Treat Your Horse With Respect 

Mutual respect lies in the foundation of any trustful relationship. If that is what you want for you and your horse, and want to acquire a deep connection with your horse, you need to remember it is vital to treat the horse appropriately. It is only then your animal will respond accordingly and recognize you as its true master and friend.

It is a known fact that while horses are incredibly smart, they still are just animals, and do not care about many things so important to humans. This means that it is very difficult — if not entirely impossible — for them to comprehend the reasoning behind your desire to win races, look great in the eyes of your opponents and supporters, or, say, secure a matching set of gear.  What really matters to them is to have their basic needs fulfilled. These include shelter, pasture, and regular grooming. If you manage to provide all of these and keep your animal satisfied, you will gain his trust. Your horse will be grateful to you for what it has.

However, it is not only the basics that you have to cover to show respect to your horse. For it to be reciprocal, you need to carry out daily activities with a certain degree of deference.


  • Approach Your Horse Slowly


Do not force the beginning of a session by trying to approach your horse quickly. Your movements need to be smooth and slow since abrupt steps might scare the animal and bring some unnecessary stress upon it. Try not to jump at it from the front, but instead calmly approach it from the side. It would also help to keep any eye contact to a minimum as your horse can perceive it as an indicator of possible danger.

  • Horses Rely on Smell

Horses have highly developed sensory modalities, and they rely a lot on their smell. This is why you should allow your horse to sniff you as you get closer to it. Establishing a connection between the two of you and creating an association between your smell and your appearance would be a great idea.

  • Never Yell at Your Horse

Another vital thing about making sure your horse trusts you is to avoid yelling at him at all costs. In your horsemanship, you need to be consistent and fair, and never assume that your animal is doing something wrong on purpose. It is always up to you to teach it whatever is that you want your horse to be able to do, and it is not fair to expect more than you have given to it.

Spend More Time Quality Time With Your Horse

Just like people, horses feel a deeper connection with those whom they spend more time with. This is an easy step, but it is a foolproof one, too! You should not only interact with your animal during the practice hours but rather dedicate some time to learning more about your companion outside of the training field. This is the right way of understanding the character of your horse as well as noticing why it may be behaving in a way it does. Indeed, you can find out a lot of information about what kind of horse your horse is just by observing it in its natural habitat.

It is not even necessarily that you need to always be nearby, fair enough, we all value our personal space. However, it is more than enough for you to be in the visible range of your horse, just carrying out your daily routine, for it to get used to the image of you and subsequently stop viewing you as a danger. Eventually, this coexistence grows into real companionship of a human and their horse.

Moreover, no matter how weird it may sound, try talking to your horse. It can sometimes feel a bit awkward since you are basically having a conversation with yourself. But trust us on this one: while your horse cannot actually reply to you, it most definitely understands the attention you pay to it. Apart from that, horses are also very receptive to the tone they are talked to in. Try using a calm yet assertive voice when speaking to your horse, so it would accept the fact that you are a reliable leader.

Yet another bonding activity that will build trust between the two of you is walking together. When you are still new to each other, riding your horse for a long period of time can be difficult because of the fact you are still not used to each other’s styles. Nevertheless, it does not mean you cannot take your horse out of the stable for a nice walk in the woods. By leading your horse by the reigns as you would on a leash, and guiding it through the forest, you teach your animal that you are dominant in the relationship. At the same time, you also show the animal that it should not fear you, and can let you a guide.

Protect Your Horse

In fact, fear is one of the most significant factors stopping horses from trusting their owners. An old saying goes: ‘Horses are afraid of two things: those that move, and those that don’t’. No matter how comical this sounds, it generally is true. Of course, it differs greatly from one given horse to another, but overall horses are rather jittery animals. By nature, they are a prey, so it is understandable they are always tense and tight.

Overcoming this fear of the outer world is one of the key things that determine whether your horse will trust you or not. You need to show it that you can protect it from the possible dangers. To do so, you need to make sure you take great care of the animal’s safety, both among other horses, and outside of the stable.

Do Not Push the Boundaries While Training

You need to remember that although horses are famous for their endurance, you cannot exhaust your animal with endless training. You need to balance your routine in such a way that your horse is getting enough rest. This also includes not overestimating your horse’s abilities and setting realistic goals in regards to your training. If your animal has only recently learned a relatively easy trick, do not push it too hard, making it perform complicated things.

Bring Treats and Comfort Your Animal

It may sound like cheating, but if you do not overindulge in using this method, establishing trust through bringing delicious snacks to your horse can take you far! Just remember that you must only give your horse treats as a reward for the well done work to maintain your dominant position in its eyes.


Author’s Bio: Cheryl Hearts is a passionate journalist from Boston, Massachusetts. She decided to dedicate her life to writing because she thinks this way she can be the most useful for the community. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Journalism, Cheryl started running her own blog where she’s covering topics of great interest to society.


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