So, on day two of owning Jayne, we had a bit of a bolt. I've been riding him for a few weeks, this is the first time, and it's not a problem for me in terms of fear/etc but I want to handle it better. We were trail riding and I was chatting with the rider behind me. I did not see the bicycle riding near us, but all was well anyway until the horse behind us exploded, causing everyone to spook. (I was told this is what happened after the fact.) What I know is that I was turned halfway around to the right say something to the person behind me one second and galloping down the beach the next. I was a little unseated, my left knee ended up near the pommel and lost my stirrups, but I got my behind back where it belonged (after being certain I was going to eat dirt for a couple-five strides) and pulled him back down to a walk, then turned around and we continued on with our day.
Is it better to pull a horse back down straight (if they will listen) or one-rein stop? What if they're in a curb bit? I was worried about pulling him off balance, especially since I was a bit unbalanced, and he listened well enough, but is there a rule of thumb about this? Similarly, I've ridden horses who have spooked, started going backwards and gotten pretty light in the front- best course of action there?
I know it's better to prevent this stuff by paying attention to what's going on around me in the first place, but I doubt I will go through life without ever having a horse bolt on me again, so words of wisdom from the more experienced folks out there? This stuff is never something I've really gotten to practice during lessons.