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  1. #1
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    Default His bucking scares me

    Hi Everyone,
    This is going to be a looooooong post as I want to include all of the details so please read this all the way through. I appreciate any advice that you guys can give because I am really frustrated.
    Ok so here's the situation....
    I own a TB who is 12 that stood at stud for several years until I bought him earlier this year. Most of his life he was in the pasture and only produced a handful of foals. I had him gelded and put him back in work a month later. We worked from the ground a lot on ground manners, transitioning from stud to gelding and such.
    When I bought him, he had only been at the farm a few months. My BO bought him from another woman who didn't do anything with him and BO just stuck him in stall for the most part as no one could really ride or work due to the bad winter we had here. (I bought him in the Spring.)
    Over the winter, he dropped a lot of weight as barn workers underfed him so when I bought him, we worked on getting his weight up, which we did, although he lost some after being gelded and being put back to to work. Plus he had to be Powerpacked, too, as he was pretty wormy. He vetted clean, just underweight and wormy when I bought him, easy enough to fix, which we did, and now it is hard to believe he is the same horse when you look at him. We still need another 50 pounds on but we are slowly adding the weight back on and developing muscle so I'm not rushing the weight gain.
    One thing that has been an issue with me with him is his bucking. At first,he would crowhop occasionally which was not very often. Less than a handful of times and I posted previously about it but now I am realizing that my fear of his bucking is holding us back.
    At first, the crowhopping was, as I said, occasionally. Sometimes it was out of fun and sometimes it was to obviously regain his balance. Well, we did a schooling show about the time I Powerpacked him and he didn't just crowhop, he bucked. The day after my Bell's Palsy developed (stress related, not Lyme related) and while I was going through a very stressful time, I know that his bucking didn't initially cause my Bell's Palsy, it certainly didn't help because now I am nervous about riding him.
    I was told recently that he was cold backed, which I already figured out. He is very tense when you first get on him and I have figured out that lunging him under saddle about 20 minutes really helps him. Plus I switched saddle pads to something a bit more cushy as he is still developing a topline so I know part of his issue is that.
    His saddle fits fine and we have tried different saddles and the Wintec I am riding him now is what we have found works best for him right now. He has no heat or soreness in his back, stifles or neck. He has no soundness issues and nothing is out of whack. I am having him vetted again on Monday for his teeth and yearlies and I'll have the vet check his back out but I'm a vet tech and I know that he isn't going to find anything. I know his teeth need done so he is a bit tense about his poll so that could be contributing to his bucking if it is causing him to be tense down to his back when I ride him but I do know that he was allowed to buck/crowhop previously so this is mostly a learned response, a behavioral thing that I need help to break him of.
    I don't have a reliable trainer at the barn we are at. My BO has a lot of health issues and so she is dealing with that and the other boarders there are not the type of people I would go to for advice like this. Where we board I can't bring in another trainer and I'm currently trailerless so I can't haul him anywhere so for now, I need to address this issue on my own.
    I need some advice about how to deal with this because his bucking scares me. I just started back riding him a few weeks ago as my Bell's Palsy has gotten better and I feel more comfortable riding him. But I know I don't trust him.
    When he crowhops, he pops up all four off of the ground, head tucked and usually if he does that it's because he is rebalancing himself. (Our ring seriously needs to be graded- they put down new footing then it poured rain for weeks and now it needs some work so I understand the not being balanced and needing to reset himself.) The only time he has really bucked with me on him was at the schooling show and I was riding him 2 weeks after I Powerpacked him, used my spurs and was immediately told that "MOM MY TUMMY HURTS! CUT IT OUT!!!!" If he actually bucks on the lunge line, it is because he is rebalancing himself and it always happens in one section of the ring where the footing is deep so we avoid that area under saddle for now. He doesn't buck to be obstinate or nasty- I know that but he does buck a lot when he plays and he plays hard so he gallops farts bucks gallops farts bucks bucks fart gallops spins you know the drill.
    So my problem is really more with me, I know that, but I need to get over this with him. If I feel that he is tense and may pop, we redirect our thinking and do circles serpentines and such until he can relax and I can relax too. Then we trot about a bit and we are okay. We haven't cantered yet because the crowhopping and bucking when on the lunge line happen when he canters, and it's only in that part of the ring where he needs to rebalance himself but it still worries me that he will do it while I am on him.
    I had one girl canter him for me so I could watch him and he did try to snake his head and crowhop on her, but she reprimanded him and pushed him through it, which is what I do on the lunge or if I feel that it may happen under saddle. I can usually verbally reprimand him too and he straightens up.
    I want to get past this fear of him bucking with me so we can move forward and I know most of the issue is with me. I know he doesn't feel like I trust him after the show. After he really bucked at the show, I took off my spurs and continued to ride for awhile so he wouldn't think that was a way to get out of work but I didn't ride him for almost 2 months after that so we are just getting back to work now.
    We trot a lot and walk a lot and work on listening to my seat legs and hands. I think switching pads helped and the lunging before really does help a lot with the tension but what else can I do? I adore this horse and he absolutely adores me. He is one of those very loyal one person kind of horses and we have developed a great respect and trust on the ground but this fear of him possibly bucking is keeping us from moving forward.
    I bought him to train as an eventer as he was previously used in H/J after he came off of the track. He has wonderful movement and likes to try to please me but when he gets confused, he really tenses up and I can feel the possible explosion under me. Then we move to something else and come back after he has relaxed. I always try to end on a positive note, praise him and talk to him to let him know he is being a good boy (which he responds to) and we always stretch before and after work as I know he doesn't have a lot of back muscle/weight so I try to protect his back as I am also a bit heavy too. (Wish I could give him some of my weight.)
    I know I need a trainer to work with me and we are planning on leaving the barn after the holidays but for now, I need some help in dealing with my issues and then his. I don't think that he is not the horse for me. I have been through other horses and have admitted that. I think we are a good team when we sync with each other, which is often and the crowhopping/bucking issue I understand why he is doing it and am having him checked in case there is something underlying that I have missed. I just need to get past this fear, which I know ultimately means that I am afraid of falling and getting hurt- I'm no spring chicken- and I haven't fallen in years so maybe I should just fall off and get it over with? I don't know. I ride other horses to keep up my confidence but I want to get through this with my horse and I don't know how.
    I really appreciate the advice. I'm sorry this was so long but I wanted to add all of the details I could. Hopefully it has made sense and I won't get a lot of negativity about this. I really want to work through it...



  2. #2
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    Default

    It's either pain, lack of training, or ill-fitting tack, or a combination of all 3.

    On the pain issue, you say you're sure he's not sore. Have you had your vet evaluate him since the bucking began? If not, that would be a place to start. Also, what do his feet look like?

    Lack of training: he's a green horse, even though he's 12. Green horses sometimes are not well-behaved, and if they're big, strong, fully developed ex-stallions, they can put a lot of punch behind their bad behavior. Even if you are planning to move after the holidays, I'd strongly suggest getting a trainer to work directly with the horse and also with you and the horse *now.*

    If you really are scared of the horse's behavior under saddle then you may subconsciously be facilitating his bad behavior. You need a trainer who can intervene in this, both for the good of the horse's training and for your own well-being.

    Ill-fitting tack: If you have added a cushy pad to a saddle that used to fit before he built up his topline, you have effectively made that saddle narrower, and therefore more uncomfortable, more likely to pinch. Try this: take a wither tracing of his back about 2 inches behind the shoulder joint (about where the points on the saddle rest). Cut out a cardboard template based on the wither tracing, then try to insert that template underneath your saddle (both without a pad and then with) at the points. I'd bet the template is too wide for the saddle.

    Also: when were the horse's teeth last done?

    Good luck.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky



  3. #3
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    Oct. 6, 2004
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    Default

    Hi Onelove, Pt's post was very good. I don't know where you are in PA, we're pretty close to the PA border about 25 miles from Binghamton, NY, if that helps.

    I am more than willing to help if I can. PM me.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Would also love to know this horse's diet, from hay to grain, etc.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  5. #5
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Default

    I am sure - as you already have - that you will get some great advice on this thread. But really, as you said, you need a trainer. Can you send him off to "school" for 30 days? As PT said, it could be pain, training issues, ill fitting tack or a combo. One training horse I had - only 4 years old - bucked and bolted because of an unknown hock injury. A horse I used to use for lessons would buck unless his saddle was just so - he was just very picky. My BO bought a horse a year ago for a trail horse, who started bucking when he gained weight. Now he belongs to her daughter, and has turned out to be a wonderful Eq./Jumper horse. One of my lesson students - who is a green rider - has a green horse who not only bucks, but launches in the air, cracking his back. She is scared to canter him, so she walks and trots. Mainly all he needs is someone who will not let him get away with it, and will push him forward - which I was doing with him, but now I'm 7 months pregnant. All he needs though is more miles in the saddle, and a rider who isn't afraid of him. Until his owner/rider reaches that point though, it isn't safe for her to canter him, so we don't even go there.

    Anyway, my point is that as PT said, it could be a variety of things, but whatever it is, you really need a trainer's eye to help you figure out what is going on.

    There ARE a few things I would do now, until you can find a trainer:

    DO take the spurs off.

    DO look at his diet, to make sure it is as low in starches as possible.

    DO make sure he is getting plenty of turnout.

    DO ride him with a calm, older horse.

    DO work with him in a round pen, or on a lunge line before you get on him.

    DO check your saddle for proper fit.

    DO consider buying a Liberty Neck Ring: http://www.ttouch.com/shop/index.php?productID=217 When you feel him getting heavy on his front end, pull up on the Neck Ring - instead of his mouth - and kick him forward. The neck ring will also give you more security, as it makes a great "Oh Crap!" strap.



  6. #6
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    Default

    One unexpected glitch I ran into when saddle fitting for TBs is channel width. The saddles seemed to fit, and I'd been told again and again that a wider channel is better. Not so with the TBs. That wide channel was rubbing on their ribs and pissing them off. I switched to narrower channels, and while my saddle fitter isn't thrilled, the horses stopped bitching.
    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/



  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Here's my general response back to try to answer everyone's questions

    1.) teeth last done a year ago, does need them done so he is coming to work with me on Monday as we have arranged for BO to haul him in so teeth will be getting floated and full body exam done as well.

    2.) tack issues: the saddle we use is a Wintec 2000 and it fits him better than any of the other saddles we have available to us (BO own a tack shop so we tried lots of different ones since he had lost so much weight.) Am riding him in a Moxie Cavallo pad with a baby pad underneath and am hoping to buy an Equipedic pad (or even make one since I tend to be a bit crafty- looking into this option now) and the warmth from the wool and memory foam do help. Saddle fits nicely and evenly without me and with me so it's not the saddle.

    3.) We free lunge for about 15 minutes before going under saddle and on the line we lunge about 20 minutes, depending on how he is feeling, more if he is feeling fresh.

    4.) Grain: gets 3 scoops of Sentinel twice a day and free choice hay. Has put on weight nicely with the Sentinel and BO is considering switching farm to another brand so not sure what will become of that. Think they are considering Southern States but not 100% sure.

    5.) Yes I know we need a trainer but unfortunately, farm does not allow other trainers to come in. Without a trailer I am pretty stuck. I am considering sending him out to "sleep away camp" (training) after the holidays when I have more time to assist as I don't believe in sending a horse to someone without me being a part of the training process. IMHO, I think the rider should be part of the training process so that way the horse doesn't get used to being ridden just by the trainer.

    6.) Oh we gave up the spurs the day of the schooling show and now they are my mirror ornament in my car I don't even use a dressage whip and don't feel the need to carry a bat yet. He responds well to my voice but I have considered it if we get to the point where voice commands/tones won't work.

    I honestly do not think that this is a pain response but a behavioral issue as he is green, I do recognize that. If it were a pain issue this would be happening more frequently and in different areas of the ring or field that we ride in. I would agree that this is a pain indicator if he was doing it every time we track left or right, or every time we trot or something but there is no consistency to it. The only time I know he will buck is in the deep area of the middle of the ring when he canters on the lunge and that is an obvious gotta reset my balance issue as we have cantered him on and off the lunge with/without saddle in other areas of the ring and we haven't had any issues. So as I said, I still maintain that this is a behavioral issue because if it were pain, I would see it more frequently than I do. Plus as a tech, I have a really good eye for things so when I have seen him under someone else, I haven't noticed anything concerning. Even if the pain was deep into his hocks or other joints, it would be more consistent and have more frequency when repeated under the same factors. I can do the same thing over and over again after a buck or crowhop and it not happen again. If it were pain, it would happen pretty regularly.

    If I have any daylight tonight, I'll video him on my cell and of course he'll behave and make me look silly but I will try the neck ring. I had thought of maybe using side reins so he can't lower his head or raise it but won't until after his exam next week just in case something does come up. My BO for all her faults is pretty adept in recognizing things out of wack and is a great saddle fitter and she has observed us on her good days and she also says that it's him being bratty.

    Thanks again for your insight.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 29, 2003
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    Default

    Some great advice here! One thing I will mention with some of these older TBs - kissing spine. Hopefully it is not that, but if he has some ouchy spots it could cause serious sharp pains which cause the bucking.

    I would rule out other things first. He has had a ton of changes and is 12, so he may just need some time.

    I completely understand being nervous, and I would be to, but that is a bad combination with a TB - they are so sensitive to the rider's emotions.

    Good luck! Glad you are trying with this guy and I hope you find the key to his puzzle...



  9. #9
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    Default

    Has he been checked for ulcers?



  10. #10
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    I wonder what his feet look like. Bucking can be a sign of heel pain too.

    It's a moot point to ride a horse you are afraid of- send him off to the trainer regardless of if you have time or not. Let the trainer sort it out, and then bring the rider back in and go from there.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  11. #11
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    Default I know you'll all hate me but..

    It could just be that he's a mature TB that wants his way. I've ridden dozens, many dozens probably, of TBs on and off the track, the "I know it's just his way of rebalancing himself" is a kind way of excusing his behavior. He's 12, if he stood at stud, presumably he also raced. Probably on all kinds of racing surfaces, good and bad. He bucks. He buck when he plays, he bucks on the longe, he bucks under saddle. It scares you, and rightly so.

    Here's the first piece of advice. Ditch the spurs pronto. I've had several adult male TBs that simply would not tolerate them, even when used correctly and lightly. I've had a few you also couldn't touch with a crop. And before anyone posts with any desensitization advice, BTDT, some older racehorses come with baggage they'll carry till their dying day. Really, you just learn to work around it.

    Tired horses tend to play up less. Try riding him right after he comes in from turn out (hopefully he's ready for a nap), then instead of putting him on a longe, get someone to help you free longe if he's still up.

    I've never, and I mean never, used a longe line to get the ya ya's out, they just learn that "oh, I can play up, in the place I'm about to be ridden, and she can't do anything about it". Not a good lesson.

    You can work at a walk, and work hard. It's hard for a horse to buck from a stiff working trot. You need to put the canter away, and I mean put it away, until you have absolute obedience at a walk trot and whoa.

    Or, you need to find someone that can get past the bucking until he does.

    Good luck, I've been there, I just used to be the girl (emphasis on "used to be" )
    that rode all these guys til they got past it.

    I highly recommend draft crosses now....



  12. #12
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    Oct. 1, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
    It could just be that he's a mature TB that wants his way. I've ridden dozens, many dozens probably, of TBs on and off the track, the "I know it's just his way of rebalancing himself" is a kind way of excusing his behavior. He's 12, if he stood at stud, presumably he also raced. Probably on all kinds of racing surfaces, good and bad. He bucks. He buck when he plays, he bucks on the longe, he bucks under saddle. It scares you, and rightly so.

    Here's the first piece of advice. Ditch the spurs pronto. I've had several adult male TBs that simply would not tolerate them, even when used correctly and lightly. I've had a few you also couldn't touch with a crop. And before anyone posts with any desensitization advice, BTDT, some older racehorses come with baggage they'll carry till their dying day. Really, you just learn to work around it.

    Tired horses tend to play up less. Try riding him right after he comes in from turn out (hopefully he's ready for a nap), then instead of putting him on a longe, get someone to help you free longe if he's still up.

    I've never, and I mean never, used a longe line to get the ya ya's out, they just learn that "oh, I can play up, in the place I'm about to be ridden, and she can't do anything about it". Not a good lesson.

    You can work at a walk, and work hard. It's hard for a horse to buck from a stiff working trot. You need to put the canter away, and I mean put it away, until you have absolute obedience at a walk trot and whoa.

    Or, you need to find someone that can get past the bucking until he does.

    Good luck, I've been there, I just used to be the girl (emphasis on "used to be" )
    that rode all these guys til they got past it.

    I highly recommend draft crosses now....
    All of this above

    And I will add that for me with my OTTBs When they are under tack it's all work, not bucking on the longe to get the bucks out, but work till they no longer think about bucking. I have had some that get longed with side reins and not for a couple of minutes.

    Bucking can be learned, so IMO it should be stopped immediately. Although I have a retired OTTB that was given to me simply because no amount of work could stop the "out of the blue" bronc and buck." It would come out of the blue after a good work out and something caught his attention. He lives in retirement now and just the other day in his field he bronced, and took off in a bucking fit. . . no reason just cuz he can. This is fine out in the field, but not when I'm on them.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."



  13. #13
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    Default

    1. If your footing is so bad that your horse bucks to rebalance himself, stop riding or lounging in it.

    2. Excessive free lounging and lounging will just make him more fit and 'on the muscle' which will give him more power to evade you with.

    So... in order of preference...

    1. Send him out to training now- regardless of whether you can be there. Teaching the horse not to buck isn't really something you need to participate in anyway.

    2. Give him a vacation until January when you can get a trainer involved.

    3. Ride him yourself, but avoid any situation that induces bucking. This may mean only riding at the walk until January. Be consistent as well. Riding once or twice a week on a fit TB can be a death wish. Some horses need 5-6 days per week of consistent work to engage their brains.

    4. Go take lessons at a lesson barn that will specifically address with you how to correct a horse that bucks.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
    It could just be that he's a mature TB that wants his way. I've ridden dozens, many dozens probably, of TBs on and off the track, the "I know it's just his way of rebalancing himself" is a kind way of excusing his behavior. He's 12, if he stood at stud, presumably he also raced. Probably on all kinds of racing surfaces, good and bad. He bucks. He buck when he plays, he bucks on the longe, he bucks under saddle. It scares you, and rightly so.

    Here's the first piece of advice. Ditch the spurs pronto. I've had several adult male TBs that simply would not tolerate them, even when used correctly and lightly. I've had a few you also couldn't touch with a crop. And before anyone posts with any desensitization advice, BTDT, some older racehorses come with baggage they'll carry till their dying day. Really, you just learn to work around it.

    Tired horses tend to play up less. Try riding him right after he comes in from turn out (hopefully he's ready for a nap), then instead of putting him on a longe, get someone to help you free longe if he's still up.

    I've never, and I mean never, used a longe line to get the ya ya's out, they just learn that "oh, I can play up, in the place I'm about to be ridden, and she can't do anything about it". Not a good lesson.

    You can work at a walk, and work hard. It's hard for a horse to buck from a stiff working trot. You need to put the canter away, and I mean put it away, until you have absolute obedience at a walk trot and whoa.

    Or, you need to find someone that can get past the bucking until he does.

    Good luck, I've been there, I just used to be the girl (emphasis on "used to be" )
    that rode all these guys til they got past it.

    I highly recommend draft crosses now....
    Thanks! This is what I was looking for so I would know that I am not crazy! Yes he was race broke but didn't have the potential but his bloodlines said he did so on he became a stud. Was bought by an H/J rider (so I am told) that trained him to ride. Then turned him out to pasture and did nothing with him. Then he was bought by my BO and then I bought him from them.

    I have to agree that he has his baggage and a lot of it I am finding out after the sale. I expect that the reason he was put out to pasture was because of his bucking issues- the few times he was ridden before I bought him were by young girls who thought it was fun so his bad behavior was reinforced.

    Our normal sessions go like this:

    turnout for about 20-30 minutes prior to working. Groom off all of the manure he rolled in during turnout. Then free lunge (usually with help from my daughters) for about 20 minutes,, maybe more depending on how fresh he feels. Tack up and lunge on the line about 20 minutes then ride for another 20 minutes to an hour. We ride 3 times a week, weather permitting.

    I don't ride in spurs anymore after the schooling show.

    In the past I have worked with several OTTBs and know a lot of their demons. I never felt that they were the type of horse that you rushed your training, IMHO. I think there is an answer here and maybe it is just needing someone who can ride through the bucking or maybe there is something more to it but I want to know what it is either way and I won't give up on him until I figure it out.

    For now I am okay with walking/trotting to work him but I feel that some of my insecurity is holding us back and I have to wonder if maybe we started to canter that would help at all. I try to relax as I know he relaxes when I do, I ride on a very soft hand and work him from my seat and leg and mind to bend and flex him to create some suppleness and flexibility as I know he does need it.

    I do want him to get turned out more because I think he needs it and to get away from the farm where we have breeding mares and stallions so he can focus on work and not who's doing who. As a gelding, he transitioned extremely well and we did turn him out in the mixed herd for awhile but brought him in because he was getting beaten up. He now gets turned out with another gelding and no mares around, something I think will help him focus some more too.

    He is very responsive to me and willing to a point. It's just when we get to doing something he doesn't understand or doesn't want to do that he tenses and if I don't hurry up and refocus him, he hops. I don't allow him to get away with it when he does it either. He gets reprimanded and made to do it and usually once he gets in trouble, he does what I ask if he can figure it out. I tend to think he is pushing my buttons to see how far I'll let him go and so far I haven't let him win. But it still is unnerving and I want to find something to stop it once and for all.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 29, 2010
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    Like others have said, I would have the vet go over him looking for lameness, ulcers, etc.

    I would also get the vet to look at the saddle fit.

    If all that is ruled out....

    Yes I know we need a trainer but unfortunately, farm does not allow other trainers to come in.
    I would move this horse to a barn that either:

    1. Allows other trainers or
    2. Actually has a decent trainer

    You are just going to get hurt proceeding like you are.



  16. #16
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    Is he really only getting turned out for 20 to 30 minutes per day?

    Wow. That could be your problem right there, IMHO.

    I know that there are horses that get by with that little turnout, but with a superfit, in his prime TB, I think that's way too little. That means he's got to get most of his exercise when he's under-saddle, and he's likely to do it any way he can.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky



  17. #17
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    Nov. 24, 2002
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    Default more turn out, lots more.

    20 mins turn out before you ride, is just enough to give him a taste, then piss him off when you want to ride. Really, I'd be pissed too.

    Let him get back out in the herd and get beat up, a little bit of humility on his part will be a good thing. Let him learn he's at the bottom of the pecking order, at all times.

    Turn him out a lot. I mean as much as you possibly can. Let him live outside if you can, really. He comes in for a quick groom, squidgies, ride, right back out. Ignore his weight for now, if he's getting plenty of hay, then he's getting enough since he isn't exactly in work. A handful of whatever grain he's getting to keep him from knocking the walls down when everyone else gets fed is sufficient, he does not need to be hunter-fat right now. Three scoops of anything resembling grain or feed is about 2 1/2 scoops too much. You said he gets free choice hay, he'll be fine on that for a bit, really. Enough good hay can keep any horse in good weight, unless you have a performance horse or a breeding or lacating mare, you really, really don't need grain, it just makes us all feel better. My horse is cow fat on dry pasture grasses and hay.

    If he's out alone and running the fence, then when he comes in, you make it a positive experience, he'll be tired, he'll be good, you'll praise him, it will get better.

    Sounds like what you really need is someone committed to riding him often and well, and lots more turn out. OTTBs even those used for breeding, come with baggage, but.. they've BTDT, so they tend not to make too big of a deal over new stuff, cause they've seen it all, or at least a lot of it. And they usually load, haul, trim, shoe, get shots, etc, the best, so really, lots of advantages.

    I bet if you ask around, you can find a crackerjack younger person, with no fear, that is horseless, that would love to come pull him out of the field, knock the dirt off and ride everyday, even if all she did is trot, f o r e v e r, til the bucking habit is broken.

    Sounds like what you have isn't a bucking problem, it's a turn out problem.. it would be the first thing I changed, and I bet you have a new horse.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2010
    Posts
    213

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    Quote Originally Posted by onelove View Post
    Our normal sessions go like this:
    turnout for about 20-30 minutes prior to working. Groom off all of the manure he rolled in during turnout. Then free lunge (usually with help from my daughters) for about 20 minutes,, maybe more depending on how fresh he feels. Tack up and lunge on the line about 20 minutes then ride for another 20 minutes to an hour. We ride 3 times a week, weather permitting.
    I think the horse needs more work, truthfully. And real work. Most of his work sounds like he gets to just go be silly with no discipline or real work (turn-out and then free lunging and then lunging with tack). Make his turn-out sessions longer (as long as possible) and let him learn that is where the sillies need to come out. If you want to lunge him, I'd make him lunge in an area where you DON'T ride. I totally agree that working him hard at the walk and trot needs to be the routine right now. Lots of engaged walking starting to incorporate haunches/shoulders in, leg yielding, just a little bit as I'm sure these will be new or rusty for him. Also, try ground driving and getting him out of the ring a bit if you can.

    Finally, is he getting turned out on the other 4 days of the week or is he standing in a stall and only getting out of it 3 days a week?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    3,342

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    I have unbalanced horses. THey do not need to buck to rebalance. I don't even know what that means really. Quit using that as an excuse.

    Is your horse in his stall other than the 3 days a week you work him, or is he turned out more than that?

    3 days of hard work, with 4 days of sitting in a stall is not the best situation for a lot of horses.

    What do you do when he crow hops to "rebalance"? If you rule out soreness and saddle fit, then I would go with it being training...your horse may not know that bucking is not allowed; I have ridden ex-race horses where their race owner thought it was special that their horse bucked excercise riders off...thought it showed special spunk. I would think a pulley rein into the wall should derail the buck in a way that doesn't require a lot of brave.

    What type of bit are you using? Are you letting him move out when you ride or are your nerves holding him back? He may get frustrated and buck if you are always holding him in and not releasing. When you ride, do you just do laps around the arena, or do you do excercises and patterns? Keep him interested and thinking; loops, shallow and regular serpentines, half circle reverses, transitions between and within gaits.

    Perhaps stop lunging before you ride...or make sure he has time for his adrenalin to drop before you get on; lunge and then tack up.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,410

    Default I re read your last post

    You're doing too much before you actually ride. Free longe if you have too,but after he rips around a couple of times, and you have to start chasing him around, quit. but skip the 20 mins of going in endless circles on a longe line. If at the age he is, you can't bring him in, and I'd free longe before I groomed, pattern interrupt here, then groom, tack up, ride, then I'd probably get something I enjoyed a bit more. Your fear is making you do things that are setting up the very behavior you're trying to prevent.

    There is nothing wrong with cantering an OTTB to settle him a bit at the begining of a work, I've had some that, especially with limited turn out, did much, much better and some work better with a little canter first, but.... if you're afraid he'll buck and try to rate him too much, it's just going to piss him off and then he's going to throw in a little buck or two to get you out of his mouth.

    Good luck. I've loved many OTTBs, some good, some evil incarnate, but I loved them all, because there is nothing finer when you're on the same page.

    I just can't physically react that fast any more, so I'm riding a tb/perch cross.

    Found out he has "Thoroughbred moments",
    they're just bigger. Much, much bigger.



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