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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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One-Ride Horse

We're buying a Quarter/Appendix Gelding at our current lesson barn. He is 8 years old and is accustomed to 1-owner/rider (who hasn't ridden much if at all in 6-8 months). He handles beautifully in the barn, ring and over fences UNTIL you change riders. Once the first rider gets down he apparently decides he is done and will not budge at all when the next rider gets on. No buck or rear, will take a step back but not forward. Will not hindquarter. Just stands until you get down. Suggestions?


Hi Cindi,

The solution to your problem is actually easy to tell you, but may not be so easy to implement. The horse simply needs to be patiently restarted as a riding horse (under saddle) by a competent, gentle and skilled trainer. Sounds like the horse has reasonable ground manners, but was not finished out under saddle that skillfully or completely. The fact that the horse is as old as he is makes his behavior very habitual. This means he has baggage from not being fully finished under saddle. Therefore, it may take a bit more time to bring him to a 'finished' riding horse as opposed to a horse that was 'started' extremely well in the first place. You see, mosty situations that are undesirable with horses stem from initial training being lacking in skill by the trainer or the training not being fully completed. Humans want things quick. Often they forego completely finishing a horse's training in deference to just getting on board and riding. This is probably what happened in your case. Additionally, the horse not being handled much for 6-8 months will tend to make him 'sour.' This is sort of like a person sitting on a sofa, watching TV for 6 to 8 months and someone coming up and saying "OK, lets go work out or do some ballroom dancing." Obviously, the person who was laying around on the sofa may be reluctant and down right obstinent about getting up and moving around. That is the situation you have. The horse is innocent and somewhat of a victum of the humans who had him before. It was their responsibility to complete it's training and to see that the horse had consistent handling, good diet, and all means of proper care all the time. Thanks for asking the question and I do hope things work out for you and the horse. Please keep me posted.

BTW, I can provide you with a training program that will work well for this horse. I can do this by phone coaching, in person clinic at your area or here in Colorado near Aspen. Please consider the possibilities.

Sincerely, Franklin'

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