I had a trainer tell me once that a forward horse couldn't buck...if only they had watched me at my first opening hunt. Sooo soooo wrong.
Yeah, they can buck, but they can't swap ends so much, so it's easier to ride through. The Voice Of Experience... (My college roommate also disproved the theory that you can't get bucked off sidesaddle- she still feels that shoulder ache!)
Last edited by Beverley; Dec. 28, 2012 at 01:14 AM.
CVPeg,sounds like a most excellent trainer! I hadn't heard of the 'lean over' technique you describe, but I had an OTTB that would get the message and Get Over Snotty when I simply opened a leading rein one way or another and let him expend that energy twirling around upon himself. And then kick him through another few turns for good measure.
Thankfully when bucking, he could get a lot of 'air' but didn't pull any lateral moves or try to swap ends. What was always hilarious was- and Warrenton Hunt Night comes to mind- he could make jarring, crowd-scattering leaps in the air, and about the time, say, my little quarter horse would have made an embellishment to put me on the ground, he would sense that I was coming loose and just freeze. Message: 'Don't leave me Mom, get square in the saddle so I can leap some more.'
But-he never once bucked out hunting, whether in the field or whipping in. He could do a jig very well in a slow moment (particularly when he smelled cattle) but when hounds were running he was all business.
I used the technique on a super-athletic somewhat snotty horse of mine and the very next thing he spooked at, all of a sudden, there we were, he was using it on me. Spinning like a champion reining horse. We went around and around about six times faster than I could blink, perfectly at ease, and at the speed of light. So I thought to myself, "Dummy, try the other rein." Found he can spin just as fluidly clockwise as counter-clock! The horse is just phenomenally gifted. I think I'd rather spin than buck, even so. And he hasn't bucked since.
The rider has to act BEFORE the misbehavior starts. Keep one rein lowered (at the withers) and the other raised and give (upward) hh to keep him from getting from dropping and starting bucking. So if he does, it will be minimal (if he is really rude jerk upward once (and mean it)). And immediately move on.
The other thought...is he getting enough (daily) work? Jumping?
I think your answer may be that the horse isn't suitable for hunting.
However, you've gotten some good advice here. I personally ride my horses with a zero tolerance for bucking and that holds from day 1. Any indication of bucking and they get spun. I use the one-rein stop and disengage their hindquarters.
I'm too old to have a horse buck me off in the hunt field and I find it's easier to never tolerate the behavior.
I do think it's best if you can head off the behavior -- once they start to put their head down or you feel that hump in the back, that's when you need to let them know that you will not tolerate it.
I'm always cautious about advising people to gallop their horse until it's tired and then some. I tried that on my TB the first year I had him. He got so geared up that I thought if I could get him tired, I could teach him to listen to me. He taught me that he didn't really get tired. After galloping him 12 times around a huge field, I was exhausted and he was a snorting dragon. He finally learned that lesson after a four hour hunt, but some of these horses are darned hard to tire out.
Personally, I'd get a trainer on him that can ride the corrections and see if you can eliminate the behavior in the ring first, then out on the trails or at a hunter pace before trying to hunt him.
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That's what I'm afraid of The funny thing is, he is a total babysitter type otherwise. He just showed an entire season of leadline with a 35 pound kid and in the spring was team penning with my friend (great cow horse). Isn't spooky ever, does almost everything you want.......till you get to the bucking part he sounds like the perfect hunting horse. I do agree with you Beverley, he may just be too alpha to relax (and hates being away from the herd--when he gallops back it feels like you're strapped to a rocket). This guy is so much an alpha that he almost took down an entire line of fencing to fight/murder the young stallion boarded next to him this spring
He bucks in the arena, he bucks in the hunt field, he (my words, not yours) runs away with you to get back to the herd, and he tries to destroy fencing to get to a fight with another horse.
Your definition of a total babysitter type is way different than mine.
I hope some of the good advice you've gotten here helps!
Late to this post (and not having read the whole thing) I'm going to take out the "maybe is not" from Bogie's prior post, and insert "ABSOLUTELY NOT" (in capitals) as an appropriate candidate for the hunt field. With the amount of people around you, whips coming up at a gallop to pass you, little kids, etc - you are putting them all in danger, as well as your own neck.
I will be brutally honest - I think any and everyone on a horse that bucks and kicks in the hunt field should only have 3 strikes in as many hunts, and then should be banned from that hunt until they will behave. If that can't be proved, a permanent ban should be instituted for the safety of the hunt members. I've seen too many accidents and hurts from out of control horses over the decades hunting, and that isn't just the rider. It causes too much havoc and ruins the enjoyment of the sport for the other people out there on well behaved horses.
Stick with the team penning sport for your horse. Sounds like he can enjoy that one without throwing a fit.
One of my horses bucked non stop for the first stretch of his first hunt. I was in a flat Crosby Prix d'Nations and hanging on for dear live. Someone suggested I come and stay at the back of the field with her. Once my horse did not have anyone behind him he was fine. Though I liked being near the front with my other horses the only way to hunt with this one was at the back.
He was boss at home with his herd, always supervising and I guess this carried over to the hunt field. I always had to be careful if someone fell back and then rode up behind me he would always buck and kick out.
Can't stop thinking what a distraction he may be to other horses. The field of horses shouldn't be a training field, they are trying to have fun. Maybe set up scenarios with friends outside a formal hunt.
May be the wrong sport for this guy. There are so many good hunt horses out there. Go find one.
Sure hoping it's inside the spin!!!
Sometimes mine are simply expressing "enthusiasm" for the moment when they do what I call the "departure buck"!! When we first break into a canter on the first run. Or they are telling..."get off my mouth so I can get on" as I know it's coming, am anticipating & clutching and I'm getting a reminder to let them go. A few "outa control" strides then take them back some seems easier than riding out a bucky stride or 2. Seems like I see it most when they are overfed/underexercised/feeling good.
Glad I've never been banned for that.