The lovely Lacey has always had an issue with getting a little too attached to her equine buddies... Usually this doesn't bother me since I have always ridden before in areas where I can mount up near her friends (Lacey stands still for mounting about 25% of the time, I've done tons of work on it and she's 95% better than she was 2 years ago but she still seems to be mentally unable to stay still most of the time) but, now that she's home, I need to be able to get on without being taken on a field trip back to see her friends. I would just hold the reins tighter, which I'm sure is what you're thinking, but that engages the rearing "dancing" side of Lacey's personality.
She's also not really great on the ground when she's away from her buddies either, but she's definitely manageable. Basically, what I did today with her, that seemed to work pretty well, was: I caught her (she came up to me), then I took her away from her buddies (out of sight range) and tied her while I did barn chores, she was pretty adamant about how she thought she should be free (pawing, swinging her butt all over, not when I was near but basically moving as much as possible within her limited tied range, nickering at me when I got close, etc). Once I was done with my stuff she had calmed down sufficiently and seemed to have decided that she wasn't going anywhere. Then I groomed her thoroughly and got all her itchy spots as a reward for being good. Then I got the lunge line and took her over to the flattest spot in the field (which happens to be near her buddies, heheheheh, she's by herself in the field and shares a fence line with two other mares) and lunged her quite shamelessly. She was very willing to move out so I got her all warmed up and let her work out her own "AHHHHHH!!!!!"-ness. She obliged quite kindly. Haha Then, I made her stop becuase she was huffing and puffing like a freight train and she was crazy sweaty. Then, I took her for a walk down to my house, about a mile round trip, as a cool down lap/"look! We're having fun away from your buddies!" (she LOVES exploring) sort of expedition.
Then, when we got back to her pasture, I took her back down to her tying spot, tied her, and then brushed her. Then I took her around the barn, still out of sight of her buddies, told her "HO!" (which means "stay absolutely still until I say "Ok"), undid her halter, took it completely off, and said "Ok!" and she was off like a shot to her buddies.
I had quite the dilemma about whether I should have taken her over by her buddies to let her go or let her go by the barn like I did. I finally chose over by the barn because I figured that that enforces that good things come from me, even though letting her go over by her buddies is less drama.
Am I going about this right? Should she get less attached as time goes on? She's only known these horses for a week... But at the same time, this is her third new set of horses in 3 months, I don't really blame her for being a little excessively attached, I probably would be too if I were her...
I'm not planning on riding her for at least a few more days. Certainly not out of the pasture until she's 90% good in the pasture. And then, I do have a system worked out for trail rides. If I leave her halter on under her bridle (I'm thinking of switching her into a bit for the first trail ride or so, just to be safe, so I can do this method), and wrap the lead rope around something, as she starts moving off she'll be contained and I can then grab the lead rope and wrap it around the saddle horn for the ride... I did that a few times at camp and it's kind of a crazy maneuver but it works! Haha And then, if she needs it, I have the halter for control since I really have more control bitless than in a bit.
It's almost like she can't control herself when she gets worried about her buddies... I dunno how to explain it. Like I feel like I'm watching her fight herself. Like, she knows what she should be doing but she just can't seem to make her body do what she knows she should be making it do...if that makes sense...
And sorry for the giganticor post! O.o