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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I have a horse and have been leasing a horse for my daughter for a while now as she wanted to get into riding and we wanted to ride together. When we first got him, the owner assured me he was very safe and good with kids. A while ago, he did a little buck which my daughter fell off but she was okay. I asked the owner about it and he said sometimes when the weather changes he will get a little frisky and buck but after that he should be fine. So we were cautious after that but since it was just for fun she was only walking and trotting after that while she was learning. Now, she has become more serious and wants to start doing shows. She cantered him on a longe line and he was acting weird on the transition into the canter so I had her get off and I longed him and he started throwing his head back and stopping. I continued and he did a little buck. So today I longed him with nothing on, and he did fine up until I ask him to canter and then he will throw his head back and pull back. Well this time, he completely pulled away and I lost my grip and he ran away. When I tried to get him he galloped away and bucked. He did a full on crazy gallop bucking thing around the outside arena for a while. Finally, he did stop and he came up to me and I was able to longe him again with no issues even on the canter. Neither she nor I rode him though. As we didn’t feel safe to do so until we knew what was going on.

What I’m wondering is why might he be doing this? Ill fitting tack isn’t the answer as I’ve longed him with nothing. And more importantly, I’m very worried about him doing this while my daughter is on him. Do broke kid-safe horses do this? I can’t risk her safety, so if I need to get a new horse I will.

Please help, any advice or opinions are very appreciated!!
 

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WELCOME to the Forum!!

I wouldn't be putting my child back on a horse who is now a known bucker...not me.
I wouldn't be riding it either. :|

Since the horse has done this when ridden, when tacked or not and now on a lunge line that ended with escape and a full-on buck session....yea, no..not your problem since you don't own it to discover the cause.
Either the animal has figured out he gets out of work by bucking and now has a nasty habit or he has a pain issue since it occurs under various conditions, then it is something with his body...
Being you lease, move on to finding a different animal and stop with this one.
The owner obviously knew about the bucking by their answer, now it is occurring with your child astride...
Bucking horses are for super experienced riders to figure out the issue, not a child learning to ride and not the average horse owner...bucking is nasty and dangerous.

No more with this animal, period.
Start the search for a animal who can and does ride safely at all gaits so your child can learn and have fun as safely as possible.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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The bucking is precipitated by one of two things or the first thing has led to the second thing:

1. It is a pain issue, in which case the horse needs evaluated by an equine chiropractor.

2. The horse did a little frisky kick up, figured out it could get away with that and the bucking has escalated to get out of work.

3. All of the above but at any rate, the horse’s owner needs to spend the money and have the horse examined, if he/she is going to pass it off as a kid safe lesson horse:)

3.1. Yes, sometimes kid safe horses do buck, BUT mine never once bucked with children on him — and he was one of those crazy wild eyed pure bred Arabs:):).

He was a starving rescue with an injured vertebra. Whenever his vertebra would go out of place, he would kick up or drag his back toes in the dirt, making snake trails. I knew it was time to call the chiro. He gave lessons to small children (he had a 100# weight limit due to his injuries and size) for years and saw an an equine chiro as needed, until I laid him to rest at age 29 - RIP my Streeter:)

Which is why I say the owner of your lease horse needs to have the horse evaluated by a quality chiro, to be sure there isn’t a pain issue.

In the meantime, no, your daughter should not be riding the horse.

EDITED TO ADD: I had not read HLG’s comments before I replied. Please note we essentially said the same thing, in that this can be pain related or the horse has figured out bucking gets it out of work:cowboy::smile:
 
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So if I'm reading this right - he's only bucked once with a rider on his back but has bucked while on the lunge line. Is that what I read or did I read it wrong?


It could be that he just bucks on the lunge line. Some horses do that. It could be that he has a pain issue and bucks into the transition (Is he bucking just at the start or anytime in between).


I'm not sure I would write the lease off this quickly but I would have a professional take a look at him and assess him. If you and your daughter are afraid of him then it may not be worth having him assessed because your fear factor may become an issue.


The other question I would have is - how much has he been lunged? Does he have actual ground training? Sometimes people skip the basics when training and go right to riding a horse. If that horse has a bunch of missing parts to his training then, with him being a lease - I would look into finding a different mount...


Good luck either way.
 

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The running around bucking and kicking thing he did after getting away is playing and blowing off steam. Many horses do this when they feel especially good and have some crop dusting (farting) that needs done.

Only going by your description I have to agree with the others that this horse has your number and would also guess he is overfed and underworked. What is commonly called "fresh".

Those things can all be addressed, but in this case a different lease horse with more woah than go is probably a better idea for your child to learn on and build up their confidence.
 

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How much experience do you have with horses? This behavior doesn't sound that daunting to fix, lots of horses will have a little attitude at times, but obviously, you need to be a strong rider/handler yourself before you can put your child on this horse. Is your child working with a coach? Perhaps that would be a better option for now, until you both learn a bit more.
 

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A horse or pony suitable for a beginner child shouldn't buck under saddle because some of them, once they realise they can remove the rider with ease, will start doing it to avoid work.

It isn't so bad if you've got an experienced rider who can hop straight on and let the horse/pony know that it won't win but some will soon figure out who's riding them.

If it was only happening on the lunge I wouldn't worry so much - unfortunately a lot of people seem to use lunge work purely to get freshness out of a horse and thus train the horse to think its OK to buck and leap and race around like a crazy fool.
That idea then transfers itself to anything they do on the lunge - including being ridden by a young child.

If you keep the pony it needs to be retrained to fully understanding that the same behavior you expect under saddle is also expected on the lunge.
Id also have an experienced rider working the pony several times a week to keep it up to scratch.
 

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If this were your own horse, I would say that it's an issue that could probably be fixed, possibly with some outside help. But this is a lease horse. You don't need a lease horse that acts like this. You don't need to be fixing someone else's problems. I'd cancel the lease and find a new horse.

One thing I've noticed with horse sellers and people who lease horses out is that they tend to forget some of the "naughty" behavior that their horse has, or minimize it. I don't know if they are really forgetting or just deluding themselves, but it ultimately doesn't really matter. The next lease you look for, be prepared to ask specific questions: has this horse EVER bucked, and if so how was that addressed. Has it EVER reared? Does it have ANY vices (and be prepared to list them all out)? Has the horse ever acted up in any way with a child rider? What was the rider level of the last rider it had? Has the horse EVER acted up on the ground? Ever kicked (or kicked at) a handler, bitten, etc. Etc. I think if you can ask specific questions you are more likely to nudge their memory.
 

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NewOrleansGirl....the key words to your "what do I do" have already been written and spoken...
I don't feel safe........you wrote it, you thought it and you feel it.
Now act accordingly to that gut instinct.

Move on and find another horse who you and your daughter do feel safe handling and riding..
Your fear is already in place, you don't own the horse, he has reacted negatively now to several rides, several riders {you & your daughter}, reacted negatively to lunging and the owner has downplayed it as "frisky" tells me you need to move on for your safety.
Whatever it is it isn't your problem and the owner is aware and not doing what needs done for their animal either...not your problem and don't own it.

Move on...

:runninghorse2:...
 

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Hi, as the horse is on loan, please give it back before one of you gets killed with it.
I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but speaking from experience I have a scar on my face that runs from the bottom of my chin up to my eye, where a " safe pony " kicked out during a walk around in a show. That was a who would have thought it as well! ! There's plenty of safe horses and ponies out there for you to loan without putting your lives at risk.
You can see from the picture that the horse is just way to much for the 10 year old girl to handle. Good Luck 🍀
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for all your thoughtful replies and advice. I spoke with the owner and a past leasee. I am torn. On one hand I do think we should move on to a horse that will not buck no matter what and that we can feel safe on. On the other hand, I saw how after he got it all out he did stop and come back to me and I was able to longe him so then was he just trying to get out some excess energy and it was a rare thing? The past leasee said she thinks he is definitely messing with me. I know a horse May buck to get out of work so I’ve never put him back after. She said that he used to do this with her but doesn’t anymore. She also said he will canter fast because he is lazy and that’s easier for him so that worries me to. She said that he is safe but like any horse if he thinks he can get away with it he will. And that you have to be careful this time of year because it’s colder and he gets frisky. I think I will try once more with him and go from there. I just don’t know what to think because she hadn’t had any problems with him and her son never had problems or gotten bucked off so is it me/us?? On contrast, I do know a thing or two about horses and she rides my horse with no issues at all at all gaits.
 

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I have no advice on how to stop the bucking as I am not experienced enough to offer training advice. I did have a pony as a child that bucked and bolted all the time, and at the time I just thought it was funny and laughed and got back on, but now as an adult, I purposefully only ride where and what I feel safe on.

Mainly, I would suggest focusing on your experience and how you feel, not that of the past leasee. In your description of the conversation it has text that seems to be generalizing or glossing over things:
"she hadn't had any problem with him and her son never had problems" and "she said that he is safe"

But then also, red flags:
"he used to do this with her", "he will canter fast", "like any horse, if he thinks he can get away with it, he will", and "you have to be careful this time of year because it's colder and he gets frisky".

To me that is sounds like they did have "problems" but they just did not class them as problems (like me as a child laughing when getting bucked off/bolted on), but to to you, they are a problem (like me as adult not wanting to ride a horse that I don't feel safe on). It does not seem like that is the experience that you want for your child, so I would move on. I don't see any point in getting your child to ride a difficult/frisky horses if they can ride a safe/quiet one and that is what they would enjoy. You have no vested interest in making this horse better or this lease to work.
 

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Any horse "can" buck, but a beginner's horse, especially for a young child doesn't or doesn't offer to buck without real provocation or problem of pain as is true actually of any horse under saddle well trained....
The child's horse is just more job conscious and don't buck under saddle or with a rider astride.

Maybe some of this occurring is being "tested" by said horse...
Your daughter is a rank beginner, doing basic w/t and only just learning how to canter.
You have your own horse so my guess is you are more experienced, yet this horse has also attempted to buck with you astride and when lunged...
Horses "play" when in t/o, they should not be bucking to buck it all out when in a round pen nor on a lunge line nor should they bolt away from your control...
I'm sorry, but to me those above are lame excuses for a horse with some bad and potentially dangerous habits...

You mention this past lessee person also has ridden your own horse...
So is she a more accomplished rider or one of about the same experience and abilities?
Sounds like she too has had the same issues with that horse...
Is she also still doing a partial lease of this horse yet or has she moved on to a different animal.... interesting thought where that takes my mind.

I don't make excuses in what it is called when a horse forms a dangerous habit...
Bucking is a dangerous habit and can seriously hurt a rider dumped or snap a back/neck and be weeks to heal and it never is the same...
You want to give another chance... :-?
I see no point and not see a advantage acknowledging and confronting your fear and trepidation handling this animal...you don't own it, period. You gain nothing but risk much.
There is a time and place to challenge your abilities, to me this is not that time, place nor a animal you own and you can walk away from unscathed.

A animal I would trust with my child is not one I have to lunge before every ride to get the bucks out, nor is it one my child can not do more than walk or trot on without crow-hops done and threats of serious bucking to start...that is just crazy.
I have a child safe beginner animal...yank him from the pasture after sitting for 6 months, clean him and saddle him and go for a ride...no buck, no nasty, no take advantage of any rider..
That is a beginner friendly horse... This guy will do trails, to lessons, shows of western trail & equitation and jumps...but is always the same personality...steady, dependable and totally trustworthy.
He is trained well enough he can jump 2'6" - 2'9" and win his classes so this is not a dead head, dud of a animal either...but he is well behaved, has manners and good training on him.

I learned a long time ago you not climb astride a animal you not trust, one you are afraid of cause you are a sitting duck for disaster to strike...
Those are your decisions to make, and those decisions if they go wrong are yours to live forever with the outcome, whatever it is.

You said you were afraid...that spoke volumes to me from you and what about your child's feelings?
Is she afraid of the horse and how it behaves?
I hope for you to have peace in your mind with your decision and this outcome.
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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I would have him checked out by a chiropractor/vet asap because it sounds like a pain related issue. Are you making any changes to his feed? It could be the grass or hard feed that's a change making him sore or hot. Before getting rid of him, you should really try this. My horse had a sore back and made a big deal about trot and we had him massaged and are giving him some supplements for his hindgut and the difference is incredible! Also, make sure your body language is clear and when he does even a stride of canter take the pressure off. He might just be trying to get a release. Start small, and maybe train him on voice commands so that he knows what you want. Don't give up on him, if he has just started acting differently then there is always a reason. What did your daughter do when he bucked? When she fell off did she get on him again? Is she taking lessons? What is your level of experience and history with horses? If the horse bucks instead of whipping and spurring etc you should turn the horse in a tight circle, keeping quiet and then keep going. During a buck, remember to look up, keep the horse's head up any way you can and lean back. Don't make a big deal of it or hit him because that will only stress/aggravate him further. I suggest your daughter gets lessons if not taking them already and maybe the trainer will know what to do. I hope some of this helps, it's hard to know when I haven't seen the horse. I definitely think you should pursue with him though, because he will make your daughter a better rider and give you guys heaps of experience. :)
 

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Shylaaa...you did get they don't own the horse.
The horse is leased and boarded at a barn...
The owner of the horse referred to the horse as "fresh" and now it sounds as if this is something this horse has been doing for several lease riders associations with said animal...years of this behavior exhibited.

The big one though is...the horse is not owned by the poster.
You refer to doing things they may not have the right to do nor want to pay for that level of care for a animal they not own.
The rider of said horse is a small, young child with minimal riding experience. :|
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Hi, I would seriously consider sending this horse back. You want a bombproof horse for a child, not necessarily a dope on a rope, but not one that is going to be dangerous and freek the hell out of your child. If it's done it before with the previous leasee then there's every chance that it's done it before with someone else down the line and will do it again.
Please do the right thing by your child and send it back, you can always look out for something else that should come with recommendations and will give your child the confidence that they deserve not spook them totally and put them off riding altogether.
My step daughter had one on loan for our granddaughter, it made the mistake of raising both front feet at me when I went to feed it. I've had over 40 years of horse care. It went back before it's feet came back down. If it did that when it was being feed what would it be like when she was riding it and it didn't want to do something!!
This is what you have got to think about. For every dangerious horse there's probably 10 that are going to be safe and ready to be your child's best friend. You need to have one that you will feel safe with if you have to leave them alone together.
Let a professional try and find out what is wrong with it, not your child.
 
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