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This is a discussion on Trail riding solo within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Spooky horse bolts into fence
  • Horseback power lines trails

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    06-08-2012, 06:59 PM
  #41
Foal
I wouldn't be taking a horse that bolts or freaks out so severe that I can't control them, out on trail. Especially alone. I don't know why you would take a horse that spooky out on a trail, by yourself.
If your horse is too spooky for you to be able to stay on safely, out on trail, then its not ready to be going out on trail.
I don't know anything about your skills or your horse, but I most certainly am in control, when I'm on a horse's back. And I'm not in danger of being stepped on, kicked or trampled. I'll take falling off (I know how to fall correctly) over being kicked or trampled any day of the week. I have never had a horse run off with me, and that's not for lack of experience. I've had just about everything else go wrong with horses, that can. But I have never let a horse run off with me. I have seen plenty of people get run away with, and you can see when it happens, the moment they give up and resign to the idea that the horse is not going to stop, that's when they are really in trouble. I don't believe that any horse that likes to bolt or any rider that can't stop their horse from doing so, has any business riding outside the ring, let alone out on trail by themselves.
Any horse that I would not be able to control, while riding, is not a horse I would ever take on trail.
If you're trail riding a horse like that, you're going to get hurt whether you are on the horse or off.

Your mare, has maybe never tried to go over you, but that doesn't mean other horses won't.

Plus, like I said, if you get off, every time your horse gets nervous or scared, you are not teaching them anything good.

I didn't say any horses were 'acting' scared. "Actin' a fool" is a phrase, it doesn't literally mean acting, as in what an actor does...



Someone also suggested wearing tennis shoes, to make it easier to walk, if you want to get off your horse. That too is incredibly dangerous, but I won't get into that on this thread.


My point to the OP, was that there have been a number of things suggested here, that I find to be quit dangerous. So I hope she considers those things with a grain of salt and doesn't take all the suggestions in this thread as gospel.
     
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    06-08-2012, 07:16 PM
  #42
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817    
...but I most certainly am in control, when I'm on a horse's back. And I'm not in danger of being stepped on, kicked or trampled...But I have never let a horse run off with me...
I've never met anyone so powerful they can prevent a horse from running off if they get scared enough. I suppose I could start riding with my 44 Mag & shoot any horse that runs...but I think I'll stick with backing the horse and teaching her it isn't so scary, a little bit at a time.
     
    06-08-2012, 09:15 PM
  #43
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
I've never met anyone so powerful they can prevent a horse from running off if they get scared enough. I suppose I could start riding with my 44 Mag & shoot any horse that runs...but I think I'll stick with backing the horse and teaching her it isn't so scary, a little bit at a time.
It has very little to do with power and everything with having the experience and foresight to recognize when a dangerous situation may be about to occur, having the confidence to remain calm and the skills and knowledge to be able to put a stop to a blow-up, before it happens.
As I've already said, if you have a horse that gets so scared, it bolts and you have no control, you have ZERO business taking it out on trail. If you have a horse that has blow-ups so big, you can't safely stay on, again, you have NO business having that horse out on a trail.

I really have no desire to continue arguing around in circles with you. I get the strong feeling that you don't actually have the experience around horses that you continue to project.
     
    06-08-2012, 10:05 PM
  #44
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817    
It has very little to do with power and everything with having the experience and foresight to recognize when a dangerous situation may be about to occur, having the confidence to remain calm and the skills and knowledge to be able to put a stop to a blow-up, before it happens.
As I've already said, if you have a horse that gets so scared, it bolts and you have no control, you have ZERO business taking it out on trail. If you have a horse that has blow-ups so big, you can't safely stay on, again, you have NO business having that horse out on a trail.

I really have no desire to continue arguing around in circles with you. I get the strong feeling that you don't actually have the experience around horses that you continue to project.
And just how are people suppose to get that experience in the first place? Sounds like you were born with it, most of us have to learn through trial and error. That means ending up on the trail before we are ready for it or the horse. Next time we go out we'll be just that much better prepared.

Also, horses have minds of their own. Even a dead broke trail horse can have a blow up and/or bolt out of the blue. By your definition and that little fact I guess no one should leave the arena.
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    06-08-2012, 10:25 PM
  #45
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817    
It has very little to do with power and everything with having the experience and foresight to recognize when a dangerous situation may be about to occur, having the confidence to remain calm and the skills and knowledge to be able to put a stop to a blow-up, before it happens...

I really have no desire to continue arguing around in circles with you. I get the strong feeling that you don't actually have the experience around horses that you continue to project.
The first part is what I said in my first post on this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
...I think the key is to learn your horse well enough to know when the scary thing is getting nearer, rather than wait until your horses legs are spread out and her eyes rolling. At that point, you have lost. Even if you get the horse to 'go', it becomes such a big emotional event that my horse, at least, has just learned that it is REALLY scary...
As for the second: What I'm doing has worked extremely well with my mare.

And if you think it is dangerous to LEAD a horse, perhaps your experience isn't as all encompassing as you suggest. Most folks find it pretty easy to control a horse on a lead line. So easy, even bsms can do it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817    
...I don't know anything about your skills or your horse, but I most certainly am in control, when I'm on a horse's back. And I'm not in danger of being stepped on, kicked or trampled. I'll take falling off (I know how to fall correctly) over being kicked or trampled any day of the week...
I don't care if you have practiced falling off...do it on the trails near me, and you will be in serious danger. The trails are often very rocky and surrounded by cactus. And while my mare isn't perfectly behaved, she has never tried to kick or trample me.

So when she gets nervous, I'll back her up. If need be, I'll dismount and lead her. And the next time, she will be a bit more confident.

We're now hitting the trails 4 times a week. The last few times, we've made it out to the edge of public land that stretches from here to Mexico. Next week, we plan to bring water and start exploring that public land...
     
    06-08-2012, 10:26 PM
  #46
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin    
And just how are people suppose to get that experience in the first place? Sounds like you were born with it, most of us have to learn through trial and error. That means ending up on the trail before we are ready for it or the horse. Next time we go out we'll be just that much better prepared.

Also, horses have minds of their own. Even a dead broke trail horse can have a blow up and/or bolt out of the blue. By your definition and that little fact I guess no one should leave the arena.
That's not what I'm saying at all. If you don't have a whole lot of experience, you can still go on trails, but you should probably be on a pretty chill mount. You should NOT be going out on a spooky horse, if you can't handle it, in my opinion. I mean, people are free to do what they want, but I think that's just asking for trouble.

I most certainly wasn't born with horse experience. I've worked for many, many years, riding hundreds of different horses, in all kinds of different situations, to build it. That's not to say I didn't fall off or didn't get hurt along the way. I did. And from that, I have learned what type of situations I can handle and which are too much for me. I try not to put myself in situations that are too much for me to handle and I try to encourage others to do the same.

An inexperienced rider belongs on an experienced horse, plain and simple. An inexperienced horse belongs under an experienced rider.

Yes, a 'dead broke' horse can and will spook, sometimes. But they are not going to spook to the same degree that a green horse will. And if the horse bolts so badly, that the rider can't control it, I would not consider it a 'dead broke' horse.

Please don't put words in my mouth.
     
    06-08-2012, 10:39 PM
  #47
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin    
And just how are people suppose to get that experience in the first place? Sounds like you were born with it, most of us have to learn through trial and error...
I learned it by leading my mare out. At first, she could only make it 100 yards before getting scared. But from the safety of the ground, I learned to recognize her increased tension. I also learned what does and does not work WITH HER to reduce tension. Spin her in a circle, disengaging her, and she gets more worked up. Back her in a straight line, and she calms. That is what works WITH HER, and I learned it by watching her from the ground. Trial and error, and trial again...like you said.

A person can ride a horse in an arena a thousand times without teaching her to handle trails. Nothing in the arena, and no sacking out, prepares her for a javelina popping out of the vegetation, or the pump turning on at the public water tank, or culverts 3 feet in diameter. It won't teach her to climb a hill, or how to pick her way down on the far side. It won't teach her to push between two thorny mesquite trees.

I wish I had been born with knowledge of how to work a horse, but I've had to learn everything from scratch. I've had help from good teachers, including horses - but that teacher includes my spooky mare, who is no longer nearly so spooky. Teaching her how to face the desert is teaching me tons about how to read a horse...and how to teach her confidence.
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    06-08-2012, 10:44 PM
  #48
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
As for the second: What I'm doing has worked extremely well with my mare.

And if you think it is dangerous to LEAD a horse, perhaps your experience isn't as all encompassing as you suggest. Most folks find it pretty easy to control a horse on a lead line. So easy, even bsms can do it...


I don't care if you have practiced falling off...do it on the trails near me, and you will be in serious danger. The trails are often very rocky and surrounded by cactus. And while my mare isn't perfectly behaved, she has never tried to kick or trample me.

So when she gets nervous, I'll back her up. If need be, I'll dismount and lead her. And the next time, she will be a bit more confident.

We're now hitting the trails 4 times a week. The last few times, we've made it out to the edge of public land that stretches from here to Mexico. Next week, we plan to bring water and start exploring that public land...

If what you're doing works well with your mare, then by all means continue. My point was that you're giving advice based on your experience with your mare. What works with one horse will not work for all horse. You have to be careful when giving advice to someone with a horse that could be just like your mare, or completely different. Your mare may be very respectful of you, on the ground, other horses may not.

I don't think it's dangerous to lead a horse. What I do think is dangerous is getting off to lead your horse over something that they don't want to go over, or around, or under, or whatever. I feel this way, because I've seen it happen, on numerous occasions. Where the horse won't go over a stream or a log, or whatever, and the rider gets off, to try to coax the horse over from the ground. My experience has been, that rarely ends well.

Most of the worst injuries I have acquired and most of the awful injuries I have seen occur to others have actually happened when handling a horse on the ground, not when falling off.
I've been kicked enough times to know I'd rather take a fall.
Yes, I acknowledge the fact, that despite all my 'practice' falling off, I could still get seriously injured.
BUT, my entire point was about not putting yourself and your horse in dangerous situations to begin with.

I rarely ride out on trail alone. I love trail riding by myself, but I have just seen too many horrific things happen, to ever be comfortable with it.
Many of the accidents that occur with horses could've easily been prevented. That's my whole point, in most of what I've typed in this thread (and elsewhere).
     
    06-09-2012, 12:41 AM
  #49
Green Broke
Little scenario that happened today.

Took my horse out on the trail, alone. There was a new herd of cows in a nearby field. My horse hasn't been around cows before, so the sounds and smells were distracting him. He was trying very hard to be good and stay straight, but he'd hear a MOOOOOOO and scuttlebutt a few steps then get back to what he was doing. The fence that keeps the cows in is some sort of twisted wire fence - not barbed wire, but it has what looks like knots every foot or so.

I got off, walked him a bit closer to the fence, and let him look and inhale the cow smell. He snorted, stuck his head up in the air (Arabs...) but his feet stayed put. Eventually, I encouraged him to graze for a minute, and he did. Then I did some groundwork with him - forwards, backwards, disengaging the hind end, trotting in hand, and whoa. Got back on and he ignored the cows and went about his business.

This worked for *my horse*. When he is scared of something, he handles it much better if he sees me interact with it. He will calmly walk over something scary if I do it with him. I know him well enough to know when he's being "spooky" because he needs to get his ya-yas out and when he's truly nervous about something. I would rather get him through a scenario calmly than try to muscle him through it. He takes a correction pretty seriously, so I try not to overdo those.

Again...it's what works for US. I think it's important that a rider know the horse enough to be able to determine if staying on or getting off is better.
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    06-10-2012, 07:51 PM
  #50
Weanling
ENH817---I looked back through the thread to try and find out what set you off on this tangent and I can't figure it out. I haven't come across anyone that says they ride bolting horses out on trail or completely lose all control. You seem so angry, who are you directing these comments at? I do agree with you about not getting off of your horse when it spooks because I definitely feel like I have more control over my horse from the saddle. Perhaps that depends on the horses training though. Please tell me to which post you are responding to because from your posts you seem to be a little bit inexperienced. Anyone who has been around horses for any length of time know that they do have minds of their own and can, at times, be unpredictable despite their history or training.
     

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