My bond with Taz took a long time, let me share some of the things that helped me strengthen my bond with him. I find that the most important thing to remember is that you don’t always have to ride or work your horse. If you do, then they will continue to associate you with that, so it’s always good to switch things up!
We all know horses love grass! And they really do believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the paddock fence. Explore the property on foot with your friend and make sure to take lots of snack breaks in between! I like to graze him because it's relaxing for the both of us.
I don’t know about you guys, but Taz doesn’t like being brushed or groomed. What he does love is getting a nice long bubble bath! Even on the days you don’t ride, give them a scrub. I use Cowboy Magic Shampoo and Conditioner which is gentle on both Taz’s skin and my own. If it is hot outside, before turning them back out graze them in the shade so they can dry off.
If you’re having an off day and just want to horse around (pun intended), a great way to have some fun is riding bareback! Taz isn’t the comfiest of horses to bareback but he sure is floaty. A quick solution to this would be adding a plush half pad or investing in a bareback “saddle”, like this ThinLine one.
Lastly, another great way to strengthen and see where your bond stands are meet-ups, free lunges, or line lunges! It is a fun way to let your little fur baby let loose or to practice respect and boundaries. Sometimes I like to set up some jumps and trot poles, once Taz is warmed up. This is all done in a safe manner and stimulating the horse at the same time!
Photo Credits: Andrew Ouzounis