Horse bucking into canter - help needed

Busybusybusy

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I am riding a horse for someone, whilst my boy is at Rockley growing new feet. This horse bronked his owner off & she broke her knee in the fall. This horse bucks when he goes into canter and so far on one rein he's just bucked then carried on in canter, but on the other rein he's gone straight into full rodeo mode, head between knees, bronking right across the field, I came off and ended up with whiplash & concussion. Have been riding him since in walk & trot & schooling him. Took him to dressage (just walk trot tests) yesterday and he was great - came second in the intro a and won the intro b.
Have entered to do intro & prelim next week so of course need to be working on his canter as I really do not want a rodeo performance again. So any suggestions as to how to stop him bucking every time he goes into canter and also how to stop the bronking if it starts?
I have put a d ring handle on the saddle so that I have something to hang on to, he's had back & saddle checked.
Any suggestions would be very helpful.
Here he is doing his test:
 
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Has he had his teeth checked? My mare started trying to rear recently but we're convinced its her teeth and have the dentist out asap to sort her out as I found a sharp one just with a quick feel.

My other thoughts are, how does he canter on lunge or loose schooled? Does he still buck or does he transition nicely?
I'd be inclined to spend a lot of time working him without a rider transitioning into and out of canter, both reins. If he does this without a problem then you know the isue is with whats on his back. Lunge in full tack as well, rule out whats the problem.

How is his balance? My friend has a horse who is a lovely boy, but if he gets any unbalanced activitied on his back (mounting/gates/wobbly jumping/etc.) he goes bronco. They think it stemed from an unforgiving and very heavy rider in the past.

Also have you looked at feed? Aboive mentioned horse was fine until he was put on a new feed, and it didn't agree with him, and he went bonkers bronco on his rider while jumping. She had to take him off it and let it out of his system before she got back on. However walk, trot, hacking out she'd had no issues. Took the excitement of jumping to set him off.

Thats pretty much all the thoughts I have at the moment. Hopfully others will have more for you.

Hope you recover soon, I've just got over a bad acident myself and as out the saddle for 8 weeks.
 

Busybusybusy

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Thank you. My neck is no longer sore & I no longer feel dizzy, thank goodness!
I took him out on a long hack today, just doing walk and trot, but when we got back I put my brave pants on & took him into the school, cantered on both reins and he was very good - no bucking at all, so wonder if it was that he was feeling full of himself. This was the first time I have cantered him since I fell off so I was bricking it.... Felt so relieved after!!!
 

Tickles

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What countrybumpkin85 said!

If you and he really like comps (and you wouldn't be upset landing on the floor at one) probably no real reason not to but it sounds as though there is a balance/pain thing here, especially as it is worse one side... and possibly also better once very warmed up (after your hack). So, I'd perhaps concentrate on that.

Looking at the pic he looks relatively chunky so I'm guessing not v young? Youthful 'where the heck do my legs go' can be another cause but doesn't look like it here.
 

Lucy_Ally

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Mine did this for a while - my strategy:
1. Ensure balanced & forwards trot, ask in a corner (to help balance the canter transition) use a positive canter transition
2. Keep horses head up!
3. When they buck - kick on like stink!
4. Allow them forwards in the canter, don't pull up if it is a bit quick, you want them to feel free to go forwards.
5. Praise forwards movement with your voice
6. Repeat steps 1-5 everyday

I found I needed to grow nerves if steel and a very sticky bum! Mine had learnt that if she bucked I'd pull up, therefore she got out of work. The key is to kick them through it, but it's not easy and I would recommend only doing this in a safe area (manège) with someone on the ground. Also I did lots of canter transitions on the lunge so she could learn to balance herself, I used the canter 'noise' when I ask on the lunge when ridden to reinforce what I meant.
All this worked a treat with mine, but only if you rule out physical issues. Good luck!
 

PennyJ

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Country Bumpkin has most things covered I think.

I would add that does this horse have big shoulders that could "catch" on the saddle flaps? That caused one I had to have this bucking into canter thing, solved when we put him in a working hunter cut saddle rather than GP/Jumping.
Would get the back checked over, I used a Mc Timoney lady for this, to see if something is not quite right there.
Practise canter transitions on the lunge with the saddle on before you doing it mounted, perhaps you will be able to see what is going on, but at least you won't get chucked off so much if he goes ballistic.
Try and canter uphill out on hacks, its much harder for them to throw in a buck that way.
Then I think just keep trying to build up their confidence on the canter transition, part of it may be down to perceived pain as much as actual pain.

Good luck!
 

Mearas

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My trainer suggests when you are having problems like this and you know it is not caused by pain then you should go back a couple of steps with the training. Obviously horses can buck out of sheer excitement but sometimes it can be because they are stressed and either not understanding what you are asking of them or not able to do what you are asking of them (usually being blocked by the rider in some way). Do you think you could have a couple of lessons with a good trainer to help get things back on track? I really like the picture of you both, imho, your horse has a really active hind leg but perhaps you are blocking him a bit in the front?
 

Mearas

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did mean to say how sorry I was for the owner and I do hope her knee is better soon. The fact that you say that the problem is only on one rain makes me feel that it is most likely to be a training/rider issue.
 

madgeymoo

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mine who is similar to yours does the same think i have put it down to being lazy and not wanting to work properly as he finds it hard (he does suffering from a locking stifle when he is on the grow) but needs the work to strengthen this. I find in daily work the bucking gets less and less left a week then the bucking returns

i find doing lots of transitions and have always been taught by my trainers to carry on pushing forwards when he is having 'a few special momments' and not to back of as this is what he is wanting..... working in big open trot and canter for the first fifteen minutes to loosen up lots of big circles and things to occupy his mind such as figure eight serpentines etc help and he is a stuffy mover when coming out

pic of you to look really good btw
:):)
 

Busybusybusy

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Thanks for all your replies - his owner pretty much just hacks him and he hadn't been schooled for about 9 months and I've been riding him for the past 3 weeks apart from the few days I was just too sore to do anything. As far as i know the buck into canter is something he has always done, but the rodeo is relatively new. As i said his back & saddle have been checked, his feed has not changed. I am going to check when his teeth were last done. His schooling is coming back and I always warm him up thoroughly before I start asking too many questions. He hadn't been ridden for 5 weeks before I had him and he ditched me about a week after I had started riding him so think it could easily have been high spirits. I will only be riding him until my boy comes back from Rockley, but think that he could easily cope with a novice dressage test. Strangely enough he was great on both reins today. So that is what I am aiming for in the short amount of time I will have with him.
 

1Anastasia

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I have a mare who is the spitting image of the horse you've posted here she's a section D with huge shoulders as the horse in question here certainly seems to have and she did exactly the same thing for years. I went through several saddles and all the checks without any issue ever being found and the solution came unexpectedly in the form of yet another new saddle. I'd always had to use straight cut panels to accomodate her shoulder but eventually my instructor advised me to try something with air flock. I got the saddler out who managed to find a combination that worked for my mare which was a Wintec Isabell with cair panels and (not supposed to do this but worked for her) an xx wide gullet from the wintec wide saddle squeezed into it. The Isabell is flatter in the seat that the other models in the range so suited my mares broad back and although the saddle is not supposed to be pushed beyond the x wide gullet bar we took a risk and haven't looked back since (well until my precious saddle was stolen two weeks ago that was!). The saddle was checked regularly for signs of damage to the tree but has been spot on for 3 years and I can honestly say she hasn't bucked into the canter transition once since. It was literally an instant fix.
 

Busybusybusy

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I am going to see whether it's high spirits & resolves itself with some hard work and will also advise his owner to get a saddler out to see if different saddles make a difference as this would make sense. She did feed him quite a bit and his feed has been cut as he would eat for England given the chance and he's not exactly fading away, plus the dentist and hopefully this will make a difference.
 

Lpa

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Thank you. My neck is no longer sore & I no longer feel dizzy, thank goodness!
I took him out on a long hack today, just doing walk and trot, but when we got back I put my brave pants on & took him into the school, cantered on both reins and he was very good - no bucking at all, so wonder if it was that he was feeling full of himself. This was the first time I have cantered him since I fell off so I was bricking it.... Felt so relieved after!!!
Well done for getting straight back on and revisiting the problem x
 

Hazkirbo

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I’d get a full MOT; back, teeth, saddle etc. Then get vet out to scope & do a lameness workup. Definitely sounds pain related :( hope you get it sorted!
 

Rowreach

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When you say that his back and saddle have been checked, what exactly do you mean? An issue with the horse bucking going into canter, particularly on one rein, would make me look at what was happening with the tree points of the saddle with the rider's weight behind them.

Looking at the horse's back with nothing on it would not necessarily help if this were the issue, although I would be feeling for indentations behind the shoulder blades where the tree points sit - especially if it is the left rein he is worse on. I'd also be looking at the muscle fascia on the opposite side, just behind the elbow (so if it's left rein canter that is worse, the skin and muscle under the girth area behind the right elbow, or vice versa).

Equally, examining the saddle off the horse would not tell you how it sits with a rider on board, transitioning to canter - although again, I would look for a slight twist in it which might be causing one tree point to give more pressure than the other, when the rider's weight is behind it.
 

matt_m

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My mare was exactly the same (and still on occasion is, although it's improving greatly). Had everything ruled out.

I went back to basics for a bit, forward impulsion and lots of walk/trot transitions demanding a lot of respect and an instant reaction o my leg = forwards.

I then got brave and asked for the canter. We had some bucking but I sat quietly (and deep!) pushed forward than left her alone when we had a nice forward canter. Repeated transition to make her realize she doesn't need to buck. This was coupled with lunge work in-between repeating the trot/canter transition until we had nice smooth transitions without bucking.

Getting much, much better and hardly ever get a buck now. Worth mentioning this tended to be worse on her weaker reign (the right) I think the bucking was an evasion to work but she's had to learn that she can do it!
 
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