My horse is almost 5 years old and I want to get her to break into a gallop. She does fine with every other gait but when I try to push her into a gallop from a canter she wants to buck. What should I do?
Most horses can't buck if you're pushing them forward. But there are those talented ones that come up. I mean it kinda depends on where you're trying it I guess? Its difficult to gallop in a ring unless its huge. I would start somewhere that you know the horse likes to be ridden on trail/open field etc. if you're on a single file trail with someone else ahead of you galloping your horse will be more likely be concerned about being left behind, instead of bucking you off. I find when open any horse up to a gallop, I have a certain place where I want to be stopped by, so they can't decide to keep going. And if im on a new horse I only gallop where I have the advantage, like up a hill. They can't really pull anything too crazy going up a hill. Just until I know what they might try and do. I mean it depends on your horse mostly. Good luck!
Try up a longer sloping hill :) my mare bucks as you canter her along [although I havent come off yet although she does it all the time constantly like a bronc]. Good Luck and try doing it with another horse ahead like drizzy suggested! Or up a slope with a horse ahead! :) hope you figure it out and good luck!
I like to gallop for the first time with another, well-trained horse. Your young horse might get really excited when galloping for the first time, so if you have another horse gallop ahead it helps your horse start into the gait as well as be able to slow down and stop when the other horse does. I would make sure you have lots of room in case your horse doesn't want to stop right away. Make sure it's not too narrow so you can use bending to slow your horse down if you have too. Also up a hill is great, especially if it's so long your horse would get tired out if he decided to keep running when you want to stop.
I like to go somewhere I don't have to control the pace for the first few gallops. That way you can let your horse relax into it on a loose rein and get comfortable without you trying to slow the horse down. Most horses go really fast and uncontrolled the first few times they gallop, and sometimes they "spurt" forward within the gait for awhile before they learn to pace themselves. So be prepared for that and don't worry, it will smooth out after a few times.
I made the mistake with my mare of galloping on the trail when I was by myself. Then when I started schooling her in a Dressage saddle and snaffle bridle I had to retrain her to canter on the 20mm circle. I sarted by riding bigger circles at first then progressively smaller circles until we were doing the 20mm circle. It did take a while to slow her down and get her in the proper mindset for canter only work.
I have been on a couple of horses that could buck at the canter and gallop. One of those times I got soundly bucked off and hit the ground hard. I was laid up for nearly a week from being extremely sore and badly bruised.
Horses that do buck when asked to gallop are called "cold backed". With a "cold backed" horse make sure you have ridden enough to take the "freshness edge" out of their system. Riding often will help tremendously.