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horse prefers to follow

This is a discussion on horse prefers to follow within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        02-17-2013, 09:40 PM
      #11
    Yearling
    When Mr. Big Stuff came to me, he would NOT ride in the lead. It took awhile for us to learn to read and trust each other. Eventually he came to actually prefer it...probably because he was gaited and my husband's OTTB walks in slow motion. I like a horse that will be comfortable in any position, just because it gives you greater flexibility. If your horse has no problem going out alone, then when he's content to follow, he's probably just being relaxed (lazy? LOL) in that he can rely on the horses ahead to alert him to any danger. It's been my experience that the lead horse is always more alert and the horses that follow tend to drop their guard and relax.
    Thunderspark likes this.
         
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        02-20-2013, 12:08 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thunderspark    
    I ride with a group of friends and we have all switched off front/middle/back.
    A good exercise too (besides the one quoted above) may be to try riding side by side. That is, if you have horses that get along and won't try to kick/bite each other.

    Does she get spooky or become harder to handle when she's in front?
    Thunderspark likes this.
         
        02-20-2013, 12:30 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Try riding side by side with a horse that your horse is comfortable with. If that is working good, have them drop back a little and ride relaxed. If you horse starts getting to worked up have the other horse ride back up beside or in front again to get her calmed down then do it again.
         
        02-20-2013, 05:19 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    I've got a similar problem. Ellie's fairly ok with riding in front, though she mostly prefers to follow unless the other horse isn't going fast enough. The problem is that when she's following her corral mate (doesn't seem to do it nearly as much with others), she wants to have her nose right on his tail, which means I'm constantly telling her to keep back - but if my attention wanders for a few seconds, her nose is right up there again.
         
        02-20-2013, 05:25 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Although it's not a "necessity" for her to be able to lead, I think it's a smart and safe idea just in case of an emergency or once in a blue moon event for her to be able to. What if a fellow rider gets injured and you have to turn around to go back for help, but your horse won't move because there's no horse to lead? I think it would be best for her to be able to lead, but there's really no rush to teach her it, so I would start by doing little bits at a time, like simply turning around ever so often, walking a few steps with her leading the other horse(s) back the way you came, before turning around to keep going forward with the other horses in the lead again. I'd do this for a while before experimenting with switching places in the line, and finally moving between first and second until she seems comfortable. The most important thing is that both you and her begin to associate leading in a positive way and that she learns to like being in the front. Lots of "Good Girls!" and pats right when she takes the lead so she immediately begins to associate the front positively :)

    Best wishes!
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        02-20-2013, 05:28 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jamesqf    
    I've got a similar problem. Ellie's fairly ok with riding in front, though she mostly prefers to follow unless the other horse isn't going fast enough. The problem is that when she's following her corral mate (doesn't seem to do it nearly as much with others), she wants to have her nose right on his tail, which means I'm constantly telling her to keep back - but if my attention wanders for a few seconds, her nose is right up there again.
    If the horse in front doesn't mind, it may not really be that much of a problem if her nose is up his rear. It is usually only a problem if the horse in front kicks, and that solves itself pretty quickly because nobody likes to get kicked.
         
        02-20-2013, 05:39 PM
      #17
    Trained
    It's just me, but I'm not comfortable riding alone. Your horse will gain confidence with a confident leader horse. I've always kept my horses in small herds, and the best of my herd leaders instilled great confidence in the other horses. It's the way that the US Cavalry trained, works every time.
         
        02-20-2013, 05:47 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celeste    
    If the horse in front doesn't mind, it may not really be that much of a problem if her nose is up his rear. It is usually only a problem if the horse in front kicks, and that solves itself pretty quickly because nobody likes to get kicked.
    I think the horse should learn with a rider not to be up any horse's butt.
    My mare used to want to be up the one's in front butt, it took a lot of patience with me turning her in circles, walking away from the ones in front but now she hardly ever gets up another horse's butt LOL in fact she quit often doddles along behind and then I have to trot her to catch up with the others......I think it's good for the horse to learn all positions, I like the idea of following one, then turn so that I'm leading and the other follows, then turn and follow the other one......you never know if there is a time that you have to lead to help another horse to go through/over something....
    Corporal likes this.
         
        02-20-2013, 05:49 PM
      #19
    Trained
    Agreed--one horse length between the front of your horse and the back of the one in front is safest.
    Thunderspark likes this.
         
        02-20-2013, 11:52 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celeste    
    If the horse in front doesn't mind, it may not really be that much of a problem if her nose is up his rear.
    Wouldn't have bothered me (down in the depths of ignorance as I am), but It is kind of a problem, for two reasons. The horse in front doesn't mind, exactly, but sometimes he'll just stop, and Ellie doesn't. Second, the person on that horse (my friend/teacher) keeps telling me to get her to back off, and the constant repetition gets annoying.
         

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