Affinity with your horse

orbvalley

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Jan 15, 2008
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#21
And if you think she may go further than you that also could mean you are not 100% confident of yourself when around her and the fellowship which comes from bonding isnt there.
I mean that the horses I have felt a bond with have always made me feel good about myself. Not in doubt and if I was in doubt i would ask on NR, as you have done.
When I say she'll go further than me I mean that in the jumping/cross country sense. I've reached the point in my life where I know there will come a point whereby I don't want to jump any higher. Flatwork and dressage will have no limit from me.
She does make me feel good about my riding ability as everytime I ride her I learn & improve. I think its basically that she's not affectionate
 

orbvalley

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#22
The trust people mention is interesting.
I do not trust mine 100% and that's reciprocated. We cannot just decide to go off and do things, she's not a take anywhere type.

Hacking if worried she looks to me, if she gone beyond that she's looking out for herself.

She trusts me 100% on the ground possibly because she's a follower lower in the herd, or I've done hours of ground work or she just does and that's that. If she's had a meltdown I am probably on the ground where she wanted me in the first place!
. :rolleyes:
This description fits me & Cocaïne to a T. In meltdown mode she's inconsolable and uncontrollable, she will save herself & forget I exist. This only happens outdoors thank goodness, hence for both our safety we no longer hack out alone! In the school she's great and the odd days now that she tries to have a meltdown there I can stay on top of her (in both senses:p)
 

orbvalley

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#23
Maybe theres only one horse of a lifetime for each person? My horse of a lifetime is now retired. Oddly though his riding abilities were very very low. He couldn't really jump at all, he struggled with really basic dressage, physically & mentally he was scarred (not by me) and could be a bit of a fruitloop. Cocaïne's never had a bad experience in her life, she's always had good humans around her and her all round ability is enormous.
Strangely I ride better with cocaïne because I don't feel sorry for her mental or physical state like I did with my other. I could never really put my heart into pushing him on. With Cocaïne I can because I know she can and also if I don't take the lead she'll definitely jump into my place and I'll end up on the floor!!
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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#24
I dont think there is one horse for a lifetime. As an RS rider and in USA going on trail rides I got to ride lots of horses. It is possible to fall deeply in love with a horse on just one ride - and to have the owner notice how the horse has responded to you. Out of over 90 horses and ponies I have ridden, I have three or four times hacked a darling horse.
Maintaining and building the relationship tho takes time. I have had three long term mares in my life. All RS horses.
The big difference with an RS rider is that one can pick and choose. One can cut down the rides on the horses for whom one has less feeling.
 
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newforest

She's not fat, she's too short :-)
Mar 15, 2008
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#25
This description fits me & Cocaïne to a T. In meltdown mode she's inconsolable and uncontrollable, she will save herself & forget I exist. This only happens outdoors thank goodness, hence for both our safety we no longer hack out alone! In the school she's great and the odd days now that she tries to have a meltdown there I can stay on top of her (in both senses:p)

We still hack alone, but with the route that had big sticky spots that regardless of what I did it stayed the same-I turned it into the picnic route.As I spend time out of the saddle and stopping to eat, she's been fantastic every picnic we've done this year.
I have a great picnic buddy. :)
She doesn't though change her mind with repetition, sugar coating or disguising. She's a bit black and white.

The height of the jump is completely irrelevant to me. Mine is limited in what she can do, but I still love what we do and I still have a smile on my face doing it. I see so many riders trying to push themselves so far out of their abilities it's scary!

Surely every horse can go further than the current rider? Mine is only fit as me, so a healthy rider would do more. But she's a horse she doesn't know her limitations for jumping, I need to be mindful I don't ask because she will give.
We've been invited to a hunt. If I go it won't be on her. Nobody else wants to take her either. Its not always about confidence sometimes it's just basic common sense.
 
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newforest

She's not fat, she's too short :-)
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#26
I am glad she's popular with the RS, as you say I need her to be, its just that it puzzles me as to why she's popular. I found out yesterday as went along on an RS day (when she's ridden by the RS) and watched from a distance. She's just as indifferent to everyone as she is with me and as I had wondered already she's popular because she has no jumping limit and she's fast. The riders were all busy putting their names forward to ride her at the christmas puissance! I guess the majority of the RS riders aren't looking to bond with an RS horse so they don't feel as though somethings a miss.
Its difficult to think of what she does like tbh! She likes horses, food, jumping, & having her ham strings scratched:p I guess she's just not a people horse really.
Start with the hamstrings and see if you can build on that. It's a spot.
Though you may notice a difference between in season and not. I get a lifted hanging leg on occasion and she looks like she's going to fall over.
 
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orbvalley

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#27
Start with the hamstrings and see if you can build on that. It's a spot.
Though you may notice a difference between in season and not. I get a lifted hanging leg on occasion and she looks like she's going to fall over.
I do do her ham strings for her, the only trouble is its made her "back into" me & others. No probs for me as I know what she's doing, others get this look - :eek: - as it does look like she's backing up to kick someone!
No difference in season or out with her, only time of year she changes is with the 1st season of the year when for about a week she is so ill I think about calling the vet out everyday!

We've been invited to a hunt. If I go it won't be on her. Nobody else wants to take her either. Its not always about confidence sometimes it's just basic common sense.
I know EXACTLY how you feel !!
 
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OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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#29
What a lovely thread and I have enjoyed reading everyone.

Not sure I have experienced affinity tbh. Chanter was a rescue and in the 11/12 years I looked after him I don’t think he ever forgot the 14 years before. I trusted him on the ground and to ride but we never had that ‘bond’.

Ginger I have looked after since he was four he is hard to ride but forgiving and although he never tries to get you off you just have to have a sticky butt to not come off he is. It massively cuddly he comes to get when he sees me but still tries to kick and will bite if unhappy.

But I love him I say he is trier but actually he isn’t he gives minimal effort. But we have been together to long now for me to part with him so he stays.
 
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MrC

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#30
I did with Kia, it was like being two halves of a whole both in the saddle and on the ground. We were together 17yrs though so lots of time to create that bond.

Faran has a baby attachment to me at the moment, I’m cultivating it to make him workable and tractable and it seems to be working so far. He whinnies when he sees me and comes to call and will leave grazing to come see me and follow me, he very much wants to follow my back and not be at my side which again is a baby thing, he’d rather be at my flank than my shoulder.

I’m hoping this develops as we get further on in our journey, however what I had with Kia will stay with me for the rest of my life, he saved me countless times from being badly broken in and out of the saddle.
 

Jessey

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#31
Maybe theres only one horse of a lifetime for each person? My horse of a lifetime is now retired. Oddly though his riding abilities were very very low. He couldn't really jump at all, he struggled with really basic dressage, physically & mentally he was scarred (not by me) and could be a bit of a fruitloop. Cocaïne's never had a bad experience in her life, she's always had good humans around her and her all round ability is enormous.
Strangely I ride better with cocaïne because I don't feel sorry for her mental or physical state like I did with my other. I could never really put my heart into pushing him on. With Cocaïne I can because I know she can and also if I don't take the lead she'll definitely jump into my place and I'll end up on the floor!!
I brought Jess because Bo was never going to go as far as I wanted to (competing) because he was a bloody dim-wit who lost the plot routinely at shows, I lost count of how many times we were asked to leave the arena :eek: but I still loved the very bones of him. So I don't think it's about ability, just if you click.
 
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Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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#32
What an interesting thread, I’m loving reading everyone’s replies.

I definitely have an affinity with Raf, I adore him and can’t believe how lucky I’ve been to find him. Whether he has one with me is another matter. He certainly looks after me, but he looked after my OH’s niece when she rode him, so I can’t say it’s personal.

He isn’t much of a cuddler or very vocal, in fact I’d describe his attitude as ‘imperious’ most of the time. Occasionally though he is very affectionate and wants to be scratched or just rest his head in my hands with our faces touching and moments like that are incredibly special and no matter how much of a rush I should be in I put everything aside to make the most of them.

Usually though I think he just puts up with me because he’s a good boy lol.

I don’t feel the same about Jack, he is only really interested in food and getting out of work most of the time, but I am very fond of the old boy, I just don’t feel the same connection as I do with Raf.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
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#33
I was thinking about this thread today in relation to Ziggy's squealing (which honestly is more like squeaking, and really a funny sound coming from an animal his size). I vividly remember when I first heard it. I'd had him a year and he was just back from Liphook horsepital after his colic attack. I led him gingerly up the little hill to the field gate and as we went through the gate he stood on tippy toes and stared at his home and squeaked. He wasn't bad, he walked very sweetly with me, he just squeaked with excitement and delight. It was the first time I'd heard that sound from him and although I was enormously stressed it made me laugh out loud.

I suppose after 8 years we have come to know each other really well, but that doesn't necessarily mean an affinity. I've had Mattie almost as long, and although he is very comfortable with me compared to other people (he is a very reserved horse) and I feel very very fond of him, I don't feel that we understand each other the way Ziggy and I do. It's a very emotional thing.
 
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Lissie

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Jan 18, 2016
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#34
Yes, definitely both on the ground and ridden. I've only had her just over a year but even 6 months in I felt I knew her inside out, I trust her to always look after me, and she does. she treats me like special cargo. Going over a huge hedge last weekend I lost both my stirrups was on her neck, now Lottie is very forward going and always speeds off to keep up but she slowed down, stopped, chucked her neck up and let me get my stirrups back without being silly whilst other horses galloped past her. Then once I had my knitting back she was off again. She has a heart of gold and as mad as it sounds there is something magical about her, you have to meet her to get this. Anyone that knows Lottie says the same. There's something very special, deep and wise about her. On the ground she has the most perfect manners. She is the easiest and sweetest horse I've ever met.

I do think she loves me too, I'm her mum, I'm the only one she whinny's at. I feel like she does like me. We understand each other, when I sit on Lottie I feel like I'm home. With her huge paces, endless scope, bravery and forward thinking attitude she makes me feel like I could take the world on. Having Lottie in my life makes other problems a lot easier to deal with simply because I have her. Inside instead of feeling overwhelmed I feel like it's ok because I've got her. If she's ok I'm ok.

I didn't have affinity with my connie who I sold, maybe because he was brought to sell on so I always had that in the back of my mind. He was easy, snaffle mouthed good jumping pony but we never clicked. For me it made me feel sad because I always felt something was missing. I never felt for him what I do for Lottie, she has changed my outlook on life.
 

HaloHoney

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#35
Yes. I think he respects me, trusts me, and knows me, and is pleased to see me, but I wouldn’t say he loves me.

I, however, adore him. He is my horse of a lifetime. September last year- he was kicked- resulting in 12 weeks of box rest/no turnout. We bonded through groundwork.

He can read me like a book. When I get nervous, he gets noisy. He doesn’t normally make any noise (apart from nickering at a feed bucket). However, when I’m nervous, he hums to himself. Or whinnies (sounds like Scooby Doo doing an impression of a horse, LOL). It’s like he’s telling me to get a grip. :D

The moment I realised we were properly bonded, was the day he was turned out after those 12 weeks. I went back later (when he’d stopped galloping about with his tail flagged on 5 units of sedalin). I called him, he starts walking over, then he realises it’s MY MUM, and he pricks his ears and breaks into a trot. I was lucky enough to get it on video. :)

 

domane

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#36
Going over a huge hedge last weekend I lost both my stirrups was on her neck, now Lottie is very forward going and always speeds off to keep up but she slowed down, stopped, chucked her neck up and let me get my stirrups back without being silly whilst other horses galloped past her. Then once I had my knitting back she was off again.
.
Wow! @Lissie ... hunting AND knitting!! That's extremely impressive multi-tasking!! ;):p
 

newforest

She's not fat, she's too short :-)
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#37
The moment if you feel unwell and they nicker and walk over. I'd like the think that's her sensitivity. My human is below par and not her walk over I'm in charge be prepared for me to knock you over and take over the world!

I was talking to someone about this the other day. My health is not great just now and she's been hoof perfect with the decrease in workload. But she just looks more gentle if that makes sense to anyone.
 

Trewsers

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#38
The moment if you feel unwell and they nicker and walk over. I'd like the think that's her sensitivity. My human is below par and not her walk over I'm in charge be prepared for me to knock you over and take over the world!

I was talking to someone about this the other day. My health is not great just now and she's been hoof perfect with the decrease in workload. But she just looks more gentle if that makes sense to anyone.
Yes makes perfect sense. A long time ago I was delicate and I got the impression she was carrying me as though I were made of glass and she took the most care ever to bring me home after our hack. I won't forget that.
 

Kite_Rider

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#39
The moment if you feel unwell and they nicker and walk over. I'd like the think that's her sensitivity. My human is below par and not her walk over I'm in charge be prepared for me to knock you over and take over the world!

I was talking to someone about this the other day. My health is not great just now and she's been hoof perfect with the decrease in workload. But she just looks more gentle if that makes sense to anyone.
That totally makes sense to me, I remember once when I was feeling really poorly, I went to the yard as normal and wheeled the barrow over to poo pick (yes I am that anal about it) I hardly had the strength to push the damned thing up the hill and Belle came up behind me, stuck her head under my bum and physically nudged me up the hill every step of the way, very, very gently gently and I was touched beyond words, I think it's incredible how they tune in to us.
 
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