What are the chances of working this out? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 26 Old 07-22-2012, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by maura View Post
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.
Great post, Maura. The first thing that popped into my head was "back or hocks." A lot of mid-aged to older horses in regular to demanding work may have slight hock problems that are easily controlled with supplements or injections. I think it is worthwhile having a vet out to do a soundness exam, as well as having a professional saddle fitter out to check up on things.

Great posts all around in this thread, I wanted to highlight Maura's hock idea as well :)
Lovely horse, by the way!
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-23-2012, 09:07 AM
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I want to stand up here for the -good- chiropractors. While I was lucky enough so far not needing one I went to the clinic by the chiro who is recommended by lots of local folks. She worked with 2 horses: I knew the owner of the 1st gelding. Chiro spent just 30 mins on him, and the horse was much more relaxed, comfortable and better moving. So it all depends (BTW, I did run into bad saddle fitters too - same problem if you chose the wrong one).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 07:59 AM
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Just like everyone else said, check for a source of pain or discomfort. Although to me, it sounds like this horse has been aloud to buck for quite a while. You shouldn't be surprised that he eventually got you both off. Horses are extremely smart animals. A lot of times, a horse will buck in protest of not wanting to do what you asked. If you let just the little ones slide, he will start to think "ok, she's not getting my point." And that leads to bigger bucking. Don't get rid of this horse, fix your problem. Horses like him are hard to come by it sounds like. Have your trainer teach you how to disengage his hindquarters, if you don't already know. That is where all their power comes from. If you learn how to cut out the power, you control the buck. I would work his stinking butt off if he even so much as thought about it at this point....this is assuming all pain related causes are ruled out. Switch his feed back and go from there. I have a feeling this is a bad habit that he has been aloud to have.
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-27-2012, 12:54 AM
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I'm going to throw in my two cents worth. My coach had a leaser on her show gelding, who used a collegiate convertible on him. For whatever reason, this saddle created some real lumpy bits on this horse's spine and shoulder. On closer inspection of this saddle, we noticed it was really stiff and inflexible. The thinline pad did not help. Perhaps the saddle is a factor?
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-27-2012, 04:59 AM
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I'm sort of weighing in with Army wife on this one. From your first post, it sounds like this horse has been throwing "little" bucks routinely and they have been explained away, excused, rationalized, and he's basically gotten away with them. Like Cherie says...big problems start with small problems. He's learned he can dislodge your daughter, now he's learning that you can be tossed also.

I've never been a fan of bucking, but because of a recent bad experience (which I admit may well be influencing my judgement) I now have NO tolerance. It's just too darn dangerous.
If you can find the cause and fix it. Good.
If you can't find the cause, this horse would go to someone who COULD find the cause and fix it. Bucking is too dangerous to put up with.
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-27-2012, 08:55 AM
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Ah, I'm going to point out that in that super-cute picture where your boy has TWO riders and a pair of batwings, and is obviously all mellow and groovy about it...

...what he does NOT have is a saddle.

So my money is going to go on "poor saddle fit" here. A good trainer can be helpful in assessing saddle fit, but believe me, it is no substitute for a professional saddle fitter. There's a saddle fitter that comes up to my area every spring, and sets up appointments at the different barns. My BO has been using the guy for years, he's very good. My saddle was the "best" fit for Huey and me and there wasn't anything *obviously* wrong with it when you looked at it, but it turns out that the padding over the stirrup bars was about a half-inch out of the position it needed to be in, and it was about a third of an inch too thick, and the padding in the back was about a half-inch too low. For $100 the guy did a full assessment of the fit (which was a VERY interesting thing to watch!) and then changed the flocking up. Even though it only took him about 15 minutes to make all of the changes once he knew what he wanted to do, afterwards, it felt like a different saddle, and my horse was moving MUCH easier under it than he had been.

So I learned there is a HUGE difference between a "good" saddle fit and an "OK" saddle fit.

I'm also going to stand up for good chiros. Mine told me it would be easier for *her* if I had the massage therapist come out and work on the horse before the chiro, but that it would be better for the *horse* if the massage happened after the chiro. And she doesn't make a big show of popping and cracking stuff, etc. What she does is actually pretty subtle and low-key, and the horse is OK with it, and he moves a lot easier afterward. He doesn't STAY moving a lot easier permanently, because he's 18 and the stuff she works on with him is the result of injuries he had years ago, and a decade of rough work as a professional jumper. If you catch stuff early, you can truly fix it in a lot of cases, but otherwise, you're basically managing it, not fixing it.
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