Handling a Mount when a Horse is Loose
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Handling a Mount when a Horse is Loose

August 12, 2019

Accidents with horses are unavoidable. It’s
going to happen at some time and a very common accident that we will all see whether it’s
in the warm-up pen at a horse show, in a group lesson situation, or even in an arena show
class, is a horse that’s fractious and somebody gets bucked off or falls off and a horse is
loose in the class or in the warm-up pen. A couple things you want to remember when
this happens: the first thing that you and everybody in that situation is to remain calm.
If we remember that horses are flight animals and a horse that has just lost a rider is
now very frightened horse. They may just run around and be very frantic. So the worst thing
that we can do as horsemen is start to yell and get out in front and try to think we’re
going to stop the horse by waiving our hands. That’s really going to make the situation
much worse. A better way to control a situation like that is if you’re on a horse, get off
the horse. Bring the horse maybe to the center of the arena and hopefully everybody else
is getting off their horses and kind of congregating as a group close together. You want to avoid
getting off and standing like at the end of your reins or the end of your lunge line or
lead rope and having a distance between you and your horse because that fractious horse,
I have seen it happen, could come back between you and the horse and now you may have two
horses loose. So the ideal thing in that situation is dismount, get close to your horse, hopefully
everybody else is dismounting, until the situation is resolved. But really, I caution you, try
not to stop the running horse by standing in front and yelling “woah” and trying to
cut them off at walls or gates because you really will, I have very seldom seen that
work and I have seen in most occasions make that to be a much more dangerous situation
than it needed to be.

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