Lots of leg movement and going nowhere, lol. - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 35 Old 01-03-2013, 10:38 AM
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Well, I have trained for over 50 years and I can honestly say I have not seen one good thing comes from letting a horse buck and play when it should be under a person's control --- not one time in 50 years.

For many years, I trained for the public and the biggest part of the horses brought to me because they had bucked riders off got their start bucking with just a saddle.

Some horse get it out of their system and others just get practice and decide they really like it. Our whole training program has been built around NOT letting horses do anything at any time when we are supposed to be in control that we do not want to have them do with a rider.

Consequentially, we have trained horses for many years that can be turned out for months at a time and can be saddled up, mounted and ridden off. It is what they expect to do.

Horses are creatures of habit. I would no more turn a horse loose to buck the first time it is saddled than I would put a flank strap on it to ride it the first time. Horses buck initially because they are afraid of the saddle strapped on them or are in need of turnout time and play-time. The last thing I want is a horse that thinks bucking should be its learned reaction to fear.

If a horse just plain feels too good to be listening, it needs more turn-out time or very controlled longeing time UNTIL it is trained enough to let the rider control it even though it is 'higher than a kite'. The controlled longeing should never be at high speed but with slow jogging, stops, reverses, back-ups and transitions until the horse is thoroughly bored and ready to listen. Ultimately, the 'finished' horse is one that you just bring in, saddle up, get on and go ride. That has always been our goal and letting a horse buck and tear around just has no place in it.
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post #32 of 35 Old 01-03-2013, 11:09 AM
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The more we converse the more I think we are actually very similar in what we do.

Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
In your example, it was pushing horses through transitions regardless of the bucking. I wouldn't do that (well I would push them at that particular time so that they didn't learn to buck to not have to do it),
You just said you'd never do what I am describing then describe doing the exact same thing. Keep asking for what you want instead of letting them "change the subject" by bucking.

Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
instead I would ask myself WHY the horse is bucking in the transition. I would assume that it was probably due to lack of balance, and I would work on that instead.
You assuming is your first mistake. It may be lack of balance, but there are many reasons a horse would buck. Sometimes its just because they feel good and are full of "spirit", and sometimes they are just spoiled brats that don't want to obey your pressures. Yes you need to deal with the cause of the buck, not the symptom (the buck its self) that is exactly what I'm trying to describe. If a horse is too tense to work without bucking, I have to release the tension in a way that puts me in control, punishing the buck itself only heightens the tension.

Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
I expect better from them, and I demand it if they don't give it.
DEMANDING anything from a horse it's not ready to give will only cause more tension.
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post #33 of 35 Old 01-03-2013, 04:37 PM
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If you had a horse that reared as an evasion to pressure vs bucked, would your method then still be the same? Allowing the horse to rear as much as it liked until it got so tired that you can get on?
I sure wouldn't, but then again, what do I know ;)

Maybe you've been lucky with the horses that you have worked with. But the horses I have both owned and trained that have been off their rockers, include a large pool of ottbs which have a not so lovely tendency to absolutely lose their brains. To allow then to buck and play on the lunge creates a snowball effect - the buck increases adrenalin and they because more and more 'crazy' until they are blowing hard and covered in foam. I've seen such horses lunged for hours on end, finally get ridden and within minutes they're off panicking again under saddle.

My horse is not a TB, but has a similar mind set. He tends to become terribly anxious and the further away from the handler hd is, the worse he gets. Work him in hand for 5-10 minutes first on these days, just walking forward, backing up and yielding haunches and shoulders, has him working as quiet as a lamb.
When a horse has its brain completely separated from its body, it is important to quietly wait for it to come back, not run and buck it out to elevate panic levels.
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post #34 of 35 Old 01-03-2013, 10:37 PM
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Wow, I love how I say one thing and everyone interprets it to mean what they want.

When I'm training a horse, I'm applying a pressure to get a desired response, if the response is anything other than what I'm looking for, I continue the pressure or get stronger with it. If the response is something like a buck or a rear, I don't back off the pressure and let the horse "off the hook" because he did something naughty, I get louder and stronger until I get the CORRECT response instead of stopping the pressure so I can "punish" the buck/rear. That is what I've been trying to describe the whole time.

If a horse is just fresh, I'll likely work on a longe line or in a pen, applying pressures until the horse is calm and obedient, and I have his respect, if he throws in a few bucks in the beginning I don't worry about those unless its blatant disrespect, but everyone here wants to interpret what I'm describing as "teaching the horse to go crazy"

And yes I have plenty of experience with OTTB's too.

One of the other posters stated exactly what I'm talking about, You have to address the cause of the buck/rear, not the symptom, which is the buck/rear its self. Whether the bad behavior is caused by tension, fear, frustration, or just disrespect, you have to address that and the bucking/rearing will stop. If all you do is punish the buck/rear, and don't solve the cause, your horse will find other ways to express his/her problems.
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post #35 of 35 Old 01-04-2013, 01:09 AM
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I've ridden a lot of very hot horses, and I disagree with the idea that they have a need to be lunged before showing or working under saddle. Some of these were endurance horses, and those are some of the fittest working horses out there. Very fit horses will never have their edge taken off by lunging. Some of them don't even get warmed up until after five miles.

When a horse is used to their work, they know what is expected and will anticipate the work but not be explosive about it. I'm not saying they all will stand quietly waiting after you mount up, but they can be expected to not buck or rear and to start out walking under saddle, without being lunged.

That being said, I will often lunge a horse I am not used to riding, just to assess the horse's mood. If a trusted friend tells me the horse will be fine, I don't feel the need. If none of us know the horse well, then I want to see what I am up against.

I would advise using caution with backing a horse when they have too much energy. More than twice now I've seen horses that were taught to stop jigging by backing up with not so good consequences. Standing is great, you will never go wrong there as long as your horse can handle it without panic.
But horses are great at anticipating, and I've seen when these great backers become confused at something presented to them. They decide backing might be the answer, and back up quickly and with great enthusiasm. It is very difficult to control the direction or speed of a back, and you can end up backing through a line of horses, or toward a ditch or car or a barbed wire fence.
It also can be a difficult habit to break, and can rear its ugly head when you least expect it.
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