New fun - bucking

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New fun - bucking

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  • Horse getting too excited cantering and bucking

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    07-11-2009, 09:08 PM
New fun - bucking

Boy horses just love to through new things into the mix, don't they? After our rides in the ring, I take my horse around the hay fields for a nice little fun ride. We mostly trot and canter it. The past few times out, the last part where we canter, he's tried to break into a run. When I tell him no by sitting back and not giving him anymore rein, he bucks and tries harder to get his way. Luckily he's not a very good bucker, so I've been able to ride out his little fits without landing on the ground. He's a good boy and does give up quickly once I tell him to knock it off and bring him back to a trot or walk. My question is, what should I do to nip this in the bud? I've spent the past few months putting weight and muscle on him. His ring training is going great, and I know he's feeling good. Since he does give up fairly easily, I'm not sure if I should just act like nothing happened, or be more proactive in letting him know he's not going to get his way. The next time he does it, after I get him back to a trot, should I let him go back to canter again? Bring him back to walk? Turn him back the other way? I don't want to do more correction than necessary. He's an OTTB and sometimes enjoys messing with my head. If I do too much, he might decide to throw more at me. He's a doll but has a playful sinister side to him. He's very smart, so I need to get this resolved before he gets me off and figures out that's the ticket to going home.
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    07-12-2009, 12:18 AM
Maybe vary what you do out there more, so he can't anticipate 'when' you are going to canter him. Like, maybe canter first, for a bit, then bring him back down to a trot and do some serpentines, to settle him down a bit, then go back into a gentle canter, and do some figure 8s, etc...always try to vary what you are doing, so he can't anticipate your next move. Maybe even do some field work then go back to the ring for a few moments for your cool down...

Remember, OTTB were used to one thing, so if you get into a certain pattern they pick up on that, and start thinking they can do it on their own; you gotta vary the routine, even just by a bit each time, so they can't pick up on it...keep it interesting, so he stays focused.
    07-12-2009, 10:09 AM
Yeah, I know doing it the same each time is a serious trap. I have to take the same path each time. It's just a 6' walkway around hay fields. Straight is my only option. I think I will try to vary the gait at least to get him listening to me. I wish he hadn't decided to be a jerk about this. While I let him know that I'm calling the shots in the ring, I like it to be more 50/50 in the fields and on trails so he's not always looking to me to save his butt. I don't want to have to be micromanaging him.
    07-12-2009, 10:17 AM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
My question is, what should I do to nip this in the bud?
Don't canter home. Trot and canter out...trot and walk home. You should be cooling him out anyway on the way home, so no need to be cantering.
    07-12-2009, 10:43 AM
Originally Posted by Mercedes    
Don't canter home. Trot and canter out...trot and walk home. You should be cooling him out anyway on the way home, so no need to be cantering.
And you'd think that it saves the time of cooling him down as well.
    07-12-2009, 06:21 PM
Cantering your horse back to the barn will teach him a dangerous bad lesson. I would probably not even trot him back to the barn but just walk. Letting him trot/canter back to the barn will teach him that everytime he's heading back in that direction he can canter and it just creates too many other problems.

It's in horses nature that when they get excited to run and buck so you can't completely get that out of his system. Practice many 1 reign stops in case of emergency. When he does buck or try to canter just turn him to one side so he does a circle.
    07-12-2009, 07:39 PM
Green Broke
Was this the first time he's done it? Could just be high spirits. Lots of horses do this.
    07-13-2009, 10:08 AM
Oh yeah, it definitely is an issue of high spirits. He's done it the last 3 times we've gone out. I mentioned on the OP, I have put a lot of weight and muscle on this horse. He's feeling good. Yesterday he even moved the top horse in the herd away from the patch of grass he was eating and took the lead while crossing his first stream. This boy is feeling good.

I would normally agree 100% about not cantering home, but we've been making this same loop, same gaits at same times for 2 years with no problems. He is just now trying to take advantage of it. He will back down quickly. It's like he suddenly remembers I'm up there and comes down to a walk and says, "my bad, sorry mom" and he's a saint the rest of the way. I'm going to go out today and just try to mix is up more. Maybe go around backwards.
    07-13-2009, 11:37 AM
Green Broke
Easy, stop cantering him out in the field.

He's getting too excited and many horses buck when they're excited. You need to work at the walk and trot in the field until he learns that even though you want to have fun, he still needs to behave.

Once he's doing well, start with just short bouts of canter, bringing him back to a trot BEFORE he gets too excited and wants to gallop. If you miss it and he gets too excited, send him in a circle. Let the size of the figure slow him down, instead of fighting with his head. Once he's slowed down and relaxed, go straight again. Rinse and repeat until he'll canter for you without pushing to gallop or bucking.
    07-13-2009, 11:39 AM
Green Broke
You should NEVER canter or gallop "home" when out on the trail or riding around the property. That will teach even the best/quietest horse to "rush" back to the barn. You should walk home, with no more than a quiet trot here and there, and definitely walk once you're in sight of the barn. This not only teaches the horse patience, but it also gives them time to "cool down" and relax.

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