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Horse Help Center

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Spoiled Horse

I have been having to stretch and massage my horse's neck for several months and will be doing so for an extended period of time. She has had a neck injury and her head has been stuck down. The equine chiropractor has been working with her also. To get her to raise her head up as far as she is able, I have been holding up carrots and buckets of grain. She can raise her head up to where her neck is straight out from her shoulders, and when she walks her head bobs up and down normally. I have tried to ride her twice and when it is just the two of us, she refuses to move. She will go if someone else is riding with us on their horse. What can I do to get her to go when it is just the two of us?

Thank you, Shirley

It sounds like your horse could be in pain. Please determine if that is the case. If he is in pain, it is only the motivation of being left behind that prompts him to go. It also sounds like he is probably herd bound. This means the horse will not go anywhere without another horse with it. If your horse is in pain, please do not ride it until your vet says he is fine to ride. If he is only herd bound and not in pain, I would suggest doing some basic ground work with the horse to get your bond better and your relationship improved. Once you are the leader on the ground, it will be easier for you to ask for things from him in the saddle. You'll become more of his herd mate and less a human. If you become his herd mate and the herd leader, your horse will be more inclined to comply with what you request and go where you want him to.

A technique that can help is if you ask your horse to move forward and he doesn't, you can move him in a tight circle around your leg, several rotations and in both directions. Then ask him to walk off. If he does not spin him again several rotations and then ask him to walk off. This makes what you don't want (standing still) hard and what you do want (walking off) easier. Turing in tight circles is no fun and work for the horse.

Let me know how it goes. Again, if your horse is in pain, please do not ride him. I hope I have offered some food for thought here.

Blessings, Franklin

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