Is her rearing part of the young horse tantrums....
I have a filly that will officially be three in July. I have had her since January and has been coming along really well. I am really big on respect and sometimes I see aggression and disrespect from her actions. Yes I know she is very young, and I am most definitely keeping that in mind. When I first got her, I began with lots of ground work and lunging. A little habit, or I am starting to question the action at directly towards me, she developed is that she would kick out. I can see the different in a "buck" and directed kick. She doesn't turn around and try her hardest to kill me, but she will sometimes throw a leg towards me when I ask her to canter, or sometimes even escalading from a walk to a trot. This is not the biggest issue, but I want to give you guys all a intro into her personality, etc. She is a very sweet mare by the way! Very in your pocket and loves attention. She is docile and takes all new things in stride. I am very proud of her!!
So, A few months after I got her, I was lunging her and I really forgot what she was doing, but I was making her back up and almost in an instant, she went up and over! She landed flat on her back, got up and then acted like it was nothing. I was kind of in shock. I kept on with the exersize hoping that she would realize it hurt and never maybe had learned on her own. I couldn't do anything at that point except learn and try to expect and see the signs next time it might happen so I could try and stop her. So thats flip number one!
A few weeks later, I had her in the cross ties while I was cleaning her stall. I hear a loud noise and peeked out to see her flipped over with her legs flaylin around. The only thing I can think of is that I normally have her facing my directions but she was facing away. This is her personality, she likes to watch me. So After she got resituated, I turned her around and she was perfectly fine. She seems like she has a little switch that goes off. One moment she is perfectly fine and content, the other moment she through a very EXTREME fit! Flip number two.
So a few weeks ago I was riding her. She was doing GREAT! I mean, I was really proud. We were working on circles and bending and but you all know how it is, they have there moments.. she was not responding and stopped her and then had her back up, pretty quickly I might add about five steps into it.. she goes UP AND OVER! She landed on my left hand side, and I had a giant bruise instandly on my left shin. It throbbed.. dirt all up in my face and nose.. but she didnt run. She stood there. I reajusted my saddle and HAD to get back on, to proove a point to her that rearing and flipping is not going to get her out of work! I rode her for about ten more minutes and then got off. Even after the flip she did nice little circles. I was just like.. omg.. thats a first! I have never dealt with a rearing, flipping horse! I just dont know what to do..
I have talked to many people at my barn about it and they have given me lots of advice. I have heard of the egg cracking thing, but I do not beleive in that at all. I know that when they go up, your suposed to kind of lean forward and far the pressure off the bit. I heard trying to keep them in a bend or be prepared to kind of pull there head ot one side if I can feel it coming.. But when I try to think about when it happened.. and how fast it happened.. I cannot see myself ever being able to stop it! I have seen horses rear, with their intention to REAR not flipp... they swing their legs around.. maybe go up and down a couple times.. but Nicky .. there was no playing around. It was UP and OVER in one second. Her legs were straight the hole time.. I honestly felt like flipping was her goal!!
I have noticed that when ever i try to make her back up even on the ground she is always throwing her head up and she has lifted her front legs up many times, even just a few inches but if I didnt stop pushing her I can almost gaurenteee she would go up again.
After I was healthy enough, a little less sore, I got on her again and we were doing side passing. She has NEVER bucked with me on her, lucky me, right! but she got frusterating and gave one BIG buck and jumped to the side. I almost fell off but some how managed to monuver my self back on but ended up on her neck. Ha. I slid off and wanted to try some more ground work before getting on again. Ha. ground work. She did her rearing thing again. I was getting very frusterated and I know that does not work well with a grumpy, young horse. So I got on, and did some walking and trotting and then worked on just stopping and go'ing. I ended on a good note, as always but I was very upset!
I am trying to remind my self that she is young.. I dont expect her to be perfect in any way. Bucking is normal for young horses, even sometimes older horses go through their phases but rearing is really not a normal phase for a horse to go to. Atleast in my opinion.
So I have some ideas to help me survive, lol, the rearing.. but is there anything you people know that I can work on without having to actually experience a rear? I mean, I have an idea of what her "rear buttons" are.. but I dont want to push them just to fix a problem when I could just try to work around them. I dont want this problem to get worse, so I am tryin to get advise before I make a wrong move. Help :)
The horse is three and is having all these scary confusing things thrown at it. So I would expect the horse to rear a few times its life. Not to mention the horses muscles haven't fully developed so if she does it when you ask her to canter in a tiny circle it's going to be hard for her. Or when your riding, the first couple times, or even a month? who knows, I would just work at the walk. And if you think she's ready, go to the trot. With backing as soon as she takes a step, release the pressure, and reward and build from that. Have you tried doing it with the bit in her mouth?
Side passing already? You should be taking it slower.
This should be corrected asap, it can become something really dangerous. She could be in some sort of pain? have you had her checked out? I'm glad you got back on, have you looked into getting a trainer?
The fact she throws her head and lifts her feet when backing is a big Red flag to me. You need to get her sifter in the poll so she flexes at the poll and backs fluidly and calmly.
I'll elaborate tomorrow when I'm not on my phone :)
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I could be wrong but it sounds like you don't have a lot of experience training horses. Your horse almost certainly gave you warning signs that you didn't heed. If you keep a bend in the horses body she CANNOT rear or buck. the hard part of course is keeping the bend when she wants to straighten out and rear. I wouldn't get on her again until I could move her feet anywhere I wanted them with just a touch or a shake of the lead. When her feet can move softly without any rearing or head tossing then you can get back on her.
Three year old horses are perfectly capable of any manuever that an older horse can do. You are fine to ask for a sidepass as long as the horse is prepared properly. Sidepassing and leg yields are some of the first things I teach the horses I train regardless of the age.
Check her teeth, make sure there are no issues there. As for the rearing, this is the most dangerous thing a horse can do, the fact that she's flipping herself over and that's not even phasing her is not a good sign at all.
There are some simple "fixes" you can try such as a tie down, but that is only going to lower the height of the rear and it's not going to cure it. I understand you don't like the egg deal but the concept is important. IN MY OPINION, What you really need to do is take a rubber hose or a piece of wood, such as a sawed off broom handle and wack her right between the ears ON THE WAY UP. I know it sounds mean but so does having a horse flip over and land on top of you! The idea behind this is that the horse will think it's bumping it's head when it rears. It's not going to think "mommy just hit me". It's going to think, ouch, I hit the cieling. If you do it on the way down it won't work. The horse has to be on the way up for it to work.
Another option is to take the rein and jerk it hard to the right or the left just as her front feet leave the ground, it will knock her off balance and she will be forced to put her feet back on the ground. It's not a cure either, just a counter measure. DO NOT ALLOW THAT HORSE TO GO ALL THE WAY UP.
This is a very, very dangerous habit, to you and your horse. It must be stopped immediately. There was a girl on this forum last summer that lost a horse to a rear. It was at the trainers and it flipped itself over and I think it broke it's neck.
There are other techniques for curing a rear, none of them are "gentle". Sometimes you can take a young horse like this and toss it back in the field for a few months and then try to start over fresh... But that isn't a garunteed fix.
JMHO, she doesnt sound ready to be under saddle, sounds like she needs more ground work, she maybe one that needs to go a little slower.
I always tailor my training schedule to the individual horse. Some horses can proceed quicker than others. I very rarely have a horse buck or rear undersaddle using this method. I also allow my horses to be goofy on the lunge line, much rather them do it there than undersaddle. I had one horse that he had to get a buck out every time before you road or he would buck undersaddle, so I let him buck on the line, than rode him, now that he is older it is no longer an issue.
Anyways sorry for getting off subject, I would ground drive her and work on backing until she doesnt rear anymore, THAN proceed to trying it undersaddle. Also how are you asking her to back, maybe try something different. I had one when I started her I had to ask her to back up differently to keep her from rearing.
Rearing is a symptom of what is wrong. Many times you can cure the rearing without directly addressing it by working to free up the feet. Most of the time when horses rear it is because they freeze up and feel like they can't move thier hind feet. The more you work on that and the more free you can get those feet the less chance there is that the horse will rear.
I sent him to the trainers after that. The trainer said if he flipped on him, while he was on the ground, he and his helper would tie his feet together, blindfold him, and cover him with a tarp for an hour. This guy is very experienced. It had worked for his other horses. Chnace never got to that, because it was raining, but o sold him anyway because he couldnt do anything involving arenas for a long time because of his BAD BAD past.
If you don't like the egg or the concept of pain...try a water balloon. Most horses I know hate water on their faces and it might be enough to scare her without causing any real pain. I've only had one horse who was a habitual rearer and this solved it in one quick motion.
No bucking is not normal. If started well the horse will not buck, rear, bolt, or whatever. Punishing her for rearing or bucking in this situation will surely worsen. She rears and bucks because she's stuck, not because she's naughty. Therefor, using eggs or balloons or whatever ridiculous things are out there will heighten her fear and you'll have much bigger problems on your hands. PLEASE get help, you owe it to your horse.
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