Remember horses do not wake up in the morning and suddenly decide to be naughty! It is up to us to interpret their actions, find the root of the problem, and then take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.
So let’s take a look at the top five reasons why a horse may buck.
- Release – Horses in fields will buck of their own accord, often attributed to “high spirits”, these horses generally appear to be revelling in the sensation and freedom of movement.
- Fear – Horses will often buck when startled or scared. This is part of the flight response that keeps them safe from predators.
- Pain – Horses cannot tell us they are in pain, often there only form of communication is through “naughty” behaviour.
- Confusion – Your horse may not understand what you are trying to ask of him, he may react to this confusion by bucking, as he will want the confusion to stop.
- Learnt behaviour – A horse (or more often a pony!) may have bucked once, often out of confusion, and then the rider may have dismounted. If this pattern is repeated a few times the horse may learn that if he bucked, he is essentially “rewarded” by the rider dismounting. It is all too easy to get into this scenario with your horse. If you are struggling consider consulting an equine behaviourist IHRA (Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Associate) to help.
Bucking can be very scary, it is better to find a trusted professional to help you than put yourself in danger. Remember horses can only communicate through their behaviour, there are very few naughty horses, but there are however lots of horses in pain, scared or confused. It is our job as horse owners to understand their behaviour and work out what they are trying to tell us. Please ask for help if you are struggling with bucking in your horse or pony. This is where the value of having a trusted team of professionals is priceless. If you have a trusted instructor, saddler, vet, physio, farrier, between you all, you will be able to understand and resolve the problem.