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Franklin Levinson's

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Issues in the Stall

I purchased a 3 yr old dun quarter horse mare about 2 weeks ago. She is not broke. Right now she is being kept in the stall because she has some major trust issues. I fear that she is a victim of abuse. When you go up to her stall door she immediately puts her head in the back corner with her rump facing the door. When we are finally able to get her out (the owner of the farm I am keeping her at gets a whip and strikes her rump with it) she is fine to lead and brush, though she still won't let me pick up her feet. I do not like him hitting her but I am inexperienced and he says that is the only way. Please help! I want her to trust me and walk to the stall door or at least not turn her rump to me when I open the door.
Thank You,


Hi Christie,

Thank you very much for emailing me with this issue. As long as the horse keeps getting hit anywhere, you can forget about developing 'trust'. It will be impossible as long as this abuse continues and will only get worse. The owner of the farm, while probably being well intentioned, is stuck in the old mind set of control, domination, power over and discipline. Your case is hopeless as long as this type of handling continues. He (the owner) will probably not change his mind unless someone like me comes around and shows him that this horse does not need a whip on its butt to behave. Even then, he may slough it off and not take these effective methods seriously as it goes so much against his gruff and aggressive habitual ways of thinking about and handling horses. Old habits are hard to change. We die for our point of view and belief system, even if they don't really make sense in the truth of the situation (you cannot gain trust and respect by instilling fear in horses, children or anyone). I am sorry you and your horse are in this situation. I would either move the horse or find a trainer (I am free to travel) to come in and show you these techniques. It is not hard to do. But you have purchased a young horse that needs leadership w/o fear. Your situation will continue downhill, the horse will continue to get abused and more fearful until something dramatically changes for the better. Please keep me posted. Your and your horse's problems are quite disturbing to me as there is no way to resolve the situation without some sort of big change. Thank you again for your email. You may just have to assert yourself big time and move the horse or hire a trainer and ignore the ranch owner's abusive methods. You horse is very sensitive and only is looking to feel safe again. She obviously does not feel safe with humans at this time and for very good reason. DO NOT BLAME YOUR HORSE. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOUR HORSE. This is about how the humans are treating the horse. Blessings to you and horse for the return to common sense, compassion, kindness, great leadership and no more abuse.

Aloha, Franklin

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