Break The Buck Out Of Calypso – The Incredible Conclusion!
The culmination of over a year working with this mare, Calypso, is here! Almost 400 hours working with her has paid off in ten-fold!
We started this journey with a little mare that had been handled by children before any formal training which produced a mare that would buck when she was asked to walk, trot or lope. She’d buck until you were off of her back. She wasn’t looking to hurt you. She just wanted to go back to her pasture and she found that was the way to get there.
Fast forward a couple of years and I needed to make a decision, sell this mare or train her. I was/am disabled so it looked like selling her was the only choice. That’s when my daughter stepped up and said she’d like to try and train her with me. I warned her it would be a lot of work and she would have to listen to my every word or we would get no where but hurt. She said she was up to the task, yet I was skeptical.
The one major part of my decision to go ahead with retraining this mare was her willingness. Calypso is a very willing horse. She thoroughly enjoys human interaction. She was just confused and bucking was the only answer she had learned. She is the kind of mare that comes running when you go out to her pasture. She really likes humans. If she had any other attitude towards humans I would have made a different decision.
We started training and recording the progress to this page. True to her word, my daughter followed direction and worked with Calypso as often as I requested and performed the exercises I laid out for her.
At first it was daily work from square one; leading, tying, grooming. Then we progressed to lounging a LOT. The ground work lasted the longest. Re-teaching Calypso the basics three to four days a week, two hours a session.
The saddle was re-introduced with more ground work including lounging. We used an old pair of pants weighted down with dirt and weights to simulate a humans weight on the saddle. We continued with this routine until the mare stopped bucking when asked to trot. If she did buck she would be pressed on to trot again, and again, and again, until she stopped bucking when asked to trot.
The next session she’d do the bucking again and we’d press her on until she stopped the bucking. This took the longest to get past. Then the buck response became more and more random until one session, she stopped and didn’t do it again.
When we were sure that the buck at a trot was out of Calypso we introduced a rider. All the ground work proved to pay off well. My daughter rode her with no problem, not a sign of a buck.
We had to go through the same process for the lope. A couple of times Calypso bucked, when asked to lope,with my daughter on her back. Michelle stuck to her back like glue, listened and implemented the instructions I told her, and soon enough, the buck was gone from the lope as well!
Implementing a regular schedule of riding Calypso, putting her through the paces two to three times a week and clear, solid commands was the recipe for success. All signs of bucking are gone. An incredible transformation of a beautiful mare and her rider!