If you’ve ever had to ride a horse that bucks, you know what a challenge it can be. These seven tips can help you when you need to ride a horse that bucks.
1. Check for Physical Pain
Before you make a habit of riding out bucking fits on a particular horse, please stop and check the horse for pain. Bucking is often a symptom of pain somewhere in your horse’s body. Evaluate the fit of your saddle, and check to see if the girth is pinching your horse. You might also look for back pain, pain in your horse’s legs, and even an issue where the bit doesn’t fit or is irritating your horse’s mouth.
2. Keep Your Heels Down
Sinking your weight down into your heels helps to give you a base of support, which becomes really important when your horse starts to buck. Focus on keeping your heels down during your ride, and envision your weight sinking down into your legs and your heels.
You can also improve your heel position by standing on the edge of a stair. Let your heels drop down off the edge of the stair. This exercise helps to stretch out the back of your calf muscle. Work on this for a few minutes every day to improve your position.
3. Pull the Horse’s Head Up
Many horses cannot buck with their heads down. If your horse starts bucking, use a strong, steady pull on both reins to try to bring the horse’s head up and to stop the bucking spree.
4. Get Back On
If a horse bucks you off, it’s very important to get back on. If you end the ride after you fall off, then the horse has learned that he can get out of work by bucking and will be even more likely to try this tactic the next time he doesn’t want to work. If you are too shaken or injured to get back on the horse, then find someone who can.
5. Don’t Wait for the Buck
If you’re constantly worrying about when your horse will buck, you can actually contribute to the chance that he will try bucking. Instead of worrying about the buck, focus on your ride and tell yourself that the horse will not buck. You might be surprised at how well this technique can work.
6. Be Confident
Above all else, confidence can help you to ride out a bucking horse. If the horse senses that you are afraid, then he holds the power and will probably continue to buck in the future. Remind yourself that you are a strong, skilled rider who is capable of riding out the bucks.
7. Stay Safe
Bucking is a dangerous behavior. If your horse makes a regular habit of bucking, then have a trainer help you. We want you to stay safe, so don’t be too proud to get help with the issue.