Horse ran off with me on trail - The Horse Forum
  • 11 Post By horselovinguy
  • 8 Post By gottatrot
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Wisconsin
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Horse ran off with me on trail

Its a long story as to why, but to no fault of mine I'm still taking lessons and not riding Reno on my own outside of them. It is our goal and we are getting there. Number one reason is trainer is a barrel racer and been very busy during our short summer in Wisconsin. There was also an abscess. Oh and the time we thought a mouth issue but after a vet check we found out we just noticed something that had always been there. (like two missing teeth, roots and all, vet never mentioned it during his first float with us either). So we get a few weeks of lessons in and then I'm not on him again for a month. We will get there though!

About two months ago we had a lesson and we just went on the trails for it. First time for me. Maybe third time for Reno. Trainers horse has been doing it for years. It was me, trainer, and trainers friend that also boards at this barn. Trainer was riding her horse bareback. The week before was the first time I cantered and it was just on a line.

My horse took off on me. It was just after 'spring fever' had started but about three weeks after. We were in a field and he ran the entire length of the field with me on him. Trainer couldn't do much being bareback. I hung on. He stopped when we got to the end/ditch/next road THANKFULLY as we would have been jumping the ditch! I took it like a champ. He even tried to run off after I dismounted after he stopped and that was a bit traumatizing. Both my feet nearly left the earth. Twice. But we weren't at the farm and I was terrified of losing him. Although we weren't far and he likely would have gone back.

Fast forward....through an abscess and a chiro issue and I know we will hit the trails again. I think I might be scared. I held on to the horn when he took off and was trying the emergency stop with reigns one handed the entire length of field. I'm 45 years old. Good shape, but these bones aren't like they used to be! I'm on the very small side, like 5'2'', little less than 90lbs.

Would I be crazy to ask to be tied to her horse the next time? She has taken him on the trail once since and he has been fine with her. He also trusts her more and she is also more stern with discipline with him. I don't think he'd try it with her regardless. I do think our first time out I might be on her horse and her on Reno. But I know the next time i'll be on Reno. And would tethering him or whatever its called work? We don't know what got him to run the first time. THe other two horses spooked a little but we think it was a reaction to Reno tensing up and taking off. Could have been a bee sting. Could have been spring fever. We don't know.

He is generally very mellow. Chiro type issue has him tense for the first 20 seconds you get on him. We resolved the issue, but he expects to feel something when you get on him. Then he realizes he actually doesn't hurt anymore and walks off fine. He might never think about doing it to me again. Who knows. But I acted tough when it happened and unphased. But to be honest I'm a bit worried.

I did purchase a helmet since then and that will actually give me a little confidence. Would you suggest tying to one of the been there done that horses with me on him and trainer on the good horse? She isn't an actual trainer. She is an assistant trainer at the barn I work, and owns Reno who I'm leasing to buy while she finishes him as he was only green broke and I'm not experienced.

Last edited by loosie; 08-17-2019 at 03:45 AM. Reason: paragraph breaks are helpful!
BeckyFletcher is offline  
post #2 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 08:46 PM
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This is going to be really negative...
I'm sorry you got so scared, and with such good reason.
No, it is dangerous to tie you to another horse. DO NOT!!
You can be ponied though and have a tether line if absolutely necessary.
More would be to go in a formation of one in front, then you and another either behind or beside you in arms reach if you need help.

You admit to being inexperienced and that in itself the horse you were riding sensed and took advantage of you, period.
I bet he acted the angel for his owner and a rider more advanced and comfortable in riding know-how and skill level than you.
You will probably never know why it happened, a run-away.
The fact you were taking a lesson with no helmet on your head, your "instructor" took you out for a first time ride and was so unprepared herself she could not haul after you, catch you and stop a run-away...
I personally, would of killed her after I yanked her off her horse!
I'm sorry, but that "instructor/trainer" has poor judgement when she not first and foremost put your safety in her training program.
This person may be a fine equestrian herself and a good trainer...but she for me leaves to much to question when it comes to keeping me as safe as possible, and that means she is a professional example to watch and learn from...
Yea, no you don't take a "newbie" out on a first-time trail-ride and not be saddled and prepared to haul in any situation presented.

This said more to me than most anything, " She isn't an actual trainer. She is an assistant trainer at the barn I work"...your words.
Sorry, she sounds experienced, not!!
Think about what you just wrote and where you are putting your trust, your life and your learning from...

Assistant trainers, well guess you could classify me as a assistant trainer of reining horses then...
Meant I was the grunt and did the warming up of trot work and cool down, the bathing & grooming of post-ridden horses who were trained by the real trainer...
Be very careful where you put your trust and with whom, please.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 08:49 PM
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You should not go out on the trail again until you are very comfortable cantering in the arena. Any horse might end up cantering out in the open, including your trainer's horse.

If she has taken your horse out one time and he was fine, that only means that on 50 percent of the rides outside so far he hasn't run off. He needs to prove that he is much more steady than that before she puts a beginner on him out there.

He is green broke, you are a beginner. This is a recipe for disaster, and could easily ruin your confidence for riding permanently. The trainer needs to give your horse the experience on the trail that he needs, and that means dozens of times with him being steady in that environment at the very least. You need to be confident in your responses in all situations, and that means you should either ride a well trained horse out with another well trained horse, or else restrict your lessons to inside the arena until you are very confident.

Even with your trainer on your horse, since he is green, he might take off with her and leave you all alone. Even a well trained horse might not respond well, or you might become nervous, so that situation should not be set up to happen.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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I hope you're not paying for a lesson by riding on the trail? I give riding lessons and I also go trail riding with my students, however they ride my horses that are broke to the gills, I don't charge them for going trail riding with them and I don't charge them to ride my horse to trail ride either. This person that you are taking lessons from doesn't sound like a proper coach and someone you should be taking instructions from. I'm glad you were not hurt, but if I were you I'd find a better coach one that knows how to build skills and puts tools in your toolbox of riding.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 09:54 PM
Join Date: May 2017
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"...he was only green broke and I'm [also green]."

So we have a green-on-green situation here, and there are two sayings about that: "Green on green makes black and blue," and "green on green makes green" (for the trainer who convinced the green rider to get a green horse while she "finishes" him).

This is neither yours nor the horse's fault. Your trainer acted negligently by putting the two of you with zero training into an uncontrolled and uncontrollable environment. To me, this borders on reckless endangerment.

If you go trail riding, at least one of you (and the horse) has to have experience, because two scared creatures (one of which would not hesitate to kill itself to save itself) outside an arena is an amount of risk I can't even fathom.

I like to make motorcycle analogies, because motorcycles are safer than horses (at least according to my injury count). New riders are not advised to get twitchy supersport bikes as their first bikes, because those bikes are very reactive in both throttle and brakes. So while you nominally control how fast you go and how quickly you stop, as a beginner rider you don't have the fine motor control to use these bike controls safely. You were put on a "vehicle" just as fast that has its own mind and over which you had no control whatsoever.

And she let you go without helmet? I mean, it's some measure of safety, but considering all other injuries you'd still be at a heightened risk to experience, especially at high speed - "purchasing a helmet" would not be my idea of risk management. The helmet protects you from a drop from a standing horse, which can actually kill you without a helmet. (You can die dropping to the ground from your own feet if your head gets a full impact.) If you get wrapped around a tree at 25 mph because you can't sit the horse's turning suddenly, it's still lights-out for you. Then there is dropping your spine on a rock, shattering your pelvis, breaking your arms while trying to brace against the impact, and other goodies. Those can happen to anyone, put people who have experience riding through some of a horse's shenanigans have a better chance not to actually suffer them.

Train with your green horse in the arena, train yourself on the trail with a more predictable horse, and soon your respective skills will converge to where you can both have fun. But that time is not now.
mmshiro is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 08-16-2019, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Your experience wasn't funny but it reminded me of my first horse ride when I met my wife, she was 17 I was 18. Still 6ft tall, but weighed 135#, 205# now! Yes looking back I think Cheyanne knew I was inexperienced and gave me the ride of my life. Holding back on reins, yelling "whoa girl" was useless. I held on until she was ready to quit. Kathy (the owner) won quite a lot of money back then running her against rich kids thoroughbreds.

When I met my wife 48 years ago she had a gaited Tennessee Walker/Morgan mix mare, her friend Kathy had six horses where she kept her. Kathy's favorite was huge, 19 hand mix "Cheyenne". I knew very little about horses (not much now), never ridden but wife coaxed me to race her against Cheyenne up this long hill. At 6' I still had a time getting in the saddle.

Off we went, it wasn't a race since Cheyenne could fly! Top of hill she turned around going back full gallop down then through the woods! My first ride all I could think of was holding on, and forward if Cheyenne went under limbs.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-17-2019, 12:00 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
"...he was only green broke and I'm [also green]."
I like to make motorcycle analogies, because motorcycles are safer than horses (at least according to my injury count).
Ahahahahaha! Certainly not for some people! So far in my two experiences over 50 years I've managed to jump an alley and sail over a huge manure pile. Did you know when you panic and twist those hand grips you can go really fast?!!!!!!

OP...sorry to say this but your "trainer" is a negligent fool. You need to find someone competent. Trail riding is a wonderful activity but you need to learn and experience it on a seasoned horse with proper leadership. This will include how to control and stop a horse in flight.

Wishing you many happy and safe hours in the saddle!
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-17-2019, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
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What everyone else said.

You shouldn't be riding this horse at all. Since he is greenbroke and you are a newbie the best thing that could happen is he could learn a lot of bad habits fast. That's the BEST thing. You got a taste of the what the worst thing might look like.

You should not pay this "instructor" a dime, she is a menace. Putting a green rider on a green horse and then going out on a trail, with only bareback pad under her? This is something I would have had the discernment not to do when I was twelve. And I wasn't winning any prizes for good judgement at that time.

Short horse lover
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-17-2019, 01:07 PM
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I don't want to be the bearer of bad news either, but getting a green horse as a beginner is a very bad idea. I rode for about 15 years before I raised my first foal and even then I wasn't ready. Had a professional put a couple months training on him under saddle and he was STILL too much horse for me. I love him to death (still) but I rehomed him last fall because I just didn't enjoy riding him because I scared of coming off every time I rode. I had probably come off him 5 times in 6 years but that was still enough to make me think about hitting the ground every time he acted up or spooked. Luckily I found him a fabulous home with a neighbor and I can check in on him if I want or even go riding with them. So it's been really good. BUT, if I had a choice, I would never get an inexperienced horse again......and I've been riding about 25 years now.

MAYBE you will have a better experience. Maybe you are braver than me (fairly likely). But why start out with the cards stacked against you? The way I look at it, riding should be FUN. And it is fun if you can trust your horse. If you can't trust your horse and you are full of anxiety about riding, riding isn't fun anymore. And in my experience, it only takes one or two bad falls and that can stick with you every time you ride that particular horse. So I don't's ultimately up to you. But why not get a horse that's ready for you to enjoy? A horse isn't magically "finished" in a few months training. It takes years and years of riding to get a horse really good and safe.
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-17-2019, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern TN
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Everyone else all said it, this isn't the right trainer, honestly nor the right horse for you. I never once felt unsafe on any proper lesson horse I rode, and that was because the instructors wouldn't let any beginner rider ride an unsafe horse. A proper instructor is concerned about safety first above all else... this woman is plain uneducated and reckless, and she could've gotten you seriously injured or killed.

With that said, there are PLENTY of amazing trail horses out there, ones that will take care of you on the trail. Now, no horse is a machine, and a spook/scare can always happen, but it's a lot more peaceful riding a horse that's "been there, done that", that has had proper training put on it, that you can learn properly on, and even grow with. The great thing about trail horses, is age isn't so discriminatory. Don't be afraid to buy a horse in its lower teens, that's had plenty of miles down the trail already. The right horse, and right instructor is out there. If you are already cantering on a lead line, you should be a competent enough rider, to safely handle a calm, seasoned horse out on the trail at a walk and trot.

If you are like me, and live in a town with VERY limited instructors, it's worth a little bit of a drive to get proper lessons once a week from a skilled and safe instructor. Please keep us posted, we want to see you flourish as a rider and horse woman, not be in crippled fear due to an incompetent woman with a horse that charges people for rides.
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