Great Ways to Bond with Your Horse
Humans and horses have been together for thousands of years, ever since the first horse was domesticated. These fine animals have helped us through various ways like farming, sports and recreation, as a means of transportation, and also in police work. Some are even used in therapy.
If you’re a new horse owner, it is only natural that you would like to bond with your horse. However, keep in mind that this cannot be done overnight. It takes time and much effort especially on your part. You also need a thorough understanding of horse instincts so you know exactly what they are feeling and if they’re responding favorably to you. So be ready to work on it for weeks or even months, depending on the temperament of your horse.
To help you with your task at hand, here are some of the best ways on how you can effectively bond with your horse.
1. Spend time with your horse.
This one is fairly obvious. You need to spend a lot of time with your horse so you can naturally form a bond with him. You should ride him every chance you get. Walk beside him every morning or groom him yourself. Each time you do these things you should try to talk to your horse; not just by giving him commands but just casually chatting with him about anything under the sun. Soon the sound of your voice will be familiar and soothing for him and he’ll look to hearing it all the time.
2. Observe his body language.
Your horse will try to communicate with you through body language. Whether he’s happy, playful, or something bothering him he will surely show you through some sort of signal. So spending much time with him is vital to your relationship because you will be able to decode his signals much better. For example, you can tell by the way he opens and closes his eyes if he’s alert or feeling sluggish. Also, take notice of his ears because if it’s pointing awkwardly forward, he is probably scared of something.
3. Give him treats.
Just like with dogs, horses also love receiving some tasty treats. But also keep in mind that there are horses that don’t like them and may get upset if you keep on trying to feed him. You can try giving him a small treat for starters and see if he will eat it. If he does, increase the frequency of your giving him small food items until you are comfortable that he truly enjoys them. You also don’t need to spend much on treats as there are cheap and readily available ones like apple and carrot slices, raisins, pitted dates, sugar cubes, and sunflower seeds.
4. Bond with him even during Christmas or winter.
The cold weather shouldn’t prevent you from spending quality time with your horse. There are many fun activities the two of you can do together like playing in the snow by treating your horse to a gentle equine massage. You can also groom him even if it’s cold, just make sure you are using the right grooming accessories designed for horses.
5. Train your horse.
Training can be as simple as doing some leading exercises. With the use of a lead rope, train him to walk with you with enough space in between. This will teach him to respect your personal space and walk comfortable and respectfully right beside you. Also during training, you should watch the way your horse stands as this can tell you if there’s something wrong with him. For example, if his legs are splayed, there might be something preventing him from standing correctly and a medical assistance should immediately be sought. If he’s trembling, then clearly something is bothering or frightening him.
You can be the best of pals.
Be gentle when you are just starting to get to know your own horse. Patience is a virtue when it comes to horse ownership because you need to gain his trust first before you can confidently take him out for a ride or start with his dressage training. It will take time so be ready to always be there for him.