Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
I've found that there is a big difference about respecting you as a leader as far as respecting your space, etc, and being confident when being ridden alone. Our 2 young mares (4 and 6 yrs) have great manners and respect, but there are still some 'obstacles' that we can come across, for example, a narrow, one lane, wooden bridge, that they will be very cautious crossing when I ride them alone, but will go right over when following our seasoned (14 yr) 'boss mare'. As a confidence exercise, I pony our young ones with the seasoned one, and it's easy to see their confidence level...when they feel confident, they will be neck and neck (or even wanting to lead), but if they are unsure about something, they will tuck right in behind boss mare (like you mentioned) until the 'danger' has passed. From what I've been told by a trainer friend, some horses just take a lot longer than others to gain confidence when riding alone.