i have ridden for many years like that. In the icelandic horse world it is quite normal to ride with two horses or more.
Because of his history.....
In early years the icelandic people had only horses to go from one place to an other or by boat.
But a boat can not go in to the main land. So they uses the icelandic horses. The distance is very long out there. Not so close as in our country.
To save the horses they took more then one horse with them and change during the trip from horses.
You need a saddle which fit many horses ofcourse, but in early days it was not a big issue as now. And the saddles were more variable.
They use (if they are take more then one horse with them) a band around the belly with some clips on it where the next horse can be fixed. So the rider keeps one horse at one side , sometimes fixed at the saddle and sometimes in hand. And the next is fixed to the horse which he is leading. They can take about four horses at each side.
You can see also some who take on each side a horse or more. The rider is in the middle. But you have to be a good rider ;-)
This way is more easy for the rider, so he does not have to searche for his horses during the ride. Cause the horses can't go away.
If they ride with more then one person the horses are going along in a free way.
I have a nice photoalbum from a icelandic lady who had taken some pics (a lot) during their trip to the highlands, were the horses are going to stay during this summer before they go back to the farm again.
You can see both ways of leading horses if you take a look along all those pics.
The heard is mixed with older horses and fillys. http://storholl.%20123.is/album/%20default.aspx?%20aid=153734
Sometimes they passed highways, and the cars will wait until they are of the road before they passed them. I have met several of them during our holidays over there. It was beautyfull to see.
So yes it is a very good way of training your horse. Now a days people use this also for training their horses. They get used to traffic and all kind of other things. The horse who is being ridden is a great example for them and follow most of the time in an easy way.
It is a great idea to ride like this. Claire does ride like this also, see her diary.
You have to keep one thing in mind. Dont let pass the lead horse your knees. if you keep the horse behind your knees it is more easy to control the horse in situations which needs more control ;-)
And if you are lucky your riding horse will help you :-) i had one who did and make it more easy to ride for me also.
everythime my lead horse wanted to go faster, he moved his head to the lead horse, just in a quick second not even loose speed.
and the lead horse goes more slowly. He did it most of the time before i even could give a reaction.
When he didn't do it, he let me guide also
i had to use my leg only and the lead horse stay behind.
quite handy when you have to cross a road.
i have done it for a few thimes with my shetty, but he is too little to keep good controle like this.
And he have also an awfull desire to be the first and goes faster and faster, which is quite difficult to control, because he is so little when i sit on my horse