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Franklin Levinson's

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Lonely horse reflections

Hi Franklin,

I am a 40 year old first time horse owner. For the past two years I have been soaking up as much about horsing as I can...I stay for each 2 hour horse lesson my daughters take (natural horsemanship)..the first lesson barn had 60 I learned quite a our lesson barn has 8 horses but the instruction is much more specific. I am living my second is a dream for me to see this horse each day...I have only had her for 6 weeks and am slowly building trust with her...she was very spooked by my training stick..after two weeks I can use it as a massaging tool whereas before I couldn't present it within 20 feet of some things are working well...

My concern is that she is alone in a 4 acre pasture..I can tell she is hyper aware of noises and she is feeling anxiety being the only one potentially being preyed upon...I am working on adding two horses, but it may take 45 days to get them question is should I take it easy on the training aspect (ground work to build my leadership role...teaching skills) until I create a more secure environment for her? How much will her being alone affect my efforts in training? Any aspects I need to be aware of or pay attention to?

Thank you so much...I am reading many books, sticking to natural horsemanship but not limiting myself to one particular method. I appreciate any pointers you can horse is a 7 year old mare, she foaled twice, she was a barrel racer, and the past two years she was a trail horse for an 11 year old boy...

Thank you, Tara

Hi Tara,

You already know that horses kept without other horses around them can make them somewhat nervous and insecure as they are so relationship (herd) orientated. What you can do to assist your horse during this transition period is to not put training 'pressure' on her. I don't mean you should avoid fun and appropriate interaction. I simply mean keep it light, fun and easy. Spend as much time as you can with her in a supportive way. Paying attention to her will help whatever anxiety she has going while being without equine companionship. Light exercise is fine and will help too, but without any stress attached. Keep things simple for now. There will be lots of time for training advancements at a higher level once the living situation stablizes. Thanks for your question and Happy Holidays.

Sincerely, Franklin

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