The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently changed riding schools and had my second lesson there today when the horse bolted with me! I am used to my previous lesson horse spooking occasionally but that consisted of a few sideways steps and was not scary at all. This however was terrifying! We were in trot at one end of the arena when suddenly & for no obvious reason (he must have seen/heard something but there was no loud noise or anything) he turned abruptly and galloped down the length of the arena. It was definitely a gallop as the instructor said it was! I managed to stay on but I am not an experienced rider as I only started taking lessons earlier this year so it was more luck than skill! I don't know if this behaviour was unusual as I was too shaken to ask. My dilemma now is should I go back to riding this horse?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
When a horse bolts just let him go. You are in a arena so he cant go any place then in there. Then slowly start to ask him to come back. You cant take away a horses flight response when they get scared. Some horses are just worse then others. Just sit deep and bring him back, you can also do a smaller and smaller circle till he slows. Then go right back to what you are doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,293 Posts
If a horse did that with me, I'll play his game. He wants to run, fine, but when he wants to slow down too bad. Now the work begins. I'd keep him going and going until his breathing is labored and he's begging to stop. Usually once is all it takes. I'll bet he stopped when he was closest to the exit. If you can muster the courage to ride him again, carry a crop. Sometimes the sight of it provides enough inspiration that the horse behaves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
Gotta agree with saddlebag... If my horse bolts... (Very rarely) I kick. I keep him going and going and going and going... And going.... On a big enough circle till he's almost dying of exhaustion. It really works! Most horses aren't silly enough to try it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Exactly. Make the horse overdose on bad behaviour so that it's unlikely to be repeated. Or if you're out in the open and the horse bolts, if you are confident enough, try the one rein stop. But a caution: the horse will turn quite abruptly so keeping your seat could be a challenge. I'm sorry you had the experience but you stayed on, which in my opinion, is the hardest thing of all when a horse truly takes off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,079 Posts
A beginner rider is not going to be able to keep the horse going and work its butt off to teach it a lesson, although I agree that it works.

OP, Circles are your friend. When a horse tries to take off, buck, etc, pull that head around. Eventually you can get the horse doing smaller and circles until you can get the horse under control. Ideally the horse(and rider) would know a one rein stop, but I dont think its taught in schools often.

I was in a similar situation at 8 years old, and its scarry to someone who doesnt know what they're doing, to suddenly loose control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
I agree with the other responses. I rode a known bolter when I was still fairly new to riding. He did it because it for him out of work. People were to shaken up to keep riding. While it is scary, you stayed on. Keep riding that horse and let him know that you aren't going away. Horses will bolt. That's just one of those things. Not all horses that you ride may bolt, but it's a great experience to have from a learning standpoint. I hope you are able to walk away from it with the confidence that you stayed on and "rode it out".
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
Honestly, what concerns me more is that a riding school would put a novice rider on a horse that will bolt like that, even in the event of rider error :?.

However, as others have said, circles are your friend when that happens. Whatever you do, don't try to pick up on both reins as that just gives him something to brace against and makes it easy for him to pull you out of the saddle. If he does it again, pick up one rein and gently take his nose around to the side. The reason that you don't want to yank it around is because that could cause him to lose his balance and fall. When you've got his nose to the side, start bumping with your inside leg to disengage his hindquarters.

That should get him stopped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
As a beginner rider, I would not suggest asking him to keep running xD Instead, I agree with the circles. By making them tighter, the horse will be physically forced to slow down. Take a breath, and remember you're in an arena where he has nowhere to go.

As far as that behavior... All horses get scared, sometimes. If you do not feel comfortable on the horse, give your trainer a heads up. She can either work to assure you it was a one time thing, or maybe put you on something a bit less spooky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
492 Posts
Circles, like everyone has said. My horse is VERY prone to bolt and spook (he is a stereotypical arabian lol) and circles are your friend. DO NOT tug on his mouth to try and stop him, it just gives them something to brace against and they either go faster or buck. I do not reccomend a one rein stop, either. If done improperly I know for a fact that a horse and rider can be severely injured from a one rein stop (I have seen it happen). I think your best bet is to grab some mane and wait till he stops running. Something that works to stop my horse from bolting is to stand up in the saddle and grab his ears, but I do not reccomend this as you are a beginner rider and it is a stupidly dangerous method. And just remember that no matter how "bombproof" a horse is, they are dangerous creatures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,670 Posts
Horses are still horses. Do you know what scared him? I few weeks ago my student was riding the same horse he has been riding for two years, incident free. Well this particular day we were riding in the same place we always do. Well this day a bus came down the road, normal. Well this time it let out air RIGHT as he had turned the corner. He threw a very bucks and took off. My student ended up coming off, mainly because of the stop, not the running or bucking. He has NEVER done this in the two years my student has been riding him and I've never, ever, heard of him doing this with anyone else.

I do however think its a bit coincidental it happened on your first lesson. I'd bring it up to the instructor and ask other students about the horse.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your responses. I have not yet mastered canter so keeping him going in gallop was the last thing I wanted but I can see that could work for a more experienced rider. I realise that any horse can bolt but the fact that there was no obvious trigger makes me nervous of riding him again. If there had been a low flying plane or thunderclap or similar I would be more relaxed about it but now I will be nervous that he will bolt at the least little thing and if he senses my nerves that could make it worse. Think I shall have to sleep on it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
Before you go back to that riding school i'd be having quite the discussion with the instructor. That is unacceptable. It astounds me, how some horses get into lesson programs. I don't care how broke and quiet a horse is most of the time of their preferred way of spooking is a dangerous one. I also don't get instructors who don't teach a student how to get an out of control horse, back under control.

OP, One rein stops are you friend in situations that are getting out of control. However, the horse does need to know how to do them or they will not work. You also need to know how to properly ask so you don't make the situation worse. Simply bring out hand out to the side and guide the horse onto a circle, as she horse circles e'll need to slow down to balance himself. Spiral him down until he's bent down then make sure he will disengage his hindquarters before coming to a complete stop. Do not pull, that can unbalance your horse and get you in a wreck. Don't hold that pressure straight back either, go out to the side a bit to really help the horse follow their nose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
How terrifying! I've never had that happen but I've heard to do what others have said with larger circles getting tighter so the slow down is more gradual.

However would you all suggest for the OP and other beginners/intermediate riders to work that horse from the ground? I wouldn't want to ride him around the ring after a bolt but I'd lunge him until he was ready to drop. Would that have the same effect as riding but be a safer "punishment" for the rider?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
I remember that happening to me when I was learning. The horse I was on was a regular safe lesson horse. I think he was getting a bit lesson sour, and grumpy that day and I suspect that I gave him some very clumsy aids that sent him into canter. Then I was of course bouncing on his back in a scared rigid manner, which just caused him to speed up. I seem to recall that we circled the arena a couple of times and then pulled up.

It happens, with even the best of horses. Don't beat yourself up or dwell on it. As your instructor was the one there and watching you need to ask him/her what you could have done better. Then maybe ride a different horse for a couple of lessons to get that confidence back.

Well done! You stayed on.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top