Runaway Horse!

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Runaway Horse!

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    10-16-2012, 09:19 AM
Runaway Horse!

Hey guys, I need some advice with my horse... Yesterday we went on a trail ride with my friend who owns the barn, she was on a small pony riding western and I was on my appendix quarter horse riding english. I have been on trails a million times and have never had an issue. I have had Joey for like 7 or something years and he is the best. Anyways when we decided to gallop down this long lane with little streams to jump and everything, I was fine with that because I have done that a million times with him before. So we started racing and the little pony my friend was riding is extremely fast and I didn't know that so of course my horse wanted to keep up. He went to put his head down and I realized he was going to buck so I got his head up and we were fine. But the next we started to race he started bucking right of the back when we were galloping and I lost my stirrup and after trying to get his head back up (while still galloping) he threw me. He kept running and caught up to the other horse and then ran all the way home (1 mile) to his pasture and broke his reins. My friend came back by the way and I was fine up and walking towards the trail, but I have never seen my horse get out of control like and I was just wondering what you guys think about it. I believe for the first time ever since I have had him, that he showed that he wasn't just a quarter horse and that's great and I loved that because he's been such an easy ride and I wanted a challenge. Now I just need to learn how to control it all. ANy ideas on what to do? Sorry it's so long :)
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    10-16-2012, 10:01 AM
I think you need to stop doing unsafe things on the trail (racing). Just about any horse is going to get fired up and caught in the heat of the moment, perhaps going so far as forgetting their training, when you are allowing them to race.

Do you want to race, or do you want a well behaved trail horse?
    10-16-2012, 10:07 AM
^^^That!! Nothing else to add.
    10-16-2012, 10:13 AM
Green Broke
You probably shouldn't have raced the second time when you saw it was going to be an issue. And/or your friend should not have gotten so far ahead of you when you horse was having an issue with it.

Horses very often will get "fired up" and excited when running with each other. But they still need to listen to you. We'll let our horses race in a safe area out on the trails (usually a dirt summer fallow field or a harvested crop field). But they know when I want them to walk calmly, and when they are allowed to race.

Either way, the next time you race (I actually encourage you do because you're going to need to fix this issue), make sure you do it in an area where you have room to turn him into a circle. If you can't ride through the buck, then you can at least get his head to your knee. He can't buck with his head at your knee. The instant you've regained control and he isn't bucking anymore, make him WORK in a circle for several minutes. He needs to know that 1) bucking is not acceptable 2) bucking will not get him out of hard work. If you always stop him when he bucks, he'll eventually learn he can get out of working, and he'll try it.

Or go ahead and let your friend run ahead. While you let your horse gallop slowly, then stop him. Let him gallop slowly, then stop him. Turn around. Gallop slowly. Stop. Etc. Just make him LISTEN despite what the other rider is doing. He needs to know that you are the team leader, no matter what else is going on. And brace yourself for a tantrum and be ready to get his head to his knee and keep control, and keep him working.
    10-16-2012, 10:45 AM
Super Moderator
I spent many years in the UK hunting several days a week through the season and got roped in to a few team chases too (where a group of usually 4 people race other teams across country with solid fences to get the best time)
The secret to having a horse that's under control is to never 'let go of its head', you always maintain a good contact because once they realise you don't have that they will forget you're there and go. I bet he really enjoyed himself
I would suggest that you don't do this again until you have learnt how to handle a horse at the gallop in a more confined space before introducing him to doing it in company because now he's done it once he'll do it again
What you do with a horse - right or wrong is training it and you've now trained your horse to bolt.
You need to go back to basics - trot and canter and have him come back to you immediately in a safe place where he can't go far before you try him on the trails again and then stick to a steady pace for a while.
    10-16-2012, 11:14 AM
Ditto to the comments, remember a horse is a prey / herd animal. When your buddy takes off running you run too (there might be a bear chasing you!)
Any trail ride should begin with some basic courtesy rules (no running, if someone needs to stop, everyone stops and waits) - stay safe!!
    10-16-2012, 12:07 PM
Green Broke
Racing is a very advanced move-keep doing it & the horses's value will drop drastically & you will more than likely be hurt. There are better ways to get your adrenaline pumping. See the answers above-we aren't trying to take your fun away, but want you to be safe!
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    10-16-2012, 01:26 PM
I've had sort of a similar experience, but what happened was my cousin and another girl had ridden my horse on the trails before I got her, and they galloped her a lot on certain trails. She got in the habit and it took me two months of walking up and down the trail and making her go slow, even trot in place if that was all she would do. My ponies all love to race but you have to be careful to no race all the time and make sure after you race on a trail to walk it over several times afterwards so your horse doesn't always think run when you get there. I don't the occasional racing is a big deal, as long as it isn't the only thing you do on the trail.
    10-16-2012, 04:30 PM
Green Broke
I am very glad you weren't hurt. Coming off a galloping horse either from falling off or being bucked off can have serious consequences. I have had that happen to me and I still have marks on my leg from hip to toe black and blue and purple bruise.

It is the luck of the draw that you weren't hurt. Galloping down a trail is a blast. I used to do it myself on my mare bareback when I was a teenager. But when I asked that mare to slow down she did - instantly. She NEVER ever bucked or acted a fool when I rode her. (geez...wish I still had Little Bit) If you don't have 100% control of the horse and 1000% know he will not buck I wouldn't race him EVER. Sometimes once you get that motor running it is hard to shut it off and be "just" a trail horse. Work him in a large arena or flat track to get the speed you want with the control you want and if he even gives you the feeling a buck is about to come your way do circles until he calms down.
    10-16-2012, 05:00 PM
Thaaanks guys! I'll have to try some of the things! Just wanted to let you guys know thaat the reaason I asked was cause I have raced him a million times with no issue, this was the first time!
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