Bucking Gets You Nothing - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-18-2013, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington State
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I certainly appreciate all of the advice and input from everyone!

The one rein stop is my go-to when horses are being naughty... but for whatever reason I must not be employing it correctly with her or something. I don't really like having to yank her head around (it seems to make things escalate even more). In the latest case, our little fiasco began with a bolt. She started cantering and veered off course. I pulled her head around until she started to slow down, at which point I started to release her head -- at which point she promptly bucked me off.

I think that I probably started to release her from the one rein stop too early. Also, she wasn't really yielding her hindquarters. She had her head flexed around, but she was still throwing most of her weight out the outside shoulder.

((And yes, physical pain issues have been ruled out. She had a full check up with the vet three weeks ago, had a massage a bit over a month ago, and her saddle was professionally fitted. Vet, horse masseuse, and saddle fitter all seemed to agree that there's nothing wrong with her physically. It's almost certainly a behavioral thing.))
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post #12 of 24 Old 09-19-2013, 12:52 AM
Green Broke
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I agree with your take on this, Eolith - you probably did release your one rein stop too early. She needs to come to a complete stop, neck flexed with nose as close as possible to your leg and when she comes to the stop she must give to the pressure on the rein (in other words put slack in it) and only then do you release it. Just to be safe, while you have her stopped then you should immediately follow with lateral flexion exercises on both reins.

With regard to 'yanking' her head around, it's not so much that as it is pulling it around. I don't know if I'm going to explain this right but a good one rein stop is a series of moving your hand the right length down the rein, making the contact with the bit, then smoothly pulling the head around in a controlled manner to the proper position and all done at lightning speed. Practise makes perfect with this one - both for you and your horse.
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post #13 of 24 Old 09-19-2013, 02:54 AM
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Could you maybe have somebody else get on her that is used to sticking her kind of bucks? I'm just wondering if she's starting to think that getting you off might mean it makes her job easier. Maybe if someone can stick her bucks a few times she might realise it's not useful for her.

I love one rein stops for this purpose as well (even though I'm one of those weirdos that enjoys a bucking horse for the ride and the challenge). I agree with your thought on releasing it too early.

I hope you get this sorted, one rein stops don't work for one of my horses because she's so darn flexible she just keeps going even with her nose literally touching my knee. The other one locks his neck if I don't do the stop fast enough, little toe rag.

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-19-2013, 10:59 AM
Green Broke
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I pulled her head around until she started to slow down, at which point I started to release her head -- at which point she promptly bucked me off.
yep, you missed the point of the exercise. Its a one rein STOP. You reach down the rein, pull it smoothly to your hip, and ask the horse to disengage it hindquarters(effectively disconnecting its 'power source' and stopping the bolt/buck), then wait for the horse to come to a stop. There should be no yanking.
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post #15 of 24 Old 09-19-2013, 11:59 AM
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Personally, I think I would avoid the canter for a bit, at least until you get a handle on this. But you are on the right track.

Love the horse in your avatar!

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #16 of 24 Old 09-19-2013, 03:53 PM
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My horse had, still has, problems with the canter. She was started in barrel racing before she had any foundation at all, and I think the whole idea of run/canter really frightened her.

I'm not young; when I got her back from my trainer, I put her in a Pelham, which has a curb bit and chain. I did use it a few times---to help get her attention, and then I could go into the ORS.

Second, I approached the canter as a "trick." I taught her to canter on the lunge by word command, and hand gesture; then, with an assistant to stand in the middle of the circle, we went through the EXACT same commands, the only difference being, she was mounted, and I was holding on to her mane. Short sessions, lots of treats.

There was NO confusion, and it worked well. I soon changed to the snaffle. For several months, her "prepare to canter" aid was my taking hold of her mane!

Please be careful, and give yourself permission to GET OFF whenever you feel the situation is getting dangerous.
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post #17 of 24 Old 09-23-2013, 04:38 PM
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Although many might disagree with me, if my horse ever bucked me off I would be after her so fast. My horse once threatened to buck and I got off and moved her hind end while smacking her in the butt. She learned quickly not to try that again and the look on her face was a mix of fear/respect. Fear isn't always a bad thing. My mare should be scared to mess with me. When bucking is a problem, serious injury if very possible and I don't care how comfortable or relaxed she is. She should be spinning her butt if I even look at it.
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-23-2013, 05:10 PM
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Good advice so far. The only thing I have to add:

What happened AFTER she bucked you off Eolith? If you still had a hand on your reins, and could get to your feet quickly, I would work. her. butt. off. from the ground, immediately. Especially disengaging the hindend.

Even the best of riders get bucked off sometimes. But you can still get your point across from the ground, if you can get yourself up and going within the 3 second "correction time limit". Just like with anything, a horse doesn't make the connection to the wrong act if you don't correct within 3 seconds.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-23-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I lost my grip on the reins (combination of instinctively reaching out to break my fall and not really wanting to be dragged). She scurried off to the other side of the arena and I had to scrape myself off the ground before I could get her... so I missed the optimum time slot for really getting after her.

Since this little incident, my trainer and I have been riding consistently without incident. She tried throwing a fit with my trainer once (didn't escalate to bucking fortunately), but the trainer rode it through.

Yesterday she actually earned herself a gold star. We were riding down a single lane neighborhood road with dense vegetation on each side when a car came up. The driver honked at us and tail gated us until I was able to ride far enough up the road to find a clear area to get out of the way. Eva didn't react to the honk (thank goodness) and calmly walked up the road and off to the side despite the driver following closely. I was more than a little pissed at the driver, but SO thankful for my green mare's good behavior.
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-27-2013, 08:04 PM
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I would go back to groundwork. 99% of problems that people have on the back of a horse is because of the lack or inconsistency of the groundwork beforehand. Especially with Mustangs, the groundwork is important. They have to learn to respect, not fear you, and they need to know that you are the leader. Once they learn this, they will willingly obey you.

Take her to the round pen and take of the halter. Work on her forward movement, turns, and stopping. When she has is down, then halter her. Do the same. Flexing. Moving around her. Get her backing up. Backing a horse is pivotal, and something that will help them all the way around. I back my horses all over. Into their stall, down the barn hallway, into the wash rack, through gates. It keeps them soft and paying attention, and keeps that respect of 'my bubble'. Then saddle up and do all the same- from the ground still. Flap your stirrups. Put every obstacle in front of her that you can think of. Back her up. Flex her.

After she has had a considerable amount of groundwork done, then you can ride. Now she should have a much better sense of who is the leader, and she will have respect for you. When you are riding, be sure you have a one-rein stop. Have control at all gaits before you move up to the next one. For example, she should be able to walk relaxed on a loose rein and be able to one-rein stop and flex before you move her up to a trot.

If you have a good training regime and stay consistent, you will have less room for mix-ups and mistakes. The only time you can 'work her butt off' or anything like that is if she is fully trained, you know that she knew better, and if she deliberately threw you off. Which, if she has been trained right, she should not ever do this. Most of the problems that people have with their horses are not the horses fault.

I'm not trying to be harsh, but bucking is a serious issue, and I have seen it send many people to the emergency room with severe injuries. It is an issue that needs to be fixed, or it will only get worse with time.

American by birth. Cowgirl by the grace of God. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last edited by KayceeJo; 09-27-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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