What's the harm in letting a horse which does not like to follow go first? Some horses want to lead. Some don't want to lead. Some don't care.
No, we don't like to lead. We follow. but we've been out on trails with those who freak if a horse passes them. (Note to selves: Don't crow hop through the "herd" when they stop suddenly after trotting.)
If there are to be rigid rules of who does what on trail rides, the rides won't be much fun. Sure, an organized trail ride should have rules, including who leads and when. But rides out of the barn need to be fun, not tense. Control freaks should not be in charge of pleasure rides at the barn.
Good thing for OP that the fluffy snow was right where she needed it to be.
This thread reminds me of why, despite the higher risks, I'd rather hack out alone.
The first even thought of a buck her butt would have been turned around for an hour of working on the flat. I won't ride with someone who can't control their horse and demands their horse gets to set the tone of the ride. Just not worth the drama.
I agree with everything said here.
Originally Posted by WildandWickedWarmbloods
I go out on a hack to have fun and relax, to take a break from arena work. I don't want to deal with a control freak, oblivious to a dangerous situation.
My boy had been getting agitated for a while and I was sticking his mini bucks pretty well, but falling snow made my saddle slippery and the big buck was my ungluing. He is very good hacking out alone, so maybe I'll be doing that from now on.
Question (because my horse does the same thing...fine alone or with another horse, but in a group, he's an A-hole):
When you are able to arrange a "training" ride to help remedy this behavior, what exactly do you DO to start correcting the issue?
My gelding doesn't mind being last or in the middle, UNTIL the other horses start going faster than a walk, and even then he doesn't want to be first necessarily, he wants to run/buck/play because he thinks that running means freedom to do whatever the hell he wants. (I don't run with him, I pull him in a circle to prevent him from ignoring and just going along with the group).
So, what training techniques in a controlled training ride will help with this issue?
ETA: I understand where some of you are coming from re: hacking alone. however, riding alone is boring, and in my area (we dont' board, everyone has horses at home) we all get together for a group trail ride once in a while, and I'd rather not stay home just because my horse needs to learn to deal with it.
One helpful technique is to constantly keep changing places within the group. When you are in front, go a little faster than your horse wants to go. When you are behind, hold him back a bit and when he offers to buck-reprimand him strongly. Try to keep the horse just pushing the edge of his comfort zone, and not in a state of anxiety which may ultimately explode.
Most of the time problems with hacking horses in large groups have to do with (1) separation anxiety (2) herd instinct and (2) herd dominance. Mares may also have issues with their instinctive reactions to horses getting too close to them (their instincts are to avoid being mounted when not in season.)
By constantly changing your place in a group on the trail, you can desensitize the horse to his fear of being left behind, fear that the group is moving out because it is running from something or fear that he going to lose or gain dominance. Like anything else, in order to desensitize instinctual behavior, you just have to keep doing it over and over. Reward the good, punish the bad.
What I try to do is similar to a one-rein stop maneuver, except I don't ask him to stop (because I want him to WORK when he's naughty) and as he turns in a tight circle, I apply inside leg pressure at the same time I lift my inside hand toward my hip, and do this repeatedly off and on rather quickly, so its leg/hand, release, leg/hand, release until he is not pulling against me, and instead softens to both aids as he circles. When he softens, I allow him to walk out of the circle and carry on.
He doesn't fight to be first, he fights to be naughty when the ones in the group with us start trotting, or heaven forbid, cantering.
Well, many horses (even well trained ones) can get pretty unruly amongst a group of horses running. If I were you I would get with a group who will help you and start out on your rides by just walking, trotting and get him used to that. Once he doesn't care you can move up to add an occasional slow canter ( among the trotting doing transitions, trot, canter, trot, canter) and see how it goes and just build on that.
I refuse to ride with folks who refuse to let anyone else lead, or who only want to ride fast. If I get in a situation like that, I simply excuse myself from the group. Of course I have no problem riding alone, and love to ride when it is just me and my wife. If people start rudely passing others I quickly take the first turn on the trail and get away from the group. I agree with others though that we should train our horses to ride in any position, and at any gait. However, it takes time to accomplish this, so during the process I do what I wrote earlier.