Originally Posted by ogledrillrider02 View Post
We have a horse at our house, he is staying here for who knows how long. The problem(s) are that he rears, he has gone over backwards before, and he also bucks sometimes.
A horse that does any or all of this stuff is a horse that for some reason, doesn't respond "correctly" to pressure. The horse doesn't want to do any of these things, but there's something lacking in the training (if there's no pain involved) and so the horse must resort to instinct to find a relief from pressure it's not understanding. A horse's natural instinct is to fight pressure not to give in to it (as we want through training).....so this horse is going to instinct....because something is wrong.
1) check for pain:
- have the teeth been floated at least once a year? If not, there may be sharp points and having a bit in his mouth can cause major pain and the unwanted behavior
- if the saddle doesn't fit the horse, if it's pinching the wither area or if the person saddling up the horse cinches up tight once, any of this will cause chronic pain flare ups that can cause unwanted behavior
- if the rider tends to pull, yank or jerk on the reins, or ride with tight reins...this will cause a horse to rear up to find relief from bit pressure, and usually it's the rider that causes the horse to fall over because the rider either pulls hard on the reins at the time of the rearing up or because the rider leans back or gets off balance and the horse has no choice but to fall over.
2) If you can rule out pain 100% are absolutely positive that it isn't the issue, then it's rider error/lack of good training. The training has failed the horse and he's resorting to instinct to find a release. (see the reasons posted above under -rider
A horse needs to know that there's going to be a release of pressure if it's to respond as the rider wants. So, if the rider wants to go forward, and kicks the horse to go but also (maybe without thinking) pulls back on the reins (lots of people mistakenly do this)....this is total confusion to the horse and this causes a horse to rear.
If the rider isn't balanced well and tends to hang on the reins too much, pulls on the reins too much, yanks the horse's head around, kicks or otherwise uses too much pressure..... all of this will cause utter confusion to the horse and cause him to rear up and buck and basically fight pressure....
Some examples of times he has reared is when my dad was riding him before a competition for drill team and he stopped, when my dad asked him to go he reared and fell over sideways/backwards. I was riding him down a hill on the trails and at the bottom there was a mud puddle patch thing
. He reared up and I jumped off before he did anything.
Drill team....a sort of speed event....lots of riders tend to get heavy handed and this will cause some horses to rear or buck or whatever....too much pressure in the mouth....especially if you're using a shank bit. This is massive amounts of pressure in the sensitive mouth and it scares/confuses/frustrates the horse = rear up. Once the horse learns that when he rears he gets some form of relief (rider falls off, rider stops asking the horse for anything for a few seconds, rider offers no other alternative to a release of pressure)....rearing is now a habit and bucking goes right along with it.
He is also very stubborn to a point of bucking if we try to get him to move.
Stubborn to me, at this point, means that he's trying desperately to tell you that something is very wrong and he can't listen to you. He's not stubborn, he's not wrong. Anyone who rides him needs to be trained as to how to use the reins properly....light pressure. Use your seat and legs more, and your hands less (never pull, yank or jerk, always just take out the slack and use your legs to drive the horse forward...never kick, never jab with spurs, but use an escalation of pressure (squeeze, spank with rhythm, over under, never just a whack)
1) make sure it's not pain. Get a chiropractor. This horse has been flipping over so many times (once is enough) he's bound to of hurt himself physically and may have chronic pain due to this, or an ill-fitting saddle, etc.... Yes, chiros work wonders. I've seen it for myself.
2) make sure the teeth are in great shape
3) get a saddle that fits properly...or if the saddle does fit, make sure it's not jacked up tight once, but rather, cinch it up soft and again and again, about 3-4 times (walking the horse in between times) and then mount up.
4) get a trainer to retrain this horse to soften and give to pressure and get that trainer to give you and your dad (or whoever is going to ride this horse) some training lessons as to how to use pressure properly.
5) please don't bonk him on the head with anything. This is old school crap that should be put to rest like bucking a horse out. There are better ways that work,....like treating the horse with a little more dignity. He's not a dumb animal that likes to rear up to scare you, he's scared/confused/frustrated/in pain...one of those or all of those....and he's desperately trying to tell you that he needs help. Teaching him to flex and disengage his hips (moving the hips over, to cross the hind feet) and to bend bend bend...to soften the body and get his mindset to where it should be....wanting to figure out where the release of pressure is (his reward for listening to the rider)....instead of fighting.....that's all he wants.
Better communication. That's all it takes.
I've retrained enough rearing horses to know that this humane approach works and it sticks. It's just about giving the horse a better alternative to his natural instincts. That's it.
Training vs instincts. He's got to listen to one or the other. Depending on how good the training equals which one he'll listen to.