What to do when a horse starts bucking - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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What to do when a horse starts bucking

So, I'm going to start out and explain the situation and I'd like to know what you think should have been done!

I, more or less, free lease a gelding named Jasper who is about 11 years old. I've started him under saddle about 5 months ago. Everything went well, no bucking or anything like that. The owners have three girls that would like to ride him some day, but they don't come out to the barn much.

Well, I was at the barn riding Jasper bareback(this sunday) and they came and wanted to ride. I let the two that had come a turn each to ride and lead them around(I gave them my helmet). Jasper wasn't thrilled(I've been the only one to ride him till then) but he put up with it fine. Once they were done I hopped on and was going to ride back down to the the little barn where he's pastured, when the older of the two girls(she's about 7 but tall for her age) wanted to ride back with me, so I said ok and figured Jasper would be fine. She got on behind me then Jasper starts side stepping, I tried to stop him and then, bang, he turned into a bucking bronco. There was no way I was staying on bareback with a girl trying to hold on to me, we ended up slipping not so gracefully off. We were both fine, it wasn't that far down, though the girl cried till they left 5 minutes later.

So, down to the the question, what would you have done in this situation when the horse started bucking? To start with, I do realize I probably shouldn't have let the girl up with me, but what would have been the best thing to do considering there was another rider with you and your horse starts to buck or misbehave?

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post #2 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 12:26 PM
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Did you still have his bit in or just his halter on?

Riding a horse bareback that starts to buck, it will be hard to stay on unless you are a bronc rider in the rodeo. At least it is for me.

I've been bucked off a few times riding bareback. So I probably don't have the best advice. I "try" to sit deep and try to get their head to the side. You could try to get him moving forward but either can be difficult being bareback, especially with a second rider.

Edit: I know hindsight is 20/20. The best advice is to not have anyone that isn't experienced on him until he is better trained.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 12:35 PM
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Since it was the 'feel' of the other rider on his back that made him buck there wasn't a lot you could do really
In a normal situation you would pick his head up and push him forwards but you weren't in a normal situation
If a horse understands how to flex his neck and bring his head towards your leg then they can't buck in this position but to do it on an unbalanced horse in full blown buck might end up with him on the floor
I'm going to be a bit blunt with you but treating a horse that's only had a few months of riding like this is very unfair - I've known solid reliable horses with many years of work behind them react badly to being ridden by two people
I hope you can get him over this incident
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Since it was the 'feel' of the other rider on his back that made him buck there wasn't a lot you could do really
In a normal situation you would pick his head up and push him forwards but you weren't in a normal situation
If a horse understands how to flex his neck and bring his head towards your leg then they can't buck in this position but to do it on an unbalanced horse in full blown buck might end up with him on the floor
I'm going to be a bit blunt with you but treating a horse that's only had a few months of riding like this is very unfair - I've known solid reliable horses with many years of work behind them react badly to being ridden by two people
I hope you can get him over this incident

I wondered if doing something along the lines of a "one rein stop" would have been a good idea or not.

He's very laid back and I didn't think it through, so, yes, I know it was a bad decision. Ya live and learn. At that moment all I remembered of riding double was never a problem even on random horses that were barely ridden.

I don't think we'll have any trouble

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post #5 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyAHorseOfCourse View Post
To start with, I do realize I probably shouldn't have let the girl up with me
This says it all. And beyond that I would not have had them ride the horse each alone 1.) Bareback and 2.) with so little training on the horse.

When riding double if the horse begins to buck you are pretty well all done. If you can feel it coming on you might get out of the wreck by getting him to move in a tight circle.. tho the double rider may fall off.

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post #6 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 01:24 PM
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At that moment all I remembered of riding double was never a problem even on random horses that were barely ridden.
you lucked out. What I remember about riding double on a horse that had 6 months riding was a bucking horse, bruised riders and a walk home.

To be fair to a green horse, you need to do everything carefully, and with preparation. If he had never been ridden double, you should have sat where the second rider would sit and tried riding like that, flapped your legs around in that position to make sure he was comfortable with legs near his flanks, and then saddled him up and bridled him, so you would have had the best chance of control, which would have ended in a positive experience for the girl, you, and the horse. Now he has had a bad experience, you will have regressed, and will have a horse and a girl who will have to be worked through their issues.

Back to the point, if a horse starts bucking, you need to do a one rein stop, disengaging their hindquarters, then you have to get them through it. If it was fear based(like this one), you should have taken the girl off, done some desensitizing, perhaps led the girl around(to finish on a good note for her), then continued on the lesson of carrying someone double, by perhaps sitting in that position yourself, desensitizing around the flanks, etc. If it was disrespect, you should put them to work in no uncertain terms.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyAHorseOfCourse View Post
I wondered if doing something along the lines of a "one rein stop" would have been a good idea or not.
In this case no. Trying to pull him up after he's already bucking is very hard to do and once he passes a certain threshold, pulling will actually engage his hindquarters more and he'll buck harder. The one-rein stop has to come -before- he fully commits to bucking. There's pretty much no way you were going to get it done with another rider on AND bareback. Doing what you did, coming off without anyone getting hurt is the best possible outcome to the situation.

The greatest benefit from this kind of experience is what you learn from it for the future! So no need to be down about it. You actually came out of this one fairly unscathed. :)

Last edited by Ian McDonald; 12-03-2013 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Just trying to become a better writer here. Revise and revise again!
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 02:35 PM
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In my experience, its really hard to ride a bucking horse bareback, because the moment you go to sit deep and "grab" on with your legs, you slide up over the wither and on the neck and you're a goner.

Your best bet is to make a crash landing!

A few weeks ago, I went to lope my horse across my yard bareback with a halter and she decided to buck the whole way instead. Silly horse! And I was one hop away from going out the front door before I yelled at her and she smartened up enough for me to get my seat back.

I've only had horses buck on me bareback maybe three times, and only fell off once cause the bugger stopped dead and sent me out the front door.

In your particular situation, there isnt much you could have done other than try to get out of there safe.

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post #9 of 12 Old 12-04-2013, 12:56 PM
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Any time you have another rider up, especially one that doesn't know what is going on to begin with, you can bet they are going to clamp down on flank area.

Don't do this again.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-04-2013, 01:18 PM
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This is why I have become a big Clinton Anderson fan. Your horse is still green and has holes in his training. You are fortunate that the problem occurred here instead of when you are cantering alone on a trail where you could have been left with a broken arm or leg by yourself...for hours. Your horse needs desensitizing of his belly, flanks and back legs. He ALSO needs a great deal of hard work--the "wet saddlepad"--with lots of transitions between gaits, demanding fast work away from the barn, total obedience and ground work.
After my horses were trained bc of the many years I used them for lessons, we would sometimes ride double. We NEVER had a bucking problem bc my horses would comfortable being handled every place on their bodies and having weight put on every part of their backs. I recommend:
Http://www.amazon.com/Clinton-Andersons-Downunder-Horsemanship-Establishing/dp/1570762848/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman, Amazon.com
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! http://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/
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