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Putting An End To Rearing
I would like to know what the safest and most effective way to put an end to rearing is. Instead of bucking, my STB mare rears. It's worse when she gets frustrated, or is taken away from the other horses. When I take her out for trail rides she'll try to turn around and run back to the barn, but if you pull on the reins to stop her she'll rear. So instead of using the reins to stop her, I've been pulling her around in a circle, but we usually just go round and round and then she gets frustrated and it just seems like a viscous circle. She's perfect when we ride in the field behind the barn. She relaxes, stops without a problem. My mum is selling her horse in the spring, which will leave us with only my mare and gelding. I'm worried that she'll become even more herd bound and her bad habit will become even worse. I plan to take her to some shows in the summer and fall, but because we will only have two horses, my gelding will have to come. I am concerned that she will not be able to function during classes if my gelding is not close to her. So I guess I have to two questions now. How do I stop her rearing habit, and keep her from being herd bound?
instead of circles make her think. Get off the trail. Do figure 8's around trees, step over logs, hop over the ditch, do side passes. etc etc. DOnt just do circles. Ive never really found them to accomplish much.
Keep her always busy, as said do 8 and half passes, back up but never just circles. all elements that make her think, and switched fast should help.
Remember to give her rest when she has done things ok and not tried to pull you back home, when she stops and thinks on the trail after her panic attack.
try to stop and rest facing away from home..
ages ago someone told me the best way to stop a horse from rearing is to smack it with a stick when its reared up... then, i didnt know what to think, their logic was that once the horse feels bad up, it will stop. however, i would never try that method, ever.
I think you just need a lot more patience walking slowly further away from home. And also, do not decide to do all those exercises just when she tries to run home. do them every now and then, so she doesnt have the time to think about running back. make her do active walk, the walk with shoulder in, then do some backing, then do an 8, then do some side walk, etc etc. make her listen to you to hear what will be the next thing to do and she will have less tiime to go crazy and run home.
Circling is always better than rearing! And sidepassing/making her work over obstacles is better than circling.
Another option is to work on her herd bound behavior. Usually what helps my horses is to take them for hand walks down the street. I always bring a whip, and use a chain if I am not sure how the horse is going to be. I try to make the walks as relaxing and fun as possible and let the horse stop to eat multiple times on the way. Since I am on the ground, the horse should follow me as the leader and not feel so alone. Sometimes when you ride, the horse stops paying attention and starts feeling like she is the one making the decisions/being the lead horse. Hand walking the horse seems to build up confidence- just make sure you are not letting the horse drag you or otherwise lead you down the road. As a rule I don't want my horses to walk in front of me (or next to me). If you watch how clinton anderson leads his horses he always wants them a hoola hoop space behind him. You can also use a lunge line if you feel like you are going to need to do a lunging lesson.
The reason I always carry a stick is to back them if they get too close to my space (although not sure I would ask for a back with a rearer, circle/sidepass instead). I don't have any problems leaving the yard anymore. It is whichever horse that is at home in the barn who is the one who is unhappy, even though that same horse is perfectly happy to leave the yard by herself.
Another thing that helps is to take your horse to the neighbor's horses for a visit (although I don't allow them to sniff), sometimes seeing other horses makes it less scary to leave home.
in that case, just let her turn and go back to the barn, then as soon as she gets their get off, put her on a lunge line and run her till her tounge is hanging out.
Get back on and ride away from the barn, she fights you much go ahead turn around, go to barn and repeat. Eventually she will figure out it is much easier to walk away from the barn than it is to run laps around it.
When she rears, break an egg or a water balloon between her ears. A bit unconventional, but it's always worked for me, or pop her between the ears with a bridle rein or a quirt.
I know a trail trainer that uses a kids whiffle bat with some beads inside it. wacks em between the ears.
I wouldn't hit her with something, because it will put her in a panic. An egg makes them think theyve cracked their head opened, and they calm down when they feel the yolk etcetera dripping down their face.. big attitude change and quickly Too!!
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