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Bank of Dad
Apr. 30, 2008, 11:24 PM
I really should know better than to do what I did. The 6 yr old arab was starting to go nice on trails in the fall, and then had 4 months off due to my leg pain. I rode him twice in RP last week and today tried to take him out on trail, no lunging or RP first. We weren't out more than 25 yards when his body language told me he wasn't happy. I tried to push the issue and he spun and bolted fast on the trail in the opposite direction, up a hill, down a steep hill next to a deep rocky ravine, jumped a mud puddle, I lost a stirrup and bailed out, and he ran on. I wasn't hurt and had my helmet and safety vest on. He eventually realized he was alone and came trotting back to me.
It was really scarey, I had visions of him running off the trail into the ravine. I had no brakes, no steering, and then no stirrup. He ignored pulling on one rein, ignored loose reins, voice commands, he was in the zone.
On the way back, we went back to the bolt spot and I lunged him there a while, then I led him further up the trail with more lunging in wide spots. I rode him back 1/4 mile, then he didn't like something way ahead on the trail, so I got off and walked him the last 1/4 mile.
I guess I need to get him out there every few days all year long even if its just leading him for a walk. And get his kinks out in the RP first. Back to kindergarden for Seabiscuit.

yellow-horse
Apr. 30, 2008, 11:33 PM
glad you're ok, i had a great trail horse, really, but she had to be ridden out on the trail regularly or she was a maniac, if she missed a couple of weeks she didn't want to go out and we'd spend a while having fits but when she was going out 4-5 times a week consistantly you couldn't ride a better horse, for her it was all about repetition and consistency, someone had commented on how well i trained her and i said i use the bore them into submission training methods, some horses need to get into a routine again before they can think straight

Shadow14
May. 1, 2008, 09:28 AM
I would put a big western bit in him with a good curb chain done up fairly tight and when he ran I would put everything I had into it. Use the back and legs and try turning him inside out. I have done this to run aways a number of times and after 2 hard stops, ones that I hope hurt I never had a problem again. Ride with soft hands and after a few lessons drop the big bit but fall back to a mild western and again a curb chain until you and the horse gain confidence.
Big bit, soft hands works better then small bit and hard hands.
YOu were lucky, bailing off can break something.

Auventera Two
May. 1, 2008, 10:32 AM
Wet saddle pads, ground training, and work on trust. Teach him to spook in place. He sounds a bit spoiled, or else terrified of his own shadow, and in desperate need of TONS of work. Not just putzy putz hand walking. If you have to ride another horse, and pony him, do it, but work his bunns off.

I've had more than one trainer and life-time horseman tell me that the #1 problem with horses is lack of work and I'm really starting to believe it.

CoopsZippo
May. 1, 2008, 12:09 PM
Hubby's MFT has had the last two weeks off due to vehicle issues. When I went to check on the boys, I board. OMG Hero was the biggest butt. If he is allowed to have down time he forgets his manners and needs a refresher course. When kept in a regular training program he is easy to deal with. He is turned out 24/7 so it is not like he is not getting out. My QH Skip can sit for months and come out of the pasture with his head on straight.

Sounds like your horse may need to get on a program.

Prieta
May. 1, 2008, 12:18 PM
Oh, so sorry about the bad incident. :no: I do not need to preach anything because the experience you had and what you did would be exactly what I'd be doing with my Arab mare. In fact, I'm going to stay in the outdoor arena with my two little girls (Arab and unbroken to ride Clydesdale) until I feel very secured that they'd not be so silly. We took a very LONG hiatus this winter - ice everywhere. Like Auventura Two, I'd need to make sure that their pads get wet before the end of the session. It is reassuring to hear that you are doing what I am doing....(me clucking clucking) So sorry to hear about your incident.

Where did you get your safety vest? My trainer trained a Mustang for the Challenge...her Mustang got so excited that he went bronco with her falling off to break NINE of her back ribs and tore two ligaments on her right knee. I need to get a safety vest. Would that be the same as those eventers wear?

matryoshka
May. 1, 2008, 12:54 PM
Glad you are okay! Bolting is very scary. My first pony was a bolter, and she'd bolt just about every time on the trail. I finally got good at regaining control on the first stride or two. If I missed the window of opportunity, she was off, and it was either bail or have her running home with me along a fast road. If I bailed, she usually stopped. If I stuck with her but didn't get control, she kept running. She was dishonest and would try to unseat me, whether in the arena or on the trail. My parents didn't realize this was an unsafe mount for a 12-year old. She taught me to keep my butt in the saddle!

I'm not sure a curb is the best bit for this. It really depends on whether he's a chin tucker or runs with his head high. It might help with a high-headed runner, but with a chin tucker, you won't be able to get him off his forehand and stopped.

My current horse is off the track, and when he decides to run, he leans on the bit. If I use both reins, he tucks his chin and runs even faster. I have to yank (yes, yank) one rein at a time to get his attention and get his head up. This requires sitting back in the saddle (actually, standing back in the saddle, since that is the force I have to use to brace my body and pull the reins). Making him lift his head gets him off his forehand so he can slow down. I'd be scared to try to turn him at the speed he goes. My guy was a professional runner, so he's not at all upset in this situation. He's never bolted out of fear, thank goodness. It could be a whole different ball game if he were running in fright.

I took a clinic with a lady who says that horses have to be on their forehands to keep galloping, and that getting them off their forehands is what allows them to stop. It sounds weird, but if I replay my bolting experiences, I think she might be right. Train yourself to get the horse off his forehand (take lessons if necessary) and you will have more control of his speed. Besides, he'll get a better topline, too. ;) Arabians seem to be good at going on their forehand with their heads high, so it would help to have an instructor who is familiar with Arabians and their many talents.

Jennifer Alcott
May. 1, 2008, 05:42 PM
[QUOTE=Shadow14;3180551]I would put a big western bit in him with a good curb chain done up fairly tight and when he ran I would put everything I had into it...QUOTE]

Is this a joke?

Shadow14
May. 1, 2008, 06:07 PM
[QUOTE=Shadow14;3180551]I would put a big western bit in him with a good curb chain done up fairly tight and when he ran I would put everything I had into it...QUOTE]

Is this a joke?

No this is not joke. I am a guy that can take almost any bad mannered horse out and make him behave. When all else fails get me.
I love training and am gentle about it until the time comes not to be gentle, like a run away and then I will do all I can to hurt the horse and set him on his butt. I have never had a run away that I couldn't break within two runs. They will become good stoppers after 2 tries.
My horses set standard for manners and training whatever barn they are in.
Again no Joke. Bailing off a run away is not an option, not one that I would ever choose. You can get killed doing that. Why is carrying a big bit and tight curb such a bad thing, is getting killed better???
The horse is 10 times strong then you, you need all the help you can get and you want to get his attention quickly.
Again bit heavy, use light hands until the time comes then throw everything you got into it and hope you can hurt him good. Then go back to being gentle and the horse will be better for it.

Huntertwo
May. 1, 2008, 08:12 PM
Ouch - Glad you're okay from the bail off. Probably nothing is more frightening than a bolter.

Don't have much advice for you, but my mare acts dopey when given any substantial time off. Not to the extent of bolting, but some just need consistent work. Although it sounds like something else set your guy off.

Rienzi
May. 1, 2008, 09:42 PM
I was just reading about a bit that might be a help to you. Now as a disclaimer, I will say that I never used this bit, BUT it sounds like it might help. It was designed to control horses that throw their heads up and charge into the wild blue yonder.
It is a T.E.A.M. training bit, a kind of a curb bit with a copper roller mouth. It has loose shanks, not too long, and uses 4 reins. An English caveson should be used with it, and the chin chain should be adjusted similar to that of a Pelham or double bridle.

As I said, I haven't used/needed it, but it looks like it would be effective without putting something really nasty in your horse's mouth.

How about it out there? Anybody used a properly adjusted T.E.A.M. training bit? What results did you get?

matryoshka
May. 1, 2008, 09:50 PM
I've seen the bit and have something similar without the roller. I figured that I'd have the curb if I wanted but could otherwise use the snaffle rein. I really don't like having to deal with two sets of reins. I know dressage riders do it all the time, but I like to have less in my hands out on the trail. My horse goes fine in a curb. Again, he's a chin tucker, though, so the curb probably won't help that much. At some point, one loses the leverage of the curb.

I like that snaffles (especially French links) can work on one corner of the mouth at a time. So when alternating reins as I do during a bolt, I can affect one side of the bit at a time and hopefully get his attention back. I have to be much harder on his mouth than I like during a bolt, but it's better than then ending up in a wreck!

irishcas
May. 1, 2008, 10:42 PM
I love training and am gentle about it until the time comes not to be gentle, like a run away and then I will do all I can to hurt the horse and set him on his butt. I have never had a run away that I couldn't break within two runs. They will become good stoppers after 2 tries.


Ugh, this is not training this is abuse.

SmokenMirrors
May. 1, 2008, 11:21 PM
[QUOTE=Jennifer Alcott;3181918]

No this is not joke. I am a guy that can take almost any bad mannered horse out and make him behave. When all else fails get me.
I love training and am gentle about it until the time comes not to be gentle, like a run away and then I will do all I can to hurt the horse and set him on his butt. I have never had a run away that I couldn't break within two runs. They will become good stoppers after 2 tries.
My horses set standard for manners and training whatever barn they are in.
Again no Joke. Bailing off a run away is not an option, not one that I would ever choose. You can get killed doing that. Why is carrying a big bit and tight curb such a bad thing, is getting killed better???
The horse is 10 times strong then you, you need all the help you can get and you want to get his attention quickly.
Again bit heavy, use light hands until the time comes then throw everything you got into it and hope you can hurt him good. Then go back to being gentle and the horse will be better for it.

Shadow 14, your idea of training is why my QH gelding is now with me, someone who was taught by a man who gentled his horses instead of using brute force. I was taught how to get a horses attention, how to keep it, and make them engage their body, to listen to their rider and think, and to have a more pleasurable ride. Using brute force only shows you can break a horse, when in reality, a good rider gets into the horses mind, figures out why and what triggers that horse then uses it to teach them to do the right thing.

A horse should never fear their rider or expect you to set them on their butt and turn them inside out by hauling back on the reins. Work and consistency and patience along with refresher courses in ground manners, ground work and a lot of time in the saddle is better in the long run. I have seen people with your mind set ruin a decent to good horse. A horse isn't a being to be broken but to form a partnership with their rider.

A lack of responsiveness to the bit pressure is often the sign of insufficient training or improper training. Some things to do is vary the routine by riding away from the barn after warming him up in the round pen or lunging for a few minutes till you see the horse beginning to relax and do what you ask of him. Dismount in different places every day, tie your horse to a tree in your yard or walk him by the barn, vary your routine. Make him use his mind and pay attention to you. Consistent, patient and regular sessions with him should be what your doing so you can get him to begin to relax and he will soon realize that leaving the barn doesn't have to be filled with those invisible trolls or spooky and scary things lurking in the shadows.

If you can, have a buddy ride with you on a horse who is trail safe and easy going and laid back, one that nothing seems to spook or upset to ride along with you. Often times a young horse or spooky horse will feed off the more easy going personality of the horse with him and begin to settle down, making the ride more enjoyable.

I think your on the right track of making him work when he gets spooky or upset on the trail, let him know that the behavior he is exhibiting is unacceptable and make him do something he doesn't like. If he acts good and is more relaxed, praise him and tell him he is a good boy.

Good luck.

Bank of Dad
May. 1, 2008, 11:54 PM
Today, I put up a row of branches and logs next to the ravine, sort of a visual barrier. Then I lunged him, then, since I didn't have time to ride, took him out on the lead line with the stiff rope training halter to see the trail again. He could have cared less, nothing bothered him. Then I went to Maryland Saddlery, talked to the owner, who suggested something with a curb chain, either a kimberwick, or a Myler bit. She felt the french link I used put pressure on a spot on the tongue, with mild pressure on the bars, too mild a bit. Since the kimberwick wouldn' t give me any lateral movement, and I have problems with him taking the right lead, and sometimes dropping a shoulder, I got the Myler, level 1 bit on loan for a week. I thought that was really nice. The Myler has effect on the poll, as well as working with the curb chain, or can be used as a snaffle without the chain.
AT, I completely agree with with wet blankets. In the fall I rode 5 days a week and saw a big difference. Our winters are really icey however. I just made my RP bigger to 80ft diameter, so that will help.
Yes, he needs a daily routine, arabs need to be kept busy. Our other horses here are an equally green 7 yr old, my 13yr old rescue who's supposed to be bombproof, although I haven't even ridden him yet so who really knows (he will get the kimberwick although he has no lateral movement at all, got to work on that later), and a mostly lame 18 yr old, who just may have to go out for a quiet babysitting ride.
I also had a sort of running martingale on him, that Al Marah uses for training, I hadn't used it much and I really think it interfered in my trying to stop him. It's now going to the consignment store.
My game plan is try the new bit in the RP, lots of bending and serps in the field, circling, etc., and find some quiet horse to go out with him. Lots of work in July and August when its really hot, he'll regret that bolting then (just kidding).

The vest is Tipperary's eventing vest. This is my third fall in it, it's really helped on landing. I was so very spoiled by my mare of 25 years that I raised since birth. I broke her my self, never came off, she never bolted, and she was half Crabbet arab and half common sense QH. I miss her more than ever, I'm way too old for all these new babies.

matryoshka
May. 2, 2008, 01:17 AM
It sounds like you've got a plan in place. Hopefully, no more bolts that you have to bail from! Let us know how it goes. I'll be getting the little Arab mare (Roxy) going soon, and she looks like she might be spooker. It's a long time since I've had to ride out a spook and spin. I've been spoiled by riding OTTB's who can't turn so fast!

Ghazzu
May. 2, 2008, 01:48 AM
I am a guy that can take almost any bad mannered horse out and make him behave. When all else fails get me.


Thanks, I'll pass.

chicamuxen1
May. 2, 2008, 08:47 AM
Bank Of Dad

Have you taught your horse the One Rein Stop? do you practice it? A good idea is to start a ride off with a few practice ORSs, at the walk and trot in the first early part of your ride, that way it's fresh in the horse's mind. we just had a long thread about this. I have a young Arab that does the occasional bolt, not too often now because I've taught that stop and I use it. He's figuring out that a bolt gets him nowhere fast and isn't worth the bother. But you must teach it with a displacement of the hindquarter and practice it. That way the horse will turn his head and immediately slow and rebalance his body because they have been conditioned to it. I've picked up a habit from a friend which is to start each ride on this horse with neck flexes to each side, right after getting on. Again, it's to get the idea of giving to the bit, to the side, fresh in the horses mind, before starting off down the trail. I almost always ride alone, have no arena so go straight onto the trails brisk conditioning rides and at 55 I don't bounce so well anymore and have no patience for foolishness. I have found the flexing and ORS to be great tools, no heavy harsh bits needed. By the way, most falls from horses when they bolt is basicly because the rider locks up and basicly causes themselve to pitch off the horse. I do believe that riders need to be comfortable at all speeds on a horse so that they don't panic and stiffin when a horse does speed up. Do practice speed work, on good footing of course and I don't mean just on up hills! I hate watching riders training their horses to dash ip hills because it's the only place that the rider is mentally comfortable at a gallop. Don't use that mental crutch.


Bonnie

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 09:33 AM
Ugh, this is not training this is abuse.

Last summer I was with my grand son at the barn. A lady with her so call coach were getting ready to do some jumping. I was just leaving and they were just heading out to the ring.
I said to both of them that they were in over their head. I was told so politely were to go that I was actually looking forward to the journey:lol:.
Anyway I asked my grandson if he wanted to hang around and watch a wreck.
Sure enough within 5 minutes the lady was dumped hard but she got back up, back on the horse and went another round.
This time she didn't get up, I took the horse into the barn, unsaddled it and put the horse back in the field.
I haven't seen the horse touched again since then.

4th commandment.
Don't be angry with me for long. Don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. I have only you...

Which is more cruel?? Me riding the horse for a short session or the horse being ignored for 6 plus months???

Not a horse in the barn will fail to come to me when I walk into any field. Not a one. Who is the cruel one here???

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 09:47 AM
Thanks, I'll pass.

Lady has an experience eventer that went sour. Every time she tried riding she ended up leading the horse back home. Couldn't get 100 yards from the barn before the fight came. In despiration she talked to the stable owner who assured her I had gentle hands and she turned the horse over to me. I told her to throw her saddle on my guy and follow along.
Sure enough within 200 yards the fight came, the horse lost that round in under 10 seconds, next fight another 100 yards further on, horse lost that one too just as quick. We went for another hour, her loping along beside me , watching my hands. She realized that I didn't touch the horse until the fight started and then it was over and we were back to leaving the horse alone.
She had a great ride, thanked me so much for helping with her barn sour horse and showing her how to overcome.
No there is no need for being rough until the right time and then it is you against this monster, you must overcome if you want to go back to being gentle.
I have done this countless times for people, overcome a problem but afterwards you go back to the gentle softspoken attitude until the time comes to not be nice.
Remember a horse is 1200 pounds of solid muscle and we are nothing compared to them so we have to use our brain and overcome but at the same time leave the horse with the knowledge that he can not behave like that.
Sometimes you have got to be rough to be gentle. What is that old say when you spank a child?? " This is going to hurt me more then in it is going to hurt you""?
I shoe alot of these horses too and suprisingly they are better for me then for their owners in cross tie manners and handling.
Wonder why???

I carried a lady out of a field with a shattered leg once but that is another story.

IndysMom
May. 2, 2008, 09:54 AM
You know, I used to be one of those people that thought that getting tough with a horse is abuse. I've learned better over the past couple of years by watching a "cowboy" work the horses vs watching the horses worked "nicey, nicey-oh please do what I say". Do you want to know which ones are still in work, have their jobs and are ridden regularly and lovingly by their suburban mommy owners?

It's not the nicey nicey ones...

You need to set the rules and make them go by them. They are much happier in the long run and so is the rider. And if it takes a few sessions with a big bit and a tight curb chain. Well, so be it-some of them just need a "come to jesus" session. However, if YOU can't do it-get in and then get out-then you need to find someone who can. Getting "in", but not getting "out" IS abuse.

JMHO

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 09:56 AM
[QUOTE=Shadow14;3181985]

Shadow 14, your idea of training is why my QH gelding is now with me, someone who was taught by a man who gentled his horses instead of using brute force. I was taught how to get a horses attention, how to keep it, and make them engage their body, to listen to their rider and think, and to have a more pleasurable ride. Using brute force only shows you can break a horse, when in reality, a good rider gets into the horses mind, figures out why and what triggers that horse then uses it to teach them to do the right thing.

A horse should never fear their rider or expect you to set them on their butt and turn them inside out by hauling back on the reins. Work and consistency and patience along with refresher courses in ground manners, ground work and a lot of time in the saddle is better in the long run. I have seen people with your mind set ruin a decent to good horse. A horse isn't a being to be broken but to form a partnership with their rider.

A lack of responsiveness to the bit pressure is often the sign of insufficient training or improper training. Some things to do is vary the routine by riding away from the barn after warming him up in the round pen or lunging for a few minutes till you see the horse beginning to relax and do what you ask of him. Dismount in different places every day, tie your horse to a tree in your yard or walk him by the barn, vary your routine. Make him use his mind and pay attention to you. Consistent, patient and regular sessions with him should be what your doing so you can get him to begin to relax and he will soon realize that leaving the barn doesn't have to be filled with those invisible trolls or spooky and scary things lurking in the shadows.

If you can, have a buddy ride with you on a horse who is trail safe and easy going and laid back, one that nothing seems to spook or upset to ride along with you. Often times a young horse or spooky horse will feed off the more easy going personality of the horse with him and begin to settle down, making the ride more enjoyable.

I think your on the right track of making him work when he gets spooky or upset on the trail, let him know that the behavior he is exhibiting is unacceptable and make him do something he doesn't like. If he acts good and is more relaxed, praise him and tell him he is a good boy.

Good luck.


We are talking about run aways here. Not horses that I trained, horses you and others have failed to train, not my problem.
I am just a solution. If you have a bucker, a barn sour horse, a run away, one that ducks out on jumps and you are at your wits end then maybe a guy like me who can ride it out, set the horse straight regardless of which of these problems you have then why not??
I don't take on training horses,my time is too precious to me but I will take an hour out of my day and ride YOUR problem and fix it in short order.

My personal horses take 2 years of training to get them where I am happy with thier training but I will NOT put up with runaways, kicking, barn sour or spinning. Never will I tolerate that from my pupil.

So again when someone is on the verge of selling or giving up, no where else to turn and they want something done I will gladly ride it out for you but not take anyone on as a training project.

Your socalled ladies horses don't seem to fear me and even hard to catch horses in the field come to me when I enter the paddock.

You will really hate how I catch hard to catch horse???

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 10:02 AM
You know, I used to be one of those people that thought that getting tough with a horse is abuse. I've learned better over the past couple of years by watching a "cowboy" work the horses vs watching the horses worked "nicey, nicey-oh please do what I say". Do you want to know which ones are still in work, have their jobs and are ridden regularly and lovingly by their suburban mommy owners?

It's not the nicey nicey ones...

You need to set the rules and make them go by them. They are much happier in the long run and so is the rider. And if it takes a few sessions with a big bit and a tight curb chain. Well, so be it-some of them just need a "come to jesus" session. However, if YOU can't do it-get in and then get out-then you need to find someone who can. Getting "in", but not getting "out" IS abuse.

JMHO

Are you actually agreeing with me???:D:D
The lady that I carried out of the field with a shattered, and notice I didn't say broken, shattered which surgury and screws put back together came back and won a ammature rodeo on the same horse after I worked with him for a few sessions.

jeano
May. 2, 2008, 10:15 AM
shadow14 if you were to look long and hard on this BB, although not so much on THIS forum, you would see many, many requests made in desperation for the name of a good cowboy to work on a problem horse....I'm thinking you might be the guy some are asking for. I think though on this forum, where most of the posters are out there putting a LOT of miles on their horses, not nearly so many problems.

I ride a former bolter and God permitting I will ALWAYS be able to nail her before she can get her neck set and pull that stunt again with me. (We did have a bit of a horse race a couple weeks ago, scared me for a minute but then realized, no, this time its NOT a runaway. Plus I stick on better now. She hasnt really tried anything nasty for almost a year and a half.) I'm with you on this one--I dont ride a horse so that it gets spoiled on my watch, and I wont nurse one along that someone else has tried to ruin. There are some rules the horse is not allowed to break. When the horse tries, correction is swift, effective, and ultimately much more humane than nagging it to death, and much safer for the human than letting little pookums kill the human.

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 10:29 AM
If someone is giving advice look at what they have. If you like what they have and you want the same thing then maybe his advice is good.

If someone is giving advice on how to maintain a lawn but you look at his lawn and it is nothing but weeds do you respect his advice?? NO
If on the other hand his lawn is gorgous, one you would die for then maybe the guy knows what he is talking about.
Since none of you know my horses you can not make an educated guess as to weather my advice is worth anything or not?
Judges have and until I house cleaned a year or two I had over 50 trophies scattered around to attest to my training.
I repeat, my horses set standard of obedience and manners whatever barn they are in and no they do not cringe at my touch. I don't hit horses.

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 10:44 AM
I know I am going on and on about this but I am very passionate about this subject.
If anyone ever really fights a horse, knows horses and watch the eyes you can see the moment they give up. It speaks loud and clear that I GIVE UP. They own being reflects this surrender, their eyes really show it and at that moment you suddenly become tender, you allow the horse to approach you or you approach him with kindness, praise and gentleness.
The fight is over for both of you and the horse gains respect for you, not fear, not resentment but respect and both of you are better for it.
Watch for the signs and give in instantly when they come.
Show gentleness after that but don't settle for anything but total surrender.

jeano
May. 2, 2008, 11:06 AM
I had several come to Jesus meetings with my mare over a period of months. I got grudging respect and gradually improving obedience from her until the day I started fooling with clicker training. As soon as she realized I was a human treat dispenser but that rewards were contingent on performance the light bulb came on, the soft expression entered her eyes, and she became My Horse. She's not perfectly obedient, very alpha mare, always going to test, but doesnt fight with me anymore. A brief discussion, perhaps, but no fight. And she's always glad to see me.

ETA--I havent clicked her for months and months, nearly a year, maybe more. But she still tries to figure out what I want, and offers behaviors when she doesnt understand what she has to do or should do. She's hilarious. And, no, she's not nippy or pushy about getting treats. She knows she earns one for good work, and that the timing of the reward is my department.

Ghazzu
May. 2, 2008, 11:25 AM
No there is no need for being rough until the right time and then it is you against this monster, you must overcome if you want to go back to being gentle.

I shoe alot of these horses too and suprisingly they are better for me then for their owners in cross tie manners and handling.
Wonder why???



Ask my clients if you don't think I'm intolerant of poor/dangerous behavior.
I just think there are better ways of dealing with the OP's situation than your suggestion.

Ghazzu
May. 2, 2008, 11:32 AM
You know, I used to be one of those people that thought that getting tough with a horse is abuse.

I have no qualms about "getting tough" with a horse when necessary.
I just don't think jamming hardware into a horse's mouth and hauling on it is the way to go here.
And yes, I've owned a bolter, and ridden others and it is scary and dangerous, and I "won" in a french link.

Jumpin_Horses
May. 2, 2008, 12:19 PM
when I was a kid (about 17ish) I was on my Arab - Murraab.. he was a COOL horse!

we were out on a trail alone, WAY back in the woods (like an hour in). when I heard a twig snap... or I thought it was a twig...

I gotta say, there is nothing faster or more determined than an Arab that says "thats IT, im OUTTA here!" no amount of bit is going to change his mind.

after a couple of failed attempts to stop him, I realized he was going mach 10 in the woods! sharp turns, trees, rocks, jumps, gullies, hills, etc. you name it... my only hope was to hunker down and hang on. it was actually pretty COOL! :)

the more I tried to control him, the less steady he got, when I left him alone, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing.... he was going HOME... NOW.. the exact same way we came in.

I allowed him to bolt! and stuck to him like glue.. it was an AMAZING experience. takes your breath away! Ive never been through the wilderness faster and steadier than that day... I'll never forget it.

once I got back I realized.. he took some buck shot in the butt.. YEP! he had a D*MN good reason to bolt.... and Im glad he did.. someone SHOT US! there is no telling what would have happend if I had held him back, or if I came off and been at the mercy of whatever was out there.... vet took out some fragments and he was fine.. never had a problem again with him out there..

moral of the story - perhaps your horse was trying to tell you something? :yes:

another example - a friend of mine pressed her horse on, when he DID NOT want to go... they got attacked by bees.....

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 12:20 PM
I have no qualms about "getting tough" with a horse when necessary.
I just don't think jamming hardware into a horse's mouth and hauling on it is the way to go here.
And yes, I've owned a bolter, and ridden others and it is scary and dangerous, and I "won" in a french link.

No I agree. You are right. Bailing off a run away at speed is far better then taking a chance on hurting a horse's mouth. If you lived in Canada you have free medical so it cost you nothing but if you hurt the horses mouth vet bills get expensive.

sublimequine
May. 2, 2008, 12:49 PM
Since when is ANYTHING in horses so black and white as some of you folks are trying to make it?! There's a TON of variation between the two extremes of a pushover owner who lets poopsie run them over all the time, and the macho cowboy who rips the horse's face off.

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

Sheesh folks. :rolleyes:

Kyzteke
May. 2, 2008, 01:39 PM
You know, I used to be one of those people that thought that getting tough with a horse is abuse. I've learned better over the past couple of years by watching a "cowboy" work the horses vs watching the horses worked "nicey, nicey-oh please do what I say". Do you want to know which ones are still in work, have their jobs and are ridden regularly and lovingly by their suburban mommy owners?

It's not the nicey nicey ones...

Getting "in", but not getting "out" IS abuse.
JMHO

I'm afraid I have to give Shadow the benefit of the doubt on this one. There are many people who have stricter rules for their kids than they do for their horses. Just as some children will behave with just a stern look, some horses are creampuffs and easy to deal with.

But there are those that aren't -- some are more stubborn, some are not as bright, some are more alpha and don't want to acknowledge human as leader. Some are just nervous and easily upset -- just like some people.

So I don't think anyone is advocating beating a horse silly here -- but what is most important is to have the horse behave in a safe manner, and have it trust you. I've been known to get abit Western with some of my horses from time to time, but I doubt I've ever REALLY hurt one physically (certainly not nearly as bad as the Queen of the Herd, Miss Alpha Arab). Every one of them is easy to catch, trusts me, etc.

Horses respect physical -- it is their language. Now, that doesn't mean force is better -- quite the opposite. But it has it's place...and you can bet any good horse trainer understands that and has used it on SOME horses SOME time.

However, I would disagree with Shadow in just one area -- a heavy bit is all very well and good if you are going to keep the horse in it always. But when you give this horse back to it's owner and they don't have the hands for this sort of bit, I would think the behavior will show up again if you don't address the reason for the spooking...which is not trusting his "leader."

Just because the horse knows YOU can stop it, doesn't mean it knows the other rider can. And putting a heavy bit in uneducated hands is one of the cruelest things you can do.

Auventera Two
May. 2, 2008, 02:11 PM
Good post Kyzteke. I hate it so much when a horse swings a kick at a human and the owner smacks it on the shoulder and says "Naughty!" If one of MY horses swings a kick at me, my god she's gonna wish she kept that foot on the ground because I'll make sure there are SERIOUS consequences. One of mine gave a big buck and fart and flung her heels up over my head the other day out in the field while I was feeding and she was lucky I had no recourse except to fling a feed bucket at her. But the REAL elimination of that problem is more one-on-one work establishing pecking order, respect, and trust. In a herd situation, after a while the alpha is hardly ever challeneged anymore by the subordinates. All the shuffling occurs on the mid and lower levels.

I too would rather have a horse with a sore mouth than a dead rider. But also, I would rather go a step further and say it's better to train the horse properly in a controlled setting before just getting on with a big bit and taking off to 'yonder and 'thither.

Also like sublime said - there is no ONE right answer for every situation. You do the best you can in the training department and then drop the hammer, only when the crap hits the fan and there's no other option.

Everything we do with a horse is 1% muscle and 99% mental.

Also it goes back to the fish and fisherman parable. Put a big bit in a horse's mouth and lock down the breaks and you stop the horse once. Put the horse in the training pen and spend weeks conditioning and developing the brain and you can stop the horse a million times.

Or at least that's just my opinion on it. :)

SmokenMirrors
May. 2, 2008, 02:13 PM
[QUOTE=Belplosh;3182690]


We are talking about run aways here. Not horses that I trained, horses you and others have failed to train, not my problem.
I am just a solution. If you have a bucker, a barn sour horse, a run away, one that ducks out on jumps and you are at your wits end then maybe a guy like me who can ride it out, set the horse straight regardless of which of these problems you have then why not??
I don't take on training horses,my time is too precious to me but I will take an hour out of my day and ride YOUR problem and fix it in short order.

My personal horses take 2 years of training to get them where I am happy with thier training but I will NOT put up with runaways, kicking, barn sour or spinning. Never will I tolerate that from my pupil.

So again when someone is on the verge of selling or giving up, no where else to turn and they want something done I will gladly ride it out for you but not take anyone on as a training project.

Your socalled ladies horses don't seem to fear me and even hard to catch horses in the field come to me when I enter the paddock.

You will really hate how I catch hard to catch horse???


Shadow 14, I have NO problems with my horses at all. My trail horse Terry is as honest as the day is long when it comes down to the getting down the trail and getting me home safely. He and I have been in some situations that I gave him his head and he got me out safely as well as himself. He came with many problems, hard to catch, would take a chunk a hide out of you as soon as look at you, would crowd, slam you against the stall wall, or threaten to kick. He does none of these things now because I took the time to figure out why he was doing these things and then acted accordingly. It didn't take laying him on his butt with a big bit. It took time, patience and work on both our parts.

I have his sister who hates water because she was forced to go into it and also hates to be trailered. I can do both with her now if I am patient and take the time to let her see her surroundings and sniff at the stream or trailer. She has broken several halters because big macho cowboys think they can manhandle her and make her do what they want..wrong. She is a very sensitive mare who reacts accordingly to her situation.

My draft mare was manhandled by men and by the farrier who worked on her. She hated to lift her hind hooves and yes, would strike downward or refuse to pick her hooves up. Now, she is 110% better than she was 4 years ago, and each day she gets even better.

I don't think how you come across is right, I would never take a horse to someone like you as I have seen the end results and it isn't brute force or anything like that. You can catch my horses, you can put children on them, they are easy going and laid back.

To each his own...and like you, I too use to ride hard to deal with horses or those that the owner was timid and let them get away with murder, I rode accordingly and never was as cruel as you are saying you have to be to get your point across.

Bank of Dad
May. 2, 2008, 02:31 PM
Wow, I didn' t think I was going to start a train wreck, or are we just agreeing to disagree?

Bonnie, I agree about the ORS. We were using it last fall. No more winter vacations for him. The stupid running martingale I had on him made it hard to get leverage on the rein. Then we were on a dangerous part of the trail next to the ravine where I wouldn't have wanted to turn him. You are right, I don't do dead runs all over the trail so I am not mentally comfortable with it. However, I did watch him running like a maniac all over the field this winter without falling, so I had more confidence he wouldn't fall, just run blindly over the 20 ft drop off the trail. And he spooked so fast, just right out the back gate, that I wasn't even set to start keeping his mind busy. He actually ran a 1/4 mile away from home when he turned and came trotting back to me, like "Mommy save me".

He gets nothing but hay and vit/min balancer.

If he pulls this stunt much more, I will get his trainer out here and we'll make him spook on purpose and let the 22 yr old trainer have him come to Jesus.

I really think he just saw the big boulder in the weeds and spun and left, cause when we went back I lunged him there a while and nothing else was around.

Curse my arab addiction.

Ghazzu
May. 2, 2008, 02:45 PM
No I agree. You are right. Bailing off a run away at speed is far better then taking a chance on hurting a horse's mouth. If you lived in Canada you have free medical so it cost you nothing but if you hurt the horses mouth vet bills get expensive.

I neither bailed nor sustained injury.
As for vet bills, I can cover most of those.

Prieta
May. 2, 2008, 03:22 PM
From what I've read here about bolting, I want to share two things...

1. I am going to work with the best trainer that I found at the Mustang Challenge. The end result of the challenge alone convinced me that the result counts far more than the means itself. I truly enjoyed watching the trainers using very light aids to ride on their Mustang in front of huge noisy crowd. The horses and trainers look so vibrant and happy that I want to have the same kind of relationship with my horses. I did not see any signs of "harsh training"...just pure pleasure of working together. If I have a bolting problem, then I'd just go to one of them - either Dan or Lalo. It is cheaper and easier this way.

2. When my Arab spooked mighty big on me that I fell off, I got so very furious! Would she be able to foot the bill for taking care of my back problem when I go to the hospital? Would I be able to take care of her if I am forever hurt? She depends on me to give her the best care; therefore, she could not be silly. So, I slapped her really hard - yelled at her. I made her gallop really fast for a while....I felt truly awful about it for a while. But, one thing I do notice is that she has NOT spooked mighty big on me anymore. Is it because of me giving her a hard time? Or, is it because???? Dunno.....

But, I'd rather go very slowly and surely before I can do anything with her. We need each other so it makes sense for me to be totally confident of her and myself before we go up the step.

Kyzteke
May. 2, 2008, 04:13 PM
But, one thing I do notice is that she has NOT spooked mighty big on me anymore. Is it because of me giving her a hard time? Or, is it because???? Dunno.....


Once again, much of "horse training" is subtle, "you had to be there" stuff, so it's really almost impossible to armchair qtrbk on these things.

Did the OP's horse (and BOD, I think we are just having a lively discussion on horse training here...speaking for myself I don't feel like I'm in a trainwreck), bolt & spook o/o true fear and panic or was it one of those "I'm just too frisky for my saddle" moments that somehow escalated?

It's impossible to tell without being there, and even then we might disagree.

But I've known horses that bolted and ran off through sheer orneriness.

In fact, MY first horse was one. Her name was Princess and she was some sort of grade beast my grandfather picked out for me when I was 12 yrs. old because I'd FINALLY nagged my dad into allowing it! Dad didn't want to spend any money on this endevour, so the plan was this mare lived 9 months o/o the year on my grandpa's farm in east TN, hanging out with the retired plowmules and eating (I kid you not) STRAIGHT CORN + pasture. That's what they fed stock animals back then.

Then I could show up three months o/o the year (summer vacation) and try to ride her nasty ass. To make it more interesting, Dad was too cheap to buy me a saddle -- I got a bareback pad though <g>!

No instruction, no guidence. Just horse vs 12 yr. old. I don't have to tell you who won most of the time.

I would ride that evil creature out on the 400 acres and 80% of the time she would bolt back home----she'd wait for that nanosecond when I dropped my attention and bolt. I don't know if she actually took the bit in her teeth (I've always heard that expression, but I don't know if horses can really do that...) and run like Secretariat on meth all the way back to the paddock where the mules lived. We'd come to a screeching, sliding stop at the gate and the mules + my sweet little Princess would greet each other affectionately. I would slide off, calling Princess every rotten name in my limited 12 yr. old vocabulary. I knew once we were back, there was no way I could get her out again.

And old Princess didn't just amble back -- she ran full bore through these narrow, winding little "tractor" roads that ran through the farm. We covered the miles at warp speed!! No way I was going to bail (I was 12!!), but I could never stop her the dirty B**CH!!

I found her bridle years later, and it was this GIANT thing with 9" shanks and a port bigger than me...but I don't think they used any kind of curb chain.

Anyway, this went on for three years.

No helmet (this was the '60's), no adult supervision...just the school of The Horse. Jeez I hated that mare!! I speaks of my deep-seated love of horses that I didn't want the whole species wiped off the face of the Earth after Princess was finished with me. I have a photo of me holding her, and there is none of this big, "look at my first horse,I love her so!" expression on my face. I am totally scowling into the camera....but I think Princess might be grinning.

I never did stop her ('cause if I'd turned her into one of the corn or cotton fields THEN I would have known what real hurt was all about), and I never did come off. I learned one important lesson: "you can ride as fast as they can run." It would hold me in good stead in later years when I attempted to become an exercise rider on the race track.

And I developed a pretty good independant seat <g>.

Princess has long since gone to that big pasture in the sky, but if by some chance she was still alive today, I would let Shadows14 have at her and never feel a moment's remorse.

Auventera Two
May. 2, 2008, 04:52 PM
I agree some horses are satan spawn, but what you described Kytzke sounds like a mare who had very little (or no) training, very little riding, and no solid trust relationship with her rider/handler. She was taken away from her farm - her comfort zone - and she felt she had to get back as fast as possible because after all, a lone horse, 5 miles away from "safety" is a dead horse. If you only show up 3 months out of the year, you're not "hers." You're just some tick that shows up ever now and again to hop on her back and hang on.

I also had a horse that stayed at my grandpa's house and I rode him 3-4 months of the year on summer vacation and that was it. I did that for years, and I never had a minute's trouble with him, but that was just his personality. If he'd had the same personality as Princess, I'd have had the same troubles.

Do you think if you'd ridden the mare year round and done a lot of ground training and trust building, that she would have been better? Of course it's impossible to say.

I guess its the same reason why some horses need a total retraining if given 2 weeks off, and some horses can be ridden 3 times a year and never miss a lick. Their personalities are as indivual as ours.

I'm not a tree hugger and I don't hesitate to put the fear of god in one of my horses but I do also try to understand WHY they do what they do. And at the root of it all, the horse is a prey animal and everything they do, they do as a prey. Sometimes it's hard for us to remember that.

Kyzteke
May. 2, 2008, 05:07 PM
I agree some horses are satan spawn, but what you described Kytzke sounds like a mare who had very little (or no) training, very little riding, and no solid trust relationship with her rider/handler.

Well, this mare was purchased for a 12 yr. old child by my grandfather...who I don't think wished me dead!

The mare had been ridden for years and years...almost completely on the trail. And she was ridden the 10 miles from her place of purchase to my grandad's farm by someone older and more experienced and she did fine -- that was next to traffic, etc.

This mare ALWAYS picked a different spot to bolt and she didn't go out bucking and rearing. She was just not a "kid's horse" in that she was very alpha. But I wasn't going to tell anyone of the problems because I didn't want her taken away.

But when I look back, I don't get the sense this mare was in terror...she was simply controlling the situation when she was ready to take control. There are plenty of horses out there like that.....the reason they are being pigs is because THEY CAN.

I've ridden horse after horse that I was told would balk, rear, spin, shy, etc., etc. and they never did it with me....horses are masters at finding the weak spot. And once PRincess found mine, it was all over but the crying....

katarine
May. 2, 2008, 05:08 PM
This is why you can't really diagnose or determine what's up online. You need videos if not real life viewing of what's up.

I can ride my goofy TWH in a halter and leadrope, just about anywhere anytime. The same horse will hurt many a rider who doesn't understand him. You hit the brakes (reins only) he's just going to wad up behind it and keep going...but if you ride him into a whoa...he'll whoa. Good luck explaining that to someone who has no real notion what 'ride him into a whoa' would mean. Shadows solution would only flip this horse. I can guarandamtee you no one can intimidate this animal into not bolting. If he loses faith and confidence in you, his rider- then he's going home, with or without you.

If all it took was a hard hand and a big bit, training would be a walk in the park. BUTT- I do actually see Shadow's point: I hate loathe and despise owners who beg their horses to be good, to please be still, to please stand up and pay attention and nod wallow and rub- eeeee THAT makes me so mad, and yes- THOSE horses often do just need their butts buried to reset their brains. and their expectations They knew better once, now they think they rule the world. WRONG. I hate a spoiled horse, hate them. I know I should hate the cause so I hate the owner, too ;) hate it because 99.9% of the time they can't possibly be at fault, it must be the bit/the barn/the food/the shoes/the moon/the dogs/the noisy neighbors/the cheese ANYTHING but them, and the horse they are holding onto. I swear it's akin to blaming a failed marriage on the the subflooring, the wallpaper, or the peaches. It makes no flippin' sense to me.

The horse in the OP: he doesn't have enough current, home miles and wet saddle pads to be out and about with the springtime sillies- He's just got a bug in his bazoo and needs some work, that' s my guess. Glad BOD wasn't hurt!

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 05:17 PM
This is Shadow my two year project. He is wearing my big bit. I always drop the curb chain while walking in the lane for cooling out. Here he is about4 months into his training. Right after a lady took this picture we hoisted a 35 year old heavy lady mentally challenged on his back and took her for a ride. I later learned the lady had a steel rod up her backbone to hold it's alignment and if Shadow spooked it could easily cripple her for life.
Shadow with his big bit
http://i28.tinypic.com/2hoy3h4.jpg
Strider my mega mileage horse wearing the only bit he every had in his mouth.
http://i26.tinypic.com/2ds0mu1.jpg

Huntertwo
May. 2, 2008, 05:54 PM
I was just reading about a bit that might be a help to you. Now as a disclaimer, I will say that I never used this bit, BUT it sounds like it might help. It was designed to control horses that throw their heads up and charge into the wild blue yonder.
It is a T.E.A.M. training bit, a kind of a curb bit with a copper roller mouth. It has loose shanks, not too long, and uses 4 reins. An English caveson should be used with it, and the chin chain should be adjusted similar to that of a Pelham or double bridle.

As I said, I haven't used/needed it, but it looks like it would be effective without putting something really nasty in your horse's mouth.

How about it out there? Anybody used a properly adjusted T.E.A.M. training bit? What results did you get?

I've never tried that bit either. But I do use a Combination bit and absolutely love it!

My mare is good, but a PONY...lol... When I first owned her, she would flip the shanks up by tossing her head. Hence, basically no control..

I bought the Myler Combination bit and that ended that! :)

Can't say good enough things about it.

Huntertwo
May. 2, 2008, 05:59 PM
This is Shadow my two year project. He is wearing my big bit. I always drop the curb chain while walking in the lane for cooling out. Here he is about4 months into his training. Right after a lady took this picture we hoisted a 35 year old heavy lady mentally challenged on his back and took her for a ride. I later learned the lady had a steel rod up her backbone to hold it's alignment and if Shadow spooked it could easily cripple her for life.
Shadow with his big bit
http://i28.tinypic.com/2hoy3h4.jpg
Strider my mega mileage horse wearing the only bit he every had in his mouth.
http://i26.tinypic.com/2ds0mu1.jpg

Cute guy Shadow.. Is that a Training bit or something similar to a Tom Thumb?

Huntertwo
May. 2, 2008, 06:09 PM
[quote=Shadow14;3181985]

Shadow 14, your idea of training is why my QH gelding is now with me, someone who was taught by a man who gentled his horses instead of using brute force. I was taught how to get a horses attention, how to keep it, and make them engage their body, to listen to their rider and think, and to have a more pleasurable ride. Using brute force only shows you can break a horse, when in reality, a good rider gets into the horses mind, figures out why and what triggers that horse then uses it to teach them to do the right thing.

A horse should never fear their rider or expect you to set them on their butt and turn them inside out by hauling back on the reins. Work and consistency and patience along with refresher courses in ground manners, ground work and a lot of time in the saddle is better in the long run. I have seen people with your mind set ruin a decent to good horse. A horse isn't a being to be broken but to form a partnership with their rider.

A lack of responsiveness to the bit pressure is often the sign of insufficient training or improper training. Some things to do is vary the routine by riding away from the barn after warming him up in the round pen or lunging for a few minutes till you see the horse beginning to relax and do what you ask of him. Dismount in different places every day, tie your horse to a tree in your yard or walk him by the barn, vary your routine. Make him use his mind and pay attention to you. Consistent, patient and regular sessions with him should be what your doing so you can get him to begin to relax and he will soon realize that leaving the barn doesn't have to be filled with those invisible trolls or spooky and scary things lurking in the shadows.

If you can, have a buddy ride with you on a horse who is trail safe and easy going and laid back, one that nothing seems to spook or upset to ride along with you. Often times a young horse or spooky horse will feed off the more easy going personality of the horse with him and begin to settle down, making the ride more enjoyable.

I think your on the right track of making him work when he gets spooky or upset on the trail, let him know that the behavior he is exhibiting is unacceptable and make him do something he doesn't like. If he acts good and is more relaxed, praise him and tell him he is a good boy.

Good luck.

I don't think Shadow is recommending "Brute force" or fear to *break* a horse, but a good solid punishment for unnecessary behavior, such as bolting which is dangerous to rider AND horse.

As the OP mentioned - she was worried about her horse running himself into a ravine. I'd much rather have my horse under control when *I* say, not when poopsie decides he is going to stop.

I totally agree with you in treating a fearful horse much different. Praise works in that case. :yes:

But I think there is a huge difference between a truly fearful horse and one that is just being a down right spoiled brat. (Not meaning this is the OP's horse)

ayrabz
May. 2, 2008, 06:51 PM
this is a GOOD thread.
Lots here that have very black and white beliefs and support, lots that do not. But, through it all, most have remained civil, and the discussion therefore goes on.
My horse is one of those very reactive, very able to learn...but also and forever, when he is TRULY afraid, very dangerous if you are one who is in his way. He's come a LONG way, don't get me wrong (!) But his flight instinct is different from any I've ever come across. Schooling goes on...he learns and grows up...but when its something he's AFRAID of...all bets are off.
This thread took on a lot of varied views on that reaction. Its been great to read...and Shadow, even your thoughts (!) you have tried to outline and discuss (although many I don't agree with)----the good part is: no one is shutting down, or bashing something at this point...lots are sharing and considering. I for one (!) hope it continues, as there are those 'issue' horses that we can all benefit from learning a bit more about!

Bank of Dad
May. 2, 2008, 07:22 PM
Those of you may remember that June 29, 07, I lost a 5 yr old arab that I had trained daily for a year when he spooked at a calf in a pasture, as I was trying to expose him to cattle. There was only one little calf in the whole field, and other horses, and he had seen the cattle from outside the corral. He spooked, bolted off the lead line, attempted to jump the fence and broke his leg above the knee. He could have just run to the end of the big field and I wouldn't be having this discussion.

There is no rational thought when there is that much fear, and that's what my new one experienced the other day. He ran from what ever demons he thought was there. And there must have been demons there, cause they obviously grabbed me and thru me on the ground, and would have gotten him next. Nice of him to come back to see if I was OK. But I also think more work first and more prep, including a little handwalking on the trail after all these months would have prevented this bolt. But not the next one.

I am going to try more preps for ORS and getting comfortable at his high speeds, and more wet blankets. But you can't desensitize all the fears. However, he does need more discipline and has a bit of attitude. The other horse didn't have attitude, but was always scared of everything. Both my trainer and my farrier were leary of his fears.

sublimequine
May. 2, 2008, 08:39 PM
this is a GOOD thread.
Lots here that have very black and white beliefs and support, lots that do not. But, through it all, most have remained civil, and the discussion therefore goes on.
My horse is one of those very reactive, very able to learn...but also and forever, when he is TRULY afraid, very dangerous if you are one who is in his way. He's come a LONG way, don't get me wrong (!) But his flight instinct is different from any I've ever come across. Schooling goes on...he learns and grows up...but when its something he's AFRAID of...all bets are off.
This thread took on a lot of varied views on that reaction. Its been great to read...and Shadow, even your thoughts (!) you have tried to outline and discuss (although many I don't agree with)----the good part is: no one is shutting down, or bashing something at this point...lots are sharing and considering. I for one (!) hope it continues, as there are those 'issue' horses that we can all benefit from learning a bit more about!

Hey, this is the TRAIL subforum; there's no poo-slinging here. We're civil folk. :lol::lol::lol:

Shadow14
May. 2, 2008, 10:54 PM
Cute guy Shadow.. Is that a Training bit or something similar to a Tom Thumb?

It is the bit I always ride in. It is also a bit I would put on a run away. It is a broken copper mouthpiece and short side shanks so if his face ever hits the ground I hope the bit doesn't dig in and hurt him.
A curb bit, and that is any bit with a mechanical advantage I feel produces less head tossers while at the same time giving more control.
I do NOT need this but I find it comfortable to ride with. I neck rein in the bush all the time and curbs neck rein better.
Look at that bit and really is it that severe.
That said I also have very gentle hands and seldom actually take the slack out of the reins. I believe in heavy 3/4 inch reins so he can feel them on his neck, feel them when I pick them up and split so I can ground tie him or drop them in place and hopefully he will step on one if he walks away.
He is taught to hobble both front and hind and you can tie any leg down and he will not fight.
I ride with my legs, my voice, my butt, shifting weight and the reins are only to reinforce after suggesting.
If you teach your horse to respond to suttle shifts, touches, voice backing it up with spur or rein only when needed you get a soft responsive horse.
I teach side passing in the first week , along with back up.
Backing up is not about pulling the reins to go backwards. It is about forward motion checked and flowing backwards is the only out.
I don't pull harder to go faster in reverse, I push the horse harder in the sides while maintaining no forward motion. He flows backwards.
If I want a really hard sliding stop I ask for a back while looping and he throws it into reverse , reverse and stopping are the same action so if I call for reverse while loping forward the hind legs come under the body and he just digs in with hind end and slides switching to a back as soon as all forward motion is stopped.
Running on again, Sorry.

matryoshka
May. 3, 2008, 01:31 AM
Bank of Dad, FWIW, my new riding instructor tells us that running martingales are not safe on the trail because you can't help him by lifting his head if he stumbles. By golly my horse slipped going down a hill with a gully, and I was very glad I could get his head up and help him regain his balance. I stopped using running martingales years ago because I decided to ride them to a lower head rather than pull them to a lower head. But I haven't been riding anything with much Arab blood in years. Those high-headed Arabs are quite a different ride. I hate when they throw their heads straight up and keep running--hence the running martingales when I rode those horses. I just wanted to tell you the flip side of them.

This instructor has been helping me get my horse off his forehand. I've been able to do this with others, but for some reason, I just couldn't figure it out with Butch. She has just the teaching technique I needed, and I've been able to refine our riding. Different horses, different needs, different riding.

matryoshka
May. 3, 2008, 01:43 AM
My mother had an Anglo-Arab that I think was probably neurotic. When he spooked he totally lost his head, and it was dangerous to be anywhere near him. He was like this as a young foal and never grew out of it. He'd go over or through a fence, try to squish through a 2-foot square window, or run you over. He also would leap sideways, making it unsafe for pedestrians around him when he was ridden. I had an excellent instructor at the time who specialized in problem horses and problem riders. She really helped us and was pushing me to show him in dressage so we could sell him for decent money. He was a beautiful mover and very sensitive and responsive under saddle.

After a lot of thought and three years of having struggled with this horse (and a bad back from a serious fall off of him), I decided he was unsafe. One could not predict or control his violent spooks, and the rider was the safest person around if this happened. I decided to retire him, and he lived the rest of his days as the herd leader.

This type of spook is serious and not a minor nuisance. Even a sane horse can have this type of spook once in a while, like Jeano's horse with the buck shot. He must be an honest horse not to have tried hard to unseat the rider along the way! Serious spooks happen, and as Bonnie says, it is important to have the riding skills to stay with the horse until one can regain control. Having said that, I bailed many times as a youngster when I could not get control of the horse. Had I stayed with the horse, I might have figured it out. But I was more scared of being thrown in a bad place than bailing off on ground of my choosing.

I like the answer some famous person had to the question, "What do you do when a horse runs away with you out of control?" Answer: "Ride faster." And then, stop the horse when you can. If you can't get the horse stopped, it is time to learn something new for both you and the horse. I think Bank of Dad has demonstrated that she dealing with the problem by longing the horse aftward and looking into prevention in the future. Then, if a spook happens, she's also preparing ways to get the horse stop if he does bolt again.

This is a good rider and a good example of how to solve riding problems.

citydog
May. 3, 2008, 02:15 AM
There is no rational thought when there is that much fear,

Yup. And that's why I wish folks in general would be more consistent in making distinctions between bolting (no-rational-thought, blind panic) and running away (horsie gets stronger than a particular rider can handle).

Sorry for the loss of your five year old, Bank of Dad.

Shadow14
May. 3, 2008, 09:21 AM
Back to the original post. I have sort of lead this off in another direction so back to the orginal post.
The horse spun and took off and didn't respond to anything. If running a snaffle any time the head is held high the snaffle/ snaffle is defined as any bit that has reins running directly off the mouthpiece/ no mechanical advantage. So the horse raises it's head and the mouth piece rests against the teeth. Pull all you want and you are just pulling on teeth.
The horse unseated one stirrup and the rider bailed off. A very dangerous dangerous manuver but it might be an out from a wreck but one that can certianly break limbs.
The horse realizing the rider was not longer aboard turned around and came back??? Is this a scared frightened response??? NO the horse was messing with you.
You lunged him in the place where he spun and spooked but what does that really do??
If he was bited with a big western Curb/ and bit with shanks or mechiancial advantage and this advantage can be 3 or 4 or even 5 times your input or pull along with a curb CHAIN, not leather can gain you that control. Putting his head up does NOT escape the bit, it still pulls down on the bars and if you can ride gentle until the spin comes and then reef down on him before he can make a jump you have him. Turn him back around in the direction you were going, yell and if / And I really like spurs, jab him and make him go the way you were going and then forget it, be gentle, praise him and wait for the next time. It will come but if you beat him and I certianly don't mean physically beating him, mentally beat him he will settle down into a great companion.
After a while of building your confidence and his obedience remove the big bit, go to a small curb , still maintain the curb chain but a small more pleasant curb bit, soft hands, you will have all the control you want.
Dump the snaffle. the really big western bits with striaght shanks, not curved back are cheap cheap, must have broken mouth piece, that is important for steering and only used at first.
Good luck and sure wish I was closer and got a crack at him.
AGain my hands are gentle, my manner is kind and soft right up until they need me to be otherwise.
Honestly guys this Jekle and Hide/ I know spelling/ makes for a easy mannered horse, one that responds as it should, not afraid of you because it knows you will only ONLY react if it doesn't behave.
If you don't truely love this animal, feel totally comfortable doing anything with it you won't give it the time it deserves and it won't give you the respect you deserve.
Hope that was back on track????

jeano
May. 3, 2008, 10:56 AM
Oh lordy, yes, you can get hurt coming off a horse at speed...the worst bolt Sadie ever did I stayed on and thought I could ride it out but she took me straight at the corner of the fence and spun/slid/slammed to a stop and off I went at about 30 miles per....thankfull not into the fence, though as it was I might have preferred being sliced to being body slammed. Probably cracked half the ribs on the right side of my body, and was black and blue from armpit to mid thigh for weeks. Could barely get up and walk but by God I did get back on her RIGHT THEN and ride for another ten minutes or so and insisted on obedience. She was absolutely messing with me, fear had NOTHING to do with that one.

That was two years ago. Thursday went out with two buddies. Two of the horses were my two, and my next door neighbor who has been so scared of HER wreck on HER horse several years ago that she's been doing nothing but groundwork for at least two years. She only recently began riding out with us, like about a month, maybe 10 rides total. The cool thing was, it was a bright and windy day, we were three abreast on a dirt road, two alpha mares and a gelding, Sadie spooked at something, Hawk spooked in sympathy, ditto the neighbor's green mare, and ALL THREE spooked in place.

Every spook and shy that day was basically the same, nobody wheeled, nobody bolted, nobody went faster than asked. It was a GREAT ride for three mid 50s ladies, reriders all, on horses that all three both had plenty of baggage. (and all of us having dealt or currently dealing with, Being Afraid of our Horses.)

Sadie wore a plain grazing bit, hawk wore a billy allen medium shank, and the greenie wore a rope halter hackamore with an eggbutt snaffle as backup. Nobody ever rode with a tight rein, and we were out for three and a half hours and covered about 12-15 miles.

MassageLady
May. 3, 2008, 12:14 PM
I prefer to go the training route-not the pain route.
Please ride with a buddy, someone who has a horse who's 'been there, done that'. This way, if there's a spooky item, he'll learn it's ok to not run, he'll learn how to cross things-because the other horse will teach him. Teach him to pony off the other horse in times when he's really acting up-take someone with you that you trust that CAN do these things. This is how I got my arab mare trained, and she is great...can ride her in a nylon halter:yes:.

Shadow14
May. 3, 2008, 12:32 PM
I brought my working bridle in today and took a picture. The bit in the headstall is my every day working bit. It is considered a training bit, I do run the chain curb. The one on the right is much more severe and if you have a run away that bit will bring them down, that and a tight curb chain. I only use the bit on the right in emergencies and only for a very short time. I am trying to establish dominance then I take it out.
The copper training bit is 2 to 1 ratio so 20 pounds input gives 40 pounds to the mouth.
The severe bit is about 5 to 1 so a 20 pound input would be 100 pounds to the horse. Remember you are only trying to establish control and then back right off.

It is fine to say ride with someone else and that is great but what if you can't find a riding partner. No one rides out but you??? Our barn of 25 is full of non riders. I see boarders that haven't rode or bushed or even touched their horses in 5, 6 months
Many a week I am the only one leaving the barn , riding or brushing.
I have learned to depend on no one but myself.
http://i25.tinypic.com/ixsig5.jpg

Bank of Dad
May. 3, 2008, 12:33 PM
Shadow:

"The horse realizing the rider was not longer aboard turned around and came back??? Is this a scared frightened response??? NO the horse was messing with you."


No he wasn't messing with me. He had run past home, and when he turned back he was going HOME. I just happened to be in his path.

"You lunged him in the place where he spun and spooked but what does that really do??"

Desensitized him to the killer rock that he will have to see daily without attitude. Jogged his memory a bit, let him know this spot is safe. He has to know this, its right out the gate.

Thanks for the pics of the bits. I may get the copper one for my rescue horse until I know what he's like. The previous owners rode him with a snaffle but he has no bend or flexability, and I know nothing of his stopping. All I know is he spent the past two years with a 5 yr old rider in the ring, and ponying her on trails. He was too strong for her in the ring, naturally. He's big and stiff.

This rescue horse is supposed to become the stable buddy trail horse. But so far he's an unknown factor. I hate starting over with all these new horses.

chicamuxen1
May. 3, 2008, 05:14 PM
Matryoshka, don't get me started on martingales. A properly adjust running martingale is not dangerous, it doesn't prevent you from helping a tripping horse with the reins, but few people seem to know how to adjust one properly and have them way too short. Now a standing martingale I have very little use for. I won't say never, I'll say almost never. And it's the one that can cause your horse to somersault right on over unless it's really loose and then why have it on the horse? Most hunter types use them "because everyone else does and I'm a lemming, jump!!!!!". Yeah, I know I'm opinionated. Years ago when I was 11-12 yrs old, I was in a jumping lesson. I took lessons from a hunter/jumper trainer who had been in the business for years with his wife. The horse I was on caught a leg between poles on a spread jump and went down to his knees amongst all these poles. I leaned back and stayed on while the horse used his nose like a hand to push himself off the ground and back onto his front feet and up. The instructor then gave us a lecture about the dangers of standing martingales which were starting to gain popularity with the shoe ring hunter riders. He told us that they were dangerous and crippled the horse by restricting the use of his head.

Sorry, I know how to adjust a RM correctly and might use one on a horse that might throw his head high to evade the bit and bolt. That's about it, haven't used one in a long time now. As long as they are set long they are safe. I haven't had a high headed, long necked horse since my last ASB. But I rode someones Arab/Saddlebred for a while and he did have a RM on for competition. He had a neck like a giraff! He needed dressage work but got sold instead by his owner who didn't have the patience to apply training.

Bank Of Dad, you are so right that a typical RM makes it impossible to do a ORS. After I learned the effectiveness of the ORS and started using it then I never used a RM again. There is a sliding type RM that doesn't get in the way of a ORS but you'll seldom see them.

I had a short bolt today on my youngster as we got close to home, I had to time my ORS to fit between pine trees, hee hee. Then my reins were slippery and hard to get a hold of. He knows the drill and as soon as I started the turn he stopped and sighed. But he's a goosey one, I haven't had one like him before, he'll try a run from a noise, from something seen out of the corner of his LEFT eye, from me jumping to the ground he'll jump a little sideways or back away. Sigh..... I dismounted then remounted and over and over again today after I got back home, about 20 times (mounting block used) just trying to figure out what it would take to get him to stand still as my short old body dropped to the ground. Nothing seemed to work until I stood him with a fence behind him. Things got better and I quit while I was ahead. But this young boy frustrates me at times. He's just not the sharpest knife in the drawer, willing, sweet, loveable, but not real bright, not like most Arabs. A true test of patience and putting my gray matter to work.

Bonnie

joe21
May. 4, 2008, 12:24 AM
If he was bited with a big western Curb/ and bit with shanks or mechiancial advantage and this advantage can be 3 or 4 or even 5 times your input or pull along with a curb CHAIN, not leather can gain you that control.

I'm not looking to argue, but I have mention that this is not always the case. When a horse bolts (irrational runaway, not just messing with you) the "more force, more pain" method can either be ineffective or even make the situation worse. If a horse is bolting in fear, adding the leverage a curb bit offers can increase that fear.

A horse that is determined to take off, can and will run through any bit.

I have no doubt that you have had success with your method. I have seen many ranches/riders with a similar methodology and it works for them.

Ultimately, however, it is training (of horse AND rider) that stops the horse. Not equipment.

Equipment is a great backup and can be very helpful in many situations. Equipment can also fail, often at the worst possible time. I have no problem with people putting any type of bit they want in their own horse's mouth. However, if they don't have a solid foundation of TRAINING, then they are living a dangerous fantasy thinking that the bit (or any other piece of equipment) is going to stop or control their horse.

I have ridden horses that like to runaway on trail. I also fixed them quickly - using a rope halter, snaffle or bitless bridle. Again, to each his own. But shanks and leverage are certainly not required to fix a runaway/bolter.

sublimequine
May. 4, 2008, 12:44 AM
Shadow; I'm actually surprised at the pics of the bits you were referring to; while I'm not a big tom thumb fan, they do have rather short shanks, and the bit on the right.. I've seen worse. When you spoke of this big honkin western curb bit, I was thinking something like this;

http://www.thirstybootstack.com/items/17.jpg

9 1/4" SHANKS, the cheek is even longer. Plus a cathedral port. Now THAT is a "big bit".

As for using specialized equipment on an actual BOLTing horse, rather than just a runaway (ie, bad habit versus a truly TERRIFIED in full-out flight horse), I think when a horse is in a true bolt, really it doesn't matter what equipment you've got on them. It's all in the technique and training by that point. And how fast the rider can ride without falling off. ;)

Auventera Two
May. 4, 2008, 08:44 AM
I absolutely HATE the tom thumb bit but I agree that's it not at all what I think of as a "big western bit." And some of those walking horse bits are enough to terrify you half to death too. :eek:

I also have this theory that some horses are going to run even harder to try to escape the pain of a big painful bit. Or do something else like take off bucking or rear and flip. Not all would do this, but some would. I would be willing to bet a thousand dollars if somebody ever put a big honkin bit on my arab and "set her down" she would rear and flip and then proceed to have a mental meltdown. She's just THAT hot and sensitive and has NO tolerance for pain. I know two other Arabs though that probably wouldn't do anything but screech on the breaks and say "duh, what was that?" They're all different.

My other two mares have such a bullheaded, stubborn personality that they would probably tuck their chins and run all the harder. My buckskin mare was a run away when I got her. The woman had quit cantering her alltogether. She had bit sores on her lips (I posted pics of this on another thread here). It took total retraining to teach her brain what the aids meant and to develop the habit in her to obey them. It had become a defensive habit for her to throw her head up and bull her way through anything that didn't suit her.

Shadow14
May. 4, 2008, 05:45 PM
It must be personalities but I have yet to have real problems with a horse. Honestly it is 50 years this summer since I first started to ride and I have never quit. I ride anything that others have problems with as well as have my own and never has one of the problem horses given me a problem for more then a few minutes?? I use to go to the local horse rental station and sunday mornings take out their problems and correct the horse then go back for another one and under a quick firm hand they all settle down.
I spend NO time on the ground training, NONE. I will NOT lung a horse or drive a horse. In time of trouble I prefer to be up on top and out of harms way.
I just got back from the barn helping a lady on a really live wire horse ride him for the first time in about 6 months. He was wired tight.
Any bit that allows the use of a curb chain can and will pull down any horse I have ever had the pleasure of riding.
Just on a side note. If you are riding with the reins in your right hand and that seems to be my most used hand, and if the horse suddenly takes a jump and you pull back with the right hand clamp your left hand over the reins right at the crest of his neck, clamp down with the left and when he arches his neck he is pulling himself in.
Again it is technic, something that can't be explained, a feeling between you and horse and again if anyone things I am heavy handed nothing could be further from the truth but I will take no crap.
I'm too old to believe in all this scared stuff, he is truely afraid bull.. To me he is just acting out. Do you think that I don't put my own guy in tough situations daily, I look for them, I invite them and we concore them and he is better for it. I'll bet there are really very few here that could have followed Shadow's path just this morning and he will run the gauntlet again tomorrow.

matryoshka
May. 4, 2008, 05:46 PM
Bonnie, the same lady who was saying that RM's canbe dangerous on trails also doesn't think treeless saddles give the horse's back enough support. ;) I'm still drooling over the Sensation Ride you have. I agree that most people using RM's have them adjusted too short. When I learned to do it, the rings should be able to stretch to the crest when pulled straight up. I'm used to riders using them to create a head set rather than to help when a horse tosses his head up. My OTTB almost never does this. As I watch Roxy in the field I think I might have to revise my opinion. The lady who taught me part of the Foxcatcher ride uses an RM, and you can bet I didn't tell her it could be dangerous on trail. She's got a lot more miles of riding than I may ever achieve. :D Still, it doesn't hurt to caution riders to a possible danger in a piece of tack, especially for those of us who use biothane, which is not easily broken.

Bank of Dad, I'm not fond of the Tom Thumb, either. I'm not sure putting shanks on a jointed bit is a good idea, since it doesn't quite function as a curb (which is supposed to rest/work on the bars) and a jointed snaffle (which is supposed to work on the tongue). Part of my concern is that the Tom Thumb adds a much longer lever when the bit is flexed at the joint, compounding the amount of pull the rider could use, especially if one is scared from the horse bolting. And while it is good to get the horse's attention, too much pain in the mouth could make matters much worse or result in an abrupt change of direction that could unseat the rider. One needs enough bit to get the horse's attention despite his fear, and it needs to immediately supple once the horse is listening.

If you are considering a Tom Thumb, a safer choice might be a jointed Kimberwick. You can attach the reins to the lower ring and give yourself a tiny lever (not nearly as long as the Tom Thumb shank). Or, if your horse is okay with it, a ported Kimberwick isn't a bad idea. Again, you've got a shorter shank so that if your hands aren't as educated or your seat isn't secure during a bolt, you are less likely to accidentally cause your horse the kind of pain that could make him flip out.

Bank of Dad
May. 4, 2008, 06:32 PM
Actually, I'm now trying a Myler level one comfort bit, not quite a kimberwick, but with a curb chain, D cheeks, and openings on the D's for the headstall, curb chain, and reins. Pieces all move independently to lift the shoulders, apply pressure on jaw and poll, as well as tongue and bars. Level one is for green horses, not a severe bit, but stronger than the french link I was using. I have it on loan for a week, and I will ride him in the field, not on trail yet, no riding buddy available for a while.

chicamuxen1
May. 4, 2008, 08:15 PM
B of D, i have a similar Myler kimberwicke but mine has a medium sized port. I got it for an Arabian mare that I competed that couldn't stand a bit sitting on her tongue. Took me a while to figure this out and then a while to find a bit that gave her tongue room. Until I bought this bit my mare would do the most bizarre thing with the longest tongue you ever saw on a horse! She would hang it out the side of her mouth and honestly, that tongue looked like an old hound dogs tongue waving in the breeze, or she would put it over the bit then gap her mouth way open with her tongue looking like a snake. I rode her for a while in a hackamore but she would lean on a hackamore in spite of all I tried and wear holes in her chin from the curb chain or strap that I was trying that week. That Myler kimberwicke made both of us happy, my arms and shoulders got a break and her mouth was happy and her tongue was in her mouth. I think a nice kimberwicke is a great bit for lots of horses/riders but unfortunately Myler is about the only company that makes a decent one.

Bonnie

matryoshka
May. 5, 2008, 12:34 AM
It sounds like a good bit for your situation. Let us know how your horse does in this. I hate trying to find the right bit for a particular horse. It's great that you got one on loan. I've known of a coupe of horses that did not like snaffles but went great and light in a kimberwick-type bit. I'm curious how it works for you.

wateryglen
May. 10, 2008, 01:27 PM
2 days ago my green broke (just back from trainer 2/28!) 15.3h 4yo perch/qh lost her mind whilst our trailriding around a development with a friend on my 24 yo draft cross fieldhunter as a buddy horse. We were riding around the edge of a field with sheep/lambs and a llama. Llama came running up to the fence line and started snorting/spitting. She came unglued. Old horse got nervous and filly spun bolted and tried to run away. BECAUSE of the running martingale (D ring snaffle)I was able to pull harder on 1 rein and get a couple of tight circles and when she stopped I hopped off and led her past the attack llama. As it was happening I kept thinking...."I'm gonna pull her over....I'm gonna fall off....maybe I should bail".....I was terrified BUT.....
This whole experience was totally planned and anticipated for a training/exposure experience. We had planned all eventualities. She's going to be field hunter someday and needs to be able to be ridden by most anything at any speed so it's mileage, mileage, mileage for her. I'd chosen my route so that she'd be a bit tired or relaxed by that point. She was already exposed to traffic, trash trucks, barking dogs, walking around paddocks with horses in them so far just on that ride. We took it slowly; I didn't push, lotsa reassurance and calming talk, pats, let her sort it out. In hindsight, maybe I should have gotten off sooner but she was seemingly going to walk past him albeit nervous & snorty! But I was determined that she WASN'T getting out of it. AND she will do this again. I will take her back to the scary place and stand around and let her graze until she's bored with the attack llama and his furry friends!
Whenever I think she's going to bolt; I will sometimes dismount and lead her past after a few attempts to deal and go past the scary thing/place. The important thing is that she IS going to do what I want but since she's so green & young; I'm willing to allow her fear reactions. Have to be on alert for purposeful acting up to get outa doing stuff. Had one like that once.....
Qh gelding used to spook/spin/bolt going out the back field gate to go on a trailride. I thought it was a fear reaction to something that'd scared him in the past there......WRONG! He was being bad. Friend advised I carry a crop and whack him when he stopped or acted scared and sure enough he'd give in and go calmly on. He'd gotten away with it and now I had his #. The hint was this;;;.....if they pin their ears in the microsecond before the bolt; they are being bad! Scared horses have their ears forward!!! Lesson learned!!

Bank of Dad
May. 11, 2008, 11:34 PM
I think you did great with the llama. I did not have a traditional running martingale on, which was part of my problem, it was one I'd seen used at Al Marah Arabians, and I'd thought I'd try it. My normal one, adjusted correctly, may have helped.

I completely agree with you about the ears and attitude. That %%$$## horse of mine bucked me off the other day. I had him in the RP working on the right lead which he hates to take. I was off balance, shifting my weight a little to the outside, and smacking him on the left, when the ears went back and he bucked big. I achingly picked my self right up, went after him like a lion, made him do numerous laps, inside and outside turns, backing up all over, and downright humbled him, at least for 24 hours.

Sithly
May. 12, 2008, 12:30 AM
I don't think getting off the horse accomplishes anything constructive. (BIG disclaimer here: if you're getting off for your own safety, that's different. Not what I'm talking about. Sometimes on a green horse you just don't yet have the tools established to deal with Really Scary Stuff.).

In general, I think that if your horse (pick one: spooks, runs away, walks sideways, bulges, prances) when you pass a scary thing, the problem is not the thing. The problem is that the horse blew through your aids, and you can't solve that problem from the ground.

You can certainly desensitize the horse from the ground. Like with the OP's scary boulder. You can desensitize the horse to the scary boulder, but the next really scary thing will produce the same result unless you start enforcing the horse's response to your aids. You can't desensitize a horse to everything.

Now, I'm NOT saying that you should force your horse into scary situations or put yourself at risk by staying on when you should have gotten off. Ideally, you would practice making the horse respond to the aids despite scary things, starting off in a somewhat controlled environment with a lower intensity of fear and gradually building the intensity.

For example, my horse used to be deathly afraid of mailboxes. He'd prance past them sideways, snorting. :lol: But the problem WASN'T the mailboxes, really. The problem was that he ignored my leg when he was afraid. We worked on that at a lower intensity (starting out farther away from the mailbox), gradually increasing the intensity until I could ride him straight past a mailbox without him bulging against my leg. And that worked for every mailbox on the road, as well as the garbage cans on garbage day, and the trash in the weeds, and the scary rocks, and the neighbor's unicycle, and...well, you get the point. :lol:

If I hadn't worked on the aids, I would have had to get off and desensitize him to each new thing. And I am way too lazy to get on and off my horse that much! :lol:

matryoshka
May. 12, 2008, 01:21 PM
There's a pretty good book on bombproofing written by a guy who does it for the police. He talks about how best to approach something that is scaring your horse. I can't remember exactly what he said--whether to bend them toward or away from the scarey object, but it sounded good. My tactic is to simply ignore the scarey object and ride by. I react to what the horse does but don't try to anticipate him. Most of the time, my state of relaxation tells him there is nothing to fear and he does fine. It's worked for most of the horses I've ridden as an adult.

....There was that time that I made him walk between two boulders (I was mad at him and should have known better than to work on it when I was mad). He spooked halfway between the two rocks by sorta leaping into the air. He landed before I did, and I ended up on his neck thanking God there was no horn on my saddle. Lucky for me the leap was the end of the spook so I could scramble back into the saddle and plan my next visit to the chiropractor! If I had fallen, at least I was near some race barns and somebody would have noticed me lying there. :lol: In fact, since my horse used to race out of one of those barns, he probably would have run inside one looking for comfort. ;)

I don't know how he'd do with spitting llamas. I think I don't want to find out. Emus and peacocks are also on my list of things NOT to encounter. Oh, and kangaroos. I hear it can be real tough for a horse not to spook when a gang of kangaroos go leaping past. :eek: There was a thread about that on here a couple of years ago.

Foxtrot's
May. 12, 2008, 08:40 PM
It depends...

Be as gentle as you can be; be as tough as you have to be.

The trouble with these bb's when we are all anonymous, it is hard to judge the real attributes of the various systems. We can't tell who is authoratitive and who is just yakking. Shadow l4 does not sound like a hard man in his intent. There are a lot of horses out there that need the confident ride and a lot of horses that are not getting the support they need. Be they terrified, reactive or having you on. Some horses are sort of idiots, some allowed to become so, and others just bull headed. Most are none of the above.

I heard tell of a lady that does the "Parelli" brand name training and was trail riding in just a halter. Horse bolted, and she smashed her face into a tree. The bee can sting any time..I'm sure he was a lovely horse.

The strong bit likely will get the horse's attention very quickly, even when his mind is gone. But we would all like to get riding with training and time and patience and kindness, but emergencies happen. One does not have to actually use the bit until then.

I'm not about to bite his head of since I don't know him, and I'm all about being kind and patient. But I've never really had a rank horse.

LuvMyNSH
May. 13, 2008, 12:35 PM
It depends...

The strong bit likely will get the horse's attention very quickly, even when his mind is gone.

Except that it doesn't work this way.

If the horse is either in a blind panic or hellbent on leaving, it doesn't matter if you've got a spade or bike chain in his mouth and are hauling back with everything God gave you...the horse is going to run. I see the wanna-be Charros get run away with all the time - you'd think a big man yanking on a ring bit would be enough to stop anything, but I've see otherwise time and time again. I've seen horses finally stumble to a stop, exhausted, with blood flowing freely from terribly cut mouths. If you're depending on pain and surprise to keep you safe, you're already screwed.

If I'm on a bolter, I want a non-leverage bit on him. Not because I'm so nice and don't want to hurt the pretty pony, it's because the school of hard knocks and and a couple hundred horses have taught me the best way to save my butt is to get that head around before we're off and running....or to take the horse down before he hits 8 lanes of busy traffic. I'd rather hit hard ground and roll than roll off the hood of a Buick.

The "slap a bigger bit on" mentality isn't wrong because it's so meeeaaannn, it's wrong because it only works under select circumstances.

Or you run into the other issue, which is where the bit does stop the horse, but gives you a whole bag full of other issues. I'll take a runaway over having a horse flip over on me (again) any day of the week.

Shadow14
May. 13, 2008, 12:52 PM
A non leverage bit just lays against the teeth, they throw the head up and the bit then rests against the teeth and all the pulling in the world won't help.
A curb bit, and any bit with leverage is a curb bit and chain prevent the pull on the teeth and you pull on the bars even with the head held high.
I too have rode alot of run aways and every time I pulled them down quickly and if I inflicted pain all the better. They shouldn't have run in the first place.
I too will NOT get off a horse, I don't want to be on the ground when he jumps. I gentley nudge him with the spurs if he refuses to move forward, steady him with both hands and talk encouragingly to him.
If he makes a spin I would quickly spur and turn him back into the danger, if he bolts I would stop him before he made a single jump.
I honestly have never seen a really frightened horse, just ones trying to get away with something.

matryoshka
May. 13, 2008, 07:18 PM
Sorry to interject, but non-leverage bits work on the tongue, unless it has a port and major tongue relief. There are combinations bits as well.

I'll repeat the need to get the head up rather than tucked, which is why I like snaffles. It seems to me that curb bits encourage fexion at the poll, and over flexion if they are trying to avoid the bit. My horse tucks beautifully and can run like the wind with his chin practically touching his chest. I really have to haul back and forth (no way he can keep the bit in his teeth that way--been there done that on a pony as a kid) to get his attention and get his head up. And I mean, I pull straight up if he's tucking his head. But once his head is up, I can get him stopped. It's kinda like bucking that way. He's not running in fear though, just excitement.

I'm not against curb bits or hauling on the bit when necessary. I just think you should ride in whatever bit your horse usually goes best in and prepare for what to do if a horse bolts. Train yourself and your horse how to stop from a gallop so that his training takes over. Also, learn to ride faster so you can stay balanced in the saddle while galloping.

I have seen horses bolt in fear. Maybe it is because of the neurotic horses I've known over the years. I think it might be in the eye of the beholder, where if you believe horses never bolt in fear, you never see it. If you think horses only ever bolt in fear, you never see that they could be simply misbehaving. I've seen bolts and spooks. There's the nasty dishonest kind where they try to dislodge the rider, and then there is the more honest, OMG what IS that thing and is it still chasing me? kind of bolts. Either way, a horse who respects his rider is going to stop sooner, whether it is becaue he's afraid his mouth is going to be hurt or because he remembers that his rider has always protected him from harm.

There is room for both philosophies. Babying a horse through spooks and while approaching scary obstacles is the best way to ensure that it becomes a habit. ;) Horses always seem to learn the bad behavior fastest! :D

Foxtrot's
May. 17, 2008, 03:17 AM
Well, I'm not of the Charro crowd. I have a very bold, fearless mare, but she did bolt once when she had smelled bear scat, heard a rustle in the trees, and suspected a bear (well, it might have been there)
and didn't wait around. Her mindless bolt lasted a very short distance, but I needed to use strength to turn her because she was on the run. Because we have been together so long, she came down pretty fast, but I did need that bit. As usual, it depends...with some horses they run through pain, with mine, she needed a message.

matryoshka
May. 17, 2008, 01:05 PM
Foxtrot, you mare may well have saved you from a bear! Sometimes, our horse's instincts manage to protect us as well. Now if she'd dumped you there, she might have been trying to feed you to the bear. That's what a dishonest horse would have done. ;):lol: Luckily, no bears here, but there are some scary humans around. :cool:

pandorasboxx
May. 17, 2008, 03:24 PM
*raises hand* I have a spook and bolter or should I say a former spook and bolter?

I re-entered riding as an adult after being part centaur as a kid/teen/college student. Took 10 years off and then did what you are always taught NOT to do when being a reborn newbie: bought a green, green, green horse. A young racebred Arab mare with a very sensitive and distrustful nature. What the heck was I thinking? (pretty pony.....lol)

She was so nervous and reactive that my natural confidence disappeared as did my previous balance and "stickiness". I started switching bits, going stronger, looking for that control. What I succeeded in doing was making her more reactive, more nervous. Big corrections, a loud raised voice or a quick movement made her lose her mind and then the game was lost. It definitely wasn't her trying to misbehave. She was scared.

Trainers came and went. She got a little better in understanding my aids but still she was always one step from a quick spin on the haunches and bolt. What I found worked was lots of wet blankets, many miles, a quiet hand and lesser bits. I forced myself to relax and not to tense in anticipation of the spook. I rode thru it all (having regained my "stickiness" out of self preservation), moving faster, softening my response yet keeping her working and forward. I learned to feel and react, catching her in the first step or two, bringing her back and then continuing to work as if nothing had happened. In time, she began to trust my judgement, trust me and even if frightened, stay with me.

It takes much more than a strong bit though they do have their place. I did like the Mikmar combo bit which we used for a little time and she responded very well to it but frankly it was a bit of overkill once we came to a meeting of the minds. We graduated to hackamores and now have her in an English hackamore. Of course, we had a little backsliding yesterday after a long layoff so it may be back to the french link for the next ride or two.

RiddleMeThis
May. 17, 2008, 05:43 PM
You know, I used to be one of those people that thought that getting tough with a horse is abuse. I've learned better over the past couple of years by watching a "cowboy" work the horses vs watching the horses worked "nicey, nicey-oh please do what I say". Do you want to know which ones are still in work, have their jobs and are ridden regularly and lovingly by their suburban mommy owners?

It's not the nicey nicey ones...

You need to set the rules and make them go by them. They are much happier in the long run and so is the rider. And if it takes a few sessions with a big bit and a tight curb chain. Well, so be it-some of them just need a "come to jesus" session. However, if YOU can't do it-get in and then get out-then you need to find someone who can. Getting "in", but not getting "out" IS abuse.

JMHO

There is a difference in being tough and being abusive.:yes:

Shadow14
May. 17, 2008, 05:45 PM
Foxtrot, you mare may well have saved you from a bear! Sometimes, our horse's instincts manage to protect us as well. Now if she'd dumped you there, she might have been trying to feed you to the bear. That's what a dishonest horse would have done. ;):lol: Luckily, no bears here, but there are some scary humans around. :cool:

Bear or no bear it is not up to the horse to decide when to bolt. All sorts of imaginary things crop up while riding and the horse should hold.
As for the bear my horse stretched out his nose and sniffed a bears paw at the local park, the bear reared up with his paws on the chain link fence and my horse stretche her nose and sniffed it.
I decide when to spook not him.

Shadow14
May. 17, 2008, 05:47 PM
There is a difference in being tough and being abusive.:yes:

I'm tough but not abusive. If he does what is expected he is talked or handled softly but if he bolts, doesn't hold, spooks, fails to go when and where asked he is reminded who is the driver with a gentle nugging of the spurs and steadied by the reins.

Shadow14
May. 17, 2008, 06:50 PM
I had a big turkey come up right under my horses nose Friday. I was less then 10 feet from him when he suddenly took flight, beating the bushes with his wings as he fought for altitude. It was a total suprise to me and Shadow but he never missed a beat. Sure it scared us both certainly not to the point of making him run.
The week before I was running road and I run facing traffic. A big truck had pulled onto the shoulder in front of me, motor idling and I had to go out of the pavement to bypass the transport. I stayed close to the truck and as I swung around the cab and looked up at the driver he released the air brakes. If you know what that sounds like, it is a big hiss of air and again Shadow while he did jump he never made 5 feet or crossed the center line, he jumped yes but immediately sat back down and continued on a easy trot.
No I tolerate no spook and constantly look for things, anything, any obsticle that makes him think, make him trust me. I have run out of things to do. I do also work heavy equipment in a yard and he is use to weaving in and out of bulldozers and power shovels.
Wish I had a bear handy:lol:
Horses are like their owners. They sense how the owner feels, up tight, the horse is up tight, cool calm and takes things as they come and the horse will take things as they come.

matryoshka
May. 17, 2008, 10:19 PM
I have a feeling your horse is used to turkeys.

Shadow14
May. 17, 2008, 10:59 PM
I have a feeling your horse is used to turkeys.

Thanks but I thought personal attacks were not allowed:D:D

.

matryoshka
May. 18, 2008, 09:05 AM
Shadow, you are right. I've got nothing against turkeys. Sorry. Back to the regularly scheduled topic of the OP experiencing a bolt on her horse and the discussion of how to handle such incidences.

Bank of Dad
May. 18, 2008, 10:17 PM
Norval, my sense is that you have build Shadow up to the point of not spooking at turkey's, bears, or air brakes. I would guess that his reaction would have been quite different if you were on your 3rd or 4th ride on him, rather than all the miles you have now. That certainly makes a hugh difference, as well as the variety of places you have to ride him in daily. Many of us don't have that variety accessible to us.
We have now had our 9th or 10th consecutive weekend of rain. The trails are a mess. I haven't even attempted the trail since the original post. With luck, I can get in the RP this week. I am sure if I had your riding schedule, Seabiscuit would be a different horse. He was last fall.
Everyone here has their own philosophy of what works for them, and how much variation in their philosophy they are willing to make. Take it all with a grain or ounce of salt or electrolytes. Some of us know each other, but most of us are strangers.

I belong to a well known riding club with over 600 members. I have said for years that none of us has anything in common with the rest, except we all have a horse, and we all think we are the expert.

Shadow14
May. 19, 2008, 08:54 AM
I do spend alot of time training. It becomes an obsession for about 2 years and then I back off. I spend each and every day working on something with him but if you want to make a horse then you have to spend the time. On all the rides I look for things that will expand his experience and if I find something that scares me I make him do it until everything becomes routine.
I hope to have this guy for the next 25 years and he is going to be a made horse now and then I can sit back and relax for the rest of his life and mine.
I retired my old guy after 17 years of work because I wanted to devote my time to the youngster but in 15 years I don't believe Strider ever spooked regardless of what I asked.
Rain or shine I head out, I have a good aussie rain coat, dome it to the saddle and we head out into the bush, mud, wind just adds to the excitement.

Good luck with you new guy and given time and work it will come.

jeano
May. 19, 2008, 09:47 AM
darn computer/website ate my eloquent example of how many miles sweeten the horse...

I'll try to be brief here. I think quality of mileage as well as quantity and willingness to work with the horse are real important. I am a 54 and a half year old overweight woman who only returned to horseback riding 2 years ago, after more than 10 years without riding more than once or twice. I had roughly two years of riding lessons and owned horses for about 3 years in mylate 30's/early 40s. Before that, I was a horse crazy girl who had her own pony and rode bareback for a couple years in my mid teens. In otherwords, I am NO expert on training, and hardly a great rider. I can stay alive on a horse, and because I go splat when I come off I am highly motivated to stay on. Not to mention that when you are old and fat its difficult to dismount when you take your time, let alone when its an emergency. So I stay on No Matter What.

Yesterday's aha moment involved a freight train and a gelding I've owned for 13 months. He has been in a heavy but not severe curb (billy allen, medium shanks) because he hates broken mouthpieces. I would prefer to have him in a snaffle, but initially it felt a lot like NO Brakes when I tried.

So the train sort of snuck up on us, no whistle until almost AT the level crossing, no where to go, because of high bank to the right, couldnt turn around because we'd be facing the booger, it was that close. Nothing between us and the train except the embankment and some trees and bushes, thankfully leafed out. Tracks themselves at about my eye level. Plenty noisy. Now, I was scared to death, but took deep breaths, told Hawk it couldnt eat him unless he looked at it, kept his butt aimed at the track, held him to a nice slow passage/piaffe (somebody, not me certainly, gave him some dressage training a couple owners ago.) Train went on its way, and we rode alongside it for about 3 minutes until the road and the tracks diverged.

I had just swapped out bits on him the previous ride, had only a kimberwick with the reins on the lower slot. In other words, practically no leverage at all. I think he's ready for a mullen mouth snaffle....Mind you, at most this animal gets maybe 12-14 hours riding a week. At most. But we go everywhere when we do get out.

Auventera Two
May. 19, 2008, 09:53 AM
Norval - horses are all different. Some are spooky, hot and reactive, some are not. Period. Just like people. Just like dogs.

My QH mare wouldn't have spooked at turkeys or bears or air breaks either - even when she was a 3 year old with 5 rides on her.

My Arab on the other hand will jump out of her skin at the sight of her own shadow, then tomorrow we can meet a bear on the trail and she won't flinch an ear. Then the next day she'll jump 3 feet up in the air because of a birch tree laying in the weeds, then next weekend I could ride her down the highway with semis cruising past. One day I can lead a pack of horses and she's the "big girl." The next day she's the big fat chicken who wants to follow the others.

That's just the way it is with a hot and reactive horse. What she does highly depends on my emotions, my physical comfort for the day and subsequent riding skills, the other horses in the group, what speed we're doing, and what kind of trail. Her actions and emotions are directly related to me, and to what is going on around her.

Yesterday I rode with 5 other people. One lady's horse busted out the bronco moves and unloaded her. Her horse went galloping off down the trail. He galloped right past me and the Arab and she just stood there perfectly at attention but not moving an inch. I talked to her and kept my legs on and she KNEW mom was in control and she had to stand up straight and be smart.

When the crap really hits the fan, I trust her and count on her 100% to be a star. It's when there's just nothing at all going on to engage her brain that she gets stupid.

That mare SHINES when she has a JOB to do on technical trails and I'm feeling confident and strong. When she has to THINK, she's an A++ student. But if we're weenying around in a flat pasture putzy putzin and I'm not really on my game that day, then guess what? I'm going to have a REALLY BAD RIDE. That's just the way some horses are.

My QH on the other hand, and my pony? Ha! :lol: Makes no difference. You could throw a terrified, shaking in their boots newbie on their backs, or a professional trainer, wouldn't make a difference. You could fall asleep on top of them and wake up 3 hours later at your intended destination.

You quit RIDING that Arab for a SECOND and you're gonna be laying in the ditch wondering how you got there.

Strider and Shadow may not spook at things, but other horses DO and that's just the way it is with horses. :)

Bank of Dad
May. 19, 2008, 11:20 AM
AT, how I miss my BOMBPROOF QH mare who never ever spooked at anything ever ever ever. One day when my son was 5 I had him on double behind me, seatbelted in with the rigging strap, and I wasn't careful and the saddle turned under her belly, and I came off, but he was dangling from her. She never moved except to turn her head and grab a leaf to eat while I got the boy off and redid the saddle. My son, on the other hand was another story......not much of a horse person, needless to say.

But, she got kind of boring so I bred her to a Crabbet Arab, got the best mare for 25 years, only sorry I never bred her too.

Auventera Two
May. 19, 2008, 11:40 AM
Wow, that's an awesome mare that you had! It sounds like she was a real dreamboat. :)

I teeter between liking the security and liking the flash and fire. I lean way more toward the flash and fire side than the boring and bombproof side. :lol:

Shadow14
May. 19, 2008, 11:43 AM
Norval - horses are all different. Some are spooky, hot and reactive, some are not. Period. Just like people. Just like dogs.


That's just the way it is with a hot and reactive horse. What she does highly depends on my emotions, my physical comfort for the day and subsequent riding skills, the other horses in the group, what speed we're doing, and what kind of trail. Her actions and emotions are directly related to me, and to what is going on around her.

.

Strider and Shadow may not spook at things, but other horses DO and that's just the way it is with horses. :)

I wish I know how to divide a post up like some so I could answer each section??
I know this Vickey. I now everyone and horses and dogs are different. I dominated the obedience ring for 12 years with my dogs. Won nearly everything I went in. I also taught obedience classes for those 12 years and run into all sorts of personalities but it always boiled down to the owner and his/her problems, not the dogs.


You talk about moods. I totally agree. A horse senses your mood. If you are brave and confident the horse senses this and is brave in return. I ride with confidence and the horse responds to this. Like the lady and the train, she maintained calm, took the horse in hand and the horse responded as such.
It ALL boils down to you, the rider, not the horse. Ride with confidence, carry a big enough bit to back up any rebellion and your horse wil respond.
Remember I did ride alot of problem horses for people and rentals and in every case, every one, the horse responded almost immediately to a firm confident rider. A eventer with a rider , very experienced, in her mid 20's works full time at a track with thoroughbreds suddenly had a serious problem. totally barn sour, totally, she couldn't get 100 yards from home and the horse reared , spun and headed for home at a run. She finally just gave up.
I took the horse and within 5 minutes we had our first fight, the horse lost in less then 10 seconds, another fight a few minutes later and again the horse lost quicker this time and that was it.
She rode Strider that day for her confidence building and saw just how good her old horses could be.

Anyway Strider and Shadow. I got Strider as a 6 year old stud, mean as all get out, needed a wipe to just enter the stall, the people said don't turn you back on him, he will kill someone some day and they GAVE him to me for 2 weeks to straighten out. I ended up buying him, meanest horse you can imagine but what heart, what determination, what desire to win under all conditions, never ever quit. Still has that mean eye but anyone from 8 to 80 can handle him, ride him, do anything with him. I made him.
Shadow?? Took me through 3 fences and broke one post when we hit it head on, dumped me almost daily in the arena , I was covered with bruises but I always got back up, back on and finished the ride.
Slammed into a road sign on a bolt, bounced off the sign, over part of a gard rail and we slide on our side in front of a large truck. I held on and suprisingly everything is in slow motion, I thought about holding him , not letting him get away, got up, needed 17 stitches but i got back on and rode another 5 miles just to show him he did not wind, my elbow was badly hurt but I felt none of it until later, hip too. He got his stictches and for a month we fought until one day I decided enough was enough, the big western bit came out, the one on the right in the picture I posted, someone strong held him, it is all videoed and I want to post it soon, anyway the horse was held while I mounted and that was the day he quit fighting me. I had him beat with the big bit and he has never run or bucked from that day. Never thrown me again, went down hald dozen times but that was both of us, head over heals.
Actually went down Saturday, tripped and slid on his knees and nose.

Anyway Vickey none of my horses have ever come easy, not without a really good fight at one time in their training but they have all ended up great animals.

Rider mood is everything, be confident, carry enough bit, spurs I higly recommend and ride with confidence. It is contagious.

I will try posting a video soon.

Shadow14
May. 19, 2008, 11:50 AM
AT, how I miss my BOMBPROOF QH mare who never ever spooked at anything ever ever ever. One day when my son was 5 I had him on double behind me, seatbelted in with the rigging strap, and I wasn't careful and the saddle turned under her belly, and I came off, but he was dangling from her. She never moved except to turn her head and grab a leaf to eat while I got the boy off and redid the saddle. My son, on the other hand was another story......not much of a horse person, needless to say.

But, she got kind of boring so I bred her to a Crabbet Arab, got the best mare for 25 years, only sorry I never bred her too.

I was riding Strider and I always grab branches snapping them off as I go. I reached DOWN to pull a broken branch off the trail but it turned out to be still rooted and was just bent over. I had a good hold, leaning down and suddenly, I do ride with a very loose girth the saddle did the same thing as happened to you. The saddle slid under the belly and i found myself flat on the ground, partly under the horse with the saddle pointing straight down. STrider never missed a beat. He just stood and looked at me laying down but again never moved a muscle until I was up and strightened the saddle.
A good reliable horse can be made from anything if you have the confidence.

My whole point here is riders make the difference, sure there are more stable horses then others but in the end the rider is what forms the horse.
There are no problem horses only problem riders. I strongly believe this.

Vickey your ride must be comming up soon??? Good luck and please describe in detail for us to enjoy.:)

wendy
May. 19, 2008, 12:05 PM
When a horse bolts (irrational runaway, not just messing with you) the "more force, more pain" method can either be ineffective or even make the situation worse. If a horse is bolting in fear, adding the leverage a curb bit offers can increase that fear.

A horse that is determined to take off, can and will run through any bit.

I agree. If the horse is bolting in terror any pain inflicted by the rider will just increase the terror. "Big bit" is completely counter-productive; all you can do is hunker down and wait for the horse to feel safe again. And if your horse ever learns that you may occasionally inflict severe pain to the horse while the horse is trying to get you both to safety (in the horse's mind, whether true or not), that horse will never trust you again and the likelihood of a bolt in terror in future will increase. You want a horse to learn to trust you, that you can get the horse out of trouble and you always get the horse home safe, to turn to you for instruction when scary things happen. Horses who just runaway need remedial training in stopping aids, not sudden pain from a "big bit".

Auventera Two
May. 19, 2008, 12:32 PM
I have had "fights" with Padrona but I have always chosen them very carefully and I have never put myself in harm's way to prove a point or to win a fight. She's never fallen down or been in danger. I'll get off and school the horse on the ground for bad behavior then get back on when I feel it's safe. I never get on that horse's back unless I am sure she is 110% focused on ME. She's just too darned hot to climb aboard when her brain is off in spaceland somewhere. She's a great little mare with a great mind but I just know what sets her off. I ride her in a smooth beta nose hackamore and have no problems.

Once she refused to walk across a little bridge. It wasn't fear, it was stubborness complete with pinned ears. After asking a few times nicely, I whalloped her with my legs. She leapt up in the air and did a double barrell kick. And then she was terrified of my legs for a while. Everytime I moved my legs, she would bolt forward. It took a while to get over that.

It's a fact that if anyone ever put a big bit on that horse and set her down with it, she would be mentally ruined. Big bits and harsh training is ok for some horses, but not all of them. My other two on the other hand - eh, whatever. They wouldn't care.

I agree that the rider is the #1 factor in horse behavior. But they do have different personalities and you can only cover that up so much. I am the same person day after day but the behavior of my two old fatties is totally night and day different from the behavior of my Arab.

matryoshka
May. 20, 2008, 10:54 PM
...So the train sort of snuck up on us...This is classic! :lol::lol: