Yep, had my first "fall" off of Maia today.
It was a gorgeous day out so I decided to jump on her - only problem was, I didn't have my saddle out there with me, nor my snaffle bride - for some reason I had a curb bit bridle in my trunk, so I decided to use that; I've used it on many a horse before without problems, so why not? (I removed the curb strap)
Anyways, I jumped on her bareback (I've ridden her about 5 time bareback now) and walked around to warm up. I did some walk/trot transitions then settled into a nice trot, worked on neck-reining (she has no clue how to!) and slowing down to a jog - she's very comfortable at a jog!
Anyways, we were on the left rein so I asked her up to canter, and did a few laps of the field no problem, transitioned down and up a few times no problem.
I changed directions to the right, and it was a different story.
I asked her to canter and she did a few steps, and then slammed on the brakes - almost did a sliding stop, but heavy on the forehand, then popped her front end up and reared! Of course I got after her and kicked her forward, and she popped up again. Unfortunately I was bareback and so my immediate problem was staying on, not beating on her while she was up in the air.
Every time I asked her to canter, or got my balance forward over her wither, she reared. Every time. Not just a little hippity-hop either, but a full-blown striking rear, and a few times once she came down she bucked.
I was fine until she decided to rear in the middle of a circle; her back is slick with her summer coat, and I lost my balance when she slammed her hooves in the ground and became unseated when she reared up, so I swung my leg over and did an emergency dismount.. although I would have fallen if I hadn't decided to get off right then and there. I landed on my feet and gave her heck for throwing me off. I got on again and made her work hard, and got a few canter steps out of her - not many though. My back was hurting (and still is, I still don't know how I managed to land on my feet, I'm guessing it took a lot of twisiting though!) so I lunged her afterwards and made her canter both ways, which she was fine with.
(P.s. It wasn't the curb bit doing this; I had very light contact on my reins and did not accidentally yank on her mouth at all - that was my first thought with the first rear so I was very dilligent to leave her mouth alone; I have good soft hands to begin with, so it's not that.)
She's never done this before, mind I haven't been able to do much canter work with her.
I've dealt with rearing before, but none of it was this bad; she was rearing so high I was worried she was coming over backwards a few times.
I'd like some opinions and new ideas on how to deal with this. I will be riding her tomorrow with a saddle and seeing how she is now.
I'd like opinions on how to deal with rearing; I have my own little tricks, but you can never have too much ammo in your training kit!