Galloping = Buck!

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Galloping = Buck!

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    02-13-2010, 08:58 PM
Galloping = Buck!

Leia loves going fast. It is really easy to make her go into a gallop, she will leap into in from a stand still if you ask her. She has no problem stopping when I tell her. I didn't even attempt a gallop until I knew her brakes were perfect. But a lot of times, she gets really full of herself and will throw a buck in. She really likes to do this in barrel racing when we make that final stretch. When she does this, I smack her really hard on the butt with the crop and make her spin really fast with her head flexed to the side. But, without fail, once we reach top speed, she bucks. Not a 'BLAST YOU! I'M going to THROW YOU!!' buck, not a 'Ouch! Something hurts!' buck, its a "YAHOOOOOO!!! WEEEE!! FUN!' buck. I've checked for soreness, and I don't gallop her when she's over worked or tired. I have to keep her head cranked up when I gallop her and even then, she throws in an 'Arab-style' kick-thing. Any Suggestions?
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    02-13-2010, 09:55 PM
I currently have a mare that is doing much the same thing -- not to throw me, just a "look what I can do now, mom" kind of thing. We have not progressed to a gallop yet though. In my case, I push her forward more to avoid a succession of bucks, and then bring her back down and do another loop at a canter to tell her, "oh yeah? Well, look what I can do!" Works really well in a foot of snow!

If your girl can kick out at the gallop, she can go faster too -- she is NOT at top speed when she is in mid-buck/kick. I would practice, practice, practice that gallop. Feel for that buck-to-come and urge her faster before she gets a chance to buck.

I don't think I would smack my horse -- I'm not sure she would associate that with the bucking being bad. But then, I basically don't hit my horse at all when I'm riding. Not for any real reason, other than it just doesn't occur to me. I definitely wouldn't spin her either -- not something I want my horse to do. I would turn her if needed to throw her balance off if she went into a fit, but not just for a single buck.

This assumes that you have no problems with her at slower gaits. If you do, then I would start at the slowest gait with problems and move up from there.
    02-13-2010, 10:14 PM
Just yesterday I was on a bareback ride with Sonny and we galloped up the orchards a couple times and walked up and down and around and the last time we ran up the hill we were having a great time. This was until we got to the top of the hill and Sonny's head dropped real low and he started bucking! I couldn't believe it, so I lifted his head up and growled his name and he stopped. I had to laugh afterwords because this is the total opposite of Sonny. He is the good boy of the barn, and I doubt he will ever do it again!!

Dixie bucked once when my friend and I were doubling. Everything was fine with her until we stared to gallop. She just bucked (I was on the front so it was all good!), I think it hurt her kidneys. Anyway Like I did with Sonny I just lifted her head up and growled at her. After we couldn't help but was just our luck.

Works with my horses.....I wouldn't smack her for it.

We've had these horses 4 years and I've only had these two bucking experiences.
    02-13-2010, 10:26 PM
She has absolutely no problems at slower gaits. She NEVER bucks unless we go really fast. She's really perfectly behaved until I 'let her loose' and go full out then she bucks. I spin her because when spinning, the horse can't do anything, buck, rear, etc. and it teaches her that when she does that, she no longer has fun and has to work and do something that is no fun at all. I don't think urging her faster would work because faster makes her really happy and that's when she bucks.
    02-13-2010, 10:42 PM
Ah, but if she goes faster she can't buck. Yes spinning her will throw her off balance, but she might get REALLY good at that, especially since you are already doing barrels. Keep her head no lower than her withers and keep full contact with her mouth. Don't let her stop running until you decide and that is when you know she has more than had enough or is paying full attention to you again. Running is fun, yes, but you must control it right? At present, she is controlling it -- buck = no more running, therefore you are controlling some behaviour, but not the gallop. You need control in the gallop.
    02-13-2010, 11:11 PM
We don't do competitive barrels, just 'just for fun' barrels. :P and I have full controll of where she goes, what speed, and when she stops. I spin, then go back to galloping. She doesnt get out of work.
    02-13-2010, 11:22 PM
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong so I can learn from this....

I don't really know if this will help at all, but My gelding would increase speed during my gallop, unlike you horses way of showing excitement he got more spirited and sped up. Anyway what I did was let him gallop, then before he could get too excited, bring him back down to a lope/canter or even a trot, then go back up to a gallop and come back down just before he got excited again, increasing the amount of time you gallop......He is better now:)
    02-14-2010, 06:30 PM
That sounds like a good idea!
    02-14-2010, 06:46 PM
My boy does this too. He just gets excited and screws his head around and trhows his butt in the air :] Goof.

All I do is give a sharp upward tug on one rein to bring his head up and a touch with my legs to remind him to keep going, as well as growling low in my throat. I don't stop galloping and as soon as it's done I forgive and forget.

A few key points - I don't constantly keep his head up expecting the buck. I want him to be able to gallop on a loose rein - So I give him the loose rein and correct him ONLY when he does something bad.

You always have to give them the opportunity to do the right thing.

Another one - Gallop lots! Go for long gallops, so he gets tired, and it isn't so fun anymore lol. Go for gallops then ask for a sharp turn then power out. Do as many things at a gallop as you can - You want him to learn that gallop is just another pace, not something special to get excited about. You want it just as commonplace as a canter or trot.
    02-14-2010, 06:51 PM
That sounds like really good advice! I'll try it!

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