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Training Tip: Horse Overreacts To Other Horses On The Trail


It’s common for horses to get excited when they see other horses on the trail. Anytime a horse starts to use the reactive side of his brain and it feels like you’re losing control, redirect his energy in a positive way. When a horse uses the reactive side of his brain, the only way to get him to use the thinking side and put his focus on you rather than what he’s worried about is by moving his feet forwards, backwards, left and right. What you do with your horse isn’t important – what is important is that you move his feet with energy, constantly changing directions.


You can head off most of your problem by not waiting until your horse reacts to other horses before putting his feet to work. Most people would not like to go trail riding with me because I’m constantly weaving in and out of trees, jumping over logs, circling around bushes, sidepassing my horse across the trail, etc. I very rarely put my horse on a loose rein and just let him go down the trail looking for something to spook at. Before you even reach the other horses, put your horse to work, bending him in circles, two-tracking him, practicing transitions, etc., anything you can think of to get his feet moving forwards, backwards, left and right. The more you move his feet and change directions, the more he’ll focus on you and not on the other horses.