January 4th,  2014

By Karine Vandenborre

Greet & Groom

The third connection exercise is the exercise “Greet & Groom”. Horses who are best friends regularly scratch and rub each other with teeth and lips. Research has shown that calming substances are released and the heart rate of horses drops during such a grooming session.  So the third connection exercise consists of imitating this friendly scratching and rubbing.


A "no" is a "no"

What's the purpose of  “Greet & Groom”?

This connection exercise will build up and enforce the friendship and bond you have with your horse. The more you do this, the more your horse will enjoy being groomed by his human.  Sometimes they even ask for it!

If the horse doesn't trust you enough, then he will not let you touch him.  Or he will let you, but he will be tensed and unable to relax fully. 

Sometimes the bond appears to be very good after doing the first two connection exercises, but as soon as your bring your hand up to the body of the horse, the horse becomes fearful, frightened or defensive.

When the horse lets himself be touched without any problems, you can start to look for his favorite spots to be groomed. This all sends the horse the message that we you are his friend and partner.

Sometimes it might be the case that your horse simply does not feel like grooming, and leaves when you try to initiate it. Don't take this personally, but allow your horse the freedom to express his opinion and show respect by not forcing your touch on him.