Help - Horse 'listens' to the other horses & not me
I am a fairly new rider - with a well trained Arabian that has his random 'freak out' and increasingly on trails, prefers to 'be with the herd' vs. listening to me. He seems to quickly get 'out of his mind' such that even trying to serpentine him to draw him back in mentally doesn't do anything but irritate him and make him more ansy. and I find myself in his mouth the entire ride when I am trying to keep him off the hind end of the horse directly in front of us ... AND worst of all, if all the other horses take off, so does he & there is little I can do about it but pray that I hold my seat and that the other horses stop :) What can I do to condition this boy to be more a partner and not take-over on the trail??:???:
Welcome to HF
sounds Like he has many holes in his training and you should get help with a trainer to help issues. If not I fear you may end up hurt.
First off, howdy and welcome to the forum :D.
Since you are still so inexperienced with horse riding in general, and especially since you have no experience in training situations, I strongly suggest that you enlist the help of a good trainer for you and your horse.
There are several different methods to correct this behavior but unless you have the experience to know when and how to apply them, then you won't make any progress.
Also, this might not be the best horse for such a new rider. The fact that he's become herd sour so easily to the point of bolting with you and completely ignoring your cues for him to stop either tells me that he isn't as well trained as you thought...or he doesn't have a temperament suitable for a novice rider as he takes advantage of your weak points as a rider.
I rode with an experienced endurance rider today and learned a couple things that might be useful for you, too. :)
• NEVER tailgate, or worse, let your horse walk right up behind another and turn their head so they can move in closer. They could step on the horse in front of them and cause a serious injury. You should be able to at least see the hocks of the horse in front of you.
• Make your horse ride his own path. Let's say you're on a wide trail with another horse...ride next to and slightly behind/in front of that horse, on your own side of the trail. He is not allowed to try to move in behind the other horse. He needs to learn to find his own path. If he blindly follows the horse in front of him, he is likely to trip and more likely to get out of control and hurt.
Do you have an arena or enclosed area where you could work him? It sounds to me like you could benefit from some time practicing patterns, transitions, and general listening. Then you might find an experienced trail rider who could take you out and help you get your horse to pay more attention to you.
I hope that helps! Good luck with your boy. :D
PS: I take my mare out alone on 90% of our rides so she has learned to look to me for directions to the point where she doesn't care if her buddy is lagging or speeding ahead. However this might not be safe for you and your horse yet, so use your judgement.
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