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Horse Bolts Around Other Horses

15 August 2011 No Comment

Horse Bolts Around Other Horses
We asked horse training expert Rhett Russell.
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Question:
I have a 7-year-old Tennessee walking horse, gelding. He’s a good trail horse. He doesn’t spook at much and something does spook him, he spooks in place. He rides out alone just fine and goes where I want. His ground manners are great.

My problem is that whenever we do ride in a group, he gets excited is he gets too far back from the other horses and wants to bolt. Also, if another horse comes up from behind at a fast walk, or canter, he wants to bolt. How can I break him from this?

Thank you,
Pat Mosely

Answer:
Hi Pat:
Separation anxiety is a tough thing to fix. When you are working with herd bound horses, they need to understand that nothing bad is going to happen when one of them “disappears”. You are working with more than one horse – the one you are taking away and the one you left behind.

The easiest way we’ve found to work with this is to practice going away from an area and returning. Gradually just go out of the paddock/pen and come right back. Find a place that you can go around a corner which is out of sight from the other horse and come back right away. Work up to being able to be gone for an extended period of time. This may take you three weeks to get to the mailbox and back without the horse getting nervous. It’s really important that they understand that they will be coming back. Practice this with both of them.

When you only have two horses, it’s usually hardest on the one that got left behind. Because the one that you are riding should have a job to do and look to you for support.

The best thing you can do is work on separating them and bringing them back. Be consistent and don’t expect overnight miracles.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress,
Rhett Russell

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