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Discussion Starter #1
So I get this 5yo green broke paint mare a few weeks ago. Dealer said she was green broke and bought from a local. I have been doing ground work like lunging, showmanship and long reining with her when the weather is fit in SE Ohio. I figured seeing as how she didn't know much I should start from the beginning and build a solid foundation first. We progressed to the riding stage after two and a half weeks of basic training on the ground. So the first couple of rides were fine. Just wanting to see what she did know about being ridden. I ride western and in a D ring pinchless snaffle. She is a smooth ride and seems willing enough until today. We started out fine until she got tired of turn on the haunches and forehand and stop and back all in random patterns. Today she was "I am over you riding me and making me work for a living and so I am going to half rear and you will get off and leave me alone!" I urged her forward with my legs and she starts shaking her head and bobbing up and down like a boye in the ocean. I spin her in circles left and right and make her work through this nonsense. She calms down and rides foreward until I ask again for a simple turn on the haunches which we had been doing for the last half hour or so fine before all this rearing crap started. Then she gets mad and starts the rearing crap again. I worked almost an hour to overcome this and finally found the opportunity to end the ride on a positive note with not much enthusiasum from my mare. I checked her tack and nothing was pinching or binding. I think that maybe a past rider just got off and gave up and left her alone when she acted like this and now I am left with a spoiled 900 pound brat! Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Sounds like you handled it fine to me, make her acting up more work than behaving. And you have to get her moving forwards when she starts threatening to go up - when she starts with the head shaking, get her moving again...a horse can't go up if it's going forwards. It sounds like she's just hitting a frustrated moment...try backing it up, work on walk/whoa transistions for a bit, then go back to what she found frustrating. If it's not the tack and you've ruled out pain, then I see nothing wrong with how you handled it.

Interested to see other's comments...
 

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She calms down and rides foreward until I ask again for a simple turn on the haunches which we had been doing for the last half hour or so fine before all this rearing crap started.
You have a young green broke horse and been asking for a more advanced movement for a 1/2 hour.:shock:


I would rear to get you off also.
 

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She was just telling you it's enough. Riding horse should not be just hard work all the time. They have limits too. If you feel she's really tired then just give her a break and do something easy, something she knows for sure: just walk around or may be even it's time to finish the lesson.

BTW, if the horse rears I wouldn't back it. It may start rearing even more.
 

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She was just telling you it's enough. Riding horse should not be just hard work all the time. They have limits too. If you feel she's really tired then just give her a break and do something easy, something she knows for sure: just walk around or may be even it's time to finish the lesson.

BTW, if the horse rears I wouldn't back it. It may start rearing even more.

I didn't mean LITERALLY backing her up, I meant back up what you're doing and go back to something you know she knows to get her confident in herself again, then try the turning on the haunches again. This is also why I said to get her moving forwards again, so that up isn't an option...I do agree that half the riding should be fun for the horse, the other half educational and lesson like.
 

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I didn't mean LITERALLY backing her up, I meant back up what you're doing and go back to something you know she knows to get her confident in herself again, then try the turning on the haunches again. This is also why I said to get her moving forwards again, so that up isn't an option...I do agree that half the riding should be fun for the horse, the other half educational and lesson like.
Oh, I'm sorry. I certainly misunderstood you. :)
 

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you're getting some good advice here. be careful to not let her win on this one. a rearing horse is dangerous. you already know that. a green horse who doesn't know alot and doesn't have the muscle tone can get confused and sore with too much too soon. take your time and work up to the place you want to go without over doing it. finishing on a positive note is a good thing. be careful to not let her think her rearing is the reason you are quiting for the day. also pet and mess with her after the session.
good luck and take her out on a trail ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well after a little detective work on my part I tracked down the previous owners. Turns out the rearing thing is her "times up" signal as she did it to them too. The previous owner says and I quote "Dolly would be fine and then when she didn't want anyone to ride anymore she would half rear and the kids and I would quit because we didn't want anyone hurt. The kids got scarred and didn't want to ride or mess with her anymore so I sold her. I had a Amish kid come over to try and break her of this and he just smacked her between the ears with the reins when she reared. (Mystery solved on the head shyness issue!) I didn't want to do that so we just stopped riding her. I hope we did the right thing. I didn't know what else to do. We do miss watching her out in the feild."
Thanks lady.
And no, I was doing simple basic things with her to see what she did know. A kindergarden review if you will. She does know how to do a half turn around (on the rail going one way and then stopping and turning in to go the other.) We were doing baby steps and building on what we had in the turns department. Not advanced reiner spins on the haunches! She had been doing them fine along with the whole walk, stop, back for maybe just barely a half hour when she decided to throw a fit. I have been increasing her training time gradually over the past couple of weeks too and we were up to an hour or so of light work sessions and getting her aclimated to doing something besides standing around. Yes, after and between fits we did go back to things she was good at until she mellowed out and then I would ask for a step to the left (to the inside off the rail) to turn around and go the other way and she would go light on the frontend again. I urged her foreward and turned circles in both directions keeping her feet moving forward instead of up. I rewarded the good with praises and pats and forwarded the rearing the way I was taught long ago. We ended the session on a positive and did things she was good at then cooled out with showmanship set up work. Thanks for the advice so far everyone.
 

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Hmmm...I'm not really sure about this one. It does sound like she's letting you know she's done, but if its only been a half hour, than she's just being a brat like you said. When you first asked her to turn on the haunches, both to the left and to the right, and she did it good, than stop right there with the turning on the haunches, praise her a lot and go to something else that she knows. I wouldn't do the same thing over and over again, because after a while, I would get bored too. I know you do other stuff inbetween but that doesn't matter. If she does it right the first time, back off and wait until tomorrow or something and do it again. But that's just me. I do not think you did anything wrong, except that, and that doesn't mean you did it wrong it just means that you did it too much. I would even give her a day off and go to the trails or something jsut to get her out of the ring. BTW, I know how the weather is here in Ohio too (it's hard to get out sometimes) I live here but I live in Cuyahoga Falls, so I think we get hit a little harder with the crappy weather than you do lol.
 

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900 pounds sounds a little light to me. At that weight she should only carry about 140 -150 pounds tack and rider.

Also remember that she is not it shape to do the things you ask for that time period. Get her fit-ramp up the work as she progresses.

Rearing is a real bad habit and it sounds like its a real bad habit that has worked for her. Two choices--get her fit and add work as she gets fit--stop before she feels overworked and then see if the rearing goes away or push her real hard and deal with it now. I would vote for option 1.
 

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As far as how you handled it, I think you did it well. Sounds like you may be giving her a bit too much than she can handle at this point. I would ask her for simpler movements and once she gets them right, pat her and be done with it. Sounds like the rearing is from stress -- It's her form of attempting to escape. Make her keep working so that a rear does not equal the end of the ride, but don't make it difficult. Just keep her feet moving...maybe nice big serpentines. I'd throw in some trail rides and just let her equate relaxing with riding as well.
 

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Try working for less time on movements and try to ride her more. Work for 5 minutes on turns or backing then ride somewhere for half an hour then work onit for 5 more minutes. I try to keep training sessions short and find a job for the horse to do. When she does rear drive her forward and don't just spin her in circles.
 

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I agree with Kevin. We normally only do something that really makes one think for 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the ride. In between that we do something like walk or trotting the poles/barrels, trail riding, or just big cirles/serpentines to relax and move out. If you make her think too much she will get frustrated, especially if she isn't used to having to do it very much. As she gets better work her for a little longer on schooling stuff, but try to make it interesting for her.
 

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I agree with Kevin. We normally only do something that really makes one think for 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the ride. In between that we do something like walk or trotting the poles/barrels, trail riding, or just big cirles/serpentines to relax and move out. If you make her think too much she will get frustrated, especially if she isn't used to having to do it very much. As she gets better work her for a little longer on schooling stuff, but try to make it interesting for her.
I agree, too. Even a 5 yr old only has a certain attention span for schooling, and drilling beyond that is pretty pointless. Also, some horses just get absolutely bored with repetative arena work.
 

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I think how you handled the situation was fine; you got her to move her feet...

To deal with it in the future, I would just keep a strong feel of her, and 'back off' of whatever you are doing, before she gets too flustered. Go back to something easy, and then come back to whatever you are doing, when she is relaxed and calm once more.

That she did this "I'm done" rearing routine before (and it worked), means you need to ensure you don't push her to her limits when you do get on; keep sessions short and sweet so that she doesn't get the chance to rear. Eventually you will find that you can work her longer and longer without the fear of her blowing up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dolly 5 year old mare

View attachment 19147
Dolly the 5 year old mare in the rearing case. Only had her 24 hours when the photo was taken November 16th. She has since put on weight (100lbs or so!) and received a new turnout blanket along with a hoof trimming!
 

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She's a looker, that's for sure!! Good luck with her :D
 
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