Bolting

Gentlman

New Member
Mar 15, 2024
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Hi my 4 year old has bolted in the school he spooked at something and bolted.
he is quite nervous.
I had the phsico woman out and she said he had pulled his shoulder and out it right . I have been lungeing him a few days a week but still not got back on him he seem more relaxed now is should you right but I am a bit nervous he will do it again. Has anyone had there horeses bolt with pain
 
He bolted (or ran) because he was spooked. From what you posted, the injury was the result of him running, not the cause. In the UK a 4 year old would be briefly backed then turned away with other horses until he was 6. In USA horses are ridden younger and possibly die younger than in UK.
 
Wouldn't get back on immediately as he will sense your nerves as well and make it worse. Ground work, lead out in hand, get some help as he probably tweaked something when he bolted rather than running from the pain. Get someone to teach him one hand halt as well. He is only a baby but you want to nip this in the bud before it escalates into learned behaviour so i would take pressure off him and go back several stages and build his confidence
 
Lunging is actually hard work for a youngster, and if he's injured a shoulder it will be putting pressure on it. I wouldn't lunge a 4yo more than once a week after it had been backed, truth told I wouldn't do that and never have with mine.

As you sound nervous I would arrange to get a rider experienced with young horses to ride him for a while and do some basic schooling and hacking out with him and then gradually move over to you. Yes it will cost you and you need to look around for someone who knows what they're doing rather than simply talks a good line - look at horses they've produced, visit the yard and see how the horses act, ask for recommendations - but if this is a horse you want to keep then it's an investment. And get the physio to check him again and also get his saddle checked. At 4 he's young and doesn't need to be in demanding work, but he's old enough to do basic schooling and get out and about hacking where he'll see the world, with calm miles on the clock the chances are he'll become less nervous and it's ideal work for a young horse as it's straight lines on a variety of surfaces.

Be careful of using the word "bolted" when it sounds like all he did was spook and take off in a panic. A true bolter is extremely dangerous and has no real place as a riding horse, it's far more than a horse you can't quickly pull up from a startled dash forward or one that gets too strong for it's rider.
 
What did your physio suggest as a course of action? Did they suggest lunging? Did they advise time off?

I would avoid riding him for a few more weeks. Just long rein him in straight lines as much as possible to help build up muscle. As said lunging puts strain through the joints. If his shoulder was out you want to avoid lunging and support restrengthening him.
Only lunge him on a very large circle when you recommence lunging. Use the whole arena, keeping him well out if possible to avoid tight turns.
He could have tweaked something if hes young and lacks muscle. Long reining with some hill work will help to build it and be better than lunging.
Then get someone professional in to ride him to ascertain where his mind is at with regards to spooking or bolting.
There was an interesting discussion on here a few months ago about what people call a spooker. It might be worth doing a search for the term 'spook' or 'bolt' on here in the search box and reading through previous posts so it helps you understand what your horse did.
 
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