A bucking mystery
Rocky, our 25yr old Appy gelding recently had two weird episodes. Any suggestions are welcome.
We've had him 2 yrs, no problems, other than once, my hubby tried to JUMP/mount him from the ground bareback, and kicked him in the flank , so Rocky helped him off. The last episode before that was about 3 years prior, according to the previous owner, and he was stung by a wasp (as were several other horses on the ride, and he bucked her off, and kept going). Generally, Rocky is very stoic and not reactive, not spooky, and certainly not broncy, the worst habit is that he veers back to the barn.
Sat evening, I was going to ride him, so I had him saddled up, same tack/pad as usual, and was digging in the tack room for his SMBs and when I came out, his eyes bugged out and he reared, then started bucking in place. I got out of the way, he ran bucking the whole way, down the barn aisle, to the end and kept bucking for a minute, then was fine. I peeled the saddle off, looked him over, and assumed he was stung by something, and I killed a wasp in the tack shed. I rode him and he was fine.
But Sunday, I had friends over to ride, and Rocky was tied up, saddled, with a loose cinch. One lady tried to mount him without checking the cinch to see if the stirrups would fit, while he was tied. He bucked her off, kept bucking for a minute, but was very careful not to step on her as she lay there. She said he let out a sad little squeal just before he dumped her. We let him have the day off, and when I unsaddled, he flinched. I can't find anything on him, no burrs or anything on the pad, the saddle fits him the same as it always has, I am careful to groom, and I can't find ANYTHING to trigger it. He's NEVER been like this before, and I would think if it were a back pain, that my riding the night before would have sparked a reaction, but that was before I got on.
Any ideas? He's 25, and this is new,so I doubt it's a training issue, and he is able to gallop in the pasture and jump over puddles just fine, and doesn't react to my poking and pushing on any part of his back,and my being on him didn't trigger it. Do you think the events are related or cooincidence that he may have been stung the day before, and I've never mounted with a loose saddle, so that in itself was the problem the second time, (since he did dump my hubby when goosed in the flank). If he was stung on Sat, the saddle was in the same spot, so I don't see it rubbing or him being stung under it.