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SonnyWimps 09-09-2008 02:32 PM

Gotta follow my buddy
Lately when I ride Sonny alone he is PERFECT (and I mean perfect) he listens to every cue, and is just awesome to be around.
But when another horse is in the arena he goes into "OMG I gotta follow my new best friend" mode. No matter how many circles, how many patterns, his attention is 75% on the horse, and 25% on me.

Any ideas on how to get him used to riding with other horses, but still listening to me?
It's hard for me to get up to the stables when everyone else is there mainly since I work and have college.

If this helps I ride in a halter, and bareback. I'm trying to get it where he listens great in a halter, and when I put his bit into his mouth he does into "show horse" mode.
Suggestions? Ideas?

(note: I'd perfer this to be fairly easy, nothing that will take years to do, and trying to aviod the bit, but will use if that's the only way)

Dumas'_Grrrl 09-09-2008 02:36 PM

What about keeping the bridle handy in case someone shows up to ride in the arena with you and if Sonny isn't responding to the halter you pop the bridle on? You could continue you regular riding exercises that you were doing with only a halter but you'd then have the upper hand. After enough bridling...I'd think he'd get the idea. You have done a great job with Sonny and I have little doubt you'll have too much trouble with this small hurdle.

SonnyWimps 09-09-2008 02:47 PM

I mean he'll listen to do a circle, and he still responds...but not as well as he would if I'm alone. But he always tries to go over to the other horse, always tries to speed up when they speed up. You can tell that he just wants to be with that horse

I know it's something that will be easily solved cause he's a fast learner, but I just wanted some different ideas to try.
Lately I've just been keeping his mind elsewhere or trying to....circles, patterns, transitions, etc

farmpony84 09-09-2008 03:42 PM

i wonder if there is a way that you could put a curb chain under the halter? I don't know if that will work... no, I bet it won't... are you using just a lead rope?

appylover31803 09-09-2008 03:49 PM

What if you made the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy... if he wants to follow his new best friend, he has to work very hard... doing a slow job, or a collected canter or sidepassing to be with his buddy.
Yet when he doesn't want to follow his buddy, you let him relax, let him have his head.

Not sure how well that will work, but i think it goes along the line of training that you're doing with him.. if not, i'm sorry!

SonnyWimps 09-09-2008 10:21 PM

I'm using a rope halter and a 12 foot lead rope. I just toss the other end around his neck, and tie it so it stays (lol I'm sure I do it differently EVERY single time lol).

Appy, that might work, but the problem is is that he doesn't really mind doing a slow collected canter, he doesn't mind going fast (he likes going fast), but the side-passing might work.
Do you think riding with a horse that doesn't like him would work? One that might give him a bite or two?

I mean, I HAVE another option, but I don't want to resort to that unless it's been 5 months and nothing else has worked the slightest bit

appylover31803 09-10-2008 12:16 AM

I would find something that Sonny doesn't like and do that when he wants to follow his buddy. Maybe standing still for 1 min would work.

I would just find something that he doesn't really enjoy and do that when he's not listening.

I might be a little dangerous (depending on the other rider's skill level) if you have a horse that doesn't like Sonny. One horse might lunge or try and kick the other and might accidently hurt the rider.
But if you and a friend feel confident doing that, then go for it.

How is he on the ground when there are other horses are around him?
If he does the same thing, maybe try doing some different techniques on the ground and see how he responds.

G and K's Mom 09-10-2008 02:16 PM

I don't think I would want to put Sonny or yourself in a situation that might do some damage. One misplaced kick and either you or him could end up with a broken leg.

When hubby and I ride together in our ring his guy wants to do everything George and I are doing. If we canter he thinks he should canter. Frustrating to say the least..... LOL

Really, all you can do is to keep him moving and maybe try to do it at the opposite end of the ring. Lots of transitions, lots of halts, haunches and shoulders in and out. Make him work hard! Or the side of the coin, when the other rider goes to canter you make him walk in a collected fashion in the other direction.

I'm not sure I understand the not wanting to use a bit. If your working him, work him. It would seem he has it in his head that because your riding him in a relaxed fashion then he's going to do what he wants. It's similar to when I tack up western instead of english, my guy's know the difference. Also, similar would be trail ride versus ring work.

Angel_Leaguer 09-10-2008 02:57 PM


Originally Posted by G&K's Mom

I'm not sure I understand the not wanting to use a bit. If your working him, work him. It would seem he has it in his head that because your riding him in a relaxed fashion then he's going to do what he wants. It's similar to when I tack up western instead of english, my guy's know the difference. Also, similar would be trail ride versus ring work.

I agree...I would use a bit, even if it is just a smooth snaffle for when you are working him and dont be afraid to get after him. I have a show bit and a work bit. they know the difference and will respond to what they have to do. I wouldnt ride with a rope halter, you have no leverage if he would decide to pull something on you... if you dont believe in a bit other then showing you should get something a little better then that.

valleychick2121 09-10-2008 07:21 PM

If you don't like the bit, then I would switch to a bosal or hackamore when you are going for an easy ride. If he wants to follow his buddy, send him in the opposite direction.

I just do the exact opposite of what my horse wants to do. To me there isn't any relaxing time on a horse, I'm constantly reinforcing what they have already learned. I used to ride my mare in a rope halter, but she was really sensitive to it, so it was no problem.

If you insist on keeping the halter, I'd try to get one with the knots on the bridge of the nose, that way you would have more control. It sounds like your horse is taking advantage of you. Believe me, he knows the difference when you ride with or without a saddle!

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