Why is my horse bucking all of a sudden

Oct 19, 2023 | Super Equestrian


Why is my horse bucking all of a sudden

Imagine that you are riding a horse in a vast green field and everything is under control suddenly an unexpected event happens for which you were not ready for! You became frightened and thought to yourself “oh dear lord! Is my horse starting to bucking all of a sudden?” and you are wondering what could be the reason behind your horse's sudden cranky behavior.

But what is horse bucking? 

Well, bucking is an aggressive behavior in horses. They move their hind limbs in a kicking position, raise their head and neck upwards with the intention of throwing everything from their back.

Sensing fear is the most common reason behind horses’ sudden bucking. Moreover, there are some issues that can affect horses' movements, such as pain, discomfort, anxiety, lack of trust, improper training and riding technique, using equipment incorrectly and so on.

Understanding the reasons behind your horses’ sudden bucking can assist you in controlling their movements while riding. Because if you are not aware of their unexpected bucking, you will not only lose control but also have a possibility of getting badly injured.

So, without wasting time, let's grab the reins and take a ride to know more about why a horse bucks suddenly and what the solution is!

Causes of Sudden Bucking in Horses

When we try to solve any problem, the first vital step is to find out the cause behind the problem. Same goes for our fellow equine. There are few people who have not experienced the sudden cranky behavior of a horse. And apparently horses don’t behave like that intentionally. There are definitely some reasons behind their sudden bucking.

 Physical Issues

  1. Pain or discomfort: It is normal for every living being to behave abnormally when they feel inconvenience or pain. Our one-toed mammals are no exception. One of the common reasons behind their sudden bucks is physical discomfort or ache. It can be for any kind of pain. Such as spine pain, laminitis, stomach or colic discomfort and so on.
  2. Illness or injury: Sometimes horse bucks due to any previous injury or illness like sprain, ligament swelling, bone fracture, tendons or muscles dislocation, hooves infection and so on. Because those injuries make them feel restless while riding or other activities. As a result, horses lose their temper and behave in an inadequate way which causes them bucking. 

 Behavioral Issues

  1. Fear or anxiety: Compared to other domestic animals, horses are extremely gentle creatures. But this one-toed mammal can behave strangely when they feel anxious or scared. Sometimes the horse jumps up from a sudden sense of fear, starts kicking around and tries to throw off any weight from their back which can appear as bucking.

And If you are wondering about horse kicking, this one is a must read for you: what causes a horse to kick. 

  1. Lack of respect or trust: Even a lack of respect or trust can cause a horse to buck unexpectedly. If there is not enough trust and mutual respect between rider and horses, then it becomes impossible to control and lead them properly. As a result, they won't be able to respond as desired, which may lead to unexpected events such as bucking.

Rider-related Issues

  1. Incorrect riding technique: We have a misconception that horses' sudden freakish behavior is caused by behavioral and physical issues. But at times incorrect riding techniques can be the reason for their unusual movements.
  2. Inadequate seat or balance: Sometimes riders make some common mistakes during riding such as inadequate seat, imbalance, unsteady position, and many more. Those riding issues can lead the horse to aggressive positions, for example sudden bucking while riding.
  3. Incorrect use of equipment: During horse riding, we use different types of equipment like saddles, girths, bridles, bits, reins, halter to have a full control over horses. But at times incorrect use of equipment, for example unnecessary whipping can cause horses to behave aggressively.  

Diagnosing the Cause of Horse’s Bucking

Understanding the causes behind horses' sudden movement may help diagnose the problem. But recognizing the cause of any sickness or health condition is one of the most vital stages before heading for therapy. So, how can we find out what is causing the horse's bucking movement? We've talked about some strategies that can help you figure out what's causing your horse's sudden bucking.

  • Observing the horse's behavior and movement: It is the simplest method for determining the horse's problems while observing their behavior. If you have a strong relationship with your horse, then determining the problem will be easier. Aside from that, you may examine their movement or activity during the training session and identify whether they are encountering any kind of inconvenience or pain due to injuries or illness.
  • Consulting with a veterinarian or trainer:  If your horse experiences any physical or behavioral issue during riding, then it will be an ideal option to have a consultation with an experienced veterinarian. Also, using the wrong equipment can lead to horse injuries or uncomfortable situations. Then visit the nearest vets and take advice from them.

On the other hand, you can hire some professional trainers to provide proper training to your horses. It may help you to identify if there are any riding-related issues as well.

  • Assessing the rider's technique and equipment: And the final step is to assess the rider's technique as well as the riding materials. It may assist you to determine if there is a malfunction in the equipment that causes the horses to buck unexpectedly.

Possible Solutions for Horse’s Bucking

It is undeniable that horses are great performers among all mammals. But sometimes these magnificent athletes become aggressive and lose control in such situations such as bucking while riding. As these silent animals can’t express their fear, pain or trust issues, so as a keeper it is our duty to identify their problem and find solution according to their movement and behavior.  Therefore, we’ve discussed some ways out for horses' sudden bucking.

  • Treatment of physical issues: Bucking can be an aggressive behavior of horses. Due to any physical discomfort, rider’s disrespectful attitude, or pain from any previous injury triggers them to buck suddenly. So if you notice that your horses are experiencing any inconvenience situation, consult with an experienced veterinarian.
  • Behavioral training and desensitization: Train your horses with different manners and commands. It will aid you in horse behavioral training. Moreover, teach them how to overcome from experiencing some unusual feelings like fear or anxiety.
  • Rider education and training: Before riding your horse, make sure you have a proper lesson. Because it is not only about how you train a horse for a perfect ride but also for you as a rider. So, it is necessary to learn about riding and have proper training.

Besides, if you want to know the guidelines about riding lessons, you can check out our other article on how often you should take horse riding lessons.

  • Proper conditioning and exercise: It is monumental to take proper care of your four-legged companion. Such as warming up before training, exercising your horses regularly, doing plenty of stretching, adjusting their balance, gradually increasing work, and so on.
  • Use of proper equipment and tack: Using riding equipment in an improper way can cause horses discomfort or serious injury. So it is crucial to check every riding materials or accessories condition, and if necessary replace them to ensure our endearment companions safety.

Sometimes it is impossible for us to understand properly while reading those monotonous lines. So out of concern for your convenience we have attached a video link about  Horse training to prevent bucking.

Wrapping Up

Despite being gentle and strong, horses can be aggressive and start bucking suddenly while riding. It can be a serious issue for both horses and riders. So make sure to determine the cause properly behind their unexpected behavior and provide every possible treatment. Because it is important for horses' well-being and the safety of riders. Furthermore, if needed you can seek professional help from a trainer or an experienced veterinarian.

I believe all those steps will significantly help our fellow horses to prevent their bucking movement while riding. And if you experience any unexpected situation like horse bucking please share with us.

 

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