Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/filly bucking a lot in training


I sent my 3+ yr old filly to be started by someone who came recommended by a well known horseman I have a ton of respect for. (Personally recommended to me - not a hearsay recommendation!)  I am confident that he is using sound methods.  He spent a couple weeks tuning up her groundwork, including working with a rope around her belly as she was pretty cinchy at first.  At the first ride (which was done with a horseback helper in the round pen), she bucked some but not out of control and he was pleased with how she was responding in the halter as he rode her around for a little bit after.  However, she continues to buck every single time he rides her - its been half a dozen rides now.  He has not come off and rides through it each time but I'm getting worried that this horse may never be ridable for an average rider like myself.  I have contracted for 60 days, which is almost half over.  Am I being overly concerned at this stage?  I don't expect her to be anything close to "finished" after 60 days but I had hoped to at least be fairly sure she was through with bucking.   Have you had started many horses that bucked a lot at first, then got over it for good?

Hi Maureen,
In answer to your question.....yes. I have had several horses that took a while to get over the bucking problem. Remember, horses are not machines. They are all different and living, breathing animals with emotions. I have had more than one (and some of them trainers) folks remark that some horses are "untrainable". I do not believe that. In my opinion, ALL horses can be trained. It's just a matter of time. Some take much longer than others. It all boils down to how much time are you are willing to put into it. And if you're paying a trainer to do it, that time = money. Your horse has not been at the trainer very long. Less than 60 days. I have had some horses that didn't get the first ride until the 2nd month. And, she has only had a "half dozen rides". Do not give up on your trainer or the horse. Believe me, that trainer wants the bucking to stop more than you do!!
Just a little side note. I would never dream of telling another trainer what to do. But, if they ask my suggestion, I'll give it. Some horses that have trouble getting over the buck? I use a racing mask with blinkers. The kind you see racing horses use. They don't seem to want to buck with it on. After a couple of rides wearing the mask, I take it off and it seems the problem disappears. Go figure. Just a thought.
Good luck with your horse and give the horse and the trainer time.  

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Bobby Passons


I can answer questions concerning horse training, foundation work, colt starting, western riding, rider confidence and problematic horses.


20 years in horse training. Starting colts, problematic horses, rider confidence and Western riding. I have specialized in training good/safe trail horses. Shown in western pleasure, halter and trail classes. I worked in West Texas gathering wild cattle.


degree in prehospital medicine.

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