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Bonding With Your Horse - Part 3 - Adding Work to the Relationship

Sep 11, 2008
Most horse owners are not looking to merely become friends with their horse. They also expect to be able to ride that horse, and to train it to be suitable for their needs. This all-important step is where you begin to push the limits of the bond you have created.

Once you have established a good relationship with your horse, you can get started on training him. If your horse is already reasonably well trained, this can be fairly easy. On the other hand, even well trained horses can offer some surprises.

Start out with something your horse knows. Keeping the balanced relationship you established on the ground, work with your horse, practicing the skills he learned before he knew you. This will give you a chance to see what he is like when asked to work, without the added stress of asking him to learn new things.

If your horse is resistant, you will need to take some time reestablishing your lead mare position, showing him that you are the boss of the situation. As soon as he begins to accept that dominance, return to the friendly relationship you developed on the ground.

Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself. Your horse must believe that you are the bigger, stronger, more dominant member of the relationship. This is far more important than being his friend. Friendship comes after a horse knows his place in the herd. It is impossible to be friends with someone you are constantly trying to dominate.

Once you and your horse are comfortable with what he already knows, it is time to start adding something new. All training should be done in small steps. Horses learn best by repetition, so take the time to teach him, one step at a time, repeating that movement until he is confident before moving to the next.

It is perfectly normal for a horse to resist training, even when in a good relationship with his owner. At first, your horse will not understand what you are asking. In fact, much of his apparent resistance may be his attempts to figure out what you want. For example, if you merely pull on the rein to tell the horse to turn, at first he might pull back. This is not because he is fighting you. Instead, it is because he is trying to figure out what you want - you pulled, so maybe you want him to pull back. Eventually he will discover that pulling back does not relieve the situation, and he will try something else.

Be patient with your horse as you train, but maintain your dominant role in his life. Do not allow him to disregard any boundaries you have established. Happy horse-human relationships are built from these boundaries. Without them, you just have a big, scary animal, who can hurt you without effort.

Lastly, this simple three-step process of forming friendly and professional relationship with your horse is pretty easy to implement on practice if you treat your horse as a partner, without being an overpowring personality. Remember that the horses, just like the dogs, are companion animals that understand and respect partnership.
About the Author
Lydia K Kelly is a writer for HorseClicks, classifieds of horses for sale Arkansas, horses for sale California, horses for sale Colorado and other state. Lydia is also a featured author at www.ArticleKing.com
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