PART 2: 3 Day UK Buck clinic report 2015

By , June 22, 2015 12:34 pm

This is a short report of some of the exercises that were done by Buck in the 3 days. If anything doesn’t sound quite right its 100% my fault 🙂 I’ve kept this as brief as possible as Buck went through a lot. This is DAY 1 MORNING with the H1 CLASS.

Buck Day 1: 24 horses in the morning


Get horse used to being touched by flag and then flag him with energy while at a halt.
Do the same when the horse is walking – look for areas which you touch that cause him worry and fix them up on the ground before you get into the saddle.
Then do the same with the cloverleaf pattern a few times.
All okay so saddle up.
Still on the ground, Bucks horse is cinchy with the saddle and looks like he wants to buck, especially in trot changing directions on a lead rope.
Tap the saddle with the stick while the horse circles to get horse used to noise & movt around saddle while horse is moving (prep for the riders). Currently the horses hindquarters are moving more than the fourquarters.
The horse should have a job and a purpose.


Walk and then hindquarter yield to a stop in time with the feet.
To move the hindquarters to the right you need to time up with the left hind to move it under the horse.
Then bring the fourquarters across.
Seperate the hind and the front quarters.
One rein used only so far.

– Roll the hind (do a hindquarter yield) by having your arm near your ribs.
– Move forequarter over (forequarter yield)with your arm out to the side, sideways a little from your hip.
– Serpentines – 4 steps per inside leg then change the direction.
– Ask for soft feel in walk. Just ask little to release.


position 1 – leaning a little forwards
position 2 – sitting up tall and straight
position 3 – sitting on the back pockets of your jeans

– Walk, with soft feel and in seat position 2.
– If you horse tosses his head around , and tries to snatch the reins out of your hands this is not allowed at all – bump him.
– Do the same at trot (soft feel).
– Buck does a lot of sitting trot.
– The horse should be able to follow a feel on a lead rope. So when you pick up a lead rope and move it somewhere, the horse should follow that direction with its body. You shouldn’t have to drive a horse – you need to move away from that as soon as you can.
– A circle should be something you’re proud of.
– If horse wants to trot, move his hindquarters while still trotting, then offer a nice walk again. Do this on both reins.
– Should be able to ride all gaits on a loose rein, without horse trying to go faster.
– On a circle the nose should be tipped in. If shoulders are leaning inwards, put pressure on shoulders to move them out.
– Move your feet, don’t stand still when you’re doing groundwork.

Buck talks about crouching over to ask your horse to disengage his hindquarters on a circle in groundwork: People go all “Crouching Tiger Flying Dragon”. Don’t do that. Horsemen laugh at people like you. Get away from that nonsense.

– “People ride with so much hands and so little legs.”

– Backup: Don’t shake your rope like you’re having a fit.
– Back up and then direct one front foot to the side in time with the feet.

Morning Riding – most people are riding in snaffle bits, and there are a few hackamores.

– Serpentines with the riders legs in circle shape. Inside leg back a little, outside leg forwards a little. Use inside rein if you need it. Get your legs good. Do minimum with hands. Should be able to do circles with your legs and body only like this, without using any reins.
– Walk to hindquarter yield.
– Buck’s horse is doing serpentines and is turning loose and relaxing more and more while he is walking.
– The goal is to ride in one hand.

– Circle, and then roll the hindquarters to the outside.
– Serpentine: 3 reaches to change directions
– More responsive to legs = means your horse will be lighter to your hands.
– Serpentine – bring your inside hand up, then over to the side and then and drop hand down (image you are a puppeteer with your horses inside leg) and then bring your hand back to the withers again as normal.
– Your horse needs to feel the release. Ask until you get the inside leg to move out sideways for these small circles.

Serpentines – ask with legs first, and follow through with hand. Up, out, down with your hand then back to the withers / mane area. Ask in time with feet until you get it.

If your horse is pushy = Do 4 foot circles around sage bushes (real or imaginary)! This is much better than pulling on two reins. Use 1 rein at a time, and your horse will start to relax better in a while.

– Lateral flexion at halt.
– Hand out to side to ask for this, and then once you have flexion bring hand back to withers area.
– Then rub horses head.
– Horses ears to be level, poll not lower than withers, and vertical flexion.
– Horses feet to stay still.
– You don’t want a brace at end of rope.

Buck told a story of some pretty terible horsemanship by Olympic rider at Grand Prix at DUBLIN RDS show last year.

Its true. Compared to standard & knowledge of the general horse community about horsemanship education (understanding a horse, rather than just riding one around like a motorbike & jumping fences with a ton of gadgets on a worried or pushy horse) in USA, Australia, NZ & UK, in general, Ireland is in the stone age in terms of horsemanship education & knowledge. We have awful gadgets and gismos everywhere.

– Speed of walk – go faster and then slower, without using the reins.
– Horse fusses with head = fast bump upwards to say ‘no’ thanks.
– Soft feel at halt. Goal: Calm and soft feel.
– Pick up reins and be so soft and just wait… wait… wait…
– At walk, get a soft feel 100 times without stopping.
– If horses head pushes lot, put hands still on front of saddle until horse figures it out and stops pushing.
– Head down: if loose reins – okay as horse hasn’t taken more rein than you gave him; if horse pulls and pulls rein out of your hands a little – lift up head and release.


REMINDER: If you have enjoyed this report, come & watch Steve Halfpenny teach on Sun & Mon June 28-29 in Tipperary. Tickets €60 per day, email CHOCOLATELABHELP @ GMAIL.COM for more info.

2 Responses to “PART 2: 3 Day UK Buck clinic report 2015”

  1. Linda jordan says:

    Well done, Elaine, you really capture it all. I went to Guildford and he was amazing.

  2. susan beavis says:

    Thankyou so much for explaining the clinic in such detail, with the help of Buck’s dvd’s I can practice the exercises. One day I will make it to a Buck clinic with my horse.

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