rearing & refusing to walk forward

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rearing & refusing to walk forward

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    09-18-2010, 12:47 PM
rearing & refusing to walk forward

Hey everyone, i'm pretty much out of ideas so any and everything is appreciated. I just bought a 5 year old appendix mare and rode her for a few months while going to school at a different barn before deciding to buy her and bring her back to my home barn. She was a dream to work around and ride while she was at the her original barn but has turned into a completely different horse since we've had her at home. She's been here for almost two weeks now.

My problem: the first time that I got on her since having her home she was dancing all over after I mounted and was refusing to walk around the ring without putting up a big fight. So I put her on the lunge line and worked her for a good 15-20 mins at the trot and canter before attempting to mount again. She was mediocre at best for the rest of our workout. The next day I got onto her and before both my feet were in the stirrups she reared throwing me off. I did the same thing as the day before and lunged her for a few short intervals all while getting on after lunging and getting off when she would refuse to move forward and sending her out to work on the lunge line. Long story short she has done the same thing to me today and I tried the lunge line thinking that maybe she would realize that refusing to move forward is just going to create more work for herself. I've tried just about everything and i'm running out of ideas.

If anybody has any tips on how to help they are much appreciated...sorry for the length of the post
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    09-18-2010, 01:28 PM
This definitely sounds like a case for a trainer. I'm sure you'll want to check her for pain and injuries as well but it sounds like you could use some professional help here.
    09-18-2010, 02:04 PM
I agree with tealamutt, rearing is very dangerous and frightnening. Do you know if she was barn sour or buddy sour?
    09-18-2010, 02:38 PM
You really need to know WHY she's being resistant. Please don't just think, She doesn't want to work." Be patient, and be careful!
    09-18-2010, 02:59 PM
Rearing is an extremely dangerous behavior. Before you assume it's a training issue, you need to look at the whole picture. Is she being kept the same as she was at the old barn. Was she stalled or pasture kept there, and how are you keeping her now? Have you changes her feed regimen any, if so, how? Does the saddle that you are using fit her properly? Have her teeth checked if that has not been done lately. If all of this checks out, then it's safe to say that it's a training issue. And it's a major issue that not everyone is equipped to handle on their own. It's a hard habit to break once they start doing it. You definitely need to get the assistance of a trainer in solving this problem, or just send her to a trainer, which would probably be your safest bet on this.

I know how frustrating it can be to have a horse that has a habit that intimidates you! I had one with the same habit when I was 14, but his was worse, he would actually throw himself over on purpose. This is what he was known for, not being a good barrel or pole horse, but for rearing up and flipping over! My mother actually had people ask her what the hell was she thinking buying a horse like that for a 14 year old! I rode him for over a year being scared of him, because every time I picked up the reins, my uncle would yell at me to get out of his mouth he'll rear up! But I knew exactly what caused him to rear, so I knew how to fix it. So between two show seasons I fixed his problem. I taught him to yield to bit pressure and to drop his head when he felt pressure on the bit. By the beginning of the next show season, he would work collected like a WP horse. My uncle actually told me that I ruined my barrel and pole horse by doing that! That is until I ran, and it cut off about 2 seconds from each pattern. He went from being a 18 second big pattern horse to a 16 second big pattern horse on barrels, and from being a 23 second pole horse to being a consistent 21 second pole horse with some 20 second patterns thrown in there! I owned him for 5 or 6 years, and never had him rear up on me, and after that winter I was never scared of him again.

If you can figure out why she is rearing it will make the process of fixing it a lot easier, but I still suggest getting a trainer! Good luck and God bless.
    09-18-2010, 07:55 PM
Chevyprincess: she was kept on feild board and is now has a stall at our barn so do you think it could be possible that she's becoming barn sour because she now has a stall? As far as being buddy sour I'm not really sure, but a weird thing that I've been noticing is that while at her old barn she was pretty much the low man on the totem pole with her feildmates but now she's bullying my other two mares which I thought was odd because both my mares are dominant. I dunno if I'm looking to far into it but it just seemed odd haha
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    09-18-2010, 08:22 PM
I totally agree that the OP needs to look at the whole picture which is why I suggested a trainer (I didn't mean to imply this is a training issue). I know how helpful it is to have an experienced second set of eyes that might be able to pick out the underlying issues and then have the experience and know-how to guide the OP through fixing it.

To the OP: I hope you don't think I'm implying that your knowledge level isn't up to this, but I got the feeling that you haven't dealt with an extremely dangerous situation like rearing before. If I am mistaken on this assumption please forgive me!

Also, bullying the two mares sounds pretty normal. Whenever you move a horse they are going to search for their new place in the pecking order and very often that includes testing to see if they still have the same place with you. So make sure you're establishing yourself as boss again too!
    09-19-2010, 01:58 PM
I would put her back on pasture board. If she hasn't been in a stalled life before she may not be getting her energy out and you are dealing with her excess energy levels. Give her a few days to fit into her herd before tackling it again. If you don't see any difference then look into other things. But I would try putting her out 24/7 first.
    09-19-2010, 03:15 PM
Tealamutt, my post was not directed at you, I'm sorry if you thought it was. I was just trying to point out some of the stuff that she needed to look into before resorting to a trainer. If there is something wrong that is causing her to do it, the trainer would not be needed. I always try to eliminate those options before getting a trainer involved. Why spend money that was not necessary?

Njhorse08 it's not unusual for a horse to be low man on the totem pole at one facility, and be the big boss mare at another. My mare does that same thing. I've had her boarded, always pasture board, at a few different places and she always changes behavior and ranking in the herd. I would put her back out in a pasture 24/7, and see if that doesn't resolve her rearing issue, as it may in fact be excess energy. If that doesn't fix her problem, move to the next issue. I wouldn't recommend changing everything at once or you won't be able to figure out what the issue really was.

I hope this is something simple, and not indeed a training issue! Good luck and God bless.
    09-19-2010, 07:44 PM
My dad and I decide to keep her out on the pasture for two days now and there's been a lot of improvements with her ground manners and such. I haven't ridden her since then but as far as her overall attitude she has improved since being out. I'm starting to think that maybe she needed to just get that extra energy out. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone they've really helped
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