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ahead. He may get extremely insecure as his herd mentality takes over. He will want to hurry and run to catch up to the other horse(s) in front. He may get nervous and throw his head, buck, or even rear in frustration if he cannot see his trail mates or is held back from rejoining them.

Building A Partnership with Your Young Horse Training Outside the Box, Part 7

By Lynn Palm

In the last article, I dis- cussed ways to handle the horse who always wants to be “the leader of the pack” Another common trail training problem is presented by the horse who wants to run up from behind to

catch up to the horse(s) in front of him. This is an unsettling problem for riders of any level, and I have experienced it myself. It is important to learn how to avoid this problem and understand what to do if it hap- pens.

First, you should never ride alone on a trail ride! The “buddy system” provides extra safety for the rider and satisfies the horse’s natural herd instinct. If you are on the trail with one or more horses, your horse’s herd instinct will become evi- dent if he loses sight of the horse in front of him. This can happen when the horse in front of him turns a corner, rounds a bend, or goes down a hill. A horse may just go “nuts” when he cannot see a buddy up

Avoiding this problem depends on your level of riding and the level of your horse’s training. When riding with oth- ers, the first step in preventing this situation is to discuss the importance of keeping the riding group together. No matter how many in your group, everyone needs to be conscientious about not getting too far from the rider in front of and behind him/her. You can prevent problems from arising before the group goes out on the trail by deciding on a certain word or phrase that will be used if there is a spacing issue.

If you experience this prob- lem and it feels like your horse is getting out of control—get off of him and on the ground. He will be easier to control from the ground. If the riders in front of you want to go on or are too far in front to realize there is a

problem, let them keep going. Give your horse time to chill out and stop fretting. Wait for the other horses that are behind you to catch up or for those in front to come back for you. When they join up with you, your horse should relax. Let him take a few minute with these horses before you remount and contin- ue on the ride.

Retraining Your Horse Not to Run Up From Behind

Here are two tips to help retrain a horse that wants to run to catch up to the horse(s) in front:

second position. Next, rotate him into fourth position for another short segment, and then back to third, and so on. Keep switching places so the horse learns to concentrate on you and the environment and not the other horses.

1. Practice the Single File Trail Training technique I explained in the last article. Set up a trail ride training scenario where you and your horse are among sever- al horse/rider combinations in single file formation. Start with your horse in the lead position for a short time of about two to three minutes. Shift his position in the line so that he is the sec- ond horse. Stay in that position for a short time, and then move him back to the lead. Continue leading for another short inter- val, and then shift him to be the third in line. Hold him there, and then take him back up to the

2. In a big field, practice doing large figures with a group. Start with one other horse and rider combination, and then add two, three and four more pairs. Ride figures in groups of two, three, and four, and then separately. Mix up the combination of pairs, and then go back to working alone. As long as the horse has the other horses in his sight, he will not experience separation anxiety. The more you work him with a group and then away from the group but still within sight of it, the more he will develop his own individuality and independence.

In the next article, I will discuss how to deal with a “spooky” horse. In the mean- time, my E-Book, Training Out- side the Box, is available online at along with other valuable training products. You also may contact us at 800-503-2824.

Chesler In Champion Form

Under sun drenched skies and cool breezes from the Georgian Bay, 16 year old Mikala Chesler of Orangeville, Ontario in her second year of riding together with Sher-Al Farm’s Masquerade was

not singing Down By The Bay but returning to the ring after an eight week absence recuperating from a fall in the spring. The competition result earned them the 1m20 Junior/Amateur Jumper Division Championship for the two weeks. Mas- querade is an eight year old Dutch Warmblood gelding out of a QuickStar mare and by Calvino Z who definitely has the QuickStar quirks; antsy, high head carriage and plenty of scope. Mikala said, “I’m thrilled all the way around. ‘ Twitch’ as we call him, revs his engine when he hears the buzzer and turns on a dime!”

set next to the in-gate were the true tests.

The tournament was held at Cedar Run Park, a 250 acre site developed by Peter Lush as an equestri- an facility as well as a nat- ural amphitheatre adjacent to the Blue Mountains in Thornbury, Ontario com- plete with rolling hills,

orchards and a walk dis- tance to the lakeshore. Farms are a plenty harvest- ing feasts of potatoes, grapes, wheat and apples. Cedar Run Tournament created a fair like atmo- sphere hosting spectator celebrations, free water to all and the delicious waft- ing smell of funnel cakes and bison burg- ers in the air through- out the day. Canadi- an course designer David Ballard and

Mexican course designer Manuel Esparza built and set very challenging tracks on grass with tight time limits and set exactly to Equine Canada Gold Sanc- tioned Hunter/Jumper lev- els and not one inch less. The roll of the terrain pre- sented built in issues which truly tested flat work, scope, heart and rider skill or lacking of any and showed through each class. An uphill oxer or a downhill combination

In addition, Mikala and Masquerade were vic- torious in the Jump Cana- da Emerging Rider series class, a national program held throughout Canada. It was created as a step- ping stone for a rider mov- ing up in difficulty. It has no age limit, no profes- sionals and no Jump Cana- da Talent Squad riders. Liverpools are used to introduce the water jump. Taking home the red rib- bon required tight turns and a quick pace over the ground without leaving out strides-very efficient was key . Mikala’s father Alan, who trains her with Rob Carey remarked, “This setting is more like competitions of years ago and I’m very proud of how Mikala handled it. I never worried when she skated a triple/double jump but now I do.” However, Masquerade is maturing into a wonderful junior horse and he and Mikala are forming a solid part- nership.

Don’t forget take Photos of your Stallion now for the upcoming Season’s Advertising

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