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Franklin Levinson's

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Hello Franklin:

I looked in all your "spooking" section and didn't see this scenario - I recently purchased a large 19 yr old Warmblood/Quarter gelding. He was a fantastic jumper in his time and gave children lessons for the last 3 years, but has now had it with "work". I don't blame him and I didn't buy him for work. I bought him for fun on the trails and he loves it. This is his new life but he's very insecure out there.

I know its because he isn't used to mountain bikes coming up behind him, or people popping out of the brush, etc. I also think part of this new life is a mid life crises. He's always been a king in the ring and now is in unfamiliar territory BUT he's perfect with spook training ground work. So, how do I get him better on trails? I've been lucky that I've stayed on this huge horse when he's reeled, jumped, and bolted. But it ain't no fun :-) Besides, he's getting worse out there instead of better with repetition.

So, if ground work doesn't work because he's spook proof and trail repetition doesn't work, what does?


Hi Theresa,

I would get very good at serpentines and leg yields to attempt to immediately put him to a well learned task to get his attention back on the rider. Hind quarter yields are good for this in particular. Get him as soft and naturally collected as much as you can. Practice a lot......If you wanted to get very creative you could get a friend to help you to 'stage' the situations somehow, on the trails, fairly close to home. At least that way you have a better chance of not being caught off guard and will have the chance to opportunity to do some leg yields and small circles. The biggest single thing that will bring the horse around is
Consistency over TIME
! This is an older horse very habituated to being who he is. Good Luck.....

Sincerely, Franklin

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