Horse Behavior Problems
Why Does My Horse Buck When I Ride It?
Stopping Bucks Before They Start:
A change in the amount of time your horse spends in the pasture and stall can cause behavioral problems. Has the amount of time your horse spends outdoors changed? If it is accustomed to being outside most of the time; and is now being stabled more than it is used to, it may be expending pent up energy while being ridden.
Increasing turn out time will give your horse the opportunity to exercise itself.
Most of us like to feed our horses ‘extras’ and some horses get more concentrates than they really need. Your horse may be ‘feeling his oats’ with more fuel than necessary. Most horses, ridden once or twice a week will only need good pasture or high quality hay to stay healthy.
Have your horse’s teeth checked. Also consider having your horse adjusted by a chiropractor. Some horses misbehave under saddle because of body pain.
Poor saddle fit can cause your horse to misbehave and is often overlooked. If your saddle is pinching or concentrating pressure in one area, your horse’s back can be come very sensitive and cause it to buck. Be as careful about fitting your horse’s saddle as you would buying yourself new shoes. Saddles aren’t ‘one size fits all’.
Your horse could be objecting to having the girth over tightened. You should be able to slide your fingers between the cinch or girth and the horse’s body. Over tightening can cause pinching and chaffing both in the saddle and cinch areas.
Bits occasionally can cause problems, especially if the horse has a dental problem. Be sure your horse has a bit that fits, and comfortable for him to hold, and is the mildest possible to control him.
Much of horsemanship is convincing your horse to do things willingly that it sees no earthly reason to do. Some horses figure out very quickly just how skilled and determined the rider on its back is, and just like people they can become very adept at avoiding work. If your cues are muddled, you aren’t able to read the horse’s thoughts and you do not understand how to curb unwanted behaviour. Many horses will pick this up.
When your horse bucks, they usually give some signals beforehand. It is up to you to learn how to recognize these signals, and take precautions before the bucking actually begins. This is where a good instructor can help you hone your skills. Many people spend many hours and dollars on finding quick fixes where they buy more severe bits, tie downs, etc… But the answer to most behavioral problems under the saddle, is to increase the skill and knowledge of the rider.