Horse bucks at cantor - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-17-2009, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Horse bucks at cantor

Hi everyone...just a quick background...I am new to the forums but have been reading here for quite some time. I am a mom who has a 15 year old daughter. She has basically been riding since she started with a local park district program at 5 yrs old.

She started more formal regular lessons at a local stable when she was11. She is a solid medium level rider who can deal with a challenging horse. She easily jumps 3 ft jumps no problem.

We currently are trial testing a 7 yr old (Green) Gelding appendix paint horse. He doesn't seem to have a spooky bone in his body which is GREAT, but he seems to want to buck when you ask him to move into a cantor. The owner did a very short cantor on him which was difficult to get him to move into and stay with, but I didn't notice any buck when the owner was riding.

Yesterday was the first ride for my daughter since we took him to our stable. After a nice easy free lunge at mostly a trot, she got on and took about 15 minutes warming him up at a walk. When she asked him to trot it took quite a bit of effort to get him going but he did very well...very well behaved.

My daughter then asked for a cantor which the horse just didn't want to do. We decided to go get her trainer. The trainer had my daughter ask for a cantor...the horse would start to arch his back as soon as you pushed him too fast (he was looking like he was thinking about bucking).

The trainer had my daughter get off. The trainer then free lunged the horse making him cantor. WOW! Can that guy buck!! The trainer really had to keep after him with the lunge whip. She got pretty close to him, catching his back legs with the rope on the end of the whip a couple of times and the horse kicked out a her. FYI, the trainer tried free lunging with and without a saddle and tack and got the same result.

My daughter's trainer feels that this horse has a really good solid mind, and that the bucking at the cantor is a training issue caused by the fact that he is really Green. The trainer thinks it can be trained out of him in just a few weeks.

As a mom, I don't think I want to take that risk. My daughter doesn't really want to bother with a horse that takes so much effort to get him to work.

So I thought I would go to the masses and see if anyone else has any experience with this issue. Does anyone have any thoughts as to why a horse would do so well at slower gates yet get so upset when you ask for a cantor?

Thanks for the help!
rkwells is offline  
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-17-2009, 01:34 PM
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either the horse is getting mixed signals, Or, more likely, since it's green - he feels a little unbalanced with a rider and/or tack at the canter. It happens. It can be trained out. The time it takes depends on the individual horse & trainer. I'd say have the trainer give it a shot, and if they can't work it out of him, then move on to another horse.

Ask Often, Demand Nothing, and Reward Generously.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-17-2009, 02:05 PM
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The horse is 7 years old so it should be balanced enough on the lunge to not canter. Im wondering if there is a pain issue- the horse should be more then willing to canter free lunging (yes they do throw a few bucks here and there but it shouldnt be constant)- Does he pin his ears back when asked? Does he look really uncomfortable? Have you watched him out palying? Does he run and canter then? I would really get back to ground work before getting back on. There are some very underlying issues here that need to be resolved before moving on.

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-17-2009, 02:20 PM
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Welcome to the fourum, rkwells.

I read your post and thought you were talking about my new horse, Boomer!!! He is a 7 year old gelding with a lot of trail experience and even drives. He is a little lazy but has a nice trot. When asked for a canter, his head goes down and he starts to crow hop.

Yesterday I put him saddled and on a lunge line (my round pen is inoperable at the moment). I don't think he has ever been lunged, he simply didn't know what to do and when I got after him he started bucking wildly. I couldn't hold him (thank goodness I had gloves on) and he bucked all the way back to the paddock. I got him back to my lunge area and worked with him some more, getting him settled down. I rode him a bit and put him up.

I agree with your trainer's assessment in that he can be trained out of him - as I'm going to have to do with Boomer. What I plan on doing is to ride him in small circles and keep his back end disengaged when I ask for a canter. I'm thinking that a few times with this and I should be able to teach him what I'm asking for and how to do it without a problem.

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Last edited by iridehorses; 07-21-2009 at 09:06 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-17-2009, 05:00 PM
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I understand the concern over a pain issue, Angel, but just because he's 7 doesn't mean anything as far as balance goes. I have a 10 year old that was handled roughly when she was started, and she's been checked out by vet, farrier & chiropractor, but is still unbalanced with a rider on at the canter. For her, it's a confidence issue. She is perfect at w/t but when she starts to canter, she takes about 3 strides, and panics, then tries to bolt, or crowhop, or buck...Doesn't matter how small the rider is, and quite frankly, I'm fine with her being strictly a w/t horse. She's awesome on the trail. It is different for them with a rider on, and some learn it easily, but a few have problems with it. It can be trained out of them either way. I guess what I was trying to get at was to give the trainer a shot to train it out of the horse, and if you're set on keeping it, and things haven't improved, have a vet check it out, but a decent trainer should be able to tell you if the horse has a pain issue or confidence issue WITHOUT having to make a vet bill unnecessarily.

Ask Often, Demand Nothing, and Reward Generously.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-17-2009, 06:01 PM
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My new horse (also 7 years old, greenbroke but not "educated") did some very similar tricks in the beginning, but not to the degree that you're describing, rkwells. He trained out of it within about 5 rides (I lunged him first, up to the canter and let him get his "kinks" out there, and that did the trick) I think Scout was basically cinchy, though, and at the canter, the girth "got" him differently and caused some minor bucking. There's no more bucking now, period, and he canters a little better and for a little longer every ride, as his balance improves.

My advice would be to give the trainer a chance to work it out, but if it just isn't a project that you and your daughter are in to, go ahead an look into a horse with more foundation and miles.

Good luck, and Welcome to the Forum!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-18-2009, 12:11 AM
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It sounds like the horse may have some physical issues; if he is so hard to get going in the first place, then explodes in the canter, both with and without tack, that is definitely my first geuss. Did you get a full veterinary exam on him before you took him home? Does he have anything in his history to suggest that he could have pain issues?

Perhaps get a Chiropractor out to examine him and go from there, even if he passes a vet check.

I have a friend who bought a 5 year old horse who started stumbling for no reason, to the point where she had to stop riding...turned out his back was so out of alignment he just couldn't keep his balance, so a 7 year old could definitely have some physical issues, especially if he was trained as a 2 or 3 year old.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 07-18-2009 at 12:16 AM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-18-2009, 08:38 AM
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my horse does this when i ask her to trot, turns out her poll was out, sore shoulder and back right leg is really,really sore! I recommend getting a chiropracter to check the horse out. :)

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-18-2009, 08:47 AM
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Diamond always used to buck at a canter but only in small areas, mabey that could be the problem with your horse.
Try lunging him with all the tack on and see if he bucks there, and if not mabey he just doesnt feel confortable with the rider.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-20-2009, 12:29 PM
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I would definitely say vet. Last horse I knew that did that had bad leg problems but only showed it at the canter.

The fact that he is hard to get moving usually means he's lazy, he's in pain, or he has no idea what's going on. What does he look like? Does he have more thoroughbred or quarter horse in him? is he well-muscled? tree-trunk legs or stick legs? all of these things can be part of the problem.

How long do you have for the trial? A problem I have observed with many trainers is that they want someone to buy a greener horse so they can get paid to train them, even if the horse isn't appropriate for the kid. I'm not saying AT ALL that this is your trainer, but it's something to keep in mind. good luck.
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