Have you recently gotten a new horse? Whether you’ve got a new mount for riding, purchased a show horse, or are adopting a rescued horse, it’s important for you to win Silver’s trust.That can be easier said than done, particularly with anxious horses and those that have suffered neglect or trauma. Here, a Dahlonega, GA vet offers some advice on winning your equine buddy’s heart.
Those early interactions will set the stage for your relationship with Silver. Don’t rush things! Let him approach you. Don’t immediately force yourself into his space. Gently talking to him, and stroking his forehead, can help soothe him.
Read Body Language
Most riders know that flat ears are a red flag. However, equine body language is much more complex than that. Head position, body stance, vocalizations, are all significant, as are Silver’s ear, face, and eye movements. Pay attention to what your horse is telling you.
Horses associate being groomed with love and care: this is why they often groom their buddies. Grooming Silver regularly will help him realize you’re taking care good of him. This is also helpful for finding out what your new pal likes and dislikes. Ear scritches? Nice! Scratches on that itchy spot on the rump? Amazing!
Horses want the same things as the rest of us: they want to feel safe, loved, and comfortable, and have time with their loved ones. Keep these things in mind when interacting with your horse! Be patient, and consistent, and always reward good behavior.
Spend lots of time with Silver! Riding is great, but you can also take him for walks or just hang out in the barn or paddock with him.
There’s a reason that lunging has never gone out of fashion in the horse world: it’s a wonderful way to establish trust and communication!
Many of our hooved pals are quite flighty, and quickly pick up and mirror negative emotions. Always be calm and gentle around Silver, even if you’re not in the best mood.
Give It Time
Offering treats, nose rubs, and sugar cubes is great, but horses aren’t that easily won. Silver isn’t particularly interested in transactional relationships. It may just take time to build a deeper bond. That’s perfectly fine!
Please contact us, your Dahlonega, GA animal clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!