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katgrich 11-06-2011 11:09 PM

Bolting Horse...Help!

I recently bought a 6 yr old Friesian/Shire gelding cross. He's a big wonderful guy. In the 3 weeks I have had him he has been doing a very well but with a few huge exceptions.

He is a giant chicken. If I take him into the indoor arena he gets very nervous. The first time he went in pretty good but was a little spooked, head up and walking fast. The next time I took him into the arena I didn't even get the door closed and he bolted out of the arena about 20 feet and stopped and grazed. Luckily there was a trainer there that day, he brought him in and worked him pretty good, herding him and moving his feet till he calmed back down.

The other evening I took him outside by himself and he couldn't relax. He was in my space with his head up and the whites of his eyes showing. I tried to calm him down but he was jittery the entire time.

I have now decided that I need to slow down his training and start from the beginning. Everyday we work on ground manners. When I walk into the paddock, I walk in and wait for him to come to me. I lower my posture and he immediately comes to me, shows me affection and waits for me to halter him. It's been really muddy in the outside arena so we have been working in the paddock. He stays out of my space when leading, he yields at all 4 corners, the pole and back. I can even throw the lead rope over my shoulder and groom him without being tied.

So today I took him to the outside arena. As soon as we got out of the paddock and started walking toward the arena, his breath changed, head went up, and his walk quickened. We got in the arena and after about 5 minutes I had him back to responding in a proper manner. You would think watching him inside the paddock or arena he had been professionally trained.

Here is the problem, when we were leaving the arena he tensed up again and then tried to graze. He is so large he can pull me in any direction. I immediately corrected him, I led him in large circles with the gate open past the grass over and over until he didn't tug towards the grass. Seemed like everything was under control....NOPE as soon as we walked out of the gate off he ran... he darted towards the grass and then headed towards the field. He only got about 15 yards from me and then stopped and let me come get the rope. After that I led him back to his paddock. After he was in the paddock I worked him so I didn't leave on a bad note.

Why is he bolting outside of the arena or paddock? It's like he becomes a different horse outside of the gates. Right now I am using a nylon halter and 8' lead rope. I have ordered the CA rope training halter and 14' lead rope hoping this will make the difference. I've been told he doesn't respect his nylon halter and leans on it and that the knotted rope halter will make the difference. Could this also just be he is not acclimated to his new home? He has a new home, new owner, new everything...

Help? My hands hurt from rope burn:-P

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