Hacking scare

Laurenleo

New Member
Jan 4, 2017
19
5
3
So as maybe pathetic as it sounds, I had an incident around 2 months ago that’s still badly affecting my confidence. My little cob can be rather excitable at times (ex hunter) and has previously tanked after other horses. However, this particular time I was out with a friend and another group from our yard were not far behind, their horses were deliberately set off by some boys on off road bikes and subsequently one of their horses bolted in our direction :eek: Next thing I knew, this mare comes galloping round the corner, unseats her rider and sets off right towards us, George being the baby that he is, also set off in a blind panic with the mare behind us!! I tried everything to pull him up, and calm them both down, but the bridleway was narrow so no opportunity to circle, I’d also have risked the mare running straight past me anyway (which could’ve ended very badly). After around a minute we ran into a RS group JUST before the low bridge (incredibly lucky) which pulled George up enough to let me block the bridge and grab the terrified mare :( As you can possibly understand it’s taken chunks out of my confidence. I’m supposed to be going on a farm ride next month but am concerned that we may have a repeat of the loss of control :eek: I’m okay hacking out as long as we are at the front (he will happily canter then), but am afraid huge open fields and jumps will make him lose his marbles!! Really any tips on getting back my confidence (as well as calming him down should he get in a state) would be very much appreciated!! :) I tend to go into panic mode as soon as he gets the tiniest bit giddy :/
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Being buggered off with is really never nice :( it sounds like you dealt with it as well as possible, the only way to build your confidence in that situation is really to expose yourself to it again in a controlled way, canter with just 1 other well behaved horse until you are ok with that, then gradually increase the number of horses and vary your position in the group. If he gets difficult when behind then an organised ride probably isn't going to be easy to manage as you can't ensure you are at the front or ask everyone to stop if it starts getting too much, or is your farm ride just a place you go to ride with a few people you know?
My mare is reactive (defensive) if horses canter at her, with a loose horse she's best if I can get her out of the line of fire and turn her to face it, much less chance of her joining in on the running away bit then.
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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No not good when they tank off, but in your horse's defense it was all rather high drama and would take a very solid type not to be set off by it all, in particular nasty young scrotes deliberately setting all the horses off :mad: I cant even begin to offer advise on the tanking off issue as thankfully it is many years since I have had that to deal with and hope I never will have to again, and there are many on here far better qualified than I to comment on that aspect.

On the loss of confidence bit - yes this happened with me very recently after a horrible incident out hacking on my own on Dolly back on January the 17th (even the date is burned into my memory :( )
Over 60 years riding and never happened before and just to put my dread and fear of this happening into some perspective, I did know someone way back in the day who was killed in this situation- Terrifying situation- riding a mare out on the lanes and a colt came over the hedge and ditch and starts trying to mount her!
Somehow I managed to whip him across the head to get him down while she double barreled him - jumped off and thankfully managed to shove her in a very convenient empty field as she continued to double barrel him , shut the gate on him...
then he tried to come through the hedge into the field we were in - whacked him again over the head with my whip - he squealed turned and tried to jump a gate back into his field and got all mangled up in it - horrific to see to say the least and won't even go there about his eventual death caused directly by injuries he sustained in this incident.
With the combination of shock and fear at what could have happened to Dolly or I - and my HUGE guilt at how wickedly I attacked the colt to protect us both and what that led to I lost my nerve almost totally and did not ride again for another 8 weeks. Eventually got out there but unfortunately the field still has the remaining 5 colts in there so that favourite route has been out of bound ever since.
You can come back from this loss of confidence, mine was/is pretty fragile these days anyway without any unexpected high drama out and about. I just took it in very little steps...short hacks in known safe areas and gradually increasing until I was more or less back to my normal in my own nervous jabbering way ;)
 
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Laurenleo

New Member
Jan 4, 2017
19
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3
Being buggered off with is really never nice :( it sounds like you dealt with it as well as possible, the only way to build your confidence in that situation is really to expose yourself to it again in a controlled way, canter with just 1 other well behaved horse until you are ok with that, then gradually increase the number of horses and vary your position in the group. If he gets difficult when behind then an organised ride probably isn't going to be easy to manage as you can't ensure you are at the front or ask everyone to stop if it starts getting too much, or is your farm ride just a place you go to ride with a few people you know?
My mare is reactive (defensive) if horses canter at her, with a loose horse she's best if I can get her out of the line of fire and turn her to face it, much less chance of her joining in on the running away bit then.

Thank you for the reply :) In regards to facing her, would have tried to but unfortunately we had no time! Soon as I realised what was happening we were off o_O

For the farm ride I’m just going with 3 friends; and their horses are fortunately very sensible! As he gets more wound up behind we will put mine at the front and just keep it steady (hopefully), which is great. He has previously cantered with one or two horses before we cantered as a group and remained calm the other day so hopefully we *should* have a better chance
 
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Laurenleo

New Member
Jan 4, 2017
19
5
3
No not good when they tank off, but in your horse's defense it was all rather high drama and would take a very solid type not to be set off by it all, in particular nasty young scrotes deliberately setting all the horses off :mad: I cant even begin to offer advise on the tanking off issue as thankfully it is many years since I have had that to deal with and hope I never will have to again, and there are many on here far better qualified than I to comment on that aspect.

On the loss of confidence bit - yes this happened with me very recently after a horrible incident out hacking on my own on Dolly back on January the 17th (even the date is burned into my memory :( )
Over 60 years riding and never happened before and just to put my dread and fear of this happening into some perspective, I did know someone way back in the day who was killed in this situation- Terrifying situation- riding a mare out on the lanes and a colt came over the hedge and ditch and starts trying to mount her!
Somehow I managed to whip him across the head to get him down while she double barreled him - jumped off and thankfully managed to shove her in a very convenient empty field as she continued to double barrel him , shut the gate on him...
then he tried to come through the hedge into the field we were in - whacked him again over the head with my whip - he squealed turned and tried to jump a gate back into his field and got all mangled up in it - horrific to see to say the least and won't even go there about his eventual death caused directly by injuries he sustained in this incident.
With the combination of shock and fear at what could have happened to Dolly or I - and my HUGE guilt at how wickedly I attacked the colt to protect us both and what that led to I lost my nerve almost totally and did not ride again for another 8 weeks. Eventually got out there but unfortunately the field still has the remaining 5 colts in there so that favourite route has been out of bound ever since.
You can come back from this loss of confidence, mine was/is pretty fragile these days anyway without any unexpected high drama out and about. I just took it in very little steps...short hacks in known safe areas and gradually increasing until I was more or less back to my normal in my own nervous jabbering way ;)

Oh gosh that sounds awful :eek: If it’s any consolation, in your situation I probably would have reacted the same way, and you definitely shouldn’t blame yourself :( The fact that you can still ride out after that gives me confidence!! I also only tend to hack through our shorter bridle paths as I’m now very worried about being next to the road where it happened (our area has a particular issue with the bikes), and I am just generally much more comfortable hacking that way (I only take him out alone this way). It’s just building up to riding out in bigger spaces. I have a big fear of both fields and loss of control (it’s been that way for a while). Small things like a large spook can put me off hacking for a week or so, but normally get myself out again as I hate to keep going round the school ;) But I’m determined to eventually get him out to this farm ride as I know he would really enjoy it, just want to make sure I would too!!!
 
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