Bolting Begins
 
 

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Bolting Begins

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

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    • 4 Post By Palomine

     
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        04-20-2012, 08:26 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Bolting Begins

    I have recently (for four weeks) gotten a seven year old appaloosa mare that was used as a lesson horse and a birthday party horse by a nearby trainer. We trust the trainer, and she had no problems with this horse (or else she would not have used her for birthday parties.) We have given her about 3 weeks to adjust to her new home before attempting to ride her. She is pastured, but we do walk her everyday on a rope we walk her through a pasture to expose her to our dogs and surroundings. We have done short walks in the saddle and even put our children on her while we led her. We didn't want to rush things during her adjustment to a new home. During a walk yesterday, we were walking like normal. She reared, bolted and was gone for 20 minutes before returning to stand next to her pen. I am terrified, since I have put my children on her and never had her do this. I can't figure out what spooked her. Her former owner said she probably just wanted to run and wasn't spooked and that I probably gave her too much slack in the rope. I had NO indication of any anxiety; no stomping, blowing, jerking...nothing. What can I do to help prevent this from happening again? Do I need to keep her in the pen and do more ground work?
         
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        04-20-2012, 08:41 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    The reason, more than likely that the other person never had this bolting issue happen, is she had horse in a very controlled environment. Not where there is pasture to take off in. And horses know when someone doesn't know what they are doing with horses, and will take full advantage.

    I've had horses that were never any trouble at all for me, or my kids. But let someone else try to work with them? Like the horse had just come in off the open range and was fighting for its life.


    Secondly, horses are not dogs. They don't need handwalking except per vet's orders for health issues. She has been in the pasture. She has seen the surroundings, and whether you show her everything or not? She will react as she wants to when she decides to.

    And too, if during your "walks" with her, you have been letting her wander, stop when she wants to, go when she wants to, or ignored her behavior? You are setting up the types of problems you are beginning to have with horse.

    Humans have to be the leaders, in walking, leading, working around, feeding, or what have you. They aren't your best buddy like a dog, they are horses, and they respond to a strong leader. Any indication that they can boss the human, and they will do so.

    And as you have found out, horses think on their own. They can and will decide to do something, and then do it.

    I imagine though, horse was giving signs it was contemplating taking off. One ear forwards, one back, a lightness in the body, ignoring you with her eyes, a lift of head...you just missed it, either because you weren't paying attention, or because you don't know what to look for.

    Ground work will not do nearly as much as treating this horse like a horse, and putting yourself in the leadership position. If handling in other areas does not change, more ground work will do nothing.
    Cherie, boots, Foxhunter and 1 others like this.
         
        04-21-2012, 01:24 AM
      #3
    Yearling
    Call the trainer and tell her what is happening. Since she lives nearby perhaps she can give you lessons at your home so you can learn how to form a partnership with your horse. I wouldn't wait, as everytime she succeeds at a bad behavior, she remembers it for another day.
         
        04-21-2012, 07:35 AM
      #4
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Palomine    
    The reason, more than likely that the other person never had this bolting issue happen, is she had horse in a very controlled environment. Not where there is pasture to take off in....

    And as you have found out, horses think on their own. They can and will decide to do something, and then do it....

    I imagine though, horse was giving signs it was contemplating taking off. One ear forwards, one back, a lightness in the body, ignoring you with her eyes, a lift of head...you just missed it, either because you weren't paying attention, or because you don't know what to look for.

    Ground work will not do nearly as much as treating this horse like a horse, and putting yourself in the leadership position. If handling in other areas does not change, more ground work will do nothing.
    I agree with this. I have seen this very often with 'arena' horses, even when they are very well trained. Take them out for a ride in a field or trail and they are like a green broke horse. It's not that they are 'bad' or horses or lack training...it's just that the 'open' riding environment is something completely new and different to them, and (as in the above post) in the end, they are horses and not machines.

    My advice...put the incident behind you, learn from it, and move on. Always be aware and vigilant when handling any horse and do not let this incident make you afraid or hesitant. Horses sense a lack of confidence (i.e. Leadership) and it will set you back a long way.

    Good luck, be safe, and enjoy your horse. I have yet to see a lesson horse that didn't make a good riding horse in the end.
         
        04-21-2012, 10:16 PM
      #5
    Showing
    When you were walking her were you also loving on her if she appeared a bit nervous? Soothing works for children, horses see it as a reward for their behaviour. Too many times I've seen Precious dance all around it's handler and the handler saying, Oh it's ok baby, it's ok, with gentle neck stroking and a soft voice. Next thing you know Precious has turned into a fire-breathing dragon. When you lead this horse, not walk with it but lead (as in leader), use a knotted halter and give her a good 3' of lead. Square your shoulders, focus on something a hundred yard distant and start walking, with purpose. Flap your elbow periodically to keep her from crowding you. If she gets clipped with your elbow it won't make her head shy. She's just be more mindful. When you stop move your shoulders back and little and stop. When you turn her, always turn her away. This asserts your dominance over her, you are driving her away. Horses do this all the time. When you turn her toward you, she is driving you.
         
        04-22-2012, 01:06 AM
      #6
    Foal
    I think you need to step up and show her you are the leader, as previously said. You can do this by making her feet move, either in the round pen or on a line. If you give a horse an inch, they'll take a mile! She needs to respect you and know YOU are the boss, not her. Also, teach her to back up on the lead rope. You can find advice on this in the natural horsemanship forum. Moving their feet at your direction is an excellent way to become a leader. Horses do not back up on their own. If you can make her do that she will respect you more and become much safer.

    Karen

    I probably don't need to say this but no more kids on her for now, until she's more respectful.
         

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