My horse is bucking! -What to do? Part 2

Avoid it  - If I’m going to stir up a storm, I need to be able to ride through whatever horse’s response so that he doesn’t find bucking rewarding. So I might come at a training problem in another way vs attacking head on.

Examples – small wins vs epic wins. 3 % improvement. Aim to never have to step back down the training staircase because you jumped two steps and it went wrong. Evasion undermines the progress because anything learned through fear/ adrenaline is learned quickly.

Have your tools in place In training a horse with a inclination to buck, I’d make sure these “bricks” are well laid in my training foundation before cantering:

  • Straight and forward: Bulging to the outside of a circle (usually towards the barn), lack of forward motion and bucking are often related problems. It is essential that you have control of your horse’s body parts in order to keep him straight and avoid “fishtailing” hind quarters. All lateral work such as bending, leg yielding, turns on the haunches and forehand will give you some tools to contain evasions.

  • Teach your horse from the ground to defer to your pressure on every part of his body before you climb aboard. Well practiced yield-to-pressure exercises under saddle every time you feel him distracted by emotions.

 

Pay attention/connect every stride. Look for signs of ducking head, shifting weight to front end, choking of rhythm, swelling beneath you. Timing is key to nip the urge to buck in the bud

Keep a lid on the physical energy. Longe first. Long trot.  Is my horse ready to listen when I swing into the saddle? Or is he overwhelmed by a new experience or environment – like a grade 7 boy at Wonderland

He may be fine in the arena but prone to buck in the freedom and distraction of great outdoors.

Keep emotions low (Horse and human emotions) Don’t startle. Use aids smooth escalation: 1-10 scale. Abrupt canter trans. Getting after horse in anger.

Circle to divert the energy. Your horse will find it difficult to buck on a tight circle. As your horse relaxes (you'll feel no resistance in your hands, his ears will soften and attentive, and he'll be supple to  your leg), ride off straight on a test line

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