Opinions on why he is bucking... Very long! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-24-2009, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on why he is bucking... Very long!

Ok. I bought my present horse Bunday about 4/5 months ago. He came from a lady who taught natural horsemanship. (PLEASE note, this is not a stab at natural horsemanship, just this particular persons training method or whatever she did with this horse) He was horribly obese, had fatty lumps on his belly. This lady had done heaps of groundwork, i.e. roundpenning, desensitizing, swining that carrot stick thing all over him, etc. She did about an hours groundwork before she rode, EVERY time. When he was ridden, he was ridden ion the buckle of the reins in the arena, and never asked to do anything more than go as slow as he could at the walk trot and canter with his nose on the ground. Although much more was hard for him due to the weight he was carrying.

S, I bought him as I felt the potential underneath. I conditioned him and started riding every day, gradually getting the weight off him and teaching him hwo to go forward. I did NO arena work, just trails and pony club. At first, everytime I would ask him to canter he would buck. I would correct it and continue on, not letting him get out of work. I figured it was because it was hard work for him with so much weight, and he was simply saying I don't want to do this.

He eventually lost all the weight, and figured out he would travel forward, and actually started to enjoy riding. The bucking lessened but did not go away. he would onyl do it when I asked for canter or if I let him stretch out into a gallop. I would pull him out of the buck and keep on what I was doing, so he has never had bucking as a successful way to get out of work.

This was about 2 months after I got him. I then got the chiro out to see if it was a pain problem, and yes his shoulder was out and carried through his back to his rump. This was fixed with about 3 visits and 2 months off work, putting all the weight back on. I got his saddle re-fitted also, and brought him back into work.

The first ride, he was a bronc the whole time. I was only in a halter and leadrope but I managed to keep his head up most fot he time, but nearly every stride was attempting to buck. I figured he was finally feeling good and was testing it out. Nest ride was tons better, and he got better form then on in, going for about a month with no bucking, or only rare attempts. I had a week off from riding as I had to look after my mum who came out of hospital. I rode him on a saturday and he did his little bronc impression when I let him stretch into a gallop, but I pulled him out of it and he didn't buck again. I had a sporting comp the next day, and he bucked through the first two races, barrels and clover leaf, which he has never done, then settled in and was a star for the rest of the day.

So. I can't figure out why he is bucking. He is finally enjoying his work, he is fit and can go forward happily. I mostly train on the trails and keep things new so it shouldn't be boredom. It has never been an escape from work, and I have never come off. He has had the chiropractor and the saddle fitter out.

Any thoughts? Or is it just him having his moments?

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post #2 of 24 Old 02-24-2009, 07:24 PM
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Maybe have a chiro out and see if he needs some work done after losing all that weight?
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post #3 of 24 Old 02-24-2009, 11:47 PM
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Yea I'd have the chiro out again. Some horses don't hold adjustments well.
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-25-2009, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Congrats for reading through all that :]

The lady i got out before is the one I usually use. She's not so much a chiro but an 'equine bodyworker'. She uses massage, deep tissue therapy, and phototonic light therapy (lasers).

I'm thinking I might get an actual chiro (bone guy) to come have a look at him to get a different point of view.

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post #5 of 24 Old 02-25-2009, 05:49 PM
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Most horses that need chiro adjustments may need multiple adjustments to ensure they stay in place, coupled with proper conditioning work to build the muscles in between (such as tons of trot work on the longe and lightly under saddle several days a week).

It sounds like he could use a follow up - or a few. Just like with people often you aren't fixed in one visit! Good luck!

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post #6 of 24 Old 02-25-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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He had three visits from the chiro during his 2 months off. The first was an assessment and putting his shoulders back in. The next was meant to be the follow up to treat the residual shoulder, as when both shoulders are done, they rest one which then heals and there is residual in the other. However he had done something in the paddock and was out again. So she treated both shoulders again and then came back to fix the residual shoulder once more. So in that regard he should be ok.

There are just so many avenues to go down, where do you stop? I was having this conversation with my dad the other day when I mentioned I might get an actual chiro out to him.

At least the actual chiro costs about half as much as my regular lady, so worth a shot :]

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post #7 of 24 Old 02-25-2009, 06:51 PM
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People think that horse's just 'get out of place' in their back, shoulders, etc. While very few times it can be the case, sometimes they are put of out place due to improper training. Some horses, something really tiny can effect them really badly.
One: Does he have access to daily pasture? A lot of chiro's say that rolling helps align the spine.
Two: Do you stretch him? Left, right, LONG AND LOW (Important! especially if his back is bothering him!). Everyday, during every ride? This could be why he is working crocked, which is why he might be getting all crazy up in his shoulders/spine. You can get them fixed with chiro work, but if you continue to train the same way, you'll have to get it done all the time.
Three: How are you riding him when he canters? Are you anticipating the canter? Do you lean forward with the cue (a common problem)? Do you get left behind the motion?

Try out a couple of things, and definitely get a chiro out to see him. It doesn't seem like a disrespect issue since you seem competent enough to train that out of a horse, so you're probably dealing with pain.

Get a good farrier out too--sometimes hoof problems can travel up and effect other areas!

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post #8 of 24 Old 02-25-2009, 09:08 PM
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How much training has this horse actually had? How many hours in the saddle or miles ridden? Had she ever taken him out of the roundpen before you got him? Did she ever actually ask him for anything or let him do everything at his pace? I am not discounting that it could be a pain response but there are lots of other issues that could cause it.
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-25-2009, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thats my thought Smrobs. She only had him for a short time, and apparently the lady who had him before her did NOT get along with him, and I know for a fact she asked a guy to 'sort him out' for her which involved big spurs and lots of bucks. I have since met and spoken to the guy (whose methods of 'training' I REALLY don't like, including making one horse was riding bleed from the spurs) and shudder to think of what he did to him. Apart from that I have no idea of what he did before me, except that his original breeder said he would make a top campdrafter, so probably had him on cattle. Since i've had him I ride trails 3-4 times a week and have taken him to 5/6 competitions, and he is improving all the time, except for this issue. When I got him he didn't know how to move off leg and couldnt work into a contact without stopping. I don't use spurs as he is improving with forward all the time and I don't think he needs them. He also appears to be quite afraid/wary around whips/crops, yet I can crack a stockwhip off him. I don't think he had a very happy life before I got him.

1. Yes, he is out on pasture 24/7. He is at the moment in a smallish cut of section with my little arab, they are on rations :] And I can tell you know, he rolls A LOT! He is always filthy, lol.

2. Every time I get on I try to remember to stretch his neck around to both sides. Most of my rides are trail rides to the majority of my riding is done long and low, unless I need to practise working into contact, but that isn't very often. I also do a lot of leg yeilding, yielding his shoulders/hindquarters, and a lot of turns either way.

3. I think i'm pretty good on the canter transition. I use the weight of my seat as an aid as much as my leg, so nope no leaning forward or anticipating. I sit deep and cue with my outside leg, and sometimes click with my tongue. I don't get left behind the motion, i'm sure, I don't think I could if I tried as he is a very calm, steady boy! He sometimes hops into the canter though with his front end, sometimes even into a trot. This is improving though.

In regards to the farrier, we recently switched to a new one who I am VERY impressed with. He recognised straight away that Bundy has low heel high heel, and is working on correcting it. He though it may have been the original cause of his shoulders being out.

I really am flummoxed... The only thing I haven't done is have his teeth done yet, but I wouldnt think that would influence bucking... He is a very stubborn horse and prone to being grumpy so it could just be him protesting to actually having to move his butt... But most habits like that are broken fairly quickly with consistent discipline... And that just isn't happening.

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post #10 of 24 Old 02-26-2009, 12:03 AM
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:( Maybe it is the feet?

If someone came out to check and he's mis-aligned again, then maybe the feet will keep him going 'true'.

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