Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Building The Bond
It is sad to read of people who view horses as so different from humans that they do not consider any true bonding to be possible. They consider the horse to be essentially an animate machine whose actions are only explained as response to learned cues.
It is not anthropomorphizing to recognize that horses have,and express, deep emotions. It is anthropomorphizing to think that their emotional needs are the same as ours. As predators we seek excitement and unfettered freedom. Horses have no such desire. As prey animals they seek safety and security.
This goat and horse have a deep emotional attraction for each other. Pete, the goat, sees himself as the protector of the mare. He tries to herd her back to the pasture when she is saddled up to ride.
She looks to him to look out for her. She relaxes quicker if he is close by, especially if she is away from the other horses.
The young lady in the picture is developing a close relationship with this mare. She does so by doing the same thing that Pete does. She makes the mare feel safe when she is with her.
Time spent simply standing with and occasionally rubbing a grazing horse is the most important time that one can spend to build bond with a horse.
It is one of the most important parts of training a young or wild horse.
" I am safe. There are no threats here. I can relax.".
Those are the most pleasant thoughts that ever enter a horse's mind. Understanding that point is the first step to understanding horses.
Posted by Steve Edwards