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Is this not the horse for me?

Dear Franklin,

I am currently on my second horse, which my husband bought me for Christmas. She is a 6yr old Reg Quarterhorse. She had a total of 70days professional training, which was broken in two sessions. I acquired her in the beginning of March, she is at a great facility. The problem I am having is she seems to be back sliding, she is getting pushy and does not want to listen. The people who turnout are even having problems with her. Most times I have been around her she is sweet and was willing to listen. Now it is like she is another horse. This is the 2nd time this has happend to me in the last year. I just would like a horse that fits me. Is this not the horse for me? I appreciate your input!

Thank you, Melanie

Hi Melanie,

Your horse is still very green. Which means it has not had much training and is mentally immature. Seventy days is does not a 'finished' horse make. The horse is rather along now in years (at 6) and should have had many, many miles of riding and work put on it to get it more compliant and easy going. This probably was not done. If your handling skills are not up to par (if you are at all timid, unsure, not confident, not certain how to handle the horse in various situations, do not know how to set boundries, etc.), this makes horses fend for themselves. Horses thrive on leadership and when no great leader is around they behave as you are experiencing. They fend for themselves as this makes them feel they can survive. A human who is unsure makes the horse unsure and, therefore, fearful. A fearful horse acts stubborn, spooky, pushy and a host of other undesirable behaviors. The horse needs a lot more confident and knowledgeable handling than it has had. Also, having a mare can be (not always) more of a handful because of their estrus cycle. During their cycles they CAN BUT NOT ALWAYS become irritable, moody, pissy to other horses (and humans) and more. Geldings, as a general rule (again not always) tend to be more easy going. If your horse's behavior continues downhill, so to speak, it means no one is handling the horse appropriately as its leader. The behavior will worsen unless someone can step in to change the pattern. Make certain the horse is not getting too much grain for the amount of exercise it is getting. If it is only ridden occasionally and getting grain, this will give the horse too much energy and will make the situation worse. Evaluate the animal's diet and perhaps cut back to only grass hay and no grain.

If you consider yourself a novice perhaps this horse is beyond you. Do not let anyone bully you into taking charge here with the horse. That is not what needs to happen. The horse needs more professional training and lots and lots of miles by a strong competant rider/handler. Its that simple. A gelding over 6 (8 and up) with great training and lots of miles on him might be more of a 'get on and ride' sort of horse for you. This mare needs a lot of work, not occasional outings. At least this what it sounds like to me from your email.

Be careful and good luck.......

Sincerely, Franklin

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