What to do after a horse bucks? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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What to do after a horse bucks?

Since I have broken in my gelding, Luca, he has ever really done anything REALLY BAD. A few suspicious shying episodes here and there, but once I ride past the "scary thing", he calms down immediately and never has a prob with it the next time I ride him near it. He also gives some "greenie bucks" VERY rarely, but I really don't want this becoming a habit. The only bucks I've ever had from him were when I was cantering him around a corner and ONCE when I was galloping up a hill, he slipped a bit and gave a surprised buck. And those aren't the types of bucks that want to get rid of the rider, his bucks are VERY easy to ride and he only does ONE buck in a bucking episode. Just one playful, happy buck. But I don't want him thinking that this is okay...I know how ugly things could get for us. So...what should I do after he has bucked? When he did that buck up the hill, I immediately pulled up his head, slowed him down to a trot, then a walk and turned him around and went slowly down the hill and then repeated the gallop up. He didn't buck then. Did I do the right thing? What do you do after your horse (or any horse you ride) has bucked?

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post #2 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 07:15 PM
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Provided I'm still on the horse and not on the ground.....I get the head up as best I can and ride them forward aggressively and depending on the nature of the buck I may spank his butt.....I don't like pulling in circles because It makes me feel like the horse isn't moving forward, nor is he bucking but he may become unbalanced....it's just a personal preference.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 07:20 PM
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I call the kind of bucks you're talking about "Bunny Bucks" because a rabbit would buck harder than the horse is. That doesn't mean they're ok, just that they aren't a huge deal because they're generally also not really meant to be naughty. My guy is very green too, and has done that type of buck after he does a spook, usually because he was really surprised. I just make sure I have his head up and I spur him forward, HARD, one time. As soon as he gets going forward again without any further naughtiness, I just let it pass.
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, thank you!
Next time he does a "bunny buck" (awesome name for those bucks btw ) instead of making him turn around, I will spur him forward ONCE.
Thanks for the advice, you two! :)

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post #5 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 07:30 PM
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I agree with getting after him and making him work hard whenever he tosses one at you. I do like to turn them in little tiny circles when they buck (providing terrain is safe enough) and then let them straighten out and go right back to what we were doing before.

ETA: Be careful about "spurring" him forward, especially if he's never been bumped hard with a spur before. I've seen a lot of times...and had it happen to me, where a rider bumps a hopping horse with a spur and suddenly finds themselves right in the middle of a real rodeo.

I prefer spanking their butt with a bridle rein because I've found that tends to encourage forward better than legs do.
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Oops, I don't know why I said "spur him on"....because I don't use spurs
He's a horse who responds well to leg aids WHEN HE WANTS TO but if you combine leg aids with voice commands he's great. A little circle after bucking would be hard, since it's on a hill and he could get unbalanced, but I'll try making him go faster next time he bucks....which I hope he won't!

My sister's horse did little crow hops when he cantered, but that was because my sister instinctively leans forward when a horse is going too fast for her or just going fast at all. He didn't like that so he crow hopped. It quickly became a habit and I had to go on him and correct that behaviour. And I do remember now that I made him go faster instead of slowing him down...

But yeah, I'll try making Luca speed up after a buck.

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post #7 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Muppetgirl View Post
Provided I'm still on the horse and not on the ground....
Funny, I read the title and the answer that came to mind was "Get back on"

With the Greenie bunny bucks, as long as you are sitting them OK, you may find that just swearing loudly is enough I had one off of Ben, and I just told him to quit it, it was while I was asking for impulsion on a circle, so he found himself working VERY hard on the circle for a couple of minutes, poor boy! But the telling off was enough, don't overreact if it is just little ones.
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 08:11 PM
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My boy will do occasional bucks, mainly from excitement on windy days, and I just give him a sharp "HEY!" In a growly voice and work his butt in a circle or figure 8, then carry on as we were doing. If its a buck because he's being pissy though, he gets a sharp smack on the butt along with the growl and being worked hard.
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post #9 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, the swearing or growling might actually work! Luca responds very well to voice commands and when I say a loud "NO!" he knows exactly that it means "quit it!" and he will stop doing whatever he's doing (he keeps testing me by trying to nip me, but I've sorted THAT out already).

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post #10 of 27 Old 05-29-2013, 08:31 PM
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This post is SO timely for me today.

My coming 3 yr old has been doing super, all month long. He gets ridden 1-2 times a week, although I am working towards riding him more consistently. Buy anyway, today he spooked a couple times and the first time he sort of spun and put his head down and stiffened up like he was going to buck but didn't.

But he second time he spooked, my friend's horse who was in front of us sort of sunk into a hole and kind of lunged out of it and my guy kind of freaked and bucked twice with me. He sort of bucked in place and didn't go anywhere and I stayed on him just fine. But it left me feeling so disappointed that he bucked with me at all, know what I mean? It WAS windy today but he was also windy yesterday when I rode him and he didn't buck yesterday.

He spooked with me last fall and I was wearing spurs and I got bucked off and it shook my confidence, even though it was largely my fault.

This year he has been doing great and I was just disappoint that the buck is still in him. It was mild bucking...bunny bucking as you say. I just hollered at him, pulled his head up and kept on riding. Hope that was an okay response. I certainly don't want to encourage it.

But anyway, I am happy to read this thread and see that this is sort of normal in greenies. I think my guy has about 4 months on him (two with the trainer and two with me) max.

My best friend assures me he is a baby and will have baby moments and to keep on riding and not worry about it. So this post is timely for me.
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