2 Simple Tips To Help You Stay on a Bucking Horse

tipsThe most important thing to know when you find yourself riding a horse with a sudden desire to kick his heels up is that there are two main rules that will help keep you safe:

RULE #1: Heads Up!
Both of you: horse and rider. When your head and eyes go down so will your upper body, and you’ll find yourself just where you were looking—on the ground! As for your horse, he won’t be able to buck when his head is up. Keep his poll at the highest point, period. No excuses. Use whatever means necessary.

RULE #2:
Go Forward!
Ninety-nine percent of buckers are bucking to get out of work, and a horse is better able to buck when he is behind your leg. The moment your horse even thinks about responding sluggishly off your leg, you must get after him. This means, add your leg lightly. When he doesn’t respond as he should, ask again with the same light force, and then decisively use your whip behind your leg.

Excerpted form Doug Payne’s Book The Riding Horse Repair Manual


  1. My gelding (just turned 10) had his first day under saddle. I purchased him last fall as a green broke horse. So I decided to restart him with walk, trot, etc. When he canters he runs. So I have been working him and he has begun to canter. So, I decided to move him along and put a saddle on him while I free lunged him. He was fine at the walk and trot. When I asked him to canter, he started bucking. So I kept him moving forward at a canter. When he stopped bucking, I had him continue at the canter around the pen before asking for a trot and then walk. He worked at the canter until I could ask him to canter and he did not buck, but he was running rather than cantering. I plan to continue working him in the round pen under tack (saddle and bridle without reins attached) until he slows down and canters. Hopefully, it should not take too long to accomplish this.

Share Your Thoughts…