Crow Hopper's Big Guide to Buck Stopping by Keith Hosman - Read Online
Crow Hopper's Big Guide to Buck Stopping
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Control: Either you have it--or you don't.

Two words, "Either Or," are particularly appropriate when describing, owning, and handling the majority of horses that buck. Either they do it because they're scared or because they're defiant. Either you're the type of person who takes on the challenge with a gleam in your eye or you have a bad stomach over the very idea. Either your barn friends think you should sell the animal because they feel embarrassed for you and your odd excuses for why you exercise it via hand walks and turnout and never a ride on the trail -- or they're pretty sure you don't realize the risk you take each time you hop aboard and they're considering an equestrian intervention.

And either you've got a plan to fix it--or you do not.

Make that "did not." "Did not have a plan." Because now you do. You've got this guide and so you've got a plan and with it a solution.

This book falls into 4 sections:

Section I: Learn the ground work required to begin snuffing out this deep-rooted issue. Given that "you ride the horse you lead," you'll begin your fix with your feet planted safely on terra firma. You'll gain confidence and control.

Section II: Learn to see a buck coming and what to do if it happens, then get back in the saddle for exercises designed to put you in charge and prevent future problems.

Section III: Perform exercises geared to address immediate and specific bucking issues: Bucking into the canter, how to deal with your fear, crossing obstacles, the horse that crow hops when first introduced to the saddle.

Section IV: Training appropriate for every horse and rider--and a must for those schooling the bucking horse.

Your horse isn't going to buck if you have control. Your task, then, becomes gaining that control, understanding when you have it, knowing when you don't, working to get it.

Contents:

Section I
Ground Training

- When You Really Lose It
If your horse went ballistic last week, it didn't just "happen." Spot the signals.

- Where I'd Start
Bucking horse owners, here's something you can do with your horse that advances his training, is low risk, and fun.

- Whoever Moves First, Loses (Or, "How to Get Respect")
Secure your rightful spot as leader in your herd of two.

- Bridle Work from the Ground
Develop control over your horse's individual body parts and gain respect

- Reverse of Respect
Backing your horse is an excellent way to affirm (or establish) your position as leader

- Lungeing a Horse for Added Control
With added training for the bucking horse, here is the how, when, and why of lunge-line training

Section II
Fixes from the saddle and preventative medicine

- Your Individual Prescription
- Ride Where You Can, Not Where You Can't
- Core Exercises (Introduced)
- Despooking: Scary Things
- Despooking: Scary Moments
- Getting Back On: What to Do If the Horse Bucks
- Hip Control
- Classic Serpentine
- Softening
- Calm Down Now: Drop Your Horse's Head on Command
- Speed Control for Mind Control
- Slow Down, Part I: Move the Hip
- Slow Down, Part II: Train the Brain
- Horses That Don't Wanna Go Where You Wanna Go
- Shoulder Control
- Train Your Horse to Travel Straight

Section III
Questions answered: Specific and immediate fixes for the bucking horse owner

- Horses that Buck When First Introduced to the Saddle
- How Can I Overcome My Fear After Being Bucked Off?
- My horse wants to buck or crow hop when going from a trot to a canter.
- Crossing Creeks and Scary Stuff

Section IV
Training for every horse and rider--and a must for those schooling the bucking horse

- Each Time You Mount Up, Do This First
- How to Pick Up Your Reins Like a Pro
- Training Magic: Release on the Thought
- Reins Tell Direction, Legs Tell Speed
- Talking Horse

Published: Keith Hosman on
ISBN: 9781301131990
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Crow Hopper's

Big Guide to Buck Stopping

Put an End to Your Horse's Bucking Fits

By John Lyons Certified Trainer Keith Hosman

Copyright

Crow Hopper's Big Guide to Buck Stopping By Keith Hosman

Copyright(C) 2014 Keith Hosman

ISBN: 9781301131990, Smashwords Edition

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.  This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.  If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient.  If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy.  Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Please note:  The information appearing in this publication is presented for educational purposes only.  In no case shall the publishers or authors be held responsible for any use readers may choose to make, or not to make, of this information. 

Keith Hosman

horsemanship101.com

PO Box 31

Utopia, TX  78884  USA

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Tips for Success

Section I

When You Really Lose It

Where I'd Start

Whoever Moves First, Loses (Or, How to Get Respect)

Bridle Work from the Ground

Reverse of Respect

Lungeing a Horse for Added Control

Section II

Your Individual Prescription

Ride Where You Can, Not Where You Can't

Core Exercises

Desensitizing: Scary Things

Despooking: Scary Moments

Getting Back On: What to Do If the Horse Bucks

Hip Control

Classic Serpentine

Softening

Calm Down Now: Drop Your Horse's Head on Command

Speed Control for Mind Control

Slow Down, Part I: Move the Hip

Slow Down, Part II: Train the Brain

Horses That Don't Wanna Go Where You Wanna Go

Shoulder Control

Train Your Horse to Travel Straight

Section III

Horses that Buck When First Introduced to the Saddle

How Can I Overcome My Fear After Being Bucked Off?

My Horse Wants to Buck When Going from a Trot to a Canter

Crossing Creeks and Scary Stuff

Section IV

Each Time You Mount Up, Do This First

How to Pick Up Your Reins Like a Pro

Reins Tell Direction, Legs Tell Speed

Talking Horse

Perfect the First Time

How Do I Keep My Horse's Attention?

Is the Cinch Strap Causing the Trouble?

Is My Horse Hard to Train... Because of His Feet?

The Sours: Buddy and Barney

Books By and From This Author

Meet the Author: Keith Hosman

Preface

Control:  Either you have it—or you don't.

Two words, Either Or, are particularly appropriate when describing, owning, and handling the great majority of horses that buck.  Either they do it because they're scared or because they're defiant.  Either you're the type of person who takes on the challenge with a gleam in your eye or you have a bad stomach over the very idea.  Either your barn friends think you should sell the animal because they feel embarrassed for you and your odd excuses for why you exercise it via hand walks and turnout and never a ride on the trail—or they're pretty sure you don't realize the risk you take each time you hop aboard and they're considering an equestrian intervention.

And either you've got a plan to fix it—or you do not.

Make that did not.  Did not have a plan.  Because now you do.  You've got this guide and so you've got a plan and with it a solution. 

This book, Crow Hopper's Big Guide to Buck Stopping, falls into four sections:

Section I:  Learn the ground work required to begin snuffing out this deep-rooted issue.  Given that you ride the horse you lead, you'll begin your fix with your feet planted safely on terra firma.  You'll gain confidence—and control.

Section II:  Learn to see a buck coming and what to do if it happens, then get back in the saddle for exercise after exercise designed to put you in charge and prevent future problems.

Section III:  Perform exercises geared to address immediate and specific bucking issues:  Bucking into the canter, how to deal with your own fear, crossing obstacles, the horse that crow hops when first introduced to the saddle.

Section IV:  Training appropriate for every horse and rider—and an absolute must for those schooling the bucking horse.  (See the Table of Contents for a complete listing.)

Your horse isn't going to buck if you have control.  Your task, then, becomes gaining that control, understanding when you have it, knowing when you don't, working to get it. 

Good luck in your training!

Keith Hosman

John Lyons Certified Trainer

Utopia, Texas USA

Introduction

Bucking is not something you get rid of by applying Simple Solution A or B. It's a long row to hoe because there's rarely some single glaring reason why your horse does what it does and because your job isn't so much to teach the horse not to buck, but to gain the control you need to immediately make it stop doing one thing by purposefully causing it to do another—this from an animal that may today see you as a doormat and/or turns inside out at the very sight of a plastic bag.

Your first step toward change begins with you promising yourself that you will never again climb aboard any horse when you think there's a decent chance that it might buck. Your horse, somebody else's horse, any horse. You don't want to take your chances, you don't want to say to yourself that you'll outlast him and show him who's boss or that you've lived through it before so it's okay—you keep your feet on the ground. (If professional rodeo cowboys don't ride the buck off the horses you see there at the show, horses that have bucked a thousand times, you're not going to cure your horse by merely staying on either. You gotta retrain the brain.) In the case of your own horse, this means that you take a pass on riding today and spend your time doing everything you can from a position of safety, working to turn around his thinking and gain control.

Turn around his thinking and gain control. How? And why from the ground?

Because if your horse is bucking, then he's obviously not listening to your requests (to turn a specific way, to drop its head, to go forward or back, to stand still...) and so needs schooling on these things and much of what you'll do on the ground mimics exactly what you'll later be asking from his back. More, it gives you a chance (again, from relative safety), to many times over get the horse to place its feet how, when, and where you ask. Combined, those many repetitions make a change in his brain, flipping his first response from I'm not gonna to Sure, no problem.

Right now, you get knee-jerk reactions and it doesn't take much of a catalyst to cause an explosion. You nag the horse to slow down repeatedly, another horse lopes past—and suddenly you got a rodeo. Your every request is met with no out of pure, nonsensical habit. You say down, he says up. You say walk he says not gonna budge. There's no thought involved; it's just practiced behavior in the case of a horse that's used to having its way, or inherent behavior in the case of a youngster or a spooked horse. Yes? No! What are we arguing about? I don't know!

If horses more often than not buck for one of two reasons, fear or defiance (or its close cousin, frustration), then discerning which will help us choose our training path. The contrarian described in the preceding paragraph needs to practice agreeing you, (whether that means walking forward when asked, or standing still or dropping his head or whatever) while the horse that bucks out of fear, needs to learn to deal with his spookiness, changing his first thought from RUN! to something akin to stay put. Most buckers are a combo platter of both types and you'll likely want to practice a wide variety of exercises.

Regardless of which type of horse you ride, your fix requires that you figure out what specific control (or power) you need over your horse to prevent the next instance. Think back to the last time he threw a fit. If you could put a button on the saddle and pushing it would make the horse stop doing something and start doing something else, what would that thing be? If the two of you got into a fight over whether he was going to run or walk, for instance, pushing your button might make him walk off obligingly—without the hump in his back. If you clashed because you wanted to ride away from the gate, you'd want a button that would cause your horse to smoothly turn away without hesitation. If a waving flag set your horse off, a push of the button would enable the horse to deal with his fear and plant his feet. Well, we may not actually be installing any buttons, but you will, in fact, get the same control when you work on speed control (and with it comes emotional control), bettering your turns, and your horse's ability to deal with fear. Of course, you don't just fix these things; you go back and super-practice lots of training basics, but knowing now where the gaping holes in your training are will keep your efforts focused and you'll know what to particularly emphasize in your own training regimen.

You can get this done. Put in the thought and the hours and you will eventually expose the potential you know is in your horse. But always remember, you will need to consciously make some big changes yourself during this process because your horse isn't going to change... not ever... if the person doing the training doesn't first make a change. That's obvious, isn't it? Do tomorrow what you did today and you can't expect things to be better or different. Success in this respect is straightforward, though, when you make the effort and practice to perfection the material presented here as written, paying particular attention to any points or goals especially emphasized.

Tips for Success

A few pointers before diving in

• Always work to make sure that your horse is calmer at the end of your training session than at the beginning. His brain is going to shut down if he gets too worked up, so if you see it stressing, back off. If his head was carried low three minutes ago but now it's up in the air, his behavior is telling you that the solution your after is not as obvious as you might think. Break your session into more steps. This rule of thumb will keep you on track and guarantee that the time you spent is well-invested.

• Don't get overly-confident if you've managed to go a few months without a dust up. Stay alert and proactive. Horses can throw a bucking fit for a good year after their first saddling and any time during their lives if allowed to have their way too awfully many times. On the plus side, however, they do tend to signal that a revolt is brewing for some period of time before they try something, (insisting on a faster speed than you'd like, stalling out and refusing to take a step, jumping straight up at the bark of a dog, etc.). With this in mind, learn to spot these infractions for what they are and make a personal promise to keep your horse on the straight and narrow from today forward; stay a step ahead and insist that no violation (disrespect or ignoring of cues) be tolerated. (See The First Thing I'd Do and Scared of My Horse for more on this.)

• Not every horse is meant for every person in every situation. It's not that each can't be trained for a variety of tasks, it's that some are more easily trained for certain things than others. Just as some dogs would rather guard a yard then have their ears tugged on, some horses are more easily bomb-proofed and made ready for the parade grounds. Some can be re-programmed in a few days to quit their crow hopping, others need this book three times over. Your success depends on the nature of your horse, the amount of work you put in—and how many corners you don't cut. Considering your resources and level of commitment, deciding that this isn't the horse for you might be worth consideration.

• If, during the course of your training, you feel that your horse has become unsafe... get off. Walk the horse and fall back to a point in your training (such as bridle work on the ground) where you feel reasonably secure and to a point where your horse was getting it. There's no shame in being smart. Your horse didn't get one over on you and you'll save a trip to the E.R. See this as a good thing: You've been shown what to work on.

• Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet.

• When it comes to your safety, it doesn't matter who's wrong or right or what should be. Your safety is your responsibility. It might be natural, warranted and easy to get mad at the goof that charges past you on the trail when you're riding a jiggy horse—but that's not going to keep you safe. You can't count on other people to know your situation so that means it falls to you to get your horse good and broke before venturing into questionable places and situations. And until you get that done, don't place yourself or your horse into circumstances where you're asking for trouble.

• The way to get your horse’s attention is to improve his performance. That means that if you concentrate on asking your horse to step more lightly to the left or move a back leg to the right or soften and drop his head to x-height... anything specific, you’ll find that your horse hands you more of his attention as he gets better at any of those things.

• Just because we're tired of teaching something doesn't mean the horse has learned it. Your horse will go through a learning cycle with every new thing you teach. First he doesn't know it, then he starts doing it, then suddenly he's lousy again, then he's a little better—and finally, he's really good at it. Don't start doubting yourself as your horse enters the stage where it was getting it, but now it's not. Your horse is in the process of learning what to do and what not to do—even by the mistakes it makes. If you find that your horse will do something correctly one minute and not the next (or today and not tomorrow), then your horse hasn't been schooled through to the stage where this thing is fully learned—meaning, you need to keep doing what you're doing. (Changing things drastically midstream confuses your horse.) It can be a challenge, but you must put in the time and keep consistent until your horse advances to that final learned stage.

• Fun trips on the trail, where you chill with your buddies, must be put off until your horse has been fully re-trained. Only you can determine when that moment arrives. And, at the risk of your health, be honest in your estimation. Remember, you earn the right to be on those laid-back trips with all the hard work you do in the days preceding.

• Every exercise in this book requires that you concentrate fully every second you ride, so ride only as long as you can focus on improvement. You'll get far more out of twenty minutes spent on consistent, smart training than you will in two hours of riding about without direction. Turn the cell phone off, don't stop to chat, think about your horse and the immediate task at hand. Make it your mission every day to make something, anything one percent better, (at the very least).

• Whether we're riding, leading, or feeding our horses they are becoming sensitized or desensitized to us constantly. The horse that won't move forward has learned to ignore our kicks. Kick a young horse one time and he'll jump over the moon. Allow your horse to step all over you and soon your requests mean nothing. Manhandle your horse and you make it jumpy. Who'd want to ride either? One's too dull, the other too sharp. We must, as trainers, be aware that training is a balancing act. We must continually ask Which direction does this horse need to be coaxed? Towards sensitivity—or away from it? This is especially important to bear in mind when re-training the bucking horse because some buck due to an oversensitivity (the spooky horse, for instance), while others buck because they've learned to override our requests. (And sometimes it's a mixture of the two.) This book details fixes for both types and situations—but you must judge your horse for yourself, adding and subtracting from the instructions you'll find.

• Know that some horses (maybe yours, maybe not yours) are going to breeze through their training—others won't. But you love your horse, right? So when safety's concerned, what difference does it make if you can ride safely past a flag or tarp or braying stud today or next month? If you enjoy riding and spending time hanging out with your horse anyway, then spend the time doing exercises designed to gain control—in a spot best suited for the both of you on that day—and you'll be out there in no time.

• While there is a technical difference between bucking and crow hopping, they will be treated interchangeably here in this text. The fix for both is the same. (Bucking is when the front feet stay on the ground while the back feet kick up; crow hopping is when all four feet come off the ground