Horses are extremely intelligent animals and connect in the same way we, as humans, do. They respond to body language and touch, and build a connection through trust and mutual respect.
Respect. Respect is vital when connecting with your horse. You must first respect your horse before he will respect you. Respect you does not mean fear you. A lot of humans make this mistake and sadly the horse follows instructions out of fear instead of respect. Fear will establish no connection at all. Instead, approach the horse respectfully as you would your human peers.
Body Language. Body language is one of the best ways to connect with your horse. Rubbing him and gently massaging him shows him love and compassion. Your horse will respond to this and you will both feel closer to one another.
Grooming. Daily grooming sessions are a perfect way for you and your horse to bond. This will show him you care about him, and he will be much obliged. I relate it a lot to sisters bonding by brushing one another's hair.
Trust. In order to connect with you horse, he must fully trust you. Always approach your horse where he can fully see you and does not feel threatened in any way. Talk to you horse while you are together. He may not fully understand what you are saying, but he will understand your demeanor and begin to be comfortable with and trust you.
Touch. Horses respond greatly to touch. After all, riding a horse consists of a series of pressures applied and released. Your horse will respond to the way that you touch him. Touch your horse lovingly and gently and get a loving, gentle response.
Mentally and Spiritually. Having a compassionate and cheerful disposition while with your horse can make a huge difference. For instance, as humans, we respond to the demeanor of other humans, whether it be positive or negative. Horses are the same way. Your horse will pick up on your positive attitude and respond in the same way. This will lead to a better connection both mentally and spiritually with your horse. Instead of responding to physical actions, your horse will feed simply off of your mentality.
Time. Simply spend more time with your horse. Make it a point to ride or walk your horse on a daily basis. If possible, visit your horse at the same time every day. Even if you just spend time with them in the stables, this is a consistent, daily activity to which you both can look forward.
Leadership. Horses are animals that are used to acting in a hierarchy within the herd. Based on their instinct, they are used to having a leader. They will look to their leader for direction and support. Hence, establishing leadership with your horse will be the strongest and most important connection.
Using these ways to connect with your horse can assure your horse’s happiness as well as yours. This connection will form an everlasting, equine friendship, you and your horse will cherish for a lifetime.