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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Screaming Horse

My daughter rides a 12 year old Hanovarian mare who is great in so many ways but when she is taken away from her barn mates or is ridden alone she will “scream” out every few minutes in what I can only imagine is in protest. What can we do to help her? She competes in hunter shows and needless to say this is not appreciated by the judges.


Hi Donece,

What you are experiencing with this horse is a variation of herdbound behavior. It can be remedied by beginning to handle the horse on the ground a lot for a while. Becoming the great herd leader for the mare will bring her trust and attention to the handler. Set up a situation where you think she will scream. The instant she does of even before, send her around in fairly smalll circles. Realizing she is probably a big mare, do not make the circles too small. But she would be put to work firmly and for a few minutes. Then allowed to stop moviing. The instant she screams again, she is put back to work.

When under saddle the work could be turns on the forehand, asked for firmly and with several rotations in both directions. This all must be practiced before needed in the show ring. It must be as much like breathing as possible.

This is a common problem for horse people who have not established any relationship with their horses beyond that they ride or show them. Engagement of the animal's mind, developed trust in the human as a great leader is often not understood and over looked in deference to riding, riding and more riding. There is little fabulous trust developed initially between 'rider' and horse. It has to be first extablished on the ground. There is no other way....learn about the HORSE, which is beyond the human riding the horse. Keep me posted...Please.

Sincerely, Franklin

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