The bolt is the result of an applied stimulus. You don't want that stimulus while you teach her to respond to half halts, whoa off your seat, and taking her "head away from her" by doing small circles and getting her to cross her feet over to round her up under you. You can do all that at the walk. And do it until it sticks. When Patti starts to get UP, I tip her nose in toward the center of the arena and, since I already have contact, I just start flexing my fingers and "pumping the brakes" until she slows down, drops her head and on the circle, I can feel her feet cross over and her back come up underneath my seat. She literally can not buck or run off when we're doing that. And we started at the walk around a cone in the middle of the arena. If that's not quite enough, then I close my outside elbow to my rib cage and bring my outside hand in toward her midline, so the rein is on her neck. That balances her a little and "shuts the door" for her to run out of my aides on the inside of the circle. I have to do that more often to the right than the left, it's her weak side, as it's my weak side too. When she slows just a little, it may be drop from the canter to the trot, trot to walk, then I sit down and best way I can describe it is, tighten your butt cheeks and use the outside back of your thigh to squeeze and say, "Whoa". At first she'll probably walk through the whoa, so just keep at it until she stops and doesn't walk forward, then give her some rest. You can also count foot falls. For instance, Patti likes to take one extra step forward and kick her right hip out when I want her to stop square. I sit down, "Whoa", and tip her nose toward her right side, just a little and when she goes to step out with her hip, she meets the "closed door" of my right leg, already there an holding her in place. Then we do an exercise where I count off Left, Left, Left and make her stop when her left hind hits the ground. These are all things that will get her mind on you and get her in the habit of listening.How can i re-create a bolting situation in the arena though? How can I re-create these spooky situations in an arena? do I just canter her and pretend like that is the "bolt" and then one-rein stop from there? Sorry, legit question, i think that is where i am getting stuck?
I watched a lot of ross jacobs videos, he re-iterates a lot of this. Horses are always asking who is in charge. I am nervous that my "in charge" is going to be too hard-handed and rough... I had and/or have the mentality that it is like a child walking into the woods with a parent. When they are scared, they run and hide behind the mother's legs, giving the parent the leadership role. But what seems to be the truth with horses is that when scared, the child will just run blindly into the forest away from the parent.
Is this somewhat accurate?
And yes, you're correct about the horse. It will run into the woods, not behind momma's legs (unless it's a foal). A grown horse is hard wired to get the heck out of Dodge when things get dicey.