What is the best way to handle a horse that bucks at the canter?
 
 

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What is the best way to handle a horse that bucks at the canter?

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  • My horse bucks in canter
  • Im worried my horse will buck

 
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    03-31-2011, 06:41 PM
  #1
Foal
What is the best way to handle a horse that bucks at the canter?

There is this horse I ride, Norman, who has had a pretty bad past. He's hurt a lot of people, very badly too. It wasn't really his fault though, because the saddles they used on him never fit, and he was jumped and everything with a hurt back, and he's thrown a lot of people as well. He was then bought by a lady I work with, so he's not my horse or anything, I just ride him, but I'm close to him like he's my horse too. He's gone through therapy for his back, so it's better now. Anyway, Norman bucks at the canter. Right now, I only walk and trot him, which he's fine with, but pretty soon I want to try to canter him. I'm not really afraid of him, but I would like some good advise on how to handle a horse that does this. Also, What is the best way to prepare for a buck, and what can you do to keep yourself safe if the horse is bucking? It normally wouldn't worry me, but a lot of people have gotten hurt very badly from being thrown off of him, and I don't want to end up in the hospital...
     
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    04-02-2011, 11:31 AM
  #2
Foal
Right I'm going to assume you've had his teeth checked and you've had his saddle checked.

Depending on how he bucks...

If its just lifting his back end a few feet on the floor and you're well balanced just keep a contact and put your leg on. Once he realises he's not in pain he may stop bucking and you can just ride him through it. I would try this under most circumstances, even if he's broncing if you can stay on. Once you have a couple of nice strides of canter out of him bring him back to a trot then walk and give him loads of praise. . But be warned it may take a while for him to stop bucking and you may have a few weeks of this.

As for staying on... I can't remember how I do it I just do. ..

To stop him bucking to begin with, try not to let him get his head between his knees (easier said than done) and if it helps you keep your balance don't be afraid to move with his movement. Does this help??
     
    04-02-2011, 03:46 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by welshies rule    
right I'm going to assume you've had his teeth checked and you've had his saddle checked.

Depending on how he bucks...

If its just lifting his back end a few feet on the floor and you're well balanced just keep a contact and put your leg on. Once he realises he's not in pain he may stop bucking and you can just ride him through it. I would try this under most circumstances, even if he's broncing if you can stay on. Once you have a couple of nice strides of canter out of him bring him back to a trot then walk and give him loads of praise. . But be warned it may take a while for him to stop bucking and you may have a few weeks of this.

As for staying on... I can't remember how I do it I just do. ..

To stop him bucking to begin with, try not to let him get his head between his knees (easier said than done) and if it helps you keep your balance don't be afraid to move with his movement. Does this help??
Yes, this helps(: I think it will be a good idea to try cantering him for a short period, and then give him a ton of praise if he does it nicely. Also, I'm not sure what his buck is like, because I have never experienced it, but I'm assuming he bucks high, because in his past he once bucked someone sending them right over his head when the person tried to ride him bareback. So, I guess for now, I should just wait and see how his canter goes.
     
    04-03-2011, 07:03 AM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by welshies rule    
once you have a couple of nice strides of canter out of him bring him back to a trot then walk and give him loads of praise. . But be warned it may take a while for him to stop bucking and you may have a few weeks of this.
Many horses that have been allowed to 'run free', 'play', get excited, and pick their own speed above the trot wind up bucking, I.e. Telling you they want to go-go-go. The above advice is good...do a lot of trot/canter transitions to reinforce that you have the speed control.

Quote:
to stop him bucking to begin with, try not to let him get his head between his knees (easier said than done)
Yes...if you feel or sense his head going down, get the head back up, go back to a trot, and start over. Be careful not to get in him mouth more than necessary, though...some clever horses will switch from trying to buck to rearing to escape the bit.

Quote:
...and if it helps you keep your balance don't be afraid to move with his movement.
The biggest challange is to avoid a very natural reaction to tense up and 'hold on'. When you tense, you stiffen and lose your ability to move with the horse. I may sound stupid, but to the best of your ability try and ride it out just like nothing unusual is happening.
     
    04-03-2011, 08:35 AM
  #5
Showing
With a chronic bucker, IMO slowing him down or stopping him when/while he does it will only reinforce for him that if he bucks he won (got out of working). If you want to really fix it be prepared to ride him through it. When he bucks keep enough pressure on him that he can't get his nose between his knees and give him more leg and push him through the bucking. Once he stops and relaxes for several strides then break him back down to a trot or walk and let him stew about what he just learned. Repeat. Over and over until he eventually realizes that bucking = more work. They are naturally lazy creatures by habit, this is why give/release & working harder for correction are both effective training tools.

PHM is so right that the biggest challenge is to avoid the natural reaction to tense up your body. When I first started training on my own that was the hardest part for me to work through. Now this is going to sound silly and feel free to laugh at me (I do frequently!) I would imagine myself as the first woman riding in the PBR finals...silly but it helped. I even nicknamed the first pally bucker I worked with Bodacious after the bull. That was 15+ years ago, now it's just another day at the office :)
     
    04-03-2011, 04:19 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
Many horses that have been allowed to 'run free', 'play', get excited, and pick their own speed above the trot wind up bucking, I.e. Telling you they want to go-go-go. The above advice is good...do a lot of trot/canter transitions to reinforce that you have the speed control.



Yes...if you feel or sense his head going down, get the head back up, go back to a trot, and start over. Be careful not to get in him mouth more than necessary, though...some clever horses will switch from trying to buck to rearing to escape the bit.



The biggest challange is to avoid a very natural reaction to tense up and 'hold on'. When you tense, you stiffen and lose your ability to move with the horse. I may sound stupid, but to the best of your ability try and ride it out just like nothing unusual is happening.
I definitely agree on the last thing you said. I have actually been working on that. I found my self doing that one time, the very first time I cantered a horse, and I realized it's a lot better to relax and let the horse move you with its rhythm. I generally am very relaxed when riding, so I probably won't have to worry about that part anymore. When ever a horse does a random, spooked move, my first instinct is too focus on how to relax him and keep my self centered, rather than holding on..
Also, I just experienced a minor buck with Norman today(: I didn't even know it was a buck at first, lol, so I am probably worrying about it more than I need too. I kept my balance very well though. I can usually always sense their tension and it helps me to move with their movement. Anyway, the buck wasn't at the canter though, I was only walking him... Actually, he was probably standing still lol. But it wasn't anything I did, I think his bit was in his mouth upside down accidentally (I don't know for sure) and it was irritating him. If it wasn't that, than it must have been the bees flying near him. He get's annoyed by bugs.
     
    04-04-2011, 07:37 AM
  #7
Lis
Yearling
I was told by my instructor to bring the horse onto a tight circle, keep the pace going but make him circle.
     
    04-04-2011, 11:44 AM
  #8
Foal
Maybe it would be a good idea to longe him at the canter and see how he bucks (high, low, hard, etc).

Also make sure you don't lean forward when he bucks.
     
    04-04-2011, 03:36 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHorse    
Maybe it would be a good idea to longe him at the canter and see how he bucks (high, low, hard, etc).

Also make sure you don't lean forward when he bucks.
Maybe that would be a good idea. I never thought of lunging him.
     
    04-06-2011, 05:19 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
With a chronic bucker, IMO slowing him down or stopping him when/while he does it will only reinforce for him that if he bucks he won (got out of working).
I'm not sure if this was in response to what I said about a few strides of canter then loads of praise but what I meant was that once the rider had ridden through the bucks and had a few decent strides say 20metres worth to slow then praise.

Was that not what it sounded like I meant?? Sorry its just Im not always brill at expressing myself x
     

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