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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Forward motion

Hello, I have a new horse, 11 yr.old gelding Oldenburg, very big frame guy, I have had a full vet check with xrays and back, legs, hocks, clean xrays. The problem is he is lazy. He puts his ear back and does not always want to move forward. I do wear light spurs and dressage whip, I am careful to not over use my aids. When I take him out in the field, he moves along much better. Should I lounge him first? How do I work through this? He is a very wonderful horse besides this issue. Thanks


You only mention riding your horse and do not mention anything else. Horses are naturally lazy and this is prt of their survival mechanism. If they go too fast they die from a preditator attack because they run themselves out of energy. It is easy to begin to motivate a horse to move forward. Do not judge your horse as anything bad, as it is not and is not doing anything to you personally. It is not stubborn, willful or any such negative human trait. It is merely fending for itself in the absence of anyone near it who understands and knows how to lead the dance of movement and relationship.

The more ground playing the better. Focus somewhat on asking the horse to move forward either in the lunge or straight. Ground driving would be a wonderful thing to do as well to get your horse focused on moving forward. A great relationship based on trust with a horse is first and foremost formed on the ground. Your horse will respond better, have a better attitude and you will not be so 'separate' from your horse. Join in a partnership with him and really esperience the joy, loyalty, compliance and responses of a horse who trusts you. This is beyond riding if you are open to really having the best partnership you can have. It is also tied in to your abilities as the good leader for your horse. It is all supposed to be a dance, with you as the good leader always. Appropriate, effective communication is the key. Along with consistant reward (removal of all pressure and a short break) for all attempts at compliance. Horses learn best one-step-at-a-time. Reward each and every forward step for a while. This will keep the horse trying to comply. Be patient and don't ask for too much too quickly. Have the horse's trust as your big agenda and not how he goes under saddle. He does not trust you and this is partially why he is not willing to move forward. He is not your slave nor servant. He is your dance partner looking for your leadership in the dance of movement. Move back to more of the basics of good training and see the good results. Once he begins to move forward freely with you on the ground, it will begin to happen under saddle. How you use your body and communicate on the ground is essential. If you need some vids, get them and learn. I also offer telephone coaching in horsemanship and it is very effective. Please consider.....

Sincerest regards, Franklin

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