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Franklin Levinson's

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Too much GO!

Hi Franklin,
I have been told I was just really lucky to get such great horses. lol. Duke: When the really experienced rider (trainer) rode Duke he rode him in a corral first and then around our property. After I fell off the 2nd time, the trainer rode Duke once more and left it at that. The trainer was much more experienced than I. I have only trained young horses. I am a fairly experienced rider, but not as experienced as the trainer was, though. I have been riding for over 13 years. Over the years I have had to deal with only a couple of horses that bucked but I was always able to stop them and I never got scared of them. I never got seriously injured because I hardly ever got on a horse that bucked (unless I had to). If the horse bucked I always did lots of ground training to get the horse to stop bucking. With Duke I wasn't really expecting him to do what he did. And when I broke my arm I wasn't the same around him as I was before. A friend (different than the ones I mentioned before) of mine come out and rode Duke. She had absolutely no experience with horses but she loved animals so much she wanted to ride Duke for me. Duke behaved perfect for her. She wasn't scared or nervous while on his back at all. That makes a huge difference when riding a horse like Duke (or most horses for that matter). Duke also has a tendency to speed up when riding. He likes to GO, he hardly ever walks for anyone. He likes to trot, and if you let him get away with that, then he'll go even faster until he is at a full gallop. Is there anyway to stop this behavior?

Thanks so much for your help, Brittni

Hi Brittni,

Before I ride any horse, even horses I know well, I spend some 20 minutes or so doing ground exercises. Usually, once that is done, there are no surprises when I go to ride the horse. This rule alone has saved my butt many times when some of the horses, for whatever reason, decided to buck. As far as too much GO with a horse; just like people some horses move at a faster pace than others. So some of the GO the horse has may always be there. Make certain the horse is warmed up before you ride him (there's that rule again). When he gets jiggy and wants to GO too fast put him to work by having him go in small circles around your inside leg 5-6 rotations in both directions. Then offer a WHOA! and a rest. If he stands nicely stay there for a minute, give a "GOOD BOY!" and then ask him to WALK off. As soon as he gets moving too much, do it again and again and again. Believe me going around your leg in a tight circle is no fun for the horse. Going calmly forward is much easier. He'll make the choice for the least work he has to do once he knows he goes to hard work if he moves out too fast or gets jiggy.

If you have a round pen (minimum size 50 feet up to 60 feet in diameter), you could ride him in there and let him get his ya, ya's out until he is ready to stop on his own. This is a method I use to teach bridle-less riding. Ride in a round pen with just a halter and lead-rope and let the horse run until he stops on his own (this requires a very experienced and confident rider) or stops with a slight verbal cue and a lift of the rope (even better). Once that happens, the horse is usually ready to not forge ahead, but rather to walk out calmly and really listen to the rider. Some horses with too much GO are actually running away from something, usually discomfort. They think they can out run or move away from the pain, which obviously they can't. If your horse is calm most of the time and only has too much GO under saddle, something may be hurting him and he feels he must get away. Consider the possibility of this. Let me know how it goes. Please consider hosting a seminar of mine in your area if you think there may be interest in my brand of gentle and effective horse training, I am free to travel. Blessings to you...



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