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

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

    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?

  • #2
    I know you'll get a lot of response, so I will be short.

    You are correct.

    Your friends horse may need a Chiropractic adjustment or the saddle may not be a good fit.

    I've put my two cents in. You'll get lots more.
    "The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse" Lord Palmerston


    • #3
      So you say that it isn't acceptable to you if your horse bucks under saddle. So what do you do it if DOES buck, whether you think it is acceptable or not? Sell it? Put it down?

      I mean, of course, no one WANTS their horse to buck under saddle, whether or not I attempted to get the bucks out on the line first. If my horse is up or the weather got cold or he hasn't been outside in a few days due to weather, I will put him on the line to see if he's going to buck. But I certainly don't think that if he bucks on the line that he is never going to buck under saddle!

      So sometimes it happens. I would rather a horse buck than rear, for example. I would also rather it buck than bolt. And there are many levels of buck. My old jumper crow-hopped quite frequently. My hunter would crow-hop when he was feeling sulky and I legged him up aggressively.

      Acceptable? What does that even mean? I don't WANT it, I don't ASK for it, but I realize that once in a while it's going to happen. And so I ride through it and get on with my life. I certainly wouldn't praise my horse for bucking, but I'm not going to freak out about it, either. If a horse bucks, you leg it forward and continue with whatever you were going to do in the first place.
      Originally posted by tidy rabbit
      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


      • #4
        Happy, healthy, properly fed horses don't buck. If the horse bucks there is a reason for it. Find the reason, remove it and everyone benefits. Ignore the reason and it will continue until the horse generally needs to be put down.
        "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


        • #5
          depends-- horses do buck due to pain ie teeth or tack which is common or bad back
          some horse that have hock issue will also buck giving a false illusion its the back when in truth it can be hocks or spavins etc
          or horses can buck due to food intake another common one, as the horse has excess engery
          many reasons for why a horse bucks but some also buck in excitement as enjoyment of doing something which can be when jumping
          look at john whittaker and ryans son horse wasnt disobediant in fact was a world class show jumper
          i have a horse ie gracie that bucks after a jump sometimes as she enjoys her work
          its a one off and we know it happens
          or horse buck becuase they have been spooked by something
          or bad trainer with bad manners ie hevey in hands or kicky a lot whippy snapper type
          or horses buck becuase your to heavy in the hand or hand set
          so mostly when they buck its normally to do with feed, pain or tack or rider, spook, training
          or excitment

          in some cases its not a disobediant factor- as the horse like ryans son was doing his job
          so it can be acceptable in certian circumstances


          • #6
            Hmmm....well, I'll laugh about a little happy buck, but it's still naughty and he gets a pop on the rump with a crop or a nudge with my heels. But ultimately, no, bucking isn't really acceptable.

            However, running like an out of control lunatic on the lunge line isn't appropriate either. Lunging is not to "get the sillies out"....it's for proper work. Turnout is for getting the sillies out. Anytime my horse is around me, whether it's leading/under saddle/on the lunge line, he is expected to behave.

            So as ridiculous as you think your friend is for allowing bucking under saddle....I think you're just as ridiculous for allowing it on the lunge line.


            • #7
              Bucking is not acceptable. But it's better than rearing.

              My horses only buck when I get "aggressive" with my crop when they have tuned me out.....This just tells me that I need to do a better job preparing them for the change so I don't have to go after them with the crop.....but no one is perfect. If this buck happens I YELL at them to cut it out, but I don't hit again or kick at them because that's what elicited the buck in the first place. That said, this happens MAYBE once a month, if that!


              • #8
                When I was learning to start horses under saddle, if one acted up we were called to task as not having prepared the situation right, the horse overreacting or confused.
                IT WAS OUR FAULT.

                That a horse bucks is a sign of poor training or something seriously bothering the horse physically or both.
                Bucking is a lack of forward motion and that may cost you time if nothing else.

                I would say the horse bucks after jumps not out of joy, but because it seems to be what the rider wants, as she is praising him for it, or maybe because it has some SI issues, that eventually may show up as Hunter's Bump.

                Bucking is something that in itself can cause a horse to throw something out in it's back, so why promote it?

                I always wonder at those new clinicians that show people how to start horses under saddle, spend all that good work getting them used to a saddle and then, to everyones hooplas, turn them loose "to get used to the saddle" and laugh when the horse tries to buck the saddle off.
                Then they have to spend time teaching the horse that no, they didn't mean a saddle on their backs means they are now free to let'r rip.

                If you want a rodeo bucking horse, yes, but not for everything else we do with horses, for that we want sensible, calm horses, not buckers.

                Bucking or kicking up after a jump, in many jumpers I have seen, is generally a sign of a stressed or sore horse.
                You won't see many of those horses, if they keep that up, showing much longer than a few sessions at best.


                • #9
                  goforagallop i call them happy bucks to haha are they on something haha who knows haha
                  i only know we are hahaha ie on the horse haha


                  • #10
                    ...she didn't say she thought her friend was 'ridiculous', just expressed a differing opinion.
                    Differences of opinion are very acceptable on COTH, name-calling not so much.

                    FWIIW: I don't like a horse to buck - you never know when someone less experienced will be wanting to ride that horse and could have an accident. I also prefer them not to buck on the lunge, but there are scenarios where there is little turnout that it is necessary.
                    They can hurt themselves worse if let loose in an arena.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                      ...she didn't say she thought her friend was 'ridiculous', just expressed a differing opinion.
                      Differences of opinion are very acceptable on COTH, name-calling not so much.

                      I don't see anything about my post that suggests name-calling. I didn't call her stupid/idiotic/anything like that. But it's clear from her post that she thinks her friend is silly for allowing the horse to buck under saddle....I think it's silly that she allows HER horse to buck on the lunge line.

                      Like you said...differences of opinion.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cherry View Post
                        Happy, healthy, properly fed horses don't buck. If the horse bucks there is a reason for it. Find the reason, remove it and everyone benefits. Ignore the reason and it will continue until the horse generally needs to be put down.

                        Not entirely true. Any horse that frequently bucks when playing at liberty is quite likely to buck under saddle if not taught it shouldn't.

                        My gelding is a very playful horse he quite frequently can be found running a muck out in the field bucking, rearing acting a fool.

                        When being ridden on occasion he will realize we are doing something fun generally in the same place on our hacks where we come out of the small field into a huge one he will pick up a canter and throw a few bucks.

                        All I have to do is say NO to get him to stop but he does it in fun not any other reason.

                        I don't worry about these bucks they are in fun, as long as they stop when I say NO he can have his 1-2 bucks when he feels the need to kick up his heels and celebrate.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          Bucking or kicking up after a jump, in many jumpers I have seen, is generally a sign of a stressed or sore horse.
                          You won't see many of those horses, if they keep that up, showing much longer than a few sessions at best.
                          Anyone remember the Olympic jumper named Zucarlos. He was on the Canadian Olympic team for 8 years and I don't think he ever did a course without 2-3 bucks, generally more. He still won a $#!T load.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BumbleBee View Post
                            Anyone remember the Olympic jumper named Zucarlos. He was on the Canadian Olympic team for 8 years and I don't think he ever did a course without 2-3 bucks, generally more. He still one a $#!T load.
                            For every example of a horse that could do well, even with bucking or kicking out while on course, there are many that didn't make it.

                            I have had the dubious pleasure of retraining many horses someone started and then was afraid of them, because they let them buck.
                            That is like letting them "nip a little" and expect them to know what is ok and when it is not ok to take a bite of you or someone else.
                            I know a lady that ended up in the hospital from their stallion that "only nipped a little", until he took a big bite.

                            Yes, there will be a time here and there a horse may catch you by surprise and buck, but if you ride them carefully and well, that should not happen but rarely.

                            Better not to get in those situations where a horse will "just give a few bucks", because bucking is like dancing, the more a horse practices it, the better and more athletic they get at it.
                            I sure hope that your skills at riding bucking horses also advance right along with those of your horse to buck better and better.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                              I sure hope that your skills at riding bucking horses also advance right along with those of your horse to buck better and better.
                              I am pretty lucky the ones he does under saddle are just little, heaven help me if he did the hand stand I often witness during turnout with me on his back.

                              With any other horse bucks get a good smack with the crop but Ebay doesn't have a mean bone in his body they aren't trying to get me off bucks, they are always either happy bucks or took a corner to tight need to rebalanced bucks.


                              • #16
                                Yes Me and my mare have been through a whole bunch of stuff. We are great now-she is still fiery, but great and listens to you-all the bad stuff years past us. So a few months ago I was out riding and cantering up a hill and put her behind a horse that was having trouble cantering. Wide trail, so she wanted to go around and lead, but I said no and then I kind of let her speed up(we pass each other -so they are used to it) and then changed my mind and asked her to slow down and keep behind-she threw a buck -poed at me. I was more -I thought we were through this c*%$. It caught me by surprise and we were doing a pretty clip,so yelled at her and let it go.
                                Next trail ride, I was holding her back on purpose to see if she would do it again-sure enough she was getting ready-caught her before and had a long "discussion" with her-and so far that has ended it.
                                But pretty sure if I did not nip it in the bud-one fine day, when she wants to have her way, instead of the usual ways of showing displeasure, she will have one big bucking fit..


                                • #17
                                  did you know that the height of a horses buck is the height he can jump haha


                                  • #18
                                    I think Bucking is a perfectly normal part of horsey play. I have 3 horses: a 15 yo TB, a 30 yo Large Pony, and a 15 yo QH. All 3 buck (even the 30 yo!) when playing in the field. The QH does have tendencies to buck under saddle- when he hasn't been ridden, when the weather is cold, or when I am pissing him off by making him work. While it's not acceptable, it's also a behavior that he has had his entire life, and since he can be belligerant if I pick a fight with him, it's really better to just ignore the bucks and kick on. Honestly, sometimes it's the only way I know we have an engine and I won't be pushing a buick up a hill that day.

                                    That being said, the TB is a bolter and he scares the crap out of me. And, a horse reared and flipped over on top of me 5 years ago causing serious back injury, so thanks I'll take the bucking.

                                    You know, I think it's part personality too. My QH is a stubborn fiesty old man type. I don't think you can expect every single horse you ride to act exactly the same and be all submissive about it. Some horses just aren't that submissive, and you have to be careful. I think when my QH is working and he bucks, sometimes it's "I'm not doing that mom!" but sometimes it is also "WTF are you talking about???"


                                    • #19
                                      There is certainly, at least in my opinion, a "wee, yahoo! this is fun! I feel great!" buck. Those I generally laugh off, give a good natured scold to the horse, and get them in front of my leg and focused back on work. I don't really make much fuss about them as I do feel that the occasional wee buck is ok. I don't like my horses to be androids with zero life, spirit, or personality. If they OCCASIONALLY feel the need to express themselves, that's ok.

                                      However, if I get one inkling that it is more than a wee buck and/or they are trying to unload me, we get a little more serious. I ended up with Paco because he bucked, and BOY does he. He unloaded me once (before I figured out how to ride it out), and the second time he and I had a major come to Jesus. He has only bucked twice since then, once when he was in pain (and if they can really jump as high as they buck, he needs to be a Grand Prix horse. I swear to God we went straight up 20 feet and flew forward 30 feet in one buck ), and once when I laid into him with my spurs (my bad, though he was so stuck behind my leg, but his response was overly dramatic...Paco doesn't just buck a little, he explodes). Both those times he was gotten after and reminded that bucking is a major big, bad no-no.

                                      And I never think, now, when they buck after a fence, that they are having fun. I immediately wonder if their feet hurt. My dearly departed Reilly would buck occasionally after fences (usually after big oxers, getting a flyer, or after a complicated gymnastic) and would occasionally buck into his changes. Always thought he was having fun or saying "OO! That was hard and I used muscles I haven't used before!". Turns out it was the only clue he ever gave us that he had horrible navicular. Only clue, that is, until he went three legged lame finally and stayed that way until we put him down six weeks later. So, when they buck for THAT reason, I immediately think pain (also have a laundry list of other things- canter departs, etc- that I know now for other ailments).

                                      So, in the grand scheme of things it really, really depends. But I way rather have a bucker than a rearer.


                                      • #20
                                        My daughter groomed for Zucarlos. He was not a ride for just anybody!! Neither was he one for just anybody to enter his stall.
                                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique