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How Do You Handle A Bolting Horse?

Dealing with a bolting horse can be a challenging experience for any rider. A bolting horse is a horse that runs off at full speed with no regard for its rider. This can be a frightening situation if you are unprepared and can lead to injury for both the horse and the rider. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for and handle a bolting horse. In this article, we will discuss how to handle a bolting horse, including the importance of prevention, how to respond to a bolting horse, and the importance of safety.

Preventing a Bolting Horse

The best way to handle a bolting horse is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Start by developing a strong relationship with your horse. Spend time getting to know your horse and building trust. This can help you to recognize any changes in your horse’s behavior that might indicate it is feeling scared or anxious, allowing you to address the issue before it escalates.

Regular Exercises

Engage in regular exercises with your horse to help it become familiar with its environment and build up its muscles. This will help it to become more responsive to your commands and less likely to bolt in an unfamiliar situation.

Proper Training

Make sure your horse is properly trained for the environment you plan to ride it in. If you plan to take your horse out on trails, it should be familiar with the terrain and able to respond to your commands. If you plan to compete, your horse should be able to navigate obstacles and be comfortable with the environment.

Use the Right Equipment

Using the right equipment will also help to prevent a bolting horse. Make sure you are using the correct saddle, bit, bridle, and other equipment for your horse. A comfortable and properly fitted saddle is essential for a responsive horse.

Responding to a Bolting Horse

If your horse does start to bolt, there are steps you can take to respond and regain control.

Stay Calm

The most important thing is to stay calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse. Take deep breaths and remain focused on the task of regaining control.

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Hold On

Hold onto the reins tightly and maintain your seat. Do not try to pull back on the reins, as this can cause the horse to become more panicked and increase its speed.

Keep Your Balance

Focus on keeping your balance and using your legs to keep your seat. This will help you to stay on the horse and maintain control.

Use the Aids

Use the aids that you have trained your horse to respond to, such as voice commands and light pressure on the reins. Make sure you are consistent with your aids so that the horse knows what you are asking of it.

Slow Down

As you regain control, gradually slow down the horse until you can stop it. Make sure to make any transitions or changes in speed gradually, as sudden movements can startle the horse and make it bolt again.

Safety Considerations

When handling a bolting horse, safety should be your number one priority. Make sure you are wearing a helmet and other protective gear, such as boots and gloves. Make sure your horse is wearing a bit and bridle that are properly fitted and are comfortable for the horse.

Choose the Right Location

When riding a bolting horse, choose an area with plenty of open space and no obstacles or other horses. This will reduce the chances of the horse becoming startled and bolting.

Know When to Stop

If you are unable to regain control of the horse, it is important to know when to stop. Let go of the reins and get off the horse if it is becoming too dangerous. Do not try to fight the horse or hang onto the saddle, as this can lead to serious injury.


Dealing with a bolting horse can be a challenging experience, but it is possible to handle the situation safely and effectively. Taking the time to prevent a bolting horse by building a strong relationship with your horse and using the right equipment can help to reduce the chances of it occurring. If your horse does start to bolt, remain calm and use your aids to regain control. Finally, make sure to take all necessary safety precautions when dealing with a bolting horse.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you and your horse stay safe and have a pleasant riding experience.