TERRIFYING - Random Bolting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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TERRIFYING - Random Bolting

Hay yall! So yesterday I was out riding with two other girls (which CJ and I do very often) on a short little trail. We were going past the barn and going to go to a trail the other way when one of the girls says she wants to change her saddle. No problem! I said the third girl and I would jump in the arena while she tacked up no issue.

Well, there was a big issue. While girl #2 was putting the saddle on, CJ and I were walking and I asked for a trot (just using my energy, we do this often, I just become more active in my movement in the saddle) and girl #3 was just standing on the other end of the arena looking at her phone on her horse. I felt CJ trot a few steps, then almost leave me behind. When I say we were going fast, I mean I thought I was going to die. I definitely could have died. I immediately lost both my stirrups, but just held on the best I could. Once he got the girl #3 on her horse, he slowed down with perfect little canter trot walk halt transitions. I've only been riding for a year (I got CJ January 4, 2016 as a Christmas present, I picked him out), so this kind of thing has never in my life happened to me, so I didn't start pulling on him or saying woah or any of the cues he knows to slow down, I was pretty much in shock. I chalked it up to something I probably did, and went on with my ride.

THEN... girl #2 came out and decided to do a little arena work with her horse as well, so we just kept on going. I stopped jumping after he bolted, figured I would work on being veeeeeery slow. Girl#2's horse and CJ are pasture buddies, jic you were wondering. He likes the other horse as well. In exactly the same place, tracking left again theyre both walking in the same place that girl #3 had been standing the first time he bolted. This time I wasn't telling him to do anything, we were just walking, working on being away from the group. Well he bolts again, even faster this time. Again I lose my stirrups, but manage to stay on. I grab mane, but again, I don't have a lot of experience with this, and I knew he was going to stop when he got over there, and he did. This time I knew that he was doing this on his own. I gave him some very stern pops in the mouth and made him back up straight about 10 yards. I made him stand and watch the two other girls canter, when they went down to a walk, I made him trot, very very very slow trot to catch up. Once I was comfortable with that I made them stand in the same place that they had been when he bolted, and I asked for canter just before I got to them, brought him down, and asked for canter in the place he started bolting each time. He did perfectly fine then, and although he got a little quick, that often happens with a canter transition on him, he's just a little green.

This guy was a barrel racer before I got him so when I say fast I really mean it. At least 25 mph (about 40 kph). He's NEVER done something like this before. He had little kids on him that were having their first lesson, so I feel like I've done something to ruin my boy :( I told the barn manager about it (we're very close, girl #3 is her daughter) and she said that it probably wasn't anything I did, she brought up the cold and the wind, and the fact that he could still be in "trail mode" and knowing he needed to be with the other horses, etc. I'm going back out today, and the whole day, no jumping, I'm gonna make him see them trotting, cantering, etc. in front of him and make him walk, when they walk, make him canter/trot, and hopefully by the end when they canter, I make him canter a ton behind them.

Like I said he is a very gentle horse, never bucks, nothing. He's also very smart, he picks things up no problem. I just have no clue what I've done to him.

Edit: CJ spooks at nothing. It didn't feel like a spook either. There were people walking to come pet the horses w their kids, but they always come by, and like I said CJ was a kid's horse. He knew they were just standing there, and we had passed them several times with no problem. My only issue with them is they heard my shrill scream and saw this big old scary horse running away from me. I can't believe I stayed on, I have no clue how I did it.

Last edited by Colby Jack Seige; 02-16-2017 at 09:58 AM. Reason: forgot to tell yall he didn't spook
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:09 AM
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While I don't really liked where you said you gave him "pops in the mouth", because that makes me think you jerked on the bit? Correct me if I'm wrong there.

As far as everything else, I've never had a horse bolt on me, but I think making him do what he didn't want to do as punishment was the right move. The first time I ever had one going off of where I asked, I just kinda froze and didn't correct them. I've gotten better (been riding about a year and a half, so not much longer than you).

One thing I do know is that you haven't ruined him with just one bad ride. It happened, you handled it, and now move on like nothing has happened. A friend of mine rides a former barrel racer, and he's definitely more horse than I could handle, but your guys sounds like a great horse. We all have bad days. :)

Don't judge someone's horse or skill because they don't compete or work with a trainer.

Sometimes they're the most in tune with each other.

Last edited by BlindHorseEnthusiast4582; 02-16-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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post #3 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:17 AM
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Neeeeever punish a horse by popping them in the mouth. As the saying goes, heaven on their mouth, hell on their sides.

Sounds like he was being a bit buddy sour and took advantage of the situation. Work is the best solution. Hard work near where he wants to run to(buddies), then stop and rest away from them.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:20 AM
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Agree- acting buddy sour. And be careful with backing as a punishment. Horses can and will go very fast backward and it is more terrifying than going fast forward!

You need to spend more time in the arena with these friends and anticipate the surge forward. Turn him away and work him as he gets closer to the other horses. He has to learn that doing this means work work and more work.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindHorseEnthusiast4582 View Post
While I don't really liked where you said you gave him "pops in the mouth", because that makes me think you jerked on the bit? Correct me if I'm wrong there.

As far as everything else, I've never had a horse bolt on me, but I think making him do what he didn't want to do as punishment was the right move. The first time I ever had one going off of where I asked, I just kinda froze and didn't correct them. I've gotten better (been riding about a year and a half, so not much longer than you).

One thing I do know is that you haven't ruined him with just one bad ride. It happened, you handled it, and now move on like nothing has happened. A friend of mine rides a formal barrel racer, and he's definitely more horse than I could handle, but your guys sounds like a great horse. We all have bad days. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Neeeeever punish a horse by popping them in the mouth. As the saying goes, heaven on their mouth, hell on their sides.

Sounds like he was being a bit buddy sour and took advantage of the situation. Work is the best solution. Hard work near where he wants to run to(buddies), then stop and rest away from them.
I guess I didn't really "pop" him... he has issues w accepting the bit so I'm always very cautious with his mouth. I jiggled the reins and pulled my fingers really quick when he stopped. Like strong, quick half halts.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carshon View Post
Agree- acting buddy sour. And be careful with backing as a punishment. Horses can and will go very fast backward and it is more terrifying than going fast forward!

You need to spend more time in the arena with these friends and anticipate the surge forward. Turn him away and work him as he gets closer to the other horses. He has to learn that doing this means work work and more work.
I definitely know what you mean about backing up... the first time I fell off of him was because he just turned out of the gate at a trot (I had only been riding a couple months) and the gate got stuck in between my leg and the saddle. He felt that we were "stuck" and backed up as fast as I think a horse could, and I just went tumbling off his front LOL
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:43 AM
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Well, I am glad you handled the situation and didn't fall off, and brought him back down. As for popping him in the mouth, well, I'm sure that aggravated him. Sounds like he got buddy sour, I agree with the above advice. That's good you are going to continue working through this with him, hopefully he doesn't do it again. Bravo for staying on!

Redz has 'bolted off' before. I found that pulling him into a circle works best. Gets him focused on me & he knows better than to run off like that. I just keep doing circles & he calms himself down. Have to sit back and relax, and 'blob' it. Can't act tense or he will sense that.

Definitely keep working at this with him & those friends of yours so he gets used to it. Working through it is the best option.
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoptartShop View Post
Well, I am glad you handled the situation and didn't fall off, and brought him back down. As for popping him in the mouth, well, I'm sure that aggravated him. Sounds like he got buddy sour, I agree with the above advice. That's good you are going to continue working through this with him, hopefully he doesn't do it again. Bravo for staying on!

Redz has 'bolted off' before. I found that pulling him into a circle works best. Gets him focused on me & he knows better than to run off like that. I just keep doing circles & he calms himself down. Have to sit back and relax, and 'blob' it. Can't act tense or he will sense that.

Definitely keep working at this with him & those friends of yours so he gets used to it. Working through it is the best option.
Yeah the barn manager and I have been working on the "one rein stop" just as a safety thing, and I can do it at a canter but I was pretty shaken up haha. I can guarantee that if he does it today, however, I'll get het nose to touch my boot.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 11:13 AM
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agree with others as to what has been said.
Good that you are working on the one rein stop, providing you do it correctly, running your hand down the one rein, and taking his head away.
Also try to feel when he is starting to get up tight, tense, and then do some exercises that get his mind back on you. For a horse to bolt, he has to keep engaged, able to brace on the reins,so if you can work him in some turns, circles, using a set release, set release, he can't take hold of that bit and bolt
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-16-2017, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
agree with others as to what has been said.
Good that you are working on the one rein stop, providing you do it correctly, running your hand down the one rein, and taking his head away.
Also try to feel when he is starting to get up tight, tense, and then do some exercises that get his mind back on you. For a horse to bolt, he has to keep engaged, able to brace on the reins,so if you can work him in some turns, circles, using a set release, set release, he can't take hold of that bit and bolt
my only real issue w the one rein stop is that sometimes i forget to let go of the other rein... just habit, i've seen horses get their leg wrapped up and thats always been a big fear of mine
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