What's the best way to teach a horse to stop when the rider falls off? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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What's the best way to teach a horse to stop when the rider falls off?

I just thought this would be something handy to know
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post #2 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 07:52 PM
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Wow, I guess I never thought of teaching a horse to stop. In my experience you just get the ones that automatically will without even thinking, you get the ones that carry on without a care, and you get the ones that completely freak out. I think alot of it depends on how the fall happens, where, and why. There's not really a way to plan for the unexpected.
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post #3 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:03 PM
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Ideally you should hold on to your rein, even if you fall off. Easier said than done, lol!
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post #4 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:10 PM
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In my experience, it's best that your horse very solidly knows the verbal command for "whoa". Whether lunging or free penning, when you say "WHOA", he should slide to an immediate halt.

After that, it's pretty easy! You just practice riding forward, and then at a walk, sliding off him (often easiest bareback), and firmly saying WHOA. If he continues forward, use your reins from the ground to make him halt and stand.

Most horses have a natural inclination to want to stop when you are unbalanced or falling. Unfortunately, many of us only happen to be unbalanced or falling when our horses are acting badly, and in my experience, teaching them to stop when you fall off goes out the window when they're delibrately bucking you off

I've had it save my life though, getting hung up in my tack and having my horse listen to me repeating whoa from a dangling stirrup.

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post #5 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:11 PM
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I agree. Some horses will, some horses won't. You'll be at a show, and the horses that will won't. I have two horses that will move a few strides away and then stop, just to be out of my way. I also had a horse that would hightail it. Depends on the horse i guess.

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post #6 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipsfirstspike View Post
Ideally you should hold on to your rein, even if you fall off. Easier said than done, lol!
Never, never do it! If you fall, hold the rein and horse freaks out next you'll have is horse actually stepping or striking at you, which may lead to really bad injuries. I had it happen with me once and I've seen it happening with other people. Just let it go - most horses will stop especially if you ride with someone and other horse stops.
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post #7 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:27 PM
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This is a really interesting topic. My horse Berdi stops immediately when I fall off and stares at me like really concerned like, "What happened?" She is so sweet! But I've fallen off others who will simply gallop away, reins trailing behind them and you have to chase after them to catch them up again!
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post #8 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:32 PM
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hmmm...I didn't train my horse to stop, she just bucked me off and then stopped and looked at me. Given, I still had the reins in my hand but I fell off a horse with my foot caught in my stirrups and he dragged me a few feet before I got my sences back and got my foot outta the stirrup.

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post #9 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:39 PM
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maybe just pretending to fall off and getting them to sto when you do, this might just get it in their head that when your off, they stop.
Ive only fallen off once on my new horse, but it was after she threw a few bucks... As soon as i hit the ground my first thought was "grab the reins!!!' haha i rolled over as fast as i could to grab them or try to if she was galloping away... and i rolled right into her nose in my face, haha she looked at me like: you idiot! get up! what are you doing down there dummie!!
haha i think it depends on the horse.

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post #10 of 83 Old 05-03-2010, 08:42 PM
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I've come off my horse 2 times. One time we were galloping and he stopped dead in his tracks when I came off. The second time he was just standing there, something scared him and caught me off guard. He spun around, dumped me and galloped 2 miles home. I find it ironic that time he was hauling ass he stopped, and the time he was standing still he ended up hauling ass. I guess it depends on the circumstances going on during the unexpected dismount.

Unless you're in an area, such as near a busy road, where you absolutely need to hold on to save your horse, I also let go of the reins. You can't fall safely and roll if you're trying to hang on. I did it once and the horse still tried to take off and yanked my shoulder half off my body. It still hurts from time to time. I wish I had let go.

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