How to Bond with Your Horse

bond with a horseAlthough horses have been domesticated for over 5000 years, they are still very much creatures with their own preferences and a strong will. Anyone who has been around horses knows that you must work to create a bond with a horse.

If you can earn their trust and loyalty, the special relationship they’ll reward you with is well worth the effort!

Whether you have a new horse or a horse you’d like to build a deeper connection with, learning exactly how to bond with them is important. That’s why we’ve created this guide.

If you would like to learn more about bonding with your horse, this article can help. Read on to learn four tips for bonding with your horse.

Four Ways to Bond With a Horse

1. Understand Your Horse’s Body Language

Start by trying to learn your horse’s body language so you can understand what they are trying to tell you. Of course, every horse is an individual, and body language can vary, but learning the basics can help get you started:

  • Alert: An alert horse will hold her head high and have wide open eyes and ears that are pointed forward.
  • Scared: A frightened horse will throw his head back, and the whites of his eyes will be visible.
  • Aggressive: An aggressive horse may bear her teeth, pin her ears back, and flare her nostrils.

2. Groom and Touch Your Horse

Touch is an important way humans bond, and it’s true for horses too. Physically caring for your horse will increase their trust in you and improve your bond.

Spend time gently stroking your horse’s body using both hands, particularly areas your horse can’t reach. If your horse enjoys it, you can try massaging them as well.

Grooming is another way to bond with your horse. Horses engage in social grooming as a way to bond with each other, and most horses enjoy being groomed.

3. Master a Groundwork Exercise Together

Doing groundwork together will allow your horse to see you as the leader of the herd. This will do away with power struggles between the two of you.

One groundwork exercise you can start with is leading, which involves using a halter and rope. You can lead from the lead position (in front of the horse) or from partner position (at your horse’s shoulder).

4. Do More Than Work With Your Horse

To truly bond with a horse, you can’t only work with them. You must spend time with your horse outside of work and grooming.

What should you do? Just hang out! Spend time with them relaxing in their stall, or take them for a walk as you would your dog.

While you’re spending time together, talk quietly with them about whatever is on your mind. And don’t be afraid to let your horse investigate you physically. Let them sniff your hands and nuzzle you gently.

Building a Lifelong Relationship

Following the above tips will get you started on building a special, lifelong relationship with your horse. Remember that horses are like any other social creatures, including humans. The more time, love, and energy you put into your relationship, the more you’ll get out of it.

If you’re looking for more advice on horse training and how to bond with your horse, check out our blog.

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