Breaking The Buck Out Of Calypso
Breaking the buck out of Calypso has been a long project. We are passing the 6 month mark now. We had taken her back to square one. Merely leading her was hazardous to your heels and personal space! We are past all that at this point. My daughter has just recently taken a seat in the saddle. With all the ground work behind her Calypso did just fine.
Back on the ground, it’s time to push Calypso into a lope. She had a bit of a hiccup when we introduced the jog/trot. It took about a week of her daily routine before she decided she wasn’t going to buck when asked to trot. Then, we spent another couple of weeks reinforcing the good behavior until she showed no sign of bucking when asked to trot.
When she had a rider on her for the first time since the training began, she was asked to trot, shook her head, but did nothing else. She did the head shake for a few days, but then got past it, with routine, and she hasn’t done it since. She goes into a nice, smooth, trot without hesitation now. It’s time to ask for a lope…
We had expected her to act just like that, hence no rider on her! Calypso is not being pressured with the whip or by the trainer, but she takes off into this panicked bucking run when asked to lope (with a kiss sound). I have my theories of what brought on this panicked lope, but it doesn’t really matter at this point. It’s her habit now and we need to eliminate it like we did with the trotting buck.
We’ve been using the elastic tie-downs for a couple of months now, shorter than in the video. She shows better focus and control of herself when she is put through her routine wearing them. She was to the point in her jog that she didn’t need them she had learned self control, but with this new lope we were introducing we wanted them on, even lose, right now.
The spandex tie downs are attached to her saddle and bridle but not tight enough to be of any assistance. They were put on because we had a good idea she was going to take off out of control and buck. Over time they will be shortened one D ring at a time. As they shorten she will be practicing loping with control and the tie-downs will assist her in learning control and to slow down. If she can’t get her head up high (a sign of panic) and then swing it down (to buck) she should progress to a controlled, non bucking, lope.
This is going to be interesting!