Originally Posted by AllThePrettyHorses View Post
So now my question is: even though she's fairly quiet and submissive around me, do you think there will be a problem when I ride her out alone this summer, away from the others? If so, what should I do to prevent or deal with this?
You won't know for sure until you try it, and different horses react differently. For some, being within sight of their buddies is comforting and they become more unsettled when you ride out of sight. For others, once they are out of sight of their buddies, they are less excited and become focused on you. In either case, you just need to keep putting more and more miles and hours of experience out being alone. Your horse will learn that riding is work time, its buddies will still be there when you return, and you'll keep it safe when you're out together.
And should I just have left her alone yesterday when she was running the fence and calling instead of bringing her out and working with her? I mean, yesterday didn't go so hot-do you think I could have just cemented her desire to be with the herd by doing this? Or was bringing her out away from the others the right thing to do?
Any time away from the herd helps, and more importantly, don't let the horse dictate your schedule. The horse needs to learn that some things need to be done when you
need/want them to be done, from grooming to trimming to riding/working. Just make sure you always set aside enough time to finish what you start... you're much more likely to end on a good note.
Could the fact that she's in heat be the reason she is so herdbound, or is this completely absurd? Do you think I'll have less of a problem when she is no longer in heat?
Not absurd and certainly possible, but in my experience with mares, it doesn't seem to be a major factor in herd bound horses.
Uh...she's never ever had any herdbound tendencies before, so this is just really discouraging and frustrating. I don't know what I did wrong.
Probably nothing. Horses and herds are not static. The old saying that 'every ride is different' is very true. What you're really looking for is actually one of the biggest goals in getting a horse to being seasoned, and that is to achieve day to day consistency in work performance
. Work, practice, age, patience. Frustration and discouragement not allowed