ESI Q and A Forums Home
 Search       Members   Calendar   Help   Home 
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 

Can we talk some more about bucking?
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
kcooper
Member
 

Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
Posts: 70
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 06:08 am
 Quote  Reply 
Hello there!
After scouring past posts on this subject I am still searching for some more precise help.
I will give a summary of the bucking situation I am having with my QH gelding.
First off: my saddle fits him well and the horse is not sore that I (or my osteopath) have been able to find. I also want to say that he is a confident horse, in everything I have done with him and it really looks to me that he bucks with complete confidence too. No issues or other vices.
I do believe that this horse has learned to be a habitual bucker but maybe just in the hands of the 'not competent enough' person.
I bought him last fall and he is 4 this year.(I have been riding his half brother for the past 15 years and he was so great I jumped at the chance to possibly have another one with the same great traits).
This sounds dumb I know but I never rode him before I bought him. I knew he was sound and healthy and I knew the trainer who had had him for 3 months and seen the work that they do and was happy about him coming from their program. I dont regret the purchase at all.
The first time I worked with him I was pleased when doing some ground work at how responsive, soft and willing he was. I put a saddle on him and went to do some more ground work and I found out he could buck with the best of them!!
Seeing as how it was winter and I knew I wasn't at that time going to be the best person to address the hard core bucking I let him just be a horse in the big pasture all winter.
I sent him to a reputable cowboy for two months this spring and he did great there, got great exposure to ropes,roping calves,ponying other horse, riding off by himself...the works. The trainer said that my horse tried bucking on the 3rd ride but never after that and that he was confident and had a good mind.
Now, I have been reading and re-reading Dr Debs material, the Birdie Book, the Eclectic Horseman articles and posts in this forum.
So I have gained an understanding of 'OK-ness' and 'The Birdie Theory' as well as twirling and untracking.
I was also fortunate enough to get into a Josh Nichols clinic two weeks ago with this horse before I had a chance to work with him on my own. I got to put much of the theory I'd recently learned into practice in the round pen, on the lead line and in the saddle on the last day (we did not lope though).
My horse was amazing and Josh was able to answer ALL of the questions I had been mulling over for the past few years, it was great. Although most of my questions had to do with collection, untracking and 'feel' and not so much about riding and finishing young horses which I wish they had been about hindsight!
I spent the week after the clinic at home going through the ground work I had learned prior to getting on and riding.
He did go to bucking on the lunge line once after transitioning into a lope....I was focused on him and he was focused on me I did not notice him disconnect prior to his big 'show'....that's the part I am having trouble with...
This past Thursday I thought we were good to go ahead and lope and we made one lap around the arena and I thought it was going well but I must have dropped the line of communication somewhere and I got lawn darted into the dirt.
The owner of the arena was there and he got me 'lunging for respect' like I used to do(as per a particular guru) prior to coming to this website and seeing Josh.
I then I got back on and was coached while riding some small circles and then into a lope again in smaller sized circles,we did lots of stops direction changes and I got him really sweaty and very compliant.
It obviously wasn't my first choice to deal with it this way but I was not going to leave that arena with my horse thinking it was easy to end our sessions if he would just send me flying but I want to align the way I work through this with how you yourself(Dr Deb) would work through it. I am interested in 'Mastery' and I am not looking for short cuts. It is important to me to not miss steps with this horse. I know I have the mental capacity and the physical capability to deal with this, my confidence is not shattered I just want to go about it right.

Any insight and re-direction you (or anyone else) can offer is greatly appreciated.

Thank You
Kim

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 03:18 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Kim - if you rode with Josh, you likely heard him use his example of the horse's spine being like a water channel. The bucks you're seeing are probably splashes that are coming about as a result of trying trying to force water over the rocks in the channel rather then removing them. In other words, he's not straight or soft enough to canter like you're asking him to with the energy you're calling up...it takes too much energy to muscle through the blocks that are there.

If there's anything sticky at all about the transition between the trot and canter in particular, you're not going to solve the bucking issues either in the canter or by doing a million transitions.

Last edited on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 03:19 pm by AdamTill

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 03:50 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Just a comment that may not be relevant in this situation but Liz has been getting a number of horses in as of late because of bucking issues. The owners have purchased flex treed saddles and are sure they fit. Liz uses one of her saddle and there is no bucking if she puts the flex treed saddle back on the issue reappears.

kcooper
Member
 

Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
Posts: 70
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 04:01 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Thank you Adam!
And yes I am familiar with the rocks representing a brace in their body and see that's the part that bugs me because at the clinic I was able to find and release the brace and have felt that it was going well at home also.
I really feel, especially after coming home and working on finding and 'talking to' and then releasing the brace with my other horses (older horses with more to undo), that my 4 yr old can travel brace free at the walk and the trot quite easily.
But maybe I missed him stiffen up after he has loped for a few strides.....I will pay more attention and work on that.
I am just a bit concerned because I red in a past post where Dr Deb asked a person who wrote in about their bucking horse if anyone had ever 'taught' the horse to buck and I wondered if that were the case here since he seems so confident doing it and confident otherwise. And if there might be some other way I haven't come across yet that would help unteach it. He is still young and I would think impressionable....so I am wondering if there is anything else that I should be doing to help teach a young horse that has this tendency to buck alongside helping him be brace free?


Thanks Again!

Last edited on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 04:15 pm by kcooper

kcooper
Member
 

Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
Posts: 70
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 04:08 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Dave!
No, my saddle is not a 'flex tree'. I know in barrel racing there are a few brands and types out there of 'flex trees' and even 'tree-less' saddles and they seem to really fit certain horses and work for certain riders and others they dont fit or work for at all.

Thanks!
Kim

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 07:38 pm
 Quote  Reply 
In terms of a horse having been taught to buck, I can't speak to that directly, but it did jump out at me when you said that the fellow who started your colt said he bucked after the third ride.

"Third ride syndrome" is pretty well known in some circles - it's the ride where the person stops tip-toeing around and staying under the radar, and starts to assume the horse is more sure then he actually is; basically when the trainer stops "sneaking rides". It tends to be when the bucks and other braces show up, as a result.

As to your horse, is he naturally very light? I ask because Josh has spent the last couple of years teaching me how to find the braces in my naturally very light horse, and so I can sympthaze with you when you say that you can't feel them on this particular horse.

Just because a horse instantly responds to the rein doesn't mean he's okay, and these can be tough horses to work with. Josh explains it like having to have a conversation with someone who keeps walking away...doesn't mean they're okay, just means they're avoiding the issue until it becomes very important.

Cheers,
Adam

kcooper
Member
 

Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
Posts: 70
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 08:09 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Yes Adam!
He did say he was very light. So I could for sure see how that could be affecting finding a brace....it is disguised well I guess because his body seems to soften so completely!!! and then subsequently his mind seems, to me at least, to follow. Josh never let on that he wasnt softening once I understood how to ask for it...

I just want to have a break through badly so I don't get coerced into 'sweat equity' training....if we keep having only 'surface' training sessions he is going to really learn some bad habits and it will be my fault!!
The next of Josh's clinics that has a spot is in Sept :(
Adam, is there some way you adjusted your work (on the ground and in the saddle) to accomadate a 'light' horse?

Thank you for your time!
Kim

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 09:33 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Hey Kim,

Suspected that might be the case, good to hear that I was close to the mark.

First thing I'd suggest is to not look for big breakthroughs...look for little improvements each day. If you start to look for big changes each day the temptation is to bite off more then your horse can deal with, and you'll end up overfacing him. Even with little changes, it's amazing how quickly you'll make progress when you look back a few weeks or months later.

On the flip side, while I don't know quite what you mean by "lunging for respect", I suspect you probably need to commit to not doing such things. You'll need to start being really consistent in what you do, so that you can begin to feel when you're making progress. Understand that he's not bucking because he's "trying to show you who's boss", so lunging the bucks out of him probably isn't going to be productive.

In terms of how I address this in particular, there were a few things that were particularly helpful.

The first was learning where my horse packs his the major of his worry - in his case, that was in his shoulders.

I first came to Josh wondering why I couldn't guide his hips properly since my horse would go from falling over his outside shoulder to fliping his hip at the slightest touch of the rein. Josh showed me how to connect to the brace in my horse's shoudlers by backing in a straight line while maintaining a bend through his body, which allows the rein to isolate an individual shoulder better. When I was able to soften the brace in that shoulder, I could take that freedom forward and connect the inside rein to his hip in a much softer way (no more flipping hips). I've since taken that a step futher by working on backing circles maintaining a counterbend, per the way Buck Brannaman teaches most often.

In a similar fashion, however, I've also learned to quite micromanaging so darn much. That's partly because a hackamore just plain doesn't work properly if you don't release the horse completely teach time, but also because I'm finally starting to understand some part of "make the horse's idea your idea." I've learned that there's no point in asking a horse to adopt the correct bend if they don't ever feel release there, and more fundamentally, if they don't feel how being there lets them move more freely. Nowadays I hunt more on how to let my horse find comfort in the correct bend, rather then ping-ponging him between too much bend and not enough using some combination of "aids".

As an example of the above, a few nights ago my horse didn't want to pick up a trot without a little hop between walk and trot. Not a big deal from the outside, but I've learned that that's his way of expressing that he's feeling tight through the transition. I went back to making sure our bend was correct, my reins connected through to his hips without a block in between, and making sure he was comfortable holding a responsible circle. At one point in one of our circles it was like he suddenly had more energy, and I realized it was a rock clearing out. Afterwards, the trot transition was just there.

BTW, if that's the 21-24th clinic in Meanook, I'm signed up for that one as well. Sounds like we'd both benefit from seeing the other's horses.

Cheers,
Adam

kcooper
Member
 

Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
Posts: 70
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2011 10:39 pm
 Quote  Reply 
That's some good information Adam!
Even small breakthroughs feel big for me :)
I just don't like to look back on a week of time spent teaching and observe that I got fractionally less feel in exercises each day but it wasn't apparent in the moment!

I find that my horses' sticky part is in his HQs...which would make sense that if he had any difficulty at all shifting his weight back there for a lead departure that it could manifest into bucking (category 5 rapids from the rocks in that water channel LOL!!)

I find it difficult to untrack him on the ground and in the saddle. Guess that's where I need to put the majority of my effort. But it feels like from the thoracic part of him forward he is a worm and I feel like I can get softness at every other joint (joint that can move).

Trying to isolate the brace in the HQs was tough via `reaching in` while backing up because he has this tendency to `over tuck` when you search for the brace (although his feet still move freely). He doesnt over tuck going forward. I think someone just got hard on him with two hands teaching him to back up prior to me.

You know I really didnt want to leave Nichols' place after the clinic!! You get on such a good roll when you have someone like him helping you get solid. I am lucky to be as close as I am to their place.

The clinic I have a spot in is the one in the beginning of September in Meanook. I am also on the wait list for the ones prior. Yes it would be a benefit to watch you ride and work with Josh!! I really like to listen to people articulate what they are working on and then see it in action, it gives you a lot of insight into your own trials and triumphs!

Thanks again!
Kim

ilam
Member
 

Joined: Sat Apr 30th, 2011
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 60
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Jun 21st, 2011 05:48 pm
 Quote  Reply 
I know what you mean by "lunging for respect", I had done things that way for many years, and finally I got stuck in a place where I didn't like the final results. It took me a good long while to figure this all out. It creates a horse that is heavy on the forehand, with all its associated problems (among other things). My horse doesn't buck, but still I have some of the same issues as you.... he over-bends, especially when backing, and the message does not go through to the HQs properly. 

I got some break-throughs for what I needed to know at this time around at Buck's clinic. I now basically went back all the way to the beginning and am re-teaching everything, this time one step at a time, trying to pay attention to all the details I had missed and ignored before, I even re-started with the ground work. It will take some time to break the old habits, but once my horse figured out that now I am letting him experiment with steps and that when he gets it right it also feels better, we are making quite a bit of progress. The hardest part is the part that I have to work on myself, I am my own worst enemy sometimes.

Most likely what you'll find is that the problem isn't his canter at all, but some other, seemingly small thing. Small to us humans, but a big thing to the horse. I am now spending a lot of time trying to figure out what those little things are (sometimes unsuccessfully, but making progress....). The biggest thing I found out at Buck's clinic is how to do the head-twirling correctly, my horse also has learned to over-tuck and over-bend, especially when he gets confused and when he backs, it has almost become a default behavior. I now pay really close attention to where and how he carries his head and neck, so that the message CAN go all the way through to his HQs. When it all comes together right for a step or two it immediately feels right too.

Isabel

Gem
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 10th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 1
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 01:48 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Adam, I hope you don`t mind me quoting you but.......the way you said this is a great reminder of how to ride with feel. Getting caught up with the thinking that we can get the horse to do things if we just use "some combination of aids" is how most of us were taught, especially if we came from a dressage backround. "let my horse find comfort" is so much more considerate of the horse and thus in the direction of promoting harmony between horse and rider. Thanks for putting it THAT way! 

 

Adam wrote,

"Nowadays I hunt more on how to let my horse find comfort in the correct bend, rather then ping-ponging him between too much bend and not enough using some combination of "aids".


AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 09:12 pm
 Quote  Reply 
>Trying to isolate the brace in the HQs was tough via `reaching in` while backing up because he has this tendency to `over tuck` when you >search for the brace (although his feet still move freely). He doesnt over tuck going forward. I think someone just got hard on him with two >hands teaching him to back up prior to me.

Not neccessarily, actually. You can teach a horse to overtuck quite easily by doing what most of us do at first when learning to talk to brace with the rein, and that's release every single time the horse moves his head or neck. I did this at first, and ended up with a rubber-necked horse that didn't realize I was asking him to move his feet.

What Josh helped me with, and what I saw Ray Hunt answer in response to someone asking a question about a horse that overtucks (I think in the Ray Hunt Appreciation DVD), is to essentially ignore what the horse is doing with his head and neck if you're actually asking his feet to move. You give when he releases what you were talking to...if you were trying to soften a stuck shoulder, you ignore anything else he offers until he thinks about his shoulder.

Alternatively, I've seen Buck show people how to start a backup by giving when the saddle horn moves even an inch, which he mentions is an appropriate approximation for people that don't know how to give when a horse gives a smaller try. The smaller the try you can reward at the beginning, however, the less likely you are to overface and frustrate the horse.

If you have a horse that thinks that every question is able to be answered by giving his head and neck, the worst thing you can do is reinforce that belief by giving the rein when he starts to overtuck. I've helped a few dressage riders lately with this exact situation. They were so worried about the horse going "behind the bit" that they would give the rein every time he started to do so, and as a result they ended up with a pretty sad backup. Once the horse learns that the answer is to give his shoulders or move his feet (or whatever you're talking to), they stop overbending with the neck. Takes a bit of faith, but I haven't seen it fail so far.

Likewise, you may have had Josh demonstrate what to do with a horse that's just running backwards rather then softening, and that's find the right amount of lateral bend in teh backup that allows you to isolate and talk to the brace, but doesn't let him just run backwards.

If you're finding that you're using too much rein, remember how Josh will have talked about connecting to the brace with the rein, and asking with pressure for that brace to soften.

If your horse is free with his front feet but stuck with his hinds, be aware that you may end up in a situation where he gets a little light on his front end and starts to think about rearing. THat can happen if he knows you're talking to the brace in his hind end, but can't figure out how to arrange his feet. Keep encouraging him to search for the right answer, but don't overpressure him to the point where you give him no option other then to go up. That said, if he does go up, don't let him find that the release is found by going up.

>Adam, I hope you don`t mind me quoting you but.......

Don't mind in the slightest, but don't give me credit for the concepts!

Cheers,
Adam

hurkusdurkus
Member
 

Joined: Sat Feb 26th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 34
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Jun 24th, 2011 12:24 am
 Quote  Reply 
Adam, you said,"That said, if he does go up, don't let him find that the release is found by going up."

I absolutely agree with this. I do want to add something my helper told me about a rearing horse: If a horse is rearing, never ever pull on the reins and kick 'forward' at the same time. My helper tells me that is what can put a horse up over backwards (gas pedal plus brakes on a rearing horse=big trouble), and after looking at several you-tube videos of rearing horses, I believe it.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3321
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Jun 25th, 2011 09:47 am
 Quote  Reply 
Kim, my reply here will have to be fairly brief as my ride to work will be along in just a few minutes. However, I want to take time to praise Adam and others in this thread for giving good advice which seems to be leading you into paths of thinking which will lead you to understanding what's making the horse do what he does.

The ultimate issue, as you seem to have discovered here, is going to come down to your horse's hocks. Many young horses experience pains or twinges in their hocks when first asked to canter, and this is what leads to the feeling that Josh expresses by describing "pressure coming from behind that's trying to move the rocks rather than remove them." The pressure comes from the rider's ANXIETY that the horse should PERFORM -- i.e. in this case that it should canter. The anxiety, in its turn, comes from a lifetime of taking horseback riding lessons, or going to public school for that matter, wherein the big reward for the student, accompanied by that big rush of pleasure and release, comes only when the student has PERFORMED -- when the horse picks up the canter, the instructor then says "good good!" or the teacher says "well done, very good" only when you get the correct answer to the addition problem. They NEVER THINK to praise when the PROCESS has been correct, even if the result does not happen immediately.

But process is all that matters to the animal. He, of course, canters every day by himself, and can't figure why this (or anything else) should be such a big deal to you. But the rider is liable not to be satisfied until the horse picks that canter up, and that makes you keep pressing and pressing, even when the horse isn't straight, isn't soft, and isn't comfortable. It is the discomfort that drives his mind or his "Birdie" away, and that's when the bucking is liable to start (or shying, or rearing, or what have you).

So you get your mind off of cantering. Understand that young horses usually lack the very strength that it takes to hork their forebody burdened with your weight up into the air. To make a canter departure requires the horse to so arrange things that he first stands upon one hind leg, with all three of the other legs off the ground; and from that one contacting leg, then thrust his weight plus yours upward and forward. This is why it pains their hocks, because it's liable to twist them some. Later, as the horse gains strength and experience, he'll be much more able to place the contacting/thrusting foot where it doesn't cause any little twinges.

You get your mind off cantering, and instead you put all your attention into preparing for the departure. There are two parts to a canter departure. The first part is establishing the lead, which is exactly the same as establishing the bend, which again is exactly the same as establishing the weighting. Until the horse is bent evently, which means until he is straight on the curve, he will not weight his outside pair of legs, or especially he will not weight the outside hind leg. But as soon as he does weight that leg, he has adopted the lead. This occurs BEFORE he canters, during the walk (or trot, if you must use momentum at first).

The second part of the departure is the response-with-respect. This on a sensitive horse, a naturally light horse, takes only a whisper of pressure. If you use more, like you foolishly think of the canter as being a SPEED or a HIGHER GEAR, he will rightly resent it and go to bucking again. For the canter is not necessarily faster than the walk, nor is it any kind of gear. It's just a different order of putting the feet down against the ground. So once the horse has already adopted the lead, you need to tell him to (a) raise his energy just enough so as to be able to lift the forepart of his body, and (b) delay the setting-down of the unweighted (i.e. the inside) hind limb a little more than if he had continued to walk. When he understands these two things coming from you very clearly but very gently, he will pick up the canter on the specified lead so softly that you will hardly know he has done it. -- Dr. Deb

kuuinoa
Member
 

Joined: Wed Mar 21st, 2007
Location: Keaau, Hawaii USA
Posts: 26
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Jun 25th, 2011 07:28 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Light Bulbs by the dozen going on over my head, Dr. Deb.  Thank you for the lucidity I have gotten from that wonderful paragraph.  Thanks to the rest of you, also, for this thread and all your contributions.  It's really nice to be able to learn without a horse.

~K~


 Current time is 09:43 pm
Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez