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.


Pvuchetich said...

Steve, safety and security IS such an important need for the horse. Thanks for allowing Pete to be a part of Jazzman's experience there at Mill Swamp. By doing so, you've not only met Jazzman's need, but ours.

Anonymous said...

Pete is quite the caprine character..and Jazz is a character too..She has figured things out here pretty quick, and warmed up to everyone quickly..seems to like her paddock mates..

There are many things in life which are difficult, if not impossible to describe in words, something akin to describing a sunset to to a blind person using mathematical formulae and wavelengths of light...the feel is missing.
That word that we keep coming back to: FEEL.
It is said that one cannot teach, one can only create an environment where learning can occur. This is very much true in learning the feel of a horse.
I cannot tell you how I know that Snow on Her is about to break out of her trot into a lope, any more than she can tell me why she feels my need to do so..cannot describe how I know Red Feather is going to spook...mostly I don't know myself..but I feel it.
I can tell you how to learn it...two simple steps..spend time with the horse...and go ride. Alot.
The same way old married couples have an idea of what the other is thinking..feel.
Work on getting that feel...the bond will come. Be a herd mate..Let the horse believe right down in his or her soul, Not going to hurt you, Not afraid of you, I will take all the time you need to get there..the bond will come and you will not ever want to leave that place.
You better bet Jazzy and Pete have feel for each other..So does Miss Erin...I have seen her ride. -Lloyd