12 Tips for Building Great Horse Relationships

You may be a seasoned horse owner or you may be struggling with your first horse. In either case you I know you will enjoy these 12 tips for building great horse relationships.

If you don’t have the relationship you want with your horse you know you aren’t getting the enjoyment from your horse that you signed up for. And, guess what, neither is your horse.

These 12 tips for building great horse relationships offer insights you may not be aware of. My thanks in advance for any comments you may have. Comments could be a question or they could be about your experiences with your horse. Everyone has lots of horse stories, right.

Twelve Basic Rules For Building Great Horse Relationships by Lynn Baber

Horses are more uniform in character than humans. While there is a wide variety in personality and aptitude in the world of horses, they are predictable in most of their behavior. Whether yours is a Quarter Horse, Arabian, Tennessee Walker or of another breed, it is still an equine and the basics for building great relationships are the same. Here are a dozen simple rules to help you better understand and enjoy the benefits of a stronger relationship with horses. Enjoy!

1. Use a calm energy around horses; if you run around like a freaked-out chicken or are puffed up like an angry frog, a horse will consider you either an idiot or a threat. They don’t like either.girl with horse and carrot sharing

2. Approach a horse from the side, walking at a slow to moderate pace toward their withers. Don’t approach them with your hand or arm stretched out. When you are next to the horse you can reach up and lightly scratch or pet their withers just like their momma used to. Then you may halter the horse or simply enjoy its company.

3. Provide routine and consistency. Once simple issues like food, water, shelter and safety are handled, the horse is ready for more.

4. The number one thing to remember when working with horses is rhythm. Use steady rhythm in the way you walk, talk, apply water when bathing, curry, brush, swing a rope, throw a saddle, etc. Establish a set rhythm and the horse will know what to expect and not get spooked or be caught off guard.

5. Keep the horse comfortable. It is your responsibility to keep your horse healthy, vaccinated, properly shod or trimmed, free of irritating pests like flies and mosquitoes, and with access to shelter from rain, snow or sun. Be sure all tack and equipment is clean, properly adjusted and helps your horse do its work rather than hinders it or produces strains or sores.

6. Always work both sides of a horse equally. A horse’s brain is two-sided and the sides do not speak to each other. Each eye has its own history and framework of experience. Make sure the whole horse knows what you want and what you’re doing. Each eye must be trained separately.

7. Never chase a horse to catch them. You will either scare them worse than they already are or they’ll decide you’re playing a game of ‘keep away’ and they will try to win. Teach your horse to come when you call. It’s better to make a suggestion that they come and walk away if they don’t, than to specifically tell them to come and let them ignore you.

8. Never think you can do anything fast with a horse. As soon as you set a limited time frame, they will find a way to keep you there until their newest concern is worked out. Don’t expect to teach a lesson quickly and don’t forget to use a calm rhythm in your lessons, with your voice, leg or any other aide.

9. Don’t pat horses; pet them. Most horses consider a slappy pat an act of aggression. Pats can be irritating to a horse. Horses should soften when petted, not tighten up. Stroke or pet them like a cat. Use a calm, steady rhythm.

10. If a horse is stiff you do not have their polite attention; they may not even realize you are there. Horses who have a relaxed posture and are soft to lead and bend are ready for new information or to react thoughtfully to your next cue. Learn to read the body language of your horse. Making a sudden request or a sudden movement to a horse whose mind is elsewhere can be dangerous for you both.

11. Don’t surprise a horse unless you have trained them to expect surprises. It takes a special relationship between horse and human for a horse to accept surprises calmly. Surprises to a horse are usually interpreted as threats to its safety.

12. Finally, learn from your horse. You will find no friend or teacher more honest in their response, more generous when given a chance or more noble in character.

It is a rare privilege today to spend time building a relationship with a horse. Your life will be forever changed for the better.

Lynn Baber is a Christian writer, business coach and retired equine professional. She shares lessons learned in thirty-five years at the business table and round pen with her clients and readers. Highly credentialed in issues of leadership, customer relations and most things equine, Lynn has a unique perspective not found elsewhere. Lynn is an experienced horse trainer, clinician, judge and breeder. Whether the topic is customer service or training stallions, Lynn brings years of experience to presentations and articles. Lynn is the author of two books, the latest Amazing Grays-Amazing Grace is available now. It is a look at our relationships with God, Horses and each other.

It is one of those books that should be on your coffee table or surely in the “read” section of your bookshelves.

“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your horse. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.”  ~~Unknown

If you want the best from your horse just remember these 12 Tips for Building Great Horse Relationships. Take the time. Your horse is worth it.

About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.

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