Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

FlyingLily
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Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby FlyingLily » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:58 pm

My 16-years young Kentucky Mountain Horse has run off full tilt the last THREE CONSECUTIVE times I tried to longe him. Fortunately I was only dragged the first time (the barn manager said "Look like you got drug out there! - we're in Texas). and that was just because I was so totally surprised, my brain could not tell my hands to let go fast enough.. I've had him since he was 3 and never had this problem - now 3 in a row.

We are in a very large arena when it happens, and he sails around with his tail flagged, 40 foot longe line carefully avoided, bucks, farts, wheels and goes in the opposite direction, just as long as he pleases. Maximum has been 15 minutes of full-out gallop or huge canter.

Today there were two other riders in the arena, and fortunately they were on fearless cow ponies who faced him down causing him to veer sharply and avoid them. But I was ashamed of my horsemanship.

When he's done, he canters up to me looking proud. Then I am able to longe him normally, almost; he makes a few more halfhearted tries to leave the circle.

This has got me baffled. Has anyone had a sudden eruption of longe-bolting at this age and level of training? - he's the best trail horse I could ever imagine. I'm afraid to get on him! These 3 boltaways have been our last 3 times together.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby kande50 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:41 pm

First time they do that I give up on the lunging until I can find a place where they can't do it, because once they learn they can for some reason they will. Don't know why? Maybe they get dizzy? I know that things that didn't bother me when I was younger can be quite disorienting now (late 60's).

Also, just because he gets crazy on the line doesn't mean he'll be the same under saddle. My horse does some wild and crazy stuff at liberty, and then when he winds down I get on him and he's fine.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:36 am

I think he's discovered a good game...

What's he got on his head when you are lunging him? Bridle, halter, cavesson? I might be inclined to use the lunge line over his head in conjunction with a bit and give him a bit of a surprise next time he tries. It's a dangerous habit to develop, so I'd not have much compunction about setting him on his heels once or twice so he gets over the idea.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Tsavo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:10 am

You cannot accept that. Put him in side reins. Pull him off balance. Guide him into the rail. I would start on a smaller circle to have more control. Be ready for this until you can quash it enough such that he doesn't try it. Every second he zoos around or gets loose is another 5 minutes you have to quash it.

I would push him around the pasture with the lunge whip for 15-20 minutes before trying to lunge him.

I don't know if any of this would work but it's what I would try.

Good luck.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Josette » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:51 pm

I would not automatically place side reins on this horse in this situation especially if never used on him in the past. He might fight or panic then flip or injure himself in some way. I would lunge him in a more confined area on a smaller circle - not 40 ft line. I agree with what Mountaineer described to get some control and respect when exhibits this behavior. Does he get much turnout to get this energy out of his system? Sometimes cooler weather or wind will make them silly too imo.

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Chisamba
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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Chisamba » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:08 pm

One of the horses I train will always give a concerted effort to pull and bolt on the longe. It does not in any way translate to his riding. It's simply a trick he learned. Dont be afraid to ride him.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Hayburner » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:33 pm

Why àre you lunging him?

My mare is a total circus horse on the lunge, she frightening! I believe it also contributed to her ankle injury.
Which her act crazy on the lunge scares the crap out of me so much that it made me very fearful and anxious when I got on her.
We mainly lunged so she could get the bucks out and to tie her a bit.

After her injury I said No More Lunging! I had a trainer ride her whe she started back to work just to be sure I'd be safe. She was fine, sure she was quick and anxious, but the anxiety is gone, she can still get quick, but part of that is her bred.

I can get right on her without an issue or insanity, I think the lunge line created her insanity, I think she thought she was supposed to act nuts on it

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Tsavo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:01 pm

Lunging, like riding, is a series of techniques that nobody is born knowing. It can't just be "winged" without consequences.

I think a skilled person could break this horse of this habit within a week. Maybe less.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Amado » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:30 pm

Most important question, what Is he wearing when you lunge him? If he is able to turn away from you, then take off and get away from you, it’s not the right equipment. You need something with enough bite to stop him in his tracks when he gets out of control. That might be a rope halter with knots. It might be a lunging cavesson, where you attach the lunge line to the ring on top of the nose. It might be a bridle with the lungline through the inner bit ring, over the head and attached to the bit ring on the other side. I can lunge mine in just a halter, but if I know he is likely to have extra energy, I use something stronger so I have the extra control just in case. Though I often lunge when I feel Rico needs to get his extra energy out before I get on, I always try to do it in control - so a few bucks and kicks and a little over tempo are ok as long as he is listening to me and willing to stay in the gait that I am asking for. As soon as he gets out of control, it’s a firm halt and stand there until he is paying attention to me again.

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby khall » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:48 pm

Juliet knows this trick and yes it is a learned behavior where they give you the middle finger. None of my cavesons (I have bicycle chain and a serreta solid nose piece) nor a rope halter will hold her. Only running the line over her head will stop her. I have no remorse whatsoever in using this method though Mark strongly disagreed with me about it. Frankly it is a dangerous habit that should be punished with whatever means will stop him. I would NOT put SRs on him in case he still got away, that is an accident waiting to happen.

One thing, I take it otherwise he is fine? Could it be from pain?

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby kande50 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:56 am

khall wrote:I would NOT put SRs on him in case he still got away, that is an accident waiting to happen.


What kinds of accidents are you envisioning? (I haven't used side reins for years, and have very little experience with them.)

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Re: Calm trail horse turned evil bolter on longe

Postby Josette » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:57 pm

If a horse explodes or panics while confined with the side reins - it could rear flip over or fall hurting itself- explode bucking and get a leg hooked up - whatever crazy antics a horse could do. The horse is already excited and charged up and then panics when it hits the restricted side reins. I would never put side reins on a horse until it has been introduced correctly to their use - and the horse is accepting calm work mode. This is simple common sense for safety of the horse and ground person.


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