I had my first fall in ages and it made me realize some things I had assumed wrongly about this horse. I also have some questions based off of the horses' s responses during the situation.
I was riding a friend's horse in a western saddle. He used to be a lesson horse for little kids and is currently being trained to do dressage. The horse tends to bulge out to the left through turns. She has been working on that. He is very stiff to the left and will only flex that way after lots of bending/flexing.
I rode him at the walk and trot for some time. He was really good. I asked him to canter and he was being great. Still stiff to the left, but really trying his best. I was cantering on the right lead when he spooked. He dead bolted. I took back on the reins assuming he'd immediately come back to me. I got no response what so ever. He then threw a buck as we came through a turn. The saddle started to slide to the left. I shifted my weight, hard, into the right stirrup to bring the saddle back to center. The horse became absolutely frantic as soon as I did this and threw another buck. The saddle slid to the side of his rib cage and I let go, since I couldn't save the situation.
The horse was out of his mind by the time I was off of him and ran about until he caught a foot in the stirrup. He took 45 mins to calm down after the incident. We were both ok.
Looking back now, I realize that this horse is can lose his mind. Had the saddle not slid, I would have stuck him till he calmed down. I'm not sure that he would have calmed down though. I debated how I will handle a situation like this in the future.
My first thought is to run the horse into the wall if circling does not work. I then considered a one rein stop, but I feel the horse would have fallen in his panic, rather than stop. I'm hesitant to use the one rein stop for this reason. I've had a horse fall on me before, messing my knee up and pinning me underneath him.
What do you recommend in that kind of situation?