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So, i have an issue. my horse is a bit of a goof, sometimes he bucks and sometimes i fall off. I ride him quite frequently and he’s a bit of a goofy guy so i’ve fallen off a lot in our past couple years haha. He has no issues with soreness/tack issues, it’s literally just his personality. the silliness has never been an issue but this past few months i’ve had a HUGE issue with him kicking at me when i fall off. He only started doing this the past little while, he’s been vet checked since and nothing is wrong he is perfectly healthy. i don’t know where he got this from or why he started to kick at me when i fall. Today, i fell off and he actually kicked me twice. I’m not sure how to fix this??? Like obviously i can get after him once i manage to get myself b
up but i don’t think that’s really going to do anything. what the heck should i do? Like i said, it’s not the bucking or falling off part, it’s the fact that he acts like an idiot and kicks me once i’m down.
 

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Are you riding bareback or with a saddle? How long/ how much experience/ training have you had in learning to ride? How much training does your horse have under saddle?
Off the top of my head, I'd advise learning not to fall off so much.
i have been riding for almost 8 years with a trainer and my horse is not close to green, he is 17 and is quite a push button horse. just an idiot. he is quite hard to stay on and he bucks very hard. i do not fall off often anymore but that wasn’t the point of the post 🙂 the point was to ask why he would kick all of a sudden when i fall.
 

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Maybe make sure you're letting go of the reins when you fall? Some horses can absolutely hate getting jerked in the mouth, even if they bring it upon themselves. Otherwise, a good tuck and roll?
 

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wait a minute! why is he bucking you off in the first place? you should not accept nor ignore this. He wants you off, for some reason, and this feeling is getting stronger.


what happens when he gets you off? I mean, before the bucking event, as you are going off, and afterward? Do you jump up off the ground and shank the reins?


What starts the bucking? like, you asked him to canter, . . . or other horses cantered off, . . or . .



horses are emotional creature. He isn't just being a 'expletive'. He is expressing how he feels, and YOU have something to do with that.



Think about it.
 

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I DO NOT agree with the above.

Some horses have strong characters with a great sense of humour and, this does not decrease with age.

I think this horse sets himself a challenge to see how he can drop his rider and is now lashing out as he does so.

I have seen this so many times, where a horse bucks it's rider off on several occasions then when ridden by someone who can sit those bucks, give strong correction for them doing it and that can end the story.
 

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I have seen this so many times, where a horse bucks it's rider off on several occasions then when ridden by someone who can sit those bucks, give strong correction for them doing it and that can end the story.
^^^This.

There is nothing cute about a horse who makes a habit out of bucking. He is an “idiot” because he has been allowed to become one. No excuses. I own a horse that’s a con artist- he’s been with me 24 of his 26 years, in part because he IS a con artist and could have become an “idiot “ and dangerous in the wrong hands.

Even if the bucking issues might be pain related (a chiropractor would know that), the kicking out business once he got you off is an escalation of pretty bad behavior.

If you’re riding bareback, your balance is not good enough to ride him out of a buck, which is what he needs - plain and simple - ridden out of the bucks.

My guess is that, even if someone else does get him out of the bucks, he is smart enough to know the minute you get back on him you may not be able to hang in there, he will try you, and you need a saddle on him that fits him.

You are creating a dangerous horse and that needs fixed ——-
 

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Like obviously i can get after him once i manage to get myself b
up but i don’t think that’s really going to do anything
You're right - or at least, it won't do anything beneficial to you. Horses learn from *instant* consequences, so if you can't punish him effectively *while* he's bucking/kicking, then all you'll be punishing is whatever is going on at the time you finally get around to it.

I'm quite... perplexed that you're not at all concerned about all the getting bucked off. I gather you're quite young. Sounds like you're lucky not to have been hurt badly yet, but that luck is not likely to hold. You will end up hurt badly(hope that's all) if you keep riding him. Another thing with consequences is, if something works for a horse(there's instant desirable consequences - he gets you off), they will do it again, get better at it, more confirmed. And if it only works sometimes, *they will try harder* so if he's bucking & you're coming off after 2 years, he's pretty 'well trained' in doing this now, and yes, he will have learned to buck harder as you have become better able to sit the smaller ones.

To teach him not to do it would first entail ensuring the rider NEVER EVER came off. Even with a good bronc rider, it'd probably be extremely difficult to get him reliably out of it now. So... I'd start with employing a very good bronc rider, and become very good at riding broncs & not coming off yourself, if you want to keep riding him.

So... I'd absolutely 1000% be very concerned about the bucking, and even if you're... Wolverine & always bounce back from injury, letting him continue to buck you off will pretty much ensure you can't fix the kicking at you either. So you're extremely mistaken to be unconcerned with the bucking. Will you bounce back from a kick in the head? & if you care for the horse, what do you think will become of a horse like this if you're in ICU? I'm also interested to hear that you have been riding in front of a trainer & what have they said about it?

As for kicking you while you're down, he's not being an 'idiot', he's just being a horse. Perhaps something IS bothering him, causing him to want you off, and he's trying to tell you more clearly that he hates it, or he is frightened & reactive about you landing at his feet, or he is confirming who's boss, or, like Foxhunter suggested & you seem to be thinking, he's just playing, it's all a game to him & he's just playing 'tag' with you after he dumps you.

Firstly, I do think it is indeed a big possibility Tiny is right & he's not just playing, but something is wrong, he's been trying to communicate, be it physically or with your riding/training - something you're doing/not doing. I'd want to be absolutely sure there were no physical reason he wants you off, before addressing it as a training issue. So wondering what exactly you have tried, besides a 'vet check' to rule out/fix any discomfort/pain? Eg. bodyworker? Saddle fitter? Nutrition? You're bouncing on him, his feet, teeth, the bit...? Whether or not it is physical, as explained above, this 'training' will have ensured he will keep it up even if you ensure you effectively eradicate physical probs now.
 

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There are contradictions in the descriptions you provided us. What I define as a finished, push button horse does not include the behavior or bucking. If a horse is bucking there is something wrong which could be pain or training related. So the first thing I would address is why is your horse bucking. Once the reason for the bucking is identified you can then look for a solution to eliminate the bucking.

I would first have a vet check done to insure the horse is sound. If the horse is sound you then can eliminate pain from the equation and work on identifying other reasons the horse needs to buck. This behavior could be from holes in training, self-preservation or even learned behavior that a horse uses to not be ridden or worked.

The real problem here is the bucking, and not that you get thrown off.
Best of luck
 

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Bucking can be a bad habit or it can be forma reason.

What is he being fed? Over feeding and under exercised can also Ben a cause.

A woman I knew bred her own horses. She was a great rider and very experienced, however she had more than one accident coming off her horses. I was asked if I could go ride them.

First ride out was in the beach. She was on the mare and I on the gelding (full brother and sister) both horses were very spookywe rode under the lifeboat launch, all concrete. Half way under the horse I was in started to buck. Not funny as he was 17 hands and I only had about 12" head clearance.

With him bucking I had to go forward and as soon as he was clear he really bucked hard. Luckily I could rode a buck and stayed on him. I jerked his head by socking him in the teeth with one rein at the same time booting him forward hard with legs and whip. I pulled him around and made him go back and forth under that ramp without any question of him messing around.

Owner was a bit shocked at the treatment I had dealt out. I was told it was a perfectly normal thing for him to do. Not with me it wasn't!


The mare would also buck and boy, she was agile in doing it! We were hunting one day and the owner was dropped from the mare, it was not a good fall and owner ended up with a busted shoulder and arm.

I will admit I did have a touch of sympathy for those two horses as I took over the riding of them. I took the mare hunting knowing she would try the same trick so, I unloaded about 5 miles from the Meet. After warming her up I took her into a ploughed field and worked her hard around that. When she was truly tired I took her to the Meet. No bucking until mid hunt when we had not been moving a lot. Back into another plough.

She was so tired at the end of the day but I worked her the next. By the end of the week both horses were sane and sensible. When I felt they were going to buck I got after them. Didn't take them long to learn.
 

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You are not experienced enough to be dealing with this and your trainer is being a... well dumb as a sack of rocks if this is acceptable behavior in their program.

If this horse was with me he would be getting a hard lunge in the side reins or the Pessoa then worked 6 days a week with someone who will not come off if he bucks. Every time he bucks or even thinks about it he'd be put straight into very difficult work (lateral work, halting and backing from the canter then stepping straight into the canter, cavellettis).

The root of this issue is that you are okay with this behavior. It's acceptable to you. So your horse is going to keep doing it. It's just like how some people are okay with horses pawing in the cross ties and maybe tap them on the shoulder but they never truly learn something is unacceptable.
Bad actions = proper corrections = an animal learning that they can't do the bad action again.

This is not goofy behavior for a finished horse for an inexperienced rider.
If the horse is truly just goofy and expressing themselves, it needs a professional riding it. We have some jumpers who kick out strongly when they're in a jump off or something, but a professional or professional-riding junior is on them and can manage/ignore/sit through these situations to keep the horses on task and winning.
 

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I'm just gonna put in my two cents here, I agree with a lot of the posts above. But I also disagree with some.

I don't think bucking or kicking is a horse 'personality trait'. *shrug* I also don't think your horse is necessarily being 'bad'. He's trying to tell you something.

There's a reason for the bucking. Could definitely be pain-related. Has your saddle been checked by a professional saddle fitter (not a trainer)? What is his diet like? If you're falling off so much, maybe it's a training issue as well somewhere along the lines. That's definitely not normal, & not okay either. It can't be enjoyable, falling off almost every ride. Definitely need to get to the bottom of the issue at hand.

Really surprised your trainer doesn't really think it's a big deal? It's dangerous.

As for the kicking after you fall, sounds like it's becoming a habit for him & a game. He's not being an idiot either. He's trying to tell you something is either hurting him, or making him uncomfortable. If your vet doesn't find any concerns, maybe it's time for search for a new one. Have you had a chiro out? Or an osteopath (one that is actually registered through the IREO) may be a good idea as well. It could be a NUMBER of things. Best to get to the bottom of it, rather than continuing to ride him & fall off...again & again.
 

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It sounds to me like you have NOT established a relationship with him. I've seen this a couple of times with very spendy horses. Their training was all performance but no connection. Look into "Join Up", establishing a connection and getting the horse to trust you FIRST, looking to you to solve problems on the ground BEFORE you get in the saddle.
 

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It sounds to me like you have NOT established a relationship with him. I've seen this a couple of times with very spendy horses. Their training was all performance but no connection. Look into "Join Up", establishing a connection and getting the horse to trust you FIRST, looking to you to solve problems on the ground BEFORE you get in the saddle.
I'm sorry but this would be incredibly dangerous for this situation. Join up can be used for some things, but it's also shown as this end all be all of connection and trust and that is fed to you by people who want you to buy their products. As someone who's worked with lots of horses who've never been 'tested' with join up, you don't need it. Ever. You build trust with a horse by continuously showing them you are to be trusted and that you're a fair herd leader over time in many different situations.

With this horse, I would NEVER turn my back on it, not for a second.
 

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I think you don't understand the method. The modern term "join up", now commercialized is an old method. Yes you have to be able to read the horses body language. She might look to a professional not necessarily a "Natural Horsemanship" one. I saw it used twice by a well known (in my area) dressage instructor. She was trained in England and well credentialed. The horses were warm bloods prone to shut down.
 

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I think you don't understand the method. The modern term "join up", now commercialized is an old method. Yes you have to be able to read the horses body language. She might look to a professional not necessarily a "Natural Horsemanship" one. I saw it used twice by a well known (in my area) dressage instructor. She was trained in England and well credentialed. The horses were warm bloods prone to shut down.
No I understand it, and understand the ideology behind it. It can be useful in certain situations. This particular one it would basically be asking this dangerous horse to kick the OP or her family if tried.
 

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No I understand it, and understand the ideology behind it. It can be useful in certain situations. This particular one it would basically be asking this dangerous horse to kick the OP or her family if tried.

Now, I am by no means a person who believes that so-called 'join up' is the be all and end all of everything, but why would you think doing this would be any more dangerous than riding this horse into a 'trusting' position? If the OP cannot stay on this horse as it is, she is unlikely to be able to affect ANY change from the saddle.


Working with a hrose that kicks, in the round pen, only means you need to be more careful. If this horse is kicking out at the human out of emotional reasons, they very well could be connected to the horse feeling that this human has not demonstrated the authority to ride it, and require it to go, turn, stop, etc, and thus the horse 'expells' the unfit leader and demonstrates it's irritation with a final parting kick. Horses will often do this to upstarts, who try to move them around and they simply aren't high enough on the totem pole to affect that. The interloper gets a nice little extra reminder to cut it out!


That might very well happen, probably would happen, in the round pen. But, the handler has to expect that, come prepared with a long enough rope or whip to deal with it, and bring into the pen the clarity and authority that would change the horse's mind. Once that mind is changed, that final ' * you' kick would probably disappear. I see that as no more dangerous than attempting to work it out in the saddle, in fact, less so, IMO.


And, no where in good round pen work do you turn your back on the horse. If the horse goes behind you, you use the third eye in the back of your head to keep awareness on it, OR, you use your body language and a rope or whip to keep it moving in front of you. YOU control the movement. You do not stand with your back to it and 'beg' it to come in.





in
 

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I would have to think he does not respect you as the leader. I have a strong leader horse. For a time he decided to kick at me as he was leaving the barn. Did not seem like he wanted to hit me but I AM THE LEADER so that is not acceptable. I worked him then would turn him loose again. If a kick we worked on line again until tired. He no longer kicks out. We still have a few issues from time to time on him being pushy. If mine tossed me we would have a really hard work out for it so that he would be tired and think twice before he dump me. Goofy or not dumping you is not respecting you and he needs to understand you will not tolerate it. If you ignore bad behavior you will get more and more of it.
 

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@tinyliny I wasn't suggesting that the OP rides this horse. I stick by giving it over to the trainer and either working with the trainer or allowing the trainer to sell it.
I don't believe that this person is skilled enough to have a third eye/the instincts necessary to know what's happening around her in the round pen when she isn't looking. I completely understand what you're saying, but I think for this case we have to keep in mind the danger, the fact that OP is a minor, as well as the lack of experience, too.
Suggestions can come out the wazoo but personally the best option I can give is work with a trainer and learn how to do anything with a horse who you can trust not to kick you.
 
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