Horse running when rider falls
I'm glad to say I don't fall often and my horses are decently behaved most of the time. I'm used to my main trail horse who immediately stops and stands by me if I do fall. I don't like to hold onto the reins if I fall but if I felt I had to and was capable of doing it I would.
My other horse however I have noticed from my one fall, other peoples that he runs off the moment your gone. I also saw him fight one person who held on to the reins for awhile. Since I want to trail ride I don't want him running off on me if I can help it in the event of a fall. Only I'm not sure how to go about it. Is it a respect thing? Something to do with training? I would love some opinions/advice.
I was thinking respect would have a lot to do with it. I don't think my main horse respects me as much as I would like to think he does, but he always stops so I was thinking it was more training. So I'm confused and any help would be awesome. :D
if it was safe enough to do so I would spend some time in the stable, pasture or arena just sitting about on the ground. ignore him and read a book, or play on your phone.... off topic but why does everyone seem to do that even when they are riding?....
just be friendly from the ground.
you could then make that up to a game where you ride in the arena, deliberately get off and lay on the ground... if he looks at you give him a treat.
then deliberately do that on the trail as well... lay down and give him a treat.
be aware that at this point your family and friends will phoning the men in the white coats to have you taken away. lol.
I don't know about other people, but I have to admit I play with my phone a bit when riding. Especially on a trail if I'm checking the time or talking to someone about something important.
That is the sort of thing I was thinking of doing only I didn't think to add treats to the situation. I tried to just jump off while he was walking the day after I fell and he stopped, turned and looked at me without any prompting from me.
It's probably a fear thing. Horses don't expect you to suddenly be off their back and on the ground. The first time, and only time so far, someone fell of my gelding he darted across the arena and turned around with a "WTF" look on his face. Scared the crap out of him.
I would suggest maybe practice falling off him in an enclosed area. While he's walking, jump off him and lay on the ground. It will probably take a few times, but as soon as he stands by you or takes a couple strides then stops, praise him. Eventually it might fix the problem. :)
Generally speaking a "fall" comes in the midst of/as the result of a spook, middle of acting up, etc as most riders don't simply fall off when all is going well - so the horse is already in a mental state that says, "GET AWAY", as soon as the rider is no longer mounted and able to try to control the siutation the horse follows that instinct.
And , having you fall off is frightening because you likely drag along his sides, too. His flanks are his most sensitive and vulnerable spot, exactly where the wolf or lion would try to rip out his intestines. So, he is programmed to be very protective of that area.
have you ever tried putting a jacket or blanket or tarp up on his back, off again, up again, have him trot around with it on him, let it fall off him, and more? see how he reacts to stuff coming off his flanks and rubbing agains him. He should do no more than a little flinch , then stop and look at the "thing".
" most riders don't simply fall off when all is going well "
LOL Well, mostly that's true. Once I was sitting on my horse in a friend's backyard. Just sitting still. Next thing I knew I was flat on the ground. I have no clue what happened and it hasn't happened since. That was over 20 years ago. It takes real talent to do that, you know!
I am going to apply Tinyliny's suggestion of letting stuff fall off with our horses. I love how we can learn from each other here.
Thanks everyone he isn't really a spooky horse so I hadn't thought of it like that. I will have a ago with so stuff on him on and jump off some off some more.
If you have a round pen, practice falling off. Have a halter with a long lead in your hand, and start with a simple jump off. Progress to jumping off and crouching on the ground, then jumping off while holding onto a rain slicker or something. Be careful, don't do the slicker if he's not already ok with being ridden with one.
This is a topic being discussed on a local BB due to the exact situation you're discussing - that horse has been missing for weeks now, so there's a lot of discussion of training techniques to avoid this nightmare.
More good things to work on: practice dragging an object on the ground, and, simultaneously, woahing off of voice. If you get caught up in the stirrup, that horse better stop when you tell him!
Coming to yelling and clapping. If a horse gets loose, searchers are going to be making a lot of noise - yelling, whistling, rustling bushes. Teach your horse to come to lots of noise, not run away from it. Every time you feed, clap and yell, even if they're already at the feed buckets. Practice out in the pasture - start off with treat rewards, but try to wean off to verbal praise as fast as possible, without backsliding in training.
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My mare who is 11 and I got her at 3yr. has been a good girl. I think what helped her was that I have dragged logs/tires behind her, put tires/tarps/barrels/balls/etc. on her and let them fall off of her, I fell off twice last year (first time in yrs.) and she stopped right away and put her head down to me as if to ask why I was down there LOL I have never practiced falling off though!
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