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Bolting..!

This is a discussion on Bolting..! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        11-15-2008, 06:21 AM
      #11
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DarkChylde    
    And, one more thing, I knew this chic that had a riding stable, and never had a barn sour horse. But she had one little 'trick' that helped. I don't care WHO you were, you walked your horse home the last quarter mile, and this way the horses never had the habit of hurrying for home.
    We do this with all our horses, green or seasoned, young or not... the last 1/4 mile is always walked. They know this is part of the 'routine' and don't fuss at all, and it's a good cool down time for them.
         
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        11-15-2008, 06:24 AM
      #12
    Trained
    Yep, we do that too. We also only do any running that we will do away from the barn. At least certainly not on the last 1/2 of the way home. Also we don't stop or rest by the gate or in the same place every time in the ring to avoid them becoming sour to this spot.

    It works well!
         
        11-15-2008, 05:59 PM
      #13
    Foal
    I had this problem with a mare when I was younger...she was BAD lol...This was mentioned before...but worked best for me: On the way home if they speed up, turn them around and go all of the way back to where you decided to come home. I don't care if your 10 yards from the barn and they speed up...turn them around and go alllll the way back. Repeat, repeat repeat and don't quit until you get the responce you want. Consistency is the key and your patience will pay off.
         
        11-16-2008, 06:58 PM
      #14
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SallyRC123    
    Spirithorse, I realise that running away from danger is within a horse’s instinct. However I am leasing this little mare for a year or 2 while the owner’s daughter (7yr old) becomes more confident. The owner wants the horse for her daughter eventually, and she is quite young so if I can limit the amount of bolting as much as possible that will help. I imagine it would be very frightening for child if a horse were to run away with her. What do you recommend I do if we are out on a ride and for example some birds fly out of the trees and she takes off? She has done this before and I usually just sit up and wait for her to finish, while trying to slow her down.
    Typically she is quite reluctant to leave her paddock and her buddies.
    When she gets anxious I try not to hold her back with the reins, as 1: it winds her up even more and 2: I don’t want her becoming hard in the mouth. I try to keep a relaxed seat and hands, and turn circles if possible and do one rein stops.
    I see your first mistake. You say she is reluctant to leave. Yet you make her leave anyway without addressing the issue. This is where your problem starts.

    So ask her to go forward, and the moment she hesitates, etc. take her back. Approach, come back. Continue this with EVERY SINGLE threshold she hits. It's approach and retreat. She's unconfident. You will be doing this little girl a big favor by addressing the issue from the beginning and paying attention to the horse's thresholds. She shouldn't get amped up if you pay attention to her thresholds and don't force her over them. Horses get amped up when people push them past thresholds.

    As for spooking if birds fly up, well, you run the risk of ANY horse spooking in that situation. Some horses are more spooky than others, or I should say more aware and sensitive than others. You could do a lot of desensitizing with her to get her used to unusual situations. You need to instill a behavior response of, "Hurry up and relax." Not "Hurry up and leave!" If she does spook whatever you do don't turn her butt to whatever is scaring her. If you can stop and back her away from the scary thing that's great, but do whatever you need to do in order to stay safe (and stay on!).
         
        11-16-2008, 08:06 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
    We do this with all our horses, green or seasoned, young or not... the last 1/4 mile is always walked. They know this is part of the 'routine' and don't fuss at all, and it's a good cool down time for them.
    we do the very same thing. The gate to the property is probably 500m or so from the where we would stop and when we go through this gate we don't get back on instead we walk them the rest of the way. They arent in so much of a rush when theres nothing to rush for :)

    It sounds very much like what I call 'home bound psychosis' lol they get it into their heads that when they get home they will get dinner or some hay. In many cases too if you are riding alone the horse will likely be eager to get back to his buddies. And then there is the option to of them seeing the home ward stretch as the dash for home and they must win

    If your horse just kinda pivots when you turn her, let her. In fact urge her on (safely of course.) she will soon find its easier to stop and stand still than it is to keep pivoting. When she stops release any pressure you had on the rein to turn and just sit there for a minute. Then urge her to walk on again. If she carries on again do the same thing. This principle allows her to see how much easier it is to a) do as she is asked and b) calmly walk home.

    The same thing with the pressure on the reins. Pull and release. By pull I don't mean yank I mean do what I can 'saying hello to the mouth' by this I mean apply enough pressure to the bit that she will ge 'hello, whats she want'. Then release. Do so until she lowers her head and relaxes. It might be good to work on getting complete control over her in an arena or some other controlled environment.

    Everything is going to take time and it will be a slow process especially if she keeps wanting to fight you but slow and steady always wins the training race
         
        11-17-2008, 06:21 AM
      #16
    Weanling
    The past two days I have walked her home on a long rein. Although quite enthusiastic, she only began to get jiggy going up the hill towards her paddock right at the end. I turned her, and made her walk back a few steps in the direction we came. She objected at first however I persevered and when she was calm a turned her back around and walked the rest of the way home.

    SpiritHorse: I’m unsure of this method, approaching and coming back. Are you saying that if I go to walk her away from home and she hesitates, to rein back or just to turn around and start where we began? Wouldn’t she get it into her head that if she hesitates then she gets to go back towards home? If she hesitates to leave home, I encourage her with my voice and legs and she doesn’t take a lot of convincing. By the time we have reached the trail she is fine.
    If I bring her back when she hesitates, do I walk her to the same spot where she hesitated and bring her back again if she objects?

    Jazzyrider: You are right in saying that she gets excited to be back with her buddies and to get her dinner. Although she doesn’t need much feeding, I always give her a little something after a ride as a ‘thankyou’.
    When you say urge her if she pivots, do you mean in a circle or urge her forward?

    She’s a quick learner and remembers things, so I will continue to try all of your tips.

    Thanks a lot guys.
         
        11-17-2008, 10:39 AM
      #17
    Trained
    Just a little something to add to this. Once you have got the walk home figured out... When we get home, I DO NOT immediately untack the horses. I tie them, fully tacked, then go inside take care of my business (ahhh...potty break!, check my messages, grab my brushes and cold soda...then walk out to the horses, un-tack them, brush them down, put my tack away and THEN...I turn them loose. I don't want my horses to think there is any big deal about being back at boring old home. I want them to realize that just because we're home it doesn't mean they are done. Some times I hop back on give them a spin around the yard and then tie them back up to untack them. I don't give the horses a "treat" for doing their job. That way their not looking for anything *special* at home and they are in no hurry to go stand at the post, they'd rather be out riding.
         
        11-17-2008, 02:16 PM
      #18
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SallyRC123    
    SpiritHorse: I’m unsure of this method, approaching and coming back. Are you saying that if I go to walk her away from home and she hesitates, to rein back or just to turn around and start where we began? Wouldn’t she get it into her head that if she hesitates then she gets to go back towards home? If she hesitates to leave home, I encourage her with my voice and legs and she doesn’t take a lot of convincing. By the time we have reached the trail she is fine.
    If I bring her back when she hesitates, do I walk her to the same spot where she hesitated and bring her back again if she objects.
    If she is indeed unconfident, as it sounds like to me at least, this will work. Say you are afraid of heights. You and I are on a hike and we come to a cliff where you can look down and see all the trees, it's beautiful. You don't want to go near the cliff but I tell you, "Come on! Just come look! It's okay, just come here." You say no, so I start physically pushing you. What would your reaction be? To panic and fight me probably. Would you trust me after that? Probably not.

    It's the same with horses. Horses have thresholds, it's where they tell you, "Oh I don't feel confident going any further." If at that point you push them they will lose confidence and that's when you see horses start to jig, bolt, or otherwise act up. If it is indeed unconfidence, you ask her to walk and at the moment she gets worried you turn her around and take her back to the point where she feels relaxed. Then you can have her wait and just rub her. You want her to stand still but if she has to move her feet go back a little further. Then when she is calm ask her forward again.

    If this is unconfidence she will not learn that she can get away with anything. That's like people saying a horse learns to spook to get out of work, it's just not true. When she realizes that you understand her unconfidence and you won't push her past her thresholds she will become very willing. The fact that she bolts when you turn to go home, and not before that, is also interesting. That would lead me to believe that she is an obediant horse by nature, so she does what you ask, but that her anxiety about being away from home has built and built for the whole ride and when she knows you are going home it just gets to be too much.
         
        11-17-2008, 03:21 PM
      #19
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SallyRC123    
    The past two days I have walked her home on a long rein. Although quite enthusiastic, she only began to get jiggy going up the hill towards her paddock right at the end. I turned her, and made her walk back a few steps in the direction we came. She objected at first however I persevered and when she was calm a turned her back around and walked the rest of the way home.

    SpiritHorse: I’m unsure of this method, approaching and coming back. Are you saying that if I go to walk her away from home and she hesitates, to rein back or just to turn around and start where we began? Wouldn’t she get it into her head that if she hesitates then she gets to go back towards home? If she hesitates to leave home, I encourage her with my voice and legs and she doesn’t take a lot of convincing. By the time we have reached the trail she is fine.
    If I bring her back when she hesitates, do I walk her to the same spot where she hesitated and bring her back again if she objects?

    Jazzyrider: You are right in saying that she gets excited to be back with her buddies and to get her dinner. Although she doesn’t need much feeding, I always give her a little something after a ride as a ‘thankyou’.
    When you say urge her if she pivots, do you mean in a circle or urge her forward?

    She’s a quick learner and remembers things, so I will continue to try all of your tips.

    Thanks a lot guys.
    no I mean if she pivots instead of turning make pivot more than just turning in the opposite direction. Make her keep doing those pivots until she stops still. Then release
         
        11-20-2008, 04:33 AM
      #20
    Showing
    Ok, I have heard some really good and some REALLY BAD suggestions here. First, don't EVER run your horse home because then they get the idea that is what you want them to do and will try to do it every time. It sounds like to me that you have a barn sour horse. The best thing to do is take them on a long trail ride and when you get home, don't let them go. Make them do more work. Work on some serpentines and circles right at the barn or inside if you have an indoor arena. Make them realize that going home does not mean quitting time and thus they will not be as eager to go home. Do this every day you ride no matter how tired you are. You will see results but they will be slow in coming and it will take a long time to get the results you want. Don't get discouraged and don't quit. Your hard work will pay off eventually. Also, never punish a horse for bolting. As it was said earlier, it is a natural response of a prey animal. The only time I have ever made a horse run was when it ran off and wouldn't stop. Then I let him run until he was tired before I whipped his butt until I was tired. He never ran off again. However, this runaway was not the result of a bolt, it was just an improperly trained horse that someone else had started training and messed him up.
         

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