Horse whinnying (occasionally) under saddle - what's OK, what's not?
Hello all - a little info about me below if you want to know... but my basic question is about horses calling to other horses under saddle. What do you do about it? My mare doesn't seem particularly buddy sour, but her pasture mate is pretty attached. Usually no problem, but if the pasture mate is whinnying and calling out my mare will whinny excitedly back. Only time it's happened under saddle (rather than when standing tied) was yesterday, and she probably did it 4 times near the end of our 1.5 hour ride. It was near feeding time, and she could hear the pasture mate in the distance. So, I just turned her in small circles - just a neck rein and leg pressure did the trick, nothing aggressive or dramatic. she'd be fine then a few minutes later do it again. She never jigged or did anything terrible, just was obviously not focused on me and put her head up excitedly and whinnied loudly. So - horse forum gurus :) - what is the appropriate response under saddle or while leading? I just want to be alert and head anything off.
As some of you know I'm 50+ and just started casual riding a few years ago. I bought my first horse a little over a year ago, and sold her in December. She had some baggage we didn't know about that made her not great for a beginner... had been used at a youth camp which was great in some ways, but she had learned a bag of tricks to evade work and it got tiring.
I've had my mare for about 6 weeks and so far she is exactly as advertised and we're getting along very well. She's the easiest horse I've ever ridden, and is typically very willing. I guess I now understand when a horse is described as "honest"... that seems to be her. Because of my experience with my previous horse, I'm VERY sensitive to possible balking or bad behavior. The worst thing my mare has ever done is drift towards or slow down at the gate (solved by a soft kick, and at the very worst with a tap on her shoulder w/ split reins... I can now feel this coming and a squeeze usually heads it off... so no drama here). Otherwise she's steady, level headed, has never shown inclination to take off faster than asked, has a great instant 'whoa' from any gait, so far seems almost bomb proof, etc. She doesn't seem to have ever been badly spoiled, and I just want to keep her that way!!