Bucking at the canter transition
   

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Bucking at the canter transition

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  • My horse buck in transition from trot to canter
  • FLY BUCKING IN CANTER TRANSISTIONS

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    10-09-2013, 09:00 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Bucking at the canter transition

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for some advice. My horse, who I've had for a little under two months now, has been bucking at the canter transition. It's not a "whooohooo, let's go!" buck, it's an "I don't wanna!" buck. He'll put his ears back and grunt when I give him the leg aid. My first thought was saddle fit and/or sore back, but he's been checked and there is no soreness or fit issue.

He has absolutely no issue on the lunge line with or without his saddle--in fact he canters beautifully and enjoys it. Of course this makes me feel as though there is something about my riding that he is not happy about, but I can't figure out what it is. I've asked for the canter at a nice, collected sitting trot, I've asked at a more extended, working trot, I've asked in half seat and two point. No difference. Typically I work him in a round pen on a loose rein so I don't bump him in the mouth.

Usually after he bucks I calm him down, ask for a better working trot, and focus on something like trot poles or hill work.

So, what do you think--could it be an issue with my riding, or could it be because my horse is pretty green and is still learning how to use and engage his body, especially his hind end, correctly? He's a 16hh, 13 yr old Anglo Arabian and I'm 5'4", 105lbs.

Before I got him, his owner had him for seven years and rarely asked him to canter. He was a trail horse who didn't do much beyond following another horse's butt for a few hours. With that in mind, is it too soon for me to be asking for the canter mounted?

Edit: He always picks up the correct lead, and he's perfectly sound.

Thanks so much everyone!!!
     
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    10-09-2013, 10:09 AM
  #2
Weanling
It sounds like to me he is doing it in protest. He just does not want to canter. After he does his whooo buck. Make him canter faster. If you stop him he is learning. "If I buck I don't have to canter" So you need to ride him through the buck. A lot of horses do this after they have learned they don't have to canter and then when they are asked to they throw a fit like a little kid not getting what he wants. Just try not to brake down into the the trot. If anything, turn his nose into the fence when he starts his buck.
     
    10-09-2013, 10:42 AM
  #3
Started
Quote:
Usually after he bucks I calm him down, ask for a better working trot, and focus on something like trot poles or hill work.
I hate to say this, but this horse has you trained well he's used to just walk/trot, so you ask him to canter and he argues, so you give in and go back to trotting. He wins.

Work him on a loose rein. Ask for lots of transitions. Then ask for a canter and when he tries to buck, give him a tap with your crop, and make him go faster. If its the sort of buck you think may escalate or you are worried about being unseated, do a one rein stop(effectively disengaging the hind quarters), then ask for the transition again, immediately, in a no nonsense sort of way. Wont take him long before going smoothly forward is much more attractive than doing tight circles or getting spanked.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    10-09-2013, 10:53 AM
  #4
Yearling
Agreed, ride him through it. When it's an 'I don't want to' make him canter and ride through all the bucks (also there's nothing wrong with giving him a little tap of the riding crop). Sometimes you have to be blunt and stern if not somewhat mean with them to get a result. He'll figure out cantering is a lot less hassle then your wrath.
     
    10-09-2013, 11:13 AM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
I hate to say this, but this horse has you trained well he's used to just walk/trot, so you ask him to canter and he argues, so you give in and go back to trotting. He wins.

Work him on a loose rein. Ask for lots of transitions. Then ask for a canter and when he tries to buck, give him a tap with your crop, and make him go faster. If its the sort of buck you think may escalate or you are worried about being unseated, do a one rein stop(effectively disengaging the hind quarters), then ask for the transition again, immediately, in a no nonsense sort of way. Wont take him long before going smoothly forward is much more attractive than doing tight circles or getting spanked.
This. My horse occasionally has those "I don't wanna do it" moments, and if he throws a buck he immediately gets spun around, popped, kicked, and told to GO. Like heck you're going to buck! After these incidents he is an angel, and if I say go he asks how fast. Just don't let him break to trot after these events! What may seem like hard work to you he sees as getting away with his bad behavior. You asked for canter, he bucked, he didn't have to canter anymore.
     
    10-09-2013, 11:31 AM
  #6
Yearling
I like the advise you were given also and wanted to add what I did with my guy.

My guy had the same problem and this is what I did, disclaimer: I don't thing this will work with every horse but I think it worked for us. First, my gelding has a very serious personality he just doesn't know how to have fun (I am the same way I think that is why we get along well) if your horse has the same type of personality this might work.

So I felt like he needed to "loosen up" and learn to have fun - instead of associating loping with just work. I thought if I could show him that loping could be fun he wouldn't buck at the transition. So I took him to a friends ranch where we had room to run and I ran him with a few other horses. I didn't give him any corrections, or even where we were going. We raced around with the other horses, jumping over cactus, arroyos what ever and he got to control our speed from an easy lope to full on run. I just gave him permission to have fun and as soon as he realized we were there for fun his whole attitude about it changed. I think who ever had him before rode him pretty hard. I try to keep a fun attitude with him when we ride and make it feel like - loping is fun lets go! My horse just needed a light to click on about it. Since then he goes into the transition without a hitch.

Maybe this will offer a little inspiration.
tinyliny, hamlette and pbeebs like this.
     
    10-09-2013, 12:08 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roux    
I like the advise you were given also and wanted to add what I did with my guy.

My guy had the same problem and this is what I did, disclaimer: I don't thing this will work with every horse but I think it worked for us. First, my gelding has a very serious personality he just doesn't know how to have fun (I am the same way I think that is why we get along well) if your horse has the same type of personality this might work.

So I felt like he needed to "loosen up" and learn to have fun - instead of associating loping with just work. I thought if I could show him that loping could be fun he wouldn't buck at the transition. So I took him to a friends ranch where we had room to run and I ran him with a few other horses. I didn't give him any corrections, or even where we were going. We raced around with the other horses, jumping over cactus, arroyos what ever and he got to control our speed from an easy lope to full on run. I just gave him permission to have fun and as soon as he realized we were there for fun his whole attitude about it changed. I think who ever had him before rode him pretty hard. I try to keep a fun attitude with him when we ride and make it feel like - loping is fun lets go! My horse just needed a light to click on about it. Since then he goes into the transition without a hitch.

Maybe this will offer a little inspiration.
This is what I'm thinking will be the most effective method of teaching him, but right now I just get so frustrated that I'm a little worried that he'll do the same thing, and I'll discipline him, and he'll continue to associate cantering with hard work. And right now, granted, it IS hard work for him. He is not in the best shape ever, but he's definitely in enough shape to canter.

I do want to add, in my own defense, that I NEVER let my horse stop cantering when he bucks. We go until he canters and we stop on my terms. When I said I make him do trot poles and hill work, it's because I absolutely do not want him to learn that ugly canter transitions (i.e. From a horrible trot or immediately after bucking) are acceptable canter transitions. I just wasn't as clear as I should have been.

I am just tired of arguing with him.
     
    10-09-2013, 12:22 PM
  #8
Showing
How much ring work vs trail riding? He may be getting ring sour. If there are hills in your area, ride to one and see how he is when you canter up the hill as that is the gear most horses prefer to use with a hill. As for ring work, I agree with the crop. Give him a tap behind your leg (not on the rump) when he starts to pin his ears not later. Depending on his level of sensitivity, he may need to only think he's going to get a tap to change his attitude.
     
    10-09-2013, 02:27 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamlette    
This is what I'm thinking will be the most effective method of teaching him, but right now I just get so frustrated that I'm a little worried that he'll do the same thing, and I'll discipline him, and he'll continue to associate cantering with hard work. And right now, granted, it IS hard work for him. He is not in the best shape ever, but he's definitely in enough shape to canter.

I do want to add, in my own defense, that I NEVER let my horse stop cantering when he bucks. We go until he canters and we stop on my terms. When I said I make him do trot poles and hill work, it's because I absolutely do not want him to learn that ugly canter transitions (i.e. From a horrible trot or immediately after bucking) are acceptable canter transitions. I just wasn't as clear as I should have been.

I am just tired of arguing with him.
He sounds like he does the same thing my colt did. Just work him out of it and if he is arena sour then let him just trail ride. On all of my roping or my mom's barrel horses we trail ride a lot I also pull logs on them go ride in the woods jump things. Just to do something different and get they're brains refreshed. And it gives them something new to do. I also agree with what another person said just run them and let them open up and stretch they're legs. Also the crop ideas are great I prefer spurs tho just for the fact it allows me to give them different cues.
     
    10-09-2013, 02:35 PM
  #10
Weanling
Do you wear spurs or use a whip? My guy will once in a while protest with a buck if I ask too much in anticipation of his laziness (one, two, POP LET'S GO!). First, let him know the cue is coming-- for me, this is a slide back with my outside leg and occasionally I'll ask him "ready?" which he's come to learn means "shoot, she's going to ask for something"... haha! Then ask for the canter. Or, if you're at a walk, ask for the trot and then the canter in succession so he doesn't feel rushed into it. It's important that he is given appropriate time to interpret your cue and do what you ask.

I tend to agree with what other people have mentioned, though... ;) He has your number. If he bucks, push him harder into the canter. Carrying a dressage whip is useful-- if he bucks, whap him one (gently) by your outside leg as if to ask, "pay attention and move forward!". If he bucks again, sit through it and whap him again. Rinse and repeat until he moves FORWARD. He needs to learn that he doesn't get to act out; whether he doesn't want to canter or whether he doesn't like a whip tap, he has to respect his rider.
     

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