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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Trailering problems and more learning

Hi Franklin,

Three years ago, I was given a beautiful NSH. Unfortunately, she also came with a lot of problems most of which stemmed from back pain. I have spent the past 3 years working with her on the ground and under saddle with a horse trainer and riding instructor. She has come a long way with one exception, she was never taught to trailer without sedation. She loads onto the trailer fine, but once on the trailer she starts to wink, squirt, and buck viciously making it unsafe for all involved. I was told that she was never bred and believe this because I have had her ovaries checked by ultrasound and the vet commented that she was a maiden mare. I now that the previous owner had lots of problem with her as well and is why they gave her away. She came from a big show barn and was according to them, "Not a show horse". The day she was hauled from the "show barn" to my barn the previous owner practically worked her into the ground and sedated her with Ace. I questioned them as to why they felt the need to sedate her and was told they thought she wouldn't trailer well alone. I know shame on me for believing them but I was young and new to a owning a horse and naive to the horse world. I was wondering if you have any suggestions? I look forward to hearing from you.

My other question is regarding your student training camps. I am very interested in learning all I can about horses and may be interested in attending. Is there an age limit? What is the cost? How long is the program? Is their lodging for out of staters?

Thank you for your time, Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Sometimes mares can have a hormonal imbalance that makes them behave erratically. To check this have a vet do a simple blood test. I would do this first off. Additionally, the mare may have had a serious trauma (scare) in a trailer. Only good, patient training over time will help her oversome that. Loading her, moving a few feet, unloading her, praise and putting the mare away and a lot of repetition with the distance traveled gradually increased over time is the procedure. There is no shortcut. The mare is habituated to this behavior. Make certain the trailer is a nice big one. Many horses really do not like the two-horse, straight in trailers. Its pretty basic actually. I would definitely have her hormones checked though just to eliminate that possibility. Generally, there would be some other behavior that was somewhat extreme though if it was a hormonal inbalance.

I have people from the age of ten years up attend my programs and clinics. Seminars and programs vary in time length from one day to several weeks, depending on the person's available time and money restraints. During the summer months is when I do my programs in Colorado. Guests come to stay at the Starry Pines Ranch which is located just outside of Aspen, Colorado. Most folks come to the ranch for a minimum of one week (5-day program, about 30 hours). Cost for one person is $2,500 for the week of training (this does not include lodging). If two or more folks come in together, the cost is discounted to $2,000 per person for the week.

Phone consultations are very convenient and easy to set up. Cost is $50 per hour (about what a piano lesson costs and less thatn most riding lessons). There is a 10% discount for signing up for 4 sessions in advance. Personal checks or money orders are accepted. Telephone coaching works very efficiently if the person has even a bit of experience with horses. Not so great, if there has been no prior equine experience. Another benefit is that recent attempts at a process can be talked about as to why or why not it worked and how to improve the situation quickly. I am also available to all my coaching clients for immediate consultations should the person get stuck or have a really bad experience. So, there is really good value for the money and a very efficient and effective way to gain knowledge through practical experience, immediate feedback and consultation. Thanks a lot for your inquiry. Please let me know if you would like to set something up.

Thanks a lot for your inquiry. Please let me know how it goes with the mare and if you have any additional questions.

Sincerely, Franklin

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