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Rearing Issues?? How would you respond
Hi all --
So while working with my paint mare, she decided a nice way to get out of work would be to try going up! I know it's not an issue with soundness or her teeth, back, legs, etc., so we'll just rule that out (got cleared by two vets). A few months after I got her she went through this "phase" as well, although I was not nearly as well equipped to deal with it then as I am now. So, to get back to the question, how do you guys think I should deal with it? What I did in the past when she would rear is kind of "ignore it". It's a bad way of explaining it I guess, but I basically just wouldn't pull back on the reins or anything, let her come back down, and then continue on like nothing happened. I was trying to get her to understand that rearing doesn't achieve anything for her except that she has to start the exercise all over again, but it's a little disheartening that she has started to do it again. I know many of you probably have more experience working with rearers, and probably much worse cases, too, so I just thought I'd ask how you all have dealt with this issue in the past!:D
***Also, I just thought I'd add, it isn't the kinda rearing where we're flipping over or anything, and it doesn't scare me, it's just kind of another thing I have to deal with now haha:-( Although it does keep my friends off her when I'm not there now...LOL:lol:
You need to be absolutely sure what her reason for rearing is, first of all. There are more than a couple of reasons for rearing: fear, confusion about going forward (education hole), trying to get out of being ridden, getting no release from the rider's bad hands, etc.
I just read an answer from Horse Forum's favorite horseman, Rick Gore, ;), to someone whose horse, wearing a tie-down, reared going down a hill: Rick pointed out that a horse raises his head to balance going downhill, thus, when unable to, due to tie-down, the horse reared to try & keep his balance.
Northern -- her rearing is really only because she was tired of working, as far as me or anyone else can tell. She gets lazy and is trying to find ways to get out of work. I don't mean to sound over confident or anything, I've just noticed that she'll do it in situations where she's been worked for over an hour or so, not as a result of faulty riding by me or anyone else who happens to be on her. So far, I've just been keeping our lessons shorter and she hasn't had any incidents, but I don't want her behavior to dictate the length of time we ride, as I know she is physically capable of working much longer (I've seen her do it SO many times haha:). So basically, her reason for rearing is because she gets bored, lazy, tired, whatever you want to call it, and she'll only do it in said situations where she wants to try to avoid working:)
My main horse Pepper can be a rearer (very rarely) when she gets anxious about something...or thinks WE NEEED TO BE MOVING..
She was bad when I first got her and we were still figuring each other out..threw me for a loop a couple times, But then I figured out that I could feel her thinking about rearing. She gets very light in her front end..If I can catch it before she actually rears, I will turn her front end lightness into another manuever..like say I will ask her to roll back or pivot, where she has to be light on the front anyway.. It gets her mind off of what she was wanting to do and refocuses it on what I want her to do..
Now if she is able to sneak in the rear, I will bend her around and disengage that hind end.. make her do a circle or two while giving a good sharp NO...
My mare is a big over thinker, and pretty non confrontaional ( she hates getting screeched at lol) so these tactics worked well for me... she hasn't attempted a rear in well over a year.. good luck and be safe!
I know how frustrated you must be. I have dealt with the same thing from my gelding. He used to rear just about every time I rode him. Eventually he quit when he realized I wasn't coming off. He would get tired or frustrated and would decide he's done and then he would rear.
I like what peppersgirl said about trying to catch them before they rear but if your horse is rearing out of frustration then doing a complicated maneuver will only make it worse.
If she does rear, do what peppersgirl said but wait until she comes back down! I'm sure that's what she meant but I just want to 100% clear. Don't unbalance the horse when she is in the air because she could fall.
Peppersgirl-- I get what your saying about trying to curb it before it happens, I'll often times do that with a pirouette or such, but sometimes it just gets by me:lol:
If you feel like she's going to rear, keep her forward.
Even if she's bored or tired.. she should not rear.. Maybe it's not the horses fault that she is bored, or tired. But that's no excuse that she can rear.. ;)
My horse is an athletic wench so I will get that hind end disengaged before she gets all the way up, not after she has come down..With her I have to catch her mid offense and shut her down (but then again she does not rear to avoid work- she is the opposite and she is FAR from a clumsy horse). You have to guage your own horse in that respect.. BUT the punishment (circles< NO whatever) needs to be immediate, and I would make her work HARDER after a rear attempt..Get it in her head that rearing = more work not less.
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