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kitten_Val 02-25-2008 06:45 AM

Rearing habit
Can horse develops the rearing habit? I have a feeling my paint did lately in last couple months or so. She doesn't look like in fear or something, but can rear up --HIGH-- for no reason on ground when I work with her in ring and looks like doing it just for fun. She certainly doesn't try to strike at me or anything like that, and I've seen her doing the same in field (well she's young too - 3.5 yo). Is there any way to stop it? I know some people suggest to use chain, but I've never used chain before and don't think it's right way to solve the problem.

koomy56 02-25-2008 09:25 AM

A chain will only encourage her to rear more. In your ground work, do nothing but focus on sending her. Send her forward here, send her forward there, and so on. Stay away for awhile from the backing up, or any other backward moving elements. Sounds like your guy has gotten stuck backwards and his only answer away from backing up is to rear. So you have to be quick to send her so that she learns she ca softly move forward no matter what she's asked of. If you're practicing, and she does rear, if at all possible, do not pull on her head. Just get around to the side of her and twirl your rope at her until she answers you by going forward. She may react by jumping away from you and once again going backwards, but just keep twirling until she makes an effort to go forward. She may just run sideways, stil, twirl until she goes forward, then release everything. No matter what she does, only release on her going forward. :)
If that is not the issue, then you will fix the act of enthusiasm by immediately correcting the behavior by sending her forward. Send her forward enough that the messege is absolutely clear.
Good luck! Keep us updated. See if that helps.

Spirithorse 02-25-2008 09:40 AM

If I'm working with a horse who wants to buck or rear online I let them. I let them act silly and then say, "Well that was pretty, but now do what I asked." The horse still has to respond to my requests, but if a little bucking or rearing is what needs to take place so the horse can then get the sillys out and then concentrate on me, then I'm fine with that. If the horse is doing it out of enthusiasm I certainly don't want to squash that. I WANT my horse to be enthusiastic and playful, it's just them expressing themselves. Now if a horse reared and came at me, well, you bet I'd be backing that horse up until the look on his face changed! There's a difference between enthusiastic rearing and snotty rearing.

I do agree about getting your go forward cue down really well. No backing up at this point lol.

kitten_Val 02-25-2008 10:27 AM

Thanks a lot, guys! Koomy, I think you are right - she was backed too much lately, so that can be an answer. I will stay away completely from backing for while. Do you, guys, think there is a chance the problem come back again if I'll start light backing again, say, 2-3 months later?

koomy56 02-25-2008 12:50 PM

I think it really depends on how deep the pattern has gotten. If its just a recent thing, and you are able to correct her most of the time I think you're safe. Once you teach her how to move softly out of that place she gets stuck, then you're good to go and advance. It could take longer, or shorter, depending on you and your horse. :)
If she's to the point where she understands how to come out of that stuck place, you can then very softly send her back a step, then send her forward. That way she can learn that even though she is allowed to go backwards, she can still come softly forwards.
:) Let us know it is goes, or if any other problem arises!

windspeed 02-25-2008 06:10 PM

possible reasons for rearing
Before you work on training issues with your horse, consider if your horse might be in pain.

All kinds of conditions can lead to pain that would cause this behavior. Here some examples:
  • bad saddle fit or screw coming through the saddle (I've seen this plenty of times)
    disclocated ribs or vertebrae
    muscle spasms
    hairline fractures (from a fall on the pasture)

Call your vet and have the horse checked out, is my suggestion. If nothing serious is found, try a chiropractor and an equine massage practitioner. (Here a bit more info about equine massage

Rearing is a serious sign of a) a serious pain issue or b) a serious training issue. It can be very dangerous for your and your horse.

Please don't think waiting it out will fix it.

.Delete. 02-27-2008 08:43 AM

When my pony developed a rearing problem that was all he ever did, when i was on him and when i was leading him. It got so bad not even the trainer wanted to be around him. He would rear up and claw at you. What i did (which many people might strongy disagree, but it worked for me) when he reared i cracked an egg on his head. He never did it again.

kitten_Val 02-27-2008 10:11 AM

He-he... Did you do it from ground or from a saddle? Hard to imagine doing it from ground - I'll never be able to reach her head. :)

.Delete. 02-27-2008 10:17 AM

From the ground. Stuck a hard boiled egg under his halter. Ha ha once i did it his eyes got huge and he stood ridged for about a minute.

kchfuller 02-27-2008 01:36 PM

my mare likes to go up when we let them out to run around and play in the arena .. i think it's cute, she has never done it while i am on her (knock on wood) and she is only 4 so i just laugh .. it is kind of cute actually cause she pauses and is like look at me ... anywho if she starts doing it when i am on her its good to know what to do .. thanks! :)

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