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Discussion Starter #1
I am having some problems with my boy, he is a great horse super sucky loves hugs and getting groomed. On the ground he is usually pretty good mannered..but riding I have been having issues. He can be 2 totally different horses the first one is super lazy slow and he listens pretty good. The other side of him is he is quick super ****y and will buck when I try to pick up the canter. Now at first we thought it might be his tack..it all got checked and it all fits. I ride him In a mild loose ring we are working on just establishing his Rythm (sp?) and supplness. I really dont know why he acts so ****y and bucks. I have not changed his food or anything.. any suggestions on what it could be??
 

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The first thing is pain. Even though you've checked your tack and made sure it fits, your horse could still be in pain from something else. Check that, and if not, sounds like he's deffinately got an additude. Does he do the same thing when you lunge him and canter? If not, then he might just have a problem whenever you cue him to canter.
Sorry if this is rambling...trying to remember what I did when this was happening. My mare had pulled a back muscle in the field and was bucking because the saddle was uncomfortable against the pulled muscle. The other times she bucked was just her trying to get out of work, so my advice to stop the bucking is to encourage forward movement, and keep his head high. As long as you make sure he can't get his head down, he can't buck. And once he realizes he can't buck, then he should figure out that he's not getting out of work.
Again, sorry for the rambles. Hope that helps- remember to rule out pain before you try to correct attitude.
 

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If you've ruled out pain already, I agree, it's attitude. I'd say just make him work harder every time he does that. Keep pushing him harder in to the lope or one rein him if it gets out of hand...my mare is the same way....slightly bi-polar...lol
 

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Is he a tb? hahahaha sounds like one of my old ones, would be an angel one minute, the next we'd be roadeo bucking across the arena with head between legs and a good back twist going!

As has been said above, check him over for and soreness, but I'd say the most likely cause of this behaviour is either that he's still and lacks balance to that side, or he has got it in his head that bucking is a good way to evade a canter transitions.

I would rule out the stiffness first by putting him on the lunge. Does he still buck on that side when he's on the lunge? Does he fall in/out on the circle, fall on his inside shoulder? Swing his quarters? Does this behaviour show up to the same extent on the other rein?
If so, you would be pretty safe to assume it is a stiffness/balance issue rather than behavioural. Don't go beating him up over a pigroot into canter if he is struggling physcially to make the transition. Trot-canters are quite a difficult transition for young/green horses.

I would definately have him on the lunge for a while, and do a heap of trot-canter-trot transitions on the lunge on a nice big circle. I might get shot down for this but I would also attach a reasonably loose side rein to the outside, and just run the lunge rein through the bit and either the D-ring halfway down his belly on a roller, or to one of the girth buckles on a saddle. The side rein will help to prevent him from dropping his shoulder out to that side and give him something to work into when you ask his hind legs to come. The running lunge rein will give you more control of flexion, if he decides to go up on you you can pull it and his head will get turned into his girth to prevent the rear, and if he takes off you're not going to accidentally gob him in the mouth- the running lunge rein is a much kinder way of lunging IMO.

So lots of trot-canter-trots on the lunge, big circle. Then decrease the size of the circle little bit little, use the lunge whip like an inside leg, point it towards his girth while gently feeling your lunge rein to ask him for for inside flexion. You will see him give through the poll, back and ribs, and once he does, allow him to move back out onto the larger circle to relax again. Continue this type of work and soon he will have developed so much more balance to that rein, and also strength on the hind legs.

You want to increase the strength in his hind quarters/legs to help him balance in the trot-canter-trot transitions once under saddle. The inside hind leg takes all the weight in these transitions so the stronger it is, the easier it will be for the horse to push off into the transition.
If you can, hill work hill work hill work. Up hills is best I find, just walking and trotting. Let him stretch out into the bit with a nice long neck and keep your leg on to get those hind legs going.

How balanced a rider are you? If you start getting on him and asking him for these transitions again after putting lots of work on the ground into him, then hop on and you don't have your own balance, you will throw his balance out and scare him, putting him back at square one, but this time it will be even harder to get his balance back as he'd have had a scare.

If you are balanced and a good canter rider, start getting back on him. Start doing some leg yielding with him in walk and trot so that he's having to engage those hind legs. Ride first some 3 loop serpentines, then decrease the turns to a 5 loop so that he's having to balance through tighter turns and use his hind legs.

Put him on a 20m circle and do walk-trot-walk transitions to get him thinking. Before you even think of cantering, have him going in a nice soft trot, using his hind legs and a soft forehand, staying upright on the turns (so not falling in/out through the shoulders). Keep a firm but elastic outside rein (pretend it is a side rein), drop your inside rein and ask for a canter transition. Support the transition with outside leg. It may help to get off his back in a light forward seat, just staying aware that he might buck as he's in that habit. Once he's in canter, let him go on the circle for a little while, don't interfere with him, just let him find his own balance on the circle. Once he is comfortable/relaxed in canter, gently ask him to come back to trot using your back and some rein, and support him with your leg. He may run in the trot, so try to bring it back to YOUR pace within 4 strides.

If he bucks going into the canter transition, don't gob him, just keep your leg on and try not to lose your balance.


Now, if the bucking is cause not by stiffness, but by naughtyness/evasion, you need to take a different trail of action.
If you are not very confident riding bucks out, I'd put him on the lunge. Does he buck on the lunge?
Lunge him as I detailed above, and if he bucks or kicks in at you TAKE HIS HEAD OFF!!! Ok don't want a cruelty lecture guys, I'd much rather give a horse a moment if discomfort than get killed by letting it get away with this behaviour.
Crack your whip behind him and pull his head to the inside until he stops the behaviour, then quietly ask him forward again and ask again for the transition. It won't take long until he comes to the conclusion that bucking hurts his teeth, and going straight into canter is very easy.
Under saddle, the same principles apply. Make bucking very uncomfortable, and canter comfortable.
As above, go into a nice balanced soft trot, then ask for the transition. If as soon as you feel his back come up, a quick jab of the rein to remind him he may just go into canter after learning on the lunge that bucking hurts him more than you. If he decides to go to town and buck big, then sit back, jam your legs onto him and pull his head up sharply. Then ask him to canter on.
Bucking is absolutely not on, it's dangerous and I will NOT tolerate it from any horse unless it is pain related, in which case I get is sorted out, then lunge the horse and see if it's still going to buck, then get back on.
I would rather cause a horse a second of discomfort to nip the problem in the bud, than get thrown off and end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kayty: When I lunge him he tends to be a tard i"ll ask him to canter he will do a funny leap then he canters really nice its just the upwards transition.
I'm pretty sure he might be a little sore but he got a massage yesterday and today he was alot better.(Im thinking muscle knots)
Now when I have him in side reins he tends to kick in at me Im thinking becasue he actually has to use his hind end. I'm thinking if I keep up the lunge work he will build up the muscles.

Just a little while ago the vet looked at him she had nothing really bad to say..just that his neck was stiff.

I hope maybe he will grow out of the bucking faze (sp?) I have heard some horses just go through funny stages
 

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Do NOT let him kick in at you, he kicks towards you he gets a crack over the backside with the whip. That is absolutely not on.
Don't rely on him 'growing out of the bucking phase'. Too many people say 'oh he'll just grow out of it' and in a year the horse has become dangerous. I never EVER let a problem go untouched or ignored, if any horse I ride starts a negative behaviour, I will get onto it immediately, the longer a problem exists, the harder it is to correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright I understand and that makes sence but if I do crack him with the whip or close to him is what I'm more comfortable with he just freaks out and I feel that having to get him back out on a circle after his freakout he really forgot of everything else he worked on
Am I too nice to him? do you think that i need to be a little tougher? Maybe I let him get away with to much.
 

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Well he's supposed to freak out....if he just continued to kick out at you I'd be worried. Think if the whip as an extension of your arm....you wouldn't let him kick at you in close quarters, would you? Hopefully you'd give him a good smack on the butt and tell him no. The same applies here. Once he figures out that the whip/you mean business, he'll quit with the antics and go back to learning.
 

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To put it bluntly, yes I do think you are being too soft on him by the sounds of it. A horse should not be allowed to put any part of it's body on or near you unless invited to do so. Otherwise I consider that as bad manners. A cute little nudge of the nose will soon turn into a shove to push you out the way if not stopped in it's early stages. Same applies to kicking and bucking. Get in hard and early then you won't have so many dramas later down the track ;)
 

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I agree with whats said above. Check for soreness. A small little kick out can turn into a really big bad habit if not acted upon promptly. It isnt fair to continue to ride him if he is sore somewhere. Otherwise, pain out of question, I would keep him moving forward and make sure you have a good hold of his head so he cant get you off and work with him through it. I am also wondering about his ground manners...you said that he is "usually pretty good". I am a firm believer in how a horse respects you on the ground will transfer to the saddle. It could be a very small issue but enough to make him think he can be the boss...keep that in mind when your handling him on the ground and see if there can be any improvements there. If all is well then its sheer attitude and he needs to learn that is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. You dont have to be mean to him but be firm. He can handle it, trust me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Alright thanks everyone, I will take what everyone says and put it to work..:)
 
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