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Horse Behavior and Training

Out with other horses

Hello! 100 lessons completed

My quarter horse has inconsistent responses when I ask him to lope when we are out on the trail with other horses.

When riding on our own I can gently ask for a lope and he sets off at a nice easy pace. When I am with other horses then I'm never quite sure what responses I will get.

Sometimes I ask for a lope & we get the nice relaxed canter I'm hoping for. Other times I ask with what I think is exactly the same intensity & we get a "quarter mile" sprint start (spraying the horse behind with mud!) and full out gallop. I never quite know what to expect......

He is easy to get up to the lope - all I do is slightly lean forward, touch with one leg to indicate the lead and "kiss"...

Any ideas ?

Kicki -- Sweden
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed 450 lessons completed 500 lessons completed 550 lessons completed 600 lessons completed

I'm guessing the company gets him excited - possibly awakening his competitive side.
Are they all starting to canter at the same time? Are the other horses excited and trigger him?
Is he at the back or the front when he do the sprint start? Perhaps changing positions might help.
Maybe giving him a head start if the other horses are calm and cool enough to let him lope ahead.
If he is hard to stop once he takes off, I would advice starting to work on that part (obedience), so you can break him off quickly and go back to the starting point so the sprint start doesn't "pay off" for him.
Maybe if he knows that there are times when he is allowed to go out at full stretch, he won't choose these moments himself?