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

Re: [endurance] Re: Tailing

Linda Flemmer (CVLNURS@CHKD-7.evms.edu)
Mon, 08 Jul 1996 12:37:08 -0500 (EST)


You 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 ground drive (long line) all of our horses before they ever start
under saddle & they are also quite competent when lounged. This
makes tailing much easier. They are used to taking voice commands
(especially WHOA!!!), and they are used to moving out with a person
who is behind them.

At first, I attach the rein to one side of the bit, run it thru the
other side's ring, and then back to where I'll be walking. This
allows a little control if things get out of hand. The rein is one
continuous piece - NO BUCKLES - they may break there! If the horse
is "hot", I may have a header as well for the first few times. I will ask
the horse to walk on the flat as tho long lining, but I will gently hold his
tail. As he becomes confident, I will gently put a little weight on the tail.
Eventually, I may pull a little to simulate going up hill. All of
this is at a walk until the horse proves himself. I never stand
directly behind the horse when he is first learning.

If the swinging of my stirrups bothers the horse, I may put them home
on an english saddle, or cross them w/ a western/endurance saddle. I carry
any water & maps ON ME just in case he decides to leave without
me, too! I've never had any problems except for one mare who had an
old dock injury. I suspect that tailing bothered her a bit. For that
mare, I would put a hand over her withers & bury my fingers in her
mane. She would help me along that way, but it wasn't as convenient as
tailing. (She used to give me these horrible looks if I tailed and
eventually stop & just stare at me until I'd let go of her tail.
VERY embarrassing with a line of riders down the hill waiting for us
to go on.)

If you are unsure of how your horse will react to tailing, try it
without a saddle while in an enclosed field. If he should get away,
hopefully nothing is lost or damaged that way.

Good luck.

Linda Flemmer
ABF Challenger ("Rocket") & Eternal Point ("Major")
Blue Wolf Ranch
Chesapeake, VA

"In case of emergency - Fur side up, steel side down!"