I'm curious to know: in your experience, do horses that flip tend to only do it once (because they've scared themselves, etc.), or is a horse that has flipped over just as likely to continue rearing the same as before? Or does it just depend on the individual?
One big Irish TB that came in for breaking prior to going into jump training was a so and so.
I said from the moment I started working him (he was 4 years) that he had been tried. The sales catalogue said 'Lunged and long reined until the time of the sales'
He was a nappy dog and his favourite trick was to get to the side of the road, stand vertical and instead of going over would go down to the side so he never hurt himself.
I have had the odd youngster do something and go up not knowing what they are doing over balance and flip. Once and it frightens them others will find it a good excuse to do it again.
Anther confirmed rearer we flipped him over into a river. He swam for about 1/2 mile before he could gain the bank and I got straight on him and he immediately flipped again!
I busted my back in three places when a young filly had a hissy fit and went up. I bailed out and was stood by her side holding the reins when she teetered trying not to go over, she slipped and fell to the side. I slipped as I tried to get out the way but she landed on me. She never reared again.
As for the horse I mentioned earlier, he was a 'character' and of all the horses I have ridden before and since, he would be the one I would want to clone. He never gave up trying all sorts of things on, he never won but he still tried! He knew when I was cross with him and would take it whereas when he first came he would fight back if you corrected him. As he was 16.2 heavyweight hunter and knew his strength it was vital that he respected me.
He was hogged (roached) and to do so meant twitching him and being quick to run the clippers down either side of his mane - if you weren't he would just throw you around on the end of the twitch. After the first few weeks of coming to an agreement, I would leave him loose, stand on a stool, he would put his head right down. I would step down and his head would go up. This would go on for a few minutes and then I would poke him in the neck and tell him to stop messing and he was as good as gold to do. T was a matter of coming to an agreement with him rather than telling him.
Heck, I loved that horse like no other.