my bombproof children's mount takes off at a canter... with a child.
 
 

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my bombproof children's mount takes off at a canter... with a child.

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  • Quarter horse proof i can do
  • When i mount my horse he canters off why?

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    01-07-2012, 08:48 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy my bombproof children's mount takes off at a canter... with a child.

Today was the worst day to date.

As you might know, I have a 21 year old Quarter Horse Arabian, Katy, that is the definition of a bombproof youth horse. Well she was.... every summer I send her to the YMCA Tippancanoe Horse camp to be used as a camp horse for small children. Every year for the last 6 years. She is one of the favorites out there for the kids. She is a chubby 14'2 chestnut mare that was once, and still sometimes is, my barrel horse. She has made a great transition from a 3D barrel racer to a youth mount. Well I have a 4 year and a 8 year old cousin that ride her while I ride my green broke paint mare. We do this all the time. I ride this mare bareback pretty frequently to keep her in good shape since the kids don't really wanna ride her the way she should be rode. But I try not to let her out at a canter very often so as to not get her hot again, like she was for our gaming career.

So here is what happened today...

My 8yo cousin was a bit tired from soccer so I took my 4 yo cousin out on katy by herself. We rode like this before, and had been riding for about 10 mins prior to this incident. My paint mare I was riding is a bit of a fast walker, and katy tip toes when she is being rode by a child, so we are always in front. I can't pony them together because Katie hates her, and is very aggressive with other mares. Well we were on the road, and came by a field that was on our left. She was just a bit behind me so there wasn't a big gap between us. Well all of a sudden I hear my cousin screaming, katy is doing an uncollected trot with her and at this point she has dropped the reins and is hunched over holding onto the horn. I immediately start screaming for her to pull the reins back because katie has an amazing sliding stop, but my cousin believes she is "running" at this point (she usually does a "parade" trot, so her fast choppy trot is quite different for her) and is doing nothing but screaming. Well I get off my horse and attempt to catch katy, at this point she does a mean barrel turn away from me and starts a canter down the bank and picks up speed through the field, this is a big field. My cousin is screaming and crying and holding onto the horn for dear life and all I can do is scream and run after this horse. I am off of my horse, I knew the best thing woulda been for me to get back on her and gallop towards her and katy to catch up, but my mind was a blur. My cousin made if for atleast 45 secs of a canter across this field but when katy did a sliding stop at a lush patch of grass, my cousin toppled over... and hard, right on her shoulder and flipped. I literally broke down thinking my cousin had broke her neck or something. But she was fine. She had a helmet on, and a child's chest protector. This was the scariest moment of my life, and something I can NOT understand why it happened.

This is a youth mount horse prodigy. Why would she do this? How can I send her back to the camp knowing she can really just snap like that? This is literally been tearing me up all day, that all this credit of being such a fabulous youth mount of a horse that I built up is gone. My cousin is terrified of horses, she broke this little girl's spirit and hopefully one day, but not for a long time this little girl can go back to loving horses and being beyond brave again... I have ruined her, today at dinner she said to me as I was explaining what had happened to her father "you lied to me, you said she was good and I wouldn't get hurt" .... how can I convince this girl that she can trust me, ever trust horses again? I tried to get her right back on either of the horses, being lead home. She cried harder at the thought...


I am at a loss for words, and sooo disappointed.
     
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    01-07-2012, 09:01 PM
  #2
Showing
I'm so sorry that happened.. something must have been off for her to react like that. The best thing to do is give your cousin space, try not to feel bad, and over time gently introduce her to horses again.

Horses can never be bombproof.. they can be brave by looking to their herd leader (you) for security and have minimal reactions.. but they can never be so secure in the world that nothing ever startles them.

Poor you though!! Watching that happen to someone you love and feeling like you couldn't do anything about it. I suggest you take it easy for awhile, ride your horses, spend time with them, hang with friends, take a nice bath.

I know your cousin's screaming is a just (a fair) reaction, but it probably didn't help your mare.. she was probably just as scared =/

I hope all three of you, your mare yourself and your cousin, feel better soon. Big hugs
     
    01-07-2012, 09:08 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
I'm so sorry that happened.. something must have been off for her to react like that. The best thing to do is give your cousin space, try not to feel bad, and over time gently introduce her to horses again.

Horses can never be bombproof.. they can be brave by looking to their herd leader (you) for security and have minimal reactions.. but they can never be so secure in the world that nothing ever startles them.

Poor you though!! Watching that happen to someone you love and feeling like you couldn't do anything about it. I suggest you take it easy for awhile, ride your horses, spend time with them, hang with friends, take a nice bath.

I know your cousin's screaming is a just (a fair) reaction, but it probably didn't help your mare.. she was probably just as scared =/

I hope all three of you, your mare yourself and your cousin, feel better soon. Big hugs

Thank you, sooo much. It is hard though, to be sooo powerless in such a dangerous situation. Idk what could of been off, I strongly believe she just wanted to get the lush pasture, but why she had to run the stretch of it idk. It just dissapointed me beyond my belief, I kept my cool enough to not just beat the **** outta her right then and there, I just took her home and did circles with her for 25 mins and had her EXTREMELY in touch with what I was asking of her, ears completely in tune to me and listening to every word. She is also no longer allowed to graze with the bit in her mouth, that is another thing I am making completely unacceptable.
     
    01-07-2012, 09:17 PM
  #4
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonjoy    
thank you, sooo much. It is hard though, to be sooo powerless in such a dangerous situation. Idk what could of been off, I strongly believe she just wanted to get the lush pasture, but why she had to run the stretch of it idk. It just dissapointed me beyond my belief, I kept my cool enough to not just beat the **** outta her right then and there, I just took her home and did circles with her for 25 mins and had her EXTREMELY in touch with what I was asking of her, ears completely in tune to me and listening to every word. She is also no longer allowed to graze with the bit in her mouth, that is another thing I am making completely unacceptable.
A very good plan!

Oh I've been there.. I used to work at a therapeutic riding center and sometimes we'd let the kids ride their own by themselves if we felt they were capable. Well a few times the horses decided to do something freaky and despite how fast you run or how loud you scream, it just doesn't help them at all.. a few times though, I got very good about diving to catch falling kids and got really good about stopping bad behavior in its tracks.
They weren't bad horses.. just horses.

I'm glad you didn't lose your cool with her, and put her mind to work! Your cousin will come around, no worries =)
Supermane and Northernstar like this.
     
    01-07-2012, 09:30 PM
  #5
Started
You shouldn't even have considered "losing your cool" with her: she was just being a horse, her own unique horse self. In her mind, she was NOT being "bad", thus not deserving of extra work or of course, beatings.

Once you understand this, you see that there truly is no reason to be surprised and/or upset at the horse who doesn't babysit kids. Plus, a horse who is a known babysitter for years may suddenly decide that her desire for a patch of grass out yonder is what she needs to listen to more than a gunsel kid on her back. So, the poster who said that there really ARE no bomb-proof horses is 100% right.

Inside every wild horse is a tame horse, & inside every tame [bomb-proof/kid-safe] horse is a wild one.

--Pat Parelli
palominolover and Palomine like this.
     
    01-07-2012, 09:41 PM
  #6
Weanling
She might have been stung by something. I was once bucked off by a solid trail horse bc abee stung him on the leg. And that sort of thing can freak even the most solid horse. Doesshe have any bumps on her? Could be worth looking into.
In any case im glad everone is ok
     
    01-07-2012, 09:43 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonjoy    
today was the worst day to date.

As you might know, I have a 21 year old Quarter Horse Arabian, Katy, that is the definition of a bombproof youth horse. Well she was.... every summer I send her to the YMCA Tippancanoe Horse camp to be used as a camp horse for small children. Every year for the last 6 years. She is one of the favorites out there for the kids. She is a chubby 14'2 chestnut mare that was once, and still sometimes is, my barrel horse. She has made a great transition from a 3D barrel racer to a youth mount. Well I have a 4 year and a 8 year old cousin that ride her while I ride my green broke paint mare. We do this all the time. I ride this mare bareback pretty frequently to keep her in good shape since the kids don't really wanna ride her the way she should be rode. But I try not to let her out at a canter very often so as to not get her hot again, like she was for our gaming career.

So here is what happened today...

My 8yo cousin was a bit tired from soccer so I took my 4 yo cousin out on katy by herself. We rode like this before, and had been riding for about 10 mins prior to this incident. My paint mare I was riding is a bit of a fast walker, and katy tip toes when she is being rode by a child, so we are always in front. I can't pony them together because Katie hates her, and is very aggressive with other mares. Well we were on the road, and came by a field that was on our left. She was just a bit behind me so there wasn't a big gap between us. Well all of a sudden I hear my cousin screaming, katy is doing an uncollected trot with her and at this point she has dropped the reins and is hunched over holding onto the horn. I immediately start screaming for her to pull the reins back because katie has an amazing sliding stop, but my cousin believes she is "running" at this point (she usually does a "parade" trot, so her fast choppy trot is quite different for her) and is doing nothing but screaming. Well I get off my horse and attempt to catch katy, at this point she does a mean barrel turn away from me and starts a canter down the bank and picks up speed through the field, this is a big field. My cousin is screaming and crying and holding onto the horn for dear life and all I can do is scream and run after this horse. I am off of my horse, I knew the best thing woulda been for me to get back on her and gallop towards her and katy to catch up, but my mind was a blur. My cousin made if for atleast 45 secs of a canter across this field but when katy did a sliding stop at a lush patch of grass, my cousin toppled over... and hard, right on her shoulder and flipped. I literally broke down thinking my cousin had broke her neck or something. But she was fine. She had a helmet on, and a child's chest protector. This was the scariest moment of my life, and something I can NOT understand why it happened.

This is a youth mount horse prodigy. Why would she do this? How can I send her back to the camp knowing she can really just snap like that? This is literally been tearing me up all day, that all this credit of being such a fabulous youth mount of a horse that I built up is gone. My cousin is terrified of horses, she broke this little girl's spirit and hopefully one day, but not for a long time this little girl can go back to loving horses and being beyond brave again... I have ruined her, today at dinner she said to me as I was explaining what had happened to her father "you lied to me, you said she was good and I wouldn't get hurt" .... how can I convince this girl that she can trust me, ever trust horses again? I tried to get her right back on either of the horses, being lead home. She cried harder at the thought...


I am at a loss for words, and sooo disappointed.
The horse did not snap. Maybe the horse was told to go faster and did as it thought it should. A kid screaming on a horse would make any horse run and you also screaming ads to the confusion. You chasing after it on another horse would make it run faster. I would not take a 4 yr old out on an open trail. Only would I take them with a few experienced ridders so the child would be sandwiched in or an arena or more of an enclosed trail and definatley not an open field. I do not think the horse did anything wrong given the circumstance you subjected it to.
     
    01-07-2012, 09:49 PM
  #8
Banned
Absolutely a four-year-old should not be an a horse, in the open, untethered and unsupervised. Any horse, any time. Should be leadline or small arena only on a half-dead pony. That's too small and too young. Sounds like she asked the horse to trot, freaked out, threw the reins, and the horse did exactly what she was trained to do--run.
     
    01-07-2012, 09:53 PM
  #9
Foal
I understand everyone's concern. And I never mentioned beating my horse? So where you got that Northern I have no idea. And 25 mins of making sure the horse was in tune to what I was asking to to do, by engaging her mind in different maneuvers isn't a bad thing. I understand that no horse is bombproof, and maybe I was wrong for allowing her to carry the 4yo, but really I trusted her that much. And no, I do not blame the horse nor did I punish it. But am just disappointed in my expectations of her and what I had always been able to do. And after seeing a child I care dearly for being flung upon her head, yes northern I considered it, but in no means partook in. And this circumstance isn't one that she hadn't done before successfully so I didn't see the flaws initially. And my cousin would not of told her to go faster. For katy that involves reins being held higher on the neck, and leg pressure, along with a verbal cue. Something I have perfected in the last 7 years of my ownership.

And most insects are dead this time of year, but yes I checked all equipment on her, and her body for signs of anything wrong post incident. And they always get a once over before any ride.
     
    01-07-2012, 09:56 PM
  #10
Foal
Might I say the horse ran in the direction of home, but stopped at a lush piece of pasture.

I understand now that I was wrong, thank you for all of you telling me so, but what's done is done. And I can only move forward from the present. So thanks for pointing out my errors, but really my main concern is how to rehabilitate the child and if you believe my horse would be a liability if sent to the camp again.
     

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