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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Herd Bound, I think?

Hello Franklin,

I recently purchased a 4 year ol TB/ClydeX cross. He came from an open filed with all of his buddies where he was out 24/7. He has now been stalled at a barn and has been with me for the past month. He is a great horse, very quiet, not spooky, when ridden in the arena he is responsive and does not care if there are no horses or 50 horses. He will easily leave his stall or turn-out or ring with no problem. When in turn-out he will play with the horse in the other pen. He will even leave the barn and go out on trail by himself with me. He may snort a little but will continue forward and listen to my cues. The problem comes in when we run into other horses on trail. He gets all excited, stops listen, and just wants to be with them. When he wants to take off he does and there is no stopping him. Also, If I go out on trail with other horses he is fine but if they get too far ahead of him he will take off to catch up and again becomes unstoppable. He will lead with no problem and listen to my cues when in the front. One day, when I wasn't riding him I took him up to this big open field to graze, it is out of sight from the barn. Someone else was up there with 3 of there horses off of the lead lines. Once he saw them he began prancing around and popping up in the front. He finally calmed down and began to graze. I decided it was time to go back to the barn and the people with the other horses walked one way as I walked the other. Well, that was a battle. He began spinnig and bucking a rearing the whole way back to the barn. He also continued to call out to them even when we were at the barn. I do not know what to do or if this is going to be a continued problem that might get worse. I want to be able to ride him without him freaking out when he sees other horses and I want to be able to leave other horses too. I have him on a 60 day trail and the time is running out! Any suggestions or adivce!


Here is a lovely tool to get your horse's attention abck on your should anything like this happen. You can do this on the ground or when you are riding. Get very good at asking your hrose to do hind end yields (yielding the hind quarters). A horse can only think about one thing at a time. If you can put your horse to an action easily when he gets distracted by anything, it will put his attention back on you and begin to settle the horse. Repeatedly doing this process and getting good at it will produce a horse that listens to you no matter what when you ask for the movement. The reasons I like a hind end yeild is that it can be done in a very small space (the length of the horse) and it is efficient use of the horse's energy and yours. It sounds like you know what I mean by saying a 'hind end yield'. Practice this in a quiet, safe, familiar area so you and your horse can get good and comfortable at it before you need it. Practice this on the ground and in the saddle. It is an invaluable tool to modify behavior your do not want in your horse. It is non-abusive and effective. On the ground you bend the horse's head to his butt and have him pivot on the front feet. Sort of the same thing from the saddle.

Good Luck, Franklin

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