Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Dealing with fear

I have a 16 Year old Quarter Horse Gelding. My husband bought him for me as a surprise. I kept him at the farm where I was taking riding lessons. He was great there. We bought a farm last year. I have gradually seen the changes in my horse’s attitude. Some say round pen him and I know that I need to get back to being the alpha but I had him in the ring once and he reared up at me. Now I have lost my nerve and I know he can tell it. Any suggestions?

fearful rider


Thank you for your question. I want you to know you are not alone. No matter what, the first issue for you to address is your fear. Horses know everything about us including our confidence level. They look for and need a confident and knowledgeable leader. Notice I did not say ‘strong’. It is not about dominance or strength or control. When a confident leader is not present the horse begins to fend for itself. It gets its sense of safety from the presence of that leader. It is understandable and desirable for a horse to fend for itself to insure its survival when no leader is around. The horse senses your insecurity and that works against you. If he leads the dance you will need to get out of his way.

Is there someone there who can coach you in ground handling horses? If not, I can do it via phone or on line live chat coaching. I cannot give it all to you in an email. But I can coach you through it. Also, I travel to present seminars across the country and now in Europe. I am available to travel this summer and fall. Additionally, I receive folks here at my bas ranch in Aspen, CO for immersion programs all the time. People come in for a week or two and immerse themselves in the work. They bring their own horses or use mine. This ranch has lovely guest accommodations. So you have some options to work with me if you like.

Fear is over come by knowledge, practice and support. It will also require that you face your fear and move through it. A horse rearing in front of you is scary indeed. However, if you had stood your ground, waved your arms and shouted “NO!” that might have ended his rearing immediately. A round pen is a wonderful tool. But like any tool it is only as good as the person using it. If you do not understand the round pen, it won’t do you much good. You do not need to be the ‘alpha’. You do need to be able to lead the dance confidently and appropriately. Again, it is not about control. It is about partnership, mutual cooperation and the Gandhi school of leadership (knowledge, kindness, compassion, leadership with a quiet and confident strength). Please let me know if you are interested in any of the offers I have made.

Thanks again for reaching out. There is a lot on my website. It will give you a ‘feel’ for how I work. Please take a good look thru it. Best Wishes Always€….

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: