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JavaLover 03-22-2012 01:56 PM

First time I've ever felt uncomfortable around a horse in my life..
I was asked the other day by a girl that boards her horse where mine is, if I could put her horse and my horse outside in the pasture and she'd bring them back in at supper time. Her horse is the only one mine will get along with and likewise for hers. This was only the second time that I've ever put her horse outside, first time with her being present. (Btw, her horse is a gorgeous 6 year old 14.2hh Palomino gelding).

As I was leading her horse outside, I noticed that he was tossing his head a lot and was completely ignoring me. I yanked a little bit on his lead rope and asked him to stop. How did he respond? By rearing up all the way in my face. I backed out of the way of his hooves and he reared again. He did this about 5 more times and each time he was getting closer to me because he doesn't know a lot about personal space because his owner just lets him do whatever, but I am obviously not comfortable with a horse rearing right up in my face. Anyone know what could have caused this behavior? Was he just being a brat?

DressageDreamer 03-22-2012 01:59 PM

Can't say why the horse did it, but I would run his butt off. If he wants to act like that, I would get his feet moving on the ground in all directions. He needs to learn respect. Of course I would say his owner needs to do some serious groundwork...shouldn't be your responsibility.

busysmurf 03-22-2012 02:01 PM

My first thought is manners, or lack of. From the little you said, he wants to do what he wants to do, and good luck to anyone that gets in his way!!

At least he didn't spin around and nail you in the pubic bone:evil:! that was last weeks adventure w/ a horse doing pretty much the exact thing you just described.

Unfortunately, since it's not your horse there's really a not a whole lot you can do. But if the owner asks you to do anything with it again, I'd be sure to tell her not until the horse learns some manners.

Corporal 03-22-2012 02:03 PM

I agree, but it not her horse, or her problem. When I had an OTTB with...issues...I asked my DD, at an event to hold him and I thought he might decide to rear and go over, which he'd done before. I told her, "Don't hold him, if he pulls," so she let go when he pulled back. He reared, not held, starting pulling against...NOTHING...then fell over backwards.
The audience found this highly amusing, as did we.
THIS horse has some BBBBAAAAAADDDDD habits.
Please be careful.

Northern 03-22-2012 02:07 PM

Horses aren't brats; people can be. Horses always just do what horses do. When judgment of "brat" enters in, there's lack of understanding.

The key words in your post are that the owner lets the horse do what it wants. The horse has in fact been trained thusly, since all interaction with a horse is training, for good or ill. The horse is hardwired to test for leadership to varying degrees; this ensures herd survival. This horse has a stronger "test" than some, yet less than others. Not to be taken personally.

So, it's simply a matter of building in proper training, to replace the old. Punishment'd be unfair, since you see it from the horse's point of view. No emotions or judgments'll be involved, since you see that he's not a bad/bratty horse.

Northern 03-22-2012 02:21 PM

Corporal, I don't find your story to be a good example of how to take care of a horse with a rearing issue. To allow a horse to go up & over is highly risky for his body. If he didn't get hurt, he PERHAPS would've gotten the lesson that he'd done it to himself because there was no pressure on the lead, yet this is doubtful, since the horse already was too "fizzy" to clue into that, on the way up!

Also, to give him no pressure, or to fail to try to get his attention, to change his thought, is in fact teaching him that his rearing was fine.

When a horse isn't calm enough to think clearly, it's up to us to try & take care of their wellbeing.

Also, a horse often rears because his forward energy is being blocked, so he only can go up with it, or the human is putting out pressure via his energy, EVEN THOUGH not via a leadrope. I've even seen a horse rear in reaction to a person whose back was turned to him, just because the human's energy was perceived as a blockage/intolerable pressure to the horse.

Eolith 03-22-2012 02:35 PM

I don't think that Corporal's intention was for the horse to "learn a lesson" by going up and over (though if a lesson was learned, it was a good one). I think the primary intention was to make sure that the person holding the horse was not in harm's way, as it doesn't sound like she was very familiar with the horse or appropriate training methods to deal with the horse's dangerous behavior. When it's a matter of the safety of the human or a crazy horse, I would choose the human's safety first too.

tinyliny 03-22-2012 02:37 PM

I am not certain from Corporal's post that she had her DD (dear daughter?) do this as a method to purposely cause the horse to go over, to "train" it. Maybe she was , but I thought it was that she just didnt' want the holder to get hurt.

Corporal 03-22-2012 02:45 PM


Originally Posted by Northern (Post 1419563)
Corporal, I don't find your story to be a good example of how to take care of a horse with a rearing issue. To allow a horse to go up & over is highly risky for his body.

I agree. But, sometimes a horse just can't get over his bad habits. I gave this OTTB 8 years, with little improvement. Are you aware that RacingTB's aren't taught to tie? I didn't know this, and I'll bet many people who buy OTTB's will be unpleasantly surprised by this news, too. I found it while on vacation with THIS horse. There happened to be a TB racetrack trainer on vacation in the same horse camp as me, with his well-behaved Appalousas. HE told me why I couldn't tie MY horse.
I probably kept him too long bc he looked good. Certainly NONE of my other horses, the old herd that died in their 20's in the last ten years, did anything like HE did.
HOWEVER, my advice had to do with keeping my daughter from getting hurt.
I'll say it again, "Not her horse and not her problem."

mudpie 03-22-2012 02:49 PM

Mudpie's pulled that before. Once. If he ever does it again do NOT be afraid of him – make him move his feet. Stay out of the striking zone and make him move away and respect you because it's not okay and letting him get away with it can make him dangerous.

You owe it to him to correct him. You're setting him up for failure if you let him get away with it. When he goes up, smack whim with a dressage whip! Whatever it takes! Let him know that it's not okay.

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