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post #21 of 27 Old 02-21-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
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.
I would have to agree with the person who is telling you to back off. It's just not good manners for your horse to be up in another horse's space, that's asking for a swift kicking, even if the horse that's in front is tolerant to yours. It sounds to me like your horse may need to learn some boundaries, and manners.


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post #22 of 27 Old 02-21-2013, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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My mare is really tolerant of horses being up her butt and I've helped alot of friends with teaching their young horses to stay back. She's never kicked at anyone but you never know!

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post #23 of 27 Old 02-21-2013, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dashygirl View Post
I would have to agree with the person who is telling you to back off. It's just not good manners for your horse to be up in another horse's space...
Oh, I agree. The question is how. She's very perceptive/willing about almost everything else, to the point where it seems that I just think about what I want her to do. (And I can never say the words "trot" and "canter" in conversation, as they're taken as instructions.) But if I'm riding behind, it's usually an endless cycle: pull her back to a good distance, keep on her so she stays there, let my attention go to something else for a second or two, and bingo!, there's the nose to butt thing again.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 08:25 AM
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It all depends how 'broke' you want a horse to be. For a horse to be really broke and to be a really solid trail horse, it needs to be comfortable in the front, middle or behind other horses. It needs to be willing to go a different direction and should basically go anywhere it is asked by its rider. Any problems doing any of these things are flaws and are great 'big holes' in its training. If you are happy with that and don't care, then it is not a problem as long as nothing ever comes up where better training preparation is required.

When we start one riding out on the trail (usually the 4th or 5th ride on young horses) we start out by riding them by themselves. We ride the colt with an older horse and start out together for about 1/2 mile. We always start out with the colt in the lead because we do not know what we have if the colt is just following. Following is really no more of a challenge (or a training exercise) than a foal following its dam out in the pasture. A half mile out, the trail divides and we take different trails, usually at a jog. The colt will whinny, but I do not scold one for it. I just keep him moving on at a good trot. I do not ask him to cross water or go anywhere really tough for the first couple of rides. I set them up for success on an easy trail that should not cause a confrontation. I only ask what he is ready and able to do successfully. I am only interested in good forward impulsion on a loose rein at this point.

If everything goes OK, we meet up at a prearranged place and time. We ride together for a little ways and then split up again. Again, there is some whinnying but usually the colt is fine.

One of us will circle around to another trail and head back to the truck. Once I am headed back toward the truck, (always making a big circle and never just stopping and reversing directions), I will only let the colt walk. Even the first ride out they know where the truck is. They have a HUGE 'homing instinct'. If the colt gets in a hurry, he is taken off trail and must negotiate the brush and tall grass and rough ground. I never get in a pulling match with one. I may have to turn and go away from the truck for a ways, but I will insist on walking on a loose rein going back.

I think these first few rides out set the horse's attitude for future rides. I am very picky how they are conducted. I want a brave horse that trusts my judgement and goes anywhere I point his head.

By the 3rd or 4th ride, most colts are ready to cross water, gullies and go about anywhere.

Once they go on by themselves anywhere asked, we play the 'leap-frog game' as we call it. We start out together. One rider rides on ahead at a trot or lope (way out of sight) while the other rider 'tries' to walk on quietly behind. This often means the rider left behind has to ride off the trail in the rocks and brush or even turn back for a while to keep that horse quiet and walking on a loose rein. When that horse is walking nicely, it is bumped up into a trot or lope and that horse and riders passes right on by the first horse (hopefully without hesitation). That horse is ridden ahead and well out of sight or hearing range of the horse left behind. This routine is repeated until it is time to head back to the truck. Again, they are ridden in a big circle and go back on different trails.

For us, these are not 'pleasure rides' -- they are 'training rides'. It is worth all of the trouble in the long-run. You have a horse that rides anywhere with or without company, in the front of or behind other horses and are willing to leave a group and ride safely and sanely anywhere the rider wants to go. For us, it is just part of making a 'broke horse'.

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post #25 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 10:38 AM
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I agree with Cherie a 100%. Cherie I wished we lived close, I would love to ride with you. I believe I would learn a lot from you.

I also want to make sure that I can make my horses ride in the front, middle and back. I trail ride a lot with a lot of different people and it is important that I am able to make my horses do what I want them to do. It builds my confidence while riding to know that I can control my horses under any situation. Being a confident rider helps me to be a better leader for my horses and they seem to respond better to me.

I was wondering Beachluvr how you feel about taking the lead or do you prefer to follow behind. I ride with a friend who always ask me to lead she doesn’t want to. And it works out okay because my horses don’t have any problems with it.

My friend has told me about situations she has been in where she was riding with another person and neither horse wanted to lead. We kind of laugh about it but I believe it was a true problem for them when they were riding across ditches, and through woods that had a lot of scary things along the side of the trail such as a large rock or broken branches. To help my friend out with this issue, I would encourage her to ride up front a little more and a little more until it built her confidence up as well as her horse. We discovered for her horse it was more eager to ride up front on the way back home so we used it to our advantage. The more her horse lead the better it got. If the horse did get spooked, and would refuse to go and after several attempts to get it to go, I would lead my horse through the area first and then have her horse to follow we would continue in that area until her horse would lead without any hesitation.

Now, when she rides with her other friend that has the horse that doesn’t want to lead, she is the leader on her horse. She said that this has built her confidence in being a better rider. She said she didn't like to lead because she was scared her horse would spook on her and she was always watching out for things that might cause her horse to spook. This is just food for thought.

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Last edited by tbrantley; 02-22-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 11:33 AM
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If you don't mind her being in the back, it's OK. But if you prefer to be in the front sometimes, just slowly work up the line.

If the trail is wide enough (or just practice in an arena) then start walking next to the horse in front of her. Slwoly just work your way so you are in front of that horse. Then walk like that for a few days. If you still want to bw head more, just do the same thing. I think that maybe you should walk next to the lead horse for a while, then when she seems OK with that, work your way up ahead of her. If she stops, just ask her to go and dont let the other horses pass you. My horse can be the same way. He would rather follow Brisco than be behind him. I made Golley get ahead of Brisco and walk. The first few times he wouldn't go, but when I wouldn't stop asking, he would walk forward - only to turn around and walk to brisco. So when he turned, I just kept turning him until he was walking away from Brisco again.

So I have found that it works, just take your time and don't rush. But if you don't mind being in the back, I wouldn't worry about it. There isn't a big need to be in the front, unless you want to! haha!!

Hope this helped!

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post #27 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 02:08 PM
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My Mare is the same way on the trails she loves to follow, rather then lead. She will lead but she is not a fan of it. She is more alert when she's out in front. Most of the time were are last and fall back a bit cause she's slow. Her and I are alike, both like life in the slow lane and enjoy to the scenery. We love to putz in the back of the pack! Funny how my horses personality turns out to be similar to mine.
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