Cantering in company


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
I like to be at the back, BUT, Storm will rarely allow such matters! When we used to have a canter when JOe was alive, she would inevitably end up pretending to be Dessert Orchid and over-take. Trouble is, she didn't just overtake she used to open up a huge gap!!!!


Well-Known Member
May 27, 2007
Harvey prefers to be at the front when cantering (but the back the rest of the hack!) however the horse we hack out with also REALLY likes to be at the front and will head toss towards Harvey if he tries to.

We sometimes go at the front, sometimes at the back but mainly we canter alongside each other and both horses are happier with that and will quite often play 'matching strides'.


lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
New Zealand
I don't mind really, am happy in any position, however I do prefer to be at the front and dictate the pace - and preferably a fast one :giggle: Although I admit to holding back in the group sometimes cos I like it when the horse gets a bit wound up and pingy :giggle:


lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
New Zealand
I've always been happier at the front but I want to tackle and be confident in any position and need to work on it.

That's the psychological aspect isn't it. When you're in front you feel that you have more control of the situation as you are dictating the pace and can go at one that you & your horse are happy with. Whereas when someone else is in front of you and you don't have so much influence over the pace, it can make you feel a bit insecure. I get this too sometimes, it's probably the ride-leader in me thinking "I'm not in front = I'm not in charge = this situation is not as controlled as I'd like it to be.


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2003
Visit site
back or next to them - my ponies are smaller than the horses i ride out with so i dont want to hold anyone back :)

if i'm riding out on appley with sharer on angel, appley usually goes first (she's faster!) or we have them side by side (they're both well educated enough NOT to pick a race!). if i'm on a big horse, i'll happily go first ...


With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
We have to start in front or he leaps and bucks. but once going normally along side he will let anyone overtake but if they shot off the bucking starts again.

I am very careful who i canter with
Hmm.. Yes I definitely do like being at the front, mist of the tracks we canter on don't allow you to canter side by side. Plus bob is big so we normally go first.

He does get a it stressed at the back but I think that comes more from me than him. It's definitely a control thing. If I feel a but insecure or worried I can just stop.

I think I will just have practise with someone and start with some short bursts behind and see how we go. It's when we get left behind that I freak out!!


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
I have always been happiest at the back, it comes from years and years of leading treks out, If I am at the back I can keep an eye on everybody and stop any situation getting out of control.

This is where we are generally.
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New Member
Mar 29, 2004
Northampton UK
With Kyle it's best to be in front. he hates anything along side or in front of him, for a pony though he can really shift so no worries about holding anyone back. if he is at the back I have a right fight with him.
Spike I prefer to be at the back but he can go anywhere, never tries to race off or misbehave.

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
Perthshire, Scotland
Its easiest being at the back for us, mostly because the horse we hack out with is herd leader and flip would just be panicking that he's being chased and go faster in a panic, not listening to me. Plus he's a short arse and very slow in comparison to the Arab so we get to potter along at our sedate pace....usually the gap opens a bit but my mate is pretty good at listening for me shouting 'stop!' if things get too hairy for me.
I remember the good old days like joosie - holiday back my pony and letting him loose to gallop and catch up. Loved doing that, not so keen now lol!


Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2010
It depends on the horse for me. On my share we can go any position, if we are on nanny duty we can go at the front and keep it at a nice controlled pace, if we are out with the faster ponies/TB's we go at the back so as not to hold them up (though if we are on a track that doesn't have a 'stop' at the end I make very sure everyone I'm with has brakes). Going side by side with the TB we hack out with is fun, my boy thinks he might actually beat the TB (not realising the TB is being held back) so really goes for it!

The pony I ride get's VERY excited at canter spots and bounces and leaps about like crazy. If thinks he is being left behind it gets a million times worse and he usually ends up circling backwards at a canter, so I request to be at the front for the start. If he starts side by side his jumping about includes 'taking out' the competition (he side-swipes them!) so I usually try to avoid that!

With youngsters or new horses I tend to prefer to be at the back so that I have another horses bum for a brake!

Although I have agreed to go back to my RS for a hack with my friends I used to ride with and I'm pretty nervous about it. I'm now so used to being in control of the situation I dont think I will enjoy being part of a ride where I'm not. I could request to go lead which will give me more 'control'.


Active Member
Jan 15, 2010
It depends who I am out with and what mood Caymen is in. Sometimes he can be really lazy so not a great idea to go at front and we do tend to lead rides. Caymen gets really excited when behind but its a great energy that he has. I like side by side too when we gets the chance, he likes a race too. Its all good fun.


Learning all the time
Jul 18, 2005
North west
Depends on who we are with - a horse she can't keep up with, then at the back as I will have brakes as she isn't racing to beat them, or in front of a slower horse as if she can keep up I lose brakes as she races lol.

I guess in front is my natural preference with Silver - would be different on other horses. She is not spooky, but if another horse spooks she will "copy" so much easier to have her at front and not spooking than behind and everyone shying everywhere!


Active Member
Jun 3, 2005
I don't mind.

Hacked with friend 1 and her thoroughbred last weekend and had to go at the back as otherwise thoroughbred gets peeed off and tries to run off with her.

Hacked with friend 2 and her cob cross today and did mostly cantering side by side apart from when Bobby zoomed past him on a hill as he's fitter and we basically were showing off :giggle:

So yeah, I'm fairly easy. Luckily Bobby is happy wherever too.

My last pony I wanted to always be behind so I could use the others as a Crash barrier if I couldn't stop :giggle: :redface:
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