Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Learning about horses vs. learning to ride them


I recently started taking lessons once a week with horse named Sunny. I have not done much riding before so I don't think this horse is the best for me but she is the only one open. Sunny repeatedly tries to bite me while in her stall and tacking her up. Once she even kicked out at me but I stepped aside. Sunny is a 21 year old mare. When trying to tighten her girth she tries to bite me then as well. My last lesson when I was about to put the reins over her head, I had barely even moved when she started biting at me and she turned her head straight at me with her head slightly lowered and her ears flat back. It was quite scary and I'm very tired of it, it's getting to the point where I don't even enjoy going to my lessons. Please help me,she treats everyone like this but it seems she treats me worse every week. I would love to enjoy my lessons for once, thank you.


Hi Casi,

Your question and situation is, unfortunately, the biggest problem facing people of any age when they begin to be with horses. NOTHING IS TAUGHT TO, OR BEING TAUGHT TO YOU ABOUT HORSES! Your riding instructor, the know-it-all person giving you riding lessons, either knows nothing of horses beyond giving you riding lessons, doesn’t care to teach you anything about horses other than how to get on on their backs and kick to go and pull to stop, perhaps to teach you to brush and saddle, but does not teach you anything about the mind, psychology, language, emotional life, needs, on and on...of horses. THERE IS A HUGE WORLD OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ACTIVITY OF HUMANS RIDING HORSES AND THE HORSE ITSELF. The world of the horse has absolutely nothing to do with humans riding them. Nothing!!! I cannot give you what you need in an email. I doubt if your riding instructor, who would probably want you to think they know everything about horses, will take the time to teach you anything about horses, how to become the trusted leader for them, how to develop trust and respect with them, on and on. What you should have been taught first is about the horse itself and how to become their trusted, respected and good leader. Learning to ride them should be the icing on the cake and not the first thing you do. If you knew something about horses first, riding them would be hugely more fun, safer, more rewarding, satisfying, gratifying, on and on.

The remedy is for you to either insist your instructor teach you about the horse itself (on the ground and not in the saddle) for one month minimum. This means you do not ride for one month. You should still pay the teacher. But not for riding lessons. Rather for good lessons about horses. If the instructor will not....Dump them and get one who will. You need to be able to set boundaries with horses, earn trust and respect, not be the boss or the dominant one, but become their great leader. You will need to understanding how to fend off a horse who is a bit aggressive. Horses do this simply because you do not know how to earn its respect or be their leader. I am delighted you do not enjoy your riding lessons. PLEASE UNDERSTAND IT IS THE QUALITY AND CONTENT OF WHAT YOU ARE BEING TAUGHT THAT IS AT THE ROOT OF YOUR DIFFICULTIES. If you knew something about the horse itself, you would rather easily be able to deal with the horse that is biting. If no one at the barn you are at can teach you about horses, which is not uncommon if it is an English barn solely focused on winning competitions, you will never, ever get what you need. In this case, I suggest dumping this barn and finding one where they teach HORSE as well as riding.

Please consider changing your priorities and agenda to put the horse first and not your agenda to only ride them. LEARN ABOUT THE HORSE AND YOU WILL FOREVER THANK ME, AND SING MY PRAISES THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE! Please show this to your parents. READ WHAT IS ON MY WEBSITE!!!!! Show your parents the site. If you love horses, show it and learn about them. They are not on this earth merely to serve the whims and egos of humans. Success with horses will make you a better person, a more self-aware person, a more compassionate and kinder person, a better partner, more focused, more centered, more calm, more patient and even more attractive. I cannot give you tips to deal with your situation as it would put you into more jeopardy than you are. Forget about riding for one month. Learn about horses for one month. It is a very short time...but may get you on a wonderful lifelong path. Good Luck!!!!

Not the answer you were expecting huh?? Happy Holidays, Franklin

Look for: