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Conan the barbarian kicks

Mr. Franklin I read about you in the magazine "The Horse" in Greece.

Sorry for my English is not so good. I was a horse lover when I was child but now I'm 35 years old. I buy a horse name 'Conan The Barbarian' and that says everything. He is 5 years and is a Greek horse from Zakinthos. I have a problem as he likes to bite and kick people. I think he does that for play.

I have this horse for 6 months and he was very wild at the start with everybody. But with me he looks like he likes me. Thats why I buy him. When you riding he is very good, but if you try to walk from behind him and don't look, his kick is for sure, I think. Me, he never kicks. Sometimes he lifts his leg like to kick me. But everybody else in the barn have a mark with his name on their ass. I try to behaving always with love but sometimes he make me very angry. What must I to do, please help me.

Thank you for the very valuable time.
Stelios Papanikolaou.

Hello Stelios,

Thank you for your question. Please do not get angry at your horse. He is not being this way because he is mean or bad. He is acting this way because he is afraid. There is no one around who understands enough of his language to lead him to feelings of safety and trust. He is afraid and acting this way to defend himself. Along with your love your horse needs your leadership. Without a leader around the horse begins to just 'fend' for himself. So few people know the nature and language of horses that that horse is frustrated and afraid most of the time. The humans around it are always trying to just control and dominate it. Actually they should be communicating with it appropriately to lead and guide the horse. It is not done by force, by making the horse afraid or by bribing the horse with food. It is leadership, pure and simple.

With a halter on this horse, try asking him to back up a few steps by 'snaking' the leadrope under his chin, moving towards him and saying "Back" in Greek, of course. There should be about two feet of slack in the rope. Then say HO! (stop). If he does as you ask, simply say "Good Boy" (in Greek). Then begin to make every little move a precise request. Come forward a few steps, stop, turn, back. Practice these simple moves so that the horse gets used to doing as you say and getting praised. This is how you begin to 'lead the dance' with your horse. If he does something you do not want snake the leadrope under his chin again and say "No!" (in Greek of course). The behavior should stop when you shake the leadrope at him. Be sensitive, you do not want to scare him, only get his attention on you.

I am going to copy this email to several friends of mine in Greece. I request that one of them translate this for you and offer assistance. I shall be in Greece in May and again in September, doing several seminars. I hope to see you at one of them. Thanks again for your question and good luck to you. Please let me know how it all goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

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