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Trainer Q&A - Behavior Problems & Quirks - What can I do to get more respect out of my lazy 8 year old gelding?

What can I do to get more respect out of my lazy 8 year old gelding?

Cm Asks:

I have a coming 8year old gelding, I have ridden him all over, plus he has been used for cattle work and parades. The horse is broke, but about once a month, he decides to buck before riding, or early in the ride. On these days, it feels as if I ask much from him, he'll buck. He's never dumped me. I have been riding for over 30 years. he is very gentle and friendly, but extremely LAZY.

I do believe he is bucking more out of protest of having to work and not so much as trying dump me. his tack (western) fits very well, he is not getting pinched or anything physical.

so, will he ever learn to not do this, and how would I train this? currently I longe for several minutes almost every time, and do some flexing to 'see where his head is'. he is never one to rush home, he's not barn sour, and can't care less about other horses, its the work itself he is avoiding.

any help?

Our Trainer Answers:

Your horse is lazy and is voicing his opinion about his poor work ethic. His behavior is disrespectful as he is trying to dominate you with his bucking behavior. It seems that you are a confident rider and are simply fed up with his hi jinx, and rightly so. I recommend longeing him each and every time before taking him out for a ride. By teaching him that he is going to work, whether he likes it or not, these lessons will eliminate his "want to" when it comes to his bucking game. When you are working him on the longe line, I suggest you give him a good 20-30 minute workout to start (as his unruly behavior becomes less and less, you can shorten his work time before riding). Begin on the longe line at the walk and work him in all of his gaits, walk, trot, and canter. Change direction and do the same. When his bucking begins, and it will, make him work harder and faster for 5 laps, then start over at the walk. Eventually his laziness and poor work ethic will change, once he understands that you are his leader and disobedience will only buy him more work.

Thank You and Happy Trails!

Christy Mellington