Naughty rearing horse

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Naughty rearing horse

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    03-07-2009, 02:29 PM
Post Naughty rearing horse

Alright, basically the title says it all. My horse is extremely buddy sour and has decided that one way to get his way is to start rearing with me on his back... Needless to say this is not something I want him to keep doing. He has done it on two separate occaisions. The first was a couple of months ago, and he was probably 1.5 ft off the ground. I popped him and one rein stopped him (once he was back on the ground). Last night I took him out and he reared 3 times. The first two were like the one from the other ride. The last one was scary, he was probably 3-4 ft off the ground & over a 45 deg angle, I was worried he was going to come over on me. I need some ideas to fix this... part of the problem is that he was not ridden all winter because I don't have a safe winter riding area, so I think some exercise will definitely help. Otherwise I'm open to suggestions. Basically right now I'm riding out the rear (leaning forward, no pressure on the reins) and making him move once he has all four feet on the ground (small circles, figure eights, etc). Ok, anyways, suggestions??
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    03-07-2009, 04:32 PM
I think it all starts with groundwork. Perhaps you could try the Parelli 7 Games. That's a great way to get a horse to trust and respect you. And I'd always work the horse on the ground before riding, just so he's in the right frame of mind when you get on.

So now you need to ask yourself why he's buddy sour. Usually it's because the horse really doesn't want to be with the person and/or he doesn't trust the person. This is not meant to be an attack on you, it's just important that we figure out WHY he's acting that way. So whatever the case may be, here's how I'd go about this issue. Ask him to walk forward and AS SOON as you feel him tense, hesitate, etc. stop. Let him chill for a minute. If he can't stand still take him back toward the barn. This is approach and retreat. Approach the threshold and when he gets tense, etc. retreat. It's when you push him past the threshold and try to force him that he rears. So by respecting his thresholds you prevent the rearing from even happening in the first place. Smacking him and all that will not fix the problem, it will just add fuel to the fire.
    03-07-2009, 05:07 PM
Thanks for your suggestions. I have been doing some looking into the Parelli games and they seem interesting, but not really different than regular groundwork? I haven't gotten that in depth yet though, so I could be wrong. Anyways, you are probably right about him not really wanting to be with me at that particular moment... not that he dislikes me, but he LOVES my mare. This is the first time that he has been kept with a mare and has become very attached to her. In the past he was kept with geldings and we had problems with him putting holes in the other horses.

I should probably elaborate on what is happening when he is rearing. Basically what the situation is that we are riding away from the house. Everything is fine, he's responsive, a little nervous, full of energy, etc but still doing what I'm asking. I came to the end of the driveway and turned a circle so we were facing the house and he attempted to bolt. I checked him lightly with the reins (trying to stay out of his mouth as much as possible) and up he went. All three times it was the same thing. It wasn't a refusal to go forward (which I think is what it came off as when I first described it) but more frustration that I wouldn't let him go forward fast enough.

Also, this is a problem all of his other owners have had with him, regarding the barn/buddy sourness, not the rearing. I also was told that the first owners were afraid of him because he has a tendency to explode when he is scared. I don't think he has always had the best experiences relying on humans for guidance. Looking at the Parelli personalities I would say he is a right brain extrovert (pulled up the website quickly ).

That being said I think you have good suggestions (I will work to incorporate them) and I appreciate your input. I don't think hitting him will work either, that was just my first reaction the very first time he did it (obviously didn't work right?)
    03-07-2009, 05:14 PM
I did this to my horse and he NEVER did it again:Take a non-boiled egg, put the egg in which ever hand desired. When the horse rears up, crack the egg between his ears.
    03-07-2009, 05:19 PM
Gain control of his hind quarters. Teach him in an area where he behaves to move his butt from right to left when you ask. Right reins comes up (towards the sky) right leg bumps his hind end to the left. Release instantly. Repeat both directions until you can easily move his hind end from the left to the right. Holding the rein striahgt upwards gives you control over his shoulders , and it directly speaks to the hind. If you were to pull the rein away or towards your hip you open the door for his shoulder to buldge out, in which case gives him the ability to drift around with his shoulder leading.
Moving his hind end left to right transfers the weight onto his front end. When his weight is on his front end, he cannot rear. If his weight is on his hind legs, he has the ability to rear. The second you feel your guy posture backwards and go there, you instantly move his hind end from left to right, right to left, quickly. If you are too slow, he'll sneak out and get that weight behind him to rear. The moment you feel him want to just go forwards, you allow.
Practice this somewhere safe before you hit the trail. :)
    03-07-2009, 06:12 PM
Morganshow - My cousin also told me the egg trick, but I am hesitant to use it for a couple of reasons:

1. How did your horse react? I could see Soda completely freaking out if I did that to him and not at all in a good way. Dangerously freaking out. I may be wrong though, my cousin never mentioned the reactions of the horses she did it to, I will definitely ask her tonight though.

2. He is already a little uneasy about having his head handled. Not completely head shy but, definitely not that comfortable with having his head messed with. I worry that by doing something like this to him I am going to ruin all of the progress I have made getting him to accept me touching his face. What do you think?

Koomy – I like the way this sounds. He is pretty responsive with moving his hindquarters already (more so than his front end). But we have been having some issues. I think that I’ve been using my reins incorrectly based on your description. How high do you raise the rein? This is definitely something I will practice. Hopefully the paddock will dry out enough for me to work there… stupid winter

I will be working with him in a safe area though for now… and should probably start using a saddle too Thankfully it is getting warmer and the ice is melting so I will have some areas to work with him in and we can start doing a lot more groundwork & riding.
    03-07-2009, 11:01 PM
I would highly suggest you not crack an egg over your horse's head. The theory is that the horse will think he's bleeding, but why on earth would you want your horse to think that? Personally I'd like to get to the root of the problem and prevent the horse from rearing in the first place.

If your horse is a right brained extrovert I'd suggest you look into the strategies to use with this kind of horse--that can be found on the Parelli website as well. The groundwork will be a big key to a successful ride. Get him CALM, relaxed and confident before you ever get on him. If he's full of energy, can't stand still, etc. DO NOT GET ON! Lol. When you do get on take things slow. This is just an example, so hang with me, but say you are 20 ft. From your house when he starts getting nervous. Do not go past this threshold and calmly work within this area. Put him on a pattern. This is a great thing to do with a right brained extrovert. Do figure 8s, for example. Or constantly change directions....this will work b/c he will have to disengage his hindquarters and when the horse does that the "thinking side" of his brain will kick in, which is what we want. So walk 5 steps, reach down one rein, tip his nose and disengage his hind end, flow the front end through and go the other direction...walk 5 steps, repeat. Keep him on a pattern UNTIL HE IS CALM. That's what you need to look for with a horse with his Horsenality.
    03-09-2009, 12:04 AM
The height depends on how much you need his hind quarters to move. Some horses are very sensetive, and just raising the rein 5-6 inches is enough, sometimes you can go higher. It is common for you to go as high as your face, so don't worry that you're going too high. I forgot to mention this before, but while you are using your rein in that way make sure your wrist is straight. It sends a clear, consistent message, while a bent wrist isn't as clear.
    03-09-2009, 01:51 AM
There is some great advice in here - and just wanted to chime in.

Whenever a horse even threatens to rear with me, I get them in a circle FAST, and then drive them forward before they have a chance to get behind my leg. Like someone above said, keeping hindquarters engaged is key because once a horse sucks back off the leg, they can get away with almost anything they want.

It's also important to make sure that like someone else said, the horse trusts you and is able to see that leaving the barn/house area as a good thing. Have you tried walking him on the ground on the trails away from the house/barn and see how he reacts? Also - think like the dog trainer from "It's Me or the Dog" - what will give him the positive encouragement to make him WANT to move away from his "safe zone" to make him see it as a fun, good experience? Perhaps it's starting on the ground and encouraging then rewarding with treats. Then eventually riding. Each session go a few steps farther than last time, then reward, end session. So you are always building on success without adding anxiety.

Good luck!
    03-09-2009, 04:49 AM
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
1. How did your horse react? I could see Soda completely freaking out if I did that to him and not at all in a good ...
2. He is already a little uneasy about having his head handled. Not completely head shy but, definitely not that comfortable with having his
It always makes me smile when these funny ideas come up. Personally I think snake oil works better. Easier to get out of the horse's coat afterwards too! You're spot on with 2 of the possible outcomes of punishing him.

I agree with getting his hq moving. As you haven't ridden him for a few months, working on your relationship would be a good preliminary to riding, as is making sure he gets a fair bit of exercise - and preferrably not to allow him to go so lacking in the future, as exercise is so important to their health as well as attitude. Also not sure if feed has been mentioned, but that can play a big part too.

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