Is this asking too much of a horse?

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Is this asking too much of a horse?

This is a discussion on Is this asking too much of a horse? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    11-19-2012, 01:11 PM
Is this asking too much of a horse?

I know horses are naturally herdbound, but is it asking too much of a horse to see other riders on the trail canter away on their horses while your horse stays in a walk?

There is a place on the trail where the other riders like to go galloping off. I don't feel ready to do that. Because of this, I don't go on any of the rides with this group because of that one spot. I can do the rest of the trail no problem. It's that one place where they like to gallop that I'm in no way ready to do.
I mentioned that I could always just stay behind and walk/trot my horse to catch up with them. They all said that no way would any horse do that. It takes a truly special horse to see the other horses go and stay back.

I realize it's not something typical of a horse, but is it really asking too much? I mean how much of what we ask horses to do is really typical anyway. I was hoping when I bought a horse I could train it to listen to me and not be so bound to the others in the herd. I don't think this is something that's easy-peasy but I was hoping it would come in time. But maybe that's a long shot.

I often see horses advertised as "doesn't care about other horses. You can ride away from the group" but those horses are NEVER local to me. It's always a horse that's states away so I never get the chance to test the horse out. But that is definitely the type of horse I'd want to buy.
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    11-19-2012, 01:14 PM
Any well trained horse should be able to watch others canter away without losing their mind. Even my spastic, sees a monster behind every bush, Arabian gelding stays calm if the rest of the group goes off. As long as I'm trotting behind, he's fine.

I don't know what kind of badly trained horses your friends are used to, but I expect either of my riding horses to deal with it if the others gallop away and I don't want to go that fast.
    11-19-2012, 01:16 PM
Green Broke
ITA with SR on this one
    11-19-2012, 01:18 PM
Can't see why not,the horse needs to listen to you, it would be the same as if their horse spooks and takes off, you need your horse to listen to you.. Be sure that when your horse stays you tell it good girl or boy.
    11-19-2012, 01:20 PM
Super Moderator
For me a horse that's been correctly trained has to do that, if he doesnt then he's not actually listening to you and then theres a risk that if something spooks him he will also not listen and bolt.
A couple of mine might dance a bit on the spot on occasions but that's all.
Your friends seem very inconsiderate to me. If you don't know how your horse is going to react then train him in an enclosed area with just one other horse going away from him - first at the walk and then move it up through trot to gallop as he learns what you want.
    11-19-2012, 01:21 PM
I fully agree with all others. My friends and myself will take all three of our horses out and we all ride at different paces. They do not need to stay together in a group, they need to listen to the individual rider...which they do 99% of the time!
Thunderspark likes this.
    11-19-2012, 01:23 PM
Green Broke
To me, not working towards that (and other things) as part of your training is expecting too little of the horse -
    11-19-2012, 01:47 PM
I agree with all the others that training a horse to be comfortable with the others leaving him behind is an important part of the horses education - but the OP isn't yet ready to deal with a gallop in a group, so I'm guessing that s/he doesn't yet have the skills or confidence to manage a horse who has a paddy when the rest of the group takes off.

It will come, with lots of training and confidence building on the part of the rider as well as the horse.
LisaG likes this.
    11-19-2012, 01:50 PM
Okay so I'm not alone here. I've honestly found that real life is very different from what I've learned in forums. I feel like in real life, people know a lot about a little if that makes sense. The people I ride with know trail horses and that's it. I mentioned a few types of warmbloods once and they were like huh? But anyway, they know about trail riding in groups. Their horses are VERY herdbound and that is one trait I cannot stand in a horse.
I don't own a horse yet. I'm on my 3rd year of lessons and I'm hoping this year to find a horse that is more independent minded. It's just when I mentioned them riding off and me meeting up with them, they were like "Are you crazy?" and laughed at the idea. I asked if there was a horse at the barn that would do that and they said no way.

I love the barn where I ride but I don't want a horse that is basically nothing but a string horse that will kill itself and/or me if it sees its buddy ride away.
Thunderspark likes this.
    11-19-2012, 01:58 PM
Even a well trained string horse won't lose its mind if its buddies gallop off.

When I went riding with a group in Wyoming, we used ranch horses. They wanted to gallop off, and I didn't. The horse I was riding called a little, but he was by no means uncontrollable.

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