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Question Category: Building a Better Relationship

Question: Dear Julie,

Some months ago I wrote you about my horse being herd bound and becoming quite fractious on the trail.Your advice was basically that he was not fully trained– that was your short version. I took your advice and had two months of training put on him even though he was supposed to be well trained. It became obvious that because he is a complaint type horse that some of the basics were sorely missed. The additional training was worth every penny. By watching the daily training process I could see how he learned and got a wonderful insight into my horse’s nature. In the end both the horse and myself came away with more than I ever imagined. The first time I took him trail riding with our other horses he started to act up or rather he crow hopped to catch up. I spent the entire ride taking him a mile or two ahead and waiting for the group to catch up. If he got upset I did suppling exercises and basically kept him busy. He got less upset every time I separated him from the group. He quickly figured it out that his buddies were going to eventually come to him. Ultimately it worked like a charm. I have a horse I can ride anywhere at any time with or without the group and he leaves his buddies with no problems. You were very right he wasn’t well enough trained. Thank you for your excellent advice!


Answer: Karen,

It’s always nice to know some advice I gave worked out, thank you! And good job of being committed to turning your horse (and yourself) around. I can’t tell you how often I see horses that are confused and struggling, being asked to do something that they didn’t understand. Almost always, if the horse understood and felt confident, there would not be any issue. It is incumbent upon us to make sure the horse is properly educated in the first place, and to make sure that we have adequate riding and handling skills to communicate properly with the horse and be an honest leader. Good work!


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