Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Heads for the barn


We have 6 year old QH/Welsh? gelding. He has great ground manners and is generally a laid back horse. He is mostly being ridden by my 9 year old daughter. She has fallen twice and he freezes like a statue instead of bolting off like some horses do. His problem is that in the indoor arena when he gets tired or bored he just starts going to the gate and when he is outdoors he starts heading to the barn. He either trots fast or canters slowly (he doesn't ever gallop wildly) toward the barn. It scares my daughter when she is outdoors because she gets afraid he will try and jump a big fence or something (I let her know that this is unlikely-he is pretty lazy). When he is indoors he scrapes her along the fence wall. What can we do? Everyone at the barn loves his personality and he is much better for the trainer. Is this fixable?

Thanks, Frustrated Mom

Hello Frustrated Mom,

Sounds like he's a sweet guy and just being a horse which means; unless he is tuned up regularly by an experienced rider, the horse will "sour." What you are seeing is sour behavior thru being frustrated by a weak rider. All horses need tuning up on a regular basis by a competent rider and this gelding is no different. Horses being ridden by children get sour really fast. Even if your daughter were more experienced, eventually the horse will find where the human is vulnerable and begin to "lead the dance" himself. This means heading back to the barn, taking the arena wall too close and all the behavior you are describing. He knows he can take the lead with your daughter so he does. The fastest easiest way to correct this is to have a very experienced rider who knows how to "school€š horses" ride the horse occasionally and give your daughter lessons on becoming a better rider herself.

If there is no really confident and strong leader around, horses fend for themselves. It is how they survive. You horse is not to be faulted for this natural behavior, just "tuned up" by someone very experienced and accomplished in schooling horses. The "tune up" will last a while until he realizes he does not need to "listen" to his rider and he can take over again. He should be tuned up on a regular basis to stay user friendly. This is a very common behavioral problem in horses being ridden by weak riders, children or lesson horses and easy to remedy with proper schooling. That is why 'he is much better for the trainer.'

Let me know how it goes and thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: