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 10:58 AM.
Reason: forgot to tell yall he didn't spook