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Any ideas on a bucking horse.

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Hi, As I have mentioned in a few blogs already I have just bought a 15hh QH. He is a great animal, and from what I can understand he has only been ridden 3 or 4 times in the last 12 months. I rode him today in a round yard and then out in an open paddock. He is great while we were just trotting around doing some figure 8's etc. Very responsive to leg aids and voice. Unfortunately when I got him into a Canter all he wanted to do was drop his head and pig root and buck. He was ok going in a straight line with a loose rein, but as soon as I went to turn him, down goes the head and he plays up.I checked his back, fearing he could be sore or bruised and all appeared ok. My question is: This behaviour is it due to maybe not being ridden for such a long time and he is trying to put one over me, or could he have sore hips, or is he just being pig headed. I made sure we finished the ride with a gentle 15 minute trot.... he seemed fine and relaxed.
Any ideas ?????
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Good that you checked the horse's back and the saddle fit!

Horses that have not been ridden much do not have the muscles or the balance to carry a rider, especially in turns. Give the horse some time at slower gaits and large turns to develop his balance and the proper muscles to carry a rider in turns at a higher speed. Begin your work with large circles at the walk, then move to the trot. This is best done on loose reins using a leading rein to turn so the horse can stretch its neck and lift its back and the horse does not reduce his speed in the turn.
Done properly, this work should take 1-3 months depending on the frequency of riding, the age and experience of the horse and the experience of the rider.
If the rider is exceptionally experienced and has great hands this can be done on contact with a snaffle bit, bu this method is usually best reserved for very experienced trainers.
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Hi guys,
Well yes I think you are right. I now have a saddle that fits him properly
and have had his back checked out and there is nothing wrong, except a little soreness. I have completed a Tactile Massage Therapy course, so he now gets plenty of massages.
So once I knew that he was just being a bit of a 'ratbag'... i.e.- If I buck they get off me.... so I just pushed him through it. At first he started off trying to buck every time I pushed him into a canter, however he now understands that it is not going to work. So he tries once....and that's it.

We end up having a great ride and he gets a massage afterwards.... hee.
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longrein, I've found the round pin and good nutration helps supple the horse the fastest.
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1 year ago
Hey there new friend. Drop everything and get a copy of: Horse follow closly, Lyons on horses, A revolution in horsemanship, There are no porblem horses only problem riders, Consider the horse (Mar Rashid) and you will have horses hust like mine. Best wishes Olivia
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Hey Montana, yes it has been a long time, I tried sending an email to your last known email address.... it bounced back. So you back now. Anyway a fair bit has happened since we last spoke.
I'm actually doing a Tactile Equine Massage Certificate, which is about a 6 months course, I'm also learning Barefoot trimming. As I mentioned in my last update had a chiropractor come and see Mack and we have discovered some small issues with his Back and are working on a fix for him. His feet are now being 'primed' for barefoot riding. Not sure if I mentioned it but I had a saddler come and measure him up for a decent saddle that fits properly.
His temperament is fine, he really is a big softy and tell you what I really believe he knows I am trying to help. Just in the last couple of weeks, since barefoot trimming his feet and having the Chiro work on him as well as a good fitting saddle his attitude is already changing. Although I am not cantering him at the moment, concentrating on getting him to straighten his back. Yes I do get him to Vertical flex and 'drop' his head while trotting. So although he is not perfect, I am pleased with the progress we are making, especially now I am more aware of 'why' he was playing up the way he was. I aim to fix all this before proceeding further.
Good to see you back.
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Hey Longrein,

Long time, no hear!
Have you been working with Mack all along in finding a "soft feel"? That is to say asking/teaching him to drop his chin from the poll which is the basis for advanced western moves. This makes it possible for him to collect (not to the full extent of formal collection)raise his back as he brings his hindquarters under him for better balance and quickness in his front feet.
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If all else fails ask your vet for a shot of fluphenazine. It turned my grumpy gelding into a teddy bear.
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HI guys, he's an update. I have had a chiropractor come and check him out. This is what we reckon. It is apparent that Mack has had a badly fitting saddle for most of his life, you can see by the 'tell tale' white spots on the sides of his shoulders. Anyway, his sway back is pretty much self induced, a protection mechanism he uses to mask the discomfort. I have since had him measured up for a correctly fitting saddle.The problem now is that we need to get him to straighten his back and free up his 'rump' muscles. With the new saddle it is applying pressure (on all the correct places ), however this is now making him use all these muscles that he was 'protecting', hence when asked to lope/canter.... the head goes down and he starts his pig rooting / rooster hops. So the plan is to 'fix' his tight muscles, straighten his back and start having him 'free' up. The other course of action I have started is barefoot trimming, his feet need to be encouraged / promoted to grow that will also negate the need for shoes. I have also enrolled in a 'Certificate of Horse Massage and Therapy'. With all the above actions I have decided to do, I believe in 6 months I will have a 'new' 'happier' horse to play with...hee hee .
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Hi i was reading your problem ... what age is he ??
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I am no longer a PREMIUM MEMBER so I can't reply to your inquiry about saddle fit. I think you have my regular email address (I can't find yours on my computer) so please resend your message and I will reply.
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Exactly, when I wrote this original blog, it was only days after I got this horse (Mack). Things have changed quite a bit since then. I do, and have appreciated everyone's comments, especially Montana's.
I had already stopped using the English Hackamore and have doing my work in a gentle snaffle. The bucking, (that wasn't really a buck ) has stopped. I have also had his feet trimmed ( refer blog Barefoot vs shoes )and he has been working very well.

I have also bought a bittless bridle on e-bay which I'm waiting for delivery, hopefully this week sometime.
So yes, I do understand what you are saying ( dodgediesel ) and look forward to using the bittless bridle.

Thanks for your comments.
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Hi all,
I sorry for the delay in updating but I am no longer a GOLD member and thought I couldn't update this blog.... thanks Montana.
I've done some more work with Mack...
Things like, Flexing neck both on ground and in the saddle, one rein stops at trot, disengaging hind quarters in saddle. He was excellent for all of those, however he still has a bit of an issue with cantering... wants to
drop head and 'pig root', the one rein stop is an excellent tool to stop that. I am still trying to figure out why he wants to act the way he does when asked ???......

So I am going to practice all these new techniques until he has them fully embedded in his mind and can do them perfectly.. this will also give him saddle fitness as well. He 'gets' things very quickly, I fully suspect he
has already been shown these things, however not knowing his history I not sure why he has an issue with cantering. But, as I said I will ensure he is
fully worked under the saddle at a trot and fully 'flexed', this way I can discount fitness and 'tightness'. After I am happy with that I will start them all again, but under a
Unfortunately, this should be done on a daily basis, but because I cannot get to him on a daily basis I think it will take some time.
Having said that I really don't care how long it takes, it's not as if I need him to be perfect in 2 weeks, I have all the time in the world, ( I hope )...
I do understand about the 'presence' and 'attitude' towards a horse, it's like they can sense your 'Aura' or something.... Mack is great like that.
When I think about what the lady who sold him to me said, things like....
You can't touch is mouth, or his head, he won't float... took 4 them 3 hours one day to try and get him on a float.....When I picked him up, I had him
walk on float inside 5 minutes, I can now hold his face for a cuddle, flick his lips and rub them. He now puts his head down for me to put bridle on.
So I must be doing something right ( hee hee ), I know in my heart he is a good horse, just getting him to fully trust me is the challenge, I've already gone a long way with him. So I don't have a problem with how things
are going, I know we will get there eventually.
To tell you the truth I enjoy this training, just as much as riding him,there is a real sense of 'bonding' with this type of work.
So my work with him continues.....
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Hi Ivylee, what's a Breyer horse? and he what's? you don't seem to have finished the message or it didn't all come up.
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It is a good discussion. I have a breyer horse, he always .
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It is a good discussion. I have a breyer horse, he always .
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Hi, just wondering how you are going with your5 horse, last time I looked it was ok, but just looking for an update.
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Thanks Montana,
I will defiantly keep that in mind.

I have bid on Ebay for a set of 4 DVD's by Clinton Anderson. Riding with confidence. So far my 'new' approach on how I do stuff with Mack is paying dividends, he is coming on very nicely, after our first couple of failed attempts.
Yes he is forgiving and we are moving forward nicely.
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I neglected to say that in my opinion a horse never forgets. He doesn't need to have things engrained in him over and over like humans. They don't forget their successes nor their negative experiences. It's lucky for us that up to a point they're very forgiving of our trespasses, much more than we humans are.
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Sounds like you're heading down the right path. Have you ever watched horses in herds turned out? They move each other where they want by placing themselves in the position you describe. Just a week ago I came across about fifteen head of the hoodlums who had escaped through a down fence line one night. I was able to gather them and herd them back across half a mile of range while on foot just by postioning myself in that sweet spot on the flank of the lead horses.

While proceeding with your teaching you might consider that what was an impass yesterday is usually a no brainer for them 24 hours later. They sort of need some time to mull things over. When I reach a point that the horse is having difficulty and is at an impass I go back and repeat old stuff that he can do easily, finishing on a good note. And then quit for the day. Invariably the next day what he balked at before comes through smooth as silk. Once he "gets" your objective for the day I usually quit that issue. Continuing on repetitively can cause confusion .