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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Horse dives into the grass?


I am having some trouble with my 7 year old haflinger mare. She is the sweetest, most calm, and unspooky horse. But I am having some trouble with her always eating. Every time I ride she always goes down to eat. I have tried every trick and the only way I can get her up is bye getting off and tapping her nose with my foot, but when I get on she goes down again. This is mostly when I ride bareback. On my saddle I have a rope that attaches from the saddle to the bit, it seems to keep her from getting to the grass most of the time, of course over the months it has loosend, but it doesn't work that well. She is the strongest horse I have ever rode and since I am only 12 years old it is really hard to get her up without getting off. I was riding her today and she wouldn't stop eating. It can be really scary becuase she used to spin around throw me off and eat. That doesn't happen anymore but she still backs up spins around and most of the time gets down there. It is really frustrating and discouraging. Do you have any advice? Please email me back as soon as you can.


Good News! Help is on the way! This problem is an easy one. Stop trying to pull the horse's head up. You will never win a test of strength with a horse. Here is the BIG SECRET....are you ready??? BUMP THE HORSE'S BIT WITH ONE REIN! This means you take one rein (no matter which one) and give a couple of sharp, but not abusive or punishing, tugs STRAIGHT UP. POP POP! You could say QUIT! at the same time. It doesn't take a lot of strength to do this. In fact it takes very little strength. But the tugs or 'bumps' straight up (not back towards your body), must be precise and a bit sharp and done with one rein only. The horse's head will come up immediately I promise you. You must keep repeating the process each and every time the horse even thinks about eating. Do this always from now on. The bumps will get softer and softer until simply a slight jiggle of one rein will keep your horses head up and it's attention on you. Now wasn't that easy? Try it and let me know how it all goes. You absolutley must be consistent for this to work. The 'bump' is not to punish the horse. It is offered to provide a consequence for the unwanted behavor. Remember, don't hit the horse with the bit. Simply bump the bit sharply straight up two time quickly. Use only enough force so the horse will feel it. Just the right amount. Not too much and not too little. This is called developing 'feel.'

Let me know how it all goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

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