Why don't people seem to want a relationship with their horse?

I have noticed this a lot recently, I don't know if it is me looking at the world through adults eyes, or whether it is just becoming more and more common, that so many people are buying and riding horses as they would buy and drive a car, let me elaborate.

My mare Navara, I have had since November, and have barely ridden her because I feel her confidence and ability to cope mentally with being ridden is not as high as it should be, she is receiving reiki, and is also having a chiropractor specialist in the McTimony method look after her back that has suffered it's problems due to an old injury that was never rectified. I love that horse with heart, mind, and soul, truly. We play, we learn new tricks, and we have cuddles like you or I would hug another human, you can get lost in the moment and really feel the love and the bond that we have already.
But I see other girls and boys my age, buy a horse, and the very next day, or sometimes the same day they are charging around, jumping them, taking them out with friends as if they had owned them for years. Often I hear...he's nothing like he was when I tried him, or...my gosh he's so naughty. I sat there and thought, why can't thee people see what they are doing?. If I was taken from my home and stuffed in a new place and ordered to work and walk for miles with people I had never met, and places I had never been, and when I looked confused, or stumbled or was uncertain that I wanted to go with these people, I was whipped or accused of being naughty, how would I feel?
Why can people not allow a horse to settle, and why do they not see a horse as a thinking, living, breathing being with free will.

There have been times when I wished me and Navara could gallop off into the sunset, but I am enjoying our bonding, and trick training so much that most of the time it doesn't even cross my mind. I would much rather have a horse that want's to look after me, values my company and truly misses me when im not there, than a horse that runs away from me, tries to throw me off, bites me, or wishes he had never met me.

There is one or two girls in particular that stick in my mind as being the sort that use their horse like a banger racing car to be used and abused and replaced the minute something goes wrong.

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Comment by Jennifer Lamm on August 8, 2010 at 12:26pm
my horse is nickering to me now... that's where it's at!!
Comment by 4XChestnut on August 3, 2010 at 11:56pm
Don't allow your feelings of being slow to progress or of being left behind your peers to cause you to disdain their actions. If you let it this will drive a wedge between you and your peers and you may want to ride with them once your mare overcomes her issues. What they choose to do is not your concern, just as what you do is not theirs.

Most horses don't come to new owners with such deepset issues that your own horse has. Each person must deal with the horse they have. Horses will progress at their own pace. Many horses will settle faster into a new home if a similar riding schedule is kept. Horses who have shown understand the idea of going to a new place and working under saddle is normal. Many people who appear to just ride do have very good relationships with their horses even if it isn't public hugs and kisses.

There is no one right way.
Comment by Ayesha on August 3, 2010 at 1:51pm
I try and introduce lots of new people, I never put a halter on her when introducing new people as that panics her, if she's at liberty she can come and go as she pleases. I usually give new people a favorite treat of Navara's and if she comes over to them they hold it out to her without looking at her face let her take it then walk away from her, it usually works. I show people where her favorite places to be itched are and if she will let them they can scratch her and she see's that they aren't so bad. Navara gets quite speedy around new people, and her head gets very high and she marches about (mostly with men) She will snort and cling to me if I walk across the field. She will mirror me, so if I run, so will she, if I stand she will stand close behind me.

With her it's all about letting her decide when to make the first move when people approach her she tends to walk/trot away, but if you stand chatting together and laughing she will gradually come down and join in the conversation. I think it's all about time and teaching her by selecting the right people to come into the field that people are nice.
Comment by Jennifer Lamm on August 3, 2010 at 1:37pm
wow the characteristics of her remind me of both of my horses... she sounds like she wants to have a relationship too... you are smart, I can tell and you will win her over..... ya, my friends cannot believe that I don't ride my horses at all.... Toby is 28 though and I rode him for 4 years and he loves to just follow me around now but Oliver is who I intend to ride and he is very sensitive too.. I love that... just meant that I had to work on myself being calm though.... I think your horse is really cute sounding.... what do you do when other people come around.. I really have problems with my horse with that..... he doesn't really like new people.. I'm worried about their safety so I can't take him out by myself... :(
Comment by Ayesha on August 3, 2010 at 1:22pm
Awwh Jennifer they don't sound like very good friends to me!, most of my friends that I ride with (The ones who Hurry me I don't ride with) are very understanding and If I don't want to do something like race or jump they won't either. but I know people who think, oh if she doesn't want to jump ill go on ahead and do it, rather than thinking "If I race on ahead Ayesha's horse might freak and take off with her". People don't seem to think, and that's very sad :(.

Navara is still learning to bond with me and sometimes she can be very nervy, and sometimes I don't completely trust her. I admitted a long time ago that yes, she does scare me sometimes, but I didn't put her up for sale and get another horse, I chose to work on our bond, and already we are a great team, and sooner or later we can iron out the few problems we do have every now and then and we will be amazing together. Already she looks to me when new people approach her, and she hides behind me or circles around me to see if it's safe to stand with us.

Navara has just had her 7th birthday. She is generally speaking incredibly sweet natured and loves a cuddle, but she only gets on with myself and my mum. I had to teach her to enjoy being cuddled. She was very nervous, anxious and incredibly defensive and would often go up on me when leading her and run away if she felt scared or had what I refer to as a 'flash back' when she will suddenly panic about something and just run blind. She is now very vocal, cuddly, and loves to play. She learns very quickly, and is incredibly brainy. She does not get on well with other horses I think she's been bullied too much by others and she gets very crabby and aggressive if they come to speak to her over the fence. She's very sensitive too and you can make her very happy just by scratching her withers or anywhere else for that matter, and she doesn't get bored of it she tilts her head and pulls some hilarious faces, you can see what I mean by looking us up at www.youtube.com/thundersrose. I use it as a treat a lot of the time in her clicker training rather than food.
I wish you lots of luck Jennifer with your horse, you must keep me posted on how you guys are getting on

Thank you Muriel. Really really kind :). I think everyones too competetive, and to the point of being nasty to each other. I went to a show a few weeks ago where some snotty 10 year olds were bullying a 7 year old and calling her pride and joy pony a cart horse and saying it was ugly. I was appauled!. 10 year olds should not even have the mentality to be so cruel to someone younger than them, or anyone for that matter. It makes me very sad :(
Comment by Muriel Price on August 3, 2010 at 12:10pm
You are awesome Ayesha! You sound like you are young, yet you have a soul that is very grown up. Most people, especially when young, are ruled by their egos and their fears (fears of not being good enough). That leads them to be driven and competitive and to need to feel superior to their horses, and to their barnmates. You are doing the right thing and your mare is so lucky to have you! Hang in there, keep it real and fun, and you will experience the most satisfying relationship with your horse.
Comment by Jennifer Lamm on August 3, 2010 at 12:05pm
something else happened by the way.... my friends took OFF..... and have ridden around me in circles for about 4 years.... just left me behind because I'm way too slow at learning... so for me, that was a cool time to just spend alone with my horses... and I'm sorry I'm slow.... but some horses take a long time to bond and really take care of you.. I need a nice horse that likes me.. I am not in it to fight with him the entire time we are trailriding... forgetaboutit.....ugh. he's way more willing now and not giving me an argument..... because I did alot of exercises of respect building.... ugh.... how old is your horse and what is her personality like????
Comment by Jennifer Lamm on August 3, 2010 at 12:02pm
Well like Shai said we all have to find our own way... I hadn't ever been around horses and I was actually a little afraid so for my sake and my horses I really had to slow down and calm down and make myself more aware of how to be a good leader and Oliver is teaching me that.... Shai would be fun to hang out with cuz she knows what she's doing, me..... notsomuch... but my horse trotted around me and straight for me and I didn't run away so woohoo!! I'm not scared of him at all anymore.... and you are welcome... do what you want with your horse.. that's what my trainer says.... even if I just give Oliver attention and boss him around a little he gets relaxed.... Chris Irwin had an excellent series on endorphine release.... how your horse relaxes because he or she is with you... that became an important part of my work with my horse last week.... this week he rolled right near me.... and he's real comfy around me.... almost time to get to work when my trainer gets back.... we have a good bond, now it's time to move forward.... and it's gonna be awesome... spend the time till you can't wait to ride... I never thought I'd be here. my horse was a brat, young, wild.... now he's getting better and both of us are more confident.. maybe we aren't green and green anymore... :)
Comment by Ayesha on August 3, 2010 at 3:22am
Thank you very much Jennifer :) that's actually really interesting, I knew that the native Americans had lovely bonds with their horses but didn't know the extent of it.
I find that there are so many wonderful and talented people that are showcasing their bond and the time and effort they have put into their horses, on youtube, and yet its the kids that post video after video of them jumping their horse that gets the most views. Weird
Comment by Shaiarabs on August 2, 2010 at 10:01pm
like anything in life this is about choice and awareness...and there are many varieties of both..some take a while to find the way, some find it quickly and some just don't look...but that is their choice and their path to make, what you do with your own journey is what will make and define you..

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