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Horse was good at the beginning and not so good now.

Hi Franklin--We just recently bought a 9-year-old mare POA as our starter horse. She was fine in the beginning, but has lately started pulling her head back very sharply whenever I touch her halter. I think it started as not wanting to be caught to be ridden. A few times in the beginning, she managed to pull her halter out of my hands because I wasn't expecting it, and it is now progressing. Today she pulled me into the fence rearing and trying to run away.

Thanks for any help you can give me, Theresa

Hi Theresa,

What you have told me is such a common experience. Folk who are not that knowledgeable about horses get their first horse who was great for a while and then got 'sour.' The problem is not with the horse actually. It is lack of knowledge about horses and how to handle and be with them appropriately. You are right that the pony no longer wants to be with you (or whoever is handling the pony) or ridden. The reason is unskilled, unknowledgeable and inexperienced humans. The best advice you will hear is for you to get some good and solid education about horses and get it quickly. The best way I know of is though the purchase of several training dvd's. There are many good ones found in the backs of all horse magazines. I have several in the shopping corral of my website that I think would be very valuable to you. No matter whose you get, get some and watch them. Your horse is showing you symptoms of not trusting you due to lack of appropriate handling.

The horse is fending for itself as no good leader is around to help it to know it is safe and will survive. Your inabilities and insecurities are making the animal afraid. Please do not blame the horse. It is not being bad or wrong. It is all fear based behavior. Also, horses do things sometimes simply because they can.

You will need to be able to direct the horse's movements on the ground first. This is where a relationship with a horse is formed. Please, please get yourself some education and knowledge. I really cannot give you what you need in a simple email. Its like trying to learn ballroom dancing from a book. You have to see it to get it. You have spent some good money on this 'starter' horse, tack, clothes and more. Perhaps a small investment in your own education would be in order along with the horse, tack, clothes, etc. If you do this you will thank me forever. Once you get a dvd or two and watch them and then try to get back together with your horse, then ask me some specific questions or take a phone coaching session or two to stay on track. At this point, you would not be able to do any of the things I could try to describe. Keep me posted and good luck. Be smart, get educated.......

Sincerely, Franklin

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