Rearing issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Rearing issues

Gent, my paint TB, I recently gave away after a year long struggle with him rearing every time I asked him to stop or slow down. My trainer and I did everything we could think of to change his behavior, with no luck. Even sent him to the cowboys for a month. He came back as wired as ever. Heres a picture or two of one of the many rears captured on film/image. I just wanted to know, is there anything anyone can think of that may have caused this. Because he was in perfect health, not a sensitive mouth, not an overpowering bit (he was a hard mouth), and he had no ailments or history of it. He just went insane one day, and never recovered.
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:10 PM
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Did he do this from the time you got him, or was this an issue he developed later? Sounds like something traumatic could have happened to him in his past and that action makes him very fearful.
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post #3 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:27 PM
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Did you try changing bits?
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spotted View Post
Did you try changing bits?
We did. Bought and used around 11 actually. Nothing made any change. And yes we tested the bits over a period of time, not just one day, then next bit.

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post #5 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:36 PM
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Rearing is an evasion. It is usually brought on by ill fitting equipment OR by asking the horse for more than he is trained to do. The horse feels trapped and rears. If the evasion works, he will do it again.

Most rearing of a mental nature (tack fits well, bit is OK and so forth) is a lack of foundation training. The horse may mask this until one day it comes out and he has no real idea what you want.. and so he evades by rearing. From there he may default to rearing whenever asked to do something he is uncomfortable with.

From your description of a Hard Mouth and him rearing when asked to slow down or stop, it sounds to me like his foundation was missing a few footings. He was likey unbalanced when asked to transition down and that lack of balance scared him.. he over corrected and reared.

Horses do not really get hard mouths (they learn to evade the pressure by boring into the bit) and most horses are not ever taught how to slow down and transition from a faster gait to a slower one (or a stop) without losing baloance and ending up on their forehand and "falling apart." If your horse felt like that (or like he was going to fall) he might rear.

If rearing becomes habitual, it can be very difficult to fix and the horse may never be reliable. OTOH if rearing is evasion, the best thing to do is go back and plug the holes in the horse's foundation training before asking for more so the horse has no reason to rear.

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post #6 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by showjumper09 View Post
Did he do this from the time you got him, or was this an issue he developed later? Sounds like something traumatic could have happened to him in his past and that action makes him very fearful.
He did not do this before or 3 years after we bought him. And nothing traumatic ever happened to him while he was in our care. We don't know what happened, he just snapped one day and never came back.

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post #7 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:39 PM
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When you say slowing down, do you mean going from one gait to another or just changing speed in a gait? Does he rear when you are leading him on the ground and ask him to slow down or stop?

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post #8 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
Rearing is an evasion. It is usually brought on by ill fitting equipment OR by asking the horse for more than he is trained to do. The horse feels trapped and rears. If the evasion works, he will do it again.

Most rearing of a mental nature (tack fits well, bit is OK and so forth) is a lack of foundation training. The horse may mask this until one day it comes out and he has no real idea what you want.. and so he evades by rearing. From there he may default to rearing whenever asked to do something he is uncomfortable with.

From your description of a Hard Mouth and him rearing when asked to slow down or stop, it sounds to me like his foundation was missing a few footings. He was likey unbalanced when asked to transition down and that lack of balance scared him.. he over corrected and reared.

Horses do not really get hard mouths (they learn to evade the pressure by boring into the bit) and most horses are not ever taught how to slow down and transition from a faster gait to a slower one (or a stop) without losing baloance and ending up on their forehand and "falling apart." If your horse felt like that (or like he was going to fall) he might rear.

If rearing becomes habitual, it can be very difficult to fix and the horse may never be reliable. OTOH if rearing is evasion, the best thing to do is go back and plug the holes in the horse's foundation training before asking for more so the horse has no reason to rear.
We thought that as well, but he never once felt unbalanced or as if he didnt want to do something. His old owner did say she tried him in soft bits but he was too powerful and uncontrollable. So she got him up in bits and he then became hard in the mouth. I do see your points though and they are valid.

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post #9 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wetrain17 View Post
When you say slowing down, do you mean going from one gait to another or just changing speed in a gait? Does he rear when you are leading him on the ground and ask him to slow down or stop?
No, never ANY complications of any sort on the ground. And changing down from gaits. Its not that he couldnt, but he didnt want to. Ever. There were times when it was so bad, my shoulder was dislocated twice by his pulling and rearing.

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-01-2012, 01:59 PM
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Something my first horse did and it wasn't out of meanness. My trainer and I figured out it was a cue she was probably taught. All I did was turn her every time and keep turning or you can smack them between the ears with a whip. I didn't smack her there, just on the rump. Eventually she stopped. Once in a while she would go nuts and I heard it had alot to do with her having BOT at one time. Like they never get rid of it or something. When I sold her and went off to college I saw her one time after the girl had her through 2 trainers. When I rode her it was like they undid all the training I did for her. So that was sad really.

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