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Bolting Problem

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    03-24-2010, 11:34 AM
Originally Posted by spence    
, say trotting and he decides he wants to lope without additional cues from me, will the same concept work for that as well? Shut him down fast and then try again? .
Don't lope him for a while. If you have unlimited roads just get out, walk some, not too much and trot. A nice easy trot mile after mile.
I teach the word WALK. If we are trotting I say the word WALK and he instantly drops to a walk, if not I would pull him up sharply and repeat WALK. They catch on quickly to this command.
I use it every time I drop from the lope or trot to a walk, no reins, just verbal.
Agian I would not lope the horse, I would spend time walking and trotting, establiishing a nice trot on loose rein. If the hores speeds up the trot and you want a slower trot I use the word EASY and guide with a gentle pull from the fast trot to a more relaxed easy going trot while saying EASY.
The full bute pull is only ONLY when he bolts, not to slow his trot down, that is an easier pull, the word EASY at the same time.
I will spend months teaching the horse to move at a nice working trot, NEVER allowing him to break into a canter.

So get a curb and I prefer the jointed mouth piece, a curb chain and go from there. Try to keep no NO contact but correct quickly if the horse takes off, pull gentley to pull the trot down to a more reason trot and harshly if he suddenly bolts and firm NO.
Leave the canter out of it until you master the trot.
Long miles of trotting will take the energy out of him , releave the boredom of the walk and prevent hemmeroids.
Learn to trot before you run.

He said to me.... Why are married women heavier than single women?

I said to him . . . Single women come home, see what's in the fridge and go to bed. Married women come home, see what's in bed and go to the fridge
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    03-24-2010, 11:40 AM
Green Broke
I agree with White Foot. I did just post something but lost it. I would never yank on a horses mouth. Your just introducing pain to training. You may end up with more problems than you want. A snaffle bit is the gentlest bit and no amount of harshness is going to work on an animal if they really don't want to do what you want. Being consistent, firm, and gentle is best. Try the give and take method. As soon as your horse goes a little faster than you want tug on the reins just enough for them to slow down and release. Everytime he/she trys to go faster tug and release as soon as you get the desired pace. I knew someone who yanked on their horses mouth so much so hard that their horses mouth bled. That's not right. I hope this helps. Good luck.
    03-24-2010, 12:00 PM
Well, again it's kind of hard to tell you what to do when we're not actually seeing the horse in person. There could be a lot of different reason's for why your horse could be bolting.

Different methods have worked for me.
I had one gelding who, soon as I was halfway over his back, and running around like a freaking lunatic. I'd keep his head bent, inside rein, outside leg, check him in, but he just fought. His bolting was fear induced.
I "gave in" one day. Jumped and and let him run. And he ran. And ran. I mean a full out gallop for about ten minutes. He stopped, gave him a breather, and then continued the lesson I wanted to teach him, albeit for a much shorter time.
It took about a week, by the end of it he wasn't running anywhere. He had it figured out that he could run his little heart out, but in the end I wasn't going anywhere and he still had work to do after. I let him figure it out on his own that really, running away like that just used a crapload of energy and didn't get him anywhere.

Another gelidng like to do it simply because he was a jack-a$$. He didn't like to be told what to do, and liked to try and take matter's into his own hands, so to speak. I'd mount, or begin too, and he's start to leave or hump up and buck as soon as I was seated. As someone else suggest, flexing him toward's the inside kept him from running, so we'd spin circles until he got dizzy enough to stop, then I'd mount. Give him rein, he behaved, he kept it. He humped up or decided to take off, it got snapped back around and we spun, and yeah, I wasn't feeling bad about putting him in place with a rein to the ass as he'd just as soon put me in my place, which to him would the dirt.

I won't say lunging doesn't work; it's a great tool to enable your horse to really pick up on your cues and signals and get in tune with you. But boy, it can be over done. And just like people, horses get bored of doing the same thing over and over and over and they'll rebel. Anything with a thinking mind is going too, eventually.

I also agree with RiosDad that a curb bit in a horse trained and ready for it can be a great step in the right direction. My only problem with that is that although the horse is ready for the curb, the rider isn't. I've seen SO many people ride a curb like a snaffle, have no idea how the bit actually works, and thus, we end up with a mouth problems, be it wounds or hardness where horses will run through any sort of bit. I've seen a lot of educated horses get rode by un-educated people and then problems can start happening left, right, and centre.

As someone else suggested, working with a trainer and getting some on hands help is something definitely worth considering.

How long have you had this mare? It sounds like, now, she's getting more and more comfortable and pushing your boundaries to see how far she can get. Now, I'm not one for animal abuse in any shape or form, but sometimes good ol' DISCIPLINE is needed.
It's like a kid who hits you softly and you let it go and go without punishment until one day he offs and pops you a good one in the face because he was never really taught no. You know? She pushes your boundaries, you need to make it clear that that is not acceptable or you'll end up with a spoiled rotten brat on your hands (YES, this is also from experiance!) that will be a little h*ll raiser! Lol

Regardless, I hope you can take from what someone has said on here and find a solution to help you and your mare!
    03-24-2010, 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by White Foot    
"tries to pick up a trot/lope from a walk without a cue from me"
Are you sure you're being confident and clear when you're asking?

"i hauled his ass hard enough that his mouth was pretty sore when we got home."
I REALLY hope I read this wrong.
i suppose I should rephrase a bit. He's an old racehorse, he wants to run. That's what we're trying to work through. *I* made the mistake in letting him lope for most of a few miles. Sad thing is I should have known better. In terms of "hauling" on him is simply working to slow him back down. I am more than comfortable with one reign stops, but on an open road with ditches i'd much prefer to have him slowed down some BEFORE I were to do that.

Riosdad - my wife had someone tell her that we should spend a LOT of time trotting and after our experiences recently, i'm going to take the suggestion and trot a LOT. And I like his trot, it's easy to sit (my little appy, not at all. It's like riding a jackhammer).

I come here to ask certain questions, and will continue to do so if those who are more experienced will answer with something other than "get a trainer." I don't have one on hire, however I speak to others in regards to this horse outside of this forum as well. A good friend of mine has lived with and trained horses all of his life. However, I cannot always get ahold of him due to different schedules. He was the first one to suggest a curb, however i'm starting to think a tom thumb might be more effective.
    03-24-2010, 01:58 PM
Originally Posted by spence    
riosdad - my wife had someone tell her that we should spend a LOT of time trotting and after our experiences recently, i'm going to take the suggestion and trot a LOT. And I like his trot, it's easy to sit (my little appy, not at all. It's like riding a jackhammer).

"get a trainer." .
the trot is a nice way to travel. It keeps the horse calm, gives both of you a workout without putting your butt to sleep. It is also more controlable. It builds a horse. I spend years trotting my endurance horses. I do lope eventually but not for months down the road. I then teach leads, easy slow lopes over say 1/4 mile just to work the leads and teach him to settle down into the work.
Try the trotting
    03-24-2010, 02:47 PM
Will do. Really appreciate the help!
    03-24-2010, 07:46 PM
^ Just a note, a tom thumb is a curb - Just one with a jointed mouthpiece. A curb is any bit with leverage (I.e. Shanks).
    03-24-2010, 10:33 PM
I also suggest if just simply forgetting about the lope isn't working then circles will be your friend. Find a flat area, a field, a ring, etc. Whatever you have available. If he's going the pace you want then you just mosey along, if he speeds up you circle. Not so tiny he gets frustrated, and not so big that he doesn't have to slow down. A nice 15-20 meter circle will make him naturally rate his pace. Keep him on the circle til he relaxes and holds the pace you want. Then you let him go straight again. Repeat the circles every time he picks up the pace. Eventually he will realize that it's more work to go faster and he will learn to maintain YOUR pace or he will have to do all this extra work.

Also, any time you're trying to shut down an OTTB steady pressure on the reins means go faster for them. You need to pulley rein and/or do short hard tugs alternating sides to break the "grab the bit and go" mentality.
    03-24-2010, 10:47 PM
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
I have never had a horse run through a bit but I know it happens. That is why people ask me to ride a problem horse. But I find most of those people with the problems insist on using a snaffle?? They would even sell their beloved pet before they would put in a curb??
Why do they have this mentality??
A person use to riding a horse in a snaffle will suddenly find they have far more control in even a simple tom thumb.
I've actually fixed a bolter (as in a 'real' bolter, not just something that spooks and scoots, but a horse that would lose its brain and would run into a brick wall before it would stop, bolter) by taking off the elephant gear (twisted wire snaffle on a six-inch shank, with a curb chain AND a wire over his nose).

I've also fixed several runaways for clients, again by taking off all the crap hardware and teaching them how to 'ride'.

And yes, I'm someone who insists horses go properly in a snaffle or french link, first and foremost. If they won't go properly in that, then it's my job to figure out why and fix it.

Using the bit as the brakes is poor training, imo, and only serves to teach the horse how to brace and evade contact.

The curb bit definitely has a purpose and a place in riding, but not as a tool to teach the horse to stop.
    03-24-2010, 10:54 PM
Originally Posted by spence    
i suppose I should rephrase a bit. He's an old racehorse, he wants to run. That's what we're trying to work through. *I* made the mistake in letting him lope for most of a few miles. Sad thing is I should have known better. In terms of "hauling" on him is simply working to slow him back down. I am more than comfortable with one reign stops, but on an open road with ditches i'd much prefer to have him slowed down some BEFORE I were to do that.
You're having an issue because you don't know how racehorses are trained. They are trained to take the bit, lean on it, and run with it. To become good riding horses they have to be retrained to learn to 'accept' contact and give to it.

Putting something bigger and badder in their mouth often exasperates the issue.

One of the ways you can help yourself is to use a flash with a french link (go that way instead of a snaffle to avoid the nutcracker effect), which is meant to keep the bit right in the bit seat. Without it, the horse can slide the bit in their mouth every so slightly, get a real good hold of it, lock it, and you're s.o.l. With the flash, they can't move it out of the bit seat and therefore can't grab it and lock it on you. The idea here is to train in it, fix the issue for good, and then take it off.

bolting, green horse, mare, thoroughbred, training

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