RBEI MASTER COURSES: EQUINE MANAGEMENT: GROOMING 5
THE EXTENT 'RELATIONSHIP' AFFECTS THE GROOMING PROCESS
The relationship you have with your horse affects everything including how your horse behaves during the grooming process. The indication of a solid and good relationship is a horse that feels secure enough with you that it will relax and enjoy the grooming process in a calm manner.
Simply ordering a horse around (as is the current accepted norm globally) will make a horse nervous, worried about what can happen to it at any time, flighty, badly mannered and unpredictable.
If you have not built a solid foundational relationship of trust and respect, gentleness, kindness and care, your horse will be constantly on high alert, unable to relax, wondering what you are about to do to it.
Grooming highlights this lack of good relationship because you catch the horse and take it to do something, and this is obvious to the horse; that you intend to do something. He will be apprehensive about what you may do to him. What you may put on him etc, because in the past you have neglected his need to have time, gentleness and care in prior processes, he holds a deep seated belief you do not care enough about him to not allow him, or cause him to be harmed.
All we do at all times with horses communicates our relationship to them. If at any time we disregard their needs, are too hard with them, are unfair, disrespect them etc, this detracts from that relationship. Relationships can be made stronger or weaker at any time. It is up to us to maintain them strong so our horses can feel loved and safe with us. Your horse should feel safe in your care.
During the grooming process a good relationship is key to your horse trusting that while you are doing things to them, putting things on them etc, that you still would never harm them and your intentions are good and trustworthy ;)
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