Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
The way to stick when they buck is to try to relax, as hard as it sounds, and is, when they buck, but you just have to relax and go with the flow. And it’s pretty much a given that if you are riding a lot of young horses you are going to get thrown (some of my horses didn’t actually start having a buck till they were ridden for a year or two, sometimes they just do it for fun, or just to play with you). Gotta admit though, after I hit 30, the ground looks a lot further away than it used to, and I swear it has gotten harder too.
I have found a very good way to cut it out of them, even in mid buck, is to have them very soft so that you can disengage their hindquarters. I.e. As their feet are coming off the ground bring the left rein up to your belly button and apply pressure with your left seat bone to -thigh-calf-ankle heel/spur (as far as you need to go) if you have their bits and pieces nice and supple it’ll pull the buck right out of him/her. They need to be soft and respond to it all to begin with, but doing it will also disrupt their alignment even if they aren’t so soft on it, it just won’t be as effective as it could/should be and you may need more pressure to achieve it.
As for teaching them that bucking is bad, I’m not convinced that hitting the work up them is always the best way; mainly for two reasons. Firstly, if they don’t associate the work with what they did wrong in the first place they kind of miss the point of the punishment, personally I think it’s better to deliver the punishment as they are bucking; and secondly, because the last thing I want is for a horse to associate work with anything unpleasant and get sour on it. Probably the best thing to do is to just nip it in the bud as I described above, or if you miss the timing, or they aren’t quite soft enough, just ride them till the give up, some horses, if they get a win on you, will do it more, but if you beat them they will usually start to give it up. If, however, it gets chronic and they do it every time you get on them for example, you can get on them in some heavy sand. I’ve always found a sandy dry creek bed for it, it makes it much harder for them to buck and much easier for you to ride it out of them (and the landing is softer if they throw you); in the few times I have had to try this I found they give it up pretty quick after you get a few wins in some thick sand. Then there’s always the ones who do it for a bit of fun because they feel good too, it’s not always malicious.