Originally Posted by DarkChylde
That is interesting, Spyder, what do you do for your cold-backed horse?
If he hasn't been ridden for a few days a lunge is imperative. Otherwise a couple of things really. First upon mounting he faces right and all motion is to the right(I even lunge to the right first). The reason for this is because it is his weaker side so any antics will be minimized on this side. If he is a bit antsy I will hold the right rein when my young rider gets up on him and we let him circle me while I hold the right rein on the ground ( almost like in hand work). The rider pats him talks to him and gives half halts on the outside rein ( the left one) to show she is the one in control and won't bite. By holding on to the right rein I do two things...I can control a possible rear and it will overflex him to the right, in effect put him in an exaggerated bend position. The rider will take up the right rein and slowly move off to the right until the back relaxes.
If I am alone and there is no one to hold a rein then again to the right and I take contact ( walking on a loose rein is NOT an option) And again to the right circle and do any lateral movement that comes to mind...usually leg yields. Again he is overflexed. The reason is that should a rear be in the making I will have control. My horse hates to do anything where he is out of balance and when he did rear a long time ago he could sit on his haunches all day, but perfectly straight so an overbend puts the weight distribution all wrong for him. I would also like to see ANY horse rear with its back legs crossed...hence the leg yields. Again until his back relaxes (about 2-3 minutes).
After that he is perfectly normal and never offers any resistance after the first 5 minutes. All of the above was simple observation over time and realizing just why he reared. I never ever once felt he did it to get rid of the rider but because he was too tight over his back. It just took a bit of time and a willingness to do whatever it took to work with what I had presented to me.
I suppose in a way you could even call it Natural Horsemanship.