Imagine being on a horse and he bolts. You pull those reins to slow him down but itís no use. He resists and fence posts go whizzing by you as you panic and pray he doesnít shift his bodyweight and you fly off his back into a post.
Itís scary to be on a horse that runs on his own volition and canít be slowed down. Many people will sell their horse because theyíre so scared of that happening again. How do you keep a horse from bolting like that?
There is a way to temper your horse even if he spots something that scares him and he wants to run in fear. I call it, ďInstalling an emergency brake.Ē
This is done on ground while youíre doing ground training. Every time you work with your horse you should spend a few minutes doing this Ė even if you know your horse ďgets it.Ē It simply cannot be done enough.
What does it look like when you use emergency brake on your horse? While youíre riding, you reach down to either rein. You tightly grab rein, slide it up your legs along seam of your pants up to your hips. At same time, you are loosely holding other rein. As you do this, your horseís nose will be pointing back towards his rear end.
Why does this work? Ever try to run forward while looking backwards? Need I say more? (There are exceptions. Some horses are so limber they will run forward with their nose buried in their sides Ė but not many)
But you canít simply get on your horse and expect to pull his head back if he takes off. You must do some ground work first. And hereís what you do.
Put a halter on your horse and hook a lead rope to halter. Stand on left side of your horse. Stand by your horse across from his back leg. Take your right arm and put it over his rump. Next, pull lead rope towards you and rest your left hand on his back.
At this point your horse will resist some. If he pulls his head forward you hold lead rope in place. Eventually he will move his head back towards you and give into pull you have on lead rope. The second he moves his head back towards you then you release lead rope tension and praise him. In other words, when you see lead rope has slack in it because he moved his nose back towards you, then release.
Eventually, you want him to touch his nose to his body. Thatís goal youíre shooting for because more his head comes around better control you will have. Also, thereís a second goal youíre shooting for. When you pull lead rope around to bring your horseís head back, you want it to be where you donít pull. He moves his head back for you. As you pull on lead rope his head moves back with no exertion from you. His head follows. Itís called being responsive. This is important because when youíre riding your horse and you have to pull his head around you donít want to have a tug of war while youíre riding a bolting horse. You want him to automatically do it.