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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Difficult, abused horse


I just got my own horse and she was abused by people before I got her. She is always trying to bite people, even if you are just walking past her. She always likes to rear up when you ride her.I was told it was just becasue she was a mare. Do you know of any hints I could use to help her? Do you think she'll get out of it?? She's about 11 years old. I would go see you guys but you live to far away.

Thanks, Jeanine

Hi Jeanine,

Sounds like you have a bundle on your hands. Rehabilitating an abused horse like this does take time and definately some skills (many you may not have yet). There is also a real element of risk involved. I have a huge amount of information and many techniques you could use to re-train this horse to trust a human again. There is not much that will do you good as a hint in an email. Things like 'lead the dance' skillfully and appropriately, don't mean much to you at this point. Ask for movement to the side if the horse locks up going forward requires technique. Make the wrong thing hard for the horse and the right thing easy is a nice concept if you understand how to do that. Rearing is very dangerous and should be discouraged by having the horse do leg, hind quarter yields immediately, 3-4 rotations in both directions. The behavior has nothing to do with her being a mare other than she will continue to respond to her estrus cycles with some mood changes. She can definately be trained out of this behavior at any age. However, she is habituated to this over quite a bit of time and changes like you are calling for do not happen over night. I would re-start this horse (take it back to the beginnings and basics of its training). You do not have the skills for this and I can't give you helpful little hints that can make the techniques safe and understandable for you.

I would like to suggest you consider a few telephone coaching sessions with me. They are cost effective (about what a piano lesson costs), efficient, effective, convenient and I can promise you the information and techniques to get you started in the right direction with your horse. If you just kind of wing it, it won't work. You will quickly come across things you cannot handle. If you coach with me a bit, you can tell me problems that arise and I can talk you through them. Please consider this as a viable way to get theknowledge you are seeking.

Wish I could just give you little hints that would get you on track. But, as you can easily see, there is more to this than 'little hints'. There is real knowledge that I have gained over a lifetime with horses. Please consider this opportunity.

Sincerely, Franklin

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