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Hidalgo13 04-16-2011 02:13 PM

boolting away, how to stay on?
Well today I was on my first bolting horse! I am very grateful I didn't fall in the process, but any tips on how to "almost" make sure, or at least enhance your chances of staying on? Frankly, I wish to keep my little record of never falling. :-|

So basically in detail, what happened was this:

Coco was let out in the morning and she ran like crazy apparently. The stable hand told me she would be very calm because of that. Well I was sort of happy she wasn't. I don't like "molo" horses who are energy-less. She was pretty energetic and I had to often slow her down at the canter. The end of the lesson came and I always walk her with my feet out of the stirrups, and with long reins.
It was getting cold and windy so my dad proposed to close the big arena windows. He had to turn this thing to make them go up but it made lots of noise. She was ok at first but then we were parallel to the window and I suddenly felt her tense up...

I immediately knew she was going to bolt.. I was looking down at her and I saw her hesitate, then do that weird sideway footing and then she RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN to the other corner of the arena. My feet were out of the stirrups (I think that might have helped my balance a little actually), and I didn't have control of the reins (or not all because as I said before I gave her some rein).

Well as I felt her beginning to bolt, I quickly gathered the reins, but only got them fully after she started to gallop. I was lucky I naturally fell backward when she took off because that helped me to bring her to a stop. (I naturally lean a little forward for balance you see), I know, very bad, but I was actually working on keeping my body and shoulders more back with my trainer today.

So ya it was a little scary, and during that 3-4 second gallop I got a cramp in my leg lol :lol: so I was trying ever so hard not to fall off. :wink:

Thanks for any tips or bolting stories you might share! I was lucky this time, and she generally is a really sweet girl, so i want to make sure I am prepared if I ever fall on a more frisky, naughty little guy who won't stop like she did.

MrsRobinson 04-16-2011 04:02 PM

That can be really scary. I remember when I was a teen, I used to ride this manic little pony who would tear down the hill at a flat gallop and then screech to a halt at the bush at the bottom! Of course, I would keep going, every time, without fail, landing in a heap opposite her. She'd hang around till I got up and then take off up the hill when she was sure I was ok. I only rode bareback, so going that speed downhill meant I wasn't really thinking about anything else but staying on - I had had a 17hh bolt on me a couple years before and head up to the stables, so I dismounted at a flat gallop and broke my arm.

Hindsight is such a wonderful thing! What I learnt: emergency dismount is only for walking! The aim is to stay on and stop your horse and yourself at the same time. And with my manic friend, there were major respect issues that should have been dealt with before I even got on her. My husband's cousin trains horses and she has taught them to stop when the rider leans back. That would have been useful.

As for what to do when they bolt... relax and sit back (that's what I keep telling my daughter), and a one reign stop is about the only thing I can think of. If the rear end has no power, they're only going to spin around in circles...

haleylvsshammy 04-16-2011 05:26 PM

When a horse bolts on me, I do a one rein stop. I try to stop with my seat, legs, hands, etc before doing the one rein stop because sometimes they are acting silly and just get a little excited, and are still very responsive to your cues. Remember, though, after you do a one rein stop, continue your ride like nothing happened. In fact, I usually go right into a brisk trot to get the horse's mind off of bolting and back into work.

CJ82Sky 04-16-2011 05:33 PM

i'm glad you stayed on and were okay but as for never falling off i'd say that the more you ride... eventually it's gonna happen ;) hopefully when it does, it's a minor one!

i used to start horses for the track so bolting was just another speed that i got used to. in all honesty the best thing to do is sit up, sink your weight into your heels and seat (obv having stirrups helps as far as heels lol), and if necessary use a pulley rein. depending on the speed/terrain, i'm hesitant to pull the horse in a circle because it can cause a horse to fall down if the horse isn't balanced, is frantic, etc. so just be sure that if you do attempt a circle that you're safe about it (i.e. fine in an arena or level ground, not so good on a hill).

CJ82Sky 04-16-2011 05:35 PM

oh and i've also found that steady pulling is not as effective as tug/release. it's a lot easier for a horse to brace on the bit and/or ignore it if it's a steady pull back as opposed to tug/release (repeat lol). most racehorses are trained to grab the bit and go so steady pulling for some horses will just make them go faster.

Northern 04-16-2011 06:48 PM

I agree with CJ82Sky; careful of trying one-rein stops at a gallop!

One thing to try & remember is to ride the horse as fast as it goes, meaning, don't brace up against the movement, but relax in the energy.

Of course, our inborn instinct is to crouch & grip. :)

apachewhitesox 04-16-2011 09:48 PM

I agree with CJ82Sky. Good on you for staying on :D

Just thought I would add a story. My first time owning a horse out by myself in a big paddock, I had never been faster then a trot on a horse before. My little mare Pepper decided she felt like running back to the house. Prior to this I had been lucky to ride a few times a year. I managed to stay upright and balanced for a few strides but then I just lost it and ended up hanging of her side one leg over her back and my arms wrapped around her neck. I rode like this for the next 50 metres or so until she stopped outside the house. My sister came out of the house laughing and said I could get off, as I found out I was only perhaps 30 centimetres from the ground. Pepper just stood there waiting for me to get back on the little turd. I think it would have been an interesting video, my sister wreckons it was the funniest thing she had ever seen :D

I have since learnt how to stay on a bolting horse.

CJ82Sky 04-16-2011 09:49 PM

one way to correct a chronic bolter if there's room and it's safe (i.e. in the ring, in a large field) is to ride the bolt out of them. obviously this does NOT work if the horse is heading towards / into a barn, fence, or other immovable object.

anyway fo a chronic bolter i ride the bolt out of them in that i let them bolt, and when they eventually run out of steam, i ask them to gallop on. usually the horse is like wtf?! i thought we were done! worked like a charm for a perch cross we used to have here who had learned by bolting he could intimidate his rider and get out of work. thing was he wasn't very fast, nor was he very energetic so i quickly figured out that his bolt was only so far lol. he tried that with me once and rather than get in a tug of war with a nearly 1800 pound horse, i put my leg on and started kicking to go faster. poor horse was like hey wait! that was MY idea - if you actually WANT me to go faster this isn't so fun!!! he promptly came back to a trot to which i made him gallop (hand gallop - we were in the ring - he'd do this in the ring usually) a few more laps around the ring. he never tried bolting with me again. he tried a few times with other students but i told them what to do and he very quickly decided that bolting was a bad idea that resulted in MORE not LESS work ;)

Hidalgo13 04-16-2011 10:43 PM

Thanks a lot guys! How do you do a one rein stop exactly? You just pull the nose into the inside or outside shoulder?

bubba13 04-16-2011 10:58 PM

I think one-rein stops are extremely dangerous and can easily pull a horse over on its side at a high speed, breaking its neck (or yours!)--and thus I won't advocate a one-rein stop.

Instead, I lift up on one rein and attempt to gradually circle the horse. I don't pull straight back, and I don''t pull straight out, either. The goal is a big, wide, slowingly spiraling-in circle, which over time checks the horse. If you've ever done any sort of lateral work in your lessons yet, it's sort of like that. Tip the nose in, do a sort of give and take on the reins, and ease to a halt. But be firm, of course. Sit down and deep; don't panic.

For future reference, you should never leave your reins so loose that you can't immediately pick them up to a reasonable tightness.

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