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Franklin Levinson's

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Spooking & spinning around

Hi Franklin,

While I was riding yesterday, I was tossed to the ground as my 13 year old dependable gelding did a 180 and took off for home. He spooked at the sound of a soda can after he stepped on it. In the past, if he was "spooked" by anything, he would freeze in place- He started to bolt for the first time the night before last when he saw some ducks. What can I do about this new completely unpredictable behavior?

Thanks, Sue

Hi Sue,

Learning to ask for and get your horse to do 'hind quarter yields' is a good task to put your horse to immediately when your horse does something you do not want. If your horse bolts, get good at using one rein to tilt his nose up and in, in either direction and move the inside leg back and have your horse swing its rear away from your foot. This will immediately stop most any behavior you would not want including: running off, rearing, kicking, biting and a whole lot more. It is not punishing the horse for the unwanted behavior. Rather it puts him to a task to refocus his mind back on you. Practice this at home before you go anywhere. You and your horse should get really good at it. Then you will have a wonderful tool should your horse do anything you do not want.

Good Luck....

Sincerely, Franklin

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