THERE IS A NEW GIRL IN TOWN! Very happy to have Caroline Edgeley’s prima ballerina ‘Nibbles‘ at Springhill! There’ll be more about this princess but for now, I’m also happy to contribute to Horses & Foals on ‘How to bond with your horse’. Here is my short answer:
As often as I can I try to give us time for a proper groom. When I visit my horse in the box and when I groom my horse is when I first bond and tap into his general state of being. I’m very close to my main horses (especially Caruso) and I normally notice straight away if something is bothering them. They talk with their body language and I can read how their energy is. To make a horse trust you, you need to make the horse feel that you’ve got his back, no matter what, so he can relax. Horses like to have a leader (it makes them waste less energy then if they have to be the leader) but they are picky and only wants good leaders.
but trust happens over time and in everything you do, when you’re in the arena helping him to get stronger and supple up tensions, and when you’re hacking out on a new track being the positive leader of what you’re up to. The horse will trust you if you’re always thinking ahead of him, so he can check in with you if he gets insecure.
Another important thing is the intention and confidence. A horse can sense it very clearly. So if you’re confident in what you’re asking from the horse, asking it for a positive reason from the horses perspective, the horse will be confident and happy to do it. But if you feel uncomfortable or insecure in what you wish your horse to do then he will feel that it’s probably not a good thing to do, and act from that mindset.
When you’re comfortable being your horse’s positive leader he will happily trust you, so try to find what you need in order to be comfortable as your horse’s positive leader. The more experience and knowledge you have the easier it is to be the positive leader your horse can trust, and show him that you know what he needs. If you feel insecurities, always ask a trainer for clear directions.
Last but not least I find it incredibly important to know yourself. Make sure you leave any stress, worries or outside life negative energy that easily comes in between bonding, as your horse will mirror you! In good and bad:)
I use meditation to increase my awareness and make sure I hold a clear and positive mindset.
In short, a horse will trust a human who’s calm, clear and has good intentions from the horses perspective.
Much more at HorsesandFoals.com