Bucking when asked to canter! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Bucking when asked to canter!

my horse is 13 years old, very sweet and is great at everything we ask of him...except when we canter. when cantering free lunging, or on lunge line with saddle he doesn't buck. when we ride only to the left lead he bucks, the other lead he does not, normally, except the other day he was bucking, squeling, and at one point running side ways, both ways. I ask from the trot, don't surprise him, and i am not kicking him in the sides like a barbarion either! we do keep short reins when asking because he has history. 2 owners before me (if that makes sense) they had to get rid of him because he was bucking during jump courses, so he has history of bucking when asked to canter left lead. We don't know what to do, and sometimes i ask for canter and he is fine and goes into it. Even on his good lead he normally squels before cantering. The vet has come and says he is fine, just a bad boy, but I would like to think he is a good boy, the chiropractor has come but, it doesn't seem to really help. we currently do stretching before riding too.

Thanks for anybodys help!
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 11:30 AM
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First: please have a professional check the saddle fit. The canter is the only gait with an odd number of beats, and a lot of problems with saddle fit become evident with weight in the saddle at the canter. I had a friend with a very touchy mare - when she was saddle shopping, she would get either the "thumbs up" or not at the canter. The mare would tolerate some saddles ok at the walk and trot, then explode in the canter. This was even with professional help throughout.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 11:42 AM
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My horse does exactly the same! its only a little buck, but would be better if she didnt go it, its only when she goes into canter in the school.

The saddle has been professionaly checked too!

i dont know why she does it, any ideas?
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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like have the vet check my saddle fit? or the chiropractor?
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 11:58 AM
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No, a professional, certified saddle fitter. You can ask around your local tack stores in regards to finding one in your area :) it's almost a science, and something that vets nor chiros generally have training in.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 03:17 PM
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Of course he's not a "bad boy" but this sort of thing gets to be a habit. Once you're sure the saddle is ok, you'll have to have someone who can just ride it out. I didn't have anyone, but I did have someone who could help on the ground. After lunging nicely, I'd take off the lunge, hop on, and ask for exactly the same canter. Having someone in the center of the circle helped keep her attention. A round pen would make things easier. (It's taken a long time, longer than if I'd had professional help.)
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-25-2011, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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ok and I don't own him, its more of a leaseing thing? so is this something i should work through or.....start looking at other horses?
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-29-2011, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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hey Vogue24 something I have tried resently is my bucking horse western. now he has never ridden western but i lunged him the other day with western saddle and it allows for him to move much more fluidly and freely so if you ride english I would give it a shot!!
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-29-2011, 12:58 PM
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My mare used to buck when asked to canter but only under saddle. After we got her saddle checked out we figured out that it was actually my fault because I was asking her too fast. Now I actually have to count 1,2,3 canter and leg so she doesn't buck. I don't know if it will help your guy but maybe its worth a try?
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-29-2011, 01:15 PM
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First, definitely check your saddle fit. It can sometimes be really hard to find a pro saddle-fitter in the area, so if it's not possible, or too expensive, there are a lot of videos and websites online that can teach you some basics on saddle fit. More then likely, if the saddle is the major problem, one of these informational sites will give you enough info that you can find the problem yourself (look for things like bridging, dry spots, etc). You might then find information on corrective pads, or you might need a different saddle altogether.

If you don't think it's the saddle or can't find anything wrong with the fit, it's likely just behavioral. I used to ride a TB mare that bucked when you asked to canter and after many saddle fittings and vet/chiropractor appointments, everything seemed perfectly healthy. They said it was just that she had learned that bucking would scare the rider so they would stop asking and she could work less. Have you ever seen someone else ride him? Or have you considered having a trainer ride him and get their opinion on it? That might give you a better idea as to what's going on. The biggest thing is to determine whether he is bucking from pain, or just being naughty and someone who is experienced not just in riding but in training horses might be able to help you make that distinction.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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