Bolting, advice? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-06-2012, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Thumbs down Bolting, advice?

So, i have recently got a new pony on loan and he is very forward going, which is good for me because i love a nice fun ride! I'm used to dealing with bucking and rearing etc, but this pony has a habit to bolt. I have dealt with bolting before, a few times but just want some suggestions. I was out hacking him, (only my second day of loaning him!) and we were riding in a big open field with my mum walking on the ground with my dog. I tried walk and trot first because we are still getting to know each other, and he was fine so i had a short collected canter. I was having to hold him back alot to keep him collected though! anyway, so a man came out from the hedges when i was cantering and it went from a calm canter to a mad bolt, with complete loss of control, and it wasn't just a little canter away it was tearing around the big field at full pelt. i just sat back, and kept calm etc as i didn't want to panic him more or get into a fight by pulling and pulling,so just held and released. i didn't realise the man was there with his dogs til after so, not sure if it was that or not. he did throw his head in the air making it hard for me to stop him, so i am going to put him in a martingale. my mum said he opened his mouth too, so i may put a flash noseband on him. But he does have a light mouth, hes in a loose ring snaffle so i don't want to be pulling at him! Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-06-2012, 02:54 PM
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First off, welcome to the forum.

What you need to do with this horse is take him back to a small pen/arena and work on his training. Get him stopping from your seat, get him giving to the bit, get him supple and flexible in his neck/face. Until you do that, all the flash nosebands and martingales in the world aren't going to help. A horse who wants to bolt is going to bolt. The only thing that can actually stop him is good training and good riding.

After that, if he continues to want to bolt, don't try to top him with both reins as that only gives him something to brace against. When he goes to bolt, pick up one rein and send him in a big circle. Spiral him down to control his speed. What I do when I have a horse that bolts is I'll spiral them down like that until I am content with the size of the circle and then I will lope them until they don't want to lope anymore, which may take 30 minutes, it may take 5 hours, but sooner or later, they all want to stop. When they decide they want to stop, then I lope them for another 30 minutes to an hour even if I have to use a whip to keep them moving. Never once during that time do I pick up on their face with 2 reins at all. I don't ask for collection, I don't ask for them to be on the bit. I just keep that inside rein shorter and use it to maintain the circle and control their speed. If they decide that they want to careen around the circle at a dead run, I circle them down smaller as they will have to slow down in a smaller circle to keep from falling.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-06-2012, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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He did have a martingale before, thats why i am getting one again as his previous loaners haven't returned it. I have been riding him in the small paddock (the size of a menage) and he does stop to seat and voice commands. I have used the technique you said with my previous pony, and it has worked very well, but he is going so fast that if i was to turn him he would probably fall over (he isn't very balanced either) I don't want to risk turning him really sharply... But i will try the keeping him cantering as this is what i did with my old pony, and it worked for her but this was when i was in an inclosed space and this pony now is very very responsive and using leg or whips on him isn't very safe, he just needs a tiny squeeze. Its not speed that scares me its more the other things. Thanks for the advice and i will try it, and other advice is welcomed as i will see what works best for him! I think at the moment he is testing me,and if i let him get away with anything now he will know he can get away with it, his owners also quite a novice rider (as she said herself)so i think he has been alowed to be cheeky, and i won't stand for it!
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