|Washington 5 year old Fox trotter ridden in
western snaffle with a doughnut and Western saddle in pasture by
Question: I'd like some ideas on how to discourage my mare from following
too close to the horse in front on trail rides. She doesn't try to
pass, just likes to follow too close and I
From Panelist Jonathan
Well this may sound like a simple problem but it isn't . After a year and a half of forming this habbit it will take some time to stop it . On problems as this I depend on some old fashion common sence . When she starts getting to close just pull her up strongly and say no . Then release her when the distance between the horses is satisfactory and repeat as many times as it takes . Now , more than likely that is exactly what you have tried so , add to this a little turn around heading back where you came and or stopping with a back up . All of these seperate or together will get her mind off the rear of the horse infront and back on you where it belongs , you .
So , mix it up make it fun for you so it will be fun for her and remember this one will take a lot of time and patience .
From Panelist Carol
Thanks for your letter. Here's one idea that works pretty well. Have the rider of the horse that she is following turn around and send your horse backwards by flopping a crop, a shirt, or whatever is handy in your horse's face whenever she gets too close to the horse in front. The object is to make the following horse back away from the leading pair, not to scare the follower to death, so instruct the leading rider to do just enough to set the following horse back a bit and repeat as needed.
Hope that this helps.
Carol Camp Tosh
From Panelsit Liz
One would be stopping the horse and backing it up a few steps and then going foreword again and when it crowds again repeat. Also doing teaching a half halt may work, this is done by dropping your weight down into the saddle and giving a bump to the mouth asking for a slight hesitation in the horses forward motion. Then you could also just turn the horse around and go the other way a bit and then turn back and follow the group again. I recommend the first to options first. Your horse is just not paying attention to what you are asking and getting it focused and responding to your commands and aids really is the way to take care of this.
From Panelsit Erica
Try keeping her busy. Ask for speed changes - walk, trot, turn, walk,
turn, trot, walk, trot, turn, turn, walk, etc. She is paying more attention
to her position in the group and non on her rider.
From Panelist Stella
It is really up to the rider, and not the horse, to keep a respectful
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