Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Working with horses


My name is Rosie. My mom is 49 years old. She grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch. All her life, she has had a fear of horses. Just two days ago, my dad and mom found me a horse. He is another issue. But my mom is so afraid of horses. This man who boards his horse at the stable had his huge hunter mare ground tied. My mom was walking with an apple. The mare wanted the apple. My mom got scared. Is there any way I can help her? I'd really like for her to be as horse crazy as I am. Please Help!

My parents just bought me a gelding. His name is Rusty. He's a 15 HH 19 year old Quarter Horse gelding. So far, he's been just a little nervous. I would really love to gain his trust so we have a good strong relationship. He's such a sweet horse too. The former owner, Fran said Rusty was beaten when he was a tiny bit younger. Yesterday, when I turned him out, he wouldn't come to me. I lured him over with a baby carrot. He came over, took the carrot, turned around and trotted away, just before giving a few difiant bucks. My dad, who's been around horses before, said he was probably testing me to see if I'd get mad, which I didn't. Do you have any tips for me besides time and patience, that can help me gain his trust and love?

I'd really apreciate your help. I want to get his trust quicker so we can start on our bond.

Thanks, Rosie

Hi Rosi,

It's great you want to help your Mom get comfortable with horses. One way to help this is for you to teach your Mom a little about horses. Your Mom's fear comes from her not understanding them at all. A horse is a social critter. It wants to be connected to whoever is around it. It also wants a leader all the time. Petting and feeding are fine but do not establish the human as the leader. If the human can lead a horse in simple moves such as coming forward, stopping, turning and backing up, the horse will begin to accept the human as its trusted leader and show respect for the human's boundries. The human needs to respect a horse's personal space as well, by not surprising it, moving slowly and gently and petting and scratching the horse in appropriate places (withers and shoulder) not on the face. Please avoid feeding the horse treats from your had very much. It will make the horse pushy and 'mouthy'.

If you can demonstrate to your Mom that it is possible to earn the horse's respect and trust through appropriate interaction (movement), your Mom will come to understand that horse's are not too different from children who need the guidence and leadership of a 'good parent'. Do you understand what I mean? Your relationship with a horse is formed on the ground doing movement. You must show up and lead the horse through simple movements first. Make every little move a clear and conscious request. Especially going forward and stopping, "HO!". Use every opportunity to lead the dance with the horse. Make evey little step a conscious and precise request. If you begin to show your Mom how good a leader you are for your horse, she'll feel a lot better and, perhaps, come to trust the horse as well. In order for you to get 'connected' and bonded quickly with your new horse, do as I am suggesting. Be consistent with it. I promise you, you'll be amaized at how quickly the horse will come to look to you as its trusted friend and leader if you will do as I am suggesting. Please show this to your Father. He will probably understand what I am saying and can help you. Good Luck and please keep me posted on how it all goes. Have a terrific Holiday Season as well.

Sincerely yours, Franklin

Look for: