Quote · 2324 days ago · 1 people like this ·

I have a 4 year old mare. She has been started under saddle. She now bucks whenever you try to get on. She bucked me off and it was no crow hop. Now she does it every time and I don't want to ride her any more. She is not a small horse.

Quote · 2323 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Hi lellert:

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Quote · 2192 days ago · 4 people like this ·

There are quite a few reasons why a horse may jig or buck. Here are a few.


(1.) Sore back. Poor saddle fit, in sufficient or worn pad, vertebrae out of alignment, etc. (Reference #16).


(2.) Girth sores, insect bites or a minor injury where girth or saddle is positioned (or sensitivity from same).


(3.) Mouth sensitivity. Includes (but not limited to) mouth/tongue/lip injury or sores, hot spot from bit or sharp spot on bit, abusive/improper use of the reins (commonly referred to as 'bad hands') ‘tongue-over bit or a horse that is unaccustomed to the restricted breathing/choking sensation of the bit. (Reference #16.)

(4.) Eyesight. Diminished visibility due to old age, temporary infection or injury that is not immediately obvious, which would increase apprehension/fear due to the horse's diminished ability to survive insofar as detecting a predator attack.


(5.) Too little regular association/interaction, exercise and/or no habit or pattern established of doing even limited riding on a fairly regular basis to imprint a positive Life Pattern.


(6.) Too much and/or too ‘hot/rich’ of a supplemental feed. (Excessive energy, etc.)


(7.) Internal ulcers, illness/trauma, (whether chronic or acute) etc, that the horse tolerates under less stressful, normal living conditions but is forced to exhibit reactive discomfort/displeasure when engaged in mounted activities.


(8.) Growth spurt causing a young horse to test and possibly attempt to reestablish himself to a higher herd rank than his rider, (also know as the ‘terrible Twos and Threes’ – comparable to a human teenager. Unless in a conscientious ‘loading program,’ a two or three year old should not be ridden.


(9.) Emergent Emotional Intelligence/Maturity. While two and three year olds may look physically fit to carry a rider and tack, the equine bone structure does not mature until it is six or seven years old. Their back is the last part of his bone structure to mature. This is directly proportionate to his emotional maturity and would be comparable to expecting the average four-year-old human to sit attentively through an entire opera without once squirming or squiggling in impatience and/or distractive inattention. (If this is the case, you are riding a horse that is not physically or emotionally mature enough to be ridden.)


(10.) Abnormal need for ascension in herd rank (genotype). This is exemplified when a horse of small stature and low herd rank is constantly seen with injuries caused by his continuous, insistent challenging horses of higher herd rank that are forced to wreak physical punishment for CONTINUALLY challenging them.


(11.) Abnormal aggressiveness (genotype) as displayed by an Alpha's constant physical attacks on other horses of lower herd rank for seemingly no apparent reason. While genetic in origin, it may also be aggravated by a lack of confidence in maintaining present herd rank (similar to the proverbial grade school bully). This abnormal aggressiveness may also be due to a complete lack of formative, early life

socio-cultural learning facilitated by our present day care and management practices of ‘early weaning.’

12.) The horse lacks self-confidence in the rider and feels that his herd rank, position and/or very survival is threatened by submission to the rider. (Reference #18 & #21.)


(13.) Bipolar disorder, (and/or other possible neurological disease/trauma.)


(14.) A mare's overreaction and abnormal sensitivity to estrous, (severe PMS). (Also pain caused by Ovarian cysts.)


(15.) An adverse drug reaction, (oral or subcutaneous/intravenous injection) consumption of toxic plants or contaminated hay/feed may cause chronic and/or acute pain and/or sudden mood changes.


(16.) Previous life experiences associated with a negative stimuli implanting a fear imprint on the Amygdala. Either abusive handling, abusive mounted activities and/or a mild/severe injury in what the horse deemed was a life-threatening situation. Associative situational circumstance activates an abnormal oppositional or fear/flight/fight response (similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in humans.) This can be triggered by a situational environmental stimuli as well as a physical touch to a specific part of the body, a specific sound, or a specific scent.


(17.) Positive Response trigger/imprint is not deep enough to control and/or calm horse with a verbal 'Calm Down cue' when the horse feels the hyper-reactive excitation of a sudden severe survival/stress situation (cortical override of a fear/flight reaction to a negative stimuli induced by an Amygdala fear imprint).


(18.) Insufficient relationship/trust factors. Suppressive imprint is inadequate to instill cortical override and nullify previous fear imprints and/or separation anxiety disorder. Inadequate trust factors and nonreciprocal communication levels result in a confrontational relationship versus a harmonious partnership. Complete absence of a symbiotic Peer Attachment relationship.


(19.) Emotional trauma (oppositional defiance disorder) caused by excessive solitary confinement (stalling) and/or isolation due to a lack of interaction with other horses and/or natural freedom of movement.


(20.) Physiological, (musculo-skeletal) circulatory deficiencies resulting from solitary confinement, (excessive stalling).


(21.) PTSD / fear imprint triggered by association to the specific olfactory or visual stimuli (cologne/deodorant) or apparel/accessory such as a particular hat, coat, etc, (may also be gender specific).


(22.) Rider induced lameness, soreness or discomfort caused by a rider that is unfamiliar with the biomechanics of the horse's body in movement carrying a rider. (Reference #16.) Inexperienced or apprehensive/fearful rider that has not acquired the necessary balance, coordination, independent seat and confidence needed. While rider induced lameness is a possible cause of varying degrees of physical trauma/disability/stress, rider-induced stress caused by the novice, inexperienced rider’s own apprehensive heart rate, emotional state and anticipatory fear are transmitted to and easily detected by their horse. (Which results in a ‘catch 22 self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.’)

Ref: Linda Keeling, PhD, and colleagues at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Professor Ellen Gehrke, Alliant International University and the Institute of HeartMath.

(23.) Fear/pain imprint reaction actuated by losing tolerance to the emotional pressure of a specific situational environment (being ridden-and/or ridden specific places). This may have been caused by the present rider on his back or a previous rider that exhibited unfair treatment and/or physical punishment, ( a form of PTSD). An example would be being whipped to cross a creek or small, shallow water body of water.

(24.) Teeth: #1. TMJ misalignment due to improper/inadequate 'floating’ and bite alignment resulting in limited biomechanical function of the temporomandibular joint, (TMJ). This sequentially affects ALL parts of the body from the head and neck to the back, legs and feet). Ref: Spencer La Flure

(25.) Diminished, or diminishing eyesight, (partial blindness in either or both eyes) will elicit avoidance and oppositional defiance when a horse is forced to carry a rider away from their normal living environment, (comparable to asking a human to run blindly through thick fog at breakneck speed in a graveyard or ‘bad part of the city’).


(26.) Bone spurs, wolf teeth, blind wolf teeth can also cause a great deal of pain, (especially when bitted) which in turn elicits aversion, avoidance and oppositional defiance behavior. There is no reason for a horse to have a bit in their mouth, period.

(26.) Hoof problems. Pain from overgrown bar, high heels, contraction, deteriorated frogs, thrush and abscesses are common and often masked by shoeing until it is so serious as to cause visible lameness. Horses adapt by a shifting resting posture to alleviate pain and strain on ligaments and tendons, pain in the joints and muscles of the shoulder, neck, back, hocks, hips, etc. and by moving with shortened strides exhibiting toe first or flat footed landings.

(27.) *I have also heard that the girth can press on the Vagus nerve of some horses causing an irregular heartbeat that results in extreme cinchiness’ and or bucking when first mounted. The Vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve. It is a mixed sensory and motor nerve.



It is my understanding that the neurological system is divided into central and peripheral areas - the brain and spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System (CNS). There are 12 cranial nerves that originate in the brainstem to innervate the organs of sight, smell, and hearing, the muscles of swallowing and mastication, the tongue, sensation of the face, and use of the eye and facial muscles. Abnormalities of these nerves will produce changes in head carriage, balance, eye position, ear and eyelid tone and position, vision, smell, hearing, and problems prehending, chewing, and swallowing food. The 10th cranial nerve, the Vagus nerve, also affects cardiac function, respiratory function, and GI motility.


Given the horse's incapability to communicate through the use of traditional training formats, he has little choice but to disobey by jigging, spooking and/or bucking when, in HIS judgment, due to fear, apprehension, pain, chronic discomfort and/or frustration as HE thinks the situation warrants.


*Any of the preceding (or any combination thereof) could very well result in the ‘spooking at nothing’ of an obviously familiar object to ‘jigging’ or actual bucking in an attempt to dislodge the rider and a 'Jekyll and Hyde' personality.


This is traditionally viewed as ‘bad behavior’ when in fact it is a complete lack of insight, knowledge and understanding on the part of the rider.

Quote · 2179 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Equus101...Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this subject...:)

Quote · 2101 days ago · 2 people like this ·


  I have to ask if you trained her yourself or sent her to a trainer. If you sent her to a trainer you should advise them that they did not do there job properly. I have been training for over 10yrs and It gives use real trainers a bad name when someone half-trains a horse just enough to call it broke. Since i don't know your level of horsemanship i would advise another trainer. Or for you to start from scratch with ground manners and trust building again. If it's not a medical issue than she has just decided that if she scares you off she won't have to work. I have unfortunately seen this to many times to count. I would say a good 30% of the horses that are sent to me for training are retrains due to poor original training methods. I wish you the best and don't give up remember she is still a young horse. Feel free to ask any questions of me i don't charge for advice lol.                                       Leah Thaxter



Quote · 2002 days ago · 1 people like this ·

There are certainly underlying issues here. It probably has to do with respect. Instead of going to the saddle, lunge. It may take all day but if that horse doesn't respect you on the ground, there is no way she will respect you on top of her. You may need to run her around a bit, she may get sweaty, but wait for the lowering of the head and the licking of the lips. You want her focus on you, and not in a bad way either. If she invades your space send her firmly away to the end of the line. Keep her trotting, no loping/cantering. Even lunge her in a saddle, and if you ride english, leave the stirrups slack. If she offers to buck on the lunge line, run her. Make her work harder. If she is made to work hard every time she bucks, it will stick in her head. This has to be consistant though, so even if she defiantly tosses her head make her work harder. As soon as she gives the drop head and lick lips response, allow her to rest. Then make her stand still until you give her any cue you like. If she doesn't stand still, and fidgets in place, send her away again. Repeat until she stands still for you.

Should she offer to buck again: You have to be FIRM but not ANGRY. I emphasize the FIRM because at this point, the horse is challenging your authority, and needs to be treated as a herd leader would treat them out in the pasture. Dont be afraid to apply your lungewhip at this point. Keep changing directions, step in front of her to change her direction and DO NOT under ANY circumstances allow her to turn her butt to you. That is the horse's way of saying "to hell with you". As soon as she tries to turn her butt to you, tap her or crack the whip on the ground. The sound alone should reinforce your command. Keep changing direction until she consistantly turns to you when asked to change direction. Praise her after she turns to you, so she knows thats what you want.


Make her back up on the ground. When you walk toward her, keep your body language foward: she should respect your space and back. Have a crop in a hand, and her in the other. When you approach, if she backs up: no whip applied. If she doesn't back up when you walk foward to her, tap her in the chest with the end of the lead or the whip. Do this until she respects your space consistantly.


I also agree with Equuis101, there may also be a medical issue.


However; the biggest thing your horse needs to know is that you are her leader. You mean BUISNESS! All these ground training tecniques need to be firmly established before you should get back onto her. For your safety and the training the horse needs.


Hope this helped!

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