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Ray Eche

I'm wondering if you can help me with a minor horse problem thats very irritating to me and potentially dangerous in the mountains. Both of my Morgan horses lead well, but they want to pass me and lead me. How do I keep them behind me, following?
Thanks in advance for the info.

Ray Eche

Mary Risavi

Hi Ray,
Good question! When your horse attempts to lead you he is doing exactly that, trying to be the leader. Your goal is to prove to the horse that you are the leader. You can do this exactly how another horse would by herding them around and being effective! Also, you can offer the horse the most comfort when they are walking behind you. Whenever your horse attempts to walk in front of you you can wiggle the lead rope up and down. You want to start with small movements and increase the momentum if they do not respond. Continue to do this until the horse slows down and gets behind you. Then you can stop which in turn offers them comfort.
Hope this help!


Hi, I just bought a very bossy mare... She was rearing when I tried to lunge her... Eventually I got her to lunge fairly well. Now I have a new problem. When I get the halter and go into her stall, she puts her head to me and puts her ears back! Eventually I got the nerve to just take the lead rope and throw it over her neck, and she was fine. I think she is trying to test me some more...What can I do? I don't want to get hurt by going in such a small space to try and halter her.

Darren Wetherill

Good to hear from you Stanzie!
I agree, your mare is playing some dominancy games with you. It would be ideal to work with her in a larger area so you can stay a safe distance away. When a horse is in a confined area they may feel claustrophobic and have a stronger desire to defend themselves. If you have a round corral available, try bringing her in there. That way you can easily herd her around. Your goal is to have your mare respect you so when you enter the stall she doesn't have a desire to dominate you. The best way to do this is to dominate her and prove to her that you are the alpha horse. It also might be a good idea to bring her water to her in the stall. By doing so she will become dependant on you for survival. Hope this helps!


I got a 6yr old mare who trys to lead me outside of her pen but not inside, also when i take her out she gets really excited because she knows there is green grass! I get very flustrated with this because she totally ignroes me and runs me over! i try to get respect by saying no stand! and she will throw fits and has almost hurt me by running me over she wouldn't stop moving i was pretty scared after that. I want to know what i can do to make her STOP EATING THE GRASS lol and focus on me! she doesnt try n run me over when i take her to the gate but soon as i take her out her nose is in the ground chompin. I've tried putting grass in her pen to see if i can work there but she doesn't try to eat it. So i don't get why she does outside the pen? she respects me inside her pen i can lead her and she won't run me over. It's like i am working with 2 diferent horses! One sweet mare who will let me ride her and another who if i try to ride outside the pen doesn't move! she trys to do her thing.

I've always wanted to ride her around the yard bareback but considering she will bolt with me on her back because i want to ride and not let her eat! i know better then to attempt that!

Very confused and need help,

Darren Wetherill

Hi Lulu,
Thanks for writing! Sounds like your mare is quite fond of the grass. She finds that eating grass is more important than paying attention and respecting you. You are on the right track by playing with her in the pen first. You need to make sure you are the alpha horse. Herd her around the pen and ask her to face up to you. Once you gain her respect in the pen you can take her outside and do the same. It will be a little bit more challenging but you can accomplish the same results. It is extremely important to be effective! If you try herding her around in the grass and she doesn't respect you, you will need to be effective by 'biting' and 'kicking' her. Be sure to use tools so you can stay a safe distance away. 'Ground to First Ride' video shows a lot of good tips on how to gain respect on the ground.
Happy horsemanship!



Thank you for that tip! I thought lunging her and trying to get her respect would work. But showing her i am lead mare in the pen and she should be following me. I herded her around made her face up she wouldn't for awhile but i was consistent until she faced up then i would stop,if she walked away i would herd her again. She joined up once then i had to do it again because she walked off. But after that she is following me, going exactly where i went,stoped when i stoped,she got startled but stoped when she realized i wasn't. I hope to move to a pasture on grass and work here there too.

Thanks so much!



I have this little pony who is a great ride but i have a problem with manners and trust and respect. Bobby(the pony) will not respond to pressure, invades my space, doesnt respect me and will nip at me, hates me touching his belly and picking up his feet and generally grooming!, just general trust and respect issues maybe?? I also thought another sign of him not trusting me is when i take him up to the other stabling area he gets very nervous with or without buddies. Maybe he thinks i would put him in a dangerous position? I would love some advice or comments because i just want a happy safe pony i can have fun with,
Thanks, Lucy

Mary Risavi

Hi Lucy,
Thanks for writing! Sounds like your horse is not convinced you are the leader. All his actions tell that he doesn't respect you as the 'alpha horse' and he would rather be with his pasture mates than you. Your best bet is to work on your leadership skills. You need to prove to Bobby that you are the dominant horse and he should look to you for leadership. Once he does this he will respect you and will want to be with you. Please feel free to post questions!
Happy horsemanship~


Bobby is getting a bit better.He is starting to respond a bit to the herding. I used my crop and tapped him on the leg when he ignored my poking. He moved over straight away! I'm going to work on it more!
From Lucy

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