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  • Writer's pictureRachel Kerr

Why do horse buck?

Last year during lockdown I was inspired to deepen my learning of equine behaviour, so I studied a module in Equine Behaviour from the University of Guelph. The final part of the assessment was to write a case study about an area of equine behaviour that interested me. I chose bucking as an example of an avoidance/conflict behaviour and what the various causes of this behaviour might be. I chose this because my pony (now retired and living in the UK) used to exhibit bucking, especially when excited eg hacking/jumping and I had never really taken the time to understand why this might manifest itself. The case study is attached for those who want to read the whole study, it is broken into several potential causes including;

  • Pain

  • Fear/anxiety

  • Training

  • Post inhibitory rebound

  • Play

  • Antecedents (stable management etc)

I found the study fascinating and I hope anyone who manages to read the whole essay gets some use from it. I would also highly recommend any of the University of Guelph equine courses.

Fairytale, above, a purebred connemara pony found jumping, especially on grass very exciting and would frequently display his emotions through bucking after a jump. He is now retired and living his best life as a horse lawnmower in the UK.

Equine Behaviour Casestudy_Rachel Kerr
Download PDF • 171KB

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