Problem with my daughters horse. Can someone please give me some advice?

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Problem with my daughters horse. Can someone please give me some advice?

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  • Horse bucking thru barrel pattern
  • Daughters horse is

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    04-02-2012, 12:30 PM
Problem with my daughters horse. Can someone please give me some advice?

My daughters barrel horse is a well trained horse and she is a very good rider. She rises her horse at least 4-5 times a week at least 1 hr or longer a day. We start with walking in arena, trotting and loping. Then she lopes lots of circles. Then we walk through barrel pattern numerous times, then will trot pattern and then lope it. As my daughter gets more comfortable she is getting faster and I have noticed at the end of the run horse has been dropping her head alot more almost like she is about to start bucking. But it's just at the last of the run when they are usually going there fastest. I rode one afternoon that my daughter couldn't and had already been riding atleast 1 hr or more and horse did great. I decided to see what she could do. We had a great run going until the very end. We was at the end of the arena before going out and before I could stop her she was bucking. After I picked myself up, I got back on and we rode for atleast another hr. She never offered to do anything again. My daughter does not go as fast as I did but I am afraid that after a couple of shows under her belt she will get more confident and start running and I am afraid that the horse will start bucking with her. What do I need to do. I don't want to keep running the horse to try her myself to see if this is what she is going to do, cause I don't want to get hurt first off but I also don't won't to get the horse use to running cause my daughter is not ready but I also don't won't to wait til she is ready and let a wreck happen.
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    04-02-2012, 12:39 PM
You have a few options here and for a better answer we'll need some more info.

Info needed: horses age, type and amount of training, other activities you do with the horse, video of riding my be very useful


The first thing I would do is make sure the saddle isn't pinching and the horse doesn't have any back or neck problems. This causes huge amounts of bucking problems when a horse is pushed forward too hard. I recommend a chiropractor and acupressure therapy.

Hire a well respected trainer that can ride and test out your horse to see if the bucking persists.

Make sure you;re not on the horses face when asking for forward motion, or simply use less pressure as your horse may not be ready for it yet even though she is trained.
palominolover and Corporal like this.
    04-02-2012, 12:45 PM
She is a 10 yr old quarter mare and has been trained for barrels and poles and also used at a handicapped school as a therapy horse. She is very gentle and this has shocked us. We use 2 different saddles.
    04-02-2012, 12:48 PM
I agree with crimsons clover. Also another thing to consider is sometimes horses throw in little bucks when they are excited. When she bucked with you did she buck big trying to get you off or was it just a little buck that you werent prepared for and then fell off? I know my horse tends to buck a couple times the first few times I ride her in the field every year out of excitement!!
Also sometimes when people are first starting to go that fast they can be unknowingly pulling on the reins, poking the horse with the spurs (if wearing them) or bouncing in the saddle. A good trainer can definitely help asses whether there is anything that is bothering the horse.
Good luck! Hope things work out well for you daughter and her horse.
    04-02-2012, 12:50 PM
I'm not a barrel racer but from what I can gather, based on your posts, is that you may be over training your horse and she is getting sour.
    04-02-2012, 01:05 PM
I think you're definitely overtraining. Once a horse knows the pattern there is no reason to continue to keep drilling and drilling. Once per week through the pattern is plenty. Same with the loping endless circles in the arena. Aside from being hard on your horse they can make one arena sour in a hurry.

As far as the bucking goes I don't think it matters why the horse is doing it, you have to get it stopped now. Check the saddle fit and check the horses back and legs but DO NOT allow the horse to buck again. You may want to think about how you bring the horse to a stop at the end of your run. She may not like getting yanked to a stop once you're through the gate. If the bucking persists then I'd get a whip long enough to reach her nose sitting straight up in the saddle and when she put her head down I'd whack her on the nose with it. I wouldn't just tap at it either. Once she brought her head up I'd stop her softly and try it again once everything was calmed down.

I don't allow my horses to buck for any reason. I don't care if it's out of joy or pain or cussedness. Bucking is dangerous and should never be allowed for any reason. If your horse bucks "out of joy" and you fall off and end up crippled it will be little comfort knowing that it was all in fun and the horse wasn't really mean.
    04-02-2012, 01:21 PM
I agree with all the posts

First check for any soreness
Next for tack fitting
And last ( Give the horse a break, let him unwind be a horse, take him on a relaxing trail ride, or just groom him and hand graze him some relaxing place. )
Horses need time to themselves and like KEVIN said once they know the pattern no need to drill it into them to me that's pushing and would make me want to say " GET OFF ME ALREADY!!"
Northern likes this.
    04-02-2012, 01:37 PM
It's not the same thing every day some days she does trail ride her. Also how do you train a young child then?
    04-02-2012, 01:40 PM
I wanted to add something that hasn't been mentioned yet. I've never barrel raced but each one I've seen has used a very harsh bit, it could be that making the horse want to put it's head down so far and sometimes the head going down can initiate the bucking because it's the next thing a horse naturally does.

Do you use a tie down as well? This coupled with all the other pressure put on a barrel horse can make them unsure of how they should move and they may find the most logical answer is to blow up since they can't go forwards or backwards.
Northern likes this.
    04-02-2012, 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by Momof2horselovers    
It's not the same thing every day some days she does trail ride her. Also how do you train a young child then?
A very common problem with barrel horses is that they don't know how to just relax in an arena, so after their career as a rodeo pony is over they cannot be used for anything else. Glad to hear you do trail rides as well as some other fun things. May I suggest some dressage type riding(even in a western saddle?) This will improve horse and rider greatly, and teach the horse to relax and be in tune with her rider. I'm sure when horse and rider are on the same wavelength their pattern will improve.

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