If you own a horse or pony, you may want to spend some time with it doing something other than riding it around. Fortunately, no matter what you’re doing, the more time you spend with your horse, the greater your bond will become! Try playing different games with your horse once you’ve mastered some fundamental training techniques to keep its mind and body active!
So many people have asked me how I play with the horse in ways that are enjoyable for us and beneficial for training. There are several options, which are as follows:
Sit in the paddock with your horse for some calm bonding time:
You don’t always have to do anything when you’re playing with your horse. Make yourself at home on the soft grass, and don’t be shocked if your horse approaches you and takes a seat next to you. Spending some quiet bonding time with your horse can benefit both of you.
• Feel free to walk or run alongside your horse, but keep your distance from its hooves!
• You can read a book, draw a picture, or even talk to your horse to keep yourself engaged while sitting with your horse. You could even go on a picnic together! Bring something to eat for yourself, such as a sandwich and some treats for your horse.
• Fruits and veggies are excellent rewards for your horse! Carrots, apples, raisins, and celery are all good options for your horse. The majority of commercial horse treats are also acceptable.
If you enjoy grooming, braid your horse’s mane:
Your horse will enjoy being groomed if you are gentle, and it is a good bonding activity for both of you. Brush out any tangles in your horse’s mane before braiding it. Then, you can braid it in a French braid, separate it into smaller braids, or come up with your unique design!
• If you leave the braids in for too long, they will harm your horse’s mane, so remove them after 1-2 days.
For a simple way to have fun, dance with your horse:
Your horse will most likely be charmed by your dancing and the sound of the music if you maintain your dance moves relatively controlled. You might even be able to teach your horse some fundamental dance moves, such as the Hokey Pokey or a simple side-to-side step if you’re patient!
• Try not to be overly aggressive when playing, and don’t jump up or flail your arms too quickly. Your horse might rear or bolt if you startle it.
Take a walk with your horse around the neighbourhood:
Take your horse by the reins and go for a walk if you live somewhere peaceful with little traffic. You may allow your horse to explore new territory while helping to manage its movements by strolling beside it. Also, if your horse sees anything that frightens it, this will come in handy.
• In addition, exposing your horse to a variety of settings will develop more accustomed to a changing environment and will be less likely to spook when you’re riding on a trail.
Make a toy for your horse to play with:
Give your horse a new toy, such as a ball with a handle that can fling about or an extra-large ball made of a durable material that he can kick and pursue to keep him interested. You may also purchase toys that release rewards when your horse pushes them around. Your horse will be ecstatic to be rewarded merely for having fun!
It’s recommended to utilise toys created exclusively for horses. Toys designed for smaller animals, such as dogs, may not be durable enough to withstand a horse’s wrath and may even represent a choking hazard.
The benefits of the game are:
This game promotes your small horse/human herd to see you as the herd’s leader. It creates trust, so he’ll be more inclined to follow your directions if you’re out riding or encountering anything new for the first time. If he’s prone to running in the opposite direction, it might make him easier to catch and bring in from the field!
To summarise, horses play a crucial role in our ecology. Instead of abusing them for personal gain, we should cherish and preserve them. After all, their survival is dependent on their presence.