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trail rides are great but what a horse truely enjoys is just you spending time with him....not asking him to do anything, just sitting there watching him eat for an hour. Yes very boring to us but just our company means alot to them. Bring a book to read and read to the horse :) I always do that to my guys :)
 

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one thing I like to do when I have the time is groom my boys up and make them really shiny. they get to get out of their stalls and get a nice massage, and I get a nice, beautiful, shiny horse :D and I've made it a whole thing, reading further into it and trying out different methods and such to see what gives the best results.
it's a great bonding exercise, too. just spending any time with them really helps bring you closer and builds trust. I've spent a lot of grooming time with my new horse as we've both recently been injured and are still recovering. it's really helped bring us closer and I've found that it translates to work in the saddle, too.

as far as riding, you could always try something new..read into a discipline you find interesting and try to learn the maneuvers together, even if you never plan to actually compete it's just a fun thing to do.
I try to make an effort to do everything I can with a horse, from barrel racing to dressage to riding brideless and even standing on his back. sometimes it's nice just to mess around with stuff like that just for fun :)

good luck!
 

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Grooming and just hanging around while they're eating. I take mine for walks (like puppy dog style LOL) just kind slow and lazy and checking things out.
 

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. Bring a book to read and read to the horse :) I always do that to my guys :)
Every day in the spring I take my horse, a lawn chair, a dog, a cat and a good book and go to a choice piece of grass and stake the horse out beside the chair, sit in said chair, have dog curl on the ground by my feet, have the cat curl on my lap and read my book for a measure hour.
This is a relaxing routine for all involved.
All other times I spend at least one hour with my horse, every day plus miles a miles of trial rides.
He is my best friend.:lol:
 

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All the above are wonderful suggestions, and I have done them all quite regularly. Now with time so very limited, and temps sooooo very cold I do not spend as much time with them.

But, each time I feed and clean, I make sure to rub them and talk with them and check them out to be sure all is well. This past week being so cold, they have been fed in the barn instead of the field or paddock, so, we have practiced our manners while I am cleaning the stall (one very large one they both use). Nice to see they have not forgotten their manners.

I believe any time you spend with them should be quality. I am looking forward to the time finally turning back into quality and quantity. LOL!
 

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One great bonding thing is groundwork, it builds trust and if you get them to walk on tarps and do scary stuf it really gets them chewing :)
 

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Every day in the spring I take my horse, a lawn chair, a dog, a cat and a good book and go to a choice piece of grass and stake the horse out beside the chair, sit in said chair, have dog curl on the ground by my feet, have the cat curl on my lap and read my book for a measure hour.
This is a relaxing routine for all involved.
All other times I spend at least one hour with my horse, every day plus miles a miles of trial rides.
He is my best friend.:lol:


RiosDad, I feel the same about my two.

I envy you your riding during the winter, and can picture you and your horse enjoying the snowmobile trails at a good clip! I picture this of course while I am bundled up inside in my comfy chair. lol!

We have so much ice on our trails that I'm not as brave as you to give them a go. Before our winters became so icey, I use to enjoy riding them. Completely agree it can be the best time to ride. Very beautiful and (for me) quite.

So from this "couch potato" , have a great ride , I'll be thinking of it!
 

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trail rides are great but what a horse truely enjoys is just you spending time with him....not asking him to do anything, just sitting there watching him eat for an hour. Yes very boring to us but just our company means alot to them. Bring a book to read and read to the horse :) I always do that to my guys :)
yeah, i agree.
I think horses are very appriciative for our company s reading justa little nursery rhyme book to them they appriciate! At the moment I read my horse the "Dear dumb diary " collection.. hes really into that! ,
anyway have fun reading with your horse!
matki and forte
 

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one thing I like to do when I have the time is groom my boys up and make them really shiny. they get to get out of their stalls and get a nice massage, and I get a nice, beautiful, shiny horse :D and I've made it a whole thing, reading further into it and trying out different methods and such to see what gives the best results.
it's a great bonding exercise, too. just spending any time with them really helps bring you closer and builds trust. I've spent a lot of grooming time with my new horse as we've both recently been injured and are still recovering. it's really helped bring us closer and I've found that it translates to work in the saddle, too.

as far as riding, you could always try something new..read into a discipline you find interesting and try to learn the maneuvers together, even if you never plan to actually compete it's just a fun thing to do.
I try to make an effort to do everything I can with a horse, from barrel racing to dressage to riding brideless and even standing on his back. sometimes it's nice just to mess around with stuff like that just for fun :)

good luck!
hey,
I think that grooming your horse for hours apon hours is a great idea for bonding between your horse. Even if your not getting reafy for any event , sometimes I pretend that I am , so I make him really shiny and I plait his mane and tail and sometimes I tack up and ride him , thinking that I am in a compettition. Then after I let him go and he goes and rolls! (ofcourse! ;) ) and so I do it all over again the next time.
you may think this si silly but , in the end you and your clean shiny horse will have a stronger relationship.
matki and forte:wink:
 

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RiosDad, I feel the same about my two.

I envy you your riding during the winter, and can picture you and your horse enjoying the snowmobile trails at a good clip! I picture this of course while I am bundled up inside in my comfy chair. lol!

We have so much ice on our trails that I'm not as brave as you to give them a go. Before our winters became so icey, I use to enjoy riding them. Completely agree it can be the best time to ride. Very beautiful and (for me) quite.

So from this "couch potato" , have a great ride , I'll be thinking of it!
Why can't you ride in the winter?? Shod properly a horse can run over glare ice, skating rink ice. This morning a lady rode with me. We came to some glare ice and she sidestepped around it. I told her to ride right down the center of it. Trust me, I shoe her horse and guarantee not a slip.. She did and as promised, not a slip. I run snowmobile trails with complete confidence regardless of how much ice.
The benefits are , unlimited trails, good footing, no bugs, cool running if you clip your horse and fresh clean air.
Dressed properly no cold can touch you. I layer the clothes, cover the face with a face mask and a good hat and good mittens, no gloves, mittens. Wear a snowmobile suit if you can't handle the cold but get out there. While it might be -18 out there you run into sunny pockets that heat you right up.
I travel at a nice lope so it keeps me and the horse warm
Get off the couch and go for a ride. Both of you will benefit from the exercise:):D
 

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Why can't you ride in the winter?? Shod properly a horse can run over glare ice, skating rink ice. This morning a lady rode with me. We came to some glare ice and she sidestepped around it. I told her to ride right down the center of it. Trust me, I shoe her horse and guarantee not a slip.. She did and as promised, not a slip. I run snowmobile trails with complete confidence regardless of how much ice.
The benefits are , unlimited trails, good footing, no bugs, cool running if you clip your horse and fresh clean air.
Dressed properly no cold can touch you. I layer the clothes, cover the face with a face mask and a good hat and good mittens, no gloves, mittens. Wear a snowmobile suit if you can't handle the cold but get out there. While it might be -18 out there you run into sunny pockets that heat you right up.
I travel at a nice lope so it keeps me and the horse warm
Get off the couch and go for a ride. Both of you will benefit from the exercise:):D
I've considered getting them shod for riding in the winter, but as my scheduale right now would only allow me to ride once a week ( if nothing else interfers with that one day) seemed like a lot of expense for so little riding. But, maybe I need to rethink. Keeping a horse (let alone 2) taken care of during the winter is expensive, expecially if I'm only riding a little in the field and not taking advantage of all those wonderful trails just outside my door!

But oh, the power of that comfy warm couch.....must stop that thinking!:wink:
 

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Grooming and just hanging around while they're eating. I take mine for walks (like puppy dog style LOL) just kind slow and lazy and checking things out.
I do this ALOT!Lol!!!! I love just going out and grooming my horse. When I got her, even grooming was stressful for her, but now, when I do it, she falls asleep, especially when I braid her mane and tail!

She also loves going for walks, and will even follow me around campus; before when I had just gotten her, she would have flown in the other direction if I had thought about taking her lead off. Often in the morning, I will open her corral, and let her follow me while I feed my goaties, and the other horses.

My mare has come a long ways, since I got her, just by hanging out with her, and doing things that help her relax.

I love riding, but I also enjoy having a horse that trusts me entirely; when that happens they will do anything for you.

As far as riding exercises if I am working on the 'bonding' aspect I'm going to do simple things that help the horse focus on me, without stressing him out. What that entails depends on the horse; some going for a trail ride, and others going over different obstacles.

In regards to winter riding, a horse properly trimmed, can go over anything barefoot as well; I have only shod one horse I owned or trained, and that was only done for the corrective aspects; when his feet straightened out, I took the shoes off, and he was barefoot.
 

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All of the above comments are great! I love being able to tell Jack any problems that I may be having and I know my secret is kept best with him!! Even tho he obviously doesn't say anything back, he gives me a look that reassures me that everything is going to be o.k.!
 

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what i love is just letting them free in the arena and run around them. if they are new you might need a treat but i just run and he follows and just play!! it's sooooo fun!!
 

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I did the same things all year round; you just gotta bundle up and stick it out. The frigid cold never stopped me from going out and being with my horses.

Oh, and I live in AZ now, but I was born and raised in MN...northern MN, where sometimes you'd have to endure 20 or more below zero to be with your horses! Yuck, but my horse is worth it!
 

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I'm lucky that Sunny is here at my house. We have a nice acre of land, divided into three parts, so I get to see and be with him every day. When I first brought him home, our bonding started with grooming, where I would take a long time to brush him, pick his feet, and rub him with fly repellent, since he hated spraying. I would talk to him while doing all this, and take time to blow gently in his nose, then he'd return the favor. He loves his mane brushed, so I'd take an extra long time there, and I'd brush out his tail, since he likes looking good. Doing this every day, making a ritual out of it, got us on a good foot towards bonding. Since I would do the same things in the same order, he got to the point that he would nuzzle the brush, or pick up the hoof pick, whichever was next. He and I got closer on the trail, and I would sing or just talk to him. Now, we are very close, and at times, I look at him, and he has this expression like "Hey, Guess what? I'm your horse!"
 

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what i love is just letting them free in the arena and run around them. if they are new you might need a treat but i just run and he follows and just play!! it's sooooo fun!!
i do that too ! sometimes i set up cavelettis & we jump them together...when people walk in on us, they think im insane =D
 
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