a lot and hang out with him.
 
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