How to train horse not to bolt after a fall

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How to train horse not to bolt after a fall

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    12-20-2011, 04:12 PM
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? Ive 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.

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    12-20-2011, 04:14 PM
Green Broke
When you fall off, how do you approach him afterwards?

I suppose the best solution would be don't fall off ;D

However, he may be expecting reprimand and bolts- is it a YEEHAW bolt as he's got you off, or a scared bolt?
    12-20-2011, 04:29 PM
Afterwards I'm very matter o'fact. Just calm him down, then get back on and get on with the ride. No point in punishing him for things that aren't his fault - like being a stupid spooky, playful baby with a rider who was being less attentive then they should have been .

My guess is he has never had someone fall off him before, so it is probably a little bit of a "oh, S^&(*, what happened" followed by a "galloping around like a loon in the big arena is really fun! Response."

Regardless, the response I want is, "my rider came off, stand and face." I just need to know how to train it. If I can do it without having to jump off him a lot, that would be great - he is nearly 17 hands so the ground is very far away!
    12-20-2011, 04:33 PM
Green Broke
I haven't much experience, but I just wanted to ask because when mine threw me she freaked when I approached her.

Have you tried riding with others? Maybe he would just run to the other horse...providing other horse doesn't burger off too.

I hope other posters will be able to give you more help!

That is a long way too fall.. have you thought about a body protector if this is going to be a regular thing for the moment as a just in case?
    12-20-2011, 04:37 PM
I think I've heard that if a horse respects your command and you both trust eachother, he'll be encouraged to stay near you. Of course, if there is something like a dog that gets you dumped, and said dog is still around while your brushing the sand off your butt, your horse is probably still pretty scared and just wants to get away.

Honestly these are all things I've heard, but I think if the way YOU were riding your horse beforehand was painful or extremely uncomfortable for him/her, he/she may just run to avoid having the same pain inflicted upon them again.

Oh, and another thing I just thought of, let's say you lose your balance cantering/sitting trot whatever, and you fall off only because of that, a loud thud and spray of sand next to your horse may spook him too.

I'm no help, but I thought I'd chime in.
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    12-20-2011, 04:40 PM
What if you tried practicing fallen off of him...
So like first week have someone help you and hold his head while you fall of his side. Then when he is comfortable with you falling have the other person hold him on a loose lead and when you fall have them give correction as needed
Then when he is comfortable with that, try falling off with you holding the lead so when you fall you are putting pressure on him to stay with you...
do it all gaits and on lunge line might help :/
Not sure if it would work but it looks good in my imagination... but then again imaginations always make things look better :)
    12-20-2011, 04:44 PM
Green Broke
One thing you could do is take a tire inner tube and lay it across his back. Start walking him and when the tube slips off make him stop. In time he'll learn to stop on his own when it or the rider slides or slides off. I've never done this but have heard it works.
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    12-20-2011, 04:47 PM
Dear God, I hope it's not a regular thing! I don't generally fall off - I've had the creature nearly a year and these are the only two times it has happened. I have no intention of allowing it to become a regular occurrence. But I want a safety measure in place, just in case it ever happens again.

This has nothing to do with the horse being in pain under saddle or being afraid of me. The first time was a combination of him being playful and me leaning forward out of my saddle to rub his neck for having been a good boy over his first little oxer. I know he likes to throw his head down at the canter when he gets playful so that is a bad on me. The other time he only got me off because I was leaning over his side to tighten the girth or adjust my stirrup and he spooked and spun out from under me. Allllmost saved that one, but not quite. :p

Other horses were in the ring. They didn't help.

I don't think he's thinking about respect or lack of respect - he's just running. That is why I want to training an instictual response - rider off = stop. Do not gallop past go, do not collect $200 bales of alfalfa...
    12-20-2011, 04:51 PM
Even if you don't plan on falling off often I would practice it for his learning. Falling off can spook a horse even more when they are either spooky or hot... which adds another spooky thing for him to deal with at that moment. If you practice it then it will be more comfortable with the feeling and get used to what you want afterwards
    12-20-2011, 04:53 PM
I'd go with what usandpets said. I started it with my mare and it was working. Plus it helps get him used the thud of falling stuff.

After a while you can use two lunge lines, one to control him and one to hold the sack on him until a given moment when you let go and let it drop or pull it off to drop on a different side.

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