Loping bouncing problem?

How can I stop butt bouncing in the saddle?

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Madio

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Nov 14, 2015
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Hey guys! Hopefully some of you can help me because im facing a problem. I am a semi advanced barrel western horse rider and I have been riding for about 3-4 years. I have recently encountered a problem with my new lease horse with loping, and I have had this thing of bouncing out of my saddle when she starts loping. Basically every time she picks up the lope, by behind flies out of the saddle, and as much as I relax and try to keep it there, it flings me out. The biggest cause to this problem is having an awkward arena (just for the winter) that is only 100-200 feet long so she strides in about three times and I have to slow her down. I have only ridden her at the lope three times and I am still "learning" her rhythm if that makes any sense, she is a quicker loper and in a way I am trying to self train to better ride. I am just re-training myself into barrels, just trying to get more comfortrable with the lope with circles and what not. I only see her once a week, but next time I can ride I am going to try loping without stirrups and attempting to sit down. I would love advice, and thank you!
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Hi welcome :D its difficult to know whats happening without seeing it but I would suggest making sure you are sat right back on your pockets and keeping your lower back soft, we are often tempted to lean forwads to get the horse to speed up and it does nothing for our riding position and balance. Your arena size shouldn't be a problem, a balanced horse can lope a small circle, most round pens are 50 or 60ft and thats enough to lope around comfortably so rather than stop and start set your horse on a nice circle and keep going until you find the rhythm.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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Every horse canters differently - (I ride lots of different RS horses) so it is a question of getting accustomed to the new bouncier rhythm. But you talk about the difficulty of the first stride into the canter. Some horses almost buck into canter if they have physical difficulty - so you need to decide whether that is the case here? And what you can do to help the horse over it.
Or is it that the first stride is out of control because the horse is excited - in which case you need to take control of the energy in that first stride by sitting up a bit and closing your fingers a tiny bit on the reins - tho I dont know enough about Western riding to know how one does that with a Western bridle and saddle. I have only cantered/loped once on a Western horse and was very nervous of doing it, so continually postponed it. - The things I was used to in the UK seemed not to apply. You really need a Western RI to advise you.
 

Madio

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Nov 14, 2015
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Thank you all for replying! Yes I am going to try to lope her in a circle, although she does have a super bouncy canter/lope she does not buck going into it. I believe when I first cue her into a lope, she does get excited and the first stride is way more like a gallop than a lope, but when I try to turn her into a circle or slow her down she ceases and goes into a trot. All I have done with Loping is loping a straight line across the arena to try and get my balance down before I lope her in a circle, but i think next time I ride her I am going to try loping circles. Thank you for all your help!

Also, any advice with a horse who absolutely hates being saddled? She tries to kick and bite me when I saddle her, and it takes me and my dad to calm her down. All I have done when she does those things are either giving her a light (I dont want to say smack because people assume I am hitting her which I am not) tap on her nose, and she immediatly stops biting, then I reward her with good words and petting. But it takes me around ten minutes to actually get the saddle on her because she constantly moves when she sees it. My approach of what I was going to do, was make sure she doesnt see the saddle while one person holds her and distracts her, and the other puts it on her back.. Trust me, she sounds like a total brat but she is an amazing horse when youre in the saddle.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I would say if she rushes into lope, struggles to rate and is difficult to saddle there is a good chance she either has a back problem or the saddle doesn't fit and is causing pain, I would definitely get someone experienced like your trainer to check it before you push her to work through the issue.
 

Madio

New Member
Nov 14, 2015
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Thank you for bringing that point up, I am leasing just from one person at a barn and I do not have a trainer currently, so I am going to check with the owner. I have done everything the exact same from when the Lady came out with me and rode her horse with me, so this is a bit concerning. Could this just be a behavioral problem with the horse being unfamilliar with me?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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It certainly could be her taking advantage of a new rider, I think a talk with the owner to see if its normal behaviour is a great starting point :)
 

Madio

New Member
Nov 14, 2015
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Yes, I agree! It really could be either but I think she is testing my limits for now, I am going to talk with the owner and see if this is a normal thing for her. Also next time I ride I am going to pull out the bareback pad and see if she reacts the same way to it as she does with a saddle, and if she doesnt Ill assume that the saddle might be causing problems. Also, I do not know the history of this horse, so she might have had a bad saddling experience as a "kid" and she never grew out of it. Thank you so much for your help you have helped me narrow this down! I will update you on Tuesday
 
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Spitfire22

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Oct 27, 2020
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Thank you all for replying! Yes I am going to try to lope her in a circle, although she does have a super bouncy canter/lope she does not buck going into it. I believe when I first cue her into a lope, she does get excited and the first stride is way more like a gallop than a lope, but when I try to turn her into a circle or slow her down she ceases and goes into a trot. All I have done with Loping is loping a straight line across the arena to try and get my balance down before I lope her in a circle, but i think next time I ride her I am going to try loping circles. Thank you for all your help!

Also, any advice with a horse who absolutely hates being saddled? She tries to kick and bite me when I saddle her, and it takes me and my dad to calm her down. All I have done when she does those things are either giving her a light (I dont want to say smack because people assume I am hitting her which I am not) tap on her nose, and she immediatly stops biting, then I reward her with good words and petting. But it takes me around ten minutes to actually get the saddle on her because she constantly moves when she sees it. My approach of what I was going to do, was make sure she doesnt see the saddle while one person holds her and distracts her, and the other puts it on her back.. Trust me, she sounds like a total brat but she is an amazing horse when youre in the saddle.
Have you considered that maybe your horse has a bad back that is sore or other chiropractic misalignment. Have your horse checked out by a chiropractor or vet. Maybe your horse is trying to tell you something like it hurts or I'm sore. Don't ride an unsound horse you will only hurt it more.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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If the biting is just a habit, (mine didn't bite when I got him, he just swung sideways at me), then I'd take it slow. Put the saddle on, take it off and reward a good reaction a few times. Then put on and fiddle with the girth, take off and reward. And so in until you can do the girth up without the biting. It didn't take long with mine - I just put the saddle on every time I was in the stable with him. He's fab now - no bad reaction at all.
 
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