Like dogs and cats, horses also make great companions. They are great for people who wish to have an active lifestyle. And who can miss those exciting horse riding sessions and fun group activities? In other words, they are playful and are fun to spend time with.
Surprisingly, horses understand when you want something from them. But unless you are ready to go all-in with your pet, they won’t reciprocate the eff. Loving and adoring their quirks is one thing, but you need to form a bond with your horse for that to happen. So, how can you bond with your horse? Below are some of the tried and tested tips to get started in the right direction.
Discover Your Horse’s, Sweet Spots
You can learn many things by watching or closely monitoring your pet horse. You can click here to know about the ways horses communicate or opt for measures like watching videos of famous trainers.
For instance, you can go for mutual grooming sessions and engage in activities to decide the elements your horse likes. Like some liked to be scratched, while others love a soft, gentle touch. Doing so might help your horse open up to you.
In fact, experts confirm that sweet spot grooming has incredible benefits since it allows you to show appreciation to your horse.
Also, don’t miss out on the following areas to ensure a fruitful grooming session.
- While the eyes and nose are usually critical for these animals to survive in the wild, horse owners often forget their importance in their domestic ones. So, you must go for trimming the muzzle whiskers to allow them to feel their surroundings.
- It will help if you go for a pair of scissors or clippers to keep the coronet area clean and tidy. Doing so will help you reduce the risk of pastern dermatitis, which eventually holds moisture or dirt, that further results in many other issues.
- Your horse’s tail also needs care whether you are riding it for competitive or recreational reasons. You can opt for detanglers or any other tool to keep it clean and full. You can trim the long tail to keep your horse stepping on it and breaking it.
Decode Their Body Language
Although this would require consistency, if you start understanding their body language, you can develop a unique communication style with your horse. All of this will eventually make you closer to your pet.
You can observe their facial expression to confirm their thought process further. For instance, their ears, tail, and posture say a lot about your horse’s temperament.
Enforce Positive Behavior With Fun-filled Training Sessions
Those who think they need to take the help of the clicker to achieve this are highly mistaken. You don’t even have to use food to gain positive results. Surprisingly, many horses feel content with scratches, words of encouragement, and quality resting time.
You can use the following techniques to introduce positive reinforcement in your horse.
- You can allow your horse to get past the gate. However, if they are pushy, don’t open it right away. Let them step back and then do the needful.
- If your horse does something right, you can end the ride right away and take off the saddle or bridle and allow them to be by themselves for some time.
- Don’t give them a meal if they are pawing. Also, look at their ears. If they are forward, go ahead and give them their favourite meal. So, you won’t have to chase them or shout at them for doing something.
- As we mentioned earlier, horses love scratches—the moment you do that. They will do anything for you.
Interact With Them Besides The “Riding” Time
A lot of horse owners often think that riding and training a horse is the only way to develop a bond. However, if you don’t spend time with your horse, it won’t help them develop skills like focus.
This is why groundwork holds so much importance when it comes to enforcing respect and leadership. You can go for a variety of exercises, such as lead and touch exercises, indirect pressure, or circle work.
These exercises will allow you to strengthen the bond and allow you to work on dominance issues. Not only that, it will help you cope with the human world through different care options, such as hoof trimming, vet appointments, and so on.
Go for a variety of fun activities to make them physically and mentally equipped to face any challenges.
Go For a Special One-to-one Session
Horse riding is a great activity. But if you go for a walk with your horse, it will develop an altogether different rapport. You will eventually start trusting each other. Plus, it will be an excellent exercise for you and your horse.
Ensure that you keep low energy and reassure your horse by walking slowly and gently if they face any hindering object while walking.
Chill Out With Each Other
Horses love some chill time. You can use this time to enjoy each other’s company or let him/her bond with the herd. It will allow you to slow down a bit amidst the fast-paced life that we’re leading nowadays.
Remember, horses are usually drawn towards a relaxed or peaceful environment, which often fosters positive relationships. Also, make sure to talk to your horse like you do with your friends. Make them your confidants and reveal your secrets to them.
Like we said before, horses pick facial cues. So, it will help them understand you better, thereby making it easier for you to develop a bond with your horse.
Be Consistent in Your Approach
You already know that horses are herd animals. So, when they develop a bond with you, they start seeing you as a member of their herd or family. However, to get them to obey you or respect your decisions, you need to project yourself as the alpha.
So, you must start with building trust and respect by including all the tips in your day-to-day activities mentioned above. But remember that horses love being a little disobedient, so you have to be consistent with your horse for them to consider you as the alpha.
Don’t allow anything to happen. Otherwise, they won’t understand the value of commands and will start doing things their way.
We all wish for a stronger bond with our horses. But that won’t happen overnight or by simply waiting for them to open up to you, right?
Humans tend to get close when they spend moments together. The same happens with your pets as well. Sharing experiences with your horse will enable you to come closer with your horse. The more you spend time training and riding, the more your horse will trust you, thereby making you closer to each other.
You can also learn about equine massage and other touches that will offer relaxation to your horse. Not only will he/she enjoy this, but it will also help to enhance his/her performance. So, what are you waiting for? Try the tips mentioned above and bond with your pet horse for a lasting relationship.
But remember that you will have to use a lot of trial and error methods to figure out what will actually work with your horse. Once you do that, put that into practice.
Note: Don’t think your horse will understand everything you’re dealing with. So, don’t be like, “Oh! It was a bad day. My horse should understand and make me feel better.” That won’t happen. Although they can understand a change in energy or expression, don’t let that create another layer of stress for your horse.
So, are you ready to bond with your beloved animal? Share your secret tips for bonding and let others gain insights for developing a better relationship.
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