Bucking transition into canter - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-15-2014, 11:34 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
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While I think Cheries post makes brilliant sense, I have tried a different method that seems to work. First, I do lots of trotting first, before I ever ask for the lope. Serpentines, circles, trot for a few miles down the road, whatever works. Wear the edge off, you don't want to approach a problem with a fresh, frisky horse.

Next, as was mentioned by another poster, try asking for a lope up hill. I find if you can set a horse up for success the first few times it will start a good pattern of behaviour.

If it is a truly learned behaviour, with the horse determined to buck the rider off, I find shutting the horse down and then making them work HARD gets the point across. I cant ride a bucking horse. Its a fact I've come to accept. Spook violently? no problem. Unexpectedly leap over things? easy. Spin, bolt, crowhop, I can ride them out, no problem, but if a horse goes to bucking, off I come, usually in a broken heap.

So first, on the ground. If she bucks on the lunge, this is your first problem. A horse should NEVER be allowed to buck while being worked. Not the first saddling, not just to 'get the sillies out', never. When she threatens to buck on the lunge/round pen, change directions repeatedly, work her hard for a minute, and then ask for a lope again. When she is loping properly on the lunge consistently, do the same under saddle. When she starts/threatens to buck, one rein stop, disengage the hind quarters, then put her to work, hard, lots of direction changes at a good hard trot, then ask for a lope again. Horses like to take the easy way out if they can, and once she learns that bucking = more work, she'll give up.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-22-2014, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gssw5 View Post
If you have addressed all the physical problems then I would go with learned behavior. I would say your going to have to ride through it, but not just sit there and let her buck she has to understand it is not acceptable. Provided your groundwork is solid and you have control of her feet on the ground, and if your riding her at a walk and trot you have control of her feet at those speeds, start working on the cantor in a round pen. By starting in a round pen you don't have to worry about steering maybe even get someone to drive her forward from the ground so all you have to do is control her head. First get her going and do lots of direction changes at a walk and trot, if your using a helper they would be signaling for the changes while your riding and steering. Do lots of trotting and get her a little winded and make sure she is really paying attention. When your ready for the canter hold you inside rein and ask for the canter, if she goes to bucking pull her head around to your boot yield her hind end with lots of energy then ask again. If she does canter let her go a few strides then bring her back to a trot for a few strides, change direction and get her cantering again, but only a few strides and then another transition/change direction. Get her thinking about what your going to ask for next so she does not have time to think about bucking. You may only three or four strides at a time if she gives them to you then reward her by letting her trot for a bit. Reward her good behavior, and make the wrong behavior equal work. Once you get four consistent strides go for 5 and so on. Eventually you want to work up to cantering on a loose rein in the round pen, when she finally does leave her alone and let her canter a few circles then change directions and to the other way, let her practice.

Once your both comfortable in the round pen then move to a larger space and start at the beginning, lots of changes of direction, only a few strides at a time. Let her feel comfortable in the new space, reward the smallest effort so she understands and finds comfort in what your doing. Only ask for more when she is ready and quiet her before she quiets you.
Thank you so much for your advice. We did it! She is now cantering around happily. Can't tell you how excited I am after 4 years.
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-22-2014, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WildAtHeart View Post
If it is not pain or discomfort which should [I]always[I] be ruled out first... perhaps it is the way she is being asked to canter. Just a thought. Maybe try lunging her with a rider and have the person on the ground ask her to canter.

The thoroughbred I ride is very sensitive to leg pressure and if I use to much of it asking for the canter she gets upset. She is much happier with my using my seat and voice to ask for the canter.
Thank you for your advice. We used more voice than leg and she responded well.
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-22-2014, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the wonderful advice that has been offered. Following the advice, this week we have had a breakthrough. We asked her to canter after a good warmup in the arena and she started cantering! Since then there has been no looking back. She seems very happy with herself and loving it. I honestly believe that it had a lot to do with our positive attitude. We felt confident and decided to ride her through it. She did not even try to buck! She also liked stronger voice command and a lighter seat. Delighted😄
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