HELP!! Equine Fire Drill: stop, drop & rolled in the snow on the trail - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Boston
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HELP!! Equine Fire Drill: stop, drop & rolled in the snow on the trail


Lovely 1st trail ride in the snow along our regular route.
Townes was nosing the snow a little as he went along and no this fool didn't slowly drop to his knees & lay down! My feet were about on the ground, so I basically walked off him. He rolled onto one side (thanks for not tearing up my favorite saddle) & got up like it was all good.

What the hayle?

How do I stop this from ever happening again? He's not even much of a roller in the pasture, has never looked funny at water or grass - that fresh untouched snow was too much to resist apparently.

Had to trudge a ways in the snow to find a rock to use as a mounting block & hopped back on.

Ok we laughed pretty hard but it's not funny. He's not allowed to put his head down ever again!

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 11:05 PM
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my green 2 yr old did that to me just the other day. Took her off the path & the big deep snow was too much to resist i guess she was down before i knew it!!
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 11:05 PM
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Now that he's done it once, he'll try to do it again.

Some of the warning signs are, as you mentioned, nosing around in the snow, walking very slowly, pawing at the ground, etc. Horses love to roll in loose sand as well.

Next time he acts like he wants to lay down, put him to work hard. Make him circle, sidepass, back up, serpentine, anything to get his mind back on the job at hand.

If he does actually manage to drop before you can stop him, do not just wait until he's done and he decides to get up. Get after him and force him to get up right that instant and then put him to work on the ground around you. If you have to kick him in the side to get him back on his feet, so be it, but he needs to learn that rolling under a rider is never okay.

It's way too easy for the rider to end up with a broken leg or worse when a horse just suddenly decides that they want to roll.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 11:10 PM
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It's simple and looks like you are on the right track. Know the signs of a horse wanting to roll (nose on the ground and slowing down is a pretty darn good sign). When they start just give a quick pop on the reins to get their head up and a heel in the gut to take their mind off rolling. Be vigilant, be aware and most of all don't let them do anything you didn't approve of first! Smelling the roses as we ride is what gets us in trouble.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-22-2013, 12:56 AM
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good point about not just standing there , slack jawed and stunned, and watch him rolling while you wait fro him to get up. Rolling should be mightly uncomfortable. I guess I'd smack him and keep smacking until he got up. quick like!
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-22-2013, 01:20 AM
Green Broke
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I've had that happen quite a few times. Normally, I give them a good bump on their sides and yell at them.

When I was riding our TWH, Lucy, she dropped without warning. She does have a tendency to do that. She did it more than once on that ride. No amount of bumping her sides would get her to stop. The second time, I didn't have time to get my foot out of the stirrup. I ended up with my foot pinned under her. She still refused getting up with my wife pulling on the reins and me kicking her butt.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-22-2013, 11:38 AM
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Wow, that's no good! But it looks like you've gotten some good advice.

When I read the title of the thread, I thought you meant everyone got off their horses, ran around them, and switched mounts. Think... Chinese Fire Drill xD Yikes.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-22-2013, 11:41 AM
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When I was riding my horse bareback and takless one time, he put his head down and started awing the ground - what he always does before he decides to roll.
What I did is every time after that when he put his head down, I would keep asking him to move. I also did this the first time he did it and he continue walking.
He was hesitant because he wanted to roll but he respected me and kept walking.

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-22-2013, 01:52 PM
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Biscuit did this two years ago on New Years Eve. It was right around 80 degrees and his coat was pretty heavy. He was sweaty even though we had just been walking. He started peanut rolling and dropped to the ground. He didn't roll, thank God, as he had on a brand new saddle. I think he was just hot but I do watch out for him trying that baloney again. Biscuit will lay down in water if he is hot! Just be aware of the signs and next time make him work.

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post #10 of 10 Old 12-22-2013, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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I had a horse that would do this after crossing water and here is what I did: when he dropped to roll I took my foot out of the sirup on the side he was rolling and I put my foot perpendicular to his side. I braced my toe on the ground so as he went to roll he rolled into my spur. He popped up so quick and never tried it again. It is a lot of pressure on you foot for a split second - not sure I would recommend this technique to everyone btw you need to have a fast reaction time.

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