Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Whether you casually ride or compete professionally, a strong bond is essential to a successful partnership with your horse. Fortunately, horses are quite friendly beings and creating a bond with them is quite easy given you are patient and attentive to any messages they may be trying to convey to you. Below are a few easy to implement tips that can help you strengthen your bond with your horse.
• Groundwork. Sometimes the best time is spent out of the saddle, especially when working with a new horse. Guide your horse by hand through obstacles. Gently challenge them. Every successful obstacle will build their confidence in your leadership and thus, trust flourishes. Some horses really enjoy learning new things. Try teaching your horse a few tricks. Hint: A treat can be a very enticing encouragement when trick training. We suggest using Twenty Four Carrots treats as a healthy, low-glycemic alternative. Delicious and nutritious - yum!
• Find your horses “sweet spot” through grooming. Experiment with different tools and different use of pressure throughout your horse’s body until you find a spot they really like. You’ll know it when you find it as your horse may display a pouting top lip, lean into your hands and maybe even lift a leg in an act of sheer happiness! Grooming is not only a way to make your horse feel great, it’s also a way to check the body for any irregularities.
• Feed a balanced diet. You may wonder how a balanced diet will lead to a healthy relationship full of trust with you, but it is quite simple. A horse who does not have a nutritional diet will not be feeling their best and may even be experiencing an unpleasant side-effect from a poor diet such as ulcers. A horse with a happy body will be more willing to work with you. Hint: Refer to our ulcer blog for tips on prevention.
• Go for a walk. A walk is a refreshing way to break up the riding routine as well as to connect with your equine companion. He will appreciate the change in scenery and his trust will be built as he looks to you for leadership in situations where he may feel unsure.