View Full Version : Bolting!
12th Jan 2000, 09:56 PM
Can anyone tell me what you're supposed to do when a horse is out of control, either because he panics because of a pheasant or whatever or when rushing back home. This happened to me this morning, when a horse I've been riding regularly and who is lively but trustworthy decided to 'bolt' back home. I simply could not decrease his speed even down to a trot, he cantered fast all the way back. The stable manager said I should have pulled HARD one ONE rein, others say you 'saw' the mouth and yet others say this 'sawing' makes things worse. Do you ride him in a circle, IF you can or do you just hang on until he stops? There must be a reliable method to deal with this rare but quite unpleasant experience. Hopefully Heather might be around to give her opinion? Thanks to all in advance for your advice.
12th Jan 2000, 11:21 PM
Bolting is one of the hardest things to cure. However, it is very difficult for a horse to bolt when he is correctly on the bit. Once he gets his neck out in front and locks the muscles on the underside, there is very little that human strength can do if he is really determinedly running off.
My friend Mike Peace is a real expert in these matters and may have some better advice than I can give you here.Try emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is in Oxfordshire, but willcome out for a day or whatever if the owner is interested.
For one nasty minute, I thought you were talking about the new horse that I knew you were looking for!
13th Jan 2000, 02:17 AM
Hi Heather, thanks again for your advice regarding riding on the bit. This horse is a fit hunter I regularly ride and, although lively, does not bolt as a regular occurrence - the stable manager thought that as he is hunting at the moment, being fed extra for this reason and perhaps not the horse to take on a quiet hack at this point! However, I suppose the vast majority of horses would bolt in some circumstances and nothing can be done. I have not found a suitable horse yet. I was unable to go to Spain at this point to look at a horse your friend Jenny thought would be suitable. I'm still looking for a smallish horse (15h to 15.2h, around 8 yrs. with a REALLY good temperament, calm and trustworthy but not boring! Mainly for fun hacks and some dressage and lessons in the school. I do not like cobby-type horses though. There must be the right horse for me out there somewhere!
13th Jan 2000, 03:31 AM
I too have had my horse bolt on me and can vouch to it being an unpleasant experiance.
I have a 16.2h Thoroughbred ex-racehorse and we were out, with others, on walking exercise only when a dog with an untrained owner came running up to us barking and snarling. I didn't see it until it was too late and my horse, who is usually trustworthy, took exception to this and I think was a little bored with the walking only decided action was the only thing.
As Heather as already mentioned, I know I cannot stop him if he decides to go for it but I have learn't a few tricks to help slow him down.
If you are in a large open area try steering into a large circle at first and get it smaller and smaller to slow down. There is little point in pulling back harder and harder at the beginning but you should concentrate on staying on and steering. If you can't get him into a circle because of the terrain think of steering into places where you feel more comfortable, i.e. out of the way of trees, etc. Luckily I knew the place where he bolted very well and steered him up the sides of hills to slow him down and tire him out. When you feel that pace has slowed, try getting your hands lower, either side of his neck in an effort to bring his neck in and down and try the sawing method to get some response.
I have even been told to bring your hands up high and pull back so that horse's head is up in the air and he can't see where he is going - I have not tried this but it seems very dangerous to me as you may both end up falling over !
Unfortunately, I lost a stirrup straight away and managed to keep my balance until the point where he slowed down a little and I decided to come off whilst we were going a little slower, Big mistake.
I still came off at speed through some trees and whilst I landed on my shoulder my head came down with a thump. I didn't knock my self out but I had all the concusion symptoms the next day.
I have now decided it is better to keep with the horse and try to get it into a circle and tire it out.
Sometimes my horse jogs when he realises we are turning for home and I have to think of being a sack of potatoes and make him walk. He will ususally settle after a while but I would never canter him on the way back home if he was in this mood. If you have a set route to ride always try to canter on the way out but keep it calm for the way back.
Hope I helped a little and it doesn't happen too often.
Good luck in finding your own horse, I looked at 10 or more before I found my handsome chap.
13th Jan 2000, 05:38 AM
I asked a similar question like your's. I got a few replies. Maybe some will help you? It's in General under "Controling Runaway Horses". I hope this helps. :)
14th Jan 2000, 03:12 AM
Thank you all for very useful advice, I really appreciate it.
17th Jan 2000, 03:19 AM
When a horse truly bolts, you have no stearing at all, and at a fast speed, using a pully rein can acrually cause the horse to fall, if you watch the horses in the movies that are comanded to fall, the rider pulls the horses's head to the side and down he gose, this is also how they are taught to lie down when teaching trick horses so I don't recomend the pully rein for a horse going at anything faster than a trot. However, constent presure on the reins won't work either, sea sawing the reins (like you see the jumper riders do on tv) does tend to get the horses' attention and once you get him to a slower speed or a little more control you can circle him. This worked for me with a horse who liked to get the bit in her teath and bolt. Be very careful and don't let the horse get away with this, even if it means making him work hard in circles for a punishment.
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