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Old 23-01-2012, 10:16 PM
leafy leafy is offline
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Bucking rearing and going backwards

Ive just got back into riding (last May) and am riding a friends Clydsdale cross. He is a driving horse and I just ride him once a week. He was slightly unfit when I started riding him but he's really getting fit and taking shape now. Riding him on the roads is fine but when I ride out on the beach he's ok going but as soon as we turn round he starts getting excited and throws in a few bucks and last week he started running backwards and stamping his back leg. He doesn't canter well but when he does try he just gets his head down and tries to set off and throw me off. I had him in a snaffle to start and now he's in a Pelham and he nearly pulls my arms out. Is it possibly because he's in an open space and feels the need to run? Like I say he's perfect on the road but is starting to get a bit silly when on the beach. He's ok in a group, this tends to be when we are on our own.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it because he's getting fitter. He's 12 years old and I've been riding for approx 15 years.

Thanks for reading
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Old 30-01-2012, 09:31 AM
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sarelis sarelis is offline
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Re: Bucking rearing and going backwards

Haha sounds like my TB last friday!! In his case it is pure excitement, we were on a track that we sometimes do fast work on & he wanted to go, go, go! This can be a problem with a lot of horses, they anticipate a good run & it gets them all silly. If he doesn't canter well & tanks off with you, maybe some schooling is in order. If he is leaning on the pelham it might not be the best choice of bit, try schooling him in his snaffle & see if you can get him working nicely in it, and if you find you still need something stronger out on the beach maybe try something with a jointed mouthpiece to discourage his leaning. If he is putting his head down to evade you maybe a gag would be a better choice? The pelham will actually be encouraging him to lower his head. Also try mixing your hacks up a bit, always going the same route & cantering in the same places will make any horse anticipate. As for his fitness, I find with my boy he actually becomes far more sensible the fitter he is, but all horses are different. When he is bucking & napping what do you do? Do you ride him forward strongly, or are you taking a hold of his head for fear of him tanking off? As he only does this when hacked out alone it could be confidence issues, he may just need you to tell him that it's ok to go forward. Also I don't really understand this part of your post;
"when I ride out on to the beach he is ok but as soon as we turn round he starts getting excited"
Do you mean that you ride out, then turn round & follow your tracks home? This can agitate horses, they feel as if they are 'running away' from something if they just suddenly turn round & head for home. Is there a circuit you could do to avoid this?
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