Every horse lover wants to bond with their horse. That special connection between you and your horse is an essential part of the relationship. You want your horse to love you like you love them. There are many ways to strengthen your bond with your horse. We’ve gathered our favorite ways to bond to give you a starting point on bonding with your horse!
1. Do Groundwork
Groundwork, training you perform with your horse while you’re on the ground with the assistance of a halter and lead rope, is a great way to bond with your horse. Groundwork helps your horse learn to follow basic commands are respect your personal space. You can introduce new training exercises before you try them while riding. Teaching your horse new and exciting groundwork techniques will help your horse stay engaged and avoid boredom.
When doing any sort of training or groundwork with your horse, it’s important to be firm, fair, and consistent. You should always be firm in your leadership and clearly communicate your commands. Be consistent in your training and commands so your horse will see you as reliable and won’t be confused and stressed about what you are asking of them. Never push a horse beyond what they are physically able to do as this will stress them out and cause them to associate you with that stress.
2. Quality Play Time
No one likes to work all the time, that includes your horse. If your horse only ever sees you for training, they will only ever associate you with hard work. You need to plan out quality time with your horse when you are not working them. An overworked horse will become fatigued and distressed. Take time to play with your horse.
Changing your horse’s routine will prevent them from getting bored. Instead of rigorous training every day, switch it up by playing with toys, trail riding, or just hanging out with your horse. Keep your horse mentally stimulated with new sights and activities.
Grooming your horse is a great way to get up close to your horse and give them positive associations with you. Brushing and massaging your horse will feel good to them and help strengthen your bond. Your horse will appreciate you being able to reach all the itchy and sore spots they can’t reach. Taking time to groom your horse will let them get more comfortable with you and with being touched. This will make it easier to clean them in the future as well.
The most important part of strengthening your bond with your horse is to create positive associations. There are many methods to bring you and your horse closer in your relationship. No matter which methods you decide to practice, make sure you always come to your horse with a positive and calm attitude. This will help your horse to associate you with the good things in their life and as a reliable companion.
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