ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] Re: Tailing

Re: [endurance] Re: Tailing

K S Swigart (katswig@deltanet.com)
Mon, 8 Jul 1996 08:59:20 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 8 Jul 1996, Sue Cunningham wrote:

> Thanks for the replies about tailing, it really is what it
> sounded like :-) Now, how do you train your horses to
> do this? We walk/run with our horses, but only in front
> or level with them. I think our youngster's first thought
> if we grabbed his tail would be to disappear at high speed!
There are two things you need to teach your horse to be able to
successfully "tail" it. ONe is to accept someone grabbing a hold of its
tail and coming along behind, and the other is to be able to direct him
from behind.

There are a number of ways you can teach this.

To teach the horse about having someone grab its tail, I will turn the
horse out at liberty in a mid sized paddock and after the horse has
finished its playful frolicking and is just wandering around aimlessly,
go in the paddock with it and grab its tail and follow it around while it
wanders aimlessly (I am with Linda though, I would be disinclined to do
this with a confirmed kicker). As the horse gets used to this, you can
even try teaching it to stop by tugging onthe tail and saying "whoa"

To teach it to be directed by someone behind, there are a number of
things you can do. Ground driving (self-explanatory, or there are many
books that describe how to do this). Or, find the steepest, narrowest
trail you can find (so the horse has little choice about where it can go)
and put the horse you are tailing behind another horse so it can run off
in front. Grab a hold of its tail (and a lead rope that reaches around
behind, and follow it up the hill. Stop him along the way up the hill
so it learns to listen to you. Getting help from whoever is riding the
horse in front as necessary.

I find, frequently, it helps to cross the lead rope over the back of the
horse so I have control of both the head (by pulling on the lead rope)
and the sides and hind quarters by pushing the lead rope against the
horse's side or quarters. You can also move the lead rope from one side
to the other side of the horse's butt depending on which way you want the
quarters to move.

Another technique is to lead the horse along a road (so there is room for
both of you) first from the shoulder (which is where all horses should
lead from) and then gradually move back towards its butt, letting the
horse know that just because it is ahead of you, that doesn't mean that
it is in control, that it can circle around in front of you, or that this
is now a race. This is accomplished by moving backwards just a little
bit at a time.

Mostly, though, it is just a case of getting the horse used to it in a
controlled situation where it really has nowhere to go if it does run off
with you. And practice it before you get to a competition.

Orange County, Calif.