Horse rears, acts up, and doesn't listen - Only at shows - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-15-2009, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Horse rears, acts up, and doesn't listen - Only at shows

This year was the 2nd year I've ever shown my horse, (also the second year she's ever been shown at all). This year and last year, she didn't to listen to simple commands (walk, trot, woah, etc.) as well as she did at home. Last year she got into the habit of rearing at the show; She didn't want to stand still and when I didn't let her move I guess she figured that was the only way to go... Anyway, last year she was extremely nervous (I figured that was why she acted up), but this year she was barely nervous at all and still acted up! She wanted to go back to the trailer, and when she couldn't she reared. When she was at the trailer, she was impatient and pawed. I mainly want to stop the rearing habit, but i've been told so many things to do and none of them seem to work. She doesn't rear or act up at home, not unless she gets extremely frustrated (Not getting to move for a very long time, not understanding what you want her to do). So like I said, mainly if anyone has suggestions on the rearing, I'd really appreciate it

It's classic mare mind; If you can't bite the one you hate, bite the one you're with.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-15-2009, 03:09 PM
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How do you act? Do you expect her to start rearing at the shows? What is your routine like when you show? How old is the horse?
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-15-2009, 05:47 PM
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I know some horses get ruined because people over show them. We bought a horse that absolutely WOULD NOT let a rider sit on him when we got around the arena because his previous owners pushed him too much. If he even saw the barrel pattern he would take off rearing.

Not saying you did that, but maybe your horse is just not meant for showing?

Red Money Maker (Red) - 2004 Sorrel QH Gelding
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-16-2009, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove View Post
How do you act? Do you expect her to start rearing at the shows? What is your routine like when you show? How old is the horse?
This year & last I didn't expect the rearing, since last year she'd never done it before and this year i thought she was over it. I guess I'm probably nervous, since we only go to a maximum of 3 shows a year (We only participate in our local 4H shows). The horse is 9 years old, although this is only her second year of showing

As for the other answer of overshowing, she doesn't do gamin and she only goes to 2-3 shows a year, and her previous owner didn't show her. So, I don' think that's the problem...

It's classic mare mind; If you can't bite the one you hate, bite the one you're with.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-16-2009, 08:37 AM
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First thing is I would have the usual things looked at.

I know you prob have already.
My sis horse refused to work in a sand arena rearing and playing up ( was fine on trail or plodding around) Turns out the stupid farrier had put shoes on him 2x too small!

Maybe try adding some calming herbs to her feed? Chamomile works well

Do you dismount when she rears? As thats an easy way out for her.

Its more than likely the pressure you put on yourself to perform at shows and she is really sensitive to how you feel.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-16-2009, 11:46 AM
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First of all, rule out any physical reason for the behavior.

If this is only the second year showing for your horse, and only around 3 shows a year, she's still pretty green as far as showing experience goes. My first horse did a lot of acting up for the first couple of years of showing. Not as much as you're describing, but enough that I didn't feel comfortable riding him in the warmup area (an open field, we have really tiny shows ). He was a wonderfully quiet horse at home, and he did really mellow out at shows after a couple of years of experiencing them. I'm going through the same thing with my new horse as well. We go to a new place, and he starts whinnying and just not paying the kind of attention that he usually does. It can be an "info overload." If you can, try taking your horse to a show to just watch and get used to the atmosphere. Take the saddle, and ride around if you feel comfortable. Sort of going to the show, but not showing, if that makes sense.

Others can give far better information on dealing with her specific behaviors (the rearing does need to stop, that can really be dangerous if it gets out of control), but I think that a degree of behavioral change in such a different environment is to be expected, and with time and continued show exposure, she should calm down.

With the impatience standing tied, does she get tied up at all at home? I find it helpful to practice the aspects of showing that the horse will have to deal with as well as practice for my classes. Scout gets to practice standing tied to our trailer, eating from a haybag, etc. so it isn't totally foreign to him in a strange place.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-16-2009, 12:05 PM
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Maybe show her more often at smaller shows or something? She may be nervous and not showing, or picking up on your nerves.

Not all who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-16-2009, 07:44 PM
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Rearing, eh? He he.
There is an old cowboy trick (well, can't be TOO old) where they filled up water baloons with warm water and threw it on the horse's head when they rear, and the horse will freeze because they think it is blood. BUT...I wouldn't reccommend that ;)
Never done it and never plan to. Also can't do that at a show.
Just thought I'd share, though.

Try the whole 're-training-with-a-snaffle-in-the-ring' spiel and get your horse's respect back.
Oh, and try riding in the ring with other horses so he can get used to it and not freak out at a show.
Rearing is a HUGE no-no. Make a loud 'AGG!' noise when he dose it and slap him on the neck. TURN HIM IN A CIRCLE when he does it. A horse can't rear/buck/run when their nose is at your boot.

Of course there is always the ONE. *rolls eyes*

Stay on him when he dose it or he will know if he rears he will get away with not working. If it's REALLY dangerous get off and lunge him so he still has to work.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-16-2009, 07:50 PM
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Well if he is not in pain, I would say it is nerves.
He is probably experiencing sensory overload. I would start trailering him to different events and just letting him look around and get used to things. If he is fine on the ground, get up on him and walk him around without showing.
Often this kind of thing is the result of your own nerves. If he rears, correct the behavior, but don't make it a stressful situation from him. Obviously, rearing is unnacceptable, but you don't want every trip to a show to be overdramatic for him.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-17-2009, 01:50 PM
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make the horse work everytime it acts up. When you want to stand still and she gets ansy make her move, depending on the show grounds, find a warm-up arena or open area and trot circles- lope... keep her busy. ask her to stand, if not work some more. You may have to go to a show and not show but instead just keep her running around. Soon it will get into her head that "I must stand or Im going to have to work"

I had a sorrel mare that I gamed when I was younger and she was just like what you explained with the never standing still. It took a few shows but she got the message (I also made her still game so she was tired by the end of the day).

When horses are new at the showing and getting out they typically get a little nervous and side tracked. The more shows you two go two the better both of you are going to be at them.

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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