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Rearing

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  • Horse rearing when asked to back
  • Horse has started rearing

 
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    05-10-2010, 05:03 AM
  #1
Foal
Rearing

Hello all--I'm here for a bit of advice.

I bought my horse in November of last year. He is a 3D barrel horse that was used in high school rodeo by a girl the same age as me. (I'm 19) When I bought him, I specifically asked her if he had ever reared and she replied saying "only small bunny hops towards the barrels, never away from them" verbatum.

Now. He is a habitual rearer. Personally, I don't believe he is a "confusion" rearer or a "scared" rearer--I think he does it out of malice. As if to say, "Get OFF my back RIGHT NOW!" He is 14 years old and is spook proof. He is "trained" and knows his job, I never ask anything complicated from him anyways. Never spooks at anything to rear over!

He loves to rear when you turn him away from other horses (buddy sour), he also rears when you ask him to back up, and gets incredibly INSANE when you run barrels on him or plain ole' ride him for too long in one session. I've got a vet check on him, all is good. I've even had a chiropractor out to check his back.. perfectly healthy! He is not hurting.

I hate to say this, but I'm scared of my own horse. He rears while I ride him, while my friends ride him, even while trainers ride him. Any advice? How do I go about selling a problem horse like this if it is out of my league to "fix" this? Who would buy him?! Could I get sued for selling him and he possibly hurting his new owner?

I've heard all the quick fixes: eggs, water balloons, hitting him on the way up, turning circles (that was lovely, we were sideways and up in the sky), everything. Before recently he would only rear a few feet off the ground, but the last time he reared he was a 90 degree angle to the ground and I abandoned ship. I honestly believe if I had not jumped off, he would have flipped over on me.

What do I do?! I am open to ALL suggestions--even selling him.
     
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    05-10-2010, 05:58 AM
  #2
Started
First, no animal does anything out of "malice". Humans are the only animals that have these types of feelings. So get that right out of your head.


"I honestly believe if I had not jumped off, he would have flipped over on me."
I'm guessing if you jumped off, it wasn't the first time. Horses believe it or not are very, very, lazy, fast learning animals. Even one time they will realize if they can get you off once, they can do it again. Unless you correct the behavior. You need to ride it through them.

Unless I can see when he rears I can't really help you. Horses can rear for so many reasons. Judging from the way you typed and the words you have chosen it sounds like you're very aggressive. Perhaps you are confusing him, and don't know it. Or perhaps you're asking too much out of him at once?

What exactly is his "job"
     
    05-10-2010, 06:15 AM
  #3
Foal
I don't think my horse literally "hates" me, malice was a bit of a powerful word. However, I strongly believe he is rearing because of an attitude issue.

Until that point, I had never jumped off him before. I got back on and continued riding him, although timidly. I haven't jumped off him/fell off since then.

His job? To do as I ask sanely. I do not even barrel race him anymore, he's just too insane. Simply w/t/c around an arena for an hour or so twice a week. I might ask him to back up, to which he rears. I might ask him to bend or flex, to which he rears. I might ask him to do small circles, to which he rears. I just can't understand why he would do this if pain and health issues aren't relevent here. I've had him checked by two vets, each thorougly (and expensively).

The worst is when I turn him away from the "group" of horses and he gets pissy. He paws, stomps around, and just acts like a terrible toddler.
     
    05-10-2010, 06:22 AM
  #4
Weanling
Im just going to toss it out there, though if he's been checked by a vet I would think it would have been ruled out. How are his teeth? I've witnessed well behaved lead line ponies go right sour due a tooth ache. Can't blame them as tooth aches are not something any of us want to deal with.

What I say to anyone dealing with a horse that rears is go seek professional help. Rearing is not something that is often home remedied by your every day horse back rider. Especially if you're starting to fear him.
     
    05-10-2010, 06:25 AM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by samc230    
I strongly believe he is rearing because of an attitude issue.

Until that point, I had never jumped off him before. I got back on and continued riding him, although timidly. I haven't jumped off him/fell off since then.

His job? To do as I ask sanely. I do not even barrel race him anymore, he's just too insane. Simply w/t/c around an arena for an hour or so twice a week. I might ask him to back up, to which he rears. I might ask him to bend or flex, to which he rears. I might ask him to do small circles, to which he rears. I just can't understand why he would do this if pain and health issues aren't relevent here. I've had him checked by two vets, each thorougly (and expensively).

The worst is when I turned him away from the "group" of horses and he gets pissy. He paws, stomps around, and just acts like a terrible toddler.
It could very well be an attitude issue.

When he rears and you ride timid, perhaps he learns that you won't work him as hard after?

Keeping in mind he is a barrel horse, just like OTTB, they need to be re-trained and it's harder than it looks. Alot of times they need to be professionally retrained. I know many people who refuse to buy a retired barrel horse because sometimes they are crazy! Sometimes you can never fully retrain them.

Can you get out to the barn more often? Because twice a week isn't enough. Are you riding for a purpose? You should take a video, I would like to see this. Have you tried trail riding? Riding in the same place for your life is very boring and the horse can become arena sour.

What are you looking to do? What are your goals? Maybe it is best to sell the horse if you can't dedicate 5 days a week to training? Or if this horse can't be broken for a calm slow going discipline? And find another horse. I know many people who wouldn't buy this horse but maybe someone around you is looking for a barrel horse to start on?
     
    05-10-2010, 06:32 AM
  #6
Foal
Cougar, he gets his teeth floated every year along with getting his Coggins pulled. I just had them both done last month. I don't know diddly squat about teeth/wolf teeth, but while his teeth were being done no one said anything to me about any issues or problems.

I'm a full time honors student in college. I can barely make it to the barn twice a week, not to mention I absolutely abhor riding him. I'm not really riding for a purpose at all, perhaps to make myself feel less guilty for not riding him more often. Then again, who wants to ride a horse that is scary and uncomfortable to ride? My britches are not too big for me to admit he is more than likely out of my ball park. I never trail ride because I'm terrified he will flip over on a trail somewhere and I'll royally be screwed then. He is so fussy, he rears when I ask him to go in water or sand piles (who knows about the sand piles) I'm sure he would rear on a trail because he simply did not feel like going any further.

He is for sale right now. I guess I made this post to comfort myself in my decision to sell him. He is a peppy, speedy, and a winning barrel horse.. but too much for me. I got in over my head. I just don't know how to handle the rearing issue given the limited time and funds I now have.

Don't get me wrong, I love this horse to death.

As far as videos go, I don't have any videos of him acting up. I have videos of him behaving himself. The next time I go out to ride, I'll bring my camera and do several things that "tick" him off.
     
    05-10-2010, 07:01 AM
  #7
Showing
First, since you are selling him, I hope you will do a full disclosure about his problems. It would be terrible if someone gets hurt, or worse, because they were unsuspecting. In the mean while, I certainly would not try to get him to rear for the sake of a video,

As to the problem, how long after you got him did he start rearing? Have you ruled out feed or stalling as possibilities? He may also be sour to the barrels and needs some time off. In any case, rearing is one of the most dangerous habits a horse can have. I would strongly suggest a competent trainer and not try to take this on alone. You may just have a fixable problem that will turn him into the horse you expected.
     
    05-10-2010, 07:19 AM
  #8
Showing
If you decide on keeping him I'd say get a knowledgeable trainer dealing with PROBLEM horses. Not just ANY trainer. Does he rear on ground as well or just when you ride him?
     
    05-10-2010, 07:19 AM
  #9
Weanling
My very first horse was a rearer and only a 3yro. Any time he refused. It was either a 360 or if I turned him around and made him go it was up we went. He was very good at it. But at the time I was a very green rider. He would go up so far and I would slide off of him. One day while on the farm I asked him to walk into the pond. He refused I came off. My friend who was at the time very knowledgeable and she got on him ( now she tried to explain to me what I needed to do, but I was chicken I guess to say back then) He did his thing. What she did was every time his feet came off the ground no matter how high she would take her right hand and bump his mouth with the bit enough to cause him pain. When he stayed on the ground no pain. When he went up it was pain. He learned quickly that he couldn't get away with it any longer and turned into one of the best trail horses I ever had. I have a pic of it I'll dig it out and post it later Can't access photobucket from work...Good Luck
     
    05-10-2010, 08:10 AM
  #10
Weanling
I believe that you are looking at the wrong problem here. You are looking at the result of the problem, the rearing.

Rearing is a defensive behavior, you mentioned twice that he is extremely buddy sour and rears when you take him away from other horses. The rearing is not the problem, it is a way that he is dealing with his insecurity of being alone. Since he has used this successfully as a defense mechanism, he has transferred it to other aspects of his life, its proven to be something that works because it makes you unconfident. I commonly see horses rearing when asked to back out of physical issues. It sounds strange to say, but often times vets aren't able to recognize small postural issues of a horse and rider that make it difficult to back up. I know one horse that had been completely vetted with x-rays and would not back with a rider. I got on her and she backed up round and even with minimal fighting at first, and no fighting after a few minutes. Its surprisingly easy to block your horses natural movement and for the horse to learn to respond by obedience rather than correctness. Some horses won't. When he learns that he rears and is asked for forward rather than backwards, its getting him what he needs.

Its very possible that you could still be dealing with some physical as well as behavioral issues here, not to mention just basic insecurities and lack of trust in you as a leader. As far as selling him goes, good luck, but definitely let any potential buyer know about these issues. I am frequently given horses like this, or buy them for a couple hundred dollars, but I don't think you could expect to get out of him what you put in to him just based on what he used to be.
     

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