Bucking and rearing are dangerous horse habits that need to be stopped immediately. It’s important to note right at the outset that one of the main causes of bucking and rearing his lack of patience on the part of the rider.
If you do lots of ground work with your horse, get to know your horse well and learn to communicate with him or her before you ever begin riding, you’re unlikely to have problems with bucking and rearing which are both rather rebellious behaviors.
What You'll Learn Today
- 1 How To Stop A Horse From Bucking And Rearing?
- 2 How Should You Ride A Habitual Bucking Horse?
- 3 What Can You Do If Your Horse Starts Bucking?
- 4 How Is Rearing Different From Bucking?
- 5 What Can You Do When Your Horse Rears?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
How To Stop A Horse From Bucking And Rearing?
The best cure for bucking and rearing is to never allow it to start, so seek to prevent these bad habits and stop them before they ever begin by developing a good relationship with your horse.
A horse that learns that it can throw its rider off, is far more likely to continue bucking and rearing than one that never has the chance to learn this lesson.
It’s especially important to work on the ground with your horse fully tacked up for a long time so that he or she can become used to wearing a saddle and bridle.
A horse that has never worn a saddle before may automatically buck initially, but if you work with him or her on the ground until this tendency has been worked through, the horse will be unlikely to buck once you’re in the saddle.
There are some horses that buck as an automatic reaction when they are irritated or startled. Teaching your horse that he or she is always safe with you no matter what will go far to prevent having this kind of reaction in unusual circumstances.
Another common cause of bucking and rearing is improperly fitted tack. Be sure that every item of gear you put on your horse fits him or her correctly and is not causing any pressure or pain anywhere.
A burr under the saddle, a wrinkle in your saddle pad, a girth that pinches or a bit that is too harsh can all cause problems with bucking and rearing.
Incompetent riding is another cause of bucking and rearing. If you are giving your horse confusing signals or if you are a heavy-handed a rider, your horse may very well respond by trying to throw you off.
Be sure that your own skills are clear and understandable to your horse and that you are not hurting him when you ride.
How Should You Ride A Habitual Bucking Horse?
A horse who learns that he can buck his rider off may try this anytime he wants to rebel against your requests.
If you’re riding a horse who has a habit of bucking, you must be very vigilant and devote quite a bit of attention to redirecting him to prevent his bucking.
Be sure to ride your horse every day so that he can become accustomed to a routine. It’s a good idea to lunge your horse before riding to work off some energy and give him a chance to buck freely if he wants to before you work. Also, be sure your horse has a chance to run and play with other horses to blow off steam.
Observe your horse carefully so that you can become completely familiar with situations that may cause your horse to buck.
For example, some horses buck when they’re urged into a canter. If this is the case with your horse, do a lot of work at the walk and at the trot before you move into a lope or canter.
Some horses tend to buck any time they’re going downhill. If this is the case with your horse you may want to zig-zag down hills rather than going straight down.
If your horse becomes excitable around other horses, work independently until you feel very secure in your ability to control your horse’s bucking. Then gradually introduce him to riding with other horses.
Keep Learning And Improving
Stay right on top of your own riding skills so that you are genuinely able to handle your horse. You should have alert, light hands and always maintain slight contact with your horses mouth.
Don’t allow your reins to go slack because this will enable him to drop his head and buck. Keep his head up, and keep his neck parallel to the ground so that he cannot get into a bucking posture.
If you have trouble keeping your horse’s head up with the bridle, try putting his bridle on over his halter.
Attach your lead rope to your saddle horn so that your horse can move his head normally but cannot drop it below the level of his knees.
If you’re not able to keep your horse’s head up with a snaffle bit, try switching to a mild curb bit. This will give you a little more leverage so that you can keep your horse’s head up.
Be careful not to use a bit that is to thin or narrow because this type of bit is very harsh. A bit that’s too harsh and hurts your horse’s mouth might cause rearing.
What Can You Do If Your Horse Starts Bucking?
If your horse does manage to sneak some bucking in, put a stop to it by circling him. He won’t be able to buck while circling. Pull rein to the side and cue him with your legs to move in a circle.
If you’re not able to make your horse comply with your bridle, keep the halter on under the bridle and attach set of reins to the side rings. Use these reins and the bit to pull his head and nose around and make him circle.
Keep your cool. Don’t shout at your horse when he’s bucking, and certainly don’t punish him after he bucks or he‘ll think you are punishing him for stopping.
Always praise him when he’s being quiet and doing what you want him to do and redirect him when he’s not. If he’s starting to buck, circle him he won’t like that.
There are some horses who are just buckers. They may keep on bucking no matter what you do, and this is unsafe.
If you’re not able to control your horse, you may need to send him to the trainer or find him a new home and get a different horse that you can control.
Don’t be too hasty to get rid of your horse! Sometimes horses may buck because something unusual is happening with them.
For example, if you ride your horse across a field of high weeds and thistles and he suddenly starts bucking, you can be sure that it’s because he’s and used to the sensations of the weeds against decides in his belly.
When this sort of thing is the case, you’ll want to desensitize the horse by getting him used to this kind of contact.
If your horse bucks or bolts around loud or unusual noises, you’ll want to take steps to accustom him to these things if you’re going to be around them.
How Is Rearing Different From Bucking?
Horses who are very high energy (hot) may rear just because they’re excitable. Knowing how to stop this can be difficult because your instincts will tell you to pull back on the reins to stop, but this is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Your horse is already backing up when he’s rearing. If you pull on the reins you may make matters worse, and you may even cause your horse to topple over backwards on top of you.
Another reason that horses rear is simple disrespect. If they don’t want to do what you want them to do, they may rear up to back out of the situation.
Having a good relationship with your horse and clear communication can help prevent this ever happening.
What Can You Do When Your Horse Rears?
If your horse does rear, you’ll need to determine why he’s doing it and take quick action to redirect him.
You want to move his attention away from whatever it is that’s bothering him and literally get him moving his feet in a different direction.
Just as with bucking, controlling your horse with one rein instead of two is the best way to get him under control.
Circle or turn one way and then quickly the other way to distract him and to engage his brain.
Use leg cues to shift his hindquarters in the opposite direction of his front feet so that he has to think about what he’s doing with his feet to maintain his balance.
With both bucking and rearing, remember that the main key is to avoid the behaviors by doing a lot of groundwork, becoming very familiar with your horse and establishing good, clear communication.
Don’t spoil your horse, and don’t let him bully you under any circumstances. Always maintain control and always be the one in charge and the one your horse will turn to when he’s frightened and doesn’t know what to do. Establishing this habit will help prevent problems with rebellion and startle response.
Remember that you’re not just a passenger on your horse. Riding is a an interactive activity. You must always pay attention to what you’re doing and where you’re going.
Be aware of your horse’s signals to you so that you can respond appropriately before things get out of control.
How To Stop Your Horse From Rearing Video
Frequently Asked Questions
Most riders agree that rearing is much worse and much more dangerous than bucking. With bucking, you can intervene (during the bucking) by redirecting the horse’s head with single reining or simply pulling the head up. With rearing, there’s not much you can do to intervene, and there’s always the risk the horse will flip over and crush you before you have the opportunity to redirect him.
Kicking is usually a response to someone or something coming too close or appearing suddenly behind a horse. A horse may kick with one or both legs, and the purpose is usually to tell a person or horse to back off, Bucking (i.e. crow-hopping) involves all four legs and the horse’s whole body. Horses usually buck in an attempt to rid themselves of uncomfortable tack and/or an unwanted rider.
These problems can be caused by physical discomfort. If you’ve checked all of your tack and haven’t found a problem, have your vet out to give your horse a complete examination. Problems such as sore back and/or legs, stomachache, gastric ulcers, vision problems and more can lead to behavioral problems.
A diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrates can definitely cause your horse to run hot and act out with unpleasant, unwanted and unacceptable behaviors.
A horse who rears may have seen something scary that has taken him aback, but more often than not a horse rears because he simply doesn’t want to go forward or has reached the end of his rope with some aggravating and bothersome situation or rider. Shying is almost always a result of being startled by something unexpected. If something or someone suddenly appears or moves to one side of your horse, he may suddenly leap to the other side to get away from it. This is shying. Horses who have low vision in one eye may tend to shy more often. Horses whose riders are anxious and nervous may also have more of tendency to shy.