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Progress or not?
A couple of weeks ago I posted about my very green 8 year old gelding that I'm currently working with. He's only been gelded for about a year. I've had him for 2 months and he's gone from knowing only to lead by a halter to lunging in both directions, following verbal commands to walk, trot, and lope, he flexes in both directions with me standing by his side, he lowers his head at my touch, and he's now accepting a blanket and a french link snaffle. We've made tons of progress there considering he knew absolutely nothing before. The biggest hangup he has is accepting tightness around the barrel. He had a buckfest a few weeks ago when I placed a saddle on him and barely cinched it. He got the saddle off which was my mistake. He'll accept the saddle, he just won't take the cinch. Since then I've moved my horses to another location and have access to a nice portable panel round pen. Today I introduced him to just a surcingle so I won't ruin my saddle when he has his "moments". I just want him to get used to the pressure right now. I actually got the surcingle buckled and was even able to lead him around a few times with it. Then all of a sudden he realized it wasn't falling off and he snapped. He went round and round bucking again. I just got out and watched. In the mean time, he lost his balance from the bucking and laid down sideways into a panel. Of course he took the two it was attached to on either side with it. He weighs 1100 lbs. He wasn't hurt, stood back up and commenced to bucking until he finally stopped. I was actually able to grab him, talk to him, and then I unbuckled the surcingle. That was enough for me today. So would y'all call that any sort of progress? I'd like to think that because he stopped and let me unbuckle it, it was something. I wanted to let him go again, but the bent panels worried me. I didn't need him bucking into those and breaking a leg. So anyway, I out about $200 in panels now, which I didn't really need, but otherwise, I think I'm just going to try again for round two once I fix the round pen. It wouldn't bother me so much if it was my own round pen but unfortunately I'm boarding my boys. :-| I just hope it doesn't cost me $200 every time we try to tighten the buckles on something. :?
I allow my colts to buck ONE time with the saddle. After that I leave the halter on them and send them around the pen and when they start to buck I pull them around and make them face up then go the other way. It doesn't take long before they just accept the saddle. You don't need to be in a round pen to do it. Put on a rope halter and an extra long lead rope and before he really gets bucking make him change directions. he will soon forget why he was so interested in bucking. If you allow him to buck under saddle (or surcingle) with no consequences then it may get to be a habit and he will need to be lunged before he is ridden every time.
Thanks Kevin. I was hoping you'd find this post. I will definitely go that route next time. Today I just stepped out of the way and jumped over the panels. I actually stood and just watched for a minute or so until he finally just stood there. I was expecting the bucking so I was quite calm about the whole thing. I just wish he didn't run over that darn panel. I've been using a rope halter on him and I love it. Guess I better get me some thicker gloves because the way he's been bucking, he'll burn nice rope tracks into my hands when I try to pull him around. LOL! How's your stallion coming along?
I can't say as I've had any REAL buckers...once or twice they'd throw a crowhop in the mix but soon got over it. Then again, I was able to have a blanket and saddle on most of them as a yearling, just for desensatizing. Changing their focus from trying to get it off them to which way they're supposed to go sounds like it should work - you just have to be quick on your feet and ready for when he starts. Don't let him get 4-5 good hard bucks in before you change it up...then he's just gaining momentum. Let us know how round 2 goes! Glad he's not hurt from the panels, hopefully he'll remember they didn't tickle and he'll avoid them next time!
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