Lyons Training 101
Issue Number: Three
Building Your Foundation
written by Josh Lyons & Keith Hosman
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Issue Three, Part 3 of 3
What To Do With
Horses That Want To Bolt, Buck or Blow Up
Let's say your horse decides he want to blow up or have a wreck. Well, there's nothing magical about a snaffle bit - it won't keep the wreck from happening - but it will allow you to pick the place where it happens. If your horse says "I'm going to blow up here and buck you off," you can say "Uh, no, the ground here doesn't look soft enough. I thought I saw a softer spot over there." And so you ride over a few feet and your horse says "Okay, now I'm going to buck you off." But I say "Nope, I was wrong, you were right. That spot over there was a whole lot softer. Let's ride back over there."
So I ride back to the other spot and keep changing directions. I keep asking and he keeps saying "Alright, alright, we'll have our wreck over here." I continue moving him around and pretty soon he decides it's too much trouble to blow up. If I had picked up on two reins and tried to control that energy, then I would have been begging him to blow up. No, I tell him to go - and to keep going.
Nothing else matters in those situations. It doesn't matter if other riders are near you or where the horse wants to get to. The more the horse wants to think about something else, the more you'll give him to think about. This is not punishment, don't see it that way. See it as learning: You're learning that you can avoid a wreck - and your horse is learning that acting up is just too much trouble.
Bottom line: If your horse bucks, if he bolts, whatever he does, as soon as you look at the ground at where you think you're going to hit, that's where you're guaranteed to land. So stay on top of your horse, look at your horse, ride your horse. Don't be a passenger. Work. Ask him to do something.
Read previous article: Teaching Your Horse To Stand Still
Read next article: Give Your Horse A Want-To Attitude
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Lyons Training 101: Issue Three, Part 3
"Learning to Ride a Horse: Horses That Want To Bolt, Buck or Blow Up"
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