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Horses buck for all different reasons! If you’ve been around them long enough, then you’ve likely see a few horses buck in your time. This behavior is normal, though undesired under saddle or when you’re handling them. Many horses buck in the field, which is an acceptable place for them to let out some energy.

Why Horses Buck

  1. Excitement: Some horses can’t control their excitement. You may see them kick up heels in the field while playing with friends. Unfortunately, they may also do this under saddle. The best solution is to offer them plenty of turnout. You might even want to lunge them before you ride.
  2. They’re in pain: A horse in pain can buck even if it’s not in their personality to do so. It can be from poorly fitted tack, an injury, or general soreness. You’ll want to utilize equine professionals like a saddle fitter and veterinarian to ensure your horse is comfortable.
  3. Not fit enough: Your horse may kick up if the work becomes too hard. Bucking is their way of showing displeasure. An example is when you ask your horse to canter and they buck. This horse may not have the balance or fitness level to support a rider in this gait. Remember to gradually increase your horse’s workload. You need to give them time to build endurance.
  4. Frustration: On occasion, your horse will buck if they’re confused by your request or feel trapped. Some may have trouble with the cues being used or how aggressive the rider is being. Ideally, you should take riding lessons. This will help you master your riding skills and communicate with your horse clearly and effectively.
  5. Sour mood: Along with being frustrated, some may buck because they don’t want to work. This happens with arena sour horses or those drilled over and over again. As a solution, change things up! Skip riding and do groundwork or ride in a new environment.

There are tons of other reasons your horse may buck, but these are the most common. It’s important you discover the root cause before you attempt to fix it.