I'm glad it's not all ten at once crowding the gate! Still, all it takes is one to make a bad accident.
Originally Posted by EqTrainer
I would plan to spend a little extra time "training" the newcomers to stay off the gate so that you don't get hurt. Crowding at the gate is unacceptable. When you enter the pasture, all the horses need to step down one in rank and defer to you. Please be careful. My horses know that if they do anything to a horse I am leading in, I will drop that lead rope and go after them.
Could not agree more. Gate-crowding is one of those things that set my teeth on edge - I guess cause I know of more people getting hurt by pushy horses in pasture than any other bad horse behavior. I always try to set the physical site up so gate-crowding doesn't happen - but if it does, I'm going to have a word of prayer with any and all offenders rightnowthisminute.
One of the things I absolutely love about my new RS is the way my BO can go out, catch one horse, and lead it calmly back to the gate without anyone else so much as batting an eyelash. That told me a lot about her management skills.
I never rode a broke horse but then maybe I'm a sorry hand. - Ray Hunt
It is dangerous, plain and simple, and I think you're well within your rights to smack the beasts with a lead. My horse is a treat-hound and as such, I don't bring treats with me to the field, and she doesn't crowd me. But a couple of the other horses in the field are hard to catch and treats or a bucket of feed are the only way to get them within grabbing distance. I have told the people who own/handle their horses that if my horse crowds them, they have every right to smack her out of the way.
I remember being mortified when my trainer told me that she had hit my mare to get her out of her space one day and my mare had spun and half-heartedly kicked at her. According to the trainer she hadn't aimed or tried to make contact (and we know this horse could hit her if she really had a mind to) but still, the motion was there. I asked if she had yelled, or thrown a halter at her, or anything to punish her for that. I didn't care - the behavior was dangerous and put others at risk. If she saw fit to punish my horse, I would have been fully on board with that. She didn't though, and I was a little annoyed with that but then it's not really anyone's job to discipline my horse either, she's just usually good for me so I don't get the opportunity to correct these behaviors. Later that night, though, she did cock a leg at me and we had a little discussion about what was okay to do with the back legs around people. She's been an angel since.
First, a losse horse is a dangerous horse, to itself and others. If other horses are crowding/pushing when you lead your horse out of the pasture, for your safety and that of the horses you have to get them away from that gate. A horse I used to ride was kept in a pasture with 3 or 4 others and was himself pretty easy to catch. One of the others was the herd boss and he didn't like me taking my steed out of there. He wasn't mean, just pushy, but I always got the impression that he was trying to get loose, to escape the pasture as I took my horse out. I have no idea what he'd have done if he got loose and didn't want to find out. IMO it was better to give him a gentle pop with the end of a lead rope than to explain to the owners why he was galloping down the road a mile away!
A single human is no match for a herd of horses unless they are willing to at least threaten come kind of discipline. While I don't advocate smacking peoples horses, sometimes you have to do what needs to be done to keep everyone safe.
Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique
Take a lunge whip. A lot of times with horses like that you don't even need to "use" it - just swing it once in their general direction, maybe crack it a couple of times. They'll back off. Way safer for all concerned IMO!
"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief