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Tayz 01-25-2009 05:39 AM

how to hold on
ok, well i went horse trekking a few weeks ago and i was put on a horse what kept on bolting with me. Yeah, the person who has never ridden before and is 14 years old gets the bolting horse. Yep, well when the horse bolting at one stage I was gripping onto the saddle to keep from falling while it galloped about 100 metres away before the tour guide person finally caught up, but by this time the horse had halted, it ears layed back. While I was gripping to the saddle I was wondering "Is this the only way to hold on when a horse is bolting?"(and oh my gosh I'm so going to fall off any minute now and aaaarrrrgggghhh) and so here I am asking you guys whether you know the proper way to hold on. It might come in handy in the future or maybe some members on here might like to here some advice.
so what is the proper way to hold on? with your legs, the saddle, your hands? any tips...

iridehorses 01-25-2009 08:47 AM

Having a horse bolt is one scary situation; I've been there a few times and never enjoyed it!

Whatever it takes to hold on is the proper way to do it but what you need to learn is how to prevent it or, at least, how to stop it. Preventing it comes from knowing what to look for - the signs that it's about to happen. You need to be proactive on any horse and especially one that you don't know regardless of what someone told you about the horse ... one of the last things I ever want to hear after a horse has done something is "Wow, he's never done that before!".

The signs I look for are in his ears, are they forward or pinned; the feel of his body (tenseness as an example, bracing against the bit - pulling the reins from your hands); is his tail swishing; is his head high (when it's normally lower). Those are some of the warning signs and I'm sure you'll hear others.

When it seems a bolt is eminent, brace yourself and turn your horse. You need to get his mind on you and not the thought of bolting. Moving him in a circle or just bending him and disengaging his back end will cause him to rethink his intentions.

If a bolt happens anyway, then put your weigh to the back of the saddle, your legs forward and using one rein, try to turn him in a large circle. Pulling both reins back will not stop him. Pulsing the reins may help but a one rein stop is the best way.

It's a very scary thing even for an experienced rider!

claireauriga 01-25-2009 01:45 PM

If you're on a trekking horse, they're likely to have many bad habits like pulling the reins, shaking their head, being very hard mouthed, and so on. Hopefully they shouldn't bolt, but instead be hard to get past a slow slow walk ...

Can you tell I've had some sucky experiences trekking?

Experienced riders stay on a bolting, rearing or bucking horse by being relaxed, believe it or not. They know how to move with the horse and can stay calm, and therefore stay in the saddle. If you take riding lessons, you will soon learn that the more tense you are, the more you bump and bounce about, but if you relax everything and pretend to be jelly you won't move much at all.

For novices, hold onto the saddle and the mane! The horse has no nerves in its mane so you can pull as hard as you need to, and even if the saddle slips the mane can't. Keep hold of your reins and turn the horse in a circle, because they can't run so fast if they need to balance while turning. Try and relax to make things less bumpy, and don't squeeze hard with your legs because the horse may interpret this as an instruction to go even faster.

Tayz 01-25-2009 06:23 PM

Yeah the horse I rode was scared of my jumper. The wind was rattling it. I'm proud of myself. I picked up all the signs that it was going to bolt before it did. I suppose that's probaly the only reason I stayed on. All the signs Iridehorses said were there. (except for the tenseness, but it probaly was there too)

horseMAD 01-26-2009 10:19 PM

I grip with my knees and calm him down by walking him around in a circle... Your not alone, it IS a scary experience!! (And a bad habit!!)

horsegirl123 01-27-2009 06:54 AM

Bolting can be very scary, but when the horse sences that you are scared, it will only give the horse more reason to be scared so stay calm. When the horse bolts, you want to sit back in the saddle.

PoptartShop 01-28-2009 12:16 PM

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That is definitely scary. But I have to agree, a 1-rein stop really works, if you've tried everything else.
My friend's horse bolted very unexpectantly last week, & she pulled her into the rail, with a 1-rein stop. Or else she would've kept going. :O

satrider 01-28-2009 03:56 PM

that is scary, you did better than me, it has happened to me twice on my own horse, but not prepared for it. Never expected it. My mare wanted to get back to the barn to her buddy. I was not able to hold on and took a pretty hard fall. Had a sore back for days.:-x I am very cautious now and look for signs, like everyone mentioned here. And definetely one rein stop, you should practice though because it is not as easy as you may think. Especially of the horse is not used to having his head/neck bent all the time. Anyhow, good luck for the future.

Tayz 01-30-2009 06:46 AM

Thanks, ouch! :/ how's your back now?? hope it feels better...

Eolith 01-30-2009 08:29 AM

I agree with much of what everyone here has said. Stay as calm and relaxed as possible. If you are trying to "grip" with your legs, though, I would not suggest using your knees. That only makes your thighs tense up and you'll ping off like a clothespin trying to be forced on something round. Does that make any sense at all? Rather, keep your upper leg relaxed and use your calves to essentially "wrap" around the horse's barrel.

The one rein stop is definitely your best option. If you've got one half of the horse stopped (or turning in a circle), the other half can't go anywhere!

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