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Horse eating on the trail

Hello Franklin,

I have a 7 year old paint mare, she's big, gorgeous and FULL of attitude, and I love her to death! I've had her for 8 months now, and she has been quite a challenge but has come a long way with alot of hard work and determination! She is the dominant mare in the herd and can be quite a bully at times, but I think we have come to a mutual understanding of who the boss is (and I think its me) :) She is a great trail horse, a bold, fearless leader, but lately, she has had one big problem – she stops and eats all time. We will be at a full extended trot and she will just dead stop and put her head down and eat. it has become quite a problem, and it is dangerous for me because I have almost come off quite a few times! And it ruins the ride because I am constantly fighting with her to stop this bad habit. Any suggestions??


Stop fighting and consider stop being a boss. Consider becoming a good leader. It is not a test of wills, nor strength. Nor is it who will be the boss today. That is a very common paradigm about horses that many, many humans have. It is totally wrong and inappropriate. Great leadership has nothing to do with being a boss. It is more like leading a dance like the Tango. it requires knowledge (of the dance and dance partner), good dance skills and subtle cues understood by both partners.

Do not pull on your horse's mouth. It makes them pull against the pressure (pulling back against the reins and creates a hard mouth). Rather pick one rein on either side, and ABRUBTLY BUMP it straight up. Bump, bump bump. Your horse cannot help put pick its head up. Intermittent and abrubt TUGS (BUMPS) on ONE REIN will also bring the horse's nose up and in to the side you are bumping on, allowing for a decent hind quarter yield if you bring the inside leg back. It will definate train the horse to not dive into the grass. You must be consistent and not allow eating any more when the horse is bridled. Not even once. the horse will test you constantly for a while. Be the good leader. Be consistent, skillful, kind, compassionate and forget about bossing anyone around including your horse.

Sincerely, Franklin

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