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Problem with black geldin 05-18-2013 06:13 PM

Horse bucks when put into a canter.
I have a 12 year old gelding that I have had for about 3 years. When I bought him he hadn't been ridden in one year. The owner was scared to ride him. She took him on a trail ride with 20 horses and he got huffy and she was scared to ride him. I was trained in basic parelli. He had a big attitude but I taught him the basic games and he was rideable. He started off popping his but at a trot then in a few days was fine with it. But he would buck at a canter. Throw his head then 2 or 3 bucks. He is 15.2 hands high and usually got me off by the
Second or third buck. On the ground he would do anything to avoid going into a right lead. Back up, buck. i had a friend that has been doing parelli for years work with him and she thought that he may have a back that is out of wack. We had a vet look at his back and he said it was very out. After he adjusted it I worked with him on the ground until he had a smooth transition into a canter. The first few tries were big leaps into a canter. But i stayed on. We cantered him all summer and he did fine. I always made sure he would canter on the ground with a smooth transition before I would canter in the saddle. Then winter came and it got icy. We rode all winter when we could but didn't canter for a month of icy weather. Then when the ice melted I tried again. He went into a smooth canter on the ground the second time I tried (which was normal) so I cantered on him and he got two or three steps out then apparently bucked me off. All I remember is getting back on and my hand hurting, needing help up because my hand was weak with pain,and being very indignant about being helped. I don't remember any of the ride home. Thank you Lord for watching over me. My husband just happened to be on that ride. He rides about twice a year! I usually just go with my kids and sometimes with their friends. I had a concussion! I remember arriving at my driveway. It was a long ride home and apparently I was scared and couldn't remember what happened and how i got there. Over and over again I would ask the same questions and it scared all my kids that were with us. Well, we had Midnight's back looked at by another chiropractor. It was out again and she had me send off a spit test. It came back with a bone spur in his back, kidney stones and low serotonin.
We put him on homeopathetic medicine and had to basically wait the summer. I never cantered him that summer which was last summer. Now it is spring again and I need to get him cantering again or it will be a bullet for him. My husband hates him and doesn't feel we can sell him( too much of a liability risk). He also doesn't want to loose the money we invested in him. Of course the worst part is that he doesn' t want to spend any more money on him. I am not sure what to do. So far I have an appointment for a chiropractor in training to un officially look at his back next week for $40. I don't know how that will go over but sometimes better to get forgiveness than ask. I also ordered a nice extra link snaffle sweat bit for him. I got a good deal on it. I usually ride with a hackamore. Parelli style. He is soft in the mouth and moves with me a lot without having to use the reins. I thought it would me more effective to not get bucked off at a canter if I could keep his head up. I will start working with him hopefully before the lady for his back comes out. I feel sick today, fever and body aches. Worst i have felt in a long time. So does anyone have any suggestions? By the way my trainer friends don't have any advise. I don't want to die! I have three children that I am homeschooling. I am afraid to canter without someone telling me they think it would be reasonably safe to try. Unfortunately I am very attached to this horse. He has come such a long way. I am his woman. He even panicks if I take him out then leave him out of the field and go inside for a moment. He feels I am his leader and safe with me. I haven't ridden a lot this winter because my kids don't like riding in the winter and I don't feel he is safe to ride alone. Please don't suggest a trainer that will charge big money or a bullet. Like a "friend" of mine did last week. 😢

waresbear 05-18-2013 06:26 PM

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It truly sounds like a pain issue, and a recurring one. There is nothing I can suggest other than an equine vet which will be pricey. For your own safety, don't ride him anymore, too risky and probably painful for the horse. You could try giving him away.

Saddlebag 05-18-2013 07:54 PM

i'm not sure I'd be allowing a chiropractor in training to start manipulating the horse. Hand walk the horse in a straight line then turn a tight circle to your left. See if he will step over in front or hops or shuffles to make the turn. Then do it to the right. This will let you know if it's a hoof issue. The put him on the lunge and ask for the trot, it doesn't have to be brisk. Watch his head for even up and down movement. The trot the other way. If in one direction his head seems to bob (it will be more pronounced) this will confirm if it's a lameness issue. When a horse is sore on one side it is reluctant to turn toward that side.

Celeste 05-18-2013 08:00 PM

Is his saddle hurting him? It could be that you could just use a different pad and solve the problem. I have a horse that was bucking at the canter. She wasn't as severe because I didn't fall off. Her saddle was bridging. I bought a pad like this and it stopped the problem. It stopped her saddle from bridging.
Contour Swayback Pad - Tacky Too: Reinsman Equestrian Products

toto 05-18-2013 08:09 PM

Sounds like he would make a good pasture buddy for another lonesome horse somewhere.. in the nicest way i could put it.

JMims 05-23-2013 08:23 AM

I agree with waresbear...sounds like pain. When you cantered him on the ground, did he show any lameness/resistance to canter to the right? If not, it could be an ill-fitting saddle.
*Is he high in the withers? A narrow tree could very well be pinching him. I had a high-withered TB that just needed a wither relief pad and he was fine.
Hope this helps!

texasgal 05-23-2013 09:06 AM

Welcome to the forum...

Saddlebag 05-23-2013 09:22 AM

He was telling you he was going to buck but you missed the signs. It starts before it happens and had you been aware you'd have been able to diffuse it. Usually the back will rise, the ribcage will feel different, his ears may be flicking or turned back altho not necessarily pinned. It might be time to deliver a good whack on his ribcage next time he bucks. Make it count, not a tap. He will learn that this behaviour results in pain. Remember, if he offended another herd member he'd get a painful kick in the ribs. The first time he may not make the connection about buck means pain and it may take a few more times for him to put it together in his mind.

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