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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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My new horse is pacing

I saw your website and thought maybe you could help me with a problem I've been having with my 7 year old thoroughbred, Jerzee. Jerzee is an ex-racehorse but has been off the track since 2008 but we have only had her for a couple of weeks, she is very sweet but still very tempermental. We tried riding her when we got her home but had quit a problem and were told to give her a few weeks off from riding. Now we are facing the problem of boredum. All she does is sit in her pasture and pace back and forth, we have no other horses so she has no other interaction with other animals; only people. We've noticed that she is pacing up and down the front side of her pasture. We considered getting a donkey or something along thoses lines so that she has something else to interact with. We are not sure though. We were wondering if you could help explain to us why this is happening and what we should do to help her stop.

Thank you. Jessica

Hi Jessica and Happy Holidays to you,

Anytime we change a horse’s environment it is traumatic. If you had lived somewhere and all of a sudden your world was turned upside down, you might be traumatized as well. Several things that may help are: horses really desire and need company of their own kind. In other words, a companion horse. This just may do wonders once they get used to each other. Again, if this were you, imagine how you would feel without having any human contact and only another specie that didn’t’ understand you around. You could try to find a nice older retired horse as a companion for your mare. I strongly urge this. Donkeys are not super companions for horses. It may be easier than you think to find someone who wants to retire an older horse and find a comfortable home for it, before the winter sets in. That would be the first thing to do. Next would be for you to ‘handle’ the horse as much as possible. Play on the ground with the mare. Simple things can mean a lot. Some fun activities with your horse like'; playing at liberty in a small paddock, leading it over low jumps and then lungeing it over the low jumps, practice sending the horse away gently and then calling it back. There are lots of things to do with horses other than riding them. Unfortunately humans can only think of them riding horses and draw a blank when asked to consider other activities. This is because of lack of education and knowledge about the mind and psychology of horses. Riding instructors only teach riding and teach nothing about horses. Read a book called ‘Naked Liberty’ by Carolyn Resnick. it is available on Amazon. You will be glad you did. Also, a great book entitled ‘Empowered Horses’ by Imke Spilker. You won’t be sorry and will learn about your horses many things you do not currently know. Good Luck to you and Happy Holidays.

Sincerest regards, Franklin

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