PART 5: 3 Day UK Buck clinic report 2015 & quotes

By , June 25, 2015 12:41 pm

Buck Day 3 AM – H1 GROUP

– Don’t let horse stop unexpectedly, catch it before it happens. Keep the horse in my rectangle.
– Don’t grip your legs like a bird on a fence rail.
– Halt – walk, this is position 3 to Position 2, with slight leg energy.

“The further up the leg your aid occurs, the more sophisticated the rider.
The further down the leg your aid occurs, the more crude the rider.”

Buck describes normal riders….. “When you ask you do too much. When you demand you do too little. Other than that you’re fine.” Then he smiled.

“Every time you move your horse out look at it as an opportunity to make it a little bit better.”

Halt – walk: You don’t have to be fast but you do have to be functional.

Rope on horse’s foot. Get it so you can stop each foot with very few fingers. Don’t tie rope to horses foot etc of course.

Teach horse to tie.

– Use an overhead wire thats long so horse can walk around while still tied if they need to. When they get to the end of the wire, they automatically disengage their own hindquarters and then walk in the opposite direction.
– Horse can move left, right, forward and backward.
– When they get to the end, they hindquarter yield and walk off again. Leave horse there until they settle.

Not getting a result when you ask your horse to do something is the same as getting run over by your horse in their mind.

Buck told a funny story about bicycles. Bicycle – chase it and let horse have fun. If horse can ‘move’ bike then its not scary.

– When you drop your horses front foot to side, does the horse keep his head / neck bent in that shape by himself. Ideally he will.

– If horse roots his head, bump to say no and then ask for soft feel to show him what you’d like him to do instead.

10-9-8s Exercise

– If horse gets worried, do circles and serpentines then do 10-9-8s again. When you get a mental change in the 10-9-8s, regardless of the number you are at, then give your horse a rest.


– Walk – soft feel – stop – release – ask to back up
– Walk – soft feel – stop – ask to back up
– You don’t want a pause between step and back up – so get rid of the hard spot/brace before the back up. Do 6 times until you get a good one.


– Lateral flexion, no feet move.
– 1 step forequarter yield (hand position 2)
– Even hands on both sides

Teardrops STAGES 1 TO 6:

Teardrop Guide with legs, loose rein.

– 1. Walk with life in a straight line. Do a small circle / tear drop at the end of the line, and reach with inside front leg, half circle size to be about 3 to 4 steps of inside fore. Walk on again in a straight line. Then do it again. So your pattern looks like a tear drop at both ends. WALK and TROT.

– 2. Do the same with a soft feel, carry the soft feel, use your legs on circle shape to guide your horse, release, do same in other teardrop. WALK and TROT.

– 3. Soft feel, turn, change flexion just after the teardrop, leg yield over then release. WALK and TROT.

– 4. After teardrop do a canter depart, after leg yield, back to trot

– 5. Canter before and during the teardrop. At end of tear drop trot, leg yield and then canter depart again.

– 6. No trots, just all canter, with flying changes.


– Leg yield to left, and time up with right (inside) hind leg.

“You prepare horse for lead changes. Your horse then does the lead change himself.”

Buck Day 3 PM

The basics you need to do: walk, trot and lope on loose rein. A LOOSE rein!! (A horse riding, a lot of people can’t do this.)

Forequarter yield exercise

– Turn forequarter until 1 hind leg is stepping back behind.

Learn the 4 ways to move hindquarters = very important.


– Trot straight very very fast (straight line).
– Canter depart in a straight line
– Remember what it feels like in trot, and what lead he’s on then in canter.
– In trot, do hindquarters tip an inch off centerline right or left? This is your clue!!
– To prepare for canter, tip hindquarters a little bit to one side while you trot to influence what canter lead you will get.
– All on loose rein on a straight line for a long way.

“Make it so it’s just like a feather.”


“I try to treat everyone I meet like they might be the next Tom or Ray who could go on to be of good to horses and humans long after I have gone. Who knows? There may be someone here who might become the next great artist in Horsemanship in the next 20 or 30 years.”

Buck said that Tom Dorrance told him, “Don’t treat them like they are. Treat them how you’d like them to be.”

If you’re having a bad day, Buck says “Don’t be too hard on yourself. There is a natural ebb & flow to our progress with horses. At a clinic only a month ago I put a horse up and went back to my trailer knowing that I’d put the WORST ride that I’d put on a horse in the last 10 yrs! No one saw it, I’m sure but I knew that I’d missed a lot of the small timings that I would normally get pretty much spot on.

Then, just 3 days later, I rode one of my finished Bridle Horses and I got the BEST feel from that horse that I’ve EVER got! And I want you to remember just how much I ride and how many horses I have ridden in my life. It’s just the ebb & flow and it happens to all of us.”

“Every time you move a horse on out, use it as an opportunity to get your horse’s Life up. But you need him alive and ‘punctual’ but without being troubled. On a dull horse you might need him lively but this might make him troubled and you’ll need to be able to see him through that trouble and out to the other side.
Good timing is essential to all this work but timing is only relevant on a horse that is full of life. There’s no such thing as good timing on a dull horse!”

‘A horse will never be emotionally stable until he is even and balanced on both sides.’

“Before you get on your horse, use ground work to get him really dialled-in to you, properly hooked onto you – before you step up onto him. Don’t just get him to the point where he’s good to the point that he might not buck you off!”

“When you get in time with his feet you will be amazed at how much he might offer you and how responsive he can get.”

‘Age and wisdom don’t always travel together. Sometimes age gets there well in advance!’

“This short serpentine is about as much like an exorcism as you are ever likely to experience. But it’s worth it because so much good can come out of it.”

“I don’t want to see you sitting around letting the air go through your ears. You can do that when you leave.”
He spoke of people using “crutches and gimmicks” to make up for sorry horsemanship. This referred to the garbage used in a show jumping warm up arena.

“No pressure without purpose.”

This is worth thinking about – when you’ve got your horse halted – calculate how long the horse can stand still and be content. Then before he fails, move him and do something on his terms.

Soft feel – be still and see where your horse gives to you. Be subtle and release at the slightest change. When he asks for soft feel he just waits, he doesn’t change anything, he doesn’t do more. If the horse pushes just keep him straight and wait. Let him thing. Lateral flexion will make it harder for him. “You can’t do too much of this but you have to be subtle. If you do too much you take the think away from your horse.”

‘The spur will not answer the problem of inaccurate legs. You need to find out what made him dull in the first place.’

‘Don’t treat them how they are, treat them how you’d like them to be’. You ride a green horse in the same way you’d give dignity to a real fine horse. He might not know what you’re talking about but he’s not trying to do the wrong thing. You try to train yourself to ride with quality even on a green one and doesn’t know much. He might not have a lot to offer but you ride him like he does and one day he will.

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