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I Have Done The Bonder, It Doesn't Work

This writer requested the bonding scenario and after receiving itsends the following reply...

Dear Marv

I have done all this , but i still don't know if we are bonded. The problem we have is once he starts running, he seems to keeprunning.

I have the picking up of the rear feet problem . I have the movingwhile i mount. If i round pen him , he will stay still till i mountthem take off at a trot for a few rounds . I get him to stop for around but then he takes off again. He used to stand for minutes ata time when i first started riding him (which was only Nov 1)

He is also a BLM mustang which i have had since March of this year.He seems nervious , but does not show it always. He just goes bang, and runs off

He has never been a treatening horse . No biting or kicking , neveraggressive either. I don't know wether he doesn't understand orjust stubborn.

Sometimes he Round pens himself. He just goes out and runs . Mosttimes if we are in the rp with nothing on he will stay by me andmove with me . If i have the saddle on he goes to running rightaway .

Thanks for any help . We are buddies most times , but he seemsnervious most times too.

The Wildflower Ranch - Horse Art

If I were there we would have all these problems taken care of inless than an hour. It doesn't matter if he is a green BLMhorse. Some would say this horse is different and won't respond toherd dynamics techniques like domestic horses. While I have actually only worked off the range horses a few times I have seenthem worked numerous times in videos, documentaries and the like. He is a horse and he will respond to horse interactions just like anyother horse. And because his instincts aren't as clouded by humansas domestics, he will probably respond much faster than domestics.

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There are things in this message that tell me this horse is prettymuch compliant, just uncertain as to how to react to the humanthings...i.e. he will stay and move with you at times, he used tostand still while mounting and you are big buddies. These problemsare really nothing, hopefully we can give you some things that willhelp the two of you communicate better.

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First of all, I don't think you have performed the bonder with him. I think you have the bonder I sent confused with round penning. Isay that based on the fact that you say the horse "seems to keeprunning" and "sometimes he round pens himself". Not if the bonderis performed properly he doesn't.

The thing to do now is to read and reread the bonder. Get theconcepts and the sequence down pat in your mind. Memorize thesignals that show the transitions between the stages. Study theexplanations for controlling the horse's movements and directions.

The only connection the bonder has with traditional round penningis that a round pen is used. The bonder is a procedure of control. That control brings about a mental change in the horse that causesthe horse to seek and become part of a herd situation. Lacking anactual herd, the horse will accept and become part of a herdsimulation. At that point there should be no doubt he's bonded toyou.

In performing the bonder, you MUST take control of the pen. Whenyou control the pen, you control the horse. If you are unable tocontrol the horse from the center of the pen, which is the idealcontrol point for the ENTIRE pen, you have to take control of aslice of the pen and then build to the whole. If you are in themiddle of the pen and he's racing around you like a nut and youcannot control him turn and quickly move to the opposite edge ofthe pen from him. He should turn and go back when he sees you butdon't try to stand directly in front of him because you neverreally know if he will. That should stop his going around.

If you maintain your position at your slice he will eventually stop as far from you as possible. That will be at the opposite side of the RP.

Then if you want him to go to the right, you move to the left andas soon as he starts off, move to the center. When you want tostop or change his direction do what you have to do to stop himfrom going completely around. That is how you change his directionwhen *YOU* want to.

One you have performed the bonder and he is beside you, pick up theproblem foot. If he leaves send him around a couple times in eachdirection then allow him to come back and then pick it up again. After a couple times he should allow you to lift it at will.

Same with the saddling. If he leaves with the saddle, forget he'swearing it and do the same thing you did with the foot. Send himout a couple times both ways and let him come back. In fact, *if*you wanted to, you could run him through the bonder while he'ssaddled, I often do.

A very helpful exercise is to "act" like you're going to mount. Don't give him any predictable actions. Lift your foot to thestirrup, take it away. Get halfway up, get off. Get on, get off. Get on for a minute and just sit there get off. Vary what you do. Get him to the point where he has no idea what will happen next andhe waits because he doesn't know what's next. Once he gets in thehabit of waiting you can dispense with the variety and just get on.

You also say he takes off at a trot when you mount. If you can,just sit there and let him trot. While he's trotting, use that asrein training time. When you turn him, just hold the rein until hegives into it and when he does, release it. You can steer himstraight at the fence so that when he gets to the fence he'lleither stop or turn. If you can sense which he is going to do,give the cues for stopping or turning.

Another great exercise is to just sit on the horse and let him dowhat he wants to do without any urging of any kind from you. Justrelax up there while he dwaddles, moseys or just stands. This willteach him that your presence on his back does not always mean go.

As I said earlier, I'm almost certain you haven't performed thebonder I sent with this horse in the manner it is laid out. Andthat is crucial. Study it over a few times and give it anothershot. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes.

For a free copy of the "Bonder" email Click here.

Click here to check out my very reasonably priced DVD inventory covering many of the subjects featured on my site's pages in greater depth.

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