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How to sit the buck?

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    How to sit the buck?

    I started riding about 3y ago and yesterday was the 2nd time that I got bucked off. The pony was not tall and I anticipated the buck but I was still bucked off, the angle I fell at was so nasty that I didn't have time to roll and I landed hand first. After X-ray I was told that luckily I didn't break my arm, but doctor suggested to put a plaster brace on for better recovery.

    So I really want to ask - how should we sit through the buck? Is sitting straight not enough? Do I have to lean my upper body far back? Should I swing my legs forward? Should I tighten my core muscle and grip with my legs when a buck is anticipated? I watched some videos about riders on a bucking horse, they managed to stay on even most of them appeared to sit straight only, so I just wonder how they use their body to help staying in the saddle ...


    #2
    As an old racehorse breaker once taught me - sit up in a strong jumping/half seat, press your heels down, calves forward, bum back, straight (not concave) back and get ready to use your core + grab some mane and hold tight. This has helped me stay onboard in several extreme "oh sheet" situations. If you are above the horses' back and really strong/stable in your position - he cannot use his back to get you off. However, this is my personal experience and maybe others will have something more useful up their sleeves.

    Comment


      #3
      If you really have a split second or so of warning, I'd be inclined to try and defuse the buck before it happens. Different approaches for different situations, ponies, riders so I won't try to give you a specific technique but often a quick change of direction will help. Pulley rein and go forward? YMMV

      Comment


        #4
        Heels down deep, leg a tiny bit in front of you and sit tall. When I feel it coming I raise my hands a bit and kick them forward, which will usually result in a little dolphin buck which is easy to ride or will defuse the buck entirely.

        Comment


          #5
          Pull the head up and kick, or pull the head up and halt, depending on what speed you are doing. Or one rein stop if the horse is trained for that.
          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by morisorne View Post
            I started riding about 3y ago and yesterday was the 2nd time that I got bucked off. The pony was not tall and I anticipated the buck but I was still bucked off, the angle I fell at was so nasty that I didn't have time to roll and I landed hand first.

            So I really want to ask - how should we sit through the buck? Is sitting straight not enough? Do I have to lean my upper body far back? Should I swing my legs forward? Should I tighten my core muscle and grip with my legs when a buck is anticipated? I watched some videos about riders on a bucking horse, they managed to stay on even most of them appeared to sit straight only, so I just wonder how they use their body to help staying in the saddle ... :
            Falling is to be expected when learning how to ride, up to a certain extend.

            Being bucked off from a lesson horse shouldn’t be happening much... unless something very unpredictable happened.

            If you aren’t ready to sit a buck, you aren’t ready to be on a horse that bucks. Simple as that.
            You are an adult and 3 yrs is really not that much to acquire the right skills set to deal with more complex horses.

            Choose the horse you get on wisely, riding IS dangerous and you wouldn’t want to get scared, injure yourself or die.

            There really is no reason for you to go through that on lesson horses - I would be very wary of any riding school where students are being bucked off...
            and your trainer should be able, to a certain extend, to predict and prevent bucks... and also instruct you what and how to go through it.

            No, you won’t become a better rider by sticking to bucking horses... You’ll mainly just learn how to react and ride defensively; which, on the long run, is not so good. You need to find good horses to learn on and good trainers to teach you.

            Horses that buck, unless for a good reason, are usually doing so out of pain and/or from bad training. - again I wouldn’t want to learn how to ride from a riding school who have horses in pain or badly trained.



            ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

            Originally posted by LauraKY
            I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.

            Comment


              #7
              Glad you are OK, OP!

              What throws most riders off is that they are sitting deep in the saddle when the buck happens, so the force of the buck hits them through the saddle. The above advice is great: to sit up, heels down (think click your heels together under the barrel, and think of having a little air between your seatbones and the saddle. Think two-point without leaning forward. The advice to grab mane is solid, I would go one step further and put a neck strap on this pony.

              When you feel the buck coming do not slow down; keep their feet moving forward, keep their head up -- shorten your reins if you need to. A horse will have a hard time bucking if their head is up and you are doing a circle.

              I agree with the other poster that cautioned you about bucking lesson horses and being very careful about continuing to ride this horse. While I agree some horses buck just because they are feeling fit and sassy, its more common they are bucking out of pain (discomfort over their back or difficulty in work). You also do not want to get hurt.
              AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                Glad you are OK, OP!

                What throws most riders off is that they are sitting deep in the saddle when the buck happens, so the force of the buck hits them through the saddle. The above advice is great: to sit up, heels down (think click your heels together under the barrel, and think of having a little air between your seatbones and the saddle. Think two-point without leaning forward. The advice to grab mane is solid, I would go one step further and put a neck strap on this pony.

                When you feel the buck coming do not slow down; keep their feet moving forward, keep their head up -- shorten your reins if you need to. A horse will have a hard time bucking if their head is up and you are doing a circle.

                I agree with the other poster that cautioned you about bucking lesson horses and being very careful about continuing to ride this horse. While I agree some horses buck just because they are feeling fit and sassy, its more common they are bucking out of pain (discomfort over their back or difficulty in work). You also do not want to get hurt.
                Thank you for your advice. #2 Sleipnir also suggested similarly, the skill is a bit surprising to me because I thought that having a deeper seat would help more 😯 how about the upper body ? Shud I use my core muscle or just to keep the upper body relaxed?

                Comment


                  #9
                  The best advice about how to not get bucked off is not to ride horses that buck. The next advice is to learn how to redirect that energy in the horse when you feel the back getting tense.

                  Very few riders in English saddles actually manage to ride out a determined bronc session. Indeed many pro bronc riders don't last the time limit even in Western saddles.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

                    Falling is to be expected when learning how to ride, up to a certain extend.

                    Being bucked off from a lesson horse shouldn’t be happening much... unless something very unpredictable happened.

                    If you aren’t ready to sit a buck, you aren’t ready to be on a horse that bucks. Simple as that.
                    You are an adult and 3 yrs is really not that much to acquire the right skills set to deal with more complex horses.

                    Choose the horse you get on wisely, riding IS dangerous and you wouldn’t want to get scared, injure yourself or die.

                    There really is no reason for you to go through that on lesson horses - I would be very wary of any riding school where students are being bucked off...
                    and your trainer should be able, to a certain extend, to predict and prevent bucks... and also instruct you what and how to go through it.

                    No, you won’t become a better rider by sticking to bucking horses... You’ll mainly just learn how to react and ride defensively; which, on the long run, is not so good. You need to find good horses to learn on and good trainers to teach you.

                    Horses that buck, unless for a good reason, are usually doing so out of pain and/or from bad training. - again I wouldn’t want to learn how to ride from a riding school who have horses in pain or badly trained.


                    Yes that's very true ... I knew this pony used to buck a lot 2 years ago and they gave him some training to help him get rid of this old habit. now he would usually just give a bit of a kick if the rider uses too much whip (he's a very lazy pony), but I heard that he has not bucked for quite a long time. Maybe he was in a bad mood that day anyways I think I won't ride him in the near future

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sitting a buck (and especially a full out tantrum) is more about instinct and muscle memory than anything else. There just isn’t a whole lot of time for conscious decision making. The only real solution is to continue developing these skills by riding more appropriate lesson horses.

                      I will give you one tip because it’s the most helpful and it applies to all situations. Whatever happens, heels down and eyes up!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You're often better off trying to defuse the buck before it happens, if you know it's coming. Keep the horse's head up, and cue it to do something that you know it can do; in other words, change the conversation if possible.

                        Often, though, that's not possible. A horse will land from a jump and buck, or get stung by a bee and buck, or whatever--much quicker than you can respond.

                        Being in a lighter seat helps--you can kind of "surf" the buck. But a horse that's decided to get you off for real, as opposed to just reacting in the moment to an outside problem (like a bee), is going to be hard to sit through for anyone.
                        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I disagree on grabbing mane. If the horse’s head is up enough that you can grab mane without leaning forward, then the horse’s head is up enough you can diffuse the buck most likely. Or it will be the type of buck not as likely to turn you into a lawn dart. Grabbing mane is for when the front end gets light too. Ponies are great at putting their heads between their legs to buck. If you have not caught that in time with the rein and a kick forward, sit up/back and heels down. Let the reins slip some if you need to so that you aren’t pulled forward. Then use one rein in a turning fashion. Yes to engaging your core but it should be higher near the ribs and mid back. Your hips must still be able to move...don’t brace down into your seat.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If you feel it coming, pulley rein and get that horse to yield its hind end pronto. When they are crossing over behind, with neck flexed toward you, they really can't buck very well.

                            That said, I absolutely agree that an adult who's been riding 3 years should not have to deal with a horse that's prone to bucking.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by OnDeck View Post
                              Sitting a buck (and especially a full out tantrum) is more about instinct and muscle memory than anything else. There just isn’t a whole lot of time for conscious decision making. The only real solution is to continue developing these skills by riding more appropriate lesson horses.

                              I will give you one tip because it’s the most helpful and it applies to all situations. Whatever happens, heels down and eyes up!
                              This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. The best way to learn to ride a buck...is to ride a lot of bucks (or develop really strong riding skills over years so instinct and muscle memory take over). I grew up in a mounted troop program with a whole bunch of school horses who could really buck, so I got very good at sitting them and my response to one decades later is still pure muscle memory. My brain goes through the following series of commands: "heels down, shoulders back, hands up". Heels down for me usually includes kicking my leg out in front of me some and shoulders back often has me behind the vertical. Hands up to pick the horses head up because in order to buck they need to put it down. I was so accustomed to horses bucking that for me it was like it would happen in slow motion and my brain had time to assess the situation, that is the unfortunate result of A LOT of practice riding bucks. Worst buck I ever rode that I didn't stick I remember the entire process up until I got launched. My brain went through that series of instructions and then I did something I never do: look down. When I looked down I realized the horse was basically vertical with his ass over his head and then my next thought was "I can't sit this". I did not sit it. I went flying.

                              I had other tricks I used for the really creative horses, we had one school horse (whom I loved and tried to buy) who was highly skilled in the art of what we called rainbow bucking. Where to really get a good buck they'd first leap through the air with the front end in order to dive down and buck real hard. In order to stay on those I'd cross my hands low over the wither to help create a barrier to stop my forward momentum. I still think the shoulder dropping spinners are far worse than the buckers, they always seemed more devious.

                              Ah, memories. I haven't ridden anything since then that could throw a buck quite like that. I would prefer not to I'm too old for that crap now. A perfectly fine strategy is to avoid riding horses that buck when possible (they are all capable if they so choose but many will largely choose not to). Sounds like this pony might not be a great fit for you right now, that's ok, NBD. Lots of horses out there to ride.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thank you everyone, I read through all comments and they are all very useful. It happened that the other pair of riders doing dressage near my arena took video recording and they captured the moment when I was bucked off lol surprisedly it was a much smaller buck than it felt, but from the dos and don'ts above I think I know what I did wrong - because I felt that the pony was going to buck and so for a split second I looked at his head between his ears rather than looking forward or looking up, plus I tried to press my bottom closer to the saddle thinking that a deeper seat might help...

                                ​​​​​​I hope I can go back to riding soon, any advice on helping an injured elbow to recover please?

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Rest. It is something you will need for the rest of your life.
                                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    What did your trainer say? I think instead of trying to focus on how to sit the buck, think about what happened before what happened happened? Riding requires keen attention to detail. Think about what the pony felt like before he bucked? What could you have done to change his attention to something else? Ponies (especially) are smart little buggers. Maybe he has gotten away with bucking riders off in the past. If you feel him drop his head, pull straight up with one hand till his head comes around at an angle. He can't buck if his head is around.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Honestly just don’t ride this horse, since he has a bucking problem.
                                      While it is good to know how to sit a buck and good for you for asking,if you continue to ride this horse in this stage in your riding career all it will probably do is make you fearful.
                                      I am in my mid 50’s and I have been riding since I was a very small child , and believe me I avoid confirmed buckers.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I agree with everything that has been said. As a wise person once told me early on in my riding career, a horse needs to be able to slow down and drop their head in order to buck effectively (of course, there is always that one horse that will be an anomaly). If you feel the buck coming, the best thing to do is pull up on the reins and kick the horse forward. If the horse still manages to buck despite pulling up and kicking forward, the buck will be a lot less than allowing the horse to slow down and drop their head.

                                        I also agree 100% with IPEsq, the last thing I would ever do during a buck is grab mane. Though, this is great advice if a horse rears.
                                        www.DaventryEquestrian.com
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