Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Bucking Behavior Problems

Dear Franklin,

I am having some troubles with my 5 year old Quarter Horse Mare Lotties Double. She was a great horse in the end of summer. I rode her and lunged her and she was great. Then one day I was on her bareback and she kicked me off after about 10 mins of riding. I figured hey we were riding through some sticks maybe I hurt her. But I was stupid not to get back on because I had troubles with my last horse. Every one said it destroyed my confidence because I am a pretty good rider. Anyway, a week later I tried riding her. I did my normal routene and lunged her then got on her. I felt her that was tucked under so I turned her in a few tight cyrcles to see if it helped but she sprang up and in the air caught me totaly off gaurd. I fell to the ground on a rock and once again didn't get back on her. So I got the former owner to come over and we rode her and she recovered back to her self again. But a month or so ago she got back into it. But it wasn't right away. I'd ride in circles for a bit then she'd start again. I'm getting better at trying to stay on her and now I am getting back on after I get thrown. We've had everything checked 2X over and shes healthy and every thing fits well -we even switched bits. Please help me what should I try and do?

Thank you so much. Jamie

Hi Jamie,

Well, after I corrected your email so I could really read it, I think you have more of a horsemanship problem than a riding problem. Obviously, don't ride bareback for a while and be very, very thoughtful where you ride this horse. I would consider staying in a very safe place and doing a lot of simple schooling under saddle for a while. Walk, trot figure 8's, serpentine movements, cavaletti, easy circling, etc. Also, before you ride I would suggest 20-30 minutes of ground play and dancing with your horse on the ground to get more of a relationship going. Sounds like you are rather separate from the horse as far as your connection is. Horsemanship is like ballroom dancing. There is a lot of basic movement first before more advanced steps are practiced. This gets the partners really connected. This connection is formed first and foremost on the ground doing simple movement that are successful. This sets up a pattern of trust and success for both parties. This is where your wonderful leadreship of the horse begins. This has nothing to do with the bit, tack (although it might if the saddle is hurting the horse. Have the saddle checked for proper fit!) or anything else (assuming it is nothing physical). Your horse knows your skill level and lack of confidence and is responding fearfully, which is understandable. To help your confidence I suggest again more ground schooling for you both. You'll actually become more like a horse trainer if you do this. I have some DVD's and vids in the 'shopping corral' of my website that would prove helpful to you. Please consider the benefit of a visual aid to give you a few good techniques that will be quite valuable to you.

Be careful and good luck. Its great you now get back on when you fall off. The real trick though is not to have a situation come up where the horse acts in such a way as you do fall off. Your horse lacks confidence just like you do. It does not trust you as a good leader. Your horsemanship/leadership skills need to come up more.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: