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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on getting Rain ready for trail and took her out ground driving while a couple Friends rode along with us. She wasn't spooky but was extremely eager to rush and be ahead of everyone. When I would slow her down she would get very agitated and act like she was about to throw a bucking fit or kick but never did. She would tuck her hind quarters and put her head to the ground and try to plow through my rein forward.

Do you guys have any advice for me with her? She listens really well when she's ahead but get very very anxious when even or behind the other horses.

I am going to keep ground driving but maybe mostly by ourselves til she can not be so dependent on where she is in the group or being left behind.

She is broke to ride but doesn't get exercised regularly and I mean like once a month if that. My dad who is an advanced beginner wants to start riding her out on trails and I just want to make sure he'll be able to keep in control. He has ridden her a few times and does fine but she's not been in a rush to get somewhere when he's ridden her.
 

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Do you have someone who could pony her? It might help to have her go out on the trail. It seems less like she is anxious and more impatient. Is she a lead/dominant mare? If so she may be a mare that hates being behind other subordinate horses and wants to lead and break trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She is and was very upset if Nova (My filly who pastures with her) got ahead of her. She would pin her ears and throw her head as if to say, "MOVE" or "OUT OF THE WAY!" When I ground drive the horses I usually take them down a different road or out in the woods to try to give them a little fresh and new each time. Also to work on them focusing on cuing no matter where we are at.

This was the first time she's been out on the road in at least 6 months so energy is very much expected lol.
 

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I also was going to suggest ponying her, if she gets anxious about something get her feet busy to get her mind off of what she is anxious about.......say if she is rushing, then pull her in and do a couple small circles........or turn her around and go take the up the rear, I like my horses to be good at all positions, up front/in the middle/the rear.....
 

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I am guessing that she is really showing herd-bound behavior and the fit would be much worse if the horses went on ahead and were completely out of sight. I would also say that the fit she is throwing when she is not in the lead will escalate into rearing before anything else.

I would not pony her. That will only reinforce a herd-bound behavior. How does she behave if she is tied up away from other horses? How does she behave when she is left alone at the barn when her buddy is ridden off without her? If these are problems, then her herd-bound behavior should be addressed first by tying her in a safe place and letting her get over the herd-bound behavior first.

If she is not herd-bound, I would say that you need to just start riding her with other horses. You need to learn to ride with one dominant rein and not pull back on both reins at the same time. These are the kinds of horses that start rearing when people try to hold them back with both reins.

There are several ways to re-train horses that hate to be left behind. The one you can use depends a lot on the terrain and kind of trails you can ride.

If there are really rough trails with rocks, brush and downed timber next to the trail, you can just take her into the rough and put her into a position where she has to go slow and watch where she is going.

You can turn around and go the other direction and ride her alone. Then, try to turn back the direction the other horses are and let her go that way as long as she will walk on a loose rein. If she starts prancing or wanting to speed up, just turn around and head back away from the horses. This is sort of avoiding the problem, but it is a place to start.

You can teach her a very good 'one rein stop'. Then any time she tries to speed up, you can take her head away from her and make her stand still.

We try to avoid letting horses get this way to start with. The very first time we take a green colt out on the trail, we ride with another horse for a maximum of 1/4 mile. Then, we split up and ride apart on separate trails or take one off trail into the rough. Then, we join back up at a predetermined place, ride together for a few minutes and split up again.

We do this over and over each ride until the horses will ride an hour together and split up willingly without whinnying or acting lonesome. The more you split them up and then get back together when they are completely settled, the quicker they figure out that there nothing bad about separation -- Just like they do when they are tied up away from all other horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have driven her out alone before and after a couple trips she does fine but when the other horses are with its a competition it seems. She listens better out alone and acts calmer. I trained my other two girls with ground and they are amazing alone and I a group but Rain I had before I knew what I was doing for the most part.

She is the product of 8 years of mixed unorganized training. She did go to a train once 4 years ago and did great but I let that slip away because I was too nervous then. She will stand stand tied away from the girls but calls constantly.

Also, and this maybe a huge part of her issue as well is this last year and a half she has started acting studdy with her Dam around. They have been pastured seperate for years but just started snorting and strutting when Lady approached the fence. I seem this in another article "stallion-mare" and I think she needs a vet visit. Lady was with for the ride yesterday and was the horse Rain would get really upset about if she was more than 20 feet ahead. I totaled spaced that out yesterday :S I'm such a blonde...

As far as stopping while ground driving a one reins kinda hard but yesterday I had to do a few shaper turner to refocus her. When riding her I need to work on a flexed stop. She used to do it but has taken up to slowing down a bit and flexing but trying to spin around instead of just stopping. Last spring I was trying to work on her comfort at a lope and she started bucking so I flexed out of it which she did stop but spun around and we tipped over she was going so fast.
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