At my wits end....been through 3 horse trainers :( - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
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It's funny you say that, we try to end on a good note, after the lunging, we went on a trail ride...he LOVES to go out, it's obvious, he has no fear of anything....I will be lunging him, but his next ride isn't until tuesday morning, I will keep you posted on what happens.....keeping my fingers crossed..
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post #12 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 07:27 AM
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The horse is most likely fearful, horses buck, bolt, spin, rear ect when then are fearful your has chosen to buck. He has realized he can get rider off his back by doing it. I would recommend nobody rides him until he is feeling more trust and more confidence. Riding out the bucking is not the answer the answer is he should not be bucking. It does not matter the training method is if the horse is not ready to be ridden he should not be getting ridden. Find someone to fill in the holes in his training, give him confidence, teach him to trust. It could take six weeks, or six months but someone has go give this horse what he needs then he will give you what you want.

I see your in FL whereabouts? I am in S. Fl just east of Lake O.
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post #13 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 07:31 AM
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I've heard that ottb's can react to having a full saddle on instead of a racing saddle. Just start out with a saddle pad maybe? A bareback pad?
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post #14 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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More time off to gain trust? I have owned him for over a year and he has been off from riding 3/4 of that. I have given him love and groundwork slowly weeks before he started this trainer. He is well versed in change of direction, backing, releasing his hindquarters and forequarters, he flexes and knows sending exercises to a tee. Then when I ask he will come right to me in the center of the roundpen and then follow me with no lead or anything. This is the first time he ever succeeded in getting a rider off his back.

I am in central Florida near deland.
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post #15 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 09:52 AM
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Horses usually buck the first time out of fear. Once they have made it a 'habit', they just prove that "Horses are creatures of habit!". Now, he needs no reason if you have ruled out saddle fit and pain.

Longing one with a saddle on and letting them buck on a longe line just teaches many of them to buck better. Once a horse has made a habit of bucking, especially if the horse has bucked people off, ground work often times does little at all to help. They just get really good at groundwork while they ride like pigs or don't ride at all.

Is this horse broke to tie? If not, that is where I would start. I used to buy a lot of horses off of the track, both TBs and QHs. Teaching them to tie solidly was the first thing I did with every one of them.

Then, I would take a big, heavy stock saddle that fits well, that has a good mohair girth and has a good wool felt saddle pad. Use a pad with a 'cut-back' front if he has high withers. Then, let him stand saddled (with a breast collar) for several hours at a time for several days. Unsaddle him right where he stands and do not lead or longe him with a saddle until he accepts it completely. Start out with the girth fairly loose. Snug it up a little at a time after he has been stand for a while with it. He can either be 'fussy' about the saddle on his back or he can be 'cinchy'. I would tend to think he is cinchy or at least started out that way. The bucking got started and now he just does it because he does it. He will tend to keep getting better at it. He is now using it as his manifestation of 'resistance'.

Does he have a good or bad attitude about everything else? Is there a lot of resistance or bad-a** attitude over other things? Some horses are just obnoxious and have unwilling attitudes. Others have 'triggers' that you just have to let them work out but not let them practice their bad responses.

And by the way, he does not need time off. It is not a 'trust' issue. It is a 'respect' issue that revolves around accepting the saddle and then the rider after that is accomplished. Trust come from respect. You cannot coddle one into being respectful and obedient.

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Last edited by Cherie; 10-04-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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post #16 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 10:03 AM
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***as soon as you put a saddle on him or get on his back he freezes up, rears or bucks.****

This is a CLASSIC indication of PAIN .
Possibilities are spinal issues (kissing spine, chiropractic issues, rib issues, )old broken rib for example) bad saddle fit. muscle issues (long standing back muscle problems from PREVIOUS saddle problems) etc etc.

I would STOP treating this as a training issues and begin the long process of trying to sort it out medically .
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post #17 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 11:02 AM
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To me it sounds like this horse is cold backed.
The primary indicator being that if you lunge him, he stops doing it.
By lunging you are allowing him to warm up the muscles in his back.

A lot of OTTB's are cold backed.

Being cold backed can be as a result of pain but some horses just cant cope with a saddle on thier back without having the muscles warmed first.

I lunge my lad EVERY time I ride. He is rather explosive and is slightly cold backed. 5 mins on the lunge makes life safer for me and him.
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RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #18 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 11:38 AM
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I'm also wondering if it is pain related. Have you palpated his back? Especially check the top of his rump/over his hips and in the SI area. Even if he has no reaction to palpation does not mean he is not hurting.

A very high percentage of OTTB have lameness issues.

This site has some excellent videos on unsoundness issues in OTTB. Maybe see if any of these horses look or move similar to yours?
Horse Problems Australia talks about stifle problems in horses and their reprocussions

I have a horse who bucks/crow hops etc. It is a soundness issue for her. Anyone else would have beat her for it and assumed it was an "attitude problem". Her lameness is a grade one at the trot (after the vet does flexions). Without flexions you can't tell she is even lame at the trot. Her canter however is an absolute mess with crow-hopping and bucking. The vets have not determined what the problem is- her X rays are clean. Their best guess is that this is a problem in her spine or SI probably due to a traumatic injury as a 2 yr old.

I know another horse with a "bucking problem". In his case it is also his SI/back. He cannot be ridden and is used as a driving horse.
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post #19 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 12:09 PM
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This really sounds like a pain issue. Either past or present. Have you ruled out pain with a very who specializes in back pain and/or lameness? If so, then it's become a learned habit to expect pain and so reacts as if it's still there.

To answer your original question, I've almost always ridden horses that absolutely have to be lunged before being ridden. I don't think I've ever ridden a horse that I could tack up, hop on, and ride of into the sunset. Lol.
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post #20 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 12:51 PM
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I think you are getting some really good advice here already. Absolutely rule out pain and unsoundness, that was my first thought as well when I read your post. I had a OTTB mare that had a shifted pelvis that I ended up retiring because she could just never get comfortable under saddle.

If you are certain its a training issue, I would add that you need to spend time doing ground work with his tack on, mounting then dismounting, riding for 5 min then dismounting. If its not pain it sounds like your horse has some serious mental issues with his tack and being ridden. Your trainer needs to go slow, not just try to ride out the bucks. When a horse freaks out and starts running/bucking/etc. it creates even more fear within them. It doesnt matter if the rider can sit the bucks. When a scared horse does buck his rider off it is often a worse/more frightening experience for the horse than for the rider. The only way to teach a horse to be calm is to keep him calm in the first place. Which will probably mean baby steps going forward for your horse.
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Last edited by CRK; 10-04-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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