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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2002
    Posts
    2,337

    Default causes of bucking?

    Looking at a horse for sale that's an occasional bucker. Only under saddle, only trot or canter, when "pressured" a little (trainer's words) - they don't have the time to investigate further but have done back xrays (not sure what sort)

    Other things I'm asking about: teeth, saddle fit, chiropractic work, neck xrays, reproductive issues (mare)

    Anything else? Horse is sweet and lovely in hand/on the lunge, but only bucks sometimes under saddle. Price is right as a result, mare is nicely bred and a very athletic jumper.
    ............................................
    http://www.xanthoria.com/OTTB
    ............................................



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    248

    Default

    A friend just got rid of one of those exactly the same down to the athletic jump. She worked for 2 years to change that mare. She didn't hide the issues with the mare and others thought they could fix her.
    I will repeat her cautions to the sellers. "If the price seems too good to be true, there is a reason."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    4,040

    Default

    I have a lovely athletic gelding that will buck primarily at the canter or when pressured. Did so for years, everyone thought he was crafty and spoiled. Even when I turned him around to have sweet ground manners and got him well broke, he bucked. Turned out he has broken withers. Has been that way for years. He's now a driving horse. To this day he looks sound as a dollar.

    I used to pick up others buckers for myself, usually it was saddle fit or fear or hole in training, etc. but my current gelding taught me a very important and expensive lesson: back problems can be very sneaky. My horse never acted like he was in pain or coldbacked.

    Be very very careful.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present. It steals your joy and keeps you very busy doing absolutely nothing at all... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2005
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Consider delayed patellar release, aka "sticky stifles".



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11,257

    Default

    I would say he is either lame or rank.

    A lame horse will buck because he hurts and may continue to buck after he isn't lame until he realizes he doesn't hurt.

    A rank horse has learned that bucking gets him out of whatever he doesn't want to do. He bucks, his rider stops doing whatever they think caused the bucking, horse gets out of it. The only way to get past it is to be a firm consistent rider who doesn't get bucked off. You have to stick out the buck, be there with your stick to make him go forward, and push. As soon as the horse realizes he can't get out of work by bucking it will go away, but usually never goes totally away. If he's pushed in the future he might try it again to see if it gets him anywhere but will drop it faster then before if he doesn't.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    A combination of age, inexperience and fear can trigger bucking in some edgier horses. I have one that will yard dart me if he feels stressed. Generally if he is being asked to lead down a trail that the horses are thinking is "ify" (you know where a trash monster might appear from no where.) then he try something stupid. Which always lands him in more work in the general "trash monster" area. So problem solved....until the next potential trash monster encounter.

    But if another horse leads 1st he is not stressed at all and no issues. Even if that horse is acting up a bit. Guess he feels the random trash monster will aways take out the lead horse.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,421

    Default

    Certainly it could be saddle fit or some other pain related issue. Sometimes it's an evasion.

    My friend had a horse who used it in that way. She tried everything to determine a "cause" for the bucking. She had her saddles adjusted, numerous veterinary visits, treated for Lyme, had his back injected, etc. He still bucked. He bucked with her, he bucked with the trainer she hired to ride him, he bucked whenever he felt like he had done enough work.

    After spending $$$$ she gave him to someone who rode the snot out of him 7 days a week (daughter of a pro eventer) and he stopped bucking. He just needed someone with the seat and the desire to get through his tantrums.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Well if you are like Grand Prix Jumper stallion Mr. Whoopy (who just won the World Cup at Thermal), you buck just because you can. I saw him recently at Thermal and he is a hoot! Not the best examples of his rambunctious style because he pulls himself more together in the jump offs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byj64...eature=channel

    Winning World Cup Thermal:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTeMy...eature=channel


    All joking aside. Bucking could be caused by:

    Fractured withers,
    kissing spines,
    stifle issues,
    ulcers,
    saddle fit,
    balkiness caused by muscle disorders.





    .



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2005
    Posts
    2,185

    Default

    I had a horse that bucked because of pain in his front feet. He was having mild laminitic episodes that we couldn't diagnois with x-rays. He was not showing any lameness at the time. His only symptoms was a reluctance to go forward and bucking.
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,228

    Default

    my gelding bucked because the saddle slid slightly up his withers in the canter when he was young. then he started bucking and bolting again when he filled out right under the stirrups bars, so he was being pinched by the saddle.

    my filly, I'm still trying to figure out why she bucks sometimes. it's obviously pain-related, as she's pretty back sore, despite very little riding, and nothing in a month. but hers LOOKED attitude more than pain for a year. i never could get her to react to flexions or back palpation until a couple weeks ago.

    so proceed with caution unless you're cool with a pasture ornament. it could be fixable, it could not be.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2011
    Posts
    448

    Default

    My green OTTB is giving me a little buck when he's pushed and basically wants to quit. It only happens when starting the canter, and only after a bit of work. Yesterday jump coach asked me to go around one last time, when I asked for the canter he was hesitant so I tapped his but with my crop and wow did his back legs come up! Trainer said he was nearly straight up in the back but I never felt off balance, I was shocked by its and stopped. Trainer said "you just rewarded him for that" I brought him back into canter and jumped beautifully, then praised him,

    I think my boy has a lazy streak and is trying to see what he can get away with. My fear is, what he decides to "turn up the volume" next time? Any thoughts on this?

    I've had everything checked, only thing I haven't done is scope him for ulcers, but there aren't any other symptoms to suggest that. Should I do a treatment just to be sure?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    925

    Default

    I've had one that suddenly became a rodeo bronc because of a broken pelvis. I'd want to rule out pain w/ a great lameness vet before I'd think attitude.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Sounds more behind the leg to me unless there is more bucking than this? If would tend to think if this only happens when you tap with a whip. How long have you had your horse? How fit is he? Is this new behavior? Was he raced? How did he do?


    Quote Originally Posted by SaratogaTB View Post
    My green OTTB is giving me a little buck when he's pushed and basically wants to quit. It only happens when starting the canter, and only after a bit of work.

    Could be anything. I had a horse who started to give a little buck at the canter depart and was baulky. He ended up having a stifle injury. :-(


    Yesterday jump coach asked me to go around one last time, when I asked for the canter he was hesitant so I tapped his but with my crop and wow did his back legs come up! Trainer said he was nearly straight up in the back but I never felt off balance, I was shocked by its and stopped. Trainer said "you just rewarded him for that" I brought him back into canter and jumped beautifully, then praised him,

    Tapping with a crop and getting a buck is not an uncommon reaction for some horses. Had you ever tapped him with the crop and gotten the same reaction or is this new?

    I think my boy has a lazy streak and is trying to see what he can get away with. My fear is, what he decides to "turn up the volume" next time? Any thoughts on this?

    If he really is just behind the leg you could have a ground person with a lunge whip ready to get him going forward when he baulks and then gallop him forward. Taking him for a gallop can help a baulky horse.

    I've had everything checked, only thing I haven't done is scope him for ulcers, but there aren't any other symptoms to suggest that. Should I do a treatment just to be sure?
    Can trainer evaluate? What happens when someone else rides him? Have trainer establish if hes just behind the leg or not.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Just thought of another reason to buck:
    low selenium blood levels.

    Rider suspected horse wasnt right and took it to the vet. Vet did physical and lameness exam which horse passed. Vet said it was a "boring" exam. Next week while being ridden the horse bronced 100 feet until the rider flew off. It was eventually determined that the horse had selenium deficiency. Fixed that and horse never had problems or bucked undersaddle again.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Agreed about low selenium. Had one with that.
    Also ulcers. I'm having some success with G.U.T., after trying several other supplements.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,490

    Default

    What does the lack of selenium do - cause tight muscles, pain? Selenium deficiency is common up here, but not every horse bucks - ??



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2010
    Location
    Gum Tree PA
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    This sort of thing in hard to call unless you know the horse. Yes, a poorly fitted saddle can be the cause and the effect. Or is just the effect. In other words a sore or pulled muscle can be caused by a poorly fitted saddle. Or injured in some other way and any saddle may contact the sore spot every once in a while. A pulled muscle can be very difficult to figure out. Could be in his back, shoulder, hind end, etc and how much time to give it is difficult to figure out. Personally I am a big fan of acupuncture. It may take a couple of treatments but you should see/feel a difference soon after the first treatment. And then several follow ups. Some horses need tune-ups on a regular bases. I have a now 3 year old TB that always trained great and a joy to gallop. Could get on him from a wall. But he started to loose “interest” kind of just went through the motions. Had to have someone at his head and another to leg me up. Sometimes he would buck like a bronco, thought he was just getting fit and full of himself. But he was not training like he used to. Then he started to walk a bit short on his off hind. Some warm to the touch and reactive spots when running hands over him. 3 treatments took care of it and he is back to his old self. Yes, one Vet suggested a course of X-rays, another a diet change, etc. I always start simple and work from there



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    836

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    What does the lack of selenium do - cause tight muscles, pain? Selenium deficiency is common up here, but not every horse bucks - ??


    Good question! It can cause muscle spasm (tightness or typing up). In the case of the horse I referred to, it was the gluteals, hamstrings, and also loin that were sore. Horse was super tight in hamstrings.



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