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Savvy Debonair 12-15-2011 05:21 AM

bolting ; present participle of bolt (Verb)
Fasten (something) with a metal pin or bar, in particular.
(of a horse or other animal) Run away suddenly out of control: "the horses bolted".
Pass (flour, powder, or other material) through a sieve.

Soooo Fairly certain i am talking about option 2.

My New horse Shadow is a. a nervous wreck when it comes to riding. 2 A bolter.

I discovered this the hard way. Listening to much to his "loving" owners, who wanted nothing but a good home.. So i bought him, and he's got a good home, now he's getting some training.

I understand there is a multitude of reasons a horse bolts. Fear, Pain, excitement, nervousness, poor training, habit, ways to avoid work.

What i don't understand is how a horse can go from being a light easy horse to work with, to a couple months later, bolting at everything, doors opening/shutting, trees banging, people driving past. It's getting a bit ridiculous ,and to say the least, im getting un nerved. I also recognise this behaviour is probably attributed to the fact, the first time he bolted i was bare back, he kept cantering/galloping and wouldn't stop for anything, he turned towards a fence and i thought he was going to jump it, he did, he swung side ways, almost 360 and i came off, landing almost between his back feat? (i dunno how). The day that happened i still don't understand -how- or why- it happened, it was a calm day, my big boy was infront walking calmly, there was little to no wind, no other horses being silly, no cars, no people, no banging noises, no loose dogs cats bats whatever. I still don't understand and never will. He was only in a loose ring snaffle and bare back.

He also did this recently, i went to mount him, he was chomping his bit and shakign his head a bit, i was letting him relax, just scratching his neck and shoulder before i mounted, he calmed, stopped chomping, i mounted and before i had even gotten half way over he took off, i didn't kick him or bump him, because i don't kick or bump horses, he's small and im relatively light.

He only took of at a trot, but it was FAST and with only one stirrup it was unbalancing, this day was windy and there was activity. He also always feels very nervous, walks waaaaay to fast and has his head up and is tense.

Now my question is WHAT can i do to try and calm him down before he explodes by bolting? I don't like to lunge him before i ride him, he gets super worked up ,and then the focus of the day becomes lunging him ,till i can end on a good note. I Resorted last time i rode him to puttign him on a lunge line with my mum >.<

Tips would be appreciated <3

** Added some pictures so you can see how he acts, i know photos only show one second in time, maybe someone can see something we are doing wrong?**

DuffyDuck 12-15-2011 05:36 AM

Before you do anything, check teeth, back, saddle.

Make sure he's not in pain and escaping it by bolting...

Savvy Debonair 12-15-2011 05:45 AM

Everything has been checked when i purchased him saddle was fitted :L

DuffyDuck 12-15-2011 05:51 AM

How long have you had him? And did you do the checks, or previous owner? If previous owner did it, get it don'e again. If its over a month, check saddle and back...

Savvy Debonair 12-15-2011 05:57 AM

I had him since August St, i had him checked when i bought him (vet) and when i brought him home month later he was Chiroed and teeth checked i only rode him once when i bought him, he needed more manners and ground work.. Saddle fit was only last month(November) and I've only ridden him another 2 times since then.

DuffyDuck 12-15-2011 06:00 AM

In which case he may have changed shape, less muscle etc. I would double check. My horse tried to buck me off yesterday evening- freaked out at a whip in my hand, however I will be double checking her saddle this evening for peace of mind for me.

Its worth doing!

Savvy Debonair 12-15-2011 06:02 AM

Am i expected to check his saddle every month, even without working him alot, when he has bolted every time i have ridden him except when i bought him and the first ride after i purchased him?

DuffyDuck 12-15-2011 06:06 AM

I like to keep an eye on it, especially if a horse is in a lot/ not a lot of work, just to keep an eye on things.

Better safe than sorry. As for the bolting itself, what do you do? My advice would be turn him in, and quick, providing the ground isn't deep/boggy. If he trips, no matter, but he can't bolt with his nose turned in if you pull it far enough.

Secondly, what sort of home did he come from? was he ridden a lot? It may be he has been ridden, ridden ridden, and now he goes out and about occassionally he gets himself worked up.

Savvy Debonair 12-15-2011 06:18 AM

I Would to, just isn't always an option with the way my mum and I work, i get things done as my work allows.. Not saying i neglect or abuse my horses needs, it just doesn't happen as much as id like it too.

What do i do? First time it happened out of the blue suddenly he was just running, i was bare back and with a French link loose ring snaffle, he just locked against me, no turning, no slowing, nothing, he galloped until the fenced neared he slowed, jumped and then ducked sideways and i fell.

The second time he did it was a canter transition , maybe ive ridden him 4 times not 3 but anyway. He took of and he was NOT responding to me turning his nose in, he had the bit between his teeth hand cocked side ways running through my hands, i tried yanking him the other way, until he eventually stopped after i decided to tell him to go faster instead of slower

Third time i was ready for it i could feel he was nervous and worked up( i was tacked), i was stroking him, talking to him, i asked for a trot and it as super uick and choppy then he tried breaking to canter, i asked for trot and he exploded, took of again but this time i was ready, i got him to circle and he calmed back down. Still very very quick trot and even quicker canter when i asked.

4th time he did it when i mounted, i had one stirrup, i braced against his mouth putting my hands on his shoulders to get some leverage, pulling one rein shorter so he was on a slight turn and he went into a corner and stopped. I got my stirrup asked for him to walk again, he lept forward into a trot and then cantered again, he raised his head and wouldn't turn until i basically swung my body against him and sun him in a ccircle usign my weight + legs. Sounds a bit weird but i had to basically push his barrel into a circle before he gave me his head again.

Sorry for the big posts lol :P

Savvy Debonair 12-15-2011 06:20 AM

The home he came from, it's a mixed bag, i've heard he used to get galloped up and down high ways, into the main parts of town, taken threw McDonalds and such, used to check fencing, "herd" cattle, he apparently had some really bad accidents including falling into a drain pipe or something and being whipped for it.. So it's not like i blame him for getting worked up.

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