One of my worst nightmares is coming off a whirl and bolt spook. It happened to me last year on my mare. She dumped me on the asphalt road half a mile from the house. She had been looking for an excuse for the whole ride and finally found it when the horse we were riding with got his feet tangled in a piece of wire and started bucking. Vooska did the whirl and bolt and I came off. Luckily, I know how to fall and didn't stick my arm out but landed on my shoulder. She took off across the hay field for the barn. My friend, who didn't come off, and I walked across the field and the silly horse came right up to me. I walked her back to the arena where I got on and rode for about 10 minutes just to show her that dumping me doesn't get her a reward.
Last night my daughter and I were riding along the end of the field headed over to the river bottoms. This is a main trail during the summer. There are two houses on the road, one has a dog that we know and is respectful of the horses. But this was the first time we had ridden this way this summer. So the dog blasts out of the driveway barking like mad. The owners are calling but she's ignoring them. Voosh does the whirl and I catch her before the bolt part. The Mare jumps sideways (image 1250 pounds jumping!) but Briar stays on.
I had lost one stirrup but the pommels on my saddle kept me in. I love that saddle!! It's a 1955 Hamley that my uncle gave me two years ago. That's worth a whole post of it's own.
We continued our ride through the gate and down Dead Horse Hill (yes, there's a reason it's called that) but the trail was too soft to continue on to the river. So we turned around and headed back the way we came. The dog was still there, came blasting out again but this time I was prepared for it. I kept Voosh facing the dog and she never did anything more than prick her ears. Amazing the difference in the horse when she can see what is coming at her.
We rode for just over an hour, just a nice walk on the trail. Tonight a friend is hosting training at her arena so we're off to try that.