Trains....what do you do? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Minnesota
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Trains....what do you do?

So we got to encounter a train on our ride for the first time yesterday. We knew it was coming and stayed in a rather open area. On a side road with another road that made a small loop around. Residential but a large grassy area in the middle. We were at least 100 yards from the train. I had her turned towards it so she could see where the noise was coming from. All was dandy until the engines were right in front, they made an aweful noise on the tracks. Naturally she spooked into the grassy area. Circled her down til she stopped gave her some pats then walked the loop while the train was still going by.

We were in a group with 4 others. A few spooked slightly worse as I think only one or two of the horses had ever been by a train before. I don't blame her that thing was loud.

So if I were to encounter this again but not in an area where we have room to spook what would you do? Obviously I would try to get to a safer place asap but say we don't see it til it's too late? This train was very quiet until it was right in front of us, speed limits since it was technically in town.
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Anyone delt with this?
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 07:19 PM
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If it were me and I had any doubts about being able to control the horse, I would dismount until the train passed.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 07:25 PM
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I've experienced a train once with my horse when we were riding in a canyon. Even though we were on the opposite side of the river, the sound was resonating off the mtns like crazy. I dismounted and was able to keep her pretty calm by standing next to her, kind of between her and the train.

If you continue going to the area where you do have room to work with her, until she learns that it won't eat her, maybe that would help?
I personally wouldn't put myself in a position where I knew I wouldd't have room to work with her. Trains can be pretty scary, big and loud. Desensitizing will always help, but I don't think you can guarantee that she wont spook, especially at a train.

"May your trails be crooked, winding, crooked, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view" -Edward Abbey
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 07:27 PM
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When i meet a train for the first time on a new horse i get off and hold the reins and watch the reaction of the horse. The second time, if the horse didnt freak out ill get them in a more open area and ask them to stand and talk to them allowing them to watch it.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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She's worse on the ground when she's spooked then under saddle. She was super jumpy that day to start. We don't ride on tracks so never that close but there are train tracks by the road so I would hate for her to bolt into traffic. But at that point I would prolly get off just so she can't bolt.

My dad was a conductor for 20 years so he's made me plenty scared of trains and the dangers. I'm most scared of stuff it kicks up. Just making sure I did the right thing.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 10:02 PM
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I ride alot in my little town and down to the railroad tracks. I am one of those people who feel MUCH safer and more in control in the saddle then on the ground when a horse is acting up so I personally always choose to stay mounted. I give a fair distance such as opposite side of the road (and mind you my little town is not super busy with traffic) in the beginning till they get used to it. I always turn them to face it and just relax my body and stroke them. I try to have enough space to do circles etc if there were to be an issue but I have found with most every horse I have owned they tend to do pretty darn well with trains ;) Now that killer rock we have walked past 100 times might do them in but hey trains are no biggee lol
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 10:06 PM
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There's a track near where I board. I give the train enough clearance such that if something awful were to happen and care came flying, we'd be clear. I stay mounted and make him stand still, through the horn blowing and all.

When riding near tracks you need to be constantly looking and checking the lights. The horse bugging out isn't the only thing that can go wrong. There was a train wreck not that long ago where some girls were sitting near a bridge or something and the train came by, cars rolled off the track and they got buried alive in coal.
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 11:12 PM
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Me and my horse ride beside the tracks every day. Meet a train almost every day, were between it and a like 15 ft steep hill. So no going up. I've just taught him to turn away from it and stand.
We're usually like 10 feet away as its passing.

He's get prancy at first but with practice he doesn't care anymore.
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-19-2012, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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we've encountered trains while out riding, we usually stay at a very safe distance and turn to face it so the horse sees it mare has been actually really good and just stood to watch it. We've passed grators, school buses, combines, tractors and I always turn her to see what is coming which I think helps her keep calm about it......

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