Horses are beautiful creatures that humans have built a good relationship with over the years. These animals have been helpful in multiple ways for us. They are especially significant as they can be trained to be ridden. Horse riding races are popular to this day!
That being said, building trust with them isn’t as easy as you might think. Horses take time and effort to open up to humans and shape a connection with them. This is why the first approach is very important, and you need to be aware of how to set the correct impressions! Here are five important things to consider when meeting your horse for the first time.
1. Make Them Aware of Your Presence
There are millions of species of animals worldwide, among which horses are known to be one-toed domesticated mammals, like donkeys and zebras. To discover more about them and various other animals, pets, and wildlife, you should visit https://animalvivid.com/.
A horse is a royal animal, and its personality and characteristics display so too. They are love-demanding, and their well-being depends greatly on how their humans treat them.
It’s essential to learn about a few basic greeting and behavioral techniques when meeting with your horse for the first time. To set the correct impressions, you first need to make it aware of your presence.
At first, you should gently walk toward the left side of the horse’s shoulder at a 45-degree angle and avoid walking straight toward the face or from behind them, as this makes you the most visible to them. Horses have eyes on the side of their heads, making the front and the back a blind spot for them. Often, it startles the animal, so you should always keep it in mind. If you see that the horse’s ears are facing backward but still standing, then it means that they are aware of your presence.
No good can come from sneaking up on a horse. If a horse gets scared and senses that someone or something is nearby, it may kick them or run away. Softly calling out to the horse as you approach it is the best way to get its attention. Make sure it can see and hear you as you get closer. Don’t sneak up on a horse from behind. If you must approach from behind, do so at an angle so he may still see you coming in his field of vision.
2. Be Very Quiet and Gentle With it
To establish a good relationship with your horse, you must maintain a calm and quiet approach. Horses easily get terrified and run away if they hear loud noises and chaos. While approaching the horse you wish to meet, speak to it in a low voice as you go closer. Every horseman should monitor the noise level of conversations and surrounding sounds.
The horse may feel comfortable with you making loud noises or talking loudly later on, but this can take a lot of time. Horses dislike loud noises because horses are prey animals, so any loud noise may indicate to them that they are in danger. This frightens them and causes them to become aggressive or scared.
Furthermore, you should also be wary of your movements. Don’t look the horse in the eyes or make sudden moves that will scare it. Move slowly and steadily as you approach the horse. Then stop close to the horse and give it a few seconds to look at you. Don’t move your arms, and stay as still as possible. Don’t make any loud noises, either. While the horse is getting used to what you look like, avoid eye contact during the first few meets.
3. You Need to Let the Horse Smell You
The smell is one of the most important senses for horses. To accommodate it properly, you must allow them to get familiarised with your smell. When you get close enough, put out your hand near the horse’s nose gently and let it sniff your fingers.
Allow your horse to sniff your hand as long as it takes for it to get accustomed to you. You’ll know when it’s done when it puts its head away. Be careful, however, as weather conditions may cause the horse to become anxious. This is because strong winds or any other scent may make it difficult for the horse to distinguish your smell from the rest.
Horses use their sense of smell to tell the difference between things that could hurt them and things that could be food. This is a great time to offer your horse a treat if you have one with you. Find out what’s suitable for the horse’s digestion before offering treats.
Ensure the treat is at the correct angle so the horse doesn’t accidentally hurt your hand. After the horse has smelled you and has taken the treat, you should gently pat the side of its face. It symbolizes that you two are getting closer if it allows you to pet it. Keep it up, and you two will soon be great companions!
4. Be Wary of Aggressive Behavior
One thing that you always need to be cautious about is how the horse behaves. Animals are unpredictable creatures at times and not understanding their behavior can lead to severe problems! After all, it’s not guaranteed that the horse will adapt well to you, especially in the beginning.
You must consider aggression when meeting your horse for the first time. Some horses may not be as friendly as they seem in hindsight. Look for signs that the horse may be uncomfortable or frightened. You should stay away from horses if they show you any of the following signs:
Firstly, if the horse’s ears are pinned straight back or if its nostrils are flared then this can be a sign that the horse is agitated. Additionally, you should also see if its tail is calmed between its legs and if its eyes are getting bigger as well.
An agitated horse is dangerous. It may bite or kick if you go near it in this state. Furthermore, the horse may even run away from you. Do not chase the horse if it does this and instead, stay away the moment you notice any sign of aggressiveness. A professional horse trainer will be required to deal with this kind of behavior. It is also recommended that you strictly follow the rules and instructions of a professional trainer when going near a horse, in order to make sure that no one is harmed during your first meeting with the horse.
5. Bonding With Your Horse
Once you’ve introduced yourself to the horse, and there is no sign of agitation, you start interacting with the horse so that the two of you can build a strong bond. The effort this will take depends on the horse’s personality and how you treat it.
You can start by offering treats. Make sure the treats are healthy for the horse to eat, and cut them into small pieces to make it easier for them to eat. Next, you can put the horse on its back and neck. Don’t go straight for its nose or face, as this might startle the horse. You should also do this only when you have permission from your supervisor.
Lastly, horses love going on walks and having their mane brushed and stroked. Use special brushes made for horses to avoid putting them in any discomfort. Additionally, observe how well the horse is behaving with you when you go on walks so that you can act accordingly. Furthermore, the horse may try to run away, so you should take the first few walks in an enclosed space.
All in all, a horse is a creature that has been friends with humans for a very long time. If you follow instructions and treat them right, they will do the same with you. No matter what animal you try to befriend, the process will likely require time and effort. After all, bonding is no easy thing.
We hope that this article has helped you with these things you should consider when meeting your horse for the first time, and we wish you good luck in becoming good friends with your beloved horse!