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 definately 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.
I am not at all angry. Was just getting a bit frustrated. I try to avoid giving training or specific riding advice over the internet, which is why I haven't really been able to give you a great answer for the questions you pose in your original pose, but I do feel the need to speak up when I see/read something that I find to be dangerous.
I was replying directly to bsms' replies to me. Bsms originally replied to my first post, which I posted in regards to someone else's advice, which I found to be somewhat unsound/unsafe. Others did not agree with me. I was just attempting to explain my reasoning and was getting a bit frustrated with people not really reading/understanding my entire message and just picking out bits and pieces to, essentially, argue about. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and some hearty discussion is healthy ;)
Sorry for getting a bit off topic.
Believe whatever you'd like about my experience, it doesn't really bother me. For whatever it's worth, I've been around horses for 20 or so years and have a lot of trail experience, leading (and tailing) trails of both beginner riders and advanced riders, young horses and old pros. I've had all kinds of things go wrong on trails, so perhaps that's why I'm a bit more wary of safety. When you work a job, like the one I had, where liability is a huge concern, I guess it sort of gets drilled into your head.
I certainly am nowhere near knowing everything I want/need to know about horses. There are definitely plenty of members here who have way more experience than I do. I try to learn where ever I can. But I will always speak up when I see something that I don't believe to be very safe.
I am aware that horses are unpredictable. One of the points I was trying to make was that if you are not comfortable/experienced enough as a rider to be able to handle your horse's unpredictability (some horses are definitely more predictable than others and some horses unpredictable moments are far less explosive than others), then you probably should not be riding out on trails, especially not alone. Either get more time in the saddle, riding where you and your horse are comfortable and able to maintain control, perhaps with a trainer/instructor who can help build your confidence and ability to handle your horse, or find a horse that is more appropriate for your skill level.
Trial and error learning works with many things, but I don't believe it's a smart way for riders/owners to learn how to handle their horses. At some point, that 'error' is going to result in someone getting hurt, potentially seriously so.