Building A Trusting Relationship With Your New Horse


You got a new horse, and you can't wait to get in the saddle, at least that's how most new horse owners feel. However, if you want to build a trusting relationship with your horse, you should start on the ground. This doesn't mean you can't ride soon, but does mean you really should gain the horse's trust out of the saddle before you hop on and ride.

Horse trainers, riding instructors and equine veterinarians may have varying beliefs and use different methods, but you aren't likely to find one that will discourage you from developing a good ground relationship with your horse. Your horse's vet will probably be quite pleased to find that you and your horse have that relationship. It will make the vets job that much easier.

Building a Relationship

How you go about building your ground relationship with your horse will partially depend on the horse's background. If your horse is used to being handled correctly and isn't frightened, you will find it will start to trust your rather quickly. Horses that have had a rough past or aren't used to having attention from their owner may be slower to respond. Let your horse set the pace at which you move. Be patient.

Horses are herd animals, and when working with yours, you want to take on that mentality too. You and your horse become a herd. You are going to be the lead horse in the herd of two. As the head of the pack, you want your horse to respect you and trust you. As you work with your horse, you will have to show respect in order to gain it.

Ground Work

You may be wondering what you can do to start building your relationship. Here are some tips to get you on your way.

  • Approach your horse slowly and respectfully. Know where its blind spots are so you can approach where you can be seen. Horse's eyes are on the side of their head so they can't see directly in front of them or directly behind.
  • Spend time touching your horse. Eventually, you want to be able to touch your horse everywhere on its body. This includes its ears and inside its mouth. Some horses take to being touched most places very well; others are going to require time and patience.
  • Teach your horse to move away from pressure. You can do this by gently moving your horse with your fingertip. For example, put your fingertip on the horse's right shoulder. Slowly add pressure until your horse moves to the left. Once your horse makes the slightest of movements in the correct direction, take your finger away and rub the spot. What you have done is removed the pressure when the horse responded. You can do this at the shoulders, sides of its rear and from the front of its chest to get it to move backwards. This technique will come in handy when you ride and want to use leg pressure to move your horse.
  • Introduce your horse to some potentially scary situations on the ground. If your horse if afraid of an object or water, go slowly. Let them examine the situation as you calmly talk them through it. Should you come across a frightening situation when riding, your horse will have learned to trust you listen to you.
  • Teach your horse ground manners while walking with a halter and lead. Your horse should keep a comfortable distance from you. Not only can it be dangerous, but it's not comfortable when your horse leans on you while you are walking. Your horse should stop when you do. Don't let your horse keep going and take you for a walk.

These are a few tips that will help you start building a trusting relationship with your horse. Be sure to bring your horse to a reputable vet at places like Edisto Equine Clinic for routine check-ups. Have fun and enjoy your time with your new horse.


9 January 2015

A Guide to Avoiding Pet Emergencies

Animal emergencies happen quite often, and I have seen a lot of different injuries at the veterinary office I work at. Vehicle incidents, falls, and fights with other animals can all cause these injuries. Some of the most surprising emergencies I see though, are when pets eat substances that make them ill. Dogs and cats can both get sick by ingesting flowers, essential oils, and certain types of food items that humans eat. I even see some animals that become ill when they eat shoes, towels, and their own toys. I know that the vast majority of pet owners love their animals dearly. Most medical emergencies are purely accidental. You can easily save your precious feline or canine from harm as long as you know how the most common injuries occur. The articles posted here can help you with this, so start reading to make sure your pet remains healthy.