I really need help before it gets dangerous - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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I really need help before it gets dangerous

I have a 2 year old filly, who's has been doing great. Really no problems until recently. She leads, getting close to ready for showmanship shows, can saddle her up, trailer, tie, etc. etc.

She does have attitude and is cranky, but she has always just done what has been asked, even if shes not happy about it. She is the friendliest horse in the entire world I think! She will come when you call, always has to be the one who gets to come out of the pen, she wants to be scratched and groomed and patted 24/7.

Anyway, awhile ago we went for a walk, and she got frustrated and angry for some reason and reared up. She did this one more time the next time we went for a walk. Both time we just made her stand there until she calmed down, then we continued.

The next time she reared was when I was having a lesson with her. My instructor was holding on for her (thank goodness - so she could properly correct her), she caught her ahead of time, and made her do small circles around her, until she relaxed.

So today, she reared up all the way two times in a row. She kept her distance and I gave her the slack, so she was not close to me. By the second time I decided I'd better get out, this was too much for me to handle. The she ran around for a minute, I relaxed, then I went up to her and started working on backing up, and lunging, and leading. She didn't rear and she completely respected my space and did what was asked.

I know it was bad to back off, but I'd rather not get hurt, and this was the first time she reared all the way up, and I was by myself.

I could have more respect form her, but I'm still earning it as we go. I don't think she was after me, because she didn't come at me, if anything she moved away from me before she went up.

I think she is trying to get away. For example it was stormy today and just for a second she wanted to run and play. I think this is what happened during the other times she reared as well.

BTW I have two extremely knowledgeable horse people who I WILL be talking to about this.

What should I do to discipline her if this happens again, when I'm by myself?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Take hold of the lead with both hands and see if you can rip her face right off. If you have a lunge whip or a buggy whip wear it out on her butt as soon as both front feet hit the ground. The first time or two I tend to ignore a rear if the horse is confused and it's feet seem stuck but after that I don't tolerate that behaviour.

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post #3 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 02:06 AM
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You are right to be concerned. It sounds like she's on her way to developing a bad habit. My first question is, how long is your lead? If it's long enough, and you are quick enough, you can step to her side while she's up and put her off balance. Just be aware that you have to be able to move very quickly, and you have to stay out of her way. Your safety comes first. As soon as she comes back down, work her fanny off. It doesn't really matter what you make her do, just make her do something that is your idea and not hers. Most times, they will give warning signals before they go up. If you notice that, make her work as soon as you see the signs.

If you can, try to identify what triggers the rearing. That way, you can simulate those situations while you have help, or you can have someone else work on it with her. It sounds like she needs to remember who is the leader and who is the led.

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post #4 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 03:58 AM
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As Kevin said - Yank her head to the side as soon as she goes up and whack her on the butt with a whip or the end of your lead to get her moving forward.

Horses can't physically rear when they are moving forward - Rearing is a symptom of the feet being stuck.
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post #5 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 06:23 AM
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0_o I've seen horses rear when they are walking so whatever website you got that from I would question. Infact I was walking a horse to the pasture and he was in mid-walk when he decided to rear.

It depends on the horse but if the horse is really strong and keeps rearing (only if you're in an inclosed area) I just let go. I'm not going to fight with the horse, so he can run around all day with a lead rope if he wants and I don't chase.

Just don't give her what she wants, has she been vet checked?,

Last edited by White Foot; 05-21-2010 at 06:28 AM.
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post #6 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 06:39 AM
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0_o I've seen horses rear when they are walking so whatever website you got that from I would question. Infact I was walking a horse to the pasture and he was in mid-walk when he decided to rear.
To rear the forward motion has to stop to allow the back end to come under to take the weight for the front end to lift. It is simply physics, not off any website. It is physically impossible for a horse to rear while moving forward. It is maintaining the forward in the stressful situation that so many fail at.

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post #7 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 06:42 AM
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* Added: A horse can hop the front and jump around while moving forward - But this is not a rear. A rear is when the weight is transferred to the hind quarter allowing the font to lift off the ground. it is not any time the front feet leave the ground before the back - otherwise jumping would be a form of rearing.

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post #8 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 06:47 AM
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I love using the 12 foot leads like the NH guys use-just for this reason. You always have enough line to MAKE THEM MOVE THOSE FEET! I use one end to steer the head, and the other I twirl like a whip in a circle at the butt to get them forward. You should be at about a 45 degree angle to the horses shoulder when you do this. So, if you are leading them, don't get right in front (which you shouldn't with this horse anyway). Stay a bit off to the side. Again-doesn't matter what you make her do, as long as she moves those feet, and keep it up for a while! As my trainer says-make it easier to do what you want and harder to misbehave. She will soon learn that when she does that she runs her butt off!
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post #9 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 06:50 AM
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Pro - A more detailed post now that I have time.

You mentioned that a few times when she reared you worked on standing still and backing up - These aren't great things to do when the horse is in that mindset - As I said above, rearing is generally a symptom of the feet being stuck, so you need to unstick them.

When she does offer a rear, I stand by what I said above - On the way up, put all your bodyweight into the rope to jerk her head to the side - this will pull her off balance and force her to come down, reducing the severity and risk.

After the rear is a critical time. I would work on loosening up those feet and reminding her she is always able to move if she feels stuck. Forward is best if she is determind to rear, but you can also work on sideways and disengaging the hindquarters - Depends on what you like. Personally, rearing is one habit I do not tolerate, ever, under any circumstance, so if one of my horses does rear, I make them think they are about to die for a minute. I growl, I wave my arms, I get big, and they sure as heck better get moving forward quick smart. I send them in a few circles, then stop, relax, forget it ever happened and go on with what I was doing.

If you can sense the rear coming, through her body language, then you can avoid it happening all together. The best way is to keep her head tipped toward you with her body moving forward around you - This makes her cross her legs which occupies her mind, keeps her feet moving which prevents her getting stuck, and disengages her hind quarter and weights the inside hind, making it harder for her to weight both hind legs to rear. This is a manouver you might want to teach her in any case - it is a great tool for relaxing a nervous horse and can prevent most unruly behaviour - You have control of the head, the mind is busy, the feet are moving, and the hindquarters and disengaged.

Good luck! I don't begrudge you bailing, a horse in a full on rear is a very scary and dangerous situation. Hopefully from now on you can diffuse the situation before it ever happens.

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post #10 of 41 Old 05-21-2010, 08:58 AM
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Wild Spot is completely right! Its very scary when they go straight up! At this point though, I would say you need to come down on her like a ton of bricks. Its COMPLETELY unacceptable and she needs to realize that immediately or she/you/innocent bystander will get hurt. Once you get her back down, work her hard enough that she is blowing a bit. She sounds like a slightly lazy girl that is throwing a fit and it shouldn't take her long at all to realize that its a lot easier and a lot less work to do as you ask and behave than to be a turd and work til she sweats.
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