How To Stop A Horse From Bucking

December 13, 2022
How To Stop A Horse From Bucking

There aren’t many horses that buck out of spite. When you initially start out, an odd buck can just be the horse’s high spirits, nothing to fret about. The first step is to identify the cause of the horse’s bucking. Once that is done, you can start doing different things to help stop your horse from bucking.

A horse that is rearing or bucking is essentially shouting at you. Irate horses are attempting to communicate. The key to understanding them is to have empathy and language proficiency. You’ll need a trainer if you do not feel confident in this area of expertise. Many horses that develop this terrible habit wind up being sold at auction.

Here’s how to stop a horse from bucking.

  1. Inspect The Tack
  2. Check For Injuries
  3. Ensure The Horse Is The Correct Size For The Rider
  4. Ensure The Horse Has A Decent Rider
  5. Switch Up The Training
  6. Frequently Ride Your Horse
  7. Strengthen The Horse’s Back Muscles
  8. Control Your Fear When A Horse Bucks
  9. Give The Horse Good Feed
  10. Circle The Horse

1. Give The Horse A Tack That Fits Properly

It is imperative to first inspect the tack if this is your horse and it suddenly begins to buck. Does there happen to be a pinch between the saddle ride and a horse’s back where the saddle is improperly applied?

Make sure the horse’s tack fits him properly. There should be no uncomfortable patches or rubbing underneath the saddle, and the bit should be the right size, not pinch. Change to a D-ring if you are currently using an O-ring bit since it can twist and pinch the edges of the mouth.

A saddle that is not properly set or positioned, a girth that is too loosely adjusted, etc., will also cause a horse to buck. The horse may buck if the saddle slides back too far on its back. Ensure the saddle is adjusted to the horse correctly and there’s enough cushioning. Tree width is suitable. Use a soft bit for English or dressage riders, such as a D-ring or eggbutt snaffle.

As mentioned above, O-rings may move and nip at their lips. Irrespective of your riding style, your horse isn’t adequately broken in if you have to wear a severe bit. Verify that the footing is sound. The horse may find it challenging to maneuver in if the footing is excessively deep or grabby.

2. Check That Your Horse Isn’t Injured In Some Way

Check whether your horse has any injuries. Simply dismount and lounge the horse to observe its movements. Suppose the horse seems off or is hitching. In that case, this could signify various problems, including tendon problems, spine, hip, or hock problems.

A horse may even try to throw its rider if it has a foot problem. A stone bruising, which produces severe agony and an abscess, can be caused by taking a quick step in the incorrect direction on a pebble. If a horse you ride seems a little strange and continues to try to buck you off, check its feet.

It’s astonishing how long a devoted horse will endure suffering before finally giving in. your horse is in pain if they routinely buck. Have your veterinarian thoroughly examine your horse to rule out whatever pain or injury the horse may have. This includes the neck, back, suspensory ligaments, stifle, and wolf teeth.

3. Ensure The Horse Is The Correct Size For The Rider

Many people think you can simply jump on any horse and go for a ride. However, there are certain things to take into account. For example, one’s height and weight play a role in what size horse one can ride.

Suppose you are a 6-foot-tall man, but you are attempting to ride a 15.1-hand horse. In that case, the horse has every right to buck. Not all horses can support all riders. Make sure the horse is the right size for the rider.

4. Ensure That Horses Have Appropriate Riders

A horse might not be very understanding if there is a beginner and or unsteady rider in the saddle. Particularly if the rider is flopping, bouncing, or bracing themselves with the reins. The rider’s sloppiness could be upsetting the animal. Legs landing too far back into the horse’s flanks, hindquarters, or loose legs, are often observed on sloppy riders to goose the horse and can result in bucking.

All things considered, the horse can be too much of itself for the rider. It can very well be a formula for catastrophe to seat a weak, bewildered, uncoordinated rookie on a hypersensitive horse that is accustomed to a rider with considerably more command and knowledge of what their limbs are doing.

However, remember that there are many levels of newbie. For instance, even seasoned riders sincerely doubt they could mount an Olympic show jumper without rapidly finding themselves face-down in the dirt. Simply said, these horses need better riders.

You might need to look for a friendly school horse to ride until you get more stability. Ensure the rider is stable and not trying to support themselves by gripping the horse’s mouth. Some horses can’t stand it when a new rider falls off balance and repeatedly flops around or hits them in the mouth. Ask yourself if the horse ids skilled to carry out your request and if the conditioning is up to par.

5. Switch Up The Horses Training

A horse can typically be untrained and inexperienced. A horse generally needs numerous years of training to calm down and become accustomed to the motions of a rider on their back, as well as unfamiliar sights and sounds.

When it comes to training, take into account how hard you are pushing your horse. Bucking could be a sign of displeasure. Make an effort to make the rides fun and engaging for the horse. If you can, mix things up by taking them on a brief trail ride with other horses, occasionally adding a few Caviletti or low jumps, and concentrating on getting them to go forward off the leg.

To clear the yahoos out of a young horse before riding, you may need to lounge him a little. When you’re warming up some horses, they’ll just chuck in a few bucks; provided they don’t topple you, simply go with it.

You must concentrate on the training and the bond between the horse and the rider if the physical cause is ruled out. Develop your relationship and establish trust by laying the foundation. You should be aware that using punishment, striking, yelling, etc., won’t break a horse from bucking.

Training or retraining can require much more patience and time if the horse was already abused as a result of its bucking or is now bucking as a result of past abuse by its rider. You might find it beneficial to obtain the aid of a trained trainer to guide you through this.

6. You Must Frequently Ride Your Horse

Too little time is spent riding. A lot of times, too concentrated feed is given, such as grains, etc., leaving the horse with too much-unreleased energy. Horses cannot be neglected till it is convenient to take them for a ride, unlike sporting automobiles.

It’s possible that the horse simply needs a lot of exercise and movement. Many horses require being on a program, which entails daily riding, whether once a day or several times per week. They typically do well in more strenuous riding activities since they enjoy movement and challenges.

It would be better to compete in competitive eventing where trainers look for horses with lots of enthusiasm. Many horses aren’t good domestic horses, and when they’re not in a concentrated program, they just aren’t happy. If it’s an issue when riding after some time, lounge the horse for a while before mounting to give it a chance to vent.

7. Strengthen The Back Muscles Of A Horse

Is the horse’s top line strong? This is if the horse has depressions along both sides of its backbone. Horses ought to have enough muscle to have a back filled out. A horse will need better conditioning to develop the muscles necessary to sustain a rider on its back.

The horse may buck because of a weakening in his back muscles. Many horses with a persistent bucking issue have not only really weak muscles but also very poor back conformation. This would be their structure and form. If there is a significant problem here, it might not be fixable. But in most cases, back muscle strengthening is quite helpful but not an immediate fix.

8. Control Your Fear Or Reactions When A Horse Acts Out

Interestingly, a few horses have developed the ability to perceive their rider’s fear. Many riders are forced to dismount out of terror when even the smallest rear lift exists. Whenever a horse becomes aware of the rider’s trigger, it will press it to avoid having to exercise. That is conditioning.

The remainder is conditioning and modifications once injury and pain have been addressed. A horse is conscious of the limitations of the rider. So, for instance, if a weak or frightened rider convinces their horse to leave the stable, but the animal balks at a familiar object, like a shrub, a few feet away, the horse may eventually veer, decide to lose its rider, and return to the stable.

9. Provide Adequate Management And Feeding For A Horse

The horse’s management and feeding practices may be to blame. Many horses receive an excessively rich diet and insufficient exercise. Therefore, they will buck out of pure excitement and ecstasy. Horses are frequently really goofy and have a very youthful nature. When one is foolish, the others all imitate it.

Horses can be springy, incredibly distracted, and silly, notably on very cold winter days. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that they may buck uncharacteristically or have some sort of outburst. Juvenile horses might not be as satisfied with one of these outbursts as older trained horses are. When this happens, it’s imperative to ensure that you avoid excessively rich foods and intensify training.

10. Circle Your Horse To Get It To Stop Bucking

Try stopping your horse on only one rein if you notice that they buck when you stop them. How to do it: Sit down, exclaim ‘whoa,’ and raise one rein upward and outward until your horse circles your inside leg. Upon going around the circle numerous times, sit down, exclaim ‘whoa’ again, and abruptly ease the pressure on the reins.

Most likely, it will stop. If not, simply tighten your reins and circle the horse once again. It’ll probably stop when it has another chance to do so. You can use the same circling tactic if your horse bucks for amusement. Use only one rein to raise and turn its head to one side as the horse ducks its head to buck.

In that posture, they will be unable to buck, so you can send it around a circle for a couple turns, halt the horse, and praise it for its good circle and stop. The horse finds it difficult to circle in that way. If every time your horse bucks, it has to use a lot of effort to circle your inside leg, the horse will soon determine that it’s not worth it.


Similar to other things that a horse may do, various riders have diverse ideas on stopping bucking. However, there are surefire ways to ensure that any horse stops bucking, so you don’t have to worry about getting thrown off. As with most things, finding the root of the problem should be the first step.

Therefore, you must discover the cause of the bucking. Relieve the pain if that is the cause. It will take time and training to figure out if he’s just being mischievous or too spirited. You might have to go back and focus on the foundational training if it’s still a juvenile. Obtain knowledgeable assistance if you haven’t dealt with this previously.



I'm Bo, the owner of Smarter Horse. Helping horses be smarter by educating their people.  To find out more about me, click here

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