horse bucking after two hours of riding?
I'm new to the forums b,ut really need the opinion of other horse owners right now.
I feel awful inside.
We sold a horse recently to a family new to horses. Their daughter has been taking lessons for some time and they felt she was ready for her own horse. This was not a pressure sale - they were looking for a middle aged gelding that they could send for training at a barrel racer's so that their daughter and the horse could progress together. We split the cost of a month's training with the potential buyers who indicated that if they liked the horse after a month's regular training with a barrel racing trainer, they would buy him. They went ahead with the deal.
Their daughter, who is 12, rode the horse regularly for a month at the trainer's first, and he passed his vet check with flying colors. Everyone involved said that they felt good about it, the daughter was thrilled, the trainer was confident that all would go well, and so on. We bid him goodbye, signed the bill of sale, and cashed the cheque.
Tonight they took him to 4H, and after two hours of riding, the horse bucked their 12 year old daughter off. The trainer then got on in order to control him, and he bucked her off.
I am terribly upset that this happened. In the 2.5 years that we owned him, he never bucked. In the month and a week that they've been riding him at the trainer's, he never bucked. I just hate to think of this young girl becoming frightened and hurt by him. I really wanted this to go well. The buyer also signed a bill of sale that says that he assumes responsibility for the horse, so I know that on paper, this technically isn't our problem... but it's still a terrible situation.
What would make a horse start bucking after two hours of riding? His vet check was two weeks ago and he came out clean. I am shocked and stumped by this behaviour and would appreciate any input you could provide. All I can guess is that something was hurting and after two hours, he'd finally had enough, but I am not sure if that's a reasonable explanation or not.
Anyone have any ideas?
I have a few Idea's on what could have caused this...
1) The saddle was not fitting correctly and he finnaly had enough
2) His back is sore and he just had enough
3) He is a bit lazy and decided he wanted to be done so he decided to geth them off his back.
I have seen all of the reasons above happen in real life. So Its very possiable
I agree, Pony~Princess pretty much summed it up to me, I only read it quickly but it sounds like the horse was just sick of it.
He could also be getting tired and that's how he's letting them know.
I used to lease a mare that would bolt and buck and be super exciting ( >.< haha) when she got tired. She got her way too because at that point I was not a strong rider and she scared me...
I dunno, just a thought. =)
That could be true. Any one of those things that Pony~Princess mentioned could have been the cause. The girl could have done something that he had never had happen before (like a sharp kick to the ribs), he could have had a bout of mild colic and the pain from that caused him to be hyperreactive and buck. A bee or wasp could have stung him that she didn't notice. It could have been any one of a million things. It may be an isolated incident or it could be the start of a bad habit. Without seeing the girl ride and knowing the horse, it would be impossible for me to tell what may have caused it.
As other people have suggested, rule out any pain issues such as saddle fitting, soreness etc. I have heard of a very similar story with a supposedly kid friendly pony- was a dream, then when the kid finished with the trainer the horse started bucking and turned into a little devil. You have noticed the key factor here: once he was not ridden with the trainer, he bucked. Chances are, the 12 year old is not capable of asserting herself as his leader, and he felt entitled to decide when enough was enough. 2 hours of riding is pushing the time limit for most horses, but they should not be bucking around about it. First of all, I would not let anybody ride this horse for that long, as most horses can't focus properly after about an hour. Second of all, this horse needs a strong hand for a while. The 12 year old girl is a 12 year old girl, and probably not capable of having the definite control over him he needs to stop bucking. If the 12 year old wants to keep him, he needs to be ridden by a trainer until his issues are solved and then she will need supervision and lessons with this trainer, and be able to establish with the horse that she is the leader, not him. Look for a trainer that is firm but not cruel. Too soft a trainer and he won't learn, too hard and he will get even angrier/develop fear issues. Choose the trainer wisely.
Pretty much what Smrobs said...
To me, it sounds as though something wasn't fitting him properly that day...maybe there was something under his pad? Or the pad was crooked, and pulling his coat, and pinching certain areas?
If this was the first time in this horse's history to throw a bucking fit, I would say it may have been an isolated incident, and maybe a little bit of time off, some refresher ground work (to regain rider and horse confidence), and then restart with him. Certainly check saddle fit, and double check to make sure there are NO sticker things in his pad!!!
I agree with the above. They have like 4 hour trail rides! The horse can handle 2 hours easily. John Lyons says he works untouched horses in a round and about two hours he has them gentled and a halter on them. That is not a lot of time. On a baby yes, they only have attention spans around 10-15 minutes. But a grown horse? No way.
First guess if this is totally not like this horse is there is a pain issue.
If the horse was good for the previous two hours of riding then that seems like the best bet.
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