Bucking at the canter transition
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!!!
Last edited by hamlette; 10-09-2013 at 10:06 AM.