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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Horse won't stand still.

Dear Franklin,

I just purchased a Haflinger who is great to ride, but when I ask her tostand still for me she starts getting impatient and bucky. I do make thesessions short and reward her for good behavior. Am I on the right track?

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your question. You have a common problem that has a relatively easy solution. You need to practice the technique of bending your horse around you in tight circles both on the ground and in the saddle. It is actually asking the horse to yield its hindquarters to you (in both directions). This simple yet active motion focuses the horse's attention on you, your request and puts the horse to work doing something. So, when a horse does what I DO NOT WANT, like moving when I do not want it to, I put him/her to work by yielding it's hind end vigorously (not so fast as to make the horse afraid or confused, which will produce fear and anxiety). If I were trying to mount and the horse moves around, I direct his movement around me 6 or 7 times and then offer it the opportunity to stand still where I want him. If he moves again, I keep him moving. Repeat the process until the horse understands that if he moves or does what I do not want, he simply goes to work. I do not try to restrain movement, but rather attempt to guide the movement (i.e. lead the dance). Try it Sarah and let me knowhow it all goes. Thanks again for your question and good luck.

Sincerely, Franklin

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