The horse that my husband rides used to be like that. She still can buck as she goes into a canter. Several things have helped.
First, she has been ridden so much that she is calmer.
Second, we figured out that she had a saddle fit/ pad problem. Pain problems being solved helped.
Another thing is that you can't let her out into a canter on a loose rein. You have to gather her reins in first.
Also if you canter her on the way out she is better than if you are on the way home. She can have a melt down if people canter by her when she is on the way home and almost there.
If we are going slow, she never gives him any trouble. Calm, cool, collected and go anywhere.
That sounds a lot like my boy, except for the go anywhere calm and collected bit, he will do if it's with a smaller group of horses who are calm however if we ride with my other friend and her nutty tb he falls back into old habits of jigging and rushing. I actually had to ask her to take her barn buddy and separate from my horse and two others because her horse was making everyone else crazy.
I also don't canter on a lose rein, I do walk and most of the trot on a looser rein but with canter I don't pull but I have a firm contact so I can stop him with a tweak of either rein. Not really to stop him running away, because he is mostly lazy enough not to do that but so he can't get his head down if he does decide to throw in a buck.
We were past the half way home point tonight which is why I think my friends horse picked up canter. She's done it a few times on rides mostly without thinking but like I said she stops as soon as I yell for her to.
He did/does have a pain issue with his wonky hip but does see the chiropractor and I did just get a lovely new saddle that fits him like a dream so i'm hoping that helps him too.
What did you do to make it ok ? I mean, how did you train out most of the bucks?
I , too, have this issue with Zulu. If he is not the lead horse, and the group takes off at a canter, he wants to plow through everyone in front, and if you hold him back, he bucks! His buck is not a tiny little hop, either. It feels like an elevator is going up behind you . (he is 17hh and 1400lbs). So, I tend to ask my friends to only trot when they lead, or I lead, but this is just skirting the issue, not dealing with it.
I will be interested in hearing other's advice. Zulu does not buck otherwise and rarely jigs. But, back to your situation . . . .
With the canter bucking I did a lot of cantering him on a lunge line and just letting him see that by bucking he wasn't going to get to stop. His previous owners (and me in the beginning) would stop him if he started to buck so I think he learned that all he had to do to stop work was throw in a nice big buck and i'd be left shaking like a leaf and we'd stop. I'm quite fortunate than i'm pretty hard to unseat and tend to cling but there have been a few times i've ended up out of the saddle.
Wit riding and the bucking i've been keeping my canter sessions short with him (and been doing this for a few years now to be honest, I figure baby steps are better than no steps). In the arena I ask for canter, let him go for a few strides and then back to trot, then I ask again, go maybe half or 3/4 of the arena and then slow it down. Mostly I did this because he had the horrible cross canter and now only does it very rarely, so I was trying to train that out too. When I first did this he could barely make it 2 or 3 strides without throwing in a buck so we've made progress. Tonight on trail was the first time i've asked him to canter outside of an arena in about 4 years. We did a long straight towards my two friends who had ridden ahead and were waiting for me. I wanted him to go alone so everyone elses excitement didn't bleed over and so that he could see his buddies and that they weren't trying to leave.
I know what you mean by not a tiny little hop, Phoenix does the rodeo buck, as you can see from my avatar :)