Have you ever been on a runaway horse? It’s pretty scary, not to mention extremely dangerous. Here are some tips to help you avoid the situation as well as ways to stop your horse in case it does happen to you.
Before you head out on the trail, you must have trust, communication and leadership with your horse. If you don’t have these key factors at home, there is no way you will have them out on the trail. Train and practice at home to ensure you and your horse are comfortable riding alone, with other riders, and through and over obstacles. The better prepared you are at home, the easier it is to handle the unexpected out on the trail.
Ride with friends who are courteous and communicate well. Peer pressure can be dangerous when you are coerced into riding beyond a level where you feel comfortable. Your horse will know you are uncomfortable and she will become uncomfortable as well, thus creating a dangerous situation. Communication is key among riding groups to ensure no horse feels left behind by the herd.
Turning a runaway horse is the best way to slow down. If space is available to you, begin to turn your horse onto a very large circle. If your turn is too abrupt, you can cause your horse to become off balance and possibly fall. As you circle, begin to spiral inwards and make the circle smaller and smaller until your horse stops.
If you’re on a single track trail, pick up ONE rein and pull straight UP to slow down and possibly stop your horse. Make sure it’s only one rein and you’re pulling up towards the sky and not back towards your belly button. You may even need to reach down your horse’s neck to shorten the length of your rein before pulling up. If you pull back, it won’t have much effect on your horse. If you pull back with both reins your horse can just hold on to the bit and keep running. If your horse did not stop, but did slow, then release the rein and take a deep breath. If your horse continues to run, try the other rein. Continue to alternate one rein at a time with a deep breath in between until your horse stops.
This is extremely hard to do in a very scary situation! However, the more upset you get the more your horse is encouraged to run faster. Hold on, breathe, count to ten in your head, or anything you can do to remain as calm and relaxed as possible. Once you start to relax, your horse will wonder why she’s running so fast.
Kim Baker, KB Equine Solutions, Holistic Healing, Pet Communicator, Lessons, Horse Clinics, Natural Horse Training and more...Cell: 303-981-2127 | firstname.lastname@example.org
KB Natural Horsemanship, Building quality partnerships and lasting relationships from the ground up. www.kbnaturalhorsemanship.com