bucking in round pen
I have a new 3 yr old Paint..I was working her in the round pen and she started off fine but then started bucking and acting pretty "crazy" I would back off any pressure but when I changed her direction she would turn and start bucking and acting very nervous again. When she did this I wanted her to calm down so I looked away from her and walked into the middle. She slowly walked up to me and would follow me all around. When she starts to buck while working her in the round pen she I just keep going until she settles down?? Should I take this as disobedient behaviour? BTW she is a very calm horse usually with very good ground manners. She is at a new facility also, she has only been there about one week.
Thanks for any advise!
How long has she been round penned for? How many horses have you worked in the round pen? Can you lunge the mare? I ask this because I have a horse that is soured on the round pen because the pressure was never released. The mare is kinda snotty in the pen but perfect on the lunge. I just wonder if your mare has previous experience in the round pen.
Otherwise, you might be putting on too much pressure without knowing it. It could be a combination of you putting on too much pressure and a bad habit forming. In which case, use less pressure but don't remove it until the bad behavior has stopped.
Sounds to me like a normal thing to do for a 3 year old horse. As long as she is not bucking "at" you it seems that she just has lots of energy to get rid of and maybe she did not settle in at the new place yet. I would work her through it: "you want to buck? Ok, then keep going until you are to tired to do so"... I am asuming that she is sound and has no pain issues?! Always stop at a good note, one you get her going from trot into canter without a buck release the pressure and let her know that she did well, never let her buck and then stop doing what you are doing as she will get the feeling that she will get away with it then! Again, make the right thing easy for her and the wrong thing hard!
Is she saddled? If she is, you are just teaching her to buck.
If she is not saddled, spank her butt and put MORE pressure on her. She needs to be 'running for her life' after misbehaving. Then, do not make her go faster and harder for very long, but make sure you NEVER back off when she is misbehaving. Always quit when she is doing the right thing in the right way.
You do not have to 'back off' at the wrong time very often before you have created a monster that knows as soon as she blows up or misbehaves, she wins and YOU quit.
Thank you all very much for your advise!!!! No she is not saddled in the round pen....I just wanted to make sure when she goes to bucking and acting crazy I should still keep pressure on her...I just was afraid I was pushing her into that "now I am so scared I am not thinking any longer" frame of mind.
In my experience (which is admittedly a lot less than Cherie's), just like a kid, as a horse matures it tends to grow out of the need to blow off energy as much, but sometimes letting the horse play a little and blow off a bit of pent-up energy actually helps it focus better once the training starts. There needs to be a clear delineation between play time and work time, though, so she knows when "playtime" is over.
Didn't read any other comments.
Quit backing off that horse when she acts bad!
Make her work HARD if she's ring back. Get all up in her business, when she quits her crap then back off.
My horse plays at first. He bucks and kicks and is happy to work. He gets over it after the first or second lap around and is just peachy then on out. I don't have a round pen though, so we just pick a spot in the field and lounge. I suppose I'm sayin, don't be too conserned unless it's a constant issue. And yeah I laugh and tell him he's being a clown but I keep him moving! Never ever done it under saddle either. Then we'd have an issue!
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Seems to be pretty normal to me. Just look out you aren't asking to much from her and do not make the sessions longer then 20 minutes. Give her some time. Explain it better to her. But surely do not get mad about this.
Probably it will stop in a few months. If not, you can post it again here with a movie where we can see what he is doing.
You really have to interpret what your horse is telling you... Is she excited? Nervous? Aggressive? None of these are handled the same way so its important you know. I wouldn't try to dominate a scared horse and I wouldn't let an aggressive horse just be...
To me it sounds like she has a nervous reaction in the round pen, evident by her tearing around like that with no pressure (our playful and aggressive horses typically need to be provoked). I would just stand in the middle quietly as possible and put a lunge line on her. Keep the circle small and work your way to a larger circle as she settles. Only allow her to trot in there for a while. You don't want her to think she has to run for her life every time she goes in there.
Obviously its impossible for us to know if she is also having "fun" because we can't see her body language. Several of the horses at my barn go into the round pens and tear around bucking, striking and squeeling. As long as its not directed at me I don't have a problem. After 2 minutes they settle down and get to work. It has NEVER turned into an under saddle or problem on the ground.
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