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Bucking pony - any advice?

(9 Posts)
needastrongone Sun 18-Oct-15 09:47:37

Hi, hoping for any additional pointers that I haven't considered would be gratefully received. I will try and cover as much detail as I can.

We have had said pony for 6 weeks. He's a 21 year old section B gelding. Plenty of life in him yet as well! He's settled in nicely with our herd and seems pretty relaxed as a character so far.

Our discipline is mounted games, both PPC and MGA. He's been bought from another local pony club, from people we know well, so I don't doubt their honesty. They are a bit more chilled than us in terms of pony care, but I don't doubt he was looked after.

Their branch do far less competing than ours, so pony will be expected to work harder with us. He was/is very out of shape, but changing rapidly. Had some cushins like symptoms when we got him (cresty neck, fatty deposits, but very lively and not a particularly thick coat), but that won't change our care of him radically.

When DD vaults onto him, and only when she vaults on, he does a little fly buck, not always, but regularly. I know from his history that he did this with previous owner and the one before. Previous rider much heavier than DD. If she lands a little too far back, he will buck a little harder.

Games is very much his discipline, he very clearly loves it and gets pretty excited competing. We've jumped him too, and he's willing, but I can see it doesn't excite him as much as games.

So far, he's been wormed (obviously), teeth done, feet done, worked harder so changed shape, and had a new saddle fitted professionally by a reputable fitter. Previous owners had a number of regular sessions for his back, but nothing untoward was ever found.

Saddler remarked that at some stage, he's been allowed to be really overweight, so his body shape will always reflect this to some extent. Finding a saddle to fit was therefore difficult. Saddler wondered if he is having a memory response to pain? Previous pony was head shy for this reason.

DD has regular lessons and is an experienced rider.

The pony is highly responsive and well schooled, therefore is ridden from the leg and seat in a snaffle at all times. A sort of schoolmaster in some respects but way too fast and excitable in others!

I am wondering if there's anything else that I can think to do?

I will get his back checked again myself, just haven't fitted that in yet, but do believe previous owners that they did this, as they gave me the details of the person they used and remarked she will have all his details.

TIA

needastrongone Sun 18-Oct-15 09:54:31

ps - the bucking doesn't bother DD in any way, shape or form, but I wouldn't like to think the pony is in pain.

Tirfarthoin Sun 18-Oct-15 10:03:22

If he is being ridden and vaulted on regularly he should have his back checked regularly - at least every six months probably more. Even more so if his saddle didn't fit well. The back person should be able to give you some techniques to use yourself on him - basic massage things.

Floralnomad Sun 18-Oct-15 10:03:42

Perhaps it's what he does when he's excited , sorry I've nothing intelligent to say but I'm nosey so can I ask what happened to the other pony ( think you had him on loan) and how is the original pony ?

needastrongone Sun 18-Oct-15 11:26:19

Thanks.

Tirfarthoin - As far as I am aware, his back has been checked regularly, and he now has a saddle that does fit correctly. Still did it yesterday! But, yes I could get some tips from the professional.

I am wondering if he is doing it from excitement.

floral Thanks for asking (or being nosey!). Loan pony has now gone to our junior trainers younger daughter. She's a saint to handle on the ground, and as safe as houses, but just was no longer fast enough or responsive enough for DD any longer. I had a heavy heart though, I must admit. Original pony is happily hacking, which probably suits his temperament and injury best.

NHSisfubar Mon 19-Oct-15 12:57:28

If he's had all the regular checks why not try a gel pad to absorb some of the shock if it won't interfere with saddle fit too much or possibly a massage pad put on a short while before work to help warm his muscles up. Does he do it persistently through the session or just near the start before he's had a chance to warm up?

mrslaughan Mon 19-Oct-15 15:18:34

If the saddle is newly fitted, I would give it some time. When we bought dpony we noticed she would go around head in the air and to one side, got the dentist out, she had some really sharp edges, it took a good couple of weeks for her to start changing her head carriage, and a good several months for her to start carrying her head normally......so it could be anticipated pain.
Having said that , I would have an equine physio or osteopath out to check yours over as well as having checked the saddle - we did that and discovered because of the way she was going to avoid pain in her mouth she was crooked and uneven in her body - one treatment , and following a riding plan ( lots of hacking in walk, in straight lines , up and down hill to make her use her body correctly and to build up the right muscles) she is fab......it doesn't have to be a long winded thing.

And having said all that , I was just talking to a horse professional, that does a lot of breaking and re schooling, his comment was that it us almost impossible to train a horse out if excitement bucking.......

needastrongone Tue 20-Oct-15 10:10:45

NHS There is a gel pad under the saddle already. A massage pad might help. No, he does it intermittently, no pattern. He might not buck the whole session, then buck 3 times in one session, mainly fly bucks rather than full on 'I am going to get you off' bucks. Generally though, the vaulting races will be practised at least half way through, so he is well warmed up by then.

mrslaughlan Agreed, he also needs to shape up more than he has done already. I am definitely going to get my own back specialist out, but went down the saddle route first, given I knew he had regular back checks and still bucked. I could easily have done the back first if I hadn't known this.

My gut is excitement, but the other half of me considers that there must be a reason for the bucking. Goodness knows why, nothing is often logical with horses grin

Girlwithnoname1 Wed 21-Oct-15 22:09:38

I'd be inclined to agree it's excitement- especially if he only does it for this particular activity

It could well be that it's the memory of pain, or unlikely but possibly deep tissue inflammation , however you'd expect him to present more 'cold backed' if this was the case.

Sounds like you're doing all the right things & your DC is having a great time :-)

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