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10 Ways to Bond With Your Horse

By Carole Herder So you can’t ride your horse, for whatever reason. Maybe one or other of you are recovering from an injury. Maybe you have kids in the house and don’t want to take the risk. Maybe the horse (or rider!) is too old or too young and companionship is more preferable at this stage. Whatever the reason, here are ten wonderful ways to still be with your horse, enjoy each other’s company and have some fun (some will depend on your horse’s physical capability, and yours!): 1. Groom them, slowly – a lovely way to bond and very relaxing for you both. 2. Learn some massage moves and apply – again, a great bonding exercise and perfect for working on any tired muscles. 3. Lunging, or better yet, travelling circles – a good way to get some exercise in for your horse, especially if recuperating from injury. 4. Long lining/reining – similar to above, but gives you both some exercise! Take your horse around the field, around the house, up the lane, anywhere – also great for confidence boosting. 5. Agility Club or in-hand obstacle courses – excellent for an type of horse that can’t be ridden but you still want to do an activity together 6. Sitting in the field with them – the perfect way to spend some quiet time together, just watching and listening – excellent meditation! 7. Take a stroll up the lane together and munch (grass for them, snack bar for you!) – just hanging out together, no agenda. 8. Perfect your lateral and yielding movements on the ground – I do believe we all should spend more time on the ground with our horses’, teaching them what they need to know. It does wonders for their performance and confidence when you then ask them from the saddle. 9. Take them out in the trailer to visit a new place and simply go for a lead-rein walk – super for confidence building, getting used to new sights and makes for an interesting day out for all. 10. Find their favorite scratchy place – always brings a smile to my face as I watch their eyes close and really enjoy the moment.

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