The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

Registered
Joined
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
All of my trainers have told me when horses buck, sit deep in the saddle, stay loose and lean back, heels down... But I want to find the best technique for it.
I've heard some people say to stay on big bucks you should lift yourself slighty out of the saddle (so the horse can't spring load you off it's back), and grip with your knees, but avoid leaning forward.

What method works best with you?
Please only answer this post if you're a bronc rider or have dealt with a ton of bucking horses. Thanks!
 

Registered
Joined
7,327 Posts
Whoever says you should grip with your knees is an idiot. That's the quickest way to get launched off.

I'm not a bronc rider but I've ridden out some impressive bucking fits and the ONLY way to do it is to sit back (doesn't have to be deep just don't lean forward) and shove your feet down and forwards. Anchor yourself through your heel, use it as a fulcrum to keep you on the horse.

And if you can, get the head UP so they can't buck as powerfully.

Alternatively, you shut down the buck altogether with a one rein stop, if the horse is already trained to it (I would ORS train any bucker, personally, before I ever got on its back).

Unless of course you are a bronc rider and actually WANT the horse to buck, shutting it down is always better than riding it out.
 

Registered
Joined
3,788 Posts
I agree with Blue eyed Pony. The only times I've successfully weathered bucks is when I kept myself centered over the horse (as soon as you tilt off center, at least for me, the force of the buck catapults you into involuntary dismount mode). To do that you've got to be instantly readjusting your seat position to each movement from the horse and, quite honestly, I'm surprised I even have it in me to do because it all happens so fast. The heels down thing is pretty important -- not only does it prevent your foot from catching in the stirrup, it keeps your legs stretched and in a more useful position to either brace or help push you back to where you should be.

And, absolutely, the best way is to prevent the buck before it happens. That's where good groundwork and the handy one rein stop come into play. It also doesn't hurt if you got a good cooperative relationship going with your horse.

Now if you're really interested in the science of the buck, see if you can get hold of some videos of official rodeo bronc riders. That can be very enlightening. And its not so much the riding during the timed part you want to see but the part after the buzzer goes and the riders sit up more and stop spurring the shoulders. Aside from the fact they're all fit, agile and athletic (which by the way is a great help to staying on period) you will see they've got it down pretty well when it comes to staying with the motion of the horse and staying with the horse's center of gravity.
 

Registered
Joined
2,440 Posts
Chevaux described it much better than I could. Staying balanced, flexible and centered. When the horse is going up, my leg and foot position is behind me to keep me balanced. Going down, it's in front of me for the same reason and to help absorb the shock when the horse lands. You do have to keep enough of a grip with your knees and thighs to prevent getting left behind if the horse launches hard from its hind legs. But it shouldn't be a death grip. Just loose enough to be able to readjust your position when it's needed. And it will be needed.

That's just for the garden variety up and down, kick up their heels type buckers. For those twisty sonsab+tches, You've got to up your game on timing and reading the horse.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
9,898 Posts
For me, it depends what type saddle I'm riding.

Forward seat (English)? I get up into two point right over their shoulders. I may thump their back hard, really hard, with my backside as we go around, and most don't like that and will try to bolt which, once going forward, gives me something to work with. Forward motion = good.

Western? I may still come up, but often will seat deep and work on getting them going forward.

Of course, I try to talk any horse out of bucking, and it can most often be done, but, there are the occasional ones who really think that is the answer to everything. And we can't get other issues sorted out as long as they are jumping around being ridiculous.

And may I add that one has to be fit. Toned. Nothing but muscle, which will work with other muscle. Not work against the responses of the rider and get momentum going in a direction that takes one off the horse.
 

Registered
Joined
8,228 Posts
^This is interesting! I've never heard of going into a two-point to sit a buck in an English saddle.

I always do what's already been said--shoulders back slightly, heels down. Not to pat my own back, but I've sat some pretty gnarly bucks ;D
 

Registered
Joined
7,658 Posts
And, absolutely, the best way is to prevent the buck before it happens.
Exactly what I was going to say. :wink:

But to actually answer your question OP, you've gotten some good advice so far. Go watch a high-scoring bull ride or saddle bronc or bareback. The winning and successful riders have something in common = they always stay balanced and never get their weight throw forward, backward, or to the side. You need to always keep your center of gravity and stay centered on the horse.

For myself, on the rare occasion I'm riding a bucking horse :icon_rolleyes: , if I do happen to get throw off balance, I'm grabbing my saddle horn to get myself back in balance again. Then it's a matter of getting the horse's head turned to the side. If I've got their nose at my knee, it's much harder for them to keep bucking. Essentially, a one-rein stop. And this is for a horse that is all-out bucking and crow hopping.

For horses that give you the random buck here and there, they get spanked and continued to be pushed forward and ride through it.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
9,898 Posts
^This is interesting! I've never heard of going into a two-point to sit a buck in an English saddle.

I always do what's already been said--shoulders back slightly, heels down. Not to pat my own back, but I've sat some pretty gnarly bucks ;D
I was taught to do that, and the reason given was that just behind the withers is the horse's center of gravity.

I've ridden some moderate bucking (more than crowhopping, less than NFR rodeo) where I was so balanced in two point, I barely felt the bucks.

But if you get behind that point, the saddle can come up, slap your hip pockets and launch you into next week! :eek:
 

Registered
Joined
5,800 Posts
English rider here, so I haven't ridden "real" bronc horses, but boy I've ridden through some mighty bucks and broncs, with complimentary spins, twists and bolts thrown in the package. And I discovered on my own that at least in an English saddle, the safest position is, as said by others, a two-point. Interesting, how it differs in Western riding.

If the case is just the ordinary crowhop that needs sending forward, or the buck is not that big, I do sit deeper, legs forward, and think of really following the movement with my back, as relaxed as possible, all while carrying out the one-rein stop.
 

Administrator
Joined
36,048 Posts
I get my weight sunk down into my heels and sit in half seat - rising off my knees not off the stirrups when the horse is bucking, when it comes out of the buck I sit down deep, pull the head up if I can and push the horse forwards.
If you can get the horse to stand still and bring its head around towards your leg if you can, doing that or spinning it round slowly in tight circles can deflect it from bucking but at some point you've still got to go forwards
 

Registered
Joined
2,883 Posts
Not a bronc rider here, but I trained one horse who a rodeo stockman offered to take off my hands cause he had such a "nice" buck. I learned from that horse to slightly fold forward when he came up in front as he launched himself into his fits. Then as his head went down and his heel came up, I would sit back. Basically I try to maintain a 90 degree angle with the ground no matter what the horse is doing. Sinking deep in my heels the whole time. All this was in an English saddle.
 

Registered
Joined
2,440 Posts
I'm not sure what 2-point refers to. I think it's standing in the stirrups like a jockey does? Or is it the half crouch I see jumpers in while going over fences?

At any rate, I THINK this photo may be something akin to what Boots and Saranda are referring to. His butt is not deep in the saddle, but it probably is when the horse is going down. The rider is leaning forward, (because the horse is on its way up) but his center of gravity is mostly just behind the withers. His feet are slightly behind him for support. I'm willing to bet he's gripping with his knees. Looks like he also has his thighs pressed against the pommel. He also appears to have a handful of mane.

 

Registered
Joined
2,883 Posts
Cordillera, that is similar to what I was attempting to describe as well for the "up" phase of big bucks.

2 point position in English is indeed the forward seat you see jumpers in over the jumps. "2 points" of contact with the saddle, each leg, butt out of the saddle.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top