21 Feb Ways To Connect Quicker With A New Horse
Like any other animal, horses are extremely smart and adept at picking up signals from their human owners. Any new pet will take their time getting to know their owners and learning the law of the land. Where horses differ is that they cannot easily be won over or bribed with treats. Horses require an established, mutual relationship of trust.
Connecting with Other Horses
Connecting with a new horse depends on many different factors like environment, training, age, and breed. When getting a new horse, the learning curve might be different if you already own other horses. The other horses are used to their owner and environment. They could see the new horse as a threat or a new friend to play with. Your new horse will not only need to connect with you, but also the other horses. Horses do not live off of a pack-mentality. This means that a new horse will not simply fall into place in their community. Each horse plays a specific role, and some relationships are better than others, very similar to humans.
At first, the new horse might be stand-offish towards you as well as the other horses. It is key for the horse to see how you interact with others. Try to go about normal interaction without any nervousness or heightened state of emotion. The new horse will be able to tell that something is off. If there are no other horses, and the new horse is alone, this also applies. They will still be able to pick up on any fear or anger that you may have. Take a gentle approach to introduce yourself. They are getting to know you just as much as you are getting to know them.
Communicating with your Animal
While horses are not fluent in your language, they are aware of when their owner is talking. They should get to know your voice before you start training. Try talking to them as if you were having a conversation while caring for them, calmly explaining each step you are taking. This is almost as if you are asking permission to brush their coat, pet them, shave their hooves, etc. Again, they will pick up nervousness in your voice, so try to be as calm as possible. Let them familiarize themselves with your voice and touch so they know that they can trust you. Don’t be afraid to sneak in rewards when they obey to a task. This will help later on in horse training when you are working on a reward/punishment system.
Now that you have worked towards a friendly relationship with your animal, there are some basic guidelines when it comes to your safety. These all come down to trying not to spook the horse. An animal this powerful can be dangerous when scared and can be unpredictable if they sense something is wrong. When approaching your horse you are going to want to start at the front and work your way to the back, always keeping a hand on them so they know where you are. You do not want to sneak upon them. In horse training, make sure your movements are strong and purposeful. They can get confused when you have sloppy movement or unclear directions.
Lastly, do not get discouraged. Your horse will be happy to be in a loving home.