As a riding coach, horse show judge, equine behaviorist and columnist, knowing the science of how horses think and learn has saved me time, trouble and trauma in training! I love helping riders solve their horse puzzles. But horses and horse shows teach us life lessons as well!
To find out more about the long distance video riding coaching, riding clinics, horse show judging and equine legal consultant work I offer, go to my site www.lgrice.com.
Monday, 24 October 2016
I’m asked this regularly. I may dig a little deeper, “Tell
me what you mean by bonding.”
If bonding means to you:
my horse feels
safe/relaxed in my presence
he understands me,
I’d say that’s very
important. However, if you’re hoping for your horse to share your human
emotional needs and share your goals, probably not.
Dr. Robin Foster, researcher of equine behaviour, writes
that the horse’s perspective probably does not mirror the human experience.
“People have an emotionally based social need
for companionship, and research shows relationships with animals help to
satisfy this need.
In contrast, a horse’s social
needs are rarely met through his relationships with humans. In a
recent article published in the journal Behavioural Processes
researchers reported that horses are more interested in and form stronger
connections with other horses than with humans. Horses tend to be wary of
humans at first…”
Attachment to humans
might be stronger when horses are hand-reared, but researchers cautioned that
“the negative welfare
implications of keeping horses socially isolated from others of the same
species may constitute an ethical dilemma for caregivers wanting to increase
their horse’s attachment to them.”
How to make a horse feel safe? Is this the same as “trust?”
More about this next blog, but I’d like to hear your
My list starts with
the predictability of my
movements and cues
the predictability of the
environment and schedule I provide