Whether you are a seasoned equine lover or only a beginner, horse bonding is perhaps the most crucial part of the journey. You cannot ride comfortably and safely unless you share a good bond. It takes a lot to connect with the animal, specifically if you are a first-timer. You may have some apprehension, and the horse also needs to develop a comfort level with a new rider. It may take some time and effort to break the ice, but you can do your bit as a rider. However, you must shed your inhibitions and make a conscious effort to nurture the connection. Here is the best horse bonding advice beginners can rely on.
Mind your emotional state
Horses often understand the emotional state of people around them. They even replicate the vibe they pick from others. If you feel nervous as a rider, the animal will act the same way. Likewise, your anger and aggression may make it aggressive and unruly. Remember to stay calm around the horse to ensure they exhibit the best behavior with you. Although it is easy to feel fearful during the initial interactions, give up your apprehension and try to befriend the equine. Try to get emotionally comfortable before getting started with your regular riding sessions.
Learn to recognize physical cues
Besides practicing emotional control, you must learn to understand the emotions of the equine. You can know a lot by recognizing the physical cues as they tell when the animal is stressed or relaxed. Knowing the mental state of the horse enables you to take the apt actions to help it calm down. Typically, the animal will snort, spook, or dance around when it is anxious. Waning performance and swishing the tail are signs of frustration during a training session. When things do not seem good with the equine, talk soothingly to calm it down. Slow down a bit until it retains composure.
Invest in equine education
As a beginner, you can get better with horse bonding by investing in education. It enables you to know the basics of equine wellness, including the physical and emotional needs of these animals. You can explore Online Equine Courses that impart education to provide the best care to horses. A good one will enable you to understand what these animals expect from the riders and how you can go the extra mile to ensure their wellness. Showing your love and care for horses fosters a healthy relationship in the long run.
Go slow with training
You will definitely be excited about your training sessions as a first-timer, but overdoing things can affect your bonding with the animal. Equines thrive on fun, so all work and no play does not work for them. Steer clear of rigorous training sessions as they can burden the animal. Overtrained horses tend to be lethargic, and you can hardly expect to bond well with a stressed and tired animal. It may even become stubborn and nervous. Ensure that you go easy with training and give the animal plenty of rest. Try getting close with an occasional treat.
Be assertive and consistent
Being assertive and consistent also helps you bond well with an equine. Horses are herd animals, so they tend to see people as herd members once the bonding goes well. They feel more comfortable when you maintain consistency in your actions. At the same time, you must be assertive and authoritative but not aggressive to show the significance of good behavior. It enables you to create a strong connection today and ensure obedience and discipline down the line.
Spend quality time with the horse
Bonding with an animal is just like bonding with a child as both require similar care, love, and attention. You can achieve the goal by spending quality time with the horse so that it feels safe and comfortable in your presence. Essentially, quality time is about having fun together. Think beyond riding, and give it the chance to do its own thing, like stopping when it wants and grazing to its heart’s content. Brush the horse’s coat, talk to it gently, and enjoy moments of leisure.
Bonding with a horse need not be a daunting task, but you should let it happen effortlessly. Focus on making the animal comfortable in your presence, and it starts with doing away with your apprehension in the first place. Remember that the process is as hard for the animal as it is for you, and both must take it easy. Just be yourself and have a good time together!