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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 :)
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
i agree wholeheartedly with this. I had a hrose that reared, and he flipped over on my on a trail ride. I wasn't pulling back. in fact, i was encouraging him to move forward. everything was fine, no spook, just didn't want to go. he was stunned after that, but I led him 20 feet and continued for 20 minutes on our ride fine.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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
In that moment you need to send her forward with enough enthusiasm to think about it with a better attitude next time you ask for an upward transition. The aid will be short but quick. Kicking out a leg means lack of willingness to go forward.

She landed flat on her back, got up and then acted like it was nothing.
Like Kevin said, horses rear because their feet get stuck. You need to re-visit areas in getting her feet more free and easy to move. Back her in circles, side pass, move haunches, move front end, move forward and backward all with ease and with good attitude. When she gets stuck she will freeze up and perhaps get tense. At this moment don't get louder just get creative and help her out. So say you're backing her up a couple steps, then drawing her forwards a couple steps. If she gets stuck moving backwards, tap her leg with your foot or a whip. Tap the front or the back, whatever the situation. Show her by touching the area that she needs to move. If she rears in anything you're doing, you've gone beyond her comprehension and a lesson for you to stay within the boundries. I'm not sure you have the skills to deal with an actual rear, so for the time being try to avoid stepping over the line and causing it.

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.
Never, never, never leave a green horse in the cross-ties unattended. That's asking for a wreck and setting up a situation for her to have a bad experience and setting yourself up for more fixing later on. If she's unpredictable, don't put her in a situation where there's a possibility for danger.

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..
For what sounds like you're level of experience I would invest in some help. Before you ride this filly you really need to get more thorough with connecting her parts and teaching her to move softly through her body. When one part gets stuck, others parts soon sieze up and the only way she knows out of it is to rear, buck, bolt, etc. Rearing is just the beginning. It would be unfair to this horse if you went about this without investing in someone experienced to help you. It's wonderful you have a passion for training, but everyone needs help and this filly is trying to tell you your methods aren't working. If things aren't getting better they're getting worse. Do what's right for her, yes?

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.

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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I would never back up a horse under saddle that is having rearing issues........my mare young mare was stubborn and when you asked her to go forward she simply refused......then if you asked with the whip she would kick out at it and then the next step was to rear......so I was always already turning her with the inside rein when we got to this point......and if she tried to rear I would pull her nose around to my inside leg and kick her to move her butt over......I would do this until I felt her give sideways willingly ..........then I would release the inside rein and ask forward very quietly if she did not go as asked I would take the inside rein again and repeat........it usually only took a few repeats and she would give in......now all I have to do is squeeze the inside rein and she knows if she takes it any farther what the consequences is. The trick is to make it easy to go forward and difficult to refuse.......turning them on a tight circle and moving them sideways is difficult.........going forward is easy.

Super Nova
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you guys for all the very helpful advice!! I am glad everyone has so many different views. I have not finished reading them all but I think I am going to go back to the ground for now. I think freeing up her legs would really help, because the day she flipped over when i was making her back up, I really felt that she froze up, now. I thought before maybe she got tangled up but my boyfriend said that like buckled her back legs and she flipped because her front legs were going back and not her hind legs. I am going to work on her moving around just from the ground before I try these things on the ground. She already is pretty good at it, but I think I will go back to ground work for a while longer.

I will be back in a while, I have to take my brother to work. Thanks again guys, really!!
 

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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. Therefore, 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.
My thinking exactly.

Now, I may be only sixteen, but I have already started two horses and two ponies. Is it unsafe? Hell yes. But then again anyone starting a young horse would be unsafe. Now, if I didn't know what I was doing then, yes, that would be a complete disaster. But since I have the guidance of a well trusted trainer, I know that it sure is a heck of a lot safer than even an average adult rider starting a horse themselves. I'm not saying that you are an average rider, because i haven't ever seen you ride. But from the way I'm reading it, you do seem like you don't have much experience in this area.
 

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My thinking exactly.

Now, I may be only sixteen, but I have already started two horses and two ponies. Is it unsafe? Hell yes. But then again anyone starting a young horse would be unsafe. Now, if I didn't know what I was doing then, yes, that would be a complete disaster. But since I have the guidance of a well trusted trainer, I know that it sure is a heck of a lot safer than even an average adult rider starting a horse themselves. I'm not saying that you are an average rider, because i haven't ever seen you ride. But from the way I'm reading it, you do seem like you don't have much experience in this area.
If done correctly it is not terribly unsafe. It's much more safe than riding a bike on a road or train. It's safer than roller blading or snowboarding. Theree were a half dozen people killed this winter snowmobiling. If you are properly prepared and have some help available when you need it then it is not unsafe. If you are depending on the good nature of the horse and dumb luck then you will get in trouble.
 

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If done correctly it is not terribly unsafe. It's much more safe than riding a bike on a road or train. It's safer than roller blading or snowboarding. Theree were a half dozen people killed this winter snowmobiling. If you are properly prepared and have some help available when you need it then it is not unsafe. If you are depending on the good nature of the horse and dumb luck then you will get in trouble.
That was what I was *attempting* to say.
You just worded it a whole lot better, aha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Again, thanks everyone for the feedback. Nicky has been doing a lot better, and I must say, it probably has a lot to do with you guys opening my eyes a little bit. I got back on the ground and had her moving off her front and her hind quarter smoothly, as well as moving off light pressure. I asked, and continued to ask until she wanted to do it, instead of making her do it after one or two times that she didnt, probably because she was confused on what I was asking.
I got a new bit as well, which is helping a lot. The other bit was long and even when I had my bridle on the smallest setting, it still sat to far down into her mouth. The curb chain I have on her is a little tiny to big as well but I couldnt find one any shorter at the store yet.
The only thing I don't like about the bit now is that I have to be a little rougher to stop her etc, but since I got her, I have used a lot of vocal ques along with the other ques. I think she likes that a lot better, now that she knows what they mean.
I use a lot of leg pressure instead of mouth, now, well. i did before as well, but when she started acting up, I tended to use the reins more.. so I am being more aware of that. Also, using bodyweight and posture to turn her so I can keep off her mouth.

Today we had a really nice ride! I was happy! Ha, but usually I ride alone... and there was another horse that came in like half way through and she put her ears back at first but I encouraged her to be nice and stop it. She got lots more comfortable working and FOCUSING with another horse in there. With working with her, I constintly have to regain her attention. I see her looking and listening outside noises, etc, and thats another reason why I use vocals, because she ends up keeping her attention on me.

She hasnt even attempted to rear, lately, but maybe I didnt make it clear before, but I know it had something to do with me. I knew I was riding or asking her to do things wrong. She is a lot different then any other horse I have ridden, but I think we're coming together as a team and I am udnerstanding what she needs from a rider more. I just hate it when people are always so negative here. I dont expect people to be completely positive, I know by posting this, I am looking for advice... but advice isnt "you suck, put her in training and go read a book loser" Thats how a lot of people come across, to me. Not really you guys, but with a lot of different threads on this site.

Ha! Yesterday we were trotting and she moves out great when I am posting. I was trying to not post before, and just move with her body to keepo her slow, but, she likes direction. I am starting to think she'd make a great english hunter or pleasure horse. If I keep a little bit of constant ppressure on her face and continue to push her with my legs and body, I think she has a lot more confidence if what i want her to do.
 

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What kind of bit are you riding her? The fact that you just said "curb chain" implies you have her in a curb - and if you're having to be rough with her already, you have a serious problem. And a likely explanation to her rearing on you. No horse should ever be started in a curb - it's strictly a neck reining bit and most horses don't learn that for a couple rides anyway, and if I've got a horse that's rearing I WANT a snaffle in where I can yank them into a spin if they're thinking of rearing. Trying to yank a horse down in a curb is going to cause a flip.
 
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