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How to Bond with Horses

Woman on horse back bonding with horse

Communication with horses is truly spellbinding. Horse keepers know this feeling for sure. Bonding with an equine is important in order to create a trustful relationship. It will take a solid time but it’s definitely worth it!

You have to make a personal approach to every horse you meet. Professional horsemen state that breaking in a horse is just a wee part of bonding with the animal. It’s a long-lasting process that is rather challenging. Don’t forget about safety precautions all the way you’re among horses. The equestrian blog urges riders to wear a riding helmet and gloves. Safety riding equipment will protect you while you’re on a saddle.

1. First Impression

You may not know how a horse will act around you for the first time. In fact, equines act cautiously as they don’t know what to expect from you. Be patient as a horse needs some time to get used to a new person. Let them take some time. Don’t rush getting on with your equine right away.

While your companion is observing you, minimize your physical contact with him. Don’t try to pet the horse impulsively. And what is more important, don’t try to mount on the horse! This can spook the animal or make it act aggressively. Here are the steps you can start with:

  • Get around your horse as much time as possible. It will help the animal to get used to a new person faster. On the other hand, don’t approach the equine too close. Alternatively, take a seat near your buddy for a while. Then take a walk around the animal at some distance. Soon after, you’ll notice your pal is keeping an eye on you. That’s a good sign.
  • Spend much time with horses on a regular basis. The more, the better. Then you’ll notice your equine approaching you to see your reaction. Equines have a perfect sense of smell. They are likely to sniff and lick you to get you to know better. In this case, don’t make sudden moves to the animal. Let the horse know you’re a friend.
  • When the horse feels ok with your presence, it will start to approach you. As a response, you can slowly come closer to the animal. It’s a good sign that a trustful bond has been set successfully.

2. Have a Chat

When the horse gets used to you, it learns how to distinguish your voice. In fact, horses have an ideal hearing. The equine’s ears stay alert all the time. That’s why your companion can recognize your unique tone of voice among other people.

Chit-chat with your buddy. Be gentle and calm. Don’t know what to say? It doesn’t really matter! You can talk about everything with your pal. Horses like when you talk with great confidence. That will help to get your equine even more attached to you.

Another option is to read a book or sing a song to your hooved fellow. In fact, equines are able to “read” others’ feelings. Horses understand when you feel excited or upset. They can feel whether you have good or bad intentions.

Therefore, don’t come to your companion when you’re not in the mood. Once you treat your friend badly, you risk losing his trust forever. Don’t forget to praise your equine. “Good boy/girl” are great compliments for horses too!

Man bonding with aa horseImage by Anrita1705 on Pixabay

3. Get Closer

Make it slow when attempting to make your first steps to the equine. While getting closer, watch the horse’s reaction. Snorting is a sign of its displeasure. Don’t approach the animal from its back or front. Come to the horse from its side. That’s because equines have poor eyesight. Their eyes are placed on the sides of their face. There’s a blind spot right in front of the horse’s face. If getting closer to the equine’s face, the animal might be frightened by your sudden approach.

When you stand near your horse, watch your moves. Don’t wave your hands obsessively near your buddy. The horse may take it as a sign of aggressiveness. Equines are smart animals that can read your feelings. Keep it in mind when you’re around your new friends.

4. Praise Your Horse

It’s fine to spoil your companion with its favorite treats from time to time. Feeding your horse with yummies is a great chance to get on well with the animal. That will make your buddy’s heart melt, for sure. Healthy horse treats include apples, carrots, raisins, seeds, and mint candies.

An important thing to know is that horse treats are treats, not a full meal. Don’t overdo with veggies and sugar. Overfeeding may lead to colic or other health issues. Thus, get a treat as an occasional reward. Like when your companion learns something new or gets solid training.

5. Take Your Time

Mind that every horse needs its personal approach. If you bond with one horse in some way, that doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same with another equine. There are lots of factors that affect the adaptation process between a horse and a human. These include the equine’s age, breed as well as temperament. Be patient and you’ll be rewarded.

In the Nutshell

Bonding with horses is a challenging task. But once you nail it, you’ll get an excellent companion. There’s nothing like having friends among horses. Use these tips to get your best friend ever.

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