A horse that thinks UP needs to think forward and DOWN.
I'd work on the Clinton Anderson lunging for respect stuff. Easy. Not running him around. But getting him into the habit of:
1. Listening to you because you move his feet
2. Giving to pressure by way of moving forward, thinking forward to find the release of pressure
At the walk and trot and lope if you can....just moments of it...if he bolts on the line, then do more up close flexing and hip disengaging first...lots of them....talking about 20 minutes of it nonstop.....then go back to the CA lunging...if he acts up, shut him down, and then ask again.
You really don't need to exert yourself at all when you do this, and he doesn't need to either. I use a 22 ft lead line and a rope halter.
You don't need a round pen. Frankly, a horse like him, I wouldn't bother with the round pen stuff. He sounds just plain "lost"....doesn't know what is expected of him, so he reacts and he has chosen rearing up to find a release of pressure (pressure can be physical or from his fear...emotional)....
He may of been messed with before....but doesn't sound like his emotions were trained, just his body. So, he might of been ridden and all that, but when he gets nervous or scared for whatever reason....he reacts...Rears up.
So...the CA stuff...move his feet....move the shoulder away, send him out, stop by disengaging the hip, repeat. At the walk. This will teach him to follow your lead....and to respect your space, and to listen and find the release of pressure by giving not resisting.
Also...a lot of bending. Flex at the stand still and when he gives and relaxes his neck.....disengage the hip to get a cross over of the back feet. Release. Repeat on the other side.
Head down cue: with halter and lead....take out the slack in the line, ask him to drop his head. Soon as he does...even if it's just an inch...let go. Repeat. Til he drops his nose in the dirt the moment you close your hand on the lead.
Then do the same exercise, but this time, toss the lead rope over his poll and stand to one side and take the slack out of both hanging sides of the line (slowly! Never just yank on the line, or he will rear up)....what you're looking for is for him to feel the tension on his poll and to drop his head. To think DOWN when he feels pressure there.
I've used all of these exercises on horses that rear for whatever reason and it gets rid of the rearing.
One horse for example, a big draft I called Baby Huey...would see anyone coming toward him with a halter and rear straight up and come back down and bolt. I did a lot of approach and retreat...then rubbed him with the halter and lead, then the head down stuff like I mentioned above...then the CA stuff, and he stopped rearing altogether. He learned to relax and drop his head and give to pressure when he got nervous.
Also...I'd cut out all the grain and alfalfa for this horse, at least for now. Just good quality grass, if you need to give him supplements for his hooves, then just a handful of grain if needed....but otherwise...I think you're just adding too much fuel to his energy = he gets edgy and doesn't know what to do with himself.
As for the space he should be kept in...I'm a firm believer in bigger space is better. Circulation for the feet and the mind.
Last edited by Calamity Jane; 06-16-2009 at 07:02 PM.