Horse training can be a lot of fun, but it takes a lot to tame a young animal interacting with humans for the very first time. You may want to have a professional doing it if you are a beginner with horses. But as you gain experience with these animals, you will want to feel the excitement and thrill by doing it on your own. Bonding with the horse is one of the vital aspects of training it.
If you can create a connection, things will get done considerably easier and faster. Bonding with a horse is not a one-time thing, rather you need to make an effort to connect every time you interact with it. Once you have a good bond with it, the animal obeys you and understands your commands. Here are some tips that can help you do it better.
Know what to expect
Horse training requires skill and a good understanding of the animal’s temperament. Though you cannot expect every animal to behave the same way, there are some common attributes you need to understand. Horses look up for guidance, so you need to provide it consistently and authoritatively at all stages of training. They are often disobedient and stubborn in the beginning, but you can win them over time with a firm yet empathic approach.
Understand the animal’s body language
Learning to recognize the physical cues is vital as it will help you understand when the animal is stressed or relaxed. Handling the horse according to its mood calms it down and nurtures a bond with it. You will notice that it will start obeying you eventually once you go the extra mile to reassure it and align your actions to its current state of mind. Learning the animal’s body language may sound tricky initially, but you will gradually be able to recognize the signs as you spend time with it.
Do groundwork together
When it comes to bonding with a horse as you train it, groundwork training is the best place to start. It teaches the animal to treat you as the leader and respect your personal space. Keep things simple when you start the groundwork exercises because it will enable the animal to understand the man-horse interactions. You can watch some horse training videos to get a fair idea about how to proceed. The idea is to make the animal comfortable when you are still on the ground before riding on it.
Invest in physical contact
Physical touch is the most crucial aspect of man-animal bonding. It develops trust and relaxes the horse while creating a connection with it and making it comfortable with your presence. Look for itchy spots and scratch them. You can also gently massage the stiff limbs and tight muscles to make it feel comfortable and give it the reassurance it needs to connect with you. If the horse reciprocates, take it as a positive gesture.
Spend time beyond grooming
While you will be around the animal for grooming and training, spending time beyond it also strengthens the connection even more. Walk it around before or after the training session. Keep the pace leisurely and just enjoy each other’s company. Having small talk with the horse is another good way to bond with it. Avoid being demanding at all times and let it have some low-pressure time with you. Feed it well to foster the connection even further.
Strong bonding with your horse is a foundation of a healthy and lasting relationship with it over time. So it is an investment you should consciously make even before you start training the animal.