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Runaway problem...any suggestions?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Is a running w a trip line? A couple men I know want to try this technique on the team. They figure that cause I'm a "skinny little girl", and I've got no weight behind me, I couldn't hold the mares. The big tough men are gonna show me how it's done right {appropriate male grunting}. By the way, this in no way reflects on the gentlemen who have, with patience, and tact, and knowledge, given me such wonderful advice, and understanding. I very much appreciate it.

    Cartfall, I've been riding a heck of a lot longer than driving, and I have to tell you that I feel safer on the back of a runaway horse, than a bumping sleigh, or wagon, going full speed ahead . With a wagon, if they stop against a tree, there ain't no airbag.

    I guess I look at it this way. If a horse bucks you off, do you sell it right away or get back on? Any horse that has your number, and knows it, is going to try again, especially the green ones. Is it the horse's fault?

    If your confidence is shot w/ this team, how do you carry onto the next, knowing it can potentially happen again?
    amdfarm, as I mentioned to Cartfall, I've been riding for a long time. Bucked off ALOT of times. When a horse is started under saddle, I'm usually the first one on them. I've never been hurt. I get right back on again. No, it's not the horse's fault. Generally it's the person's fault. I know that this was driver fault. However, two horses who run can be alot harder to control than one. Also, I've got a pretty good seat, and as long as I stay on the horse, one they stop, I can regain control by doing circles, figure 8's. The ride ends with me having control of the horse.

    On a drive that ends in a wreck, when that stoneboat, sleigh, wagon, etc, is untangled from the tree, fence, ditch, etc, I can't drive them away before the damage to harness, equipment is fixed. Therefore the connection isn't made after that hour, that running creates work. They got, instead, we ran, then we rested.

    And, as for my confidence or lack thereof carrying over to another team...unfortunately, yeah, it does. I don't know if I want to drive anymore. My mentor said I was a natural. He said I had great hands. Now, though, I don't know. My confidence really has been shaken. I always thought that I was strong enough to catch a team at that first step. You know the one, that step right before running. And I have caught other teams at that step, before it became a runaway. Apparently, I'm not strong enough. And that scares me.

    And Goodhors, I think I want a team broke by you.
    "Riding: the art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground."

    ~Horsebiters Clique Founder~Drafties~The A Team~Anti-Kohlrahbi Proliferation Group~Elite Closet Canterer...by proxy~

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by gothedistance
      Yes, the "Running W" is a trip line. <snip> this old technique was used during the eras when horses were the sole means of transportation and HAD to be "broken".
      The Running W was also used in the old cowboy movies for scenes where the horses had to fall down. Like many inhumane practices it was finally outlawed but not before many horses were seriously injured or killed
      Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

      PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
      Ashemont2@gmail.com

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by Need4speed
        Is a running w a trip line? A couple men I know want to try this technique on the team. They figure that cause I'm a "skinny little girl", and I've got no weight behind me, I couldn't hold the mares.

        amdfarm, as I mentioned to Cartfall, I've been riding for a long time. Bucked off ALOT of times. When a horse is started under saddle, I'm usually the first one on them. I've never been hurt. I get right back on again. No, it's not the horse's fault. Generally it's the person's fault. I know that this was driver fault. However, two horses who run can be alot harder to control than one. Also, I've got a pretty good seat, and as long as I stay on the horse, one they stop, I can regain control by doing circles, figure 8's. The ride ends with me having control of the horse.
        Need4speed... Yes, it's essentially a foot rope on both front feet instead of one. When rigged correctly it makes a "W" under the horse.

        I'm also a "skinny little girl" (5'2", 115lbs) and it doesn't mean squat when there's a runaway. If they're going to run away, size doesn't matter. A horse that's well trained should stop w/ very little pressure on the mouth or you'd never see kids riding or driving. I've seen BIG men not be able to stop a runaway. You can regain control of a runaway the same way you if you were astride, circle until they stop. I've taught all my horses to one-rein stop and it works under saddle and while driving. It's all part of whoa training. Handy if you drop/break a rein or line, just turn their head w/ the one you've got and they stop to allow you to pick it up.

        Yes, runaways do happen, equipment breaks, etc... you have no choice to start over again.

        Draft horses can run a long ways when they're on a mission to get away from whatever it was to cause it. It's a natural response. Had a team go over a mile once when equipment failed and they spooked. There's nothing you can do, but be prepared and do your best to re-establish the trust and confidence again.

        All risks that we take everyday working w/ horses. Anything can happen.
        A Merrick N Dream Farm
        Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

        Comment


        • #24
          WHOA Nellie... Y'all listen to ME!

          I don't know much about a lot of what y'all get talking about but this I KNOW about..... I keep hearing this BS line about how you little itty bitty girls don't have the strength to stop a runaway team. Well, guess what? Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not a little itty bitty anything. I'm 6' 5'' tall and weigh close to 400 pounds. I have a LOT of upper body strength. Doesn't mean squat.... when I had a runaway with a single horse I had about as much chance of stopping him with the reins as a snowball has in hell.

          It's got nothing to do with size... when they run they run.

          Don
          *Charter Member-Blue Tarp State Driving Clique*
          "You can't always get what you want, but if you try, you just might find you get what you need" Mick Jagger

          Comment


          • #25
            running

            N4S: Going a little off course and looking self serving, may I suggest stepping down to smaller horses to rebuild your confidence?

            You can have a lot of fun with much smaller animals, and while they are ALL too strong to stop if they run you will FEEL more in control.

            I bet the are people on this forum who can tell tales of minis running.

            Just food for thought.

            Comment


            • #26
              All things in moderation. It's a tool, and would have to be properly used. A running W can be used only to break the stride, not necessarily the neck. And a runner under harness would likely do the same under saddle., making him worthless to me. Selling him fixes my problem, not his. Dropping him, if it comes to that, may be his last chance before the kill pen. I wouldn't sell anyone a horse that is dangerous. And a runaway being turned in circles while hooked is an interesting picture. Maybe in an 80 acre field. Sure as hell not on the road. And just as you can't stop a draft if he don't want to, you won't turn one either. A runaway under saddle showed me that. I can bend a quarter horse, never had a chance on the big one. Sometimes the end justifies the means. I have a lot of kids, their safety is light years more important to me than the horse's. I'd drop him in a heartbeat if it'll work. Maybe getting busted up real bad changes the way I see it. Not the same as a close call.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Hey Don, I know that driver size doesn't matter, and you know driver size doesn't matter, but in my neck of the woods if the men haven't had a bad runaway, they figure they're big and strong, they would have stopped it.

                My mentor used to set it up, when a customer would come to pick up a team, or someone was coming to look at one, I would happen to be driving them when they came out. So of course, their attitude would be, if that bitty girl could drive them anyone can.

                Jerry, I agree about the circling to stop. It's not often that I'm just driving in a large field. Usually it's along bush trails, roads, doing chores around the farm. Not so big an area to do the circle. It's great in theory, but I don't often find myself in the situation where it could be used.

                A while back, I had a runaway with a team where I (for a little while) had hold of only one line. I had been driving only for a couple months at this point. I was bringing the team in after harrowing in the field. The team was hooked up to the harrows, with the harrow cart behind that. The lines were too short to begin with, when I turned them, I had to make sure that the ends didn't slip through my fingers. Coming off the field, another set of harrows was hidden in tall grass. Didn't see them. My harrows got caught on them, almost upset the cart, one of the lines yanked out of my hand. I still had a good hold of the other one. Were those horses gonna turn? Not on yours, or my life. They got scared, and they were just looking for a way out. I got tossed off the harrow cart (lucky for me) They ran through the farm yard (thank God missing cars) One line got caught on a bale wagon--didn't even make them miss a step--tore the line. They kept going, through a closed gate, and finally stopped at an incredibly heavy steel gate, closed with a 2 inch bolt. The harrow cart was bent to heck, but with regular work, this team became one of the more dependable teams there. My point was, I couldn't turn them with one line. If they're scared enough, they feel nothing. The only thought in their brain is to get the heck out of dodge.
                "Riding: the art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground."

                ~Horsebiters Clique Founder~Drafties~The A Team~Anti-Kohlrahbi Proliferation Group~Elite Closet Canterer...by proxy~

                Comment


                • #28
                  As I said, size doesn't mean squat. And I should have said *try* to gain control of a runaway or when it first starts to feel like you're going to lose control. If it's already started, you're right, it's too late, and location matters.

                  The dropping of a rein/line was an example for use of the one-rein stop, not necessarily a runaway when so many others things are combined.

                  My friends can tell a lot of stories about their draft pony runaways/wrecks from single to 6-up in training and showing.

                  I do hope you're able to get your confidence back up.
                  A Merrick N Dream Farm
                  Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Ok guys... you're really scaring me here. My horses have always been famous for their good brakes and you can believe I'm going to be doubly sure that Phoenix's are working well!

                    A runaway horse u/s can be frightening but I've only had one that I couldn't stop - and that was WAY back when I didn't know near as much as I do now. A horse - or horses - running away with a vehicle behind with me in it? Don't even want to think about it!

                    Bill has talked about having to run them into a tree sometimes but thank goodness he never had to do that with Phoenix. Phoenix would 'scoot' on occasion but always came back into the hand. Again, u/s I like my horses very light in the bridle and so Phoenix is very responsive to the rein.

                    The only runaway I saw up close and personal was a team - can't remember if it was 4 or 6 horse - pulling an incredible restored vehicle that was worth BIG bucks. They were at the Pinehurst Harness Track for a show and the horses took off. Totally destroyed the carriage but not before tearing up a good part of Pinehurst #2 - the golf course where they hold the Open and where they charge you $25/hoofprint if you get a horse on it!

                    Please tell me the stories where your horses ran and things turned out OK.....
                    Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                    PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
                    Ashemont2@gmail.com

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Never had a person or horse get hurt from a runaway from equipment failure (implement) and/or spook, including ones that have flipped onto their sides from having their feet pulled out from under them by the tugs/traces or tongue. I've been driving for 16 years and have only experienced one runaway as a driver (single to 4-up/abreast), but have witnessed many and seen wrecks. They're not pretty, but all in all everyone comes out okay.
                      A Merrick N Dream Farm
                      Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Amdfarm, thanks for your good wishes. I am still driving around the farm, doing chores, that kind of thing. Last summer, I had begun to do some driving competitions. I really loved it, and did pretty well agains some of the old-timers, and people with years more experience than I. I just don't know now, though, if I want to go back. Maybe I'm better off just sticking to riding. I was hoping to use this team in the competitions...obviously that's out. It's tough also to buck against the attitude of some of the younger guys that feel that if they had broke the team "it would have been done right". I feel real discouraged. Yes I know I sound a bit whiney, and self pitying. I'll get over it soon. Thanks for putting up with it.
                        "Riding: the art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground."

                        ~Horsebiters Clique Founder~Drafties~The A Team~Anti-Kohlrahbi Proliferation Group~Elite Closet Canterer...by proxy~

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Don't let the egos of your younger male counterparts get to you. They don't know if it would have happened w/ them or not and if they're so good why don't they "fix" them? Not all horses can be BROKE in 6 drives, besides what's the rush? Glad to hear you're still driving. Bump that confidence back up and don't give up. Kick some butt in those competitions again this summer and prove to yourself and those guys that you've got what it takes. Just remember, we all had to start somewhere.
                          A Merrick N Dream Farm
                          Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Ashemont--just be cautious.

                            Pat,

                            It goes with the territory. All you can do is always always think safety, be aware of what is around you, never release you reins (not a slam on N4S), and train your horse to whoa. This does not guarantee you will not have one. I had one in a mare with many miles on her, she got in that blind panic mode (through my own stupidity on hitching wrong). When they leave, there is not much you can do except try to ride it out as has been suggested.

                            Not many of us have never had a runaway. My email moniker has been richly earned.

                            Continue to enjoy your driving--just with a little angel sitting on your shoulder watching.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Hey Jerry, you have a PM.
                              "Riding: the art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground."

                              ~Horsebiters Clique Founder~Drafties~The A Team~Anti-Kohlrahbi Proliferation Group~Elite Closet Canterer...by proxy~

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                OK Cartfall. I guess it's like one of my favorite sayings about riding "If you've never been thrown then you haven't ridden much"

                                I am blessed with a trainer who REALLY puts safety first and I have a horse with a super temperament and mind. I am always very safety-conscious when riding and so I think that will carry over to driving. If I leave the driving to Joe (who seems to be taking over anyway) then I can keep my fingers crossed, huh?
                                Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                                PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
                                Ashemont2@gmail.com

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I have been unable log on for a couple of weeks and you all have had way too much fun with this topic.

                                  I have had a couple of runaways with my team. One was a momma pheasant that flew up under thier feet. I was more shook up than the horses. My mentor hadned me the lines to his old steady team and let me retrain my self while he worked my team.

                                  We seperated the horses and worked them single for several days. Then as teams with a breaking horse. When we put them back together both were nervous and they keyed off of that energy from each other. I have a tire of education that is heavy enough that while they may run they won't run far. I spent 20 to 30 minutes every time I hitched with the tire to help them get their minds into the game. Similar to lounging a horse before riding. A tired horse is a horse that is ready to listen.

                                  I feed cattle with my horses and they have to be able to stand while I load or open gates. I leave the tugs loose enough that I can back them a half step and wrap the lines up and walk away. If they want to leave town it will be pulling the vehicle with the lines. I don't have the option of a second person most of the time so as a team we had to figure out the drill.

                                  One time they thought the sleigh was loaded but I still needed 4 more bales. I got on and we drove until they were VERY happy to stand and listen. I drove back to the stack and finished the load. My horses are of the undterstanding that whoa is a good thing because work is the alternative.

                                  The second run away was when I forgot the throatlatch on one horse. The bridle came off and I had little control. I managed to steer them into some soft plowed ground. I was looking for a soft landing if I had to abandon ship. The wagon in the soft ground had a calming effect and they eventually wanted to stop so we did a couple of more laps. When they heard whoa it was a reining stop that was made.

                                  I guess the facts are that you need to get your confidence back at the same time as the horses regain theirs. Once you get where you can work them don't be afraid to make them sweat.

                                  My mentor has a couple of phrases that he uses. "Horses, dogs, and kids, You can teach them anything but go." "Hard work makes good horses, dogs, and kids."

                                  I was talking to my 86 year old grandfather. This is a man that worked horses to farm and ranch with until he was 35. He still works horses and breaks teams to be sold. He tells of having to work 12 head on a ground leveler 4 of which had never been hitched. They had them hitched 4, 4, and 4. They balky horses went on the wheel. The newbies in the swing and the run aways on the lead. By the end of the week those horses were broke. It wasn't an option to say this horse doesn't like to work. The option was killer or productive citizen.

                                  Sorry for the ramblings. Good luck, LF
                                  Lostfarming in Idaho
                                  http://i512.photobucket.com/albums/t...etPleasure.jpg

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I'm not worried about any birds flying up between my horse's legs - I have guinea hens and they are great for de-spooking. I'm also not worried about motorcycles, tractor-trailers, helicopters or planes - our quiet country road is sometimes used as a drag-strip, there is a very busy salvage yard so lots of truck traffic, and we're on the flight path from Fort Bragg to Camp Makall. MY horses 'spook' for fun And then there's that danged 'warmblood spook'. You know, "There really IS a gremlin behind that bush and even though I've gone past it 20 million times with no problem THIS might be the time when he'll come eat me!"

                                    So can someone tell me about the tire thing? Do you just drag it behind your cart? Anyone have pictures?
                                    Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                                    PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
                                    Ashemont2@gmail.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Oh, KM has a few pictures.........

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        LostFarmer, what is your opinion of my mares? Are they ruined forever as a team, or can they become safe? That first day, they ran three times. The first, as explained, the second, as they were being hooked again, and the third, when I got my hands on them in the field, they just took off again.
                                        The next time they were driven again, is when I had the wreck in the bush, and ran them into a tree and hurt my knee.
                                        The last time, was after following someones (not someone on the forum--just before I posted here) advised me to ground drive them in an enclosed area, like the barn. They dragged me down the aisle. That was the last time I harnessed them.
                                        So, do you think the tire of education can fix them? Or, will they run, as soon as the load gets light, or when they're fresh. I would appreciate any advice you have.
                                        Thank you
                                        "Riding: the art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground."

                                        ~Horsebiters Clique Founder~Drafties~The A Team~Anti-Kohlrahbi Proliferation Group~Elite Closet Canterer...by proxy~

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          To be honest I don't think the mares are ruined. I do think they need to be worked single and driven single. I mean a BUNCH of time single. Then with a different horse shown the theory of the wet collar. Not just once a week but at least once a day and possibly twice a day. Then and this is a ways away they could be put back together. You need to gain their trust and they yours. The tire of education is not an end all cure all. It is simply a training aid.

                                          A friend has a forecart built out of a semi trailer axel. He has knobby tires filled with fluid in them. When he locks the brakes it slams the tounge into the ground. Can a team drag this? Oh yea, but they won't do it with much enthusiam for very long. It turns into work in a hurry. LF
                                          Lostfarming in Idaho
                                          http://i512.photobucket.com/albums/t...etPleasure.jpg

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