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New Horse Owner
I am a new horse owner FINALLY!!!!!! I have been taking lessons at a nearby stable and my husband surprised me with a 14 yr Mare, Tennesse Walker. I love here. I go every day and spend time with her. I am my bonding with her.
Is there any suggestions on bonding? I want her to really trust and love me.
I really like this forum. This will be extremely helpful to me.
Looking forward to meeting people here.
Hi! Welcome to the board--people are really friendly here and very helpful! So, is this a mare that you have ridden in the past?

As far as bonding goes, I say do tons and tons of groundwork...get those feet moving, work in a round pen with her and have her changing direction ALOT, stop start, change in speed from walk to trot and back again, then have her go from trot to canter...just move those feet! She will learn that you will not hurt her, and that you are the one she should look to for direction--you will be her herd leader. If I ever get a new horse and bring them home, I always spend like at least 2 weeks on the ground with them before I even get on! It truly does help to develop that bond/trust.
Just my two cents! [Wink]

Good luck and congrats on your Birthday present! How sweet! Maybe your hubby can talk to mine!![Big Grin][Big Grin]
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

Horses are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Yep ground work and placing yourself as the herd boss. Horses like to have a leader they can trust and it is the leader they trust the most. Placing yourself there and the time you spend on ground work and the basics will gain you her trust respect and allow the two of you time to figure each other out. it also gives you a chance to see just what she does and doesn't know.

No I have to admit that I am kind of mad at you...where are the photos?? Wink
Congratulations on your new horse! What a great birthday present!

These are the steps we follow when we get a new horse in.

The first couple days, we just leave them pretty much to themselves to settle into a new barn and a new routine. They get petted and talked to and brushed but really nothing else.

I see how they put a halter on, some are hesitant some just stuff their heads in. I work on that if it needs work.

Do they tie? I loop a rope around a post and pretend they are tied. If they pull back, then I know I have something to work on. If they just stand their, I then tie them. Do they cross tie?

I brush them all over. Any itchy spots, any sore spots, any spots they say to stay away from? I figure out what the problem is and address it. I also brush really well, any spots they seem to particularly like.

I pick up feet. Are their feet easy to handle? What kind of shape is the foot in? If there are any physical problems with the feet, I deal with them. If they have problems picking up feet, I try to figure out what their problem is and address that.

After I "sort of' know the horse then I will do some basic groundwork exercises.

How sensitive are then on the halter. Do I need a rope halter, do I need a chain? Do they walk along perfectly or do they drag, or push or wander. Those issues will be worked on.

How sensitive are they? Do they get upset if I correct them a little - then I need to change my approach to fit with that particular horse. How much training have they had.? Will they put their head down with a little tug? Will they move all 4 feet easily when asked? Will they back easily and readily? Will they move over with - a touch, a push, a thumb in the ribs, or a cluck - or not at all? I work on any issues I find here.

I expect my horses to stay with me when I lead, move out of my space when I walk into them, back easily, and if in crossties to move over with only voice commands. I expect them to put their heads in a halter when its held for them, and I expect them to put their heads down for me to take halters off.

I will then saddle and bridle the horse. Anything unusual happening here? Do you get pawing, ear pinning, tail swishing? If there is, I try to figure out what the problem is. Sore back, unhappy horse, ill fitting saddle. Then the bridle - is everything ok? Do they open their mouth and accept the bit or do you have to pry their mouths open? Is the bit the correct bit for that horse, does his mouth hurt, is he afraid of having his mouth hurt?

Then I will take them out and put them on a longe line. Do they know how to longe? Do they do it properly with nose tipped to the inside and moving in proper frame, or is the head up and flung to the outside the circle? Do they reverse with only verbal commands or do you have to physically reverse them? Do they change transitions easily and fluidly? This is the time you check for any unsoundness, any uneven footfalls, anything look odd. Depending on what you find then work on any limitations.

After they are behaving nicely on the longe line, then I step up and go for a ride. This may take a couple weeks time - or longer, or shorter - it all depends on the horse.

The last couple horses we bought were crippled broodmares. Some people treat broodmares like second class citizens - some are just left outside, with feet done a couple times a year, so they really need to learn what things are expected at our place. Regardless of what they are like when they come here, it doesn't take very much time for them to fit into our schedule. Every horse on our property is treated, fed and handled exactly the same way - whether they are broodmares or show horses. Show horses just get a lot more baths and clipping - and work!!!!

So my advise with any new horse, is take your time, learn about your horse, let them learn about you, and work on fixing any small problems as they crop up. If you run into any kind of a snag, get a knowledgeable horse person to watch what is happening and get their input on how to fix it.

I did an in-depth ground work basics and Red Hawk did a longe line one. They are both stickied under Beginning Rider. Check them out there is a lot of information there
I appreciate everyone getting back to me. Its nice to know there are people out there who will help.
I have a couple pictures, they are not the best but I will get more tomorrow.
I am taking lessons with her that is why I fell in love with her. I have her at a stable just 10 miles from my house and I go there every day even if its just for a 1/2 hour. I groom her, walk her and just plain spend time with her. She comes running to the fence now when I get there.
Her name is GRETCHEN. My sweet gretchen.[clap]
[Image: IMG_0013.jpg]
[Image: IMG_0008.jpg]
Welcome, Diana! Others have already given you some excellent advice, so you don't need any from me.

I'd just like to say that the way you came to buy your horse, is something I wish more people would do! Taking lessons on a horse really gives one the opportunity to see if the horse is suitable.

Hi Di;

Welcome to the Forum. Gretchen looks like a nice solid caring horse that will respond to your genuine affection for her. Here's to a long and rewarding relationship.

I like the head shot in the second photo. Is that you in the first photo? ( need to smile[Smile])

Looking forward to more photos.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Congratulations on your new horse. She's a beauty! Sounds Like you are getting a good start with horses by taking lessons and purchasing one you have become familar with. My only advice is to wear a helmet everytime you ride.
Nancy (and Tag & Rocky)
Free & easy down the trail I go......
Congrats! She looks like a sweetie. Welcome to the forum, there are a bunch of great folks here!

Thanks everyone I am really having fun with her, she is great. I just had the farrier out and she has a fungus in her right front foot. Poor girl. I am using peroxide and some other stuff the stable owner gave me. She is doing ok.

Next picture will be a huge SMILE!![wave]

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