3 Things to Know: Runaway Horse!

Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Allison Price

Horses that are out of control can be a problem. Three key concepts will be highlighted here. 1.) How to stop a horse learning to bolt. 2.) How to dissuade a horse from running away. 3.) 3.) How to stop an escapee horse in an emergency…in case 1 and 2 don’t work.

This information will help you to inoculate against the most frightening event of riding: The Runaway.

Prevention is the best way to stop a horse running away. Learn how to prevent bolting and what to do in an emergency.

1.) Prevention. This topic is covered in detail in a feature written by John Lyons and Brandi Lyons . John explains how small disobediences, such as when your horse is trying to mount, can lead to a mindset where your horse may think about running away.

Brandi then explains a step by step method to get the horse’s “bake-in” stopping response. The training starts in a calm environment that is conducive to learning. Brandi then introduces distractions and challenges to help your horse understand that your stopping cue must always be heard , no matter what.

This approach, if followed religiously, will make your horse a willing partner who is always under your control no matter what happens around him.

Runaway Horse

2.) Deterrence. Unexpected influences can overwhelm your horse’s training, and you fear that he might take off with you, or rear. Or buck. A one stop will be your best friend. Excited horses will get even more excited if they are pulled back on the reins. You can solve this problem by drawing his head around while you disconnect his “motor”, which is essentially stepping to the side and putting his hind legs on the side.

Your horse should learn the one-rein stop as part of their regular training. He will be able to respond in an emergency situation.

It is important to note that the one rein stop is and not. This maneuver should be used if your horse has already been at full gallop as it can pull him off-balance. You should not use the one-rein stop in a true runaway situation, which 1 and 2 are intended to avoid. Instead, you should…

3.) Emergencies. The emergency pulley stop is an effective way to bring your horse to a halt if he’s not paying attention. You will need to shorten the reins and then hold one hand on the neck of your horse, gripping the mane with the other. Next, raise the other rein upwards and pull toward your shoulder (not towards your hip). The braced rein prevents your horse from bending his neck while the pulley reign exerts leveraged pressure that will get his attention.

To understand the workings of the pulley, you need to see it in action. You can then use it only when you need it, since it exerts extreme pressure on the sensitive areas of your horse’s mouth. You won’t need it if you have already followed the concepts 1 and 2.

One final caution: Seek professional help if your horse has a history of running away. Experts can help you identify the root cause of your horse’s behavior and show you how to prevent him from returning to it.

It is all about finding the best solution to the problem.


One-rein stop.

Emergency pulley-rein stop.





Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!