Help with Bucking Mare
Hi. My name is Suzanne and I'm not (at all) a professional horse rider. I tought myself to ride a few years ago and just recently met a lady who is trying to teach me the proper ways of riding. Apart from falling pregnant (twice) everything's going fine...up until now.
I finally decided to buy a horse and found the sweetest mare. She's very inquisitive and quite lively. Whenever I groom her she's always interested in what I'm doing and looking around her with interest in everything she sees. She's not like the horses I'm used to that usually stands still, head down while grooming, etc.
The problem is she's not schooled. She's about 8 years old and the lady at the livery is starting to school her now. Whenever I ride her she bucks, and I get soooooooooo scared and freeze up. My trainers says that she now know's that I'm afraid and that she can manipulate me and that I should be more assertive. I rode her with a whip once and when I raised the whip (to scratch my ear) she went really crazy. Needless to say I froze again. I am not an aggresive/assertive person when it comes to animals and I do not like riding with a whip. I try to treat her the way I would like to be treated but I'm not getting the treatment I hoped for....
The point is she starts bucking, I get scared and she get's her way. I just want your opinions on my situation. We are both still very green at all this.
Thank you. :P
Hey and welcome to the forum! :D
I had a mare on free lease about a year ago. When I first got her she was very sweet, but I was nervous and she was a smart mare. She eventually started bucking whenever I rode her, acting like your horse, and I was acting like you.
The problem I found was that I was not assertive enough, on ground or in the saddle, and yes she easily picked up on it and manipulated it to her advantage like your instructor said.
Eventually it got to the point that every time I rode I would get bucked off and I became very very nervous around any horse. It has taken me almost 1 year to regain most of that confidence back.
If you are going to continue with this horse, I think that it is time that you definately became more assertive with her. She knows she is winning when you ride her and she will only continue to get worse.
I'm going to take a different approach from what the popular opinion may be. At this point in your skill and confidence level, you have the wrong horse.
Yes I know, you love him, he is so wonderful when you pet him, he nickers when he sees you ..... and so on. He bucks you off, and you are becoming afraid of him - all the training in the world will not get a timid rider or a rider with little confidence over it. You need a sturdy, been there, done that, put anyone on my back and I'll teach them to ride - kind of horse.
It is not the horse as much as it is the rider and one of several things can happen from this point:
1. You can spend tons of money with an instructor who will help you to a degree but it will take a long time and a lot of money but you will always have that fear that you will do something and he'll buck.
2. You can have someone work with your horse but it will take time, you will spend money and you will always have the fear that if you do something wrong he'll buck.
3. You will eventually give up riding because your anxiety will keep you from riding
Many many years ago I was in your boots. I had been riding on and off since I could remember and when I turned 30 or so I bought my first horse. He was the wrong one and I got bucked off nearly every day. It took a gentle, willing to please horse that I got next to get me over the fear of riding that I was developing. That was over 30 years ago and I still try to ride nearly every day.
The advise I was given then is what I tell each new rider I work with, "pretty is what pretty does - start with a horse that will teach you, not a horse that you have to teach".
yup, if you keep the horse and are commited start working on the ground (with help!!!!). Respect, Respect respect, and you must earn it. you must become leader and have her respect and attention.If she doesnt behave and you dont have control or know what to do in an emergency one or both of you could be injured. if you are not committed get rid of her and find a horse that is a good fit for you.they are all beautiful it is finding the right horse for your experience and lifestyle.
Thank you for your replies. I am commited to Molly so I'm going to give training a chance. I also feel that Molly is not the horse for me but I didn't like my husband the first time I saw him and he turned out to be the man for me, so...
I am currently 7 weeks preggers but I am doing groundwork with the trainer and her daughter is riding Molly (Molly bucks with her as well, only not as bad as with me), so I'll give her a couple of months and then I'll decide. I want to wait until I can ride her again but we'll see what happens.
Does anyone have advice on what to do when your horse bucks with you on her?
First off, congrats! That is very exciting, I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!
Secondly, there is most definitely stuff you can do if the horse bucks: Make her work hard for her misbehavior, make her regret bucking by making her work. Pull her hard in a tight circle and boot her bum around, or use a whip to get her butt around. Make her circle and circle a few times around, then go back to what you were doing before. Soon enough she'll realize that bucking=harder work, and it would just be easier to behave.
I hope this helped.
It may feel "mean" to be firm with your horse but you can't be "nice" to her hoping she'll be nice back. Horses do not work this way. It is absolutely crucial to be firm with her, or she will only get worse. If you had a child that slapped you in the face and told you to shut up would you just stand there and smile at them hoping they would be as kind to you as you are to them? I certainly hope not! You would discipline them in some way, in the hopes of teaching them how to be respectable and kind people in the world. You MUST get over your fear immediately and be assertive with this horse. If you cannot respond immediately in this way you are teaching her that bucking is not only acceptable but a fabulous way to get out of being worked! It's a downward spiral that is very dangerous. I think non assertive people can be taught to be assertive riders, but it's crucial to get the confidence and foundation first in order to learn how to be assertive. If you do not have the confidence or skills to discipline this mare and ride her in a way that makes her a better riding horse, she is simply not the horse for you. It is not a matter of personality differences. You must be honest with yourself about your skills level. And ask yourself, is it FUN to ride her? There are soooooo many fantastic horses out there who would love to be babied and taken care of and who will take care of you back. Regardless of what you may feel, you aren't obligated to this mare. If you can't be the best rider for her that will teach her to be a great riding horse, she needs to be worked with a rider who can.
In the meantime, I suggest doing lots of groundwork with her to help establish some respect and give you more confidence in working with her (it's easier to learn confidence on the ground because there's no fear of falling off!) When you ride I'd work mainly at the trot, especially if she has a lot of energy. Horses can get antsy and feel a lot of pent up energy if you hold them back to a walk, and the canter is just way too easy to get excited and let out a few bucks. Make her work HARD at the trot, especially if she bucks. I would learn how to do a one rein stop or an emergency stop. Once she bucks, stop her, then IMMEDIATELY get her working again. Make it a negative experience for her and teach her that bucking only leads to hard work.
Upnover - Thank you for your reply. You basically put in words what I've been thinking all along.
If she bucks while I lunge her what should /can I do to make her realise it's unacceptable? I can also not seem to get her to canter on a lunge...
you should just relax a little bit. when i first rode bobby and i showed him the whip before i got on him and he did freak and then when i got on him with the whip he kept looking at it and then he did buck a few times. i just chucked the whip to the side and then he was well. if i was n this position and i couldnt sort the horse out i would possible hand her over for someone professional to help me and the horse become well with not bucking. or i would at least try and find out why. you should get a saddle fitter in and then see if it is the saddle that doesnt fit you or the horse properly.
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