BUCK: Any horse can buck, but we’d prefer that they didn’t if someone was sitting up there. They’re lost and mixed up when they get to doing that. No, if a horse gets to bucking with a person, it’s only due to self-preservation and maybe something that’s been left out of his education up to that point. It’s confusion that causes a horse to buck, because his mental system doesn’t understand what he’s supposed to do. When this happens, his physical system responds the way he thinks he should, and where bucking is concerned, he’s liable to continue this way until his mental system gets switched around and he can realize he’s not going to get hurt. Generally speaking, when there’s a different feel presented to the horse in his foundation, he’d get onto that and then the bucking and some other unwanted motions wouldn’t show up.
When I really needed this (approach through feel) was in my teens, because those horses sure bucked. In those days, it was really just a question of how you stayed on because there wasn’t anybody who said what you did so that they wouldn’t buck. It would have been real helpful to hear that.
When feel is presented in a way that a horse can understand it on the start, most horses aren’t liable to buck when they’re saddled for the first time — or they won’t buck too much, I’ll say that. But there’s always going to be some exceptions to this. The horses in these pictures got to bucking because those saddles don’t feel right and they thought it would help to get rid of them. But a horse can get real comfortable with all that gear on him. This takes more time than a lot of people realize.
Some horses really get so they enjoy that part of having people around and the place you’re liable to see a lot of these horses is at the rodeo, because bucking is their job. But if you’re working a horse with feel, why then he wouldn’t ever be thinking about bucking. Of course, something could always happen to upset him, but generally speaking, he would look to the person for support if he’d been handled with feel on the start.