Thursday, November 18, 2010

DutchWwarmblood X mare - Bucking Problem

We have an almost 6year old DtchXcanadian sport mare -We got her in Nov 09 and she walk-trot-canter - just started over small X's. She started bucking in a canter on the right lead about two weeks after we got her, not getting better - we have had her ovaries scoped - she been treated for possible ulcers, we had a chiropractor out to adjust her - massage therapist saw nothing as well - a communicator told us its her back - our saddle hurt her - which is true and we have a custom saddle coming , until then we ride with Gel pads and even bare back she bucks - We just found out that she was put in 30 day training every year for her first five years starting at 2 not what we where originally told - could she just be really confused ? Its frustrating its like she goes great for a ride and the next day its buck fest, we lunge her now with my daughter on her and when she is about to buck we crack the whip and it seems to help, just want to see some progress with her , Not able to even show a beginner class. Our coach is starting to ride her. HELP!

You are certainly doing the right thing for this problem, i.e. consulting a Veterinarian, a Chiropractor, a massage therapist, etc. It is indeed unfortunate that this horse was ridden at the age of 2. This well may have started this behavior.

Even though you ride her bareback she occasionally bucks. I do not know if this is at a particular gait or not. Often the canter or going in a tight circle will cause the horse more discomfort through the back or a loss of balance and they will buck.

It may well be that she is responding to fear and pain MEMORY. Dr. Temple Grandin has an excellent chapter in her book on this. If so, even though she is ridden bareback, she is expecting to encounter discomfort, anxiety or pain. You may need to do just easy walking until the new saddle comes. Even then it sounds as if you have to go through a period of behavior modification.

When I lunge my horses and need to send them forward...( and sending her FORWARD through a buck is probably correct), I do not snap the whip. My horses accept the end of the whip like my leg...not afraid of it, but the touch means increase your impulsion. Try not to SNAP the whip if possible.

Also, what do you have in her mouth? If you read the research of Dr. Robert Cook and his Bitless Bridle, many vices such as bucking can occur because the horse is in pain from a bit. (even a simple snaffle). Has she been checked for mouth ulcers, etc?

My email is, and my web site is I would really like to know what progress you make with your mare.

Mitzi Summers

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