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This is a discussion on Rearing within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Rearing during training
  • Correct rear horse

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    07-28-2010, 02:18 AM

What do YOU do about rearing?
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    07-28-2010, 03:46 AM
Green Broke
I don't fully understand the question, but i'll do my best. My last mare was a BIG rearer. I did many things to try to nip it in the bud; first off, I would run her butt to death if she did, usually on the lunge. When that didn't work, I would yank her sideways when she went up and make her come down. When that didn't work, we just went back to basics. Had her in a small closed area and walked and trotted around until she was comfortable, and if I felt like her feet were about to get "stuck", I would start to do circles and circles and circles. The latter worked best for this particular mare. Just keeping them moving, and being able to tell they're going to rear before their feet come off the ground. You have to be very intuitive to your horse, and be ready to get those legs moving before they go up.
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    07-28-2010, 11:20 AM
Super Moderator
In my experience, forward motion is key to avoiding a rear.

If the horse does achieve the rear you can kick him forward, however that usually results in a forward leap into the rear and then forward motion, occasionally ending in a buck.

Once the horse begins to rear, you can jab a knuckle into his spine, just above the withers, it's uncomfortable and will lower the rear to about 2 feet, but will not stop or fix it.

You can also grab your rein and yank the horse to the left or right while he is on the upswing. This will knock him off balance and force his feet to the ground. Once his feet hit the ground you need to push him forward. Something to watch for in a smart horse is the counter action, which would be for him to pull his head in the opposite direction that you plan to pull. You'll already be off balance and he'll end up yanking you right out of the saddle.

Another option is the take a short stick and smack him directly between the ears while he is on the UP swing. He has to be going up when you smack him, otherwise it doesn't really have the effect you are looking for, which is to make him think he's bumping his head on something... (this is also where the crack an egg and rubber hose method come in)

The above are all things I've tried in the past with my chronic rearer. For me, they are good counter-actions, but I've never found an actual "cure" for him.

I was once told by an old-timer to tie a piece of bailing twine from his halter to his tail. I don't think I did it right because when he reared, all I managed to do was rip out a chunk of tail.

I've been told to dismount and flip the horse onto his back during a rear but have never, and will never resort to that method.

Is there a reason for the question? Curious.
    07-28-2010, 11:29 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
Once the horse begins to rear, you can jab a knuckle into his spine, just above the withers, it's uncomfortable and will lower the rear to about 2 feet, but will not stop or fix it.
I LOVE this piece of advice, I hadn't heard it before! My mare is partial to the occasional rear, mostly when she is overwhelmed by something. I always keep a bend in her neck so that she can't get up too high. Getting her to move forwards eases the situation although that is not always as easy as it sounds. Usually I have to turn her either left or right before we can get any sort of forwards motion happening. Since her cause is nervous tension, I never get upset, continuously talk to her and just ask ask ask for forwards motion.

I will definitely be trying a knuckle into the spine next time though!!
    07-28-2010, 11:48 AM
Green Broke
The one and only time I dealt with a chronic rearer, I used the old cowboy method of "flip the sucker". I was 14 and it was what my grandpa told me to do. It worked, but I would ONLY resort to that method in a last ditch attempt on a horse that was so dangerous his next step was the slaughter plant.

Every once in awhile, Zierra thinks maybe she's considering going up instead of forward, and it's essentially a well placed kick and promptly cranking her nose to my knee. MOST horses give plenty of warning, and it's just learning to recognize the signs.

I agree prevention is key or getting the discipline out AS they're going up - once they hit the pinacle of the rear, DO NOT attempt to correct them. Hang on for dear life and be ready to wallop them for all you're worth as the front feet touch ground again to force a forward jump as opposed to rearing AGAIN.
    07-28-2010, 11:51 AM
Green Broke
Ive never actually delt with a rearer before (knock on wood) But I have been given lots of advice lol! It kinda depends on what they are rearing for, like, you would have to find that out and hopefully its something you can stop.
If the horse I was on wanted to rearer, your supposed to make him move his hindquarters around so his back legs are crossing and he can't rear. Or just make him leg yeild or do a shoulder in or anythign to get his legs crossing and his mind off rearing. They can't physicly rear when theyre crossing their legs either apperently.
    07-28-2010, 01:00 PM
Rearing is usually the horse's way of telling you they feel they cannot go forward.

So the first thing you need to do to "fix" it is to make sure you haven't closed all the doors against him. For some horses this might be a little too much contact with their face as well as too much leg... or it might be simply too much leg.

'Chronic' rearers are horses who have learned to anticipate that they "cannot" go forward. They need to be re-schooled so they understand they CAN go forward. I generally start this work on the ground... before getting back into the saddle - leading, lunging, and ground-driving, when I have established a good foward on the ground I get up in the saddle and do it there as well.

Then there is rearing related to pain... a horse with back pain or saddle fit issues may rear... a horse with teeth in need of floating may rear, or a horse who has been hit too hard in the mouth may rear. The only solution to this kind of rearing is to fix the pain.
    07-28-2010, 03:01 PM
I've always been taught to first find out why the horse is rearing. Then if pain is ruled out, either get their feet moving or give them a good wallop between the ears as they go up. As with was Macabre said, never hit once the rear is all the way up, at that point I would hang on for dear life and give a good crack on the hindquaters or a good boot in the ribs to get moving forward.
    07-28-2010, 04:27 PM
Just looking into what everyone does with horses who rear.

The other day when I went out on a trail ride with my new horse (Callaway) and one of our dogs was in the bushes and made a sound. Callaway stopped and looked at it, then when I asked him to move forward he started to back up and then eventually reared! His rears got bigger and I had to get someone to go in front of me. He got a few good smacks on the head for that.
    07-28-2010, 04:35 PM
An trainer that I know here has been training reining horses for years, along with cutting and performance. His cure is interesting, but he swears it works every time with the horses he has used it on.
I guess timing would be super important and planning ahead, but he says use a filled water balloon on their head when the rear and smack it between the ears.
I guess this is a play on the egg treatment,, but he says the balloon is full of liquid, so it really runs down their head and face.

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