Horse Bolted today in the arena, any advice please?

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Horse Bolted today in the arena, any advice please?

This is a discussion on Horse Bolted today in the arena, any advice please? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • My horse this bolt out today for know reason
  • My horse bolted when i was having a lesson

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    02-15-2012, 08:16 AM
Horse Bolted today in the arena, any advice please?

I was having a riding lesson this morning, and was riding a certain horse for the second time. We were jumping, and I had the mare at a nice canter, then all of a sudden she sped up and I couldn't stop her. It was very difficult to circle her due to the jumps, and my riding instructor was shouting at me to circle. I didn't want to unbalance the horse, but I knew I should have circled more effectively. I have been riding for 8 years, and this event seriously damaged my pride, it hasn't happened in a while, and I don't know why it happened. Is it because I don't usually ride this horse and we don't get on? Any replies would be much appreciated, and i'm happy to elaborate more on a certain part if you need it in your answer. Thank you!
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    02-15-2012, 08:34 AM
I used to ride a horse like that. We would be jumping, and be cantering at a nice pace, then all of a sudden he would pick up his pace. In his case, he wanted to get to the jump faster (he loved to jump depending on the rider). Could this be what she was trying to do? Also, did she try to pull her head down?
    02-15-2012, 08:35 AM
I doubt anyone on the internet can say *why* the horse bolted. There can be many reasons, such as pain, or the horse getting upset because the rider lost their balance over the fence, or the horse is stressed about jumping, or horse just getting excited after the fence, or anything. But whatever the reason, I'd be pretty aggressive about pulling them around in a tight circle with one rein, especially in an arena where I would not be too concerned about the footing. If your instructor is any good, she should be able to give you clear instructions on how to stop a bolt and perhaps an explanation of why the horse bolted in the first place.

It always worries me a bit when someone posts on a forum: "in my lesson the horse did x. How do I stop it?" In my view, you're in a lesson -- your trainer should be able to help you and if they can't, I'm reading your post wondering what sort of trainer this is!
Northern and RoosHuman like this.
    02-15-2012, 08:36 AM
Since your instructor was actually THERE, I would defer to what he/she says. Personally, I would be looking at much less jumping in my lessons and more circling.....but that is just me. And, I think it is good for you to ride a horse that is challenging. If you always ride a horse you"get on with" you will never learn.
    02-15-2012, 08:38 AM
Put me in the camp that thinks you should be discussing this with the trainer that was coaching you when this happened.
    02-15-2012, 08:39 AM
Thank you both, I understand that, and I asked her afterwards about it, and she said to circle round the jump. (though I was worried she would go attempt to go over it again and excite herself) I think the horse may have been overexcited, with the jumping. Hopefully I will be back to my usual horse next time, but if not, I will try circling more aggressively next time. It's just my pride that's hurt :)
    02-15-2012, 08:45 AM
And yes, it is true that I should ride her to challenge myself, but she's supposedly not as difficult as the one I usually ride.
    02-15-2012, 08:49 AM
You need to get past the pride issue, and make that horse do what you ask. My old guy used to get excited jumping also, and we spent lots of time doing patterns around the jumps at a posting trot, sitting trot, all times making sure that he was totally listening and "adjustable" (meaning I could speed his gait and slow it when I wanted). WE then also went to doing a few jumps, but not always the ones he would expect. It there were 3 in a row, we might only do 2, first and last with a circle around the middle then go to another he never thought of. Keep them thinking and paying attention. It is very very easy for them to just go into "auto pilot", and at that point, you lose control to some extent. I would suggest you keep in mind who is driving!

Get throughout this and you will be a better rider for it. IF there were no challenges you wouldn't be learning. Pride has nothing to do with it.
NorthernMama and EilidhFrench like this.
    02-15-2012, 09:05 AM
That's incredibly helpful, thank you, I will try it on my lesson on Sunday. It's all on the road to becoming a better rider. Practice makes perfect!
franknbeans likes this.
    02-15-2012, 09:13 AM
Originally Posted by EilidhFrench    
and I had the mare at a nice canter, then all of a sudden she sped up and I couldn't stop her.

I have been riding for 8 years, and this event seriously damaged my pride, it hasn't happened in a while, and I don't know why it happened.
Ack my horse (whom I've been riding a year or so) decided to bolt at the canter. He's always been a little strong but it was alarming and I was unseated (but didn't fall!!!!) so I'm just trying to say it can happen to anyone. I didn't even think about the one-rein stop or turning. It happened on a circle so :/ that wouldn't have helped.

But it damaged my confidence in my abilities and made me question my relationship to my horse.. I personally don't keep tabs on pride. That was tossed out the window when I first got into my first pair of breeches ;)

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