maybe he has just learned that bucking gets his ride to end. I haven't read all the comments and everyone will have their view on this, but I've met horses that figured out that if they just start bucking then their ride is over. Also, keep in mind rider anticipation will transfer to hands and seat in the saddle, even if your not aware of it. I've retrained two horses that learned how to end their ride on their terms by bucking. I had an owner ready to give up cuz she came off 4 times in an hour. And this was a good rider with lots of experience. I got on the horse without any anticipations of bucking and had a fine ride. The other horse bucked with me, a lot, but I ended up just riding him through it and letting him pitch his fit. It was a rodeo ride, was definetly a last resort, but it solved his problem and now he's my number one go to horse for a quiet ride. It only took one time of "nope, sorry horse, your not getting your way this time and we can do this instead" and we were able to make a lot more progress. He's a quiet citizen that I can just about trust to have anyone ride (I've been riding him for 2 years since our...argument).
So maybe it's the rider tensing without realizing it, or maybe you need to get him ridden through it. Seems like you've ruled out everything else medical wise. Redirect him and teach him that bucking is unacceptable, period. Sounds harsh, but right now he's got the upper hand and that's not how horsemanship is suppose to work.
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