Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/retraining bucking issues


I would really appreciate your opinion/advice on this one, and I promise I won't complain about anything! (And I'm about to go read your website) Sorry about the long post, but her history may help you...
I have recently acquired a second project horse (since the first is progressing very well). She is an 11 year old Thoroughbred, she raced until she was 6 then retired and had a single foal, was leased for a month and rejected because of her 'issues' under saddle. When she arrived she was in ok condition but had dreadful feet and a horrible upside down ewe neck - she is the most inflexible horse I have worked with so far, she can flex her neck to the right about halfway to her ribs, but only about 20cm to the left. I have had her for only a week and have started doing basic groundwork with her, and I am surprised at how good she is. She is extremely quiet on the ground, no bite/kick, very respectful, good to handle/float/groom. I have completed the 7 Parelli games with her to a satisfactory standard, and she learns quickly. She has had a saddle professionally fitted to her, had her feet and teeth done, and had a vet check and will be getting a massage next week. She is fine to saddle/bridle up, so I hopped on as a test yesterday. Standing for mounting with the block was fine, as was putting weight in one stirrup and leaning gently over her back. Then I quietly swung a leg over - and before I even hit the saddle she took off forwards and started bucking madly. I came off since it was the last thing I was expecting, and she raced around the arena with her head in the air like a llama. I spent a few minutes calming her and working her on the ground, then tried again, with lots of rubbing her sides etc. She was calm until my leg swung over, then off she went again. I sat it out for a few minutes, then she literally scraped me off on the fence, and as soon as I was off she stood still as a rock. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone else to help me or hold her or anything like that. I know it's a bad idea for her to keep getting rid of me, but this was just the test run. She is fine on the lunge with the saddle on, I can't one rein stop her since her neck doesn't bend that far, and I tried pushing her forwards which results in her trotting ridiculously fast with her head in the air. Have you got any ideas for me?
Thanks very much in advance!

wow, I can't believe you see all the things you think she does good, and you do not connect anything to the bucking. the horse is bucking because it can and it knows it can. There are only about 1000 reasons this could be happening so there is no way for me to know, but 99 percent of the time it is a people problem, not a horse problem.

Some issues could be:

Sacking out issues
pain issues
dominance issues
training issues
experience issues
lack of confidence issues
fear issues
and many more

And you may be thinking the above list applies to the horse, Most apply to you? ? ?  

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Rick Gore Horsemanship


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--Rick is a student of the horse. I have over 450 free videos on Youtube about horses. I believe in and practice "Natural Horsemanship". I ride mainly western and don't use or promote spurs, bits, or whips. Reins are only one cue for the horse. Using the entire body helps the horse understand. I define riding as a human and horse working together for the enjoyment of both. Pain and fear should not be part of the equation. If you expect feel good advice, you will be disappointed. 95% of all my answers will include the problem is you and not your horse. About 90% of most answers that I give out are on my web site, so if you read it you will probably answer your own question and may learn a few other things. If you ask me a question that I answer on my site or video I will send your question to the question pool.


Rick is an experienced horseman with over 35 years of riding and handling horses. Rick grew up in Texas around horses and horse people. He has started colts, ridden many horses with behavior issues and worked with problem horses. (He believes that most horse problems are really people problems) He believes in and practices natural horsemanship and continues to read and study books by great horsemen. He routinely attends clinics, talks with and discuss horse issues with other clinicians and trainers. He has never met a horse that could not be fixed. Rick believes it is never the horse's fault and with proper handling, all problems can be worked out.

I have life long experience in being around and working with horses. Over the years I have watched good horsemen do the right thing and seen the wrong things done with bad results. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

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