No idea what to do...
So recently I've noticed something. I can tell when Allegra's about to rear, kick, buck, that sort of thing and I obviously try to stop her by pulling her leg to my knee or whatever. Anyways, my question is : when she tries to rear or whatnot she always stops first. Most of the time it's outside, by a gate or another horse. It's not just a "stop...go!!" it's more of a "stopstopstopi'msonotmovingstopstopstop" sort of thing. (Haha)
Kicking doesn't do much, I normally end up just going in the other direction because she'll behave just a bit better that way. But if I'm stuck on going that direction I run into an issue. Of course I have a crop, and I might start using spurs with her as well because she tends to ignore my left leg. If I happen to tap her with the crop when she refuses to move, that's what normally starts a rear.
Either I end up turning around or starting a rearing fit. Once she starts she's hard to stop and get under control again. She tends to be perfectly fine once she's actually done rearing, but it takes her a few minutes to listen to me again. I can actually feel myself getting nervous and not-so-sure when it comes to using a crop or whatnot when she gets like this, which is very possibly the problem, but I'm not sure what to do about it.
Any ideas on what to do?
You're absolutely right that a rear will always be preceded by a stop. Horses just can't rear when their feet are moving forward, so the best thing is to get her moving forward, however you can. Since you can feel what she's thinking about doing, remind her to keep moving when she first feels like her mind is wandering. Spurs can help, but be sure that you have a stable lower leg and can control the spur at every gait. I would personally carry a crop, you can always drop it if you want to. Don't tap her after she stops, tap her when she starts to slow down into her "routine." Try to head it off.
Does she stop and rear on the ground? Does she really prefer one direction when lunging? Some groundwork may be in order if she does. Reestablish consistent and happy forward motion and willing directional changes on the ground, then at the walk, trot, etc. As always, rule out any physical reason for the behavior and be sure that she isn't reacting to pain or discomfort.
Do your best to not turn her around when she wants to just to pacify her. It may make her behave better temporarily, but all that she learned is when she gets bored, she can put up a fuss and then she gets to see things going the other way.
My guy will occaisionally do something similar at the canter, he just decides that he wants to be somewhere and throws his shoulder that way downshifting to a trot or walk, no matter what lead he's on. Sometimes we end up in a discussion, him half dragging us where he wants to go, me continuing to (vehemently) suggest that he continue the way we had been going. If I just change direction when he does, yep, he's got what he wants, and he learns that he can get it, no matter what I want. I work through it, get him back on track, and change direction when he's calm and listening. We both win that way, I just win first, lol.
Since your horse is more extreme in her behavior, I would suggest starting to turn her the way she wants to go, then follow through and circle her until you've done a 360 and are back on your way.
I hope that helps a bit! Good luck!
I'm riding this afternoon, outside if it's not too hot. Her behavior is always much more worse outside, especially if she manages to grab grass before entering the arena. I tend to mount her inside the arena now, because if I mount her from the block where she eats where I get on she'll refuse to enter the arena (and that's not very fun to deal with bareback).
I think your advice should help. She has reared a few times on the ground, but not very often. Cross ties are the biggest thing : put the hose near her head and she'll rear like there's no tomorrow. We try not to use a lunge line with her - she just loves to play on them (bucking, taking off, ect) but I'm often in the round pen with her. She doesn't rear on the ground when I ask her to work in there. I'm slowly getting used to, well, her. And everytime I get used to a horse I'm tossed on a different one. <.< But she almost nervous a lot of the time. She tries to paw in the cross ties, something I do /not/ allow. At all. So she either gets a wonderful 'aaahh!' noise made at her or if I'm standing next to her I'll gently tap her nose. She instantly puts her head up, her foot down, and backs up. Sometimes I wonder what she's thinking.
I'll let you know how your advice works out for me!
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