Reasons for bucking and how to fix it

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Reasons for bucking and how to fix it

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  • How to fix a horse from bucking when running
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    11-17-2012, 10:59 AM
Reasons for bucking and how to fix it

Hey! I have a TB X that is amost 19 yrs. When she started bucking about 5 months ago I tried to nip the problem in the bud. I lunged her every day walk, trot and canter and some days she would do great, others she would throw a hissy fit and bucked even at a slow trot even though we did the exact same thing every day. She has only bucked me off once. I asked the vet if there would be any medical reason for her to do that or if she was just being a stubborn TB. We discovered she does have some arthritist in her back legs. Im just wondering, how far should I push her? The vet had some other possible solutions for me to try but were all out of my price range. I want to help her work out of this but don't know how far to go considering her age and arthritist. Help!
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    11-17-2012, 12:10 PM
re: Bucking

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!!
    11-17-2012, 12:23 PM
The first thing I check no matter what the horse, if they're bucking and it's new I check the tack. Particularly the saddle. Horses bodies change season to season and year to year, the saddle that fit her a month ago may not fit her now (or need special padding). So I would immediately check her tack.
The next thing that occurs is that she has arthritis in her hind end, how severe? Lunging at the canter IMO is never a good idea, it's very stressful for their joints, especially one with arthritis. I'm sure she only throws her fits when asked for a forward trot or to canter.
When you lunge her is she in tack?
If she bucks without tack I'm going to say it's the arthritis, if she only bucks with tack the answers obvious.

If it is the arthritis that's the problem don't give up hope, there's a lot you can do. There are more than a hundred joint supplements out there, MSM and Glucosamine being my proven favorites. There are also injections you can get, but I'd be wary of those and decide whether or not she really needs them, because once you start she'll need to be on a regular cycle for the rest of her useful life.
What are your goals with her? Can you take riding real easy with her for a while? Movement is good for arthritis, but not work. So light riding, if the arthritis is in her hind end, let her ride out on her forhand. If you're an english/dressage rider I know you'd typically want to see her moving from her hind end, but that's probably the problem.

I would not be punishing her for these bucks until pain is ruled out personally, particularly not with lunging as that could only be making her pain worse. I personally would not lunge this horse anymore, once they're arthritic it's really no good for them, just hurts. If you feel the need to exercise her a little before getting on long line her around the ring - this will get her thinking too, not just worked up ;)

Good luck, keep us posted

ETA: Did the vet look at the horse and say they're just being stubborn? Despite the Arthritis? Did they check the tack? Personally I'd be looking for a new vet if they didn't check everything before calling them just 'stubborn'.
    11-17-2012, 12:36 PM
Green Broke
I think PunksTank covered everything nicely. I would like to add (and I don't know what your facilities are like) that if the arthritis is starting to show up more, you may also need to consider the ground and arena footing that you are working her on. If it is hard and packed, it's going to add more concussion to already sore joints.

And, yes, please keep us updated.
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    11-17-2012, 04:31 PM
Thank y'all, that helps a lot! The vet did say that the arthritist is not that severe, and no I have not lunged her any more since I found out. Mostly I have just been trotting her while running beside her with a halter and lead rope for a short excersise and she has even tried to buck with that. She also does have sore feet on certain ground so your right that may have something to do with it. The vet did not suggest she was stubborn, he just said it may also be an attitude issue, she is a stubborn TB and tries to be lazy :) We thought about a glucose supplement but he said it wouldnt do much good at her age. I ride western and just really trail ride so theres no pressure on her for high performance. I just want to make sure she's not getting away with anything due to attitude. He did say there was a chance that she was just getting old and may soon not be able to canter any more. I am fine with that if that is whats best for her. Just making sure I make the right call. I definitely don't want her to be in pain :(
    11-17-2012, 04:44 PM
I've got a 32 year old arab mare who's been seriously arthritic sense she was 12 at my rescue - on MSM and Glucosamine she is sound enough for gentle walking trails. They do help a great deal. It won't reverse the damage but it will make her more comfortable - which is what you want at this point.

If the horse were copping an attitude she'd be biting at you on the line, not bucking. I suggest gentle walking bareback rides for now. She may get better with rest and supplements enough to do some gentle trotting. 19 is awful young to be that sore.
    11-17-2012, 04:49 PM
How does your horse act when free? Will she trot on her own?
I'm thinking the bucking is mostly balking, because in my experience (not too wide) horses with arthritis don't buck. It hurts... They sort of drag, shake their heads a lot, wring their tails, look miserable. (And after they warm up a bit, look much happier!)

I'm thinking if she bucks while you lead, she must get away with it? Anyway, I would try leading her out at the walk, if you can, on a trail you'd like to ride on. Light exercise is good for arthritis, I believe; and most horses like to go out on walks.
    11-17-2012, 05:27 PM
That's a good point Beling, has she got tack on when you're leading her around. It's odd for her to be bucking when being lead anyway, typically they bite or head toss if they're upset at being lead. Unless there's painful tack of a rider on.
    11-17-2012, 05:51 PM
No I am always very careful about never letting her get away with it, we keep going until she can can continually reapeat whatever it was I asked her to do calmly. No she does not have tack on her when I am leading her. She is always very sweet when walking with or without tack and will willingly do whatever I ask. I have noticed the weather also makes a big difference with her behavior, she has rarely bucked trotting on warm days this fall, but still does sometimes. I have been looking into getting her a new/ lighter saddle and maybe a more cushioned saddle pad, hoping that may help. Annother thing she started doing recently is sometime when I can get a calm trot out of her and I ask her to turn away from something she wants to go to and she gets mad she will duck her head and trot like that? Boy I love this girl but she is a confusing one Thanks for all the feedback! Its making me think about a lot I havent considered.
    11-17-2012, 05:53 PM
Oh and yes she will trot when free!

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