The relationship and bond I have with my horses is so so important to me. Getting to know them and their personalities, developing them and building relationships with them is really the main reason why I enjoy this sport so much.
I like to think that I have a strong bond with all my horses and I actually feel that competing them improves this bond. There’s a huge amount of mutual trust between us when we go in the ring and that’s of great importance to me. If they’re not sure and I say it’s ok, I need to know that they trust me enough to go.
I think building a good relationship with a horse is a lot about spending time with them and getting to know them. They are all complete individuals and by knowing them better it helps me understand the best way to work with them.
It’s also not just about stuffing them with treats (although mine definitely get their fair share!) they need to respect you too. They are very big animals so it’s important they are not spoilt either! If you’re fair but firm with them I think they learn to trust you and you can develop a strong relationship.