Mare pins her ears at me

March 18th,  2022

By Karine Vandenborre

The do's and don'ts of Bonding Time

In the riding school where I rode as a teenager, there was a mare, Muguette. She wouldn’t let anybody touch or halter her without pinning her ears and giving you a (very!) nasty look.

I remember being afraid of her when I just started riding at age 13 and therefore I asked other, more experienced riders to saddle her for me.

However, when I was about 15 and had gained more experience, I started doing it myself and in the meantime, I really started to like her. So a lot of the time I was sitting in her stable, to listen to music or read a book.

While doing that, Muguette would show no interest, but instead was ready to pin her ears from the moment she thought I would touch or halter her. If I had no intention of doing that, she would just continue to eat her straw with her hind end faced towards me.

Until one day, something unexpected happened…

Muguette turned towards me, gave a big sigh, and started to touch and sniff me.

I don’t have to tell you how special that felt! Muguette, labeled by the riders in the riding school as the “sour mare” sought contact and was friendly!

That was the day that I started looking at her with different eyes. She could be soft, friendly, and open!

And that all happened because I spent time with her in the stall, doing nothing.

Fast forward, 30 years later: I’m almost 45 years old and have done quite some “doing nothing” with A LOT of horses. I started calling this “Bonding Time” and I learned that it is the most important thing you can do with a horse when it comes to building trust and connection.

I also found out that there are do's and don'ts

I learned which pitfalls there are. I learned that every horse is different and that it’s important that you adjust the way you do “Bonding Time” to the horse you are working with.

Maybe your horse is not interested in you ➟ you can learn how to trigger his curiosity and seek contact with you.
Maybe your horse is pushy and mouthy ➟ you can learn how to work on that during Bonding Time with the result that your horse will be more polite.
Maybe your horse is not confident and unsure ➟ you can learn how to empower your horse and make him feel confident and proud of himself, by doing Bonding Time in a specific way.

Connection Circle about Bonding Time

In my upcoming Connection Circle about Bonding Time on March 26th, you'll discover everything you need to know to be able to implement this in your daily work with your own horse.

The result will be that you know exactly how to do Bonding Time with your horse and meet his specific needs, so mutual trust and friendship with your horse will deepen.

But this is the page where you can register now and learn everything you need to know to reach that next level of connection with your horse: 

With love,
🎔 Karine

PS: a recording of this 4hr online workshop will be available to everyone who signs up. So, if you can't make it live or want to review the workshop, that's possible. The recording stays online indefinitely, and you can keep asking your questions below the recoding.

If you have any questions, just let me know. Mail me at