Bucking Bronco

A certain horse that I ride has a tendency to buck when he’s frusturated. When the horse was first purchased, the bucking was quite bad. He would have to be lunged and lunged before riding.  Anyway, lately he’s taken’ on this BUCKING habit again when he’s frusturated. I’ve been working him in the draw reins, and I know that he’s not happy about it. When the bucking occurs, I pull his head up and use a spur or crop. I think it’s a very dangerous habit, especially if he pulls this crap with a youngster on his back. He has a particular fondness to buck at horse shows too – aghh! I am not a professional and do not consider myself a trainer. My ”trainer” insists that I ride through them and punish severely, I agree, but I’m actually a bit scared. I’m not the tough chick I used to be, and I fear that I’m instigating this behavior…perhaps I’m not aggressive enough. I would also like to add that this horse is otherwise a perfect gentleman…he’s very sweet and is quite willing in all other regards. I’ve also never really had an issue with Morgan’s bucking….this must not be as common of a problem.

He is a thin framed horse and his bucks are quite severe – atleast they feel that way. I sit them, but he has thrown me as well as others in the past. He will also buck if we circle in a smaller more difficult cirumferance.  Any suggestions on how to correct this would be VERY VERY appreciated!

12 Responses to Bucking Bronco

  1. windsofeternity says:

    You didn’t mention if you have had the horse vet checked for any problems with his back. I would make sure he was in no pain before proceeding with any tranining strategies. I would also check the fit of the saddle. From the little I know about saddle fitting, their backs can change depending on fitness and muscling, which may have an effect on his performance and behavior. Good luck!

  2. Carley says:

    well… im going to make the assumption that i know which horse you’re talking about. i rode him a few times when we were there. once she also had me ride him in draw reins, and he felt like he REALLLY got trapped while wearing them. anytime i asked him to go forward or bridle up or do anything more different he got really tight.
    being in draw reins, he doesn’t have much option to rebel with the front end. so he does so with the back end instead. i know you’re trainer likes things her way and she is a very aggressive type (especially when she isnt the one on the horse), but she needs to back off with some of the gadgets.
    the other thing is getting him alittle more balanced, try not to work on the small tight circles until the big round ones are prefectly balanced.

    i dont mean for this to sound harsh or anything, but like i said… i know the horses you’re working and how she likes them worked.

  3. Carley says:

    ps. i apologize for the terrible grammar :/

  4. jns767 says:

    Yes, I should have mentioned this fact as well. The horse has been checked by the vet on several occasions. He’s had quite a bit of chiropractic work done as well. He hadn’t bucked for a long time, but the last two times I’ve ridden him, my trainer has had the draw reins drawn quite tightly. He is sound, and the saddle fits properly.

  5. Carley says:

    he’s always looked great to me.
    headset-wise: his neck is a tiiiny bit short for that *perfect* dunked over on the bit look. but you work with what you have.
    most of her horses have always looked like this to me, instead of working through problems and developing correct muscles, she straps their heads in place with gadgets and harsh bits (even at the same time). i really think going back to the lightest snaffle (still with control) that he will wear and a straight martingale would do him wonders. get him to stretch to the bit (even if its higher or lower then were you want). you can’t get their head anywhere if they aren’t comfortable going to bit first.

    ps…i really think you should buy the other 3/4 and bring him over :)

  6. jns767 says:

    I have to say in her defense, that I’ve only ever worked this particular horse in an Egg Butt snaffle with gadgets being used. I know what you’ve seen isn’t the best side of her, but she does have a good side. It may go a bit far at times – I agree. The horse that I’m speaking of is lunged with side reins about twice a week to build muscle and such – I also use a bit of poll pressure to encourage a bend there. Proper training techniques are being used as well, so I really don’t want there to be misunderstandings. My biggest concern is just the bucking – again – we do the vet checking and chrio stuff – I think I’m just going to lay off the draw reins until we’ve made progress in other areas. I can still refuse to do stuff :). This horse does have a more natural high head set, so I think that you’re right Carley. Forcing the curvey arch isn’t really the way to go on this horse. I also really appreciate your input on his current headset – that makes me feel much better!!

  7. Carley says:

    i saw comment on the other post. who else are you showing?

  8. jns767 says:

    He’s tall, bay, older, pot bellied and his initials are: WBSC – ring any bells??? ha ha.

    I’m relieved that he’s no longer coming to the show – he pulled a show and so he’ll be staying home – whew!

  9. jns767 says:

    a shoe – he pulled a shoe

  10. morgansrule says:

    These comments have been interesting. First thing, if any person has issues with their trainer and the methods used, you should really talk about it. If the trainer won’t explain what she’s doing and why, it may not be the right mix. A person should respect and believe in their trainer, not second guess them. A trainer’s job is hard enough just figuring out the horse without figuring out the people. (sorry, long stories there)

    Next, I am confused about how a horse becomes bound up in draw reins. The “gadget” comment has validity, but not in the respect that they shouldn’t be used. When used properly, training aids can get the point across quickly. It is when they are used incorrectly, or worse, used to compensate for the rider that they become a crutch or a burden on the horse. Draw reins should only set the boundry for where a horse’s head is set, if the horse is on the draw reins to the point they are bound up or feel heavily constricted, they are not being used right.

    Here is a trick for working on a western horse’s headset that I picked up years ago and has always served me well….take two cotton lead ropes with chains on the end. Take a “naked” horse (bridle only – big fat snaffle bit, preferably with rings, d’s will work, tho) On each side of the bit, run the chain through the bit and hook it back onto itself (so the chain makes a loop around the ring). Cross the ropes under the front legs and bring each side up behind the withers and tie them together….pull them tight enough to get the desired head set. Now lunge. The weight of the chain and the motion of the ropes on the chest work the horses head down, encourages breaking at the pole and really reinforces the motion of the neck muscles and rounding of the back, without the weight of rider. Incidentally, after a couple of days of this exercise, when you bump the reins asking for the headset, you will marvel at the response!

    Hope all goes well!

  11. jns767 says:

    This will probably be my last post on this issue – I know I’m getting annoying! I initially just wanted some good advice on how to stop some bronc action. This behavior has really re-emerged since I began working him in the draw reins. I agree that the draw reins are a great tool when used properly.

    Bringing up the “trainer” in this situation isn’t fair, and Morgansrule, I agree. Any issues should be brought up with her. I’m just a chicken!!!!!!!!
    I also can’t wait to try that lunging trick with the lead lines.

  12. Carley says:

    horses will get bound up in draw reins when they cannot find a release point. if the rider keeps drawing them in tighter and tighter, they eventually realize that there is no where else to go. i;m not at all saying that this is whats happening with JNS, ive watched her ride this horse on several occasions, and shes a very competent rider. but every horse has their breaking limit, some tolerate more and some dont tolerate much at all. every horse is different.
    i watched a saddlebred/hackney training video awhile back that used the lead ropes in the same way. i thought it was an interesting idea, but havent tried it myself. let us know how it works out!
    as for the trainer comments, i was not at all trying to offend anyone or step on any toes. i do know this trainer personally, but would still never mention anyones name over the world wide web. JNS has been with her a long time, and her boy has always looked great in the ring :)

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