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Inexperienced Pack Horse Location in String I position an inexperienced pack horse immediately behind my riding horse. That way I can observe him better, correct any problems quicker and talk to him to help calm him down if necessary. One time I put a new horse in third position and about half a mile down the trail it decided it wanted to be in front. The inexperienced horse broke the break away string and took off downhill on a steep slope. Unfortunately, the fourth pack horse followed him. Unbelievably, neither horse rolled down the mountain on their escapade and returned to the trail safely. I immediately moved the inexperienced packhorse to the first position.

Training a Pack string to Stay In Line The most difficulty in leading a pack string is the start before you get to the narrow trail, which normally forces horses to stay in line. To train the pack string, have 1 – 2 helpers walk along the side of the pack string at home to make the horses stay in line. Once a new pack string gains experience on the trail it learns to stay in line and there are fewer problems.

In 2004, I was athe Seven Devils Wilderness trail head and a person asked me to help him get his pack string to the trail head which was about 1/4 mile from camp. We had 2 wrecks En route because of one horse in the string. The inexperienced horse was constantly trying to pass and went on the opposite side of a small tree than the other pack horses. Later this inexperienced pack horse got a leg over his lead rope, reared up and then fell down. The horse was struggling and thrashing on the ground so I quickly cut the lead rope and fortunately didn't get injured by this wild ass horse.

What made this problem even worse was the inexperienced horse was a borrowed horse and new to the pack string. Practice leading your pack string at home to avoid problems and possibly injury to you and your horses.

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3071 West Twin Road, Moscow Idaho 83843, 208-882-1791, 2002
208-882-1791, 1-800-234-1150, FAX: 208-882-4297