Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Morrison, Oklahoma
So there are two issues you are currently dealing with: Barn sour and rearing. For starters with the rearing if you have ruled out pain and physical problems, I would definitely see how your horse responds to a tie down. DO NOT ride him after putting the tie down on him for the first time. Some horses react differently to new tack and tie downs than others, and you may get an even WORSE show of behavior out of defiance/fighting with the newly added device. Put him in the round pen, or lunge him on a lunge line with the tie down on before you decide to ride him with it. After you know he's comfortable with the tie down, I would then decide to ride him out alone. Take him for a short ride away from the barn, and turn him around and go back to the barn while he's still in his "comfort zone". The next day go a little further, just to the point where he feels a little uncomfortable and then bring him back home. Next day go a few feet beyond that and then take him back home. The point is to gradually, slowly increase the distance you have gone away from the barn over the course of multiple rides and KEEP HIM MOVING one way or the other. A horse cannot rear and move his back two legs at the same time. As far as correcting him when he does rear - the correction needs to come BEFORE the rear actually takes place. The rear misbehavior begins the second he thinks of doing it, and begins to prepare himself to do it. The first sign that he gives you that he's thinking about rearing, use a stern voice and say "NO!". Take him in circles and get him moving - redirect his thinking immediately by giving him something else to think about besides rearing. And of course - remember to praise the ever-loving daylights out of him if he decided NOT to rear and follow your command. The praise is just as important as the correction in my opinion.
I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck! These tactics worked wonders with my horse Sky when he was going through his "rearing" phase.