My friend and fellow barrel racer recommended I post this on here so I could get some feedback and helpful tips and suggestions. I am not posting this so that people can tell me to sell her. If I wanted to sell her I would not be posting this on here. I am looking for solutions so if you have any helpful ideas I would really appreciate them
So here it goes.......
I bought a new barrel prospect in Sept/Oct 2008 and was sure to ask about the horse's history, etc. The previous owner said that because she (horse) has "gasohol" breeding and is bred to run, I should be sure to lunge her before I ride her if I have left her unrode for a week but not to worry about lunging every time if I ride frequently. She guarenteed me that the mare has never bucked on her before...she will be 6 in August 2009. I lunged her anyway...every day when I first got her home and boarded her in an indoor arena so I can ride her 6x a week to get training in. INCIDENT #1 -
Training was going really great but I had a run in with another one of my horses where I got injured and couldnt ride her for a week. When I came back to ride her, I lunged her very breifly for about a minute or so in another arena before I brought her over to my friend/trainer, and my trainer said not to worry and just hopped on her. I told her that the previous owner said we should lunge her for a while 1st but my trainer/friend decided to hop on her becasue we did not think this "broke horse" would buck...since the previous owner said she has never bucked before. Before she even had her 2nd leg in the stirrup the mare took off on her and started bucking..uncontrolably...not even a little...A LOT... she took her from about 1 end of the HUGE arena to the other. She had her head up in such a way that the trainer could not get her head around and eventually has to bail off...just barely dodging getting kicked in the head on the way down...she landed hard and I felt really bad that she got injured from my horse. We didnt know what triggered her and could only think that it was maybe from not lunging her since she wasn't rode for a week before that. Immediately after the incident, we took her and lunged her hard to let her know that was not acceptable and so that she didnt develop the habit of thinking this kind of behavior was "ok".
Since that, I really focused on lunging her everytime before I rode her and she was good for about a month...INCIDENT #2 -
I was practicing the barrel pattern with her...loping it at a comfortable slower lope and warmed her up 1st, then took her to the pattern and began loping. The first time was ok and so I added a bit more speed to the 2nd run but still went at a slow lope...everything was good, her lead changes, etc... Then coming off the 3rd, she came off really wide even though she had a nice pocket going in so I used my outside leg to push her hip into the barrel and I felt what I thought was a huge push...(which Iater found out was actually a huge buck) then about 2 strides then she busted out into an uncontrolable buck. It all happened so fast and again...she braced up to where I could not get her head down and around to one side...all I could think was to try and bail off as far forward as I could becausue I remembered my trainer almost getting kicked. She took me from barrel #3 back to the 1st (right)barrel and finally I bailed off her. My neck STILL hurts and it's been over a month since that happened. My friend/trainer & the barn manager thought I broke my neck because I landed on my chest and my head went to the side. My trainer said I would have to lunge her immediately or get back on her but not to let her just sit there after she bucked me off. I made the decision to get back on and took her in smaller circles loping where I could control her. She was fine afterwards and showed no rigns of resistance.
AND...I checked to see if she was sore anywhere...on her back...or legs and she didnt show any signs of bein sore. About a week later I practiced barrels she tried to buck in the same spot...coming off 3rd...this time I broke her down with 1 rein and stopped her then took her and loped circles with her and made her get underneath herself and work with her back end because she was trying to drag me everywhere with her front end and not engaging her back end.
Since that happened, I really felt like I needed to have MORE control over her so I took her off the Sweet 6 bit and single reins to a Dee Snaffle bit and split reins and really worked more on softening her head and getting her to give to the bit because she has always been a bit pushy on it. Within a week from that I already seen big inmprovements and kept on it for about 2.5 weeks then switched back to the sweet six bit and single reins and worked at softening her with that...and she got WAY better. I also had never wore spurs on her before or whipped on her (her previous owner had) so I went and got some bumper spurs with 2 small rollers on each and that really helped.INCIDENT #3 - HAPPENED YESTERDAY AT A JACKPOT -
About a month (again) after she bucked I took her to yesterday's barrel jackpot and felt really good about where she was in training...she ran great and really let me put her where I wanted her. I started warming her up in the spare arena and loping in slow comfortable circles but she wasnt really using her back end so I took her into a smaller circle and made her work with her back end...she did it immediatly and I took her out back into the big circle..then I went to go straight and when I went to turn her back into a circle, she resisted and out of nowhere with NO signs, she started bucking (the other girls warming up their horses could do nothing but watch and yell for me to bring her head to one side but I was so focused that my left foot was caught in the stirrup... and she was bracing with her head pinned up in such a position where I could not get control of her head..when I managed to get my foot out of the stirrup I bailed off because we were headed for the metal fence and I landed on one of the practice barrels...thank god that I had my pop up barrels (collapsable nylon type barrels) out because I would be way more injured if it were metal or plastic. I had the wind knocked out of me and from my back of my left knee to my butt...it is bruised purple and blue...very badly. I took her over to the round pen that was set up in the arena and lunded her immediatly and she was even bucking in there and not paying any attention to my cues to change leads...turning her butt to me and just being disrespectful...after about 20 minutes of being worked she came around and turned back into her usual calm and collected self. So I took her out and just tried to ger her relaxed and calm. I did go on to do my 2 barrel runs but really held her back and went VERY slow...the crappiest time I've ever ran, just focused on getting her leads right and getting her listening; to me that was more important.
BASICALLY I JUST need some sort of advice of what I should do... It really appears to be more of a respect thing and she is an overall GREAT horse. In training, she will do what I ask, change leads, turn on her back and front end, and knows the pattern. How do you get a horse to stop bucking when you dont know why they are doing it in the 1st place and it comes out of nowhere! Does anyone have ANY ideas...or know of ANYONE who could help to fix this problem...trainers, etc...? ANY input would be SO helpful. The old owner will not return my emails. I just want to have fun barrel racing and not be worried that my horse could snap at any time. She is a young horse (5yrs) with amazing breeding and the hugest heart I just dont know where this comes from. I use a Charmayne James SMx Barrel Racing Cinch (neoprene) and it was suggested to me to change it so I will now).
I've heard that some people have problems with GASOHOL BRED horses bucking...does anyone know of anyone in specific who has experience training with this particular breed of horses?
Again I'm not planning on selling her and want to explore options to help her and get her trained right. It might sound stubborn but I like a challenge and am not willing to just give up on this horse beacuse I know somewhere down there she has the potential to be great...and not buck.