Riding Near Loose Horses

LittleMonster

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31 October 2012
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852
i loan one day a week and went up yesterday and ventured down the lane for a little hack in the tree's shade.

He started 'feeling' funny as in spooky, when we got to a field i realised that it was his friends, now i panic when i see loose horses while riding but i think is down to my HUGE lack of confidence.
I jumped off and wrestled to walk past for a while then when out of site hopped back on and was fine. (i'm actually quite proud of myself for that! normally i just would have stayed on foot.)

I think i'm worried they're gonna go mad in the field and what ever horse i'm riding is going to buck and follow suit.

But it got me thinking am i the only one who doesn't feel confident riding next to loose horses?
 

Houndman

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9 April 2010
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209
Stay mounted - the safest place is on a horse's back. Just ride past calmly.
 

serenityjane

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11 May 2010
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Welshpool
Every time we ride out we pass loose horses, so no it is not a problem for us as we and the horses are used to it, we also ride in the field and school next to those that are grazing/ loose. I have also ridden past a stallion (that was more than a little exited to see us go past his field) on my mare- must admit I was a little worried he would leap out, but she took it all in her stride!
We may prance a little, stop and look but just keep going forward calmly. Yesterday on a hack we went and 'chatted' to two shire horses (geldings) by the gate to their field, they bounded over, and we let the girls stop and chat for a while before we walked on (I do draw the line at letting them get too close, as I usually jump a mile when the girls do the leapy squeal on greeting a new horse nose to nose!)
I think the more you get the horse used to it, the better and more calm they will be which will improve your confidence too!
 

LittleMonster

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31 October 2012
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852
Stay mounted - the safest place is on a horse's back. Just ride past calmly.

I know i should stay on board but i did panic and my natural thing is jump off! and normally i don't pluck up the courage to get back on, but i did yesterday.

It was my second time hacking him out (i had him on loan when i was about 13 (7 years ago!!)) so i have hacked him out a few times before but second since no confidence! next week im going for a plod and dragging OH to walk with me just in case :D (to help me really and someone too talk to)
 

Red-1

I used to be decisive, now I'm not so sure...
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7 February 2013
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Outstanding in my field!
Hi,

Well done you for having a nice ride out! IMO if you feel like you want to get off, then getting off is the right thing to do.

Before I get a lot of negatives to that I will qualify that. Some people and horses are "better" on ground work and leading. For example when I got my horse he had a pre-existing rearing habit, so to get us on the same page we started with ground work and lungeing, and long reining. For a while there we really were safer leading.

I would also say that if you FIND yourself in a position where you feel in danger then get off, but this does not want to become a habit, so next time you ride that route make sure you get off way before those loose horses. In fact if you are fit enough, spend some of your ride on the horse and some off, randomly.

With my horse we would go on adventures and even stop for a picnic. No matter to me if I am on or off, as long as we are having a good time.

If my horse was worried about the antics of loose horses, or barking dogs or whatever my rule is; he can stop, but not spin or go backwards. We spent a fair amount of time just standing, but in the end the horses or whatever become boring, same old same old, and I ask that we proceed. I only proceed when we are calm and thinking enough to stroll on by, otherwise we just stand and wait.

In these days of busy lives and multitasking we seem to have lost the art of just waiting and allowing it all to work out.

He is allowed to wait while ever he is concentrating on the problem, once he also has time to admire the scenery it is time to walk on!

Once you are happy that your horse will cope with the horses or *fill the blank* then you may be happy to stay on board. I tend to sing. We have the Tractor song, the barking dogs song, the loose horses song......whatever.

It is such a Ha Ha moment when you realise that your horse just strolled on by the *fill the blank*.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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16 February 2009
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10,971
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
We've got some common land within reasonable riding distance, and the RSPB (who manage it) in their great wisdom sometimes put a herd of grazing ponies up there. There is a bridleway through it, but if the ponies are around it can and does provide, er, shall we say, a challenge......... a friend said she was up there and the blessed things obviously saw the domesticated horses as a threat to their herd, and chased alongside as they were cantering.

Only for the brave methinks!!!
 

Sprout

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30 March 2007
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14,157
Location
New Forest
I hack on The New Forest where we have herds of wild ponies, donkeys, cattle etc - most of the time its ok, but I definitely need my brave pants on when I get caught up in a stampede! :eek:

Hopefully in time you will get more comfortable with the situation - good luck. :)
 

FfionWinnie

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20 July 2012
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17,021
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Scotland
The horse knows you are on its back. It might be a bit on its toes but be really unlikely for it to behave as if it were loose.
 

Woolly Hat n Wellies

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1 April 2014
Messages
482
I hate passing loose horses. Even though nothing has happened to me in this situation on either of the horses I currently ride, I still get really nervous about it. As a kid I had one pony (New Forest mare) who was built like a battleship, and when she decided she was going I hadn't got a hope of stopping until she wanted to (didn't have that pony for long!). On one hack out, with my mum walking alongside, we passed a field of horses who started cantering up and down the other side of the hedge, and my pony just set off. It was year and years ago, and we stopped at the other end of the field, but I just can't forget cantering, feeling like we were going flat out (12.2hh pony trying to keep up with excited 16 handers) down the road towards a blind bend.

Even though I'm scared, nothing like that has happened to me on any other horse. The girl I ride with has my permission to tease me about it. Somehow because I know I'm being daft, being teased about it by a 12 year old makes me more determined to go in front and ride past properly!
 

TarrSteps

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9 January 2007
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10,891
Location
Surrey
I'm with Red-1 - if getting off helps you, get off. Different things work for different people.

It doesn't sound, from your description, that there is a behavioural issue with the horse so you don't have to stress about schooling, just do what you need to do to convince yourself that there is no need to be concerned. One of the first things I 'teach' hacking is make sure the horse is fine for me to get off and get back on off a gate etc. It's an essential skill. And some horses benefit from doing groundwork if they are really in bad habits so that has to be an option.

Don't stress about it!

The only qualifier is don't get off if you're actually IN a group of loose horses. That is asking for trouble.
 
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