When your horse panics, is he more likely to buck or run? Can you tell? If so, you can better prepare yourself to deal with it. What about if you have a new horse; how can you determine whether he is more likely to buck or run …before it happens?
The History of Buckers and Runners
I recently attended a veterinary conference where a behaviorist discussed how horses can be classified into the two categories of buckers and runners, depending on their ancestry.
Horses with a tendency to buck descended from lines of horses living in mountainous country who were pursued by predators that leapt onto them from above, such as mountain lions. This line of horses developed bucking as a defense mechanism against these kinds of predators, since bucking is more likely to dislodge a clinging mountain lion than running.
Horses with a tendency to run, on the other hand, descended from lines of horses living in more open environments, such as the high desert. Horses from this line were pursued by fast predators that chased them over long distances and fairly flat terrain. As bucking would not have proved useful against these predators, this line of horses used running as their main defense mechanism.
How can you tell whether your horse is a bucker or runner? By his personality type, among other factors.
Learn more about horse personality types with a free online test, and more: