The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Trail Riding


This is a discussion on Help!!! within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    07-01-2009, 06:34 PM

This friday july third me and my friend are going on our very first trail ride! So excited! We r bringing them to a ladies house that teaches trail riding and has TONS of land! But today and a couple days ago my horse tries to follow my friends horse. I understand that he is a herd animal and that is his instinct but he still needs to listen to me. I also no that this is good for the trail ride when he needs to follow the horse in front of him but he puts up quite the fight if I don't let him follow his friend. Today out in the back field we were cantering and my horse just veers off after his friend. I simply stop him and turn the other way. When we move away from his friend he jams his shoulder out and makes it very uncomfortable and hard to move. Then after that doesnt work for him he bucks. (sometimes I believe he is bucking b/c he is having fun since he is normally in the ring) I expected it so I stayed on and got him to stop but it was pretty annoying. I am not going back out to the barn until the trail ride so do you guys know of anything I can do to get him listening on the trail? I just don't want him following his friend to that extent and I don't want us to stress out on the trail. Thanks in advance! :)

I need hlp quickly due to th fact that the trail is a day or so away!
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    07-01-2009, 07:36 PM
Maybe try taking him ahead of the other horse, making that horse follow instead of you'rs. It takes alot of time to teach them to become independent. I had a horse with the same problem except he would rear. I just worked with it, I made him really uncomfortable to be with the other horses (like working hard) then when we went away from them I would let him walk and talk to him alot to keep him calm.
You can let him walk beside his friend too but just not follow, and around the turns on the trail, or tight spots make him go first. Its a booster for his courage and talking to them really helps. Good luck!
    07-01-2009, 07:41 PM
Yeah I will definitely try that! Thanks! He usually doesnt do this so im not sure why he just started doing it. I would just like him to listen to me better is all
    07-01-2009, 07:45 PM
Thats good though.. I'm guessing he's not usually a trail horse but either way a horse should listen to what you're asking. Putting them in the lead gives them a job, like jumping or barrels is a job, its a job for a horse to be in the lead. Of course remember you are the leader and he is the follower of you, not the other horse. A good tune in before you go out on the trail should help. Show him that you are still the leader.
    07-01-2009, 08:50 PM
No he is not usually a trail horse he is a hunter...i just think its good for us to get out of he ring once in a while. When you say "tune him in" and "show him your the leader" I get what you r saying but how do I do this? Lol I know I should know but I don't. Thanks for the advice and please share more! :)
    07-02-2009, 05:03 AM
Well not to be like the ol' cowboys that beat a horse... not what I'm looking for just to have you're control back. This could be just doing a simple circle or doing one at a trot, keeping the circle small so its harder for the horse to work.
Usually that's what I do when my horse isn't acting properly and they get the hint that when they act up we go back to circles but circles are hard work, so pretty soon they figure out if they don't act up they don't have to do circles.

I think that any horse should be able to go on a trail ride, that's important to me I think mostly because the horse I had was horrible on them, and now I have this really calm horse when I get out on the trail that I love it. And omg all the obsticles you can take them through on the trail, its a really good experience. So that when you go to a show and a jump is set up on top of a hill ur horse has confidence going up it, or going through some water or working out the spooks in scary parts. It all builds confidence so you can get to that horse that never refuses a jump.

Ok now I'm just rambling. So mainly when you're horse is acting up go back to basics, work that trail like ur back in the arena and do what you do best. Be that leader that knows where ur going and whats around that next corner. Horses rely on us more then we think, and they feel when we're not confident so these trails are good for both of you.
Of course its not as easy as it sounds, not for alot of horses anyway, but u'll get to it someday, and it might not happen on this trail ride, maybe u'll have to try it again soon, but its all a process and you just have to work with it. Hope this helps! I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across lol.
    07-02-2009, 09:56 AM
Thanks! That is great advice! Yeah my horse isnt really the spooky type, I mean w/ some things yeah but most of the time not so much. He just hasnt been listening to me as well as he usually does so I will show him who is in charge. (but of course not the mean way) I will put him in a circle, make him back up and stuff before the ride and when needed, pat him when he behaves. You get the point lol! Thanks for the advice and like I said before if you have more feel free to share! Thanks! :)
    07-02-2009, 10:49 AM
My husband and I ride together almost every day with the same 2 horses. In order to keep them from doing what your talking about we go in seperate directions regularly. This is something you can work on in the future, it may not be of help by tomorrow
We play hide and seek from each other, hiding behind bushes and such. Play 'you take the high road I take the low'. That's just taking separate trails but keeping them in sight of each other. The occasionally call to each other but they are OK to be separate and don't freak out. It really helps doing the separate and rejoin thing so they know the separation is temporary.
    07-02-2009, 11:44 AM
Hey that's a great idea! I will try that next time! :)
    07-03-2009, 06:00 PM
Omg! The trail ride was a blast! My horse was great and we had a ton of fun! I wont start getting into details b/c there is alot but lets just say besides a few minor things everything went smoothly. It was probably won of the funnest things I have done on my horse before! YAY!

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