Got bucked off, then not, why did it happen?
   

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Got bucked off, then not, why did it happen?

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    03-02-2013, 11:48 AM
  #1
Foal
Got bucked off, then not, why did it happen?

So I have this mare, she is 10 yrs old, supposedly beginner safe, has done 4h ect. I could tell when I did a test ride that she really responds to leg, but she is resistant to the bit - she flexes from side to side great but not really at all at the pole, and she will hold her mouth open to relieve any contact (no I am not pulling on her mouth). I have been doing some softening exercises with her and she is improving. She also gets a hard eye sometimes so I know she is thinking about things. She also really swishes her tail when I ask for her to give her hind end. I have only ridden her 3 times and I can tell she is super rusty. For being "well trained" and "fully broke" she is not really responding like I hoped. When I asked her for a canter for the first time, she did a full sliding stop and it took me a minute to get her moving again. She wanted to freeze up and I felt the tell tale sign of stiffening that can lead to a bucking fit. I did end up letting her run into the canter, but I would think a well broke horse would be beyond this stage. Oh, and I did have my hubbie ride her bareback once, she really wanted to have her own way and when she got stressed enough she did pop her hind end up once. But he was able to pull her head up and she stopped. On a good note all of her ground manners are impeccable and it seems she may have been used in 4H for halter.

So now you know about her, here is what happened. I had decided that before any more rides I would basically start over with her on ground work and desensitizing. She isn't spooky at all, but I have seen how that can make a horse have a better attitude and in general be a safer ride. It was a nice sunny day for once and she had been doing great at moving from pressure and listening to me on the ground. I decided to have just a small ride. Now the ingredients for this situation are as follows: She was already really rusty when I got her but I could tell at one time she was fully broke, It had been about 2 weeks since I had handled her and ridden her, and I had put a back cinch on her for the first time since I have had her. Now I did some research on uses of the back cinch and found that when it is pretty snug it actually holds the saddle on the back of the horse better. Since my new saddle has full rigging I knew I needed that. So I went ahead and cinched it up pretty good. She didn't bat an eye and showed no indication that it bothered her at all. I did some lunging, bending, driving etc and she did great. Then I decided to ride. Before getting on I tightened both front and back cinch pretty good. She stood there as happy as punch. As soon as I was in the saddle and even before asking her to move out she started in with a good old fashioned bucking. Not crow hopping or pig rooting, just the classic rodeo-popping up and down like a rocking horse from hell-bucking. I didn't know why it was happening and thought maybe the cinch, I bailed. I know, I should have stuck with it but it surprised me so much since she was giving no indication that she was going to do it at all. When I landed and watched, I noticed she did keep bucking for another 10 - 15 sec before stopping. When it was over, she didn't act all upset or scared, just walked around. And when I came to get her she stood quietly like "So, nice day we're having." I didn't take the back cinch off, or loosen anything. I did lunge her in all gaits for about 5 min or less. She was totally fine and not stressed at all. I then got back on, but this time more slowly, with her head flexed over. As soon as I was on, I did not give her head but immediately had her move her hind. I did this for about 2 min and then let her head go to see if she would walk forward, she did and seemed ok, but I did have her give her hind several times more as soon as I felt any resistance. I was able to do a trotting circle with her a couple times and decided to call it good.

So my question to all of you is, What the heck? Was it my fault with the cinch? Is she just going to do that randomly? Like I said she showed no signs of being upset at all before the bucking. I do plan on taking her back to square one since we don't have any kind of relationship yet and to get her really tuned in to me before riding again. I am happy that I was able to get back on. Any and all advice is welcome.
     
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    03-02-2013, 11:53 AM
  #2
Weanling
In my experience, a back cinch should never, ever be tightened to help the saddle fit. If the back of your saddle is popping up when cinched, it does not fit properly. I would buck, too!

This sounds like a saddle fit issue, at first-glance. If the saddle does fit properly, I wouldn't tighten the back cinch (leave it loose) and make sure you lunge her first so that she knows what it feels like to move with it around her belly. Good luck!

ETA... the purpose of the back cinch is actually for roping; it prevents the saddle from popping up off of the horse when a rope (attached to livestock, of course, haha) is tied to the horn and the roper dismounts, I believe.
     
    03-02-2013, 12:23 PM
  #3
Foal
I did check the saddle fit and it was fine, no popping up at all, I just like to really research everything and I probably over did it on the back cinch. I mean, I did have it really tight. I had a trainer tell me that it should almost be as tight as the front cinch. I will make sure not to do it again. My question is: If that had been the problem, wouldn't she have told me as I was tightening it, or as I lunged her the first time? I didn't jump on her cold, she had been worked with the back cinch pretty tight before attempted ride. Granted I did tighten it more before I got on. It would be great if that was the problem, I just really want to make sure. I guess a good sign would be that she didn't do it again when I got back on, where a horse that had learned to buck to get riders off would try again... right?
     
    03-02-2013, 12:26 PM
  #4
Foal
Also, is this normal behavior for being rusty (resistant to bit, being really bad at que for canter) ?
     
    03-02-2013, 12:37 PM
  #5
Foal
I ride rough country with a tighter than most back cinch. On my rocky I actually ride with a double cinch equally tight front and rear. A back cinch is typically ridden too loose IMO but it doesn't need to be as tight as the front. It is no replacement for saddle fit but if it has more than a finger or two of slack then it does no good. I would lunge her first to be sure she is used to the feeling...then when you ride her do NOT let het buck...take her hind end away, one rein stop etc...but if she learns bad behavior gets you off her back it could create a whole new problem. Good luck.

Cheers!
Les
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    03-02-2013, 12:41 PM
  #6
Foal
Yes, she did get me off the first time, but I did do that one rein stop and hind end moving the second time and she was fine. I will be more aware of this in the future and I hope with extensive ground work she will be in a better state of mind to accept things.
     
    03-02-2013, 01:05 PM
  #7
Weanling
About why your horse didn't react when you tightened the back cinch-- think about how much the abdomen moves when the horse moves. I think that having the back cinch rub against that movement and/or pinch might have had her attention once she started moving. :) It was a new sensation on a very sensitive area.

As for being rusty... what kind of bit are you using?

For her canter cues, it may be possible that she doesn't have the right kind of muscle built up to launch herself into a canter without running into it, and that might take lots of trotting and time. Or-- she's just being lazy! In that case, I wouldn't be afraid to get after her with another aid, even if it's just whapping her with your split reins. Ask first, then tell.

I hope this is good advice! Ha. Anyone else?
     
    03-02-2013, 01:10 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by doityourself    
I did check the saddle fit and it was fine, no popping up at all, I just like to really research everything and I probably over did it on the back cinch. I mean, I did have it really tight. I had a trainer tell me that it should almost be as tight as the front cinch. I will make sure not to do it again. My question is: If that had been the problem, wouldn't she have told me as I was tightening it, or as I lunged her the first time? I didn't jump on her cold, she had been worked with the back cinch pretty tight before attempted ride. Granted I did tighten it more before I got on. It would be great if that was the problem, I just really want to make sure. I guess a good sign would be that she didn't do it again when I got back on, where a horse that had learned to buck to get riders off would try again... right?
I leave the back cinch half an inch off the tummy, otherwise even the most well broke horses will buck. As they are trying to move it may restrict them or rub against their stomach and cause them tto buck
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    03-02-2013, 01:13 PM
  #9
Foal
Existentialpony Thank you! I had an "aha" moment when I read your post. So that extra tightening was enough to put her over the comfort level, and when I got on, the saddle moved and I moved it back into place, that is when it happened! I hope above all that it was my fault and she is not a hidden monster. Things are looking up! Also, you may be right about the canter, if she is rusty, then she is out of shape (no matter how good she looks ;) so she probably had a hard time even getting the canter. Right now I am using a d-ring snaffle with copper inlay. She is used to a tom thumb aka broken curb bit. But I want her soft with a snaffle.
     
    03-02-2013, 01:17 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Doityourself, you are right, on a full double rigged saddle a back cinch should be used.
Most think that the back cinch is strictly for roping and it is not. It evens the pull on the saddle especially on a full double.

Also did you untrack her before stepping on after tightening the cinches?
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