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Franklin Levinson's

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The Ghost in the Corner.

Thank you for giving me your time. The horse Woodwind I am working with is a Morgan that is only a year old. And every day she is getting better and better. I have been told though by her owner that she will sell her due to the fact she feels she will not fit into the herd, it’s a breeding farm and she feels the Woodwind is to dominate. So I would love to have her but her owner feels that she is a horse that will need to have a job, and I want a horse that will be good for my kids and basically a good family horse that we can ride everyday. She thinks she will need to compete or something along those lines. So it’s hard on me knowing that she might go and she trusts me now which is so nice. So my Question is when I am leading her in this paddock we get to this one corner where the owner says all the horses seem to think there is a ghost in that corner she pushes me and nudges me hard and I push her back and say no, she stops and than dose it again as telling me no Ill do what I want. I was wondering if there was an easier way of stopping her from doing this than pushing her back it really wears me out after a while, lol. So any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Anyway If I have to see her go Ill be very sad but at least I can say that I made a difference in her life. And I think she will always remember me, I sure will never forget her. Anyway thank you again so much have a good day.

Hi Sally,

You are really wonderful. Your love and caring is a Blessing to all horses. Sometimes we have to let go of someone we love and just bless them with a wonderful life. You have helped this horse come to trust and that is one of the greatest things you could do for the mare.

As far as the "ghost in that corner" and the mare pushing you, do not push back! She will always win a match of physical strength. It is a horse’s nature to frequently push back against something that is physically pushing them (or attacking them) if they cannot get away. It is part of their survival mechanism. What you can do is to have a 'wand' (short stock whip or crop) in your hand or the end of the lead rope and activate it (jiggle it) in front of her and say "NO!" and mean it. Then back her up a few steps and say “WHOA”, then come forward again or ask her to just stand quietly. You could also lung her around you on the lead rope if she moves into your space. You need to direct a horse's energy and not try to restrain it. Horses do not want to make small circles. It is not pleasant for them. Like a child who is over active, you cannot just tell him to sit still and behave. You need to give him something to do with the excess energy. With horses one should never get into a match of physical strength. It is much safer and easier to direct the horse’s energy somewhere by being a good and competent leader. What the "ghost" is, I do not really have a clue. One thing to try is to walk the mare to the corner, when she begins to show anxiety, gently but firmly have her circle around you and then say WHOA! and let her stand quietly. If she is still nervous, do it again. Repeat the process until standing quietly is preferable for the horse to being nervous and afraid. If the leader is present during a time of the horse being fearful, the fear will be dispelled by trust in the leader. She will know you are the great and confident leader if you can ask her to move her body appropriately without scaring her and then praise her and comfort her when she does as you request. I hope I have made sense of this for you. Let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

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