Advice please

(47 Posts)
stormrider Fri 18-Nov-16 20:48:21

So today my horse Storm, who I've only had for 2 weeks, took off with me at a gallop down a hill on a main road. In the end I managed to stop him by running him towards a wall. He stopped suddenly and I fell off.
Just wonder if anyone had any tips if it happens again and there isn't a wall near by!

Booboostwo Fri 18-Nov-16 21:51:08

I am sorry this happened, it must have been very scary for you and I hope you were not hurt.

How old is Storm? How experienced is Storm and did you have him vetted before you bought him? What feed is he on and what turn out does he have?

There are a large number of reasons why a horse might take off, did anything happen before he took off, e.g. was he frightened by something or did he get wound up by something? Figuring out the trigger will help you work on it to get him more settled. How much control do you have in the arena? Have you had any lessons with him? It's always a good idea to establish the basics with a new horse in the arena before you hack and get an instructor out to help you if you are unsure.

Also worth thinking about management issues, e.g. feed him as little hard feed as you can get away with, allow as much turn out as you can, etc.

What tack are you riding him in? What did he do when he took off, e.g. put his head down and become heavy on the forehand, stick his head up and evade the bit, cross his jaw? Identifying what he did can help you adjust his tack to help you deal with him more effectively.

Finally only hack him in a safe area until you have sorted out the problem, I.e. away from traffic and with enough space for you to be able to circle and re-establish control, in the company of another, steady horse.

Booboostwo Fri 18-Nov-16 21:52:47

Also worth considering a physical cause if you have the same issue in an arena without an obvious trigger. I'd check the saddle fit for a start.

lovelilies Fri 18-Nov-16 22:17:01

Storm is 5 years old. His feed is mostly chaff with pony nuts and cool mix. He wasn't spooked as far as I'm aware as we were in a steady trot then he just got stronger and stronger. I noticed his shoes are quite worn down so farrier coming out this week. We don't have an arena and the fields are too boggy to ride in, there isn't any really quiet roads nearby. He gets all day turn out and stabled at night. I was not concentrating on what he was doing with his head when he took off. I am riding him in English tack (jumping saddle snaffle bit and normal bridle). Thanks x

lovelilies Fri 18-Nov-16 22:20:36

I haven't had him checked by a vet but he was seen just before I bought him (from a reputable lady).
He's a thoroughbred.
Today another horse was put in his field, it's ears were pinned back and it tried to kick storms field mate. I wonder if that's what was annoying him?

Whateveryouwannacallme Fri 18-Nov-16 22:23:47

i agree with Booboo, need lots more info.

2 weeks is hardly any time at all in the "getting to know you" stage and there can be loads of reasons he may have taken off. Given how dangerous that can be especially on a road I would be doing a lot of groundwork as well as riding to establish a communication with him and trying to find out what sort of stuff scares him.. Expose him to as much as you. can in arena or field .... from flappy plastic bags and balloons to pushchairs, umbrellas, newspapers blowing about etc etc etc Then you can deal with that by habituation training.

Also add on the tack etc piece by piece to see if it's that.

Where did you get him from and could you ask prior owner if he has done it before ?

Just beware IMO of any one advising to use x piece of equipment to stop him .... if something bothers hims so much he takes off with you then you haven't solved the problem. You need to sort that out BEFORE you go out of the yard and on the road again.

Good luck... I used to have a very scared of everything welshie... that is now a horse that bursts balloons as a party trick !

Whateveryouwannacallme Fri 18-Nov-16 22:25:24

sorr x posted will read now

Whateveryouwannacallme Fri 18-Nov-16 22:34:32

at 5 years old he is still a youngster really, he is green so maybe some lessons on him and groundwork with him as well as all the check of tack etc... Horses can tr to run away from pain rather than buck it off so as suggested elsewhere saddle check essential. What about teeth ? Is the snaffle a single jointed one.... that can hit the roof of the mouth and many horses go better in either a rubber straight bar or one with a double joint / lozenge.

If he is a tb was he trained for, or used in, racing. I understand that the will go faster the more pressure on the reins ? Never had one so no experience of it )

lovelilies Fri 18-Nov-16 22:35:20

Sorry name change fail!
Daughter is Stormrider smile

Whateveryouwannacallme Fri 18-Nov-16 22:37:48

couple more things

were you out on your own ,, maybe he is used to company

were you on the way home and hes cottoned on to the route and knew it ?

Booboostwo Sat 19-Nov-16 06:34:31

A five year old is really a baby. What is his past history? It may be that even for a five year old he has little experience if he was broken later, or that he has raced and needs serious retraining.

How experienced are you? Why didn't you get him vetted? Who fitted his saddle?

I don't mean at all to be rude but I will be direct: You don't have the facilities for a youngster. With a five year old you need an arena, off road hacking and sensible hacking companions just to be safe. Can you move him to somewhere with an experienced yard manager and access to a good instructor for regular lessons? If not you should seriously consider selling him to a more suitable home (will previous owner take him back? Sadly I have to question how reputable this lady is to have sold you a youngster. If she is a dealer you have more rights to return him than a private seller). You need an older horse who is a very reliable hack and can help you grow your confidence. Is there any particular reason you went for a hound TB?

Booboostwo Sat 19-Nov-16 06:39:04

Is Stormrider a child? Is this a first horse? If yes this is a really unsuitable purchase and the reputable lady saw you coming I am afraid. Again I don't mean to be harsh but the sooner you réalisé this the less attached you will be to this horse and more willing to correct the mistake. Riding is a very dangerous sport, cantering out of control on a main road and falling off is a serious incident and should be treated as such.

lovelilies Sat 19-Nov-16 08:02:37

Yes, Stormrider is a child.
I'll admit I don't know anything much about horses.
She's been riding for about 2 years, has lessons weekly and is quite good.
My mum (her Dnana) bought the horse for her. She also doesn't know much about horses.
They had a limited budget and found this failed racehorse from a lady who deals in them. Were assured he was very soft, doesn't spook, lovely and quiet.
He does seem to be lovely, but this incident has scared me and I'm not happy about it. I do realise that horse riding is dangerous but this was too uncontrolled.
They (my mum and DD) are looking for a better livery, with an arena, but they're all full round here. The place where she has lessons is far too expensive.
I'm showing this thread to my mum (the horse is their 'thing', I have a toddler and a baby as well as DD so not really involved with this).

lovelilies Sat 19-Nov-16 08:03:20

Thank you for the replies. I know you're not trying to be killjoys, this is serious stuff sad

FenellaMaxwell Sat 19-Nov-16 08:08:42

Wow, a thoroughbred is really not the first horse for a child who has been riding for only 2 years!

I'm really sorry but I don't think this is the right horse for your DD.

Booboostwo Sat 19-Nov-16 08:14:40

I will tell you this honestly because I bought the wrong horse. I had been ridding since young and could only afford a horse at when I was 22.My local riding school who knew me well sold her to me, which goes to show that everyone is out to get you when te want to off load a bad horse. She started bad, e.g. bucking and taking off, and finished off unhandlable and unriddable,. It took me 4.5 years to accept that I had to give up on her and the whole process dented my confidence enormously.

Do not look for another livery yard, do not ride this horse. Write, recorded delivery, to the seller saying the horse is unsuitable for purpose and that she has 7 days to contact you to arrange for the horse to be returned and you to be refunded. You may have to pay a transporter to return the horse but the seller should refund you in cash on return of the horse - don't let her fob you off on this, you have the right to return the horse for a full refund.

A five year failed racehorse is not the right choice for a child that wants to have a bit of fun hacking. It is nowhere near the right choice, it won't become the right choice with a bit of work and perseverance, and anyone who knows anything about horses would tell you this (I don't mean this to make you feel bad about your choice but to point out that there is no question whatsoever that the seller saw you coming).

Next time go to your DC's riding school and ask the instructor to help you find a suitable horse, you will need to pay her a fee for her time but it will be well worth it. Ideally you want a family horse that has been doing the job you want it to do but has been sadly outgrown. You should get the horse vetted including bloods.

The horse marked is severely depressed, it is the middle of the winter, you offer a good home, you should be able to find what you want for 1-2k, especially as you don't need a weight carrier (which I assume you do not if a TB was OK weight wise before). Type, breed, colour are not as important as temperament, health and suitability for the job, but realistically the horse should be at least 8 years old to have the experience your child needs to learn from (and anything up to 14yo should be perfectly fine for a few years of fun before it is outgrown).

Booboostwo Sat 19-Nov-16 08:16:16

"horse market" sorry my keyboard is playing up and there are loads of typos!

lovelilies Sat 19-Nov-16 08:35:03

Thank you.
My Mum has been in touch with the seller and she will take him back this week. We haven't paid for him yet, he was on trial.
DD will be heartbroken but I think she'll understand.

Booboostwo Sat 19-Nov-16 08:45:46

I know I sound like a bitch suggesting a child give up her first horse, but you are saving her from a lot of heartache down the line. Good news on the seller and I am so glad you haven't lost any money. Very sorry for your DD; hopefully the right horse will come along very soon and she will have a lot of fun.

FenellaMaxwell Sat 19-Nov-16 08:47:59

You've done the right thing - I know it's hard on your DD but it's really not the right horse for her and the seller really shouldn't have let you have it in the first place.

How old is your DD? Perhaps posters can help in choosing something suitable?

mando12345 Sat 19-Nov-16 09:00:49

Gosh just read this, I am so pleased the horse is being taken back and that your daughter is OK.
Please take more care next time, try and get one that is outgrown through word of mouth. Look at loans. My first pony, bought via my riding instructor was a bit lazy but so so safe, I used to hack out with no problems. After a couple of years she was sold on without advertising to another family who wanted this paragon. You will pay for safety.

Whateveryouwannacallme Sat 19-Nov-16 09:00:51

Morning... Boobootwo has fully said everything I would have said having read your latest posts. Sadly this happens far to often so don't feel too bad, just learn and deal with it. A friend of mine could have written this ... They got sold a huge cob and when they came to me for help after the fact and I checked for issues / asked about what happened on the trial it was very clear the seller knew about the issues but had managed them and the horse in a way to disguise the problems. More experienced buyer or supprter would have spotted this and walked away from the horse.

Can't reinforce enough bb2 advice...novice riders and owners really do need a steady experienced horse to teach them the ropes. If you can find someone that can teach groundwork too even better. I do horse agility and the people I help always learn this and ground skills before the can get on board... It helps them understand exactly what effects the reins and legs have on the horse before its applied when riding. They learn to back up, turn the horses bottom, how to move sideways, how to speed up and slow down... all at walk before anything else. Most important ... the emergency stop!

I think your dd has probably not been helped by the methodology of most riding schools. Most measure success in being able to get to trot and canter without falling off. Also many riding school ponies have become desensitized to the aids so riders have to give such obvious aids (kicking and pulling and using whips) that the riders does not learn to ride sensitively... also gets into problem s when they then get on a non riding school horse.

This is no criticism of you or your family ... Its just the way to things have become and that's a whole other thread !!!

Please return this horse before anyone gets hurt.

Whateveryouwannacallme Sat 19-Nov-16 09:05:39

Gosh. X post again as I typed lol. Glad you are sorted re returning him... Yes dd will be upset for a bit but better that than splatted on the road. Riding is dangerous enough on well trained horses without adding in anything else

Whateveryouwannacallme Sat 19-Nov-16 09:15:12

You are no bitch bb.. Sometimes to keep folk safe we have to be blunt

lovelilies Sat 19-Nov-16 10:02:58

I appreciate the bluntness. DD is devastated and says that any horse will do this (take off etc).
She wants to keep him and just not ride him but that's not a good idea is it?

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