Water Balloons & Eggs... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Water Balloons & Eggs...

It seems a common suggestion for working with horses that rear is using an egg, water balloon, or something else very similar to break over the head to scare the horse into thinking he has hurt himself by rearing (please correct that logic if I am wrong).

Here is what I would like to know - has anyone had a horse just FLIP OUT from having this done to them? If using these things is meant to scare the horse into *self preservation* mode, and get him to chill out, couldn't it also push them into panicking and just making them hurt themselves (and you) by turning

I suppose I'm mainly asking if anyone has had this tactic severly backfire on them, or someone they know. Also, does anyone have videos of such training?

I am not having rearing issues with my horse, I am just curious curious curious :)
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 11:24 PM
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 11:28 PM
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I read of people doing this in several different novels growing up... One was with a glass bottle full of water, but that just sounds stupid and dangerous.

Subbing, I'm curious.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 11:46 PM
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Old cowboy tale if you ask me..... I could not fathom this working, however I have not tried it, so I will not say "NO" but I will most certainly not say yes... I can't tell you how many inexperienced people I've had say that's what I need to do with a rearing horse, and I just kind of nod and let them feel good. I have honestly never met anyone that's ACTUALLY utilized that method.

If your horse rears, find out why and pull out the problem from the roots. Fix it with training, not trickery... (this is just a general statement, not toward you or anything OP).

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post #5 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 11:49 PM
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I guess I can't really address the main question in the OP but I do have a theory - I really feel like the water balloon/water/egg/whatever theory just addresses the behavior, not the cause. Rearing is one of those things that is so dangerous that, personally, I just don't think addressing the behavior is enough.

I've "solved" two rearers by addressing the issue - which, in both cases, was that neither horse would move off their riders leg when they got to a high enough level of arousal.
My mare Lacey was a rearer when I got her. Nowadays, she hasn't reared in years. She's been "triggered" where she wanted to rear but I trained her to deal with those feelings in other ways, by moving her feet instead of getting "stuck" and rearing, and she used that training to avoid going up.
I don't doubt that she would still go up if I kept her from moving forward and really goaded her into it, but I don't because...well, I'm not a jerk.

Anyway, I never recommend making the horse think it's hurt itself via the egg/water/etc. I think there are much more effective, long term, ways to solve rearing...
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Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 07-03-2012 at 11:53 PM.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 11:52 PM
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The whole thing with water balloons and eggs is that the water is supposed to be warm, I guess the egg could just be taken out of the coop (still warm...) and when the horse rears up, if you break it on it's head, they'll think it's blood and stop.

I have no idea if it works or whatever. It's just what I've heard.

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post #7 of 26 Old 07-04-2012, 12:08 AM
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Good luck to anyone who can actually pull that off - Riding with waterballoons or eggs on you, not breaking them with the movement of riding, and being able to balance, let go with one hand to grab a balloon or egg, and smash it right between the horse's ears, without overbalancing the horse and making sure you hit RIGHT at the moment the horse peaks in its rear..... you, you would deserve for that to work purely out of the skill of being able to pull that off!

Personally, I hate rearers with a passion and would ship the horse straight to a professional or a doggers truck if the rearing was chronic. I wouldn't even bother TRYING to break the habit using this method.
Rearers rear as an evasion. Whether that be to pain or resistance - unless the root of that cause is addressed, I don't believe the rearing will be resolved. In the case of horses that rear as an evasion, I back away very quickly. This is something that is very difficult to remove from a horse's mindset, a horse that thinks 'up' when it doesn't want to go, is a dangerous horse.

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post #8 of 26 Old 07-04-2012, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure there's way more people that will tell someone else to try these things, than people that have used the tactics themselves. But surely there's someone on this forum that has actually done this....or has seen it done first hand. Now where are they...LOL
I can't even find a YouTube video of it.
I read a post not long ago of someone telling someone else to pull a rearing horse over on themselves to solve the problem, and included something to the effect of, *I've never had to do it but I would if I had to* <-(yeah right!)
A lot of people tell others to use eggs and water balloons. I'm really curious about real horse reactions to this, but maybe I wont find anyone who has actually done it.

Last edited by katbalu; 07-04-2012 at 12:18 AM.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-04-2012, 12:18 AM
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Nope, never tried it, never seen it, I go with old wives tale, for all the reasons Kayty explained.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-04-2012, 02:07 AM
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I have ridden many horses that are rearers, and I have never been able to fathom out how, when the horses starts to go up, and I am talking about vertical, I am supposed to get the egg out of my pocket or wherever and bash it over the horses head.
When a horse is vertical I am leaning forward with both arms wrapped around its neck not the easiest of positions to get an egg or balloon and even if you could do so you too would be covered!

As a child I rode many very 'naughty' ponies, one of these was a 13.2 show pony that preferred walking on he hind legs. I found then that if I just sat on her, doing nothing but allowing her to rear, no turning, no kicking or hitting, just sitting and going forward when she went up, she tired far faster than I did and would want to go forward but I would make her wait. She stopped the nonsense in a very short time - as have many other horses I have had to 'cure' of this dangerous habit.
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