Spooky horse

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Spooky horse

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    03-04-2013, 10:23 AM
Spooky horse

I finally got to go on my birthday ride yesterday, and my horse did good for about eight miles ( he's only four and I'm working on his conditioning), and I got him to let me tail him up a steep hill. So I was happy as heck and everything was going good. We passed through some woods and both my horse and my dad's horse poncho spooked. Poncho only jumped, but my little idiot decided to bolt. I went over his back end, landed on my hip and then some how twisted my left arm, pulling the muscles in my chest. It hurts to breathe of do anything. But anyways, we still don't know why they spooked, there was no rustle of branches, no out of the ordinary noises and it was so sudden I had no warning at all.
So after that long rambling story, how do you guys stay on when something like that happens? Does working out and building muscle help or working with the horse even more? Because this is the second time in six months he's done this and I can't afford to keep getting hurt like this, my job is very physical and right now it hurts to breathe and to move. I had to roll out of bed onto the floor because I couldn't use certain muscles. So I'm asking for y'all's opinions/help, cause you haven't failed me before.
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    03-04-2013, 11:39 AM
Green Broke
Does working out and building muscle help or working with the horse even more?
bingo on both counts.

1- you need to work on getting in better shape, which helps alot when it comes to sticking with a horse. Being strong and flexible are keys to successfully riding green horses. Try yoga.

2-work with him on the ground, teaching him that when he's scared he should look first, and trust you. Undersaddle teach him a one rein stop, when you feel him start to spook, pull his head around. We use this alot on the spooky, athletic OTTB's, and it works very well.
Corporal likes this.
    03-04-2013, 12:38 PM
Alrighty. Thank you :) gives me something to work on when I can, you know, move again
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    03-04-2013, 12:39 PM
What kind of a saddle were you using? If your weren't using a western it might be an idea to give you a more secure seat until your guy gets more miles. I know you will get lots of good training advice but my experience is that it's easier to fly off a flatter saddle than a western with a good cantle.
    03-04-2013, 12:41 PM
I was using an abetta arabian endurance saddle. I used to use an aussie but it wouldn't fit the new horse. That kinda contributed to getting tossed. With the aussie I could hang on with my legs more easily. With this new saddle it's a bit more difficult.
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    03-04-2013, 12:43 PM
Clinton Anderson's "lunging for respect" is one of the best ways, IMHO, to desensitise your horse. Teach him this, and whenever he spooks at ANYTHING, show him that he will have to work, lunging left, then the yield, lunging right, then the yield, repeat, repeat, repeat.
Use a lunge whip with the lash tied to the stick and secure a plastic grocery bag to the end. Plastic bags eat more horses that you would know every year. LOL (Ask your horse about this--he KNOWS!!!)
Seriously, it's the thing that moves just outside of his vision that frightens him the most, and that's why he bolted.
Also, I would work this horse in an enclose area for the next few months. You are damX lucky that you didn't get knocked off under a limb!! You could have been paralized or dead.
    03-04-2013, 12:46 PM
The weird thing is, Bleu, my horse is not afraid of chainsaws, tarps, plastic bags, or anything like that. I've tied tarps at him. Made him drag one ties to his foot. He just seems to be afraid of bushes rattling, leaves rustling and freaking dogs.
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    03-04-2013, 01:22 PM
Because a horse's hearing and sense of smell make up for his lousy eyesight, whatever bothered them could be 1/4 mi away or more. Since neither detected any movement, then it wasn't close.
Corporal and LisaG like this.
    03-04-2013, 02:11 PM
I've ridden in the abetta endurance and honestly, I don't love the seat either! It's awful slippery, too. Something a little deeper (like a barrel saddle, or an aussie) might help! I have a barrel saddle with a suede seat/fenders, and while I hate that the suede gets stained by jeans easily, I stick like glue and the high cantle keeps me there.

Riding out a bolt is difficult, so it's important to do everything you can to prepare for one-- even if your horse seems like a quiet, safe ride. In the arena, practice making your horse soft to one-rein stops (allowing you to take away his head) and also practice feeling what it's like when he tenses up. Always pay attention to his ears, his head, and his muscle tone so that you can sense when he is preparing for a spook. When he does, knowing the one-rein stop and having a horse who responds softly to it gives you one defense against that spook-- you feel him tense up and you bring his head around before he can respond.

Other than that, just practice sitting deep. My horse tended to have spooky days before I established to him that I was a trustworthy leader, and so I trained myself to respond to every spook with a deepening of my seat.

You ought to see a doctor for your chest. :( You might need some kind of brace or support until you are 100% again.
    03-04-2013, 03:42 PM
My mom has been a nurse for twenty years. She has me on something for the pain and a muscle relaxer and she already checked to make sure nothing was broken. So I just have to wait it out. Thanks for the concern though. And I used to barrel race, and I still have the barrel saddle. I hate the bloody thing though.
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