Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Rude Gelding


I have been riding horses my whole life, I am 25 now, I started competing when I was 6. I feel that my knowlegde of riding is up there. I dont know everything, but I have a good grasp on horse behavior. Last year a younger more inexperienced rider and I got together and bought an Appendix QH named jet. He was 5 at the time and had been out to pasture since he was broke at age 2 for the racetrack. He was in a pasture with a herd of broodmares for 3 years and they were fed grain on the ground and it was total chaos. His previous owner said that within a couple of months he had all of the broodmares running scared at feeding time. Jets a VERY dominant horse. His ground manners have always been he runs the show.... he is not afraid of ANYTHING. He doesnt kick or bite, he just crowds you and goes wherever he wants. In moments that he is excited he has struck out at me with his front feet. This younger rider is a bit passive and Jet seems to have zero respect for her on the ground. I knew that this could be a bad situation if his ground behavior ever passed over into his riding time. We have owned him a year and he was doing fabulous. He is fussy when he has to learn something new under saddle, but, when he gets it he is good as gold. In the last two months the younger rider has decided that she would really like to buy Jet out from me. He had been great up until I quit riding him and she took over. In the last two months he has slowly become more dominant under saddle. Bolting and bucking like a bronc about every 5 days. In between those days he is great and then just one day a week his is unmanageable. His ground work was always dominant but NEVER under saddle did he demonstrate that behavior until now. I dont know if it is a good idea for her to own this horse full time. She says she is willing to do any amount of ground work to get the relationship that will be functional for both of them, and allow them to enjoy their time together.

Please let me know what you think.

thanks so much,

Hi Wendy,

This horse could be trained to be much better on the ground with extensive ground handling and rehabilitative techniques. Seems it was never really done for him. As a lack of this training eventually shows up under saddle, so will it go the other way when the training is appplied. It will just take a bit longer and really requires knowledge and skills of training principles to improve ground manners. A lot of liberty work and short and long line training is what I would do. Most folks never carry this training far anough to make a difference with a horse. They stop short of real progress on the ground becauseof the desire to ride the horse. While I understand you are a fine rider, it does not seem you are a very experienced trainer for behavorial issues. You could do this if you decided to learn the techniques and take time away from riding and put it into training for manners on the ground. Whether an aggressive stallion or a dangerous mare, there are training techniques that are effective, yet non-abusive that get the job done.

Perhaps this younger gal will go for it. It is certainly doable....

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: