Teaching manners when following
My mare Libby does great on the trails, but she is definitely a better leader. Last night we were the last horse/rider of 3, and she did ok, but every time the lead and middle horse did anything, she had to, also. If they went into a trot, so did Libby, if they stopped, so did she. I had a hard time putting her back into a walk when they started trotting because she just wanted to do everything they did. She would get a little head tossy with me when I asked her to do something different, also. Any advice? Overall, she's an excellent trail mount, just want to be able to follow comfortably when out with others.
Here's a thought: ask the people you ride with to help you. When they want to trot or whatever tell them not to go to far as you take your horse and circle her to get her to pay attention to you. Ask them to stop and wait or come back to you and start again. Maybe this will help. Your horse is just telling you she doesn't want to be left behind and feels insecure when the other horses are not near her. You need to help her feel more secure with you. Maybe even going out on your own will help with her confidence. Just short rides if she starts to get nervous. Extend that when she starts to get better. ?
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Thank you, I appreciate the suggestions. She will go out by herself, certainly prefers to be with others but she does listen pretty well when we go out alone. I'll try that, though!
What you described doesn't sound so unusual. I think most horses out on the trail in the following position do that to some degree. One thing that is important to do when you trail ride with others is to change up the order. I don't like to have any one horse always lead. When you are leading , and it's your turn to go to the back, instead of stopping and letting the others pass, you can just "peel off" and walk to the end of the line and "peel in" and keep going. As you go along, do this A LOT!, like musical chairs. The horse kind of lose track of the feeling of always bringing up the rear. The are constantly changing their posiitons AND the sometimes face forward, and sometimes backward AND the peeling action causes a good lateral bend and disengagement of the hind quarters which helps them to also break up any sort of "rigid" mind set.
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