How to train horse not to bolt after a fall
Here's one for all you clever trainers.
In working with my 3 going on 4 year old and have had two falls - both totally my fault. The first was following a small jump where I, like an idiot, allowed myself to get a little too forward in the saddle and took my leg off him so I had nowhere to go but over his shoulder when he got frisky and started playing by pulling his head down and popping his butt up. The other was when I was leaning over adjusting his girth and he spooked at a dog in the leaves – idiot baby! After each fall, he took off like a shot and galloped around like an idiot for several minutes.
Now, while I have no intention of making coming off my horse a regular habit, we all know that sometimes S&!* happens and I want to nip this in the bud before it happens somewhere where he could be hurt or lost – like at a trail or a show. So, I want to train him to stand if the rider comes off. Any tips on how I would do this? I’ve been working him on ground tying and it is coming slowly, but surely and he knows Whoa when he is lunging or under saddle, but clearly not well enough yet to mind when he is at liberty (and I think slightly freaking out that he lost his rider).
How would you guys recommend training him to stop when a rider comes off? Other suggestions/ideas would also be welcome.