Having a good relationship with your horse provides incredible benefits.
The benefits include a horse who likes and trusts you. They will be safer and easier to handle, quicker to learn, may perform better and is just a joy to be around. As a horse owner, you will be more happier and have more confidence!
Here are a few ways to bond with your best friend:
- Just hang out
Horses enjoy quality time too. Being stabled for long hours can cause your horse to become very bored so catch up on chores outside with him. These chores could include sorting out your grooming kit or cleaning your tack. Reading a book or doing work with your horse will appreciate the company and improve the friendship.
- Find his itchy spots
Scratching around the withers and base of the neck can lower a horse’s heart rate and help him to relax. It can strengthen the bond you have with him!
Most horses have several special itchy spots where they love to be scratched, so see if you can find your horse’s favourite. These spots include spots where it may be somewhere they can’t reach, such as his chest, under his bottom jaw, the underside of his neck or inside a hindleg.
- Go for walks
Go for walks of about 45 minutes to an hour for your horse to have a change of scenery. Combine exercising and eating at the same time by allowing him to graze the hedgerows. This increases quality time between you and your horse and he will associate you with positive experiences.
- Make a toy box
A toy box can entertain your horse. Add horse-safe toys such as large dog trays, rubber balls and large rings are ideal. Scatter grass nuts, vegetable strips or high-fibre treats in the bottom and pour a little diluted apple or carrot juice on top.
Ensure your horse play with the toy box for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time to keep interest.
These toy boxes help to improve your relationship as your horse will associate you with something he enjoys.
- Entertain him
Teach your horse tricks and introduce them to new things. Things he might like could be road cones, umbrellas, or even wheelie bins.
On a loose lead-rope, let him approach them one at a time from a distance, then reward him for each step he takes towards the object with a treat, or a big, lip-curling wither scratch. This will generally help to build his confidence and he will learn to trust you in novel situations.
Blog post from
Your Horse, 4 Febuary 2021. www.yourhorse.co.uk