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Franklin Levinson's

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Ground work over riding?

Hi Franklin,

Why do you do so much ground work with a horse? It's almost as if you prefer being on the ground with them over riding them? I love to ride and to ride a lot. I do little on the ground because I love riding the most.

Thanks, Sharon

Hi Sharon,

I'll bet you are a pretty good rider. But I would also bet you know little about horses and do not have much going with your horse beyond being able to ride it. This is a one sided relationship. When a behavioral issue arises, and it will, you will have nothing to fall back on by way of a trusting relationship with your horse.

Our relationship with any horse is formed first and foremost on the ground. Trust, respect and partnership form with a horse on the ground and is the more natural way of developing a relationship with a horse. Humans riding a horse is not a natural thing for the horse. They allow us to ride them. But the only thing on a horse's back in the wild is a lion. Riding the horse should be the last thing we do with them and the 'icing on the cake' of the relationship. Riding the horse tends to be, for most humans, more about 'look at me I am riding a horse and I can make him do what I say'. The on the ground relationship with a horse is more natural for the horse. Once the relationship is highly successful on the ground the riding part becomes at a higher level as well. And the sensitivity for the human becomes greater and more appropriate. Also, intuition, empathy, and awareness of the horse as well as ourselves becomes enhanced when we are not distracted by the fact that we are engaged in the activity of riding.

These are just a few of the reason I prefer to teach and train a horse from the ground first and foremost. It is largely lacking in most horse/human activities as there is not much real understanding of the true nature of the horse. This is a worldwide problem for the horse. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

Sincerely, Franklin

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