Doug Payne has made a name for himself in equestrian circles as the “go-to-guy” when it comes to finding a way forward with “problem horses.” In his fantastic new book THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL, Doug talks about three main categories of bucking and this bad habit’s causes, and provides specific solutions for each—including first ruling out physical causes when it comes to all behavior problems.
The most important thing to know, however, is when you find yourself riding a horse with a sudden desire to kick his heels up, there are two main rules to remember that will help keep you safe:
RULE #1: Heads Up!
Both of you: horse and rider. When your head and eyes go down so will your upper body, and you’ll find yourself just where you were looking—on the ground! As for your horse, he won’t be able to buck when his head is up. Keep his poll at the highest point, period. No excuses. Use whatever means necessary.
RULE #2: Go Forward!
Ninety-nine percent of buckers are bucking to get out of work, and a horse is better able to buck when he is behind your leg. The moment your horse even thinks about responding sluggishly off your leg, you must get after him. This means, add your leg lightly. When he doesn’t respond as he should, ask again with the same light force, and then decisively use your whip behind your leg.
For more about how to deal with different kinds of buckers, as well as dozens of other behavior and training problems, check out THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL by Doug Payne, available now from the TSB online bookstore.
“There are a lot of great answers to tough training questions here.” —Five-Time Olympian Anne Kursinski