Follow the leader, right? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-14-2012, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Follow the leader, right?

Have any of you experienced when you go on trails that no matter which horse in your string you are on, it demands to be up front?
My husband and I alternate horses each ride, except for Rick.
No matter which horse I'm on they are trail boss. The other almost refuses to pass me. OF COURSE we work on trading positions but it requires some effort. This is really interesting because our mare has fallen in ranks now that Cowboy has taken over. In the field he bosses her and Rick around, if I'm on her he follows like a puppy. I feel good about it because DH only has 8 years in the saddle so I tackle the first rough stuff. DH really doesn't mind watching me ride... LOL!

I'm thinking they feel that I'm the leader so the other, no matter what, must follow. Again, we do switch out but it's a struggle, they don't win.
I know horses drive one another, so maybe it's the other way around? Maybe he's the boss? (highly doubtful!)
Your thoughts?

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-14-2012, 09:18 AM
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Not only does it depend on the horses attitude but also the riders. My oldest gelding always wants up front but if I'm riding him he'll stay where I put him after a couple, are you paying attention to me, checks. When the wife rides him she lets him charge to the front because she likes not having a horse in front of her as much as he does.

I find pretty much any trail horse that's spent time in the lead has no problem leading the group. They gain confidence in their abilities with experience so have no problem leading the train.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-14-2012, 05:18 PM
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quote: "Have any of you experienced when you go on trails that no matter which horse in your string you are on, it demands to be up front?"

Not really, most new horses we start would prefer to follow.

It is the rider that usually causes the up front situation.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-15-2012, 12:11 AM
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Horses do tend to want to follow, especially if they sense their rider is more of a passenger. My pony is always the leader, IF I'm on her. With beginners though she refuses to lead. She was my first horse and she used to refuse to lead with me, now she actually wants to. I think it's just because she doesn't feel confident the same way with a beginner.
It's possible your horses just don't see your husband as a fearless, trustworthy leader yet and that's why they don't want to lead if you aren't riding them.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-15-2012, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyGap View Post
Have any of you experienced when you go on trails that no matter which horse in your string you are on, it demands to be up front?
Yes, every horse I'm on likes to be up front. Sky, Moanna in NZ, on trail rides in the states, my friend's horse. I actually never noticed until you said something!

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-21-2012, 09:24 AM
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When I first got Big he absolutely refused to lead. No way. Now he's happiest leading because he tends to walk faster than my husbands OTTB and he gets frustrated being behind him. Sometimes I MAKE him follow just because frustrated or not he has to do what he's told and he sometimes needs to be reminded who's in charge. He is SO full of himself.

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