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Is it acceptable to you if your horse bucks under saddle?

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  • #41
    Well there are horses that do a Woo-Hoo buck at start of canter-if they have a lot of energy. I won't put up with it, but if an owner is comfortable with it that is fine.
    Mine has one of those personalities, where you give an inch she takes a mile. But her buck running up hill, caught me by surprise -I really did not expect one-she is not green. But one little refresher and she is ok. Just her form of protest when I kept changing my mind, she got revved up for a gallop to pass the other horse and I changed my mind again -she listened to me and kept at the speed I wanted-threw in a buck to express her anger. Since, I missed and knowing her, waited for the next time , fixed it and she is fine. She is free to express her opinions-just not in a way that will hurt me.Certain things I have a solid line-no way.

    Now that is different than one in pain. A horse in pain will show signs long before bucking-that is more a last resort, if all other signals have been ignored. There is no need for correction here-figure out the reason and give some time and some time for the horse to get through the anticipation of pain-should work.

    Although in today's world, training is simply too expensive. The amt of money I am putting to train my mustang to get him to be green broke, I can easily get a dead broke papered ranch horse or even a fully trained gaited horse that had done everything . It is just not feasible for the lower end horses-unless you are doing it for purely personal reasons..

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    • #42
      Doesnt bother me if it is not habit. If the horse is feelin good, lets out a little crow hop or buck and carries on, whatever. Bucking is natural for horses..sometimes it is going to show up under saddle when the horse is feeling exuberant. If that really is too much for you, perhaps choose another sport or don't ride anything under 20 yrs old.

      Plenty of horses will buck because they are super fit, enjoying themselves ect and just get feeling good...ie the horses who throw one in after a line of jumps ect. Whats the big deal?

      If the horse is bucking as a way to get out of work, ok, that is different. Then the response depends on many factors, what kind of buck, how often , type and training level of horse. Is horse sound, ect ect?
      www.svhanoverians.com

      "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

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      • #43
        Constant self-restraint is a nice ideal for a horse, but anyone that has ever ridden a lot of different, athletic horses knows that certain horses are never going to be completely dependable or well-mannered, no matter how well trained they are. And I really don't think you can ever completely train bucking out of a chronic bucker. You just try to avoid it and nip the warning signs. I don't mind the occasional fresh, feel-good buck. I certainly don't positively reinforce it, but I don't punish it, I just keep them working. I have cracked a smile or laughed when it's a particularly funny situation, because sometimes, it is! You can tell when it doesn't have aggressive undertones. I've ridden a number of horses that threw feel-good bucks but not nasty bucks. On the flip side, I do not like "screw you, get off my back" or whiny "I don't want to!" bucks. Which in my mind are somewhat different from each other. There's the buck that reveals a bratty, I-don't-want-to attitude, and then there is the buck that is genuinely a horse doing everything within its power to get you OFF (this is the head between the knees, feet up in the air bronc buck). These two I'm sure none of us condone or like, and while I think the behavior can be modified and improved, a horse that has this tendency is always going to be willing to go there, even if they know there will be consequences. Usually they're so hot by that point that they don't care much about the consequences, and "spanking" rarely seems to work - just makes the mad and hot ones madder and hotter, and I think there are better ways to deal with it. I know a lot of people think feel-good bucks are a "warning sign", but in my experience they usually don't suddenly become nasty ones, nor do horses that throw feel-good ones automatically become prone to nasty bucking.
        Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper

        Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace

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        • #44
          There are so many degrees of "buck" that the question is almost impossible. There's the horse that's feeling good and gives you a very exuberant lead change and then theres the one that suddenly just goes rodeo on you.
          I used to ride an older (early 20's) horse who when he was feeling good and just got down the line leaving out a step, he's give you a "buckswap" at the end. He wasn't trying to get me off, he was saying "see, I still got it!" After he did it once or twice, he'd put the act away. We never saw cause to change is behavior as it was harmless.
          OTOH, a horse that really bucks or goes into rodeo mode is not acceptable, especially if it's sudden and uncalled for. I certainly don't think that a horse should get pats after he does this as its reinforcing the behavior.
          Pretty much every horse will buck under saddle from time to time, maybe feeling good, maybe feeling bad. An occassional bit of playfulness, though not to be rewarded (and thus encouraged) might not deserve punishment. If a horse suddenly starts bucking, it's time to look for a physical cause. A chronic bucker may be OK for certain pros (or very good ammys) who can handle it but for "most of us" bucking should certainly be discouraged, not encouraged.
          F O.B
          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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          • #45
            believe it or not...

            I've never ever lunged a horse to "get the bucks out. Not a young horse, not an OTTB, not bad scary nut jobs, never. There are really only three kinds of bucks anyway, the "I don't wanna!!" buck, goes away if you ride it forward vigorously, usually. The "You are ten seconds from death if I get you off" buck. Next, and on to the stockmen (this is usually a horse that someone has brain fried, but the time it got to me). And lastly the James Brown "I feel Good!" buck, which even in the middle of a show jumping round, just causes me to laugh out loud, and is not accompanied by any punishment. Stand on your hind legs ANYWHERE however, and I will make you think I'm going to take your head off your neck.
            It does depend on where and why, but basically if I'm gonig forward, I win. Lunging a bucking, out of control horse causes more problems than it cures. Sometimes if a horse is fresh, I'll just canter a bit first and get the yah yah's out.

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            • #46
              I can still hear the assistent trainer, as we were mounting up on a group of TB colts on their first few rides, to go for a trot thru the woods in Southern Pines, NC: "Easy there, don't let him do that!" right before the colt bucked the older exercise rider off, by first rearing and then taking two bucking jumps.
              The rider really just stepped off the colt and still kept the reins and got right back on the wiggly colt.
              Didn't happened again.

              Few horses are as fit and on the muscle as race horses, especially the young ones.
              They are as prone as any other horse out there to try to act up and buck, but it is frowned upon, as it is not easy to keep replacing injured exercise riders, have missed races by acting up and put others at risk with a loose horse.

              If we can keep those kinds of horses from bucking or otherwise acting up, other than jigging around a little to let off steam here and there, surely other, less tightly wound horses can be controlled even better?

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              • #47
                I am down with the "no bucking" brigade....

                I am probably too old to be tackling OTTB's but that is what I grew up riding - and what I can afford - so I tend to be pretty strict with them. I have one of my own plus those I ride for the interscholastic polo team I help coach. When a buck is "offered" I make some sort of corrective action usually pulling them up with some force and giving a smack on the butt and a harsh verbal "bad horse!"

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                • #48
                  Seems like bucks are like baby cries- they can mean 100 different things!

                  My big guy used to buck when he spooked (someone here described it very well on an old thread- it was like he was telling whatever monster he was spooking at "here, eat this instead!"). Nasty stuff, that.

                  He doesn't do that anymore (thank you, trainer!) but he does still sometimes give a small buck at a canter depart if he's not warmed up well. It's just a totally different thing, more like a "whee!" than a "get this thing off my back!"

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                  • #49
                    No it is not acceptable and I don't care if it is Barbaro himself! So you either find out if something is causing it and if not, train them out of it if you can, if you can't (and enjoy living) try to find someone who can!

                    That being said my horse bucks like a demon (at selected times) at a canter. She learned long ago that she can shed a rider at will (she's GOOD!) and sadly I have done nothing to change that impression! =) The last couple of years she's been lame anyway so it hasn't been much of an issue.
                    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

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                    • #50
                      In a perfect world, no horse would buck or rear or bite but perfect it is not. Bucking as a vice is totally unacceptable and needs to be corrected, bucking from pain needs to be corrected. Bucking for feelng good is something you chuckle at and keep the horse moving forward. No matter how well you start a youngster under saddle, many are going to react to the saddle and girth with bucking. Bucking is a defensive mechanism that would dislodge a predator so well with in the norm. Most babies will have a few bucks at first but the smart ones quickly give it up. I do not punish that bucking, just keep them moving forward until they settle. I will punish if the bucking becomes kicking out at me though!

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by copper1 View Post
                        In a perfect world, no horse would buck or rear or bite but perfect it is not. Bucking as a vice is totally unacceptable and needs to be corrected, bucking from pain needs to be corrected. Bucking for feelng good is something you chuckle at and keep the horse moving forward. No matter how well you start a youngster under saddle, many are going to react to the saddle and girth with bucking. Bucking is a defensive mechanism that would dislodge a predator so well with in the norm. Most babies will have a few bucks at first but the smart ones quickly give it up. I do not punish that bucking, just keep them moving forward until they settle. I will punish if the bucking becomes kicking out at me though!
                        I agree with most of that, except that many horses will buck when started.
                        We started many horses and very few bucked, because we were careful to do everything in a way that kept them from it.

                        Now, some of them, later, if something set them off, may have tried to buck.
                        That is when our skills came into play to keep them from it and most times we could avoid it, some times not.
                        Definitely not something you want a riding horse to get good at, I agree.

                        I have a video of a fellow starting this two fillies and he works with them for a while and saddles them and then turns them loose to buck, with music and extra sound effects in the video on how much fun it was that one bucked around.
                        That is what I don't like, in an instructional video, unprofessional of anyone to hoop and holler and have fun because a horse you are starting is bucking.
                        That gives the wrong impression and teaches others that bucking is who-ho-ho so much fun.

                        Most horses get over that right off, but some pay later when some of them get hard to handle because of that bucking they learned when started.

                        I admit that I too thought as a young one that when a horse bucked it was fun, until I learned to start colts properly by a strict trainer, that would not put up with any nonsense and made us do things right, one of them preparing the horses properly, so they didn't learn that bucking was part of the program.

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                        • #52
                          I agree with Bluey! Very few horses I've started under saddle have bucked... but before they're started under saddle they get a few weeks of ground work (primarily long lining. Learning to give to the bit, turn, and most importantly WHOA). There are always exceptions, but it is, in my experience, very rare for a properly started colt to buck its first time under saddle.

                          I had a horse who would buck EVERY time I left the ring at a horse show. Complete with farting and an occasional squeal. Ears up and happy. They were pathetic little bucks which I think ANYONE could have stayed on easily. I never reprimanded him for it. It was funny and it was harmless. He did it EVERY time, I would have been concerned he wasn't feeling well if he didn't!

                          Very different from the "I am going to get you off and crush your skull you stupid human bitch" type bucking which I never approve of.

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                          • #53
                            I think most of us agree that you wouldnt pet/praise a horse for bucking of any sort (unless you were prepping him to be a rodeo bronc!). But what you would do varies depending upon your horse and situation.
                            Again, I think most would agree that drop-the-head-down full on bucking requires evaluation and (in absence of physical reason) correction. It is with the "backfire" type bucking that people seem to differ. I have had several horses who would give this kind of buck when excited or happy. I would growl at them and make sure to occupy them with my riding demands but I learned to do no more than that. IMO it is like a little kid saying "Oh Sh*t!" - not acceptable, you let them know, but dont make a huge deal. I have seen (and did it myself once) people get after a horse for a backfire buck and turn it into a huge fight that really only got both parties upset.
                            So for backfires, I generally either ignore or go with the mild rebuke (growl), or maybe slap with hand or crop, if repeated or too strong and then let it go. My horses havent made it a habit. As to horses bucking seriously? Mostly I avoid them! If I found myself with a horse that I thought was bucking to get me off, (and didnt have a physical reason) I would get professional help and then sell it!

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                            • #54
                              I know-a green horse is one thing, but here they take a horse that has apparantely never been saddled and do it in a ring full of horses and people!
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtWbMDZtjuw

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by ellebeaux View Post
                                My friend and I had this discussion yesterday and we are disagreeing.

                                I say no way is it acceptable for a horse under saddle to buck. My opinion is, when I ride, the horse is supposed to be submissive to my requests and bucking is not on the list! If my horse is feeling hot or I'm feeling less than strong, I lunge him first to "get the bucks out".

                                My friend says bucking is a sign of happiness in her horse. Her horse gets really excited about jumping and tends to buck after jumps. When the mare does this, my friend pets her and says she's glad to see her horse so happy about jumping. I say she is reaffirming a bad habit in her horse (that she is selling in two months, BTW).What do you think?
                                It depends on why he is bucking. Sometimes when he is fresh, he bucks! Not to get me off, but because he feels good!

                                Now if my guy were one of my stodgy old schoolies it would not be acceptable. However he is an upper level show horse and entitled to being "fresh" at times.

                                Ah it's a cheap thrill for me -
                                "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

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                                • #56
                                  The last horse I started tended to show her opinion with balking rather than spooking, bolting, etc. She would "buck" if you really pressed her to do something..it went like this:
                                  OK, I'm getting really pissed and in a minute I'm GOING to buck if you keep on....I mean it, you'd better HANG ON. OK, HERE IT COMES!!! We'd then get a foot high rear, then a ft. high lift off in the rear, then we'd do it all over again. It was kinda like riding a rocking horse. She's given up her "wild west days" and now is a model citizen but it was kinda fun and made me laugh. THAT is the only kind of buck I want to deal with these days and I've watched her in pasture bucking and she CAN buck but never did real bucks with me. My other horse is a whole different ball game. I don't know what that sucker does but you have no warning, you're just off. Thankfully he only does it when he's in yellow jackets or something like that.
                                  You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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                                  • #57
                                    I guess it would depend on the situation. One of the horses I ride at the barn I work at will buck the first time we canter when she goes back to work. She has the winter off and then goes back to work again in the spring. I don't get mad at her or anything because she is just a bit fresh. If she were to do this everytime we cantered or what not, then yeah, we would have a problem.

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                                    • #58
                                      Depends on the reason for the buck. If it's a horse actually trying to get me off, I'll make them understand pretty quick that it's not acceptable. On the other hand, if it's the "I'm happy doing this work" kind of buck, I don't mind it. I won't praise the horse for it, but I'll just ignore it. For example, our cutting horses that haven't worked a cow in awhile will be "cow fresh" and buck when they're first put on a cow. Nothing that's gonna toss you over their head, just something that tells you they're happy to see that cow in front of them. That's a good sign to me, means they enjoy their work.

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                                      • #59
                                        I've started a decent # of colts and very few buck right from the start. They opt to try it out 2-3 weeks into being ridden. I think we often steal the first __ number of rides, there's too much to process so the horse gets by. Once they get accustomed to it all...then you need to keep your seat deep and hands ready.

                                        I have a colt here now though that bucking is his thing. It's his go-to for I don't wanna ___ anymore. To deal with this I've roped his girth/midbelly/groin lightly, in a round pen, and let him buck himself out. When he quit, I let him quit and encouraged him w/ body language to whoa, air up, and trot off on slack on that belly rope. It only took 3 sessions- each lesser than the previous...til he'd trot and lope around and ignore my tugs on his girthline, or his mid tummy...I put less pressure on his groin when I had my rope down around his waist... as my goal wasn't to teach him to buck, but to teach him that he couldn't shed that pressure by bucking it off. Doing so has largely toned down his resorting to bucking...but yeah, it's there. It's going to be his thing to try when all the other horses get ridden away, and he's held back. Or he's asked to keep working, and he wants to quit. his owners will be warned of this when he goes home. his name is Buck for a reason, I guess, more than just his color

                                        so, anyway- bucking b/c it's a pretty, windy day and they are goosey? Pop that head up, laugh it off drive them forward- bucking out of anger or resentment or craptastic work ethic? Ugly thoughts on their part, and equally ugly thoughts on mine. I won't own a horse that bucks to be nasty, but I don't mind one that has a hump here and there out of woo hoo!!

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by ellebeaux View Post
                                          My friend and I had this discussion yesterday and we are disagreeing.

                                          I say no way is it acceptable for a horse under saddle to buck. My opinion is, when I ride, the horse is supposed to be submissive to my requests and bucking is not on the list! If my horse is feeling hot or I'm feeling less than strong, I lunge him first to "get the bucks out".

                                          My friend says bucking is a sign of happiness in her horse. Her horse gets really excited about jumping and tends to buck after jumps. When the mare does this, my friend pets her and says she's glad to see her horse so happy about jumping. I say she is reaffirming a bad habit in her horse (that she is selling in two months, BTW).

                                          What do you think?
                                          You're absolutely correct.

                                          Your friends viewpoint might change after she's been dropped on her head.

                                          But, then, maybe not.

                                          G.
                                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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