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Franklin Levinson's

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Horse aggressive and bucking

Hello Franklin

We have recently bought a beautiful pure bred american quarter horse (Frolic) that has been trained to quite a high standard, we know this to be true because we saw her in action, the owner had her doing wonderful things & my wife Amy did to. From what we could see this was our dream horse, but since we brought her home, Frolic has become very aggressive towards us, pushing & barging about, we did a lot of ground work with Frolic for the the first week while we awaited her new saddle, then we saddled Frolic up mounted her and asked her to walk on, within seconds she had done a leap into the air then bucked my wife off, leaving her quite bruised and frightened. I fear maybe we have not given her enough time to settle her in, she has been with the same owner since two years old & she is now six. The problem is my wife is now quite frightened of her. The saddle fits fine.Do you think she needs time & affection or time & more firmness. She has never behaved like this before, her previous owner is in shock & is coming up tomorrow to see if she can help.

Yours Sincerley, C J

Hi C.J.,

Any horse needs a period of adjustment to a new environment. When you change even the slightest thing in a horse's routene or environment some time and appropriate support is required for a smooth transition. It is the same with humans. Here is what I suggest.... Forget riding for a little while and focus on the horse itself and proper support and guidence. You are objectifying this horse somewhat and have not even considered that the animal has no relationship with you or your wife. You are expecting obedience rather than cooperation. Cooperative partnership takes time to develop. It takes good and thoughtful communication, patience, consistency, leadership, guidence and the agenda of the horse's sense of saftey and peace as most important.

Introduce the horse to its new home in a thoughtful and personal way. Walk the horse around, introduce it gradually to the new sights, sounds and smells. Attempt to begin to establish a bond and a real relationship. This takes some time and begins with ground play and quite a bit of it. You really do need to connect with this horse. This horse has had one main handler for most of it's life. A period of adjustment for a new owner is to be expected. The previous owner should have told you all of this before you left with the horse. It sounds like a wonderful horse. Forget jumping on board and riding for a bit of time and focus on the horse itself and not the human activity of riding the horse (objectifying the horse). Establish a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. This would take a bit of time with a human and it does as well with a horse. Ask the previous owner for assistance. This would be very valuable for you.

Thanks a lot for your thoughtful email and please let me know if I can be of additional assistance. Please keep me posted as to how it all goes as well.

Sincerely, Franklin

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