Scary experience(sorry its long)
   

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Scary experience(sorry its long)

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        02-18-2013, 09:11 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Scary experience(sorry its long)

    So I was enjoying a nice trail ride on my little bay appaloosa mare starlight yesterday and I had a bad experience, but also a good one because of how my horse reacted. My little mare is the best trained of my 6 horses, with one very scary habit, when she spooks, sometimes she bolts, and there is no stopping her after she takes off. But im learning to catch that before she bolts, most of the time I can. So we went for a ride, it was a bit windy so she was a little anxious. All of a sudden she tenced and I knew she was about to bolt so I immediatly got her attention on me making her do circles and touch my feet with her nose, then I made her go through a small pond back and forth back and forth. All the while I was trying to figure out what she was nervous about, finally a flick of her ears told me that the wind was moving those tall stickers with the brown thorny shells on top, not sure what they are called.
    So after she calmed down about those things blowing in the wind we went up the hill, she was scared of all the squirrels running everywhere as usual. When we got to the top I did something unexpected, I took a very steep trail, which is unusual because im terrified of hights but iv been working on that.
    As we bagan comming down the other side I was thinking o no.. but then I calmed myself, I trust my horse even though it was super steep I knew she would take me down it safely and she would have if something hadnt happened next. All of a sudden starlight unloosened a rock and it went tumbling down the cliff bashing into other rocks, she spun around ad rared up and I knew she was going to bolt, I held on for dear life knowing there was a steep drop on the otherside followed by a half mile of downhill, I knew she would head straight for home.
    As I held on I could feel her heart pounding, I held her back for as long as possible knowing if I gave her just a little bit of rein she would take off. We stood there for five minutes, I started talking to her, calming her down, finally I loosened the reins a little and told her to walk, we went down the hill, taking a less steep trail and when we reached the bottom I walked her across a log, and looking down I saw the rock and told my horse how much I loved her and stroked her neck.
    Thankfully she didnt bolt, and im posting this wondering if anyone else has a spooky horse that bolts, and what you do to calm your horse? Im pretty good at catching starlight before she takes off and iv been getting her used to all sorts of new things. The last time she bolted was when a school bus went by and honked at me because I wasnt looking at the lady when she waved. Starlight usually holds her ground for a minute after whatever scared her and then she takes off like a rocket.
         
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        02-18-2013, 09:24 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Wow, you did fantastic for that situation. You felt it coming, took immediate reaction instead of panicking and saying oh crap. The second time you worked the problem until you were able to talk her down off the ledge. Telling her what a brave girl she was is perfect. You could not have handled this any better. I know how scary that moment is when your horse turns into a statue and you can feel their heart beating under your legs. You know darn well what's coming next. You either have to react or you're done. Give yourself tons of pats...you did great!
         
        02-18-2013, 09:36 PM
      #3
    Started
    Great Job! Keep that up, and soon your mare is going to learn that not only are you there to tell her what to do, you will 'protect' her and guide her when she is scared so that she doesn't need to worry nearly so much.

    My guy is a bolter when he's scared too. Fortunately, like you, we've been working on it and he's much better. Luckily for me, my guy doesn't bolt very far, and by the time I've got my wits back about me enough to ask him to slow down or stop, he's ready to listen. Originally stopping required a one-rein stop, but now I can just 'pulse' the reins a little and my guy remembers what he ought to be doing and starts listening again.
    Animallover707 likes this.
         
        02-18-2013, 09:37 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Wow, you did fantastic for that situation. You felt it coming, took immediate reaction instead of panicking and saying oh crap. The second time you worked the problem until you were able to talk her down off the ledge. Telling her what a brave girl she was is perfect. You could not have handled this any better. I know how scary that moment is when your horse turns into a statue and you can feel their heart beating under your legs. You know darn well what's coming next. You either have to react or you're done. Give yourself tons of pats...you did great!
    Thanks so much! Ya im not good with the whole spooking thing, I can handle it most of the time but some of the horses I have delt with will start bucking when they get spooky so it makes me nervous, I began training my own horses about 7 years ago and spooking is the only thing iv had trouble adjusting to.
    Lol I should have mentioned the golden eagle that swooped down and grabbed a squirrel 20 feet away a few days ago, only scary situation starlight ever ran TOWARDS lol she was more curios then scared I think :)
         
        02-18-2013, 09:38 PM
      #5
    Trained
    Yeah, same with me what Sharpie said. What used to require a complete one rein stop is now a simple rein bump reminder that there's no sense in bolting because I can stop him any time I want.
    Animallover707 likes this.
         
        02-18-2013, 09:41 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sharpie    
    Great Job! Keep that up, and soon your mare is going to learn that not only are you there to tell her what to do, you will 'protect' her and guide her when she is scared so that she doesn't need to worry nearly so much.

    My guy is a bolter when he's scared too. Fortunately, like you, we've been working on it and he's much better. Luckily for me, my guy doesn't bolt very far, and by the time I've got my wits back about me enough to ask him to slow down or stop, he's ready to listen. Originally stopping required a one-rein stop, but now I can just 'pulse' the reins a little and my guy remembers what he ought to be doing and starts listening again.
    Ya she isnt that far along yet, if I try to stop her it leads to worse problems(Bucking, rearing, ect) so iv just been working on her not bolting at all which is getting much better, my area is all hills and cliffs and holes and if she bolts she could hurt herself really bad, last time she did it I jumped off and held onto her reins til she was calm which worked better then I thought it would.
         
        02-18-2013, 09:46 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Yeah, same with me what Sharpie said. What used to require a complete one rein stop is now a simple rein bump reminder that there's no sense in bolting because I can stop him any time I want.
    She wont stop even if I do a one rein after bolting, she will do anything to get away. She is usually very easy to control with neck reining and word commands but as soon as she bolts its like an out of control thing and she has NEVER bucked except when I try to stop her after she bolts. Usually I just have to ride it out or jump off, as soon as im off she starts calming down but sometimes she will rare up a bit. Maybe someday ill be able to stop her :).
         
        02-18-2013, 09:52 PM
      #8
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Animallover707    
    She wont stop even if I do a one rein after bolting, she will do anything to get away.
    Your preventing her first bolt with the circles and touching her nose to her side was the equivalent of a one rein stop. You don't have to use the one rein stop AFTER the bolt because you already PREVENTED it. Our point is, you were a great leader for your horse, and the next time she is concerned about something, she will look to you more for help before choosing to bolt. Sure you will probably have to lather/rinse/repeat a few more times, but eventually she will develop more confidence because her rider is more confident. It's the best chicken & egg affect ever. This sort of confidence for both horse and rider comes in baby steps. You did fantastic...really!
         
        02-18-2013, 09:54 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Your preventing her first bolt with the circles and touching her nose to her side was the equivalent of a one rein stop. You don't have to use the one rein stop AFTER the bolt because you already PREVENTED it. Our point is, you were a great leader for your horse, and the next time she is concerned about something, she will look to you more for help before choosing to bolt. Sure you will probably have to lather/rinse/repeat a few more times, but eventually she will develop more confidence because her rider is more confident. It's the best chicken & egg affect ever. This sort of confidence for both horse and rider comes in baby steps. You did fantastic...really!
    Thanks so much! :) We will keep working together and hopefully someday we willl compete in long distance! Thanks for the encouragement!
         
        02-19-2013, 01:57 AM
      #10
    Yearling
    You handled the situation great!! My mare used to bolt when I first got her, I rode her with a rope halter for the first 3yrs. And since with a bitless bridle. She was 3yrs. When I got her and had 30 days of riding on her. I did alot of ground work with her, rode her in the round pen working on making sure I got my whoa and desensitizing. When I felt comfortable enough to take her out I would just have to talk to her to settle her down, she has never bolted on me in almost 8yrs. Now!
         

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