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What are your emergency strategies?

This is a discussion on What are your emergency strategies? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse rears and bucks unexpectedly
  • My horse bucked unexpectedly when she was spurred

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    02-18-2012, 04:00 PM
  #11
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by mildot    
Yes. I've felt the same uneasy jiggyness when hacking my mare out alone. That's the signal to get busy. Ignoring it will just lead to problems.
Love this! Jigginess....give that horse something to think about and focus on...like the rider! Put the horse to work, even if you are on the trail or on a hack and get the focus back. Feeding INTO nervousness, jigginess...only makes that behavior snowball.

For the original question, I would not own a horse that bolts, bucks, and rears. It means there is some HUGE holes in the horse's training and a too reactive mind set that has not been dealt with. My horse has a spur stop, so should he ever want to bolt, all I do is apply hard steady pressure with my legs and spurs he he stops IMMEDIATELY. It's like having an emergency brake. Bucking? You push the horse forward so they will have to keep all 4 feet on the ground. Rearing? The worst and the most dangerous. SO again, it comes back to the mind set and holes in training.

I've had to do an emergency dismount once in my life, from an Arabian I was trying out. This horse was being rehabbed and had some major issues due to bad handling and cra*ppy training. To JUST get on this horse, you had to turn his head to you and KEEP his head turned to you until you got on. Well, as I started to swing a leg over, something caught his attention....he turned his head back straight again and proceeding to take off like a bat out of he*ll. I only had one foot in the stirrup and my other leg was almost over to the other side. I could not get the momentum to swing it all the way over....so I kicked my foot out of the stirrup, pushed myself away and ended up hitting the dirt in a sitting position. Ended up with a bulging disc in my back from that little venture.
     
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    02-18-2012, 04:05 PM
  #12
Banned
I personally am not a fan of emergency dismounts. I have never had to use one, and I am better able to control the horse from the saddle than the ground.

I am of the opinion that in 99% of situations, that I have a commitment to the horse I have chosen to jump on rather than bailing and leaving it to it's own devices.
natisha likes this.
     
    02-18-2012, 11:42 PM
  #13
Trained
Interesting thread. My most feared of all "ugh ohs" is - rearing. I give the horse ALL the rein possible, and positioned my weight (you can just naturally feel where you need to balance) to get them back on all fours, I collect the reins and get them moving forward as fast as possible if the situation allows.

Bucking is bad, but not as terrifying to me as rearing. There is nice gentlemanly bucking (in a straight line), then there is holly molly bucking (spin). In either case, in a buck I do everything I can to prevent the horse from getting any more of its head than it already has. I ordinarily ride with a snaffle...so, not much help from the bit, itself. The lower the head, the harder they can buck.

But, then there is the wide rest of the spectrum aside from rearing and bucking. What you "should do" and actually "do" when it presents itself can be two very different things. But I think it is very helpful to predetermine what you should do "in case of x"...and then hope it never happens. Twice in my life I, and those around me at the time, knew...while it was happening....the thing I "should" do was to jump ...b/c if I stayed on I would most likely die. But, I just couldn't jump (fear). Luckily, I lived. Point is... one has to know what their own true "responses" and limits are in order to determine what is the best thing for them to do, as opposed to "should" do. IMHO.
     
    02-19-2012, 12:03 AM
  #14
Foal
If you are losing your balance due to an unexpected buck and know you are going to fall try to relax and go with the fall because if you tense up you may break something. Sometimes it just happens so fast all you can do is go with the fall and hope for the best.
     
    02-19-2012, 03:43 PM
  #15
Green Broke
When I've had horse bolt, I have either pulled head around to knee, and circled, or depending on the area bolt has occurred, urged them on. Horse realizes "hey, she wants me to go faster, well I don't want to!" and slows up and comes back to hands.

As for rearing horse, I bring weight forwards, and drive horse forwards with legs. BUT if horse is wanting to develop a habit of getting light in front end, so as to scare off rider, I either take hand and pop between ears, or have also used egg, or whip handle to thump them there. Whiskey bottle with warm water works too, but then have mess to clean up. The egg, running down their face, gives them something to think about, the tap/pop does too. But it has to be done with a horse that is developing the "I don't want to so I will rear" rather than a confirmed rearer that has gotten past 45 degree angle.

When horse is almost straight up? Too late for much of anything then. Problem needs to be fixed before that point.

Bucking is thwarted by keeping head up, and moving forwards, or anything that can be done to redirect horse's mind.

Bailing off is case by case. Sometimes you just come off, sometimes you have a choice to push free, or roll.

And while I agree there can be holes in training to be fixed? Horses are living creatures, and even the best trained horse can decide "I don't want to" and all the training in the world is not going to help then, if horse really puts mind to it. They are not machines, they think and may do things they know not to do, simply because they can.
     
    02-19-2012, 04:01 PM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineNJ    
If you are losing your balance due to an unexpected buck and know you are going to fall try to relax and go with the fall because if you tense up you may break something. Sometimes it just happens so fast all you can do is go with the fall and hope for the best.
This was my situation exactly. I knew right before it happened that I was going to fall. The mind works so quickly and I remember thinking, "Here goes!"
     
    02-19-2012, 06:45 PM
  #17
Foal
This past summer for the first time I had to make an emergency dismount.....every other "bad" horse I rode.... the one rein stop, making them turn and back up made the stop. I was riding a 16.3 hand horse that was a morgan walker mix and he bucked and bolted on me on a trail ride...he did this because he was awfully barn sour....I actually stayed calm and focus the whole time while he bucked and carried on (which helps you maintain your seat and hang on) and he finally stopped bucking and continued to gallop on home....I tried getting his head turned with a one rein stop but that didnt work so while he was galloping I realized that I was NOT going to hold on to him while he was approaching a downward slope.....so I took my right foot out of its stirrup and swung it over and laid my upper half of my body on the saddle and took my left foot out and just counted to 3 and let go haha and I was fine only a couple briuses. When I fell I tried to not stick my arms out to catch myself because that's normally when someone gets hurt I normally tuck and roll when I fall off and havent got hurt yet. :)
     
    02-19-2012, 07:33 PM
  #18
Green Broke
I try not to come off unless it's absolutely necessary. I've clung to the side of a horse bareback when she decided to throw a nice, big buck on my way from the driveway up to the barn with my senior picture shirts. I've clung to many kicks/bucks from the same horse. I've stayed on more rears than I can count from Dude (16.2h draft cross), along with a few "Oh my lord, it's a bird!" spins and bolts.

I've only come off three times though, and only one was a bail.
First fall was off Toby (14.3h pony) while we were jumping bareback. At the time I was working on Tae-Kwon-Do that I was enrolled in and learned the "try to land on your back and smack the ground with your arms spread wide" technique. Albeit, it wasn't exactly designed for a fall from a horse, but it worked. Didn't even come away with a bruise and only me and my friend (his pony) know about it.
Second time I came off (I'm not counting when I slipped after dismounting and fell, lmao) I ended up just jumping off and landing on my feet..and then rolling. We were racing the horses in the hay field and when everyone took off I got left behind about 2 foot..on Dude's butt. So, Dude's just running along like nothing is wrong and since I had neither stirrup and no reins, I decided to shove myself off to the side of him. Landed on my feet, shocked my feet a bit, and then I decided the ground would feel nice on my backside as oppose to my feet. So my "emergency bail/dismount" was me just jumping off and hopefully landing on my feet while my horse galloped away to catch up with the others and almost into the electric fence.

Third fall was my first time showing Lucky. We drove almost 2 hours north to a show. I was suppose to be riding Dude, but BO asked me if I'd rather take Lucky, since Dude's owner wanted to come out and ride that day. Being me and wanting to ride all the horses I can, I of course said sure and went to the show without even practicing with Lucky (my mum had a meeting the day before the show, and I was asked 2 days prior to the show). Now, I rode her twice on trails, but only walked. She was a spazz if she wasn't in front and kicked like no other horse I've ever seen. Well, since I never practiced on her, I didn't realize that she actually listened to leg commands as well as she did (I was at the time training Dude since he had no leg commands). So, we went for our exhibition run and just so happened, I accidentally gripped with my right leg and pushed Lucky towards the second barrel, she ducked out to the left and I stayed going straight. Landed flat on my back again, getting a bruise the whole way across my lower back where my belt was. All I remember from that was me thinking, "Oh sh*t..not now!" and then my friend diving through the arena panels to "catch my horse".

I guess I didn't really have to say all of that..since we're just talking about the dismount part itself..But, I guess my point is I always end up flying through the air and landing on my back. The good part is, that I have never smacked my head off the ground while doing so; everytime I've sat (well..layed) there for a second and then leaned my head back on the ground.
     
    02-19-2012, 08:41 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS    
I personally am not a fan of emergency dismounts. I have never had to use one, and I am better able to control the horse from the saddle than the ground.

I am of the opinion that in 99% of situations, that I have a commitment to the horse I have chosen to jump on rather than bailing and leaving it to it's own devices.
I'd rather stay on too. I don't like the idea of fractured limbs. I can do & I teach the emergency dismount but as a last resort. I've never had to use it-yet.
For bolts I think the best thing to do is first get your seat steady, especially after a spin. I let them run until I feel secure then ask for a stop or slow down. They usually don't run too far unless they are very determined to get home fast.
A rearer is going to be eating it's tail once it comes down. Never pull the reins when they are up.
I can ride out most bucks, even the dirty belly roll ones. That said I'll probably get dumped tomorrow
     
    02-19-2012, 10:45 PM
  #20
Weanling
I know this is talking about riding but the worst I have ever had was when Whinney and I were waiting for a class to start at the show. She was still fairly young and we had been at the show all day along with the fact that when she had always shown before, it was 1 maybe 2 classes and we quit. This was the first time I pushed her for 3 and it was a disaster. We were waiting for the mini roadster class to start and while waiting she was acting up, trying to rear. She was fed up with the show and wanted to be done but after 2 tries she stood quietly and calmed down. All of a sudden she went up and when the harness would give no more she fell to the right, onto pavement. As she reared that time I decided my head and pavement did not make a good pair. I dove off that cart when it was half tipped over by pulling my feet from the stirrups and pushing with my hands on the seat and shafts. I landed on my butt/side and someone else grabbed the mare. My first worry was the mare as I was fine, tore my pants pretty bad coming off the cart(embarrassing), but otherwise fine. She was fine, just shook up. Learned my lesson to not push a horse that is obviously not ready.

That is the only time I can say I dove off of any horse, ridden or driven. I had a mustang mare that thought bucking while asking for a canter would mean I wouldn't make her do it and I just held on for dear life as she went "buck" wild. She quickly learned it didn't work. Bailing is not always the best option, if you are confident enough and a decent enough rider, you can ride through a lot of bucks/rears/bolts. There are the times it is better to bail though!
     

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