Everyone needs to learn to ride a buck!

Published 04-03-2012 1:01 PM | Fernanda Camargo

A group of us met a few weeks ago to go over the accidents that riders have reported to Saddle Up Safely.

As we read time after time reports of people that had been bucked off their horse, we realized that no every rider knows how to ride a buck.

Although there are some bucks that are what I call "ejection", many bucks are just crow hops that take people by surprise and they end up on the dirt. Every horse, even the most broke ones, can eventually buck, for a variety of reasons.... from feeling good about themselves, to feeling pain when required to perform a maneuver.... and everything in between. Whatever the reason, every rider should be prepared to ride a buck.

When learning how to ride, it is imperative to learn balance. There are many equitation exercises that teach riders to achieve balance. Once a rider has balance, he or she has an independent seat, and should be able to accommodate a buck or a rear here and there.

A broke horse, without ill intentions, will most likely buck once or twice and let it go. They generally go on a bucking spree if the rider loses balance and clamps their legs/heels/spurs, or feels weird on their backs that the horses simply have to get rid of them.

Connie Jehlik, from our safety partner United States Pony Clubs, said that she feels a rider learns how to ride a buck if they also know how to jump. You don't need to be a grand-prix jumper, even doing cavaletti exercises or cross-rails can help your balance. After giving some thought, I had to agree with her. Flat work may do wonders for you and your horse, but there's nothing like a little jump here and there to help your body get accustomed with the bucking movement. Just a thought!

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