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Pack Horse Acting Unusual Occasionally there will be a problem with a pack horse you cannot easily identify. A good horse having a problem will go forward close to the horse in front of it, start throwing his head up and down, etc., before trying to buck off the pack. You need to stop immediately and determine what the problem is. The pack horse is trying to tell you something is wrong.

I had a horse acting unusual about a quarter mile from camp one time but I could not see anything wrong. The load looked fine, I did not stop – a bad decision. A little while later the pack horse started bucking and did not stop until everything was on the ground.

To top it off, the pack horse really wasn't interested in having the pack reloaded on him. So I went to camp and unloaded and then returned with a different pack horse to take the load to camp. A lesson learned.

New Pack Horses Be very careful when you pack horses that have never been together. The alpha horse in your pack string may try to establish dominance over the new horses and start kicking at the new horse just behind him or the alpha horse might try to bite a new horse in front of him. Keep an alpha horse away from any new horses in the pack sting.

New Riding Horses and Pack Horses I know a person that was seriously injured in the wilderness when he was riding his horse and his friend’s riding horse side kicked him and broke his leg. The friend had to be taken out of the wilderness by a Forest Service helicopter. A hunting trip ruined because of a knot head horse that wasn't trained.

I don't believe in hitting horses or abusing them when a horse acts up. But all horses have to be disciplined during bad behavior. Some horses only respect you if they see you as the lead horse and know bad behavior will not be tolerated.

When you are around horses you should act like a lead horse. If you are going from point A to point B and there is a horse in front of you. Make the horse move out of the way. You can be assured a lead horse does not go around any horse.

Again, new horses in a pack string or new riding horses can be very dangerous to you and your horses. Be careful, you don’t want to be injured, especially in the back country. And, you don’t want a seriously injured horse that you might have to be put down.

New Mules in a Pack String All horses are normally more dominant than mules. Horses usually kick and bite new mules in a pack string more than new horses.

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