Thoughts on posssible reasons


New Member
Jun 25, 2010
This morning I rode my sharers other horse to exercise her. I have done this once before and when I asked for trot she started bucking. We thought this was because she didn't like the bit.


On Wednesday I lunged her and she bucked on going into canter, I persisted and I thought she was OK on the canters after the first couple. So in my mind I had ruled out the bit, saddle or weight of the rider as the cause as she bucked being lunged.

Today I rode her bitless after warming her up with 15mins of lunging in walk and trot. I rode her in walk and trot for another 30mins and with no issues I moved onto a little canter work.

The first canter was fine, a little buck but nothing to worry about, she hadnt been ridden in a while. On the other rein she went into a bucking frenzy :hot: then went on into a bouncy canter. Every canter after that she bucked quite badly. The thing is once I had stopped cantering (I wanted to end the session on a positive note) and was trotting around she actually broke into canter on her own and then started bucking again.

She has been ridden 10 times in the last 6 months so my initial thought was she was acting like a new backed horse and just needs ridden more. While I was sitting at home the phrase kissing spines jumped into my head, having looked it up on the internet I am not sure that the symptoms match. So I thought I should ask here and see if anyone had any ideas.

At the end she was as chilled as the time we started.

Tea and chocy biccy if you made it this far


Jul 14, 2010
If she's to come into regular work I'd get the saddle checked, physio out and teeth checked and if all's fine and she still bucks, consider other causes.

How long has her owner owned her and did she always use to buck when ridden?

It could be something as simple as her finding work difficult as she's not fit enough, or something more sinister like gastric ulcers or as you suggest kissing spines, but if this is a new behaviour I'd be more inclined to go with the simplest solution.

Good luck :)


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2003
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it sounds like a bad back to me, as it sounds like something is making her uncomfortable/hurt. i'd ask the owner to get a back person out (or vet first, then a back person)

(and i dont think a newly backed horse should have any reason for a bucking fit! if my newly backed horse suddenly started broncing i'd get the chiro out sharpish!!)


With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
I would diffo get aback person out but not just a chiro. If the chiro states that all is OK and everything is in place I would then opt for a sports physio as after loads of back people who said there was noting wrong the Sports physio after 10 minutes stated he was a tight mess of knots and bugles. After an hour and a half he looked better and rode like a dream.

He now has them every 3 months as his was holding him self through pain in his hocks and the result was a very tense stressed horse.

just a thought


New Member
Jun 25, 2010
Maya's started doing it on the lunge at the moment. I put it down to her wanting to get back out on the fields!

This is what I think as well. It just suprised me when the phrase KS came to me in an unrelated moment.

I should also mention that during one session of bucks she weaved her way deftly around two other stationary horses and then found herself looking at a pile of jump poles and a mounting block which she also managed to weave in and out of with aplomb. So I don't think she was in blind panic.

History wise I only know that she has managed to unseat her rider once on a hack and get out of work a couple of times by bucking in the past. I am not suprised the riders got off, the thought crossed my mind a couple of times.

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
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I think that you need to rule out any causes of pain, so for me this would mean getting the saddle and back checked out as soon as possible. I wouldn't work her again until you have done this.


New Member
Feb 13, 2011
Lincs/Notts border
Hi, Im new on here, so might have to bear with me... But...

I had a mare who reacted in a similar way when worked in canter (it progressively worsened over time) But she used to buck into canter, or put in an odd few strides once gaining the canter (a longer faster stride - the sort that makes you feel like your about to get bombed off with!). Her canter used to get unbalanced, and this eventually carried through into her faster/medium trot gaits, causing her to break into canter and almost panic, bucking and shooting off. She eventually, once when trotting on the lunge lines, threw herself over backwards (the lines were not tight so it wasn't that she was pulled over) And on numerous occasions hurtled into the fence with no thought for her own safety.
I had a physio/chiropractor/dentist/saddle fitter and farrier check her out...
I was told it was her attitude, but once having her scanned and x-ray'd (Newmarket Vets), it was found that she had Kissing Spine :(

I would really recommend having, firstly, everything checked that could possibly go wrong - tack wise...
And if no improvement don't hesitate to get the vet to check and make sure you put your thoughts across to them (Many will just dismiss it as bad behaviour without looking deeper into it unless your insist, as I found all to well!)

Hope its not as serious as this, but its best to be sure. Good luck! :)


Active Member
Aug 22, 2007
Another sports massage therapist vote over here, they should be able to tell if there is any sore patches, it does sound as though she's in pain somewhere


New Member
Oct 8, 2009
Omg you've all got me panicking now! Some days she's fine but yesterday and today she was being fickle, one minute being all dopey and the next it was bucking away. It's gotten quite deep in the school with the wet rain and people have been jumping in there so I was hoping it was a combination of her unfitness and also her feeling a little too well in her self with the spring owing through.

Also the bucks were aimed in my direction so I'm thinking shes just a little crabby on moving forward (again due to the hard going, fitness) and just sticking her horsey middle finger up at me.


New Member
Feb 13, 2011
Lincs/Notts border
Many horses do go through a 'wild' stage at this time of year, and all of them have their good and bad days. The best course of action would be to closely observe her before completely panic'ing about it.

A few things to look for:
Does she ever canter '***-united'!?
If you see her canter off down the field, does she favour a certain leg to canter on?
Also if cantering loose in the field, is she crooked at all (her front end taking one track and her hind on another) ?
Does she hold her tail to one side more than the other?

(These are all things you can look at which will give you signs of any spinal disruption, or pelvic changes.)

It might be helpful to write a bit of a log, putting certain behaviours in it, Both good and bad to help you piece together her symptoms. (I used to have a book I kept in one of my feed bins, that I used to write in as and when) This is also helpful for the vet, if you were to take further action or if something was found, to trace the rate of development. (I know how easy it is to forget bits here and there when trying to explain to vets!)


New Member
May 11, 2008
You don't say how old the mare is, but she is a mare.
It is possible that she is in season or coming into season and that could be a reason for her bucking. Some mares can show such reactive behavior.
I do agree that you need to rule out pain, but you also say that she has only been ridden very few times in the last six months. It maybe that she is just not strong enough to do the work (however light) that you are asking.
Perhaps you might work her in walk and trot until she regains some balance and muscle development.
Let us know how she improves.


New Member
Jun 25, 2010
I think she is 6/7 years and over 17HH. So a bit of a drop, especially with all 4 feet in the air. And she could well be coming into season.

It could be a combination of my weight and her fitness. I can't say I didn't enjoy the bucking because I did, its an adrenaline rush, but I do think it might be pain related so I won't get on her back again. Lunging up to trot only. Her rider can decide what she needs or needs to see when she gets back.

I probably wrote the OP with the adrenaline still pumping --- in the cold light of day the most obvious answer is she has become unfit and needs to be brought into work more slowly.
Last edited:


lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
New Zealand
I'm with EML, personally I think it just sounds like she's full of beans :) She's been ridden 10 times in 6 months? - that's not very much, and I bet she's been stabled over the winter as well?

Of course there could be a physical cause and it's well worth investigating further, but I don't think it sounds like kissing spines as it has been such a sudden occurrence, I'm pretty sure the pain from kissing spines develops over time?


New Member
Jun 25, 2010
She is kept out 24/7 and I see her rolling a lot, I don't see her cantering very much but I have seen her throw herself about the field when the bag of carrots wasn't getting opened quick enough for her liking. I am not thinking anything serious any more. I honestly think she was trying to spook me so I would take her back to the stable.

I bet if I lunged her with a bag of carrots at my feet she would do handstands to get one.
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