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What to do when your horse bucks.

A bucking horse can be a surprising, scary experience. But there are a few rules that can help you keep control.

The two most important things to remember are:

  • Try to keep your horse’s head up.

A horse can only buck when it has its head down.

  • Try to keep moving forward.

Bucking requires a horse to stop and plant their front legs into the ground. Moving forward prevents this.

A combination of these two things can often stop a horse from bucking.

It’s important to learn the indicators that your horse it about to buck so you can employ these two tactics.

What else do I need to remember?

Stay calm.

Horses buck for a number of reasons, but it always indicates an irritable or fearful mood. Your main goal is to calm your horse down, so you need to be calm too.

The Last Resort Method.

If you aren’t able to stop the buck with forward movement and head-lifting, you can pull your horse’s head to the side so it comes close to your leg.

This will make it difficult for your horse to buck. It isn’t ideal for the horse, but it can help control severe bucking. Hold that position until your horse has stopped, then swap to the other side.


Dismount if it’s necessary, but try not to run away when you’re off, as that may scare the horse more.


Are there different kinds of bucking?

Sometimes a horse will buck because it has been spooked, in which case you may be able to lower your centre of gravity (heels down) and ride it out. Talk to your horse and try to make them feel comfortable and safe.

Bucking Dressage Horse

To find out how much it costs to build an indoor arena, read our article.

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