Mischef Makers: Bucking and Rearing

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Mischef Makers: Bucking and Rearing

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    04-20-2009, 02:26 PM
Question Mischef Makers: Bucking and Rearing

Hi Everyone! New to the site but I have a dire question for anyone willing to give it a go...

I have recently adopted a 15 y/o Thoroughbred gelding, he's an ex racehorse and was ridden (poorly) after his track days and has acquired more than a couple bad habits. To give you some background first he was underweight and lame when I got him, and now - 3 months later - he's up to a healthy weight, getting turnout, and hasn't a sore muscle for miles...however, now that his personality is really shining through we've hit some bumps. I started riding him only rescently because I wanted to wait until he gained at least 200 ibs before he held weight, but I had been round penning and lunging him increasingly to get him to build muscle. I made sure to only to a little bit at a time and he's really come a long way, he's proud and smart, and more than a little "quirky". Now my problem...When I first started getting on him he seemed a bit skittish, which I figured was because he was still getting used to being outside and here I go and take him out of his element again, so I didn't think much of it, we worked through it in 10 minutes of walking and trotting...no big deal. I was absolutly convinced I found my perfect horse, and here, a couple weeks later he seems to loose his mind when I get on his back, I sit quietly (easy on him) and he never unseats me, but he won't calm down either. At the end of every ride all I end up accomplishing is getting him to walk or trot quietly. As of the last ride he's added bucking and rearing into the mix...I hate to sound innept, I have exhausted all of my ideas and obviously need to go in a new direction...can any one help or have you been in this position? Any serious advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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    04-20-2009, 02:32 PM
I had the same problem with my OTTB when he fattened up and got some attitude. I don't know if I handled it the best way or not, but basically I did a ton of circles and transitions, in an attempt to make him listen to me instead of getting stuck in his 'lets go go go go GO!' attitude. It took a long time, almost a year but he eventually settled down and has become a great riding horse. There might be better ways to handle it and get results faster but that's what I did.
    04-20-2009, 02:32 PM
Couple of questions first. Have you checked and ruled out all pain options? Saddle fit, teeth, back etc.? What's he being fed? Is he still outside most/all of the time? When does he start the behavior? When you ask him to canter? If he was ridden 'poorly' after his track days, you may have to content yourself with him just walking and trotting quietly. Hard to say more without extra information on his past history, temperment etc.
    04-20-2009, 06:02 PM
If you can rule out any sources of pain, transitions and circles will help calm him down. The more jazzed up he is, the smaller the circle or the more frequent your transitions are. Just stay calm, relaxed and patient.
    04-20-2009, 08:14 PM
I agree with the transitions, circles, serpentines, bending...lots of stuff to keep his mind busy rather than him just focusing on going around and around and wanting to go faster (like on the track) it takes a lot of time with an OTTB, but keep at it and he should eventually get into a routine and be rideable. Start at the walk and get him to bend and give. Then work to the trot and back to the walk....lots and lots and lots of transitions. Good luck!
    04-21-2009, 04:50 PM
I think Clinton Anderson has an answer for everything - this must be the tenth video I've posted! I've never tried this particular one because my horse doesn't buck but it makes sense.

    04-21-2009, 05:03 PM
Have his teeth been floated this year? Have you cleaned his sheath out, bean and all?

I had some SERIOUS ground problems with my MFT gelding, then I got his teeth and sheath done. No more problems. I clean him out once a year now as well as get his teeth checked and floated if needed.

Onetomany pretty much said all my other questions :)

Good luck with your boy, I'd love to have an OTTB someday myself.
    04-23-2009, 12:27 PM
Hey everyone! Thanks to all the great tips out there, and to answer some of the questions...I got the opportunity to speak to JayBee's previous owner, and she said that he had a habbit of rearing and bucking that she never could get him out of, the saddle fits him and I am using an oval mouth french snaffle on him. He gets 12% SF and weight builder, free choice hay and joint supplements. I had him checked out for lameness and everything was ok, I think he's just been taught that being outspoken is "OK," I know he's hotter because of the feed, and I can handle just being energitic, I am afraid that this might be more attitude than energy though...
    04-23-2009, 01:45 PM
Ok, so does he get all keyed up when you ask for a canter or does he start out all keyed up and you end the ride with him walking and trotting quietly?

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