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The Best 5 Ways to Bond with Your Horse According to Science

 

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Hollywood would have us think that all horses have an innate affection for humans and that a horse and rider share an unbreakable link.

But this isn't the case, as anyone who has really spent time among horses can attest.

Some horses are slow to warm up to people, and it can take a lot of work to calm them down and drop their guard – and only if you approach it the proper way. If you go about the bonding process in the wrong way, you can end up doing more harm than good and making your horse lose faith in you.

We've included a few strategies for improving the bond between you and your horse on this list, all of which are supported by solid, verifiable science.

Although we can't promise that if you follow these recommendations, your horse will warm up to you, they're definitely an excellent place to start. How Bonded Are You To Your Horse? Here are the Top 5 tips for horse lovers

The Top 5 Activities for Bonding with Your Horse

5. Recognize Your Unique Communication Style


The way that humans and horses communicate is very different. Although other animals have been tamed, none have cultivated the same style of communication with people as horses do.

This form of communication combines touch, an emotional connection, and an awareness of one another's body language and motions. At its finest, it's more of a merging of two personas into one; it doesn't require copying one another's habits, utilizing physical threats, or asserting one's control.

Therefore, avoid attempting to interact with your horse in the same manner that you would with a dog, cat, or even another person; instead, identify and hone your own specific communication style.

4. Spend time with your Horse


It may seem wonderful to "hone your own communication style," but how exactly can you achieve that? You need to spend a ton of time with your horse.

You and your horse need to spend countless hours communicating with one another before you can start to comprehend one another. The issue is that each horse and each human has a different way of communicating, despite the fact that all horses and humans communicate. It is not always safe to assume that what works for one horse will also work for another.

This does not just refer to riding. It counts to just be near them, to feed them, to brush them, to pet them. In fact, the more you show your horse that you care about them without asking anything in return, the more trust they will have in you.

The good news is that as you spend more time with your horse, you will comprehend them better and your relationship with them will become stronger. What could possibly be more enjoyable than spending time with your horse?

3. Let Horses approach you

 

According to studies, encouraging your horse to engage with you may be harmful; if anything, it can lead to animosity developing.

It's crucial to let people get comfortable with you at their own speed instead. The good news is that it usually doesn't take that long; if you don't push your luck, you may have their blessing in as little as 30 minutes.

Even if it may not seem like it, your horse is always keeping an eye on you. Even when you are not physically dealing with your horse, your connection will suffer if you behave erratically or violently.

Recognize that how quickly your horse warms up to you will mostly rely on their prior interactions with people. A horse that has never had a bad experience with people can warm up to you in no time at all, but one that has been abused in the past will take considerably longer to warm up to you.

2. Use Reward-Based Training to your Horses


Horses are very distinct creatures, yet they share one trait with other pets in that they benefit from praise. The outcomes you achieve from your training will probably be, to put it mildly, less than optimal if you utilize punishment.

Although delivering gifts can also be effective, this does not necessarily imply reliance on food. Find a grooming technique, area to scratch, etc. that your horse enjoys, and use it as frequently as you can.

Your horse will be more eager to have you around once they perceive you as someone who adds value to their lives, and it is the basis of every successful partnership.

1. Do not conceal your emotions

 

There is a ton of evidence that shows horses can sense our emotional states, but interestingly, there is also evidence that shows horses are more at ease with worried humans.

Again, this is probably a result of the extraordinarily tight bonds that have grown through time between people and horses. It is advantageous for both parties to be able to calm their counterpart down when necessary since a stressed-out person may be detrimental for a horse and vice versa.

While we don't advise intentionally inducing stress before working with your horse, you shouldn't attempt to conceal it from them if you're having a difficult day. They could just find it enjoyable to relieve your tension.

Recognize that developing a bond with your horse is an art, not a science


Although following these suggestions might improve your relationship with your horse, you shouldn't do so at the price of trusting your instincts. Horses experience good and terrible days, and what works today may not work tomorrow.

Be patient and pay attention to your horse's cues since the process will take some time. Avoid repeating a behavior if your horse bites you or buckets you off in response.

Your ability to recognize your horse's specific indications will improve your ability to respond to them in a way that strengthens your relationship.

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