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Bucking as a indicator of athleticism

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  • Bucking as a indicator of athleticism

    This is a conversation a friend and I had the other day.
    My best jumpers have always been extraordinary buckers in their turnouts. They would play and almost stand vertically on their front feet. You would stand amazed that you ever sat on their backs safely.

    My new 4 year old OTTB never bucks. He will squeal and scoot, but no buck. Conformationally, he has a great shoulder, get hip. But no buck.


    Is there any truth to the theory that a horse that bucks well is more athletic?
    "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."

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  • #2
    I have also found that the ones that really buck and twist and leap are WBs. The QH's and TB are my runners, with the occasional kick up/buck thrown in there. All of the horses observed were very good jumpers, and good at their jobs.

    Comment


    • #3
      The 2 QHs that I have owned could out buck any TB I've ever seen but I don't think they were any more or less athletic. They both definitely were scopey, well balanced horses with great work ethics and I'm thankful neither one of them pulled those moves when I was on their back!
      Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

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      • #4
        The three TBs I have owned or leased have all been proficient buckers in the field so I think the claimed differences between breeds are mostly anectotal in nature. Heck, when my TB mare was 25 she could still stand almost vertically on her front legs and buck. My TB gelding is a great bucker, caprioler (leap in the air then buck) and rearer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just because a horse doesn't make bucking one of his regular turnout activities doesn't mean he can't. Perhaps not all horses hugely enjoy bucking.
          My horse runs and plays in turnout but I veryvery rarely ever see him give any stand-on-his-head bucks, just little running bucks and leaps. He has, as far as I've seen, had dramatic instances of bucking in turnout all of twice, but those times were impressive! So I know he could if he wanted to. I don't mind him not being "a bucker." He has never once bucked under saddle in his entire life.
          I don't necessarily know how much credence I would give to that old tale, anyway. I wouldn't worry about your youngster's athleticism just over that.

          Comment


          • #6
            The least athletic horse I've ever owned was the most impressive bucker... whether in turnout or under saddle.

            My TB doesn't buck a lot, but he can do a handstand at a full gallop (I don't understand how he stays upright and keeps galloping after!) so definitely shows athleticism there. My crippled, only-three-legs-bend, rescue mare is a MASSIVE bucker. Maybe she would be athletic if all three legs worked properly, but she definitely isn't so athletic now...
            Originally posted by Silverbridge
            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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            • #7
              There is an old saying that says, "if a horse can really buck, he can really jump". Dunno if it is true, but I've heard it for a long time. Another comment from a trainer whom I hold some respect for is that if a horse plays with other horses using his front legs by throwing them forward, boxing with them, it's a sign that he's going to use his shoulders when jumping. Indicates freedom in the shoulders.

              I think that a horse who can really buck has lots of power behind. But there may be other reasons why he bucks that are not as useful or helpful in a jumping career. Mental reasons, or physical reasons.
              www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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              • #8
                My warmblood baby bucks all the time, on the longe line, when out to pasture and *sigh* when under saddle. Good times.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My tb that raced doesn't usually buck - he sort of leaps & bounds, legs flying in all directions. When he does buck, its usually giant, but he'd much rather gallop & bounce around. This horse has a great jump & is not afraid to show off his jumper-esque tail-flipping abilities TheTB that didn't race will buck at any given moment, but then again, her turnout antics are haven't jumped that one enough to see what she does with her hind-end...

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                  • #10
                    The best and most athletic bucker I ever was on (and off rather regularly) was a total cow over a fence and a miserable ride overall. The least likely to buck-as in never-was a former World Cup horse (for another nation) still doing the Junior Jumpers (4'6"ish). Don't recall either of these doing anything at all on turnout other then stuff themselves or find some mud to wallow in.

                    Thing is, you can't compare turnout behavior unless all things are equal. It is not an indicator. They have to be on the same work schedual, same feeding program, in the same size and type turnout for the same amount of time to draw any conclusions at all. The most athletic and talented jumper in the world in regular work turned out 6 hours a day on 2 acres is not going to do much. While the totally phlegmatic klutz you have to beat to get to move cooped up 4 days a week is going to act like a loon running around a 1/2 acre dry lot.

                    It is probably true that the some competitive, high performance horses are going to express themselves with equal energy when they disagree with the rider or just are eager to get out and go to work. That means they may be more likely to buck under saddle-and buck well if they really uncork one.

                    But I have heard that as an excuse for bad behavior way to often. Bucking under saddle is bad manners and should never be excused as "talent". Certainly no predictor of show ring success-not all good buckers are exceptional show horses and not all exceptional show horses are good buckers...or buck at all.

                    Throw the fact that bucking can be, and often is, a pain response and it really makes any generalizations impossible.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What would you say about the bucking last night at WIHS?

                      I saw a lot of it and fences were being knocked down and the rounds delayed, what can be said about this?

                      From what I could see, it appeared some of the behavior was encouraged as in the riders didn't get after the horse when bucking repeatedly.

                      I always get after my boy. I don't think it is fun to ride a bucker! Not in the least.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ballisticgirl View Post
                        What would you say about the bucking last night at WIHS?

                        I saw a lot of it and fences were being knocked down and the rounds delayed, what can be said about this?

                        From what I could see, it appeared some of the behavior was encouraged as in the riders didn't get after the horse when bucking repeatedly.

                        I always get after my boy. I don't think it is fun to ride a bucker! Not in the least.
                        Major winter storm and high winds outside. Postage stamp sized warm up. Limited time in main ring at weird hours. No turn out.
                        Welcome to Indoors.

                        That's exactly why bucking cannot be tolerated or excused. You might cut them a little slack because of the above conditions, but it should be dealt with. Of course some of the riders may be in over their heads and are afraid to deal with it for fear it will get worse-and it probably would. I can understand that.

                        All you can do is never let it get started when you have more control over the circumstances-the horse thinks it's OK and even fun once in awhile at home or at a show on a nice day? They will really come uncorked when they encounter challenging stuations like this and think it's OK because that is what they have learned.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would not "get after" my horse for bucking before starting a jumper round at a show in front of thousands of people. You don't start a fight with your horse in those circumstances. THAT would be bad form, IMHO.

                          The riders rode through it gracefully, and that's the best you can ask for.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Speaking from personal experience, the last thing you want to do is discipline a bucking horse right before you ask them to go and perform. Most horses tend to get wound up about discipline, beit for a refusal or for bucking or whatever, and that anxiety can translate into poor performance if they're still dwelling on it going down to the first fence. Far better just to sit deep and ride through it to the first fence because then at that point, chances are the horse's attention will completely switch to the big fence it's being pointed at (which is what happened in last night's GP).

                            When my junior hunter was a baby, he was an extraordinarily enthusiastic and athletic bucker. It was certainly not a daily occurrence, thank heavens, and he never did it maliciously under saddle. But if he got bored (which happened with lower fences) or didn't like how the round was going ie one too many pilot errors, he let you know about it. He also let you know if thought he'd done a particularly spectacular job that round. He also let you know if it was cold outside. All that said, he was/is a phenomenal jumper. When he was on and I didn't screw up, he won hands down.

                            With him, it took me awhile to learn it was better to ignore and just leg him through it and keep him working and NOT pull him up or worry about where his head was which was my gut instinct. Once he grew up a bit more and realized his "call for attention" wasn't getting him anywhere and I started riding him better, it pretty much disappeared. With him it was a matter of not making a mountain over a molehill. If I did that, the problem was just further exacerbated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NancyM View Post
                              There is an old saying that says, "if a horse can really buck, he can really jump". .
                              We have a 12.2 HH hackney pony who does the pony jumpers. That pony can jump anything from any distance and is THE MOST athletic pony I have ever seen. He is catlike, quick and can literally right himself in any situation. That said, the darn little guy just never mastered bucking - lol. He tries but cant seem to get the correct movement down...ends up doing these little rocking horse movements. We always laugh at him becasue of it. Now, he can drop out from under you in a massive spook and lose you that way.
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                              • #16
                                Like others, I've certainly heard it said that horses that can really buck are often good jumpers. IMO, there's not a whole lot of merit to this except that sure, very athletic horses can indeed show off a little more when they are turned out, but not exclusively bucking.

                                I've always secretly thought that people have it a little backwards and that the truth is more along the lines of the only reason anyone would put up with a a bucker is if they had some special quality--like a great jump.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We have 4 TB's. The one who can turn himself inside out bucking has the least power/scope of the bunch. Two hardly ever buck and it isn't an issue. The one with all the scope in the world slap-you-in-the-seat-of-the pants jump has not, fortunately, figured out that to be effective, bucking should involve direction change. IMO, bucking is not an indicator of anything but pain or exhuberance or inattention to training details.
                                  madeline
                                  * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                    The best and most athletic bucker I ever was on (and off rather regularly) was a total cow over a fence and a miserable ride overall. The least likely to buck-as in never-was a former World Cup horse (for another nation) still doing the Junior Jumpers (4'6"ish). Don't recall either of these doing anything at all on turnout other then stuff themselves or find some mud to wallow in.

                                    Thing is, you can't compare turnout behavior unless all things are equal. It is not an indicator. They have to be on the same work schedual, same feeding program, in the same size and type turnout for the same amount of time to draw any conclusions at all. The most athletic and talented jumper in the world in regular work turned out 6 hours a day on 2 acres is not going to do much. While the totally phlegmatic klutz you have to beat to get to move cooped up 4 days a week is going to act like a loon running around a 1/2 acre dry lot.

                                    It is probably true that the some competitive, high performance horses are going to express themselves with equal energy when they disagree with the rider or just are eager to get out and go to work. That means they may be more likely to buck under saddle-and buck well if they really uncork one.

                                    But I have heard that as an excuse for bad behavior way to often. Bucking under saddle is bad manners and should never be excused as "talent". Certainly no predictor of show ring success-not all good buckers are exceptional show horses and not all exceptional show horses are good buckers...or buck at all.

                                    Throw the fact that bucking can be, and often is, a pain response and it really makes any generalizations impossible.
                                    I totally agree with this. However I have been able to make comparison with jumping and bucking based on a certain type of buck, the pure vertical jump, the type Lipizzaner's do, but I have only really seen one horse that exhibited it. A TB filly fresh off the track that let loose on the lead shank on the way out to the paddock, and it was only chance that I noticed as she cam off the ground quietly and never hit the lead shank, only out the corner of my eye did I notice that her feet were 2' over my head, and I am over 6'. She could jump, she played over 5'6" , but really could not handle the distances on a big course.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My point was that bucking needs to be consistently corrected and never excused when there is control over the circumstances-like at home or more normal show situations. That way when you get into screwy and scarey situations and are nervous on a horse that may be a bit fresher then usual? You can keep a lid on it.

                                      BUT it is absolutely correct that before going on course at a major show is NOT the time or the place to get into it. That is one time you go with what you got. Fix it later.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I agree as well, but am deep in thought here thinking now I may be scolding my youngster too much for having fun? If it becomes a buck and a scold every time I ride, riding won't be so much fun. For either of us.

                                        I don't want our riding together to always feel punitive and appreciate Pony plus an inch's experience in working through the youngster issues.

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