Relationships Are Everything To Horses
Equus is a herd animal, living for millions of years in small family groups called bands, often made up on average of between 2-6 horses.
Bands are very much like our own families....mostly consisting of a dad (stallion), mum (alpha mare), sisters, aunties and their offspring.
Due to this family orientated set-up, horses have instincts that give them incredibly strong bonds to their family bands, and if we are accepted we can be recognised as part of our horses’ family too. ....
But only if the horse is happy.
This can be achieved by giving them a species-appropriate lifestyle, such as making sure they live with other horses with full time turn out, as this gives them peace of mind. Along with asking them rather than telling them, and how we behave towards the horse is nurturing and understanding, rather than being harsh or impatient.
Only once they are happy and all their needs are being met, will they do us the highest honour of bonding with us and treat us like their family too. Like most people, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my family so if your horse sees you as their family there is nothing they wouldn’t do for you too.
It is then that we see amazing feats that can be accomplished as a team, as are littered through history between humans and their horses. Therefore trying to force horses into anything is a sure-fire way to alienate any previous bonds you may have made, and remove yourself as far from being accepted into your horses family band as possible.
So never do we need stronger tack, such as bits, or whips or items that force or restrict.....and you only have to think of how you would feel if one of your closest family members treated you with such harshness. As it’s all about the relationship with your horse for the horse, and your every action counts towards their view of you.
Therefore the effort you put in to forge the bonds to cement your horses’ ultimate trust in you is what makes him or her jump higher, or work harder etc.....rather than any tack or force.
We see at our rescue centre that even with emotionally damaged horses, who sadly have previously been abused and traumatized, that we just need to be gentle and patient with them to get that much desired bond that is obvious to see in all good horse and human pairings, which can take time but is well worth the wait.
Only then will your horse do all you ask of them not because you made them but because they want to, with the added bonus of doing it because they love you too ❤️❤️❤️
Check out this video of a wild horse trying to get to his family after the muster.