Today my horse took off with someone - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Today my horse took off with someone

First off all, I'd just like to say I have a horse who Does. Not. Bolt. Usually.

In the past that statement would have read Does. Not. Bolt. Fullstop, but today she defied expectations and years of experience and took off with my friends boyfriend.

So we all went on a trail ride, three horses and four teenagers. Three would ride, and one would mind the dogs. Friends Boyfriend (here on out referred to as FB) wanted a canter, so it was decided all the horses would canter up the hill. Black horse took off. FB suddenly chickened out and tried to keep trotting. Chestnut horse was slowed to a trot and did a very hasty trot for a few moments before the rider gave up and let her horse canter. Chestnut horse cantered a few strides but stayed beside my mare.

At this point my horse and FB were still trotting, when they trotted under a branch. FB leant forward and my horse took off. Apparently, according to several witnesses she actually galloped, pasted Chestnut and FB sat that gallop for a few moments before he tumbled to the ground. My horse stopped a few strides later and I mounted her.

She was slightly spooky but fine.

We recreated the event, with Black horse galloping for home right past my horse. My mare keep walking. Quietly. As she was trained to do. As she does every. single. trail ride. ever. I even leant forward and wrapped my arms around her neck to see if she'd take advantage. Nothing.

Another friend also got on, and cantered my horse both away from (out of sight) and back towards the other riders. Still, her manners were fine.

I am slightly annoyed, not only because FB came off but also because she was naughty. And also because she was only naughty for him. Any ideas about why the sudden change of heart for a different rider? And how I can stop it happening again?

Last edited by iRide Ponies; 03-08-2014 at 12:51 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 02:35 AM
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Could have been his position of leaning forward or just that she knew he didn't know what he was doing....?
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 02:44 AM
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I dunno. it's not that uncommon for one horse to lose it in a group cantering up a hill, especially if one is held back while the others canter off.

I am not saying it's good, and a well trained horse shouldn'et.

but , if I was walking Z along, and you came galloping right by us, he would definitely become excited and want to take off after you. depends on the rider if the horse can be dissuaded or not.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by iRide Ponies View Post

We recreated the event, with Black horse galloping for home right past my horse. My mare keep walking. Quietly. As she was trained to do. As she does every. single. trail ride. ever. I even leant forward and wrapped my arms around her neck to see if she'd take advantage. Nothing.
Maybe I didn't make it quite clear, but its normal for her to walk nicely even when her friends gallop. I get her do it often on trail rides, and its only this one time that she got upset.

Usually we can be riding home and my cousin can be like, I want to gallop. And I reply, I don't want to gallop. And she says, okay, that's fine, I'll meet you by that ridgeline. Then she gallops off and Shakira and I keep waking nice.

That's why I was annoyed, because it is so unusual for her t get antsy about that stuff.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 05:57 AM
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What is normal with a confident rider and a nervous rider is completely different. It takes a special kind of horse (or one that's been broken) to pack along a nervous rider that doesn't have a good seat without staying with the group for confidence, since the rider has none.

Alahna's the other way around though..I can put someone who's never seen a horse before on her and she won't go past a walk unless I'm lunging her..Put someone experienced on her? She's a ball of energy that you have to be able to handle or she'll blow up on you if you don't handle her the way she wants (have to ask which she'll usually do it..tell her to do something and you get all the attitude).

I would say she needs a confident rider to be able to do what you can do on her, not a nervous one.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 06:16 AM
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If he was scared he was likely gripping tight with his legs. Couple that with other horses moving fast... Boom! Recipe for disaster.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 07:56 AM
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I also would guess that he clamped on with his legs. Green riders often do this. They hang their heels in tightly and the horse thinks they are supposed to take off. If your horse behaved and did not do it again, i would not worry about it. Your horse is just too sensitive and broke for a rank beginners. I never put beginners on my 'good' horses. They listen too well. A horse has to be pretty old an really 'solid' to sort out the different riders and learn to ignore the inexperienced ones. Few horses acquire that kind of skill.

We have one old trail gelding that is like that. We have had him for 14 years. He rides really 'broke' for a good rider. He works cows and used to run a pretty decent barrel pattern. You put a beginner on him and rides like he is dumb as a box of rocks. If takes him about 30 seconds to figure out which one he has on his back. He is like a 'horsemanship IQ test'. We love to put the braggarts on him that tell us how great they ride. He can tell us if they REALLY know how to ride in about 30 seconds.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 09:21 AM
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I agree with the above, it was rider error. His reaction caused the incident. My suggestion would be that when beginners are involved, you keep it to a walk unless you are in a controlled environment. Out on the trail it gets to hard for you to have any control of the situation. Especially when it involves teenage boys (...Can you tell I've been their and done that? I'm with ya,...)
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 11:07 AM
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Good comments here.
I would not be annoyed with the horse whatsoever. When a group is out riding and some (or one) is a very green rider, the rest of the group needs to consider the safety and enjoyment of everyone.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-08-2014, 11:31 AM
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I would guess that BF leaned forward, was squeezing with his legs, and his heels dug in. Combine that with the horse's friends leaving, and the result is predictable for a trained horse. Especially as BF probably just squeezed even tighter with his legs the faster she went. The best beginner horses aren't well trained, per se, but rather they've learned to ignore cues that would normally mean to do something so as not to upset the rider's balance.
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