Okay, I think I should re-phrase this! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-02-2009, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Okay, I think I should re-phrase this!

Hi everyone!

Alright, so in a post I made yesterday ("Ah, Horses WILL be Horses") I think I explained my question badly. I'm thinking I added a bunch of additional information. Sooo, lets revamp this question, shall we?

So, I went on a trail ride this weekend. We have been on trail rides before, 9 out of 10 times being calm, and we haven't been on one in a month or so, plus, we were in a new place this weekend.

Some Backround: My horse prefers the front. When he gets behind, he panics and feels like he is getting left behind. What he will do is just speed walk to the front, annoying, but nothing serious. When I try to stop him (this is just on the trail when he panics) he shakes his head and pulls, and feels like I am going to make him be left.

Towards the end of the trail, when the opening of the woods was in sight, some of the horses began to get excited and we riders let them out some into a trot. I pulled my boy to the side, and attempted to let others pass. (the horses were being woosies and wouldn't go through the water) Well, my horse began to feel left behind and swerved in front of the other horse. When I tried to stop him, he pranced in place and braced against the bit. Not wanting to back into other horses, I let him walk under the branch (wow that branch was lower than we thought, i had to do the limbo in the saddle!)

As far as water phobia, we are going to do some puddle work! *throws on rain boots*

My question is: *Ahem* If my horse feels more confortable in front, should I just let him be in front? If he wants to play "Follow the Leader" maybe I should just let him have some fun, afterall, we work hard in the arena and this is supposed to fun and relaxing. Or, do you think I should make him be in back? Also, how can I get him to not cut horses off? I'm really only concerned about him getting over-excited and cutting other horses off.

Please don't say anything about him being dangerous, I am with skilled riders and my trainer, and my horse is not the "wild, I'm a spaz" type by any means. He very well could have just been excited due to the new place, not being out in a while, and the barn in sight; who know?!

I hope this re-phrasing helped some, if not, let me know! Sorry for the threads on the same topic!
Thanks! =]
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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I, personally, let my horse be where he wants to be in the line on a trail ride- provided that- he is going the pace I want and not acting like a nut case (ie: on the way home if he's prancing at the front, I'll MAKE HIM go to the back and take his sweeeeet time going home). I think it's a natural thing for some horses to be "leaders" and some be "followers", they will all have their own preference of where they like to be... just like if they were in a pasture they would have a pecking order, or in the wild, you know? It's a personality thing.
As long as the horse isn't being dangerous, he can choose where he likes to be, and if he is calm when you get him where he wants to be in the line, then he's fine just doing that. In my opinion, a horse who fights to get in front and then settles down once he is there, is FAR better than a horse who wants to race home. It's not a bad quality in a trail horse to want to be a leader... it actually shows he's not a scardey pony ;)

That being said, always know the other peoples horses and where they like to be. If your horse wants to be in the lead make that clear with everyone so they can decide if their horse is going to fight for it and make it miserable for everyone...

That's my two cents...

Proud owner of 13yr old Paint Gelding, Bali! <3
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post #3 of 19 Old 11-02-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for your reply!

I think I will just let him be in front. I'll make sure he chills out once he is there, too. Oh, and he has no reason to push if he's alreay there! Sometimes I think we try to be a little to controlling of our horse, some things really aren't that big of a deal. Granted, sometimes it is necessary to restrict, but little things, who really cares?

I remember this one time my friend beat her horse until he BACKED out of the trailer. He wanted to just turn around, but she made sure he didn't. Of course, she rewarded him like crazy after, but it took a good 30-45 minutes of the horse freaking out and sweating nervously. At the moment, I really don't see how turning around can be dangerous if there is room, but I'm sure there is a way. Everything is potentially dangerous! :roll: LOL!
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-02-2009, 10:42 PM
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I read an article about this some time ago. Apparently horses who have never been together before will determine the new herd hierarchy very quickly once they're put together. It was suggested that they know where they're supposed to be in relation to the other horses, and if we try to do otherwise as riders, we're just getting in the way. My horse was a full time follower when he was younger. We were always in the back. Now that he's a little older, I'm finding he'll change it up depending on what other horses he's out with. If it's a young horse, or a very old one, he takes the lead. It's very interesting stuff.

Bottom line on my 2 cents, let him be where he wants to be. It's no skin off your nose and trail riding's supposed to be fun.
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-02-2009, 10:46 PM
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i always let my mare be were she wants on the trail, otherwise its an unpleasant ride for use and the horse horses shes trying to nudge out of the way. even when a rider tries to take the lead she makes it known she wants it lol.
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-02-2009, 11:20 PM
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OK, but what happens when you have two (or more) horses who each want to be in front? Or is that how horse racing was invented?
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-03-2009, 01:13 AM
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I think its fine to let the horses set into the natural order of them. In each pack there will be a dominant horse, and ones that a less so.

Saying that I do not feel that anyone should ride out if they do not have full control of their horse. Ie. If you can't control him ALL the time you shouldn't ride out until you can. If you are doing "training" out on a trail ride go with one experienced person on an experienced and trained horse, but don't put others at risk because you can't control your horse all the time. A horse or rider can easily be hurt by a kick. It doesn't matter how calm your horse is when you are with your trainer or anything, out there he isn't.

My advice would be circles. If he isn't listening pull him in a circle. Teach the one rein stop and make him stop, refuse to let him go one more step. Do not give in sometimes, do not let him just walk forward, if you demand that he stands still then you make him stand still.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-03-2009, 01:19 AM
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well usually if my boy wants to prance and be a dip **** then i let him but if it gets outof control i get off and walk untill he settles. And when he wants to be infront i don't usually let him coz he will see the open spaces and phyc the other horses out!!

Its more than just a PASSION ~ itís a LIFESTYLE
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-03-2009, 06:45 AM
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My TWh was the same way when I got him 2 yrs ago. If the horses got to far ahead he would pitch a fit. If other horses took off he would want to do the same..I want to be able to put my horses anywhere in a group and not have to fight them..When my TWH would act up I started to circle him and then would ask him to walk on. If he acted up in a circle I went again. Let me tell ya half of my rides on him I was dizzy from so many circles. But in the long run it worked. I can now put him anywhere in a group..He still gets excited when the front horses move off, but he is very controllable and it surely makes for a better day of riding. I feel that if you have to let your horse be up front because he wants to he's getting away with things that will only make him worst...It may take a few months of working on it but in the long run you will have a better horse and a better ride.....

Never Ride Faster than your guardian angel can fly

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-03-2009, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone!
I read all of your posts and think the best thing to do is just let him be in front. He is never the leader type, so if he wants to play I will let him. That being said, if he continues to act up in the front, or anywhere for that matter, I will do circles (if I can depending on space) and ask my trainer what she thinks. I'm not concerned about getting injured because my trainer is with me and she would say something if it was getting serious.

Our idea of a trail ride is let the horses play and do what they want, (safely of course) because we are usually cooped up in the ring and want our horses to have a chance to get out and play.

Thanks everyone, if you have more advice feel free to share!
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