Sitting a buck - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Sitting a buck

OK, so I'm debating to offer some help to a friend who has been bucked off her haflinger three times. As I posted elsewhere, we have determined that this is a behavioral issue, not pain or fear.

I've never seen him buck, but she says that he doesn't get his head down, so I think they must be what I call "crow hops" -- that I can deal with no problem. However, if he gets into some serious bucking, it's been a while since I've had to deal with that. Any tips on staying on and controlling the bucks? My thoughts are: keep his attention on me, keep his head up, keep my seat down, low and back and keep my hands and heals down. Anything else? This weekend may be the time, so any advice is appreciated!
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 10:03 PM
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i don't have any suggestions, but im curious to hear the answer as i would like to know too :)
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 03:28 AM
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What I do, is immediately bring the horse into an extremely tight circle so they get a bit off balance and have difficulty bucking. At the same time, I shout and slap them on the rump to make it an unpleasant experience. The horse soon learns that bucking = discomfort and learns not to do it. However, I only do this if I know its a behavioural issue, as NM has described.

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 08:15 AM
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For all my years in the saddle I can't make it to the buzzer with a real bucking horse. Crow hop ... yes; kicking out ... yes; head down between their legs and rear end up ... no.

On my Western saddle I have a "night latch". That is a strap that circles the swell and goes through the center. I was just reading that it was originally used by long riders (Dr. and other riders to keep them in the saddle for extremely long hours). Anyway, it gives me something to hold on to if I think a horse is going to buck - that is the only way I can stay seated. Once I have my wits about me, I'll pull their head up and back them all the while shouting in a menacing voice (usually obscenities). You need to be careful that you don't cause them to rear by grabbing the reins too tight and pulling them over.

I've found that 90% of those horses that really buck will buck themselves out after a few moments so if you can stay seated, it teaches them that you are not going anywhere. Same thing for crow hopping.

A horse that kicks out is sometimes just a cold back horse and with those I'll warm them up before getting in the saddle. Even after I'm in the saddle I won't canter those horses until they are throughly warmed up.

Oh, and what I forgot to mention is that if you can't sit a buck then you've taught them that they can stop working that way. The moral of the story is that you have taught them something by either sitting or not sitting the buck.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.

Last edited by iridehorses; 10-11-2008 at 08:33 AM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for the great replies! My friend and I have agreed that she may just plainly have to learn how to sit the bucks, but she broke a rib a few weeks back and I think she's a little nervous now. Hence, my upcoming offer to try him out. I totally agree that one way or the other, at the end of the bucking the horse has learned something and we have to make sure he's learned that it's not good and doesn't give him success in anything.

If this happens, I will try to remember to be really angry with him (I probably will anyway - that's my personality) and to make it miserable for him while bucking and pleasant when he's not.

I'm also going to look into this "night latch" thing. Sounds like a very good idea for us. Thanks!

I'll certainly post with the story after I ride him!
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 12:38 PM
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sit back and pull his head up!

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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NM, here are a couple of websites that I found:

HorseThink Western Grab Strap -- Nightlatch

Cowboy Night Latch

Printable Catalog : Platte Valley Saddle Shop (you need to scroll down a little on this one)

I made mine from an old strap that I had. Good luck with your horse!

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 07:48 PM
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I don't know this horse and I'm far from an expert, but I would be completely sure it isn't from pain or discomfort.

My horse is an ex-race horse, and I've been bucked off too many times to count, most of which were before last summer when we figured out that his hip had been out of place for a couple of years, before I got him and when he was on the track. It didn't show up because I wasn't working him hard enough for anything to get too sore, but when I started to finally do something more with him, he came up extremely lame.

Btu for the bucking, just sit deep and keep your center of balance right in the middle. Pull him in a circle, a really tight one, or turn his head into the wall. Keep your heals down and turn your toe out, because it helps you keep your seat... Or all of this works for me, anyway. (:

Good luck!
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-13-2008, 07:25 PM
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Easy to say but hard to do - stay loose and relaxed If you are tense then it is so much easier for them to ping you out of the saddle, while if you are flexible you'll tend to mold to the movement.

Never yell at a horse, they will pick up on the anxiety in your voice and know that they have already won the battle. A deep menacing growl is a lot better.

Other than that, all I can say is always be aware of your body position, even a slight tilt forward can be open huge doors to be thrown out of. If/when he buck drive him forward.

Good luck
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-15-2008, 11:00 AM
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My horse is not a frequent bucker, however when we used to do jumping on occassion he would get a little to excited and throw me some bucks. Now, I have been on push button horses and very difficult ill mannered horses. My horses bucks are by FAR the worst I have ever felt or seen! He could really be a bucking bronco, lol...

Anyway, I have learned how to keep my seat and predict this out burst.

Some horses give signs, twitching ears, tail, anxious feeling you notice in your seat. Moving them forward is always a help- the more forward they are moving the hard it is for them to get their butt in the air...

Someone said doing circles- YES! If they have already thrown you a buck circles help and through them off balance.

I can tell when Fin is going to have a little "fit" I just lean back push him on and make him work harder in whatever gate I am in, and if that fails or I dont catch it intime... Circles save me!!

Hope my expierence helps!!

"Alis Volat Propriis"

"Good things come to those who wait..."
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