Always wants in front
Today I went on a trail ride with three other people. Two of them were on mares and the other on a gelding, I was also on a gelding. I was the last to leave the barn and my horse either wants to be in front or wants his head as close to the horse in front of him (which led to him getting kicked today). My dad was a jumper/dressage person I don't know anything about it, but my horse will start to trot and get into a canter and eventually a gallop to get in the lead if I don't stop him. My dad tells me to put my hands down and give him his head (this is when I get frustrated because I'm asking for a walk and I'm not getting one) and he just continues to run. Please help me.
Thanks a lot!
Not really knowing your horse, I would suggest go on another trail ride with your friends, with the intention of working on this. Hopefully your friends will cooperate. Let him work his way to the front, then work him! Roll back after roll back, disengage hind and forequarters. Move his feet and make him sweat. Go to the back and dare him to go to the front. If he bites, work him again. Soon he will realize that staying in the back doesnt make him loose so much weight. It could take awhile to fix the problem. That is what i do with my horses who want to run over and look at the other horses across the fence. After working on the fence, walking around the pasture checking on calves is alot less work. Good Luck.
You don't need to go out trail riding until you can keep horse from increasing gait when you don't want him to. A horse that moves up and refuses to listen to rider's cues, is a horse that is showing it, and not human is running the show.
And I have seen a rider end up with shattered knee cap because she couldn't control her horse, and the other horse kicked and caught her. You are at this point a danger to any other riders who are with you if you can't control your horse.
Secondly, if your horse is like this, on trails you at this point do not need to be doing anything but walking. That your horse would get so close to another horse tells me you have little to no control over him. That is something you need to work on at the barn. That is where tightening up your cues, and his responses needs to be, not on a trail where you endanger other riders, or inconvenience them while you "train" your horse.
You can also work on this by the simple act of leading, haltering and unhaltering. When you halter, do not immediately head out of stall, but give horse command to back, and make him do it. Then bring him forwards, and tell him to halt, and stand there for a minute or so, no petting either, just stand there. Same with dropping the halter when you turn him loose. Make him stand still, back and come forward, and again no petting/praising. When leading, alternate your pace, and make him follow it, slow, then faster and then in-between those two. Stop and make him just stand there, and don't pay any attention to him, just stand beside him facing forward.
In a herd, the lead horse doesn't praise him for doing what he is supposed to do, he does it because there are consequences for not doing it. Needs to be the same here.
And if you are riding in a snaffle bit, that is direct pressure, and it will be hard to get horse to come back to you, as you are pulling directly against his neck strength. You have to give and take to get him back to you instead of solidly pulling against your hands.
But basics are what is needed here, not trail riding at this point. Can your father work on him for you?
My grey has a pretty fast walk, and my sister's horse is really slow. When we ride together if we're in the back, my horse is always trying to get in front of the other one. When ever my grey starts to change gaits, or go faster than I asked of her, I stop her and back her up (several feet until she is listening to me and not trying to catch the other horse). You can also do circles.
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