HomeExpert AdviceArticleThe secrets to improving your bond with your horse

The secrets to improving your bond with your horse

Posted in Riding Schooling and Training Groundwork and Handling

Featured Professional
Emma Massingale

Emma Massingale is a free rider, which involves working a team of horses completely at liberty. Having trained horses for 17 years, she specialises in starting youngsters and working with difficult horses.

View Emma Massingale's Biography

Free rider Emma Massingale shares some of her secrets and explains how to improve the special bond you have with your horse and which horses might match you best.

Emma Massingale explained to us how to ask your horse to come to you when you go to catch him, which is not only a nice thing to do, but handy if you have a big field…

Working at first with a headcollar on your horse, ask him to stand. Holding the end of the lead rope take a few steps back, with the rope still slack, then ask your horse to come to you by calling his name and making ‘clucking’ noises. Use your body language to draw him in to you.

You may need to take a little feel on the lead rope to encourage him towards you until he gets the idea, and if he’s really lazy or sleepy, you may need to gently tap him with a schooling whip to create the energy. Once he’s got the idea, remove the headcollar and try it with him loose. If he’s not quite got it, go back to using the headcollar for a bit longer.

Avoid using treats to encourage him – you want him to want to come to you, not just want the treats. You might only get a few steps in your direction at first, but when he gets it right, reward him with a rub on the head or neck and let him rest for a few minutes.

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