I only have any bucking when he is behind a cantering horse. Never in arena or on lungeline, though I havne't really lunged him yet, only round penned.
I now only have bucking when the cantering horse is getting away, if he's keeping up he's happy. Horses are odd aren't they. I also taught Phoenix to ground drive and I make him canter in the arena hooked up to the lines, he knows not to buck with lines near his legs or he'd get all tangled up, he does pretty well. I'd love to get him a little buggy and drive him.
If I round pen or free lunge Phoenix I can almost guarantee a few bucks to start with, mostly him being a git about not wanting to put in effort or him getting that spring out of his step. Once he realizes that no he can't stop and yes he has to keep going he settles down. There have been a few occasions when this realization came with big bucks, squeals and running around like a tool for 20 minutes but that happens mostly when its cold.
Hmm, so when you're out on trail and the lead horse canters your horse bucks? Does he stop to buck or buck while moving? Does he do it more than once or does he settle down once he's going?
If he is bucking because he figures it will get him out of work, and if you are pretty good at hanging on, maybe rather than slow him down when he bucks, you should push him forward. Bucking is a lot more trouble than cantering.
Abby (the horse I talked about earlier) just gets too excited. She would prefer to bolt off like a maniac and leave all the others in the dust when they canter. She can keep on like a maniac for a long time.
He used to pull that trick but I think i've got that out of him for the most part now. He knows now that if he bucks while either being lunged or ridden that i'll either urge him on or ride it out. Although I have to say he never offers a buck when I ride him in the arena, not anymore and not for a long while. Now it's just out on trail. I haven't actually asked him to canter with the group yet, i'm working up to that, he trots while everyone canters and he's happy with this. His stride is long and he doesn't get tired out.
I might try a little experiment (and hope I don't fall off) next time I ride with my friend. I'll ask her to canter off with her horse maybe 2 lengths away. If he bucks i'll try to ask him to move forward and see what reaction I get. I'll of course let my friend know what i'm doing so she can stop if I tell her to. If it is anxiety about being left does anyone think doing some exercises at the walk and trot would help, maybe have the lead horse walk faster away, trot away and then build it up to cantering away?
When the trainer came out he did exercises like that with us and used his horse to walk/trot/canter away and phoenix was fine. Maybe because he didn't know the horse. He did however react badly when the trainer and another horse in front cantered off without warning, luckily he dipped his head and gave me enough time to turn him and stop the buck.