rearing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-27-2010, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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My T/B gelding is fine on the flat and jumping, but when it comes to gynkhanas at the start he rears sooo much. the only thing that stops it is a market harbourough but most the time they wont let me use it. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-27-2010, 10:24 PM
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Has he been gamed extensively? Is it rearing of refusal to go into the gate, or overexcitement?

If it's the first, then he may need a good break from any kind of showing, or atleast gaming events; take him on trail rides, and don't focus on the gymkhanas. If he is fine for jumping/eventing, stick with that for a while, and give his mind a rest from gymkhana.

If it's the over excitement issue, I think you need to start working on calming him down. Ride him toward the arena, but as soon as he starts getting over excited, turn around, and go away, then turn around and try again, once he calms down...don't 'reward' the rearing, and excitement with going into the arena.

I don't think tie downs or anything is the solution here; you just need to get smart about how to handle him, and retrain his response to that situation.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-27-2010, 11:01 PM
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Get control of his hindquarters, frontquarters and head and keep a bend in him. If he isn't perfectly straight from his head to his tail he CAN"T rear.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-27-2010, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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He has'nt been extensively shown, he came off the track four years ago tho. i think he just gets over excited.. he just gets impatient for them to say go. thanx
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-28-2010, 12:42 AM
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My showjumper does the exact same thing, he will get through a couple of events fine but after that he just gets over-excited: backing up, jigging, trying to rear, and eventually rearing.

The best thing I've found that works is keeping him calm, after each event drop your reins and walk him out for a good 5 minutes until he's completely relaxed. Do the same thing before each event, walk him away from the group on a long rein and keep him relaxed, even walk him around and around in front of the start box before the judge has given you the ok to go.

It just comes down to getting him calm and keeping him calm. If you can practice at rallys or musters with the events, weave him in and out of the start pegs and walk him through the event and just around and around and around it until he STOPS getting excited. He'll soon learn to stay calm and treat each sporting event just like anything else.

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-28-2010, 12:52 AM
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I second Lifeofriley - spend 10-15 minutes each time you ride on relaxation exersizes, even when you're just hacking at home. That way when you get to the event, you'll have the home experience to ask him to relax. Good luck and just keep at it!

My old mare used to get giddy at the gate as well - did some homework on just trotting the barrels and poles, slow her down and do it more often. Besides, if he's relaxed during your run, he's likely to focus and have tighter turns for you because he's not already gearing for the next turn!

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post #7 of 19 Old 06-28-2010, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Get control of his hindquarters, frontquarters and head and keep a bend in him. If he isn't perfectly straight from his head to his tail he CAN"T rear.
This is not actually true, I had a mare that would flip herself over backwards from any possition, including bent. It can be more dangerous if they are bent when they rear because they don't have good balance that way. I also knew a mare that would rear with her head tied to her tail (not me doing the tying). It may work for some horses to bend them, but you can get the odd one who will rear worse if they are bent.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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yehh he does still rear in whatever position you put him in. Once he gets tired he just calms right down.. by the time i've even got to the second event im usually disqualified. I never get angry at him, always stay calm but everyone else seems to
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 01:19 AM
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I think you need to take a big break from running, loping, or even trotting in gymkhanas. Continue to go, but walk the pattern until thats what the horse expects.

If the horse rears lean forward, create forward nothing (slap on the rump/neck, or something that works for you).

Remember to give the horse somewhere to go.

"On the 6th day God created horses; and on the 7th day He painted the good ones"
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 07:22 PM
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Do they have a box that you enter to go into it? My old sporting horse used to go off his nut just walking up to the 6m line, so I had to enter from the side of the box on a long rein.

Now, I see that no one else has asked this, but what could you be doing that makes him like this? I'm not saying that you are winding him up on purpose, blah blah blah... A girl I used to know used to gear her horse up with a standing martingale, stock saddle, pelham, short sporting reins, and huge roller spurs with a fairly sharp rowel. She would walk him up to the start line, tense up, saw at the reins, hold her hands in her lap (a near impossible feat with sporting reins), and constantly nag him with her spurs. Not just nag, like full on jab. She would do that until the starter told her to go and she'd release the reins... That horse is no longer rideable and is banned from most pony club grounds. So ask yourself, do you do anything to make him rear? I don't mean anything to the extent of the girl I know. It could be an unconsious thing. I know I tense up and my adrenaline levels rise when I'm about to go, so Barcoo tenses up himself, bucks and surges forward. My friend always unconsiously holds the reins a little tighter and grips with her legs so her horse gets nervous and prances up and down. Little things like that can get to the horse and get him excited - you probably won't know you're doing it until you look! There's a different point of view for you. It may not be something you are doing, but it's always best to look at yourself before the horse. "A bad workman always blames his tools" and all that - I got that saying absolutely drilled into me at pony club. I find it's the best piece of advice ever given to me.

If it's over excitement, then I would suggest having a break or taking all of the events extremely slow like in a walk or trot. You'll know if it's over excitement if he's chomping on the bit, frothing up, ears pricked, surging forward at the slightest touch, and a few other behaviours that I can't think of right now... If he continues with it after a while of breaks and going slow, you may like to think that he's just not the horse for it. I gave up sporting my horses because they got too over-excited and it was becoming dangerous, especially as most TBs are large horses and aren't as easy to sport as ponies, stock horses and QHs. Sorry if my response was a bit long, I really hope you get it back together with him and become a speedy team together. (I hope I didn't offend you in any way! That's why I don't like posting on forums haha.) =]

...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...
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