Why Do Horses Buck and How to Stop Them

Why Do Horses Buck and How to Stop Them

All horse riders eventually have to deal with the issue of bucking. A horse will buck by lowering its head, rounding its back, and kicking its hind legs upward.

Horses may buck for a variety of reasons, making it challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of the issue.

Horses may buck out of excitement, pain, or in an effort to get their rider off of them. Therefore, it’s crucial to rule out any possible medical conditions before labeling bucking as a behavioral issue.

When a horse starts bucking out of nowhere, endangering the rider as well as anyone nearby, it can be incredibly frustrating. However, the majority of bucking problems can be resolved with a methodical approach, plenty of patience, and a strong sense of resolve.

10 Reasons Why Horses Buck

Finding the cause of a horse’s under-saddle bucking can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Here are some recommendations regarding the most typical causes of horses bucking:

  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Issues in the legs or hooves
  • Back problems
  • Ill-fitting tack
  • Overtight girth
  • Unskilled riding
  • Excitement
  • Built-up energy
  • Recent backing
  • Lack of respect for the rider

A well-mannered, well-trained horse will most likely start bucking due of discomfort if it does so from one day to the next. The most frequent cause of a horse’s dislike of being ridden is this.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian, farrier, physiotherapist, massage therapist, and saddle fitter to get a complete picture of what’s going on.

How to Stop a Horse Bucking

Let’s assume that your horse is in perfect physical condition and that all of the equipment fits. You must then consider your personal training regimen and riding style in order to determine what is causing him to buck and how to put a stop to it.

Make sure a horse is thoroughly warmed up for the ride and has exhausted any excess energy before trying to stop him from bucking. Maintain a consistent contact when mounted and watch for warning indicators of a buck approaching. Bucks can be avoided via transitions, circles, and by keeping your horse’s head occupied.

Being proactive rather than reactive can make all the difference when dealing with bucking horses. Lunging your horse in all three gaits before mounting is an excellent strategy if he has a history of bucking.

In addition to being a terrific technique to warm up your horse, lunging also allows him to let out any pent-up energy. Your horse will have less energy to use for bucks the longer you work him from the ground.

If you have been solo riding for some time, it’s also likely that you have picked up certain bad habits that cause your horse to buck.

If Things Get Out of Hand

You’ve ruled out a physical issue, enlisted the aid of friends and teachers, but your horse continues to buck despite your efforts. You have now reached a fork in the road. Either you keep dealing with the issue and training your horse, or you engage a qualified trainer.

You have a few possibilities if hiring a professional trainer is within your financial capabilities. You might look for a professional trainer that will visit your horse once a week and work with it in your region. Alternatively, until your horse is prepared to return to you, you can board him at a training facility.

Why Do Horses Buck When Asked to Canter?

Bucking frequently occurs as the horse enters the canter. Less experienced riders may find this particularly unsettling and become reluctant to canter at all as a result of what follows next.

When urged to canter, some horses buck because they are moving into a higher pace and are more energetic. The horse may become overexcited and start tossing bucks to release their bursting energy.

Additionally, if a horse is unbalanced or not fit enough to hold the canter, they may buck during canter transitions. Bucking in this situation indicates that the horse is uncomfortable carrying out the duty and is an indication of frustration.

Give your horse a vigorous lunge before you ride to stop bucking at the canter. This will reduce part of their excess energy, which will decrease their desire to rebel.

When cantering on a bend, many horses experience balance problems, which are typically worse on one rein than the other. To improve these horses’ balance and fitness, it could be helpful to practice cantering in a straight line. Another excellent first step in resolving the problem is to get proficient at cantering without a rider.

How to Stay on a Bucking Horse

Bucking may catch you off guard if you don’t fully know your horse. Therefore, it doesn’t harm to study up on some advice for staying on a charging horse.

First and foremost, it’s imperative that you sit upright in the saddle and support your weight with your heels. Leaning forward will just make it easier for your horse to buck you off, so try to avoid doing that.

By raising your horse’s head and moving forward, you can try to get in front of a buck if you can feel one coming. Without his head down, a horse finds it extremely difficult to buck because in order to get his hind legs off the ground, he must move his center of gravity forward.

Additionally, it’s crucial to resist adding fuel to the fire and angering your horse. To get your horse to stop bucking, maintain your composure and offer him clear, solid aids.

Finally, make every effort to continue riding the horse as long as it is safe to do so. If your horse has a behavioral issue, the more he succeeds in unseating you, the more he will buck.

Having saying that, never allow yourself to be forced into riding a wild horse, and get help from a professional if you feel unsafe.

Read more: How To Choose and Buy a Riding Helmet


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