Horses are amazing animals, and for much more than just riding them. Many people see riding as a main goal of having a horse, but it is important to connect with your horse in other ways as well. Connecting with your horse can improve riding abilities and helps you to explore all other avenues your horse has available to you.
Other ways to connect are:
Grooming – Brushing, bathing, scraping, whatever it is you are doing to help your horse look its best is also helping you bond with your horse. You can get a better feel for your animal and develop a better understanding of them when you see what they like and dislike. Ginger, one of the horses I have connected with, used to hate baths even on the hottest days while other horses can’t resist the water. While you are learning these things about your horse, you are connecting with them.
Feeding – Horses love snacks (usually) and personally, I find it so much fun to experiment and see what kind of things the horses like best. Phil here at Big Heart loves to drink coffee but only when it has sugar and a caramel shot! Phil wasn’t pleased when we tried to give her sugarless coffee with milk. I found that quite entertaining. Dakota, another horse I have connected with, never ate any of the grass in her paddock but she went nuts if you fed her the same grass from outside the fence. Maybe she just loved the attention and that’s the point! You and your horse entertain and connect with each other through feeding.
Healing – As you may know, we are very keen on mental health and healing here at Big Heart, and one of the proven ways to better mental health is through animals. Simply focusing and petting your horse can do so much for you, even if it’s just a distraction from everyday life. Horses can assist in things like meditation, mindfulness, and many other self-help activities. While you are relaxing your horse by petting it, your horse is helping you to heal. You each have something to offer and this creates a great bond between you.
Horses are truly wonderful and exploring all the things you can do for them, and the things they do for you in return is a great thing. Horses have so much to offer other than riding even if it’s just a good laugh! Spending time with your horse unmounted will show you just how lovely the horses are and help you to create a bond like no other. They are amazing animals and should be appreciated for all that they give to us and not just for the riding.
Big Heart Equestrian Blogger