My 9 year old gelding has a sweet desposition, very sweet, loves everybody. But when he's under saddle and gets an idea in his head that he doesn't want to do, if I fight him on it, he pops up; maybe 4-5 inches off the ground. I know if he continues to do this and gets away w/ it, his behavior will get worse. He does this on the longe line too. When I get him to change directions on the line, he will rear up with me.
How do I get him to stop rearing while he's under me?
How do I get him to stop rearing while I'm longeing him?
How can I teach him this is unacceptable?
I can tell you from my own bad expirience that beating and slashing will be the last thing you need. First of all, if you want him not to rear under saddle with you in it, you must tech him not to rear on the ground. I know how hard it is, and if you have stallion it is a real big problem. Your horse probably thinks that with rearing he will fix all his problems, and that's why he is doin' it all the time if someting is not on his wish. I don't want to be philosophyst who will now share his philosophy about natural....But you must first understand why is your horse doin' that, and when you kow that you can start with fixing the problem. I don't know did you ever heard about some books like natural horsemanship, or one good is; A good horse is never a bad colour. This books had helped me a lot in working with horses.
First make sure the horse is sound and is not injured or sore in his back, feet, legs, mouth etc. If he is ok then keep reading
While lunging a horse, it can some times get testy and rear defiantly, if it caused you to stop lunging it, then it learn that if it wanted to stop working all it had to do is rear.
Now a horse is strong and if it decides to rear up, you cannot stop it, so then let it rear up, then keep it moving, it takes a lot of energy for a horse to rear and soon enough it will figure, "why am I doing all this extra work" and will stop rearing.
When riding a horse some people unknowingly urge the horse forward and at the same time do not give him, his head, they instead keep a tight rein. So that the only place for the horse to go is up.
If this are not the cause and it is just plain disrespect, then go back to your ground traing first, when you lunge him and he rears, step towards his drive line and pressure him on his way by tapping your training pole on the ground, or lunge whip towards his hind quarters. He will eventually stop rearing.
When riding make sure you give him enough rein when you ride, if he begins to rear in defience then dis-engage his hindquarters, turning him around and then head the direction YOU want to go, do this each time he rears and two things will happen. FIrst thing that will happen is that you will remove his power from him by bending him around, dis-engaging his hind quarters. A horse cannot rear when his hind-quarters are dis-enegaged.
Second thing that will happen is that he will stop rearing because he will learn the right answer is moving his feet forward and the wrong answer is rearing, it does not give him what he wants and it is a lot of work.
Remember dis-enegaging the hind quarters removes the horses power. And while you are at it, practice some one rein stops.
Keep you directing rein hand low so you do not pull up on his head as you turn it around.
it takes a lot of energy for a horse to rear and soon enough it will figure, "why am I doing all this extra work" and will stop rearing.
Ok, that answered another question of mind. I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing about keeping him moving. I am new to this, but it makes total sense that if I stopped him when he reared than he got what he wanted.
step towards his drive line and pressure him on his way by tapping your training pole on the ground, or lunge whip towards his hind quarters. He will eventually stop rearing
This is exactly what I needed to hear. I worked with him in the round pen about 2 hours today. I know consistency is the key to training and getting him to understand what I want him to do. The one rein stop though is something I definiately have to work on. He is 9 years old and from what I can tell while he's under me, he has never given a rider his head. I have tried tying a bungee cord to the back of the saddle to his shank, he did a few circles, then stopped and mostly fought w/ the shank, trying to get his tongue over the bit. I let my step daughter ride him out of the round pen today, just in the field. He did Ok w/ her but he needs much improvement. He always tries to go the way HE wants to go and she's constantly fighting with him. He didn't rear w/ her though, but once I got on him, about 3 minutes he popped up alittle, but now that I think about it, I may have had a tight hold on the reins. I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm on him. My main concern right now is him learning the one rein stop and the rearing thing. I need about 4 hours and a 60 degree day so I can work w/ him until he gets it. He wants to go back to the barn ALL the time, which I know is normal. I need to come up with some lessons for him to do while he's in or at the barn so he will associate the barn w/ work. Any suggestions?
My barn area is not very big, so there is much I could do but any suggestions may help....
Well let's start where the horse is at, in the round pen. If are not using a lunge line, then start using one to get him accustomed to it. Make sure he is turning on command after a lap or two, turn him around and do it again and again and again. They cut the circle in half, lunge him back and forth on one side of the circle so that he is moving back and forth in that half circle, then do the same on the other side, that way you are assured he will move, stop and turn using both sides of his brain.
When he is accustomed to that, and just as impostantly you are accustomed to it. Move outside of the round pen and do the same procedure. When you are both proficient outside the round pen, then take him near his stable/barn and work him back and forth between you and the barn doing quarter to half circle lunges, always making him pass between you and the barn, slowly and I mean slowy reduce the distance between you and the barn, the part will naturally lead to his next lesson, but for now work him back and forth by the barn, never let him rest between you and the barn, but only when you lead him out away from the barn area. Or at least with him on the outside of the circle and you between him and the barn. I have seen the pictures of your horses and they are beautiful horses. However this one is a little barn sour and disrepectful. Remember, lungeing for respect is NOT running your horse around in circle to make him tired, it is gaining control and respect of the horse, by making him move his feet and making him stop his feet, then making him turn and move his feet again. If you can make a horse move his feet in a herd situation, you will be the dominate personality in the herd.
So instead of lungeing him for 2 hours, lunge him for 45 minutes, always end on a good note and when you decide he has done well enough to end.
With the remaining hour start working on his lateral flextion, stand first on his left side between his withers and hindquarters, pull on the lead line, pulling his head towards you, as soon as his head turns towards you immediately slacken the lead line to give him the release he will be looking for, then do it again and again until you can stand at his hindquarters and with very little pressure bend his head towards you so his nose would touch the stirrups on you saddle if it were on him. Now remember everything you do on one side of the horse you must do on the otherside, Now be patient, if you only get his head back about half way to what would be the stirrup position, that is ok for the initial lesson, but do that on both sides, you will find greater resistance on one side. Usually the side you have spent less time on.
Also note this, if you have not been working on the horses lateral flextion, then when you pull back on the lead line he will probably turn his whole body around to find the release from the pressure, keeping the hand nearest his body on his body, move with him until he stops moving, keeping the tension on the lead line, when he stops and turns his head back to you (which means he had found the right answer) then quickly release the tension on the line, showing him if he want the release, he must turn his head to get it. Do not worry about vertical flextion, lateral flextion is truly the key component to getting vertical flextion.
Another thing you must do is to convince him you can get him to move his feet, take the lead line and walk towards his hindquarters, swinging it around in a vertical circle nearest his hind end. If he does not disengage the hindquarters and move them away from you, then spank him on the hindquarters as you walk to them, he will move them. Now spanking is hindquarters with a soft cotton rope is not beating the horse, it is used to get his attention and soon enough when you raise the lead liine towards his hind quarters he will automatically dis engage them and turn them away from you. When a horse shows you his hindquarters when you approach them, not always but usually it is a sign of disrepect. You will want to teach the horse repect by making him move, stop and turn his feet. If you can control the feet if a horse you can control the horse. This is herd behavior... Watch a herd sometime, see the dominate horse back up to another horse pinning it's ears back and suggesting, if you do not move, I am going to kick you, if the horse moves he is submiting to the dominate horse and accepting his lower ank among the herd. If he does not move he will be kicked until he moves or fights back. So if one horse can control the feet of another horse then that horse who is in control is the domiate horse and is to be respected. You will become the dominate horse by controlling your horses feet.
Use only the necessary amount of pressure needed to accomplish each task, to much pressure will help confuse the horse hindering it's ability to find the right answer. When it finds the right answer release the pressure immediately.
Needless to say be loving him by rubbing you hands all over his body at each rest time and at each time you release the pressure.
One more thing, so I know you understand about appropriate pressure. When I train a horse to back up, I first say BACK and repeating it over and over again, if he does not back up, I add wiggling the lead line as I say back, this adds more pressure, if he does not back up still, I add swinging my training pole back and forth as well as wiggling the lead line and saying back, and so on and so on, it does not take long for the horse to start going back on the minimal pressure of saying BACK. One more thing, one of the ultimate things a horse can do showing repect is to back up when you tell him too. So add this exercise to your list of training regime.
Oh and before I forget, go get a smooth snaffle bit to train him in, Shank bits have a function but will mask problems, use the snaffle and teach him control in a more natural way. Get lateral flextion and you will be more easily be able to use the one rein stops. Do all this on the gound before you begin to do this on his back.
WLD - Another thing, I was re-reading your post about "BACKING" the horse. Charlie does better w/ backing than he does anything else. When I tell him back, most of the time, he'll back. Now, I may have to slap his chest w/ my hand, but he'll back a few steps. He definiately doesn't respect my space. When I lunge him and when I whoa him, he will stop but he is still standing sideways. He won't turn to face me everytime. Of course, that's when I do not have the lunge line on him? With the lunge line on him, the minute I say Whoa, he'll stop but will then slowly proceed towards me in the middle of the round pen? Is this Ok?
Sorry for all the questions, again, I am new to this and learning all that I can so my horses can be all that they can be for me... (sounds like the army, huh?).. ha ha !!
Try getting him to back up without touching him. I usually try not to slap the horse so it does not associate my hands with scary things. I will how every do what ever it takes to keep him from crowding my space with his head, usually I lift my hand or elbow and they back off.
I do not let my horses come into me during lunging. I make them stop, making sure they are paying attention to me and then I walk up to them. I only allow them to come into me when I initiate it.
And rarely during lunging for respect.
Something else you should be doing, and you may be already doing this is making sure your horse is de-sensitized to your tools. When I stop the horse and approach him, I rub his head with the rope in my hand, I also rub my training pole around all of his body and legs, head etc.
Now different people have different criteria for what they want their horse to do and not do.
For me a horse is a 1100 lb animal that can step on me, bump me, etc for many reasons, like getting frightened of something, can possibly be dangerous. If I maintain space between us, I usually have time to react. A frightened horse can move very quickly. So always watch him as you talk to him. I am also always rubbing every part of their bodywith my hands, they need to know that we can touch them anywhere and it is not going to hurt them. I also lightly message their spine and shoulders, hindquarters, legs chest after a work out to see if their is any sensitive spots I need to know about.
When a horse appoaches me during a stop break during lunging I tell them "back" and point straight at them, if they are unsure of what I am saying I will wiggle the rope till they take a few steps back.
Then I pause a minute and walk up to them speaking to them and rub them with my hand and the rope and pole.
The question you need to ask is "is the horse paying attention to you" when he stops or is he looking around, if he is bored you need to take the necessary steps to keep his mind in the game. For me, I like both eyes on me during the break. So I know I have his attention.
I hope this answers you question Good Luck and have Fun!