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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter rides english and is currently jumping 2'6". She has had her current horse for almost a year. She is a 12 year mare draft cross. She frequently has an attitude and sometimes will do a little buck, but for the most part is very good. About a week and half ago my daughter rode her horse and after a lap at trot she started to buck and would not listen. She did this constantly, and much larger buck than she has ever done. We gave her a few days off and tried again and it was the same. Tried a week later and the same. She is not lame/limping, the tack is the same, her back is not tender, and her teeth appear to be ok (but have not had a professional check and had her teeth floated before we got her). The only change is that we moved her to our house since our barn was done, and that was about 3-4 weeks ago. My husband also got the wrong hay this last time, so she had T/A and we usaully give her just timothy. I have a chiropractor coming to check her, but the soonest appoitnment was 2 weeks away. Any idea what could be causing this? Should we not ride her until the chiropractor comes?
 

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A horse doesn't need to be visibly lame to have problems that would cause a pain reaction (e.g. bucking). A chiro is great, but I'd also try to get a good lameness vet out there to look at her. Who knows, maybe they could get out there sooner than the chiro could. I guess if it were me I'd also go over the tack really closely, to make sure that something hasn't changed that you haven't noticed. And of course one other thing is that horses do change shape, and it's possible that tack that fit her perfectly a couple of months ago no longer does.

If it were me, I would not ride this horse until you can get her evaluated. If she's just going to keep bucking, then either she is in pain that needs to be fixed, or she is learning that bucking will get her out of work (or both). Neither of those is a good thing. Wait until you know what the problem is and can create a plan for moving forward.
 

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Multiple issues comes to mind. Pain from somewhere. Saddle, bridle, either something is pinching or hitting a sore spot.
First thing is stop riding until you have a vet do a thorough check. Get teeth floated.
If everything checks out and the problem is ongoing and getting worse, you have to look at what happens when the horse bucks. Does the rider get off and the horse gets rest? What might have started with pain will very fast and easily become behavioural, if the rider tells the horse that work stops when he does this.
 

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I would also wait for the chiro and see if anything pops up in the evaluation that could use a second look... it could be that the SI needs an adjustment too, which could cause bucking. The chiropractor is good for this and often, if a similar issue pops up more than once, then there may be a reoccurring issue (saddle fit, strain, hoof balance) that is the cause. It could also be behavioural, but it would be best to rule out pain to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! I was leaning towards not riding her until we get this figured out. Thankfully, she has a really good seat and is not getting thrown off. We always try to end on a good note, because we don’t want this to cause any learned behavior. But of course every time she has not been able to work her as normal. Hopefully we will have some answers soon.
 

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My daughter rides english and is currently jumping 2'6". She has had her current horse for almost a year. She is a 12 year mare draft cross. She frequently has an attitude and sometimes will do a little buck, but for the most part is very good. About a week and half ago my daughter rode her horse and after a lap at trot she started to buck and would not listen. She did this constantly, and much larger buck than she has ever done. We gave her a few days off and tried again and it was the same. Tried a week later and the same. She is not lame/limping, the tack is the same, her back is not tender, and her teeth appear to be ok (but have not had a professional check and had her teeth floated before we got her). The only change is that we moved her to our house since our barn was done, and that was about 3-4 weeks ago. My husband also got the wrong hay this last time, so she had T/A and we usaully give her just timothy. I have a chiropractor coming to check her, but the soonest appoitnment was 2 weeks away. Any idea what could be causing this? Should we not ride her until the chiropractor comes?



So this is a horse that normally has an attitude. You've changed her location and routine. It sounds like frequency in riding has changed as well. How much time does she spend out? Do you have other horses at home or is she alone? Has anything other than the mistake with the mix hay changed feed wise? Is she jumping now that you have her at the house? Are they the same types of jumps set with the same distances? Are you hauling out for lessons or just letting your daughter ride on her own schedule? How frequently was she ridden at the other barn including lessons?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, she does typically have an attitude. At the previous barn, she was out all the time in the pasture and had a stall to go in and out of. Now that she is at our house, we keep her out during the day and stall her at night. We do not have another horse, but there is four horses at our neighbors house - adjoining fence line. A couple days ago we got two donkeys to keep her company.....although they are not hitting it off as well as I hoped. No other changes with the feed. At the other barn, my daughter was riding every other day and a lesson once a week. The same schedule here, however we are hauling to a new barn for a lesson. We have only gone to one lesson so far, and she did really good. It was the next day after the lesson that this bucking started. They do have a full course of jumps, where we only have two jumps. All the same height as she has been doing.
 

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Yes, she does typically have an attitude. At the previous barn, she was out all the time in the pasture and had a stall to go in and out of. Now that she is at our house, we keep her out during the day and stall her at night.
If she were mine, pending a vet/chiro/dental check, my next step would be more turnout. You cut down her turnout by at least 8 hours...that can make a difference for particularly spicy horses.

My gelding at weekend shows where he is stalled turns into a dragon - increased spookiness, pent-up energy, naughtiness...
 

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That she is alone(well, donks she is not attached to, strange horses across the fence, so virtually...) In a new environment, left her mates, locked up alone at night... It may not be a physical prob but that she is under so much more stress generally because of all that.
 
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