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post #11 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 04:10 PM
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Great advice in this thread so far.

Just to reinforce some things that have already been said; horses don't start bucking for no reason. The most common reason is some sort of physical pain.

Based on the way you describe your horse, which as a well-broken, good guy who is normally tolerant and forgiving (he even LOOKS like a good guy and a horse I would want in my barn, I would bet some serious money that it's some sort of physical issue that's causing the bucking.

Saddle fit is the obvious first thing to look at. Poor saddle fit is sometimes obvious but often very subtle and the effects can be cumulative.

If you really look at saddle fit and that doesn't appear to be the issue, I would look for some other physical issues. If canter departures appear to be an issue, I'd pay careful attention to his back and hocks.

If you don't have a chiropracter you trust, have a vet do a complete, thorough physical exam and see if he can find a source for the discomfort. Consider getting an equine massage therapist to work on him as well, she/he may discover a painful spot.

No reason not to have your trainer go ahead and school the horse, it's never a bad idea, but I would guess that she'll encounter some physical resistance as well. Maybe not as dramatic as the bucking, but I suspect it'll still be there.
If the horse bucks with her in the same way that he does with you and your daughter, that's another indication that it's physical rather than behavioral.

I understand that the bucking is frightening and disheartening, but there is not cause to give up on your otherwise lovely horse just yet.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 04:15 PM
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I think you got some really good advice on things to check on. So I won't repeat it however I would like to talk about feed changes. I have known several horses that were very sensitive to feed change. I own one that is. With her it's alpha and alpha based grains. When she gets it she acts like a firecracker, it doesn't cause any other issues (had the vet check). She just gets hot and acts like that for 2 days after I give it to her no matter how much I ride her. She will also throw out a couple big bucks when I first ask her to canter about 60% of the time when she is on it. She settles in after. It is really like a drug for her. Now because I like Alpha so much and it's cheap and easy to get a hold of in pelleted form I do use it during the winter. Up here unless it's hay flown/imported in, we have to use a bunch of supplements to make sure our horses are getting the nutritional value they need. The first thing I would do is yank him off that feed and see if he changes in the next 4-7 days. It's an inexpensive way to rule out back problems. If his personality changes back you know it's the feed.
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 04:59 PM
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You have gotten really good advice -- so look at saddle fit, possibility of ulcers and possibility of needing a good chiropractor.

Then, just consider how many horses start to buck: They are ridden 'fresh', as in feeling really good on a cool day, maybe not getting a good enough 'warm-up, maybe having a chance to buck and play on a longe line. There are about 20 maybes that a horse can learn a bad behavior from and then the horse lets it become a bad habit. He finds out that if he 'threatens' to buck (or really bucks or crow-hops), his rider will pull him up. He figures out it is a good way to get out of work. He can now make his rider pull him up. Then, of course, when the rider tried to ask for a canter or ?? again, he threatens to buck again --- and the whole thing starts to spiral out of control. Soon, the 'once nice' really broke horse has a bad habit that can get to the point of being dangerous and having the horse get totally out of control.

I have seen horses start out with this behavior and end up in PRCA bucking strings. They learned it; they liked it; they got really good at it. Most horses just get a little more 'cold backed' and people learn how to compensate for them as they do not know how to completely make the behavior go away.

They start out with a well broke horse that they can just catch, saddle up, get on, and go ride safely and pleasantly.

They end up with a horse they have to longe, round-pen or exercise for 30 minutes before they can mount and then may still get their butt bucked off. They end up with a horse that is waaaay over their heads or at least, their kids' heads.

Am I getting anywhere close?

If this is what your case sounds like, let us know and I will tell you what I do to get the 'cold back' out of a usually nice horse.


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post #14 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think he is ring sour as he gets out on at least a 5 minute trail ride around a standard loop at least every couple of weeks. I also ride him in the pasture when I can. That being said, his bucking almost always happens at the end of the ring farthest from teh barn. I wonder if the sand is not as deep there, or deeper?

Second, he has never been girthy and no personality changes. But I will see about the feed. They have quite a few horses in about 4 acres, 12 hours out and 12 hours in. They have enough hay for most of the day when they ar ein, and hay when they are out. They usually graze but I don't think there's really enough grass to satisfy them, that's whey the pellet. He only get a "handful" which is about 1 - 2 cups. But he has reacted to a supplemnt in the past by getting "hot", so this could be part of the problem.

Time to go be a detective, thanks all!
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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maybe. But I usually try to make him work after his little bucks. Maybe not at canter, but at least trotting. And if he tries it in a lesson, he defintitely gets worked hard after. Like I said my daughter is not all that athletic, and he has had her off several times. But she always gets back on and keeps working him. He does get that immediate reward though, and that is what I'm worried about.
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 05:28 PM
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I have no training advice, I just wanted to say that I love that costume picture. What an awesome idea making him Toothless, and your kids are obviously Hiccup and Astrid, they look great. As a mother, I absolutely LOVE that movie. Good job!
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-21-2012, 07:07 PM
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I can tell you with Magic that even if it is 1 cup she will react to it. I know where i live we figure out pretty quick if horses have problems with different feeds and just how very common it is because we have to supplement so much. At the last barn I was at about every 3 horse had a reaction to some kind of feed. What I learned when I was willing to pay 28 dollars for a 50lb bale of orchard grass trucked in from washington that the only thing my horse needed in addition to that was a little bit of millenium gold I would give her that with a cup of a local hay pellet and she never knew she was missing out on anything. Keep posting on how things go I am very curious to find out what it is. And I forgot to mention he is a pretty boy.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-22-2012, 02:28 AM
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Hey I work with a lot of problem horses. I would avoid chiropractors like the plague, personal experiance I've never seen them fix a **** thing. My vet and doctor freind passionate hate Chiro as well, no good ever come of it except the placebo effect

I would look at feed, saddle fit and behaviour
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-22-2012, 09:44 AM
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^^^ and I have had personal experience with chiropractors and my horses are noticeably better. Then again, my chiropractor is also a vet and is wonderful at spinal realignment.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-22-2012, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wild horses View Post
Hey I work with a lot of problem horses. I would avoid chiropractors like the plague, personal experiance I've never seen them fix a **** thing. My vet and doctor freind passionate hate Chiro as well, no good ever come of it except the placebo effect

I would look at feed, saddle fit and behaviour
I agree with this. My friends horse developed neuro symptoms after seeing a chiropractor and is now retired because he is too messed up to be ridden. A girl at my barn has a "chiro" work on her horse. The sessions are at least 2 hours and the horse keeps getting lamer and lamer. I've heard tons of other horror stories as well. So many chiros are into the big cracking stuff. A good osteopath will get 10x the work done and often times an osteo/massage will get everything in place better than any chiro. I find mainly it is fascia work that helps the horse to align himself, if I find a sore bit on my horse, I can do some minor fascia and/or accupressure and its relieved in 5 minutes.

As far as for solving your horses issues, first place a call to a veterinarian and book a physical and lameness exam. Then go from there. Your issues could be anything from farriery to joint soreness. I'd bet money his hocks are going through arthritic changes. If you can find a good osteopath in your area (I will admit, most are loopy, but the good ones that are nationally certified and have taken university/college training are awesome) it might be worth your while to get his/her opinion as well. My vet does minor meridian and accu point testing when he does physical/lameness exams too.

Good luck!
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