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My Horse Won't Move
Out For The Bonder

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Hey marv, received you scenario, thanks, I have constructed my makeshift round-pen using a small corral and making it "round"and am now ready to begin. Have one big problem though, I know for sure I will have trouble getting **** to MOVE OUT. Have not any experience with roundpenning so my position will not be right. Doing JL WESN lesson I have trouble making him move in the right direction without him coming back in to me, Would you have any aggressive movements or positions I can use with the problem? Mucho appreciated!

And this...

I love this horse, but am very nervous when it comes to saddling him, or cleaning his feet, etc. When I was a kid, was used to my grandfathers horses on his farm and after that rode on rentals.

Unfortunately, ***** ( the horse I bought) has bonded with the woman I bought him from. But she is nice enough to board him at her place until she moves, and am hoping we can get into her place as soon as she does. The problem is that ***** has bonded to her and whenever she's around he wants to go to her. I think your bonding technique sounds great and she ( the person I've bought him from) is more than happy to help, but want to know how do I get ***** to start moving around the pen like you talk about? I think we've bonded in a way, he lets me clean his feet, even though he leans his 1500 lbs on me, but would really like to know that ***** is mine. Know that sounds kind of selfish!

It sounds kind of selfish to want a mental connection with your own horse when you are paying all the bills and doing all the work to provide house and home for it?

Well, that is just too bad. It's your horse and if you want to connect with it, it is certainly your right.

Let me start by saying that bonding is a mental state between horse and human. Just like you can have a number of close relationships with a number of people, so can horses. Each of the relationships you (or your horse) form vary in depth, intensity and dynamics and these relationships are constantly changing. The status of each of the relationships depends on the mental aspects of the individuals involved.

The former owner, you, members of both your households and I could ALL bond with your horse. I would however, be the one with the strongest hold on the horse by virtue of the fact I have a stronger sense of bonding and far more experience in horse to horse interactions than most people. My demeanor and my actions would clearly state to the horse that *I* am the one who is calling the shots.

And I said all that to say...he may be bonded to her, but *you* can establish a stronger and superior bond by virtue of the fact you occupy the superior position and the horse will sense and honor it.

If you are convinced *YOU* make the decisions where that horse is concerned, he will be convinced. You can know that he is really yours.

Based upon some things you say, and keeping in mind that I'm half a country away, I don't think you are bonded in anyway shape or form with him. You may be able to do stuff with him, but I don't think he's bonded to you. My experience in these matters leads me to believe he's not bonded to her either. Oh, she and he may get along just ducky and all that and still not be bonded. They are comfortable around each other and he likes her, but that doesn't mean they are bonded. When you complete the bonder, you'll see what I mean. Bonded means there is a constant two way flow of communication between you and the horse with the horse bowing to your greater mental status. Does that mean he'll be flawless and trouble free forever? No. It does mean the two of you will be much more able to discuss and work things out because you'll be listening to each other.

Now then, getting him to move away from you in the bonder...

You *MUST* see him moving in your mind before he'll move in your sight. Tell him, "I am not happy with this situation. Move away from me or die! Now!" Bear in mind, I'm not telling you to kill him, merely get him thinking you will. Once you do that he'll move away. Once he moves away, he mentally acknowledges you are in control. Do whatever it takes to get him moving. A lady who called me on the phone from Kansas City with this same problem one night and I came up with using a hose with a pistol sprayer and using intermittent blasts of water to move her horse and to change its direction (not in the ears, nose or eyes).

ALL you need to do is get him moving and control his direction to implement the bonder. It will work at a walk, I prefer to use a trot/fast walk because it makes the horse more mentally active, but it will work at the walk also. The purpose is not to exhaust or exercise the horse merely control it with no physical connection...no halter, no bridle...nothing. I discourage cantering as much as possible. If the horse canters more than I am comfortable with, I change directions which makes the horse stop cantering by stopping it to so it can reverse directions.

There is no special speed or gait requirements for the bonder to work. It will work at the walk, it will work at the gallop. But we're not exercising the body here, we're exercising the mind. All we want to do is control the horse without being physically connected to him with a lead line, rope or what ever. While throwing in a little bit of urgency into the bonder to lift the horse from a rut is helpful at times, it isn't really necessary. And it is best we do that without being concerned we are overheating him or putting him in physical danger.

I need to add a "get moving" section to my bonder. I have so little trouble getting horses to move it never occurs to me that others will have a problem. I can't recall my in-person students having a problem with it either. It is mostly a mental thing...if you believe it the horse will too. Even 1500(???) pound Apps

In the interest of saving time and because I work with so many different people, I'm starting to encourage people to use the amount of threat they feel they need to get the horse moving. If a lunge whip is what you have to use, then I say use it, but I really would like to see the bare minimum of effort used to get the horse moving.

best to ya, Keep us informed.

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