This is an incredibly infuriating issue, actually, and really pushes players away from using non-human followers quite a bit.
The issue, as I see it, is that there is one setting for follow_distance (the distance at which a player will follow you and stop to stand when you stop moving) for all followers, regardless of their body type. This appears to have been set with human followers in mind, as a human thrall will stop about 5 feet from you and wait, which is fine (ish). However, this DOES NOT WORK with Mounts and Pets, because many (most) of them have larger-than-human body models, so when their center-of-model stops 5 feet from you, they are still overlapping forward, intruding on either your camera, or your character model, or both.
This happens mildly with what i’ll call “medium” size pets (greater lion, for example) and horses, but it REALLY becomes visible when you use “large” pets (rhinos, elephants of any type), as they constantly intrude on you.
The absolute WORST case is if you are travelling rapidly up a slope and the elephant snaps/teleports to you, because when this happens, they actually snap right to you instead of to 5-ft away follow distance. When this occurs, their model overlaps your model and camera, and you’re stuck; you can’t target anything outside of them, because your camera is inside the elephant model, so you can’t pick them up and move them yourself, but you also can’t exit their model by jumping because it’s so large. You have to get a clan mate to come to your location and pick up the elephant and move it so you can be freed.
a) set follow_distance from a fixed distance (5 ft) to a variable distance based on pet body model size (5 + 0.5 * model_length). This would fix following somewhat, as they would not crowd you during normal following.
b) set snap_position (the [x,y,z] location they teleport to when snapping to player) from character_location to character_location minus the follow_distance (above), thus preventing them from trapping the player inside their model.
c) make pets and thralls - whenever the character is somehow inside of them or pushes up against them from outside - step aside and move, if they have room to do so, so that they are blocking as little as possible.