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Trusting Your Equine Companion: Tips for Building a Strong Relationship

How to Build Trust with Your Horse: Tips and Tricks

Horses are beautiful animals that require a unique approach. Building trust with a horse is an essential component of building a strong relationship with them.

To do this, there are specific skills you need to acquire. This article will guide you through the process of building trust with your horse.

Signs Your Horse Trusts You

Following Instructions

When you command your horse to do something, they will follow if they trust you. They react to the commands given by their owners, but if they don’t trust you, then they won’t obey your instructions.

Horses respond well to calm, clear commands. When you give instruction, speak with confidence.

The tone of your voice should be authoritative yet gentle.

Coming To You

If your horse is comfortable to be around you and trusts you, they will be quick to come to you. They will approach you without hesitation, including holding their head low and ears in neutral positions when they are near you.

Respecting You

Horses have a natural inclination to follow a leader. They need this to feel secure as a herd animal.

You need to assert yourself as their leader if you want them to trust you. Horses will respect you when you show them respect.

One way to show respect is by being consistent. Be sure to follow the same routine with your horse.

Allowing Touch

When a horse allows you to touch their head and neck, it’s a sign of trust. Horses can be sensitive around their face, so a horse who trusts you will let you touch them without pulling away.

If your horse has trust issues, they might pull away even when you try to touch them gently. However, with some work, a horse can learn to trust you and may even enjoy being touched.

Being At Ease

A relaxed horse is a confident horse. If your horse is nervous around you, it means that they don’t trust you.

Horses need to feel comfortable around you as they do for other horses. This can be achieved by spending quality time with your horse.

Now that we have gone through some of the signs that your horse trusts you, let’s explore some tips on how to build trust with your horse.

Tips for Making Your Horse Trust You More

Being A Good Leader

As we mentioned earlier, horses follow natural leaders. Horses react better to confident people who know what they’re doing.

As a leader, you need to be firm yet positive. When you give instruction, do it with confidence, and ensure that the horse is aware of what you want from them.

Doing Groundwork

Groundwork is an excellent way to build trust with your horse. You can use this time to challenge your horse and to teach them new skills and to build their confidence.

Horses learn by doing, and a successful challenge can help to build a horse’s trust in you. Groundwork can be done with various exercises such as lunging, groundwork in the round pen, or even obstacle courses.

Rewarding Your Horse

Rewarding your horse is an excellent way to establish trust. Horses react positively to treats and rewards.

In essence, treats give the horse a positive association when they interact with you, and over time, they will seek to interact with you more often. When rewarding your horse, you can use food or non-food rewards like brushes and quality time outside.


Building trust is fundamental to owning a horse. The more you spend time with your horse, the more you learn how to communicate with them and how to establish trust gradually.

It may take time for some horses to show signs of trust, so always have patience and be willing to work through challenges. Remember, building trust is central to developing a strong bond with your horse and towards their wellbeing.

In summary, building trust with your horse is vital for a healthy and strong relationship. Signs that a horse trusts you include following instructions, coming to you, respecting you, allowing touch, and being at ease.

To build trust, one should be a good leader, do groundwork, and reward the horse. Building trust takes time and patience, but it is worth the effort for the horse’s wellbeing and relationship.


  • – How do I establish myself as my horse’s leader? You can establish yourself as a leader through consistency, setting boundaries, and showing respect to your horse.
  • – How can I tell if my horse trusts me? Signs include following instructions, coming to you, respecting you, allowing touch, and being at ease.
  • – Why is trust important in the horse-human relationship? It is essential for the horse’s wellbeing and relationship; trust helps the horse to be calm, confident, and happy, improving their overall quality of life.
  • – Can all horses learn to trust their owners? Yes, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, all horses can learn to trust their owners.

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