Books and DVDs


Gold Sponsors

Ask Dr. Dave

Amanda from Oregon, writes:

Dear Dr. Dave,

How often is a bucking problem related to teeth needing to be floated or a health issue?

I just got a new mare and she bucked off a couple gals who were very nervous riders. The mare spent 30 days in training and before the trainer would get on her, he'd work he until she was exhausted so she wouldn't buck.

I rode her two times. The first time I used just halter and saddle and walked her around a tiny bit before she bucked off. She was VERY sensitive to her sides being touched by my heels. The second ride, we rode full bridle (which she fought putting on) for about an hour. I finished the day with a small amount of trotting around the arena. With no more warning than just a couple flicks of the tail, she blew up like a rodeo bronc.

I had been told she was beaten some, so I'd been going easy and slow to build trust. But as soon as we picked up the trot she immediately became uncomfortable.

All her tack fit well. Also she is bred, due in April, so I don't want to push her too hard and risk loosing the foal (I have good odds of having a very quality foal).

Thank you for your time and any advice. This the first time I've ever been bucked off!!

Hello Amanda,

Many years ago when I was just a tyke an old-timer told me, "Son, when you've been bucked off twenty times, you will have become a cowboy... and falling off doesn't count!" Welcome to the journey!

To answer your question: yes, bad teeth can cause a horse enough discomfort to cause unpredictable and undesirable behavior. That being said, I would also want to consider a few other details. I am curious as to how well broke this horse is. It sounds like she may lack some basic ground training. I would also be wondering about her back and spine.

I recommend you have your local equine veterinarian check her out for soreness, dental needs, and general overall health concerns. An veterinary equine chiropractor could advise you about her back. If possible it would also be great if you could find a trainer who has the patience and education to start at the beginning with her and develop some basic skills.

I hope everything works out well and she produces your dream horse next spring.


Dr. Dave