How do I stop my horse galloping home when I fall off?

Bettyboo222

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I once saw someone training their horse to stand when they come off.

They started in the menage and threw themselves on the floor and gave the horse a ginger biscuit they repeted this and then changed scenery
 

Enfys

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Not ONE person has suggested training a horse to "Whoa!" not just the half hearted "I'll slow down gradually when I feel like it" type whoa, but "Ho!" Stand still (as in Do not move the feet) whether a rider is on top or not.

It isn't hard, no more so than teaching a dog to "Stay", just takes time and patience.

I once saw a friend stop a whacking great shire horse dead in its' tracks by telling it to "Whoa!" but I suspect that driving horses are trained to accept verbal cues more than riding horses.

Of course it won't work in all situations, nothing is foolproof, but it is a jolly useful command to teach.
 

noodle_

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You could try teaching your horse in the school that when you take your feet out of the stirrups to stop dead and stand still the only downside I have found with teaching this is that when you come to do some work without stirrups they stop dead!

Doubt this would work if your horse is fleeing from something but it should work if its just a case of you parting company!!
i was about to say that ^^



mine stops dead as soon as i take my feet out of the stirrups.... teaches you to hang on when they go from trot/canter to slam on when you remove feet :D

its a good techinque but when i asked her to walk on with no stirrups she was NOT happy.......because i taught her to stand with no stirrups....

so that the downside but tbh id rather her stop dead if i came off than do no stirrup work :)
 
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Super-glue?

Teach him/her (sorry) to ground tie? A western idea that works on the principal that anything dragging on the ground = tied up. Would only work if your reins came over the head though...

The Woah! Idea is a good one - till they decide to ignore it.... :cool:

The feet out the stirrups is good - as long as you warn anyone else who rides her major shock if your not expecting it!!
 

kickonchaps

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I learn't from this and 2 positives I always keep in mind. Someone will always find your horse, and mostly they walk in the gutter of the road as they would if you were on them.
This is so true! Last time I got dumped on a hack there was a clear straight line home across the fields which was shorter and avoided all the roads, but my horse very politely cantered along all the tracks and country lanes and took himself the long way round!

Best advice would be what has already been said about teaching your horse to stop when you get unstable
 

turkana

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My old mare always galloped off when I fell off, she was very people friendly, came to call in the field but fall off & she'd leg it!
Apart from once when I fell off on the road & she started galloping home, I called her & she turned round & came back.
Holding on the the reins made no difference so I'd have to let go, I never thought to try & train her to stop it.
 

traceyann

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if you own a cob having food in your pocket their not going anywhere unless they get it mine wont anyway. We would all prefer to stay on but we all know that dosent happen owning three of my horse ten to fifteen years i know them inside out and upside down does it stop me comming off like hell it dosent. My cob dumped me we where having a Gallop really fast he spotted a apple on the floor he stopped so quick he sat down i carried on going but i had to laugh vet told me he was going blind ten years before
 

Spot_the_Risk

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I know an elderly lady rider, whoh regularly checks her sheep out on Dartmoor by pony. It's imperative that the pony won't run off if she comes off, so she trains it. She sits herself down sharpish on the ground, I guess enough to surprise the pony, then gives it a ginger biscusit (second ginger biscuit story in this thread, I must get some for my lot!). I assume she carries on this training on hacks etc, and she always gives a treat when she gets off. It makes sense to me - my lad is a 'going home' type, normally at a spanking trot although gallop has featured too.
 

azouria

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Red used to go into complete panic mode when anyone fell off, so the other girl who shares him use to just 'fall off' (well more sliding) to get him used to it. He's really good now and will stop if you come off. You could always use a dummy or something if you don't want to be falling off yourself :D
 

Chavhorse

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Not ONE person has suggested training a horse to "Whoa!" not just the half hearted "I'll slow down gradually when I feel like it" type whoa, but "Ho!" Stand still (as in Do not move the feet) whether a rider is on top or not.

It isn't hard, no more so than teaching a dog to "Stay", just takes time and patience.

I once saw a friend stop a whacking great shire horse dead in its' tracks by telling it to "Whoa!" but I suspect that driving horses are trained to accept verbal cues more than riding horses.

Of course it won't work in all situations, nothing is foolproof, but it is a jolly useful command to teach.
With you on this one Enfys the all encompassing when I say whoa you bring your butt under you and stand rock still, you do not move a muscle until you get a command to move again.

Vardi has got this one on the ground in the field both on a lead rope and off.

Currently teaching it under saddle, he has it licked at walk and jog and we are just tidying up the lope to "whoa" as it is a bit unseemly at the moment :)
 

scallywags

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There is a good article in the current Horse and Rider mag which goes through teaching a horse to stand when something falls from it's back. I just skimmed through it at my lunch break but it's essentially about training the horse to look at what fell off. They start with a numnah and place a treat on it = positive reinforcement. Looked interesting and I will def be settling down for a proper read when I finish work!
We have taught a couple of youngsters like this, as a just in case. Both were fine with tack etc, and no-one had fallen, but if the saddle moved or rider wiggled to find a stirrup, they paniced, playing with a falling numnah, then an old unusable saddle worked wonders. We encouraged them to 'touch' the numnah / saddle on comand with clicker training, so they wanted to investigate the fallen object. We also found this command great for de-spooking, as they get praise for being brave.


The other thing you could try is ground tying. So when the horse is tacked up, unless being told otherwise they stand still. We have a few that do this really well, so we can bring 4 in from a field and stand them on the yard while weve picked there feet out, ready for there stables. Once again its positive reinforsement, like teaching a dog to stay : D Start at just a second and treat, and build it up, until they will stay there until told otherwise.
 
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Trolt

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Mine all stop dead if the stirrups hit their sides. Wasn't intentional to teach them this (!) but if I lose my stirrup in the school I instantly pull up to a halt and get it back. So over the time if they feel a lose stirrup hit them in the side they slow right down and then stop.

To solve the problem of having no stirrups - I cross my stirrups over the front of the saddle. They then don't feel the stirrups hitting them on the side, and my leg shouldn't fly around as much as a lose stirrup ;) so they are happy to continue.


I'd also go with the other idea of "falling off" in a controlled way (so leaning over the saddle and then dropping to the ground in the school) then feeding your horse a treat from the ground.

Have never trained my horse to do this, but when i have fallen off (and they stop dead due to the stirrup training) they then turn around and start nudging me and hunting for any treats that may be in my pocket. They are gentle and good (used to small children) but I could imagine it might encourage some horses to stand on a rider lying on the floor??

If your hacking is safe and no roads to cross then there is a bonus with your horse heading home - someone will know you have come off and come find you (you may be too injured to move, or have no mobile signal) and you always know where to find your horse as oppose to hunting round tonnes of hacking on foot!
 

Carefreegirl

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Put a headcollar with a lungeline on your horse and put a numnah on his back. Walk round and pull the numnah off and drop it at his feet and drop his fave treat onto the numnah. Bring him round really quickly so he sees the numnah with the treat and eats the treat. All that needs to be done in split second. After a few times he'll get the hint and hopefully next time you hit the deck he'll turn around and chew your leg off (only joking) I can see a new thread - 'My horse throws me off to get a treat'
 

Happy Hunter

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Thanks all :D
Some great ideas there - I can see myself with a Carrot necklace in no time ;)

Just a few answers for all the questions:
She is totally bonded to me, has been since I broke her in end of 09.
I tried holding onto the reins! (I will try harder next time and the training should stop her freaking out so much)
I do have a breastplate - but lost grip on that too!
I am glad she goes home (kind of) ;)
(touchwood) I have only come of a couple of times and that includes breaking her in (touches wood) - But I know what you mean about the seat

I fully accept it Was my fault - I mean the poor girl was perfectly happy making foals then I come along and make her do work!!! :p

Hope everyone had some great fun in the sunshine today!
Thanks again
 

gnubee

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You don't mention how your horse reacts when you fall off in the school, but if it is the same way then there is a good chance that a previous owner has been a bit stick happy, and therefore he thinks you coming off = hard appointment with the whip. Ive met a lot of horses that used to run off to get where they wanted after an unscheduled dismount, but very few of them are actually panicked by the situation except the ones that I KNOW have got stick happy owners. (Im sure there are some exceptions, but it would definitely be my first instinct).

Echo what others have said about teaching him to stand when you get off (regardless of what pace you get off at) and making sure he gets plenty of treats when you come off, both in practice and in real life no matter how angry you are at the way you fell off, until he learns that staying around you is ok.
 

Happy Hunter

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forgot to mention:

I havent fallen off in the school yet
I get off and on Hacking and whilst out Hunting - Many many times, - Perhaps ill work in a sit down and carrot routine
 

amyneave

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its a difficult one. I agree with the don't fall off idea, but unfortunately we all know that isn't always possible. Even the best fall off, and its not as easy as to just hold on.
 

EstherYoung

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H used to do this when he was younger. We lost him overnight a couple of times, which was very scary. He did grow out of it, with a bit of help. We used a combination of quite a few of the above suggestions:
- Getting used to stirrups flapping
- More trust in rider (stay with the herd)
- Better voice commands
- Learning to ground tie
- Learning to eat out on rides (so that given the opportunity, he would)

The first time I came off and he actually waited for me, I just hugged him and cried. A passer by asked me if I was Ok, I said yes, I was just so happy he hadn't run away.

Oh and for safety's sake, get dog tags for your tack, always put flouro on the horse, and make sure the horse is freezemarked. We would not have got him back had he not been freezemarked, particularly the second time when some scroat nicked his tack while he was missing (kindly leaving his numnah that had his name on it folded up next to where he was found). It helps immensely if Joe Public can ring the police and say 'I have a brown horse here with numbers on it'.

Nb H is actually quite a difficult horse to fall off of - in 25 years I think 6 falls. Most of the falls we've had from him have been when he's fallen over too, and if the rider has been knocked out there's no way they can hold on to the reins.
 

brigantia

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Get back on as soon as you catch him, go back to where you fell off, and then go much further. If he wasn't panicking and just wanted to go home without the extra weight, he will learn that going home without you doesn't win him anything, and just means more work. If he was genuinely panicking and ran home, I don't think you can teach him not to, because he wasn't being rational.
This. We want to stay on and keep falls to an absolute minimum, understand why we came off in the first place to prevent it happening again, etc. etc.

But no matter how wonderful or advanced we think our riding skills are, EVERYONE comes off from time to time.:eek:

But the getting off, sitting on the ground, and offering treats trick sounds worth trying! :D
 

Miss L Toe

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There is a gadget that you hold on to , attaches to D rings, also a handle from D ring to D ring, I always ride a young horse at the trot with one finger in the neckstrap. I suggest you don't hack alone if you keep falling off!
 

Riding2020

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People saying don’t fall off here. But there are times you can be in the new forest with no one around but a dog will come flying out of nowhere and your a gone’er if your horse spooks.
Good advice on the in school training.
 

Skib

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I have to say that I have only ever let go of a horse twice, having parted company. I seem to have a subconcious instinct to hang onto the reins, come what may!!! Probably not always the wisest decision, but it's just a reaction.
Me too. And it may be wise as means one is not instinctively using one's hands to break one's fall - I read that it is a common injury to break one's wrist in a fall.
 

Riding2020

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‘Zombie thread‘ but good advice never gets old. Not sure why there’s a reason to be negative? The post came up on google high up when googling subject matter of exactly the advice I needed. Especially when it comes to a serious matter of horses running off to possible danger.
I’ll never understand negative un helpful comments on forums.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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‘Zombie thread‘ but good advice never gets old. Not sure why there’s a reason to be negative? The post came up on google high up when googling subject matter of exactly the advice I needed. Especially when it comes to a serious matter of horses running off to possible danger.
I’ll never understand negative un helpful comments on forums.
Its likely because your post didnt start with ' I know this is an old thread' or similar.
To then get defensive doesnt help.
With old threads its better to prefix a response or better to just read unless asking a question.


Lovely to reminisce about names from 9 years + ago.....
 

Keith_Beef

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Saying "just don't fall off" is a bit of a Paris Hilton response...

Yes, it would be great to be able to never fall, but you can never guarantee that you won't.

When I've been out with the riding school, there have often been falls (occasionally two people have fallen at the same time) and the horse generally takes a few more paces forwards and then stops and starts to graze.

In the school or the arena, the horse often gallops or canters a couple of laps farting and bucking, and then comes to a stop.
 
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