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i have a new, new forest x arab 16 yr old, I have owned her now for 4 weeks, who is an absolute sweetie in all ways, she is good to catch tack up etc, but slightly bucks when going into trot, on most occasions, she is ridden in a treeless saddle, bit is a myler snaffle, and when asked to trot on will usually do a small buck, nothing drastic, she also takes her head a little high, in trot and especially in canter, so have been considering a martingale, but could this make matters worse. she stops when asked and doesn't run away with me. have owned a retired horse for 25 years.
any help would be greatly received
 

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She's just not moving correctly. The buck could be a lot of things but it's probably back pain. When horses don't move correctly it does cause pain sometimes.
 

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Have her teeth been checked and has she been checked for soreness in her back and hips?

Bucking under saddle is not a "playful" thing. It's usually an acting out way of saying "I don't want to do this and this is my way of telling you."

Also, I've read in many places and heard from several people that treeless saddles are rubbish. They often cause soreness issues because they don't evenly distribute the rider's weight on the horse's back.
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Have her teeth been checked and has she been checked for soreness in her back and hips?

Bucking under saddle is not a "playful" thing. It's usually an acting out way of saying "I don't want to do this and this is my way of telling you."

Also, I've read in many places and heard from several people that treeless saddles are rubbish. They often cause soreness issues because they don't evenly distribute the rider's weight on the horse's back.
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I have heard the same. I just think they feel funny to ride in.
 

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The only time I ride in a treeless saddle is when my horse is doing something funky and I really need to feel what's happening. Otherwise, I stick to treed saddles.

As far as the bucking goes, it could be many things. My first question, is she really bucking? Have you had someone watch to see that it is bucking and not stumbling or something? Sometimes, sore horses or horses that don't have adequate muscle do funny things when changing gaits.

I would get her evaluated for pain. If she's okay, then you can treat it as a discipline issue. What is your reaction when it happens? Does she do it every time you ask for a transition?

As for the head being high, you need to get her working off her rear end. Once that happens, and her back develops enough, she will bring her head down and round out on her own.

ETA: The head high thing can be a symptom of back pain, as well. What was her training before you got her?
 

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Lol head high could just be natural Arab exuberance, they like to be heads up and looking!
It's odd to me that she bucks on the trot transition, so often it is the canter transition that brings the bucks.

Agree with checking her out for pain, trying another saddle, have another rider try her. It's often a processs of elimination
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Raising of the head could mean issues with tack, the way the saddle fits, if the bit is in correctly, if you are sitting strangely, anything.

When horses do it playfully, sometimes they will swing their heads around down low, never up high when doing ti playfully. When they buck playfully, it won't be too bad. It might just feel like a pogo stick or something.

My horse does this a lot too. When we lope he will swing his head around - because he enjoys it. I have checking all my tack, bit, teeth, seating, everything and he continues to do it - so it tells me it's playfully. He bucked once, it was pretty interesting. We were headed into a lope and all of a sudden I was halfway in my seat not sure if he was loping sideways or what. After a few seconds we stood still and I gave my mom a confused look and asked, "Did he buck??" "Yep, he sure did!"

But if he continues to buck then I would double check everything. Look for saddle and bit fitting, your posture, your signals, his teeth, any cuts or sensitive spots, anything that might trigger the bucking to keep continuing.

Good luck!!
 

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Check for irritation, pain, maybe switch to a tree saddle that it fitted properly. Bucking with a rider under saddle, playful or not, is disrepectful.
 
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Not entirely. It mainly depends on the person's opinion. When I am having fun I let my horse swing his head - but other times I don't let him.
 

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Not entirely. It mainly depends on the person's opinion. When I am having fun I let my horse swing his head - but other times I don't let him.
Swinging his head is not bucking. Two totally different behaviors. Yes, head swinging may be a prelude to bucking, but they are separate.
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Lol head high could just be natural Arab exuberance, they like to be heads up and looking!
It's odd to me that she bucks on the trot transition, so often it is the canter transition that brings the bucks.

Agree with checking her out for pain, trying another saddle, have another rider try her. It's often a processs of elimination
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I have to agree. Usually it does show up at going into the canter and not the trot.

Many times people mistake a crow hop for an actual buck. It could also be that the horse is "jumping" into the trot. How lightly are you asking for the transition? If you are asking more firmly than the horse is used to, it might leap or jump forward.
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You didn't say if this horse was in shape or not. Was she ridden regularly before? If its being out of shape and/or balance, try going up a hill. You want a hill that is not steep but significant. Then try transition to trot.

My 14 yo breeding stock paint mare (who acts like an Arab ,lol!) would buck a little transitioning up. I read here from someone to try going up a hill. The barn where we boarded had an awesome hill in the orchard where we could ride. I had been doing all our work in the arenas up to that point. When we were riding up that hill, it was magical! She got herself balanced and awesome in no time.

I ride bareback and don't have a problem, but I'm small and my horses are good sized so maybe i dont know what i talking about. My paint mare has the best back for bareback. We work long and low as a warm up and warm down and she now carries her head nicely and is collected.

Could be other things as others have said, but I would try the hill to see if that's the issue.
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I would not put a martingale on her. Arabs do often have a higher head carriage than some other breeds but your horse sounds like there are issues other than natural carriage.
Have you had a vet check her over since you got her? At 16 I think I would consider an equine chiropractor also. Making sure there is no pain and discomfort is a good start. Also, riding with soft hands is important. Sometimes we have more of a grip than we think we do.
For whatever it is worth, I personally really like the Myler bits.
Good luck with your new mare!
 
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My phone sends too soon...LOL
Part of an Arab is the long neck with a high head. So, you really don't want to stifle that to begin with. Too high is too high regardless of breed so I would need a picture or something to go by.

Secondly if this horse is in pain some how a martingale will make the pain worse and most likely P*** the horse off.

If it's training issue and the horse is not being ridden forward correctly, a martingale will create bad habits.

So...a pic or a video would be most helpful.
 

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I am having the same issue with my 8 yr old 1/2 Arabian mare. Bucking when going into the canter. I always bring her to a stop and make her start over but she continues to buck especially when we are on the trail Anybody have suggestions how to stop this rude behavior? She is in good health and her saddle fits fine.
 

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Have her teeth been checked and has she been checked for soreness in her back and hips?

Bucking under saddle is not a "playful" thing. It's usually an acting out way of saying "I don't want to do this and this is my way of telling you."

Also, I've read in many places and heard from several people that treeless saddles are rubbish. They often cause soreness issues because they don't evenly distribute the rider's weight on the horse's back.
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Actually, bucking under saddle can be a 'playful' or 'happy' thing. I ride a horse who, when is taken around the barrel pattern (which he loves to do and is 16 years old) will throw a little buck out, with ears up and enjoying his run.

So I will say if pain is ruled out, this could be an excitment thing.
 

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In the back of my mind I always knew it was a playful thing. Heck, I like to "kick up my heals" from time to time. When she is running around on her own or with her friends, that is fine. But when I am on her back (and especially someone else is riding her) this is not acceptable. She has plenty of fun time. Work time is just that. She is ony 8 but I feel she needs to respect me when we are working. Being an Arabian I don't see her mellowing with age. My 16 yr old Arabian mare has more energy that all the horses in the barn combined. She does not buck but is just a fireball of energy. A whole lotta horse, if you know what I mean.
 

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A buck can be caused by several things. Resistance to go forward, resistance of being held back, both I consider a temper tantrum or fit, or from pain. Yes, it can be a playful thing too.

I have a 7 year old Appy. He doesn't get rode as often as he should and I should have rode him more when I first started him. When he would go into a canter/lope, he would do a couple bucks. Very well could have been bucks to stretch out his back. I don't think he was being ornery or stubborn. He would lope just fine after the couple bucks. If you slowed him down and put him back into a lope, he didn't buck again.

I eventually got him out of the habit but you can tell he thinks about it time to time. Since I knew he was going to do it, I would take most of the slack out of the reins before asking for the lope. If he dropped his head when I asked for the lope, he would create pressure on the bit himself. If I felt he was still going to try, I would pull back and make him stop and then ask for a lope again right away.

If the horse is resistant to going forward, you should try to push them through the buck. One that is forward, make them stop or put them to work doing circles or figure eights and then try again. At least that's what I would do.
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