Overexcited outside/bucking - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-11-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Overexcited outside/bucking


Okay, so I have a 10-year old Warmblood/TB gelding whose wild side comes out each spring. I'm boarding at a barn with a nice indoor arena and open trails up in the hills. I'm thrilled to be able to use these hills, as it's great conditioning work and my horse gets bored in the arena, but lately he's been getting far too overexcited whenever we go up there.

He will walk on a loose rein up the road until it opens up, at which point he starts getting really wound up. He will spook at nothing (and he isn't normally spooky), and "forget" how to walk. He builds himself up to the point where he pops up his front or back end, or bucks and takes off for a stride or two before realizing he isn't supposed to do that and stops again. He will do this the entire time we are up there, even if we just finished our arena-work and go up to do a short cool-down hack. The hill isn't something new to him - we've ridden up there countless times, and he doesn't do this in the summer/fall. He does this whether he is alone or with another horse.

I've been trying to get him to relax and focus on me, and have been extremely careful to make sure I stay relaxed and soft too, and don't hold or brace against him. It doesn't seem to matter what figures I do, what shortening/lengthening exercises I try, or how I move his shoulders or hindquarters, I can still feel him building up to something. And that something is usually a buck and a scoot forwards. It isn't a mean buck where he tries to get me off, he just has too much excited energy he doesn't know what to do with.

Any advice on what else I could try? I don't mind strong or excited, but I don't like having to worry about him bucking whenever I go up there (he has a big buck!). And the spooking-at-nothing is really annoying - half the time I think he is genuinely worried about something, the other half I think it's an excuse. I've been ignoring that for the most part, since I don't need to get in a big fight with him and make him even more tense, or give him more of a reason to overreact. He had some time off earlier this winter, but he's been in regular work now for a couple months - and I'm starting to get him back fit and ready for eventing season, so I really would like to use those hills!

Red Fox
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-11-2013, 10:33 PM
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Sounds like your horse is just simply barn sour. He gets out of his comfort zone when he's away from the barn and arena and trys everything to scare you into taking him back home. Get a quirt or spurs. When he spooks at nothing, stripe his butt or stick him with an iron. When he bucks, do the same. When he pops his front end, slap him between the ears with your quirt. And don't be nice about it either..

~Started young horses in Bosca te Ador, unto the two rein the old Spanish spade, brought them along with two hands that were gentle. Some fine reining horses as ever were made~
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-12-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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I have wondered if it was because he was barn sour, but I'd thought he would have been better with other horses going up with him then. The other thing that made me unsure was that there isn't any difference when we go towards or away from the barn - once we are back on the more-enclosed road going towards the barn I can let him be on a loose rein again, and he maintains an easy, relaxed walk (plus I do make him do some flatwork in the arena when we get back so he isn't just done after he acts like that). That's just why I thought it had something more to do with just being excited to be out on some open trails. But you think it is just him wanting to go back though?
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-12-2013, 12:34 PM
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Could just be full of himself and feeling good too.

This is pretty common though, as the training horses once they can be out in arena once warms up, are nutty as fruit cakes, and they aren't away from barn at all.

Just happy to be alive.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-12-2013, 01:30 PM
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I too think he is just pleased to be out and about.
I would stop trying to make him work sensibly and just set him to work hard. Trot and canter him up the hill, let him stride on and get it out of his system and then turn him around and do it all again.

I fully understand that to let him get his own way is not always a good thing but there are times when getting a lot of work into them means you get a more sensible horse to work with!
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-12-2013, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, well I'll try that today and see how it goes. Thanks! :)
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-13-2013, 11:59 AM
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I had a horse like this once Cookie he would get pushy and want to go. it was to the point kids couldn't ride him and my wranglers were not riding him either, I was looking at selling him.
One day we my wranglers and I went on a ride I rode Cookie he was being a snot lunging forward crow hoping just full of himself. We were about 4 or 5 miles from the barn I told the wranglers I would see them back at the barn and me and Cookie had a "little talk" in short we hand galloped, cantered, long trotted then hand galloped, then trotted back to the barn. About half way back he wanted to walk but I told him "he wanted to go so lets go" so we loped and long trotted all the way back to the barn and right passed the barn gate (he didn't like that part) and we went about another 1/2 mile and him gave up. dropped his head and relaxed. I jumped off pulled the bridle loosened the cinch hoped on and we walked back to the barn with only a halter and lead rope. It was a game changer, he still had issues but he ended up back as a camper/kid lesson horse. I rode him from time to time and after that one "talk" he was one of my go to horses.

Take your horse and work him under control but work him don't let up push him past what he thinks he can do not mean just work when he gets all full of himself make him work hard. If your horse is in shape it's going to take a while. but this is a great spring lesson he's been living the good life fat and happy in the barn he's a little out of sharp that's the time for this lesson. Good luck I hope this helps
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