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Franklin Levinson's

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Sad Horse & Developing Trust

My horse always looks so sad. He is in a pasture with lots of other horses. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to increase his happiness and our trust?


Hello Jay,

It is wonderful you want to enliven and 'brighten up' your horse's life. Horse's like interaction that has good intention and is active. Horses like to have a 'job' as well. That 'job' can be playing with you on a regular basis. It is more than petting, grooming and feeding. You actually need to have some real action where you 'lead the dance' or movement of the action. So, for your intention how about 'having mutual fun' with your horse? There is so much emphisis on riding as the only fun thing to do with a horse that the horse itself gets somewhat lost in the process. It becomes all about the human activity of riding. To have fun with your horse on the ground is easy and is how and where your trust realtionship with your horse is really formed. Simple leading forward, backups, turns and speed transitions, lunging and round pen games done with consciousness, consistency and a bit of creativity will spice up your horses life a lot. Even if you just practice the basic simple moves of elementary horsemanship on the ground with your horse on a regular basis with the intention of having fun and developing your bond with your horse, will brighten up your horse's day and begin to create the trusting relationship you desire. Do you know what I refer to by 'elementary horsemanship on the ground'? Let me know if you do or do not understand. I can coach you in these simple yet effective exercises. The main ingredient is your willingness to do this with your horse. Being open to really receiving information from your horse is important as well. I can help with that also if you would like.

So, basically do something physical with your horse, move him around. Keep it simple, consistent and fun. Give your horse a "Good Boy" when he does as you request. PRaise is always a good thing. But you do not need to overdue it.A simple verbal acknowledgement is quite sufficient. Most of the time we are over-inputing our horses.You and your horse will enjoy your relationship more and develop the bond of trust you are seeking through you doing some very simple ground exercises with him on a regular basis. Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Franklin

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