Is this asking too much of a horse? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 08:52 AM
Green Broke
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Most horses I know would get upset if the rest of the ride galloped off, my tb would have a mental breakdown, but that doesn't mean that all those horses wouldn't be ok and rideable with their experienced riders. I would expect them to bounce and leap a bit and "ask" to join the galloping riders but hopefully that would be it. It is not something I would expect a novice horse or rider to be able to cope with, that takes time and confidence. My haflinger would be fine and so would my pony but they are both used to doing this. As a rule we would never hack with people who would gallop off if someone just wanted to walk as they didn't feel safe.
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post #22 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 09:13 AM
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Here's my take.

It's not an unreasonable request to make but for some horses it seems like its a Very Big Deal. Horses are herd creatures. They don't have to run the fastest but outrun the last guy. It goes against instinct to stay behind whole you're buddies run off.

It's trainable. You can get the horse to believe in you and to be OK with the others running away. For some horses it doesn't take much effort if any, for others it takes a lot.

My horse does a very pretty series of airs above the ground when he buddies run off. He used to somersault, so this is a huge improvement!
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post #23 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 09:25 AM
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I agree with Dancing that to want to catch up is a strong instinct. If you hold him back, by whatever method you may use, you may find him getting fearful enough to buck. In the herd when one signals the others to go, it's not questioned, they must go. It's a rare horse that can remain relaxed while the others take off, that he has that much confidence in the rider. Ever notice in a pleasure class when a lope or canter is called for how the horse that's held back while the rider wants to be sure of a correct strike off, can get antsy. Because the horse does get allowed to canter with the others it settles down.
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post #24 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 10:45 AM
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My mare is the spookiest of my three horses, but she is also the leader. If the others wanted to move off without her, she'd do fine - although you might have trouble getting them to go very far without her. OTOH, if SHE moves out, the riders of the geldings had better be ready to move out too.

It is a training issue. My youngest daughter wants to start training Trooper to go solo, just as I am training Mia to go out solo. If and when she does, we'll work on having Mia & Trooper split up and rejoin in a calm & rational manner while out.

But I would not assume a horse would do that. I recently heard an actor talking about his time acting in westerns during the 60s. He said one of the bit actors was killed when the scene called for them to mount up and gallop off in a posse. The guy had one of the horses in the rear, and didn't get mounted up before the rest galloped off. His horse took off while he was still mounting and he had one foot hung up in the stirrup...
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post #25 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Green Broke
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Nope never assume :) but I would expect a lesson horse to be trained well enough to handle itself on it's own. I would ask ahead of time how his training is before assuming he could stay on his own but I would be appauled if they told me they would never expect a horse to be trained that way.

With your example that is a good reason why you don't want your horse taking off with the others. What if you aren't ready yet, you can always catch up later.
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post #26 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 11:24 AM
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I believe that the OP said that this was a horse that belongs to her stable. The BO probably knows that the horse won't cooperate with staying behind. It seems to me that the barn should be willing to offer some slower trail rides. On the other hand, galloping is fun. I think that you should bite the bullet and go for it.

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post #27 of 43 Old 11-20-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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The thing is the BO said that this is too much to expect of "A" horse, not just her horses. And the people in this group all said that too. It would be one thing if they said, "Oh no you can't do that with these horses". They said that's too much for any horse. That's why I walked away thinking that I was expecting too much when the time comes that I do buy a horse.

I DO want to try cantering on the trail as it does seem like fun. But I want to know that I could slow down my horse if I didn't feel comfortable. That's not going to happen here.

bsms, that is a good point that you mention about a leader horse. The horses that I ride aren't really what I'd call leaders. They are definitely followers so I know that if the other horses take off, they will too. I can see how a horse that is more of a leader could be content doing its own thing.

Last edited by Heelsdown; 11-20-2012 at 11:54 PM.
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post #28 of 43 Old 11-21-2012, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Heelsdown View Post
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.
My mare will stay back by herself or with another horse if the others canter off. At first she would get antsy about it and prance around but now she walks along nicely or trots if I ask her to.

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #29 of 43 Old 11-21-2012, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Heelsdown View Post
Well that's a relief to know that I'm expecting too much of my hypothetical horse, lol. I don't know why they feel this is something that is too much. But like I said, I've found people on forums like this to be much more knowledgeable about horses overall. Where in real life, it seems like people know what occurs in their barn or with their group of friends. I guess nobody has seen a horse just mosey along while others take off so they think it's not possible, or at least, very rare.
LOL it took alot of work with my mare but she definetly will mosey along behind everyone, sometimes I'm a good block behind them! Like I said I did alot of work with her with friends who would go on ahead and I would make my mare walk, at first I had to do a hundred circles to slow her she doesn't care too much unless they get right out of view, which has happened a few times this fall but she just picked up her pace walking.....

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post #30 of 43 Old 11-21-2012, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Heelsdown View Post
everyone including the barn owner said it's asking too much of the horse.
I hope the barn owner is not your teacher. With a comment like that, she doesn't know how to train horses.

If you canter along to avoid the problem, you are teaching the horse that it is ok to stay with the group and not have to stay alone. Remember most horse are taught based on what the rider tells them to do. If you tell them wrong, that is what they are being trained to do.
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