December 16, 2020 – Ask Monty Newsletter

Question: Are you teaching your horse to buck?

Dear Monty,

My name is Danielle and I have a serious question for you. I have a 9 year old gelding that I ride. He is normally very agreeable and is well trained in the area of trail riding. It seems that we get along quite well unless something happens that frightens me. Sometimes I pass properties where dogs will come running and barking at us. Twice now my horse has bucked me off when dogs have arrived on the scene. Recently a speeding car came at us and actually appeared to be moving toward the shoulder of the road. The car was scary but without warning my horse bucked me off again. I have engaged a trainer and the trainer finds that even setting up scary situations, my horse doesn’t buck with him at all. Please tell me why my horse might buck only with me.

Monty’s Answer:

Dear Danielle,

Your horse is probably not bucking because of a fear of the situation which seemed to have caused the action. It is highly likely that your horse is bucking because of your reaction and not those of the external condition. It seems likely to me that your pulse rate shoots up, your diaphragm is elevated dramatically and the fear that shoots through your body tells your horse that you are not safe on his back. Your horse probably feels you are in an attack mode. His ancestors would buck off a lion or a tiger and he’s probably putting you in the same category. Your trainer has probably learned through trial and error to fight back any fear and is perceived by the horse to be a safe passenger.


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