Sam did a mini rear tonight...?
Hi there! My gelding, Sam, has been with me for about two months. His former owner said he has never bucked or reared under saddle, and until tonight I hadn't seen him do either. I let one of the girls at the barn ride him bareback tonight -- she's only 10 but she's the BO's daughter and is 10 times the rider I could hope to be. Anyway, she got on him and he walked off from the block, so I told her to back him up and make him stand (I'm trying to get him to stand still after I mount). I looked down and then when I looked back up he was coming down from a tiny rear. I asked her what she was doing when it happened, and she said she was see-sawing the reins to back him up but very gently. She can be a little heavy handed, but if she said gently I doubt she was really yanking. I never see-saw on his face, but it still concerns me that he came up like that (didn't concern her...).
A few minutes later she had been sitting on him watching another girl working with a horse, and I had her get off so I could lunge him for a minute to see if he seemed off, and he did, so I didn't let her get back on. The chiropractor is already scheduled to come out tomorrow, so hopefully we'll deal with whatever is hurting him then, but the little rear concerns me.
Sam is my first horse as an adult (I owned my lesson horse when I was younger), and I've only consistently ridden a handful of horses since I got back into riding, and none of them have ever offered to rear, so I'm not sure if I should be concerned.
What would you all get from this incident? Do you think the fact that he reared (out of character) means he's in extreme pain? Would you be concerned that a tiny rear is indicative of more serious behavior?
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That could be a tricky one to answer. If it hurt in his back or somewhere else in the body when he started to back up then I could see a rear happen. As well, if the see-sawing action hurt his mouth (personally I don't like see-sawing a bit) a rear could happen then. On the other hand, if she was asking him to back by bit only with no supporting leg cues, he could have found that confusing. At this point, I think after you get him checked out by the chiropractor (have a look to make sure the bit is fitting him well also), you just need to monitor the situation making sure you are using reasonable and consistent back up cues and all should be well.
Could be back related, but if she was see-sawing on his mouth to get him to back up, I would put money on that being the reason. He was probably confused and it most likely hurt and so he went up.
Never, ever EVER is it ok to seesaw on a horse's mouth IMO. Don't care how lightly she said she was doing it, if it were my horse and she did that I would be seriously annoyed.
Hi again! The chiro just left. She said his back wasn't too off, but he needs to work on strengthening it and gave me an exercise to do. His neck was out, though, so I'm thinking maybe that's why he reacted so strongly to the girl asking him to back. Does tv hat make sense?
I'm assuming that he backs up with you ok? If so, then I'd still believe that it was her hands that caused him to go up. Being a little sore could've contributed, but for a horse that hasn't learnt to rear (to avoid work or whatever) I believe they only go up when they feel like they have nowhere else to go.
I don't think Sam has an issue with rearing. I think the girl that rode him was heavy handed, confused him and he felt he had nowhere else to go.
This^^, plus a suggestion: Don't ever believe what the seller tells you about any horse: the horse is the reality.
I'm going to try not to worry about it, since you guys don't seem to think it's a huge deal. If I let myself obsess about it, I'm sure he'll feel it when I ride. I'm still learning that riding a buck or rear isn't like falling off a cliff and I'll work it out if it ever happens :p
I also wouldn't be letting that 10 year old ride your horse again!
If I saw someone do that to my horse their arse would be on the ground immediately. I am VERY protective of my horse's mouth and tell anyone who gets on him the same thing. Hehe my SO came up from San Diego to ride and I told him that, so he literally kept a loose rein the entire time! Not dangerously loose of course, but just the right amount in my opinion. I actually really liked the way that he used mostly his legs and seat to try to communicate, and though he was riding two handed he was still sorta neck reining, which is great! Of course I showed him how to do a one rein stop in case of emergency, but we might have a natural here! :-P
AHEM. Anyway. Back to helpful information, my first trainer had us see-saw her gymkhana horses sometimes to get them to pay attention and since I was a new rider, first trainer, I didn't realize until much later how horrible a thing that really was to do. No wonder so many of her horses had hard mouths and rearing problems and I feel awful for contributing to any of it. :oops:
Personally, I'd keep the kid off the horse.
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