I'm trying to brake a 10 year old mare of questionable origin. She is doing well, very smart and a quick learner, but she is strange in the way is follows people. Whenever a person or another horse in within seeing distance, she will turn and run to them as fast as she can then follow them around. I tried to make with work for me while teaching her turns and stuff, but she simply won't stop following them! I can't turn her away, no matter how hard I try. Is she just insecure or something? How do I make it stop? It's been going on for a while now and I'm about to loose it!
I think for now you need to work her away from people and horses. She needs to learn to focus on you. Pay attention to her and at the first sign of distraction, flick her back at you. Once you can keep her attention when you are alone, try doing simple work with her with others in sight, but out of reach. Take it slow.
I would get her to respect everyone's "body bubble." The best way I know how to achieve this is in more or less a two step process. First of all, I would lead her, and try to have her 6 ft away, preferably behind you. I know this is a bit different because usually horses are much closer while being led, but for this exercise you want her that far away. Then when you stop she should. More than likely she won't and she will invade your "body bubble." Then you want to turn around and wave your arms in the air and hit the ground hard with her feet and cause her to back up with your energy. When you stop she will more than likely lick her lips. That's good and it means she's digesting a thought.
You can do that a few times before doing the next exercise. Stand facing her and send little bits of energy through the rope. Start small at first, but gradually get bigger until she moves back. She may be very stubborn to move back and you may have to swing the rope so much that the clip hits her on the side of the face, but hopefully she will learn so you don't have to do that again. When she does take a step back, or even leans back STOP swinging the rope. Continue getting her to step back until she is fairly far away. Let her rest there for awhile, then bring her back into you and repeat.
Hopefully those will help a bit. If you have any questions just let me know