I spend a lot of time helping people solve horse problems. Some of the most common are buddy sour, speeding up, slowing down, bucking, bolting, head tossing, and spooky, but the list goes on.

And there are definitive and effective things you can do to help a horse overcome these issues. Visit BuckarooCrew.com to access the Problem Solving videos.

Where Is The Problem?

I also have people write an email to describe the horse problem they’re having and ask me how to fix it. That’s a catch 22 because, in many instances, the problem is not actually what they think it is.

For example, their horse is drifting to the left when they lope circles. But that is not really the problem. The problem is that the arena gate is acting as a magnet pulling the horse towards it. So to solve the drifting problem, you would first need to convince the horse that going towards the gate is not what he really wants to do. How? Let him go to the gate, but make that a place of work. This will help eliminate his reason for drifting to the left.

Example Horse Problems

Suppose a horse tosses his head. The rider believes the problem is that the horse doesn’t like the bit. But it’s more likely that the horse has not yet been educated that the reins are connected to his feet. So when the horse feels pressure on the reins, he doesn’t understand what to do. He tries one thing and then another, but finds no relief from the pressure. He tosses his head, jerks the reins out of the rider’s hands, and the pressure goes away. A habit is born. In this case, the bit is not the problem. The lack of understanding what to do with his feet is the problem.

But the hardest scenario of all is when somebody writes and asks how to stop their horse from bucking. Because there is not one quick-fix pat answer I can give. There are multiple reasons why a horse may buck. If a horse has resorted to bucking, there are likely many smaller issues all coming together to create a big problem. There are obviously some deep holes in the foundation. 


Now if you’re having any of the issues mentioned above, we have videos and blog articles that specifically address most all of them.

Videos:  https://buckaroocrew.com

Articles:  https://carsonjames.com/blog

The Root Of Horse Problems

But the point I want to make here is this. Start a colt the correct way and you’ll likely never encounter any of these common problems. Because the foundation is right. Then you can spend your time training the horse to do things like stop or turn better instead of always chasing problems.

Every horse problem can be traced back to ‘holes’ in the fundamentals. A faulty foundation.

But that is not a barrier that can’t be overcome. You simply have to replace his bad experiences with enough good experiences to outweigh the bad. Fill in the holes. Firmly establish the fundamentals.

Get him better at groundwork, and he’ll be better at trailer loading. Improve his trailer loading, and he will now let you pick up his feet. Get him more confident about speeding up, and he will no longer spook. You get the picture.

So don’t assume the horse’s ‘problem’ is where it happens to show up. Go back to the actual foundational root of any issue and fix it there. And the more areas where the horse becomes confident, the more that will flow down into every other area.

Fix the foundation, fix the horse.

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Carson James
Carson James

Carson James' background is in Vaquero Horsemanship, and for the majority of his career, he worked on cattle ranches where he rode horses all day, every day. His knowledge comes from real life experience using traditional Buckaroo horsemanship to train horses and fix problems. He is now taking all of this knowledge and experience and sharing it with horse owners through his blog, his Insider list, and his Buckaroo Crew. He has a unique way of breaking things down where they're easy to understand, both for the horse and the human.