I have been pretty involved in big group charity rides for several years now, kind of like endurance racing without the competition factor. Rides are anywhere from 5 to 15 miles, most of them fall into the 10 mile range. We have quite a few annually in the region, as many if not more then endurance rides, and it's a great way to train your horse as well as it's a massive hustle bustle of 50 - 200 riders getting ready, most of them with numerous teams of wagons.
This was a smaller one put on by the local Shriners group, under 10 miles as it only took us 2 hours and 15 minutes of almost only walking and a little bit of trot. Anyway, it was the first one for the 3 year olds and they behaved beyond expectation. Jynx couldn't have been happier tucked into a big group of horses, and I did the entire ride on a loose rein with zero issues. We had water to cross, and a miniature rocky "cliff edge" to traverse, along with several hundred feet of VERY rocky terrain - they both handled it like pros. The ride was in the park where we board, and was a 30 minute walk ride from where the stable is, so they had a lot of standing around to do and were completely unfazed by the other horses and people - a lot of nickering and perky ears but never moved a muscle and happy to graze.
QUESTION - we had one tiny issue, that unfortunately due to the circumstances involved someone else falling off. Eve was absolutely terrified of the strange horses behind her - to the point where she finally had a meltdown and without any warning, kicked out with both back feet. Luckily the horse behind her was far enough away that she didn't actually get him, but the motion of it spooked him and as his rider was quite heavy (pushing 300lbs), when she lost her balance she yanked down on the reins and almost flipped him backward and ended up falling off. She was fairly understanding about it, and I inserted Jynx behind Eve after that as she has ZERO problems with our crew sticking their noses right up her butt and she HATES Jynx, which is why we never suspected she would kick out at other horses.
How do you best go about handling something like that? There was no ear pinning, no "angry" signs, she just kept jigging and swinging her head from side to side to look behind her and finally her brain just fizzled and she lashed out. It was quite obvious it was a nervous action and not an "angry" action. We made extra sure nobody got behind her after that, Shay-la was very embarrased and we just hung to the back of the pack after that. Any advice would be great!
And some pictures!
Riding over to the meeting area
Ashley and Justus
Waiting for the ride to start
Our good ponies!
They couldn't have cared less!
Ashley bugging Jynx
Shay-la and Eve
I want this one framed, hehehehe!
Notice Jynx's lime green bell boots? LMAO, I pick up my lime green saddle blanket tomorrow!
Out on the trail!
Jynx the trail pro!
Love these trails!