Horse rearing

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Millypilly, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Millypilly

    Millypilly New Member

    I have a tb mare that has been going great the last few months but on the last ride reared twice and threw me both times. After the first rear I checked her feet and comfort of the saddle and both were fine. She was acting up a bit before hand with a bit of head throwing but to rear to the point I thought she was going to go all the way over was out of the blue. She rode another 25 minutes before she threw me again. Any advice on why she may have done this and more importantly how to stop it. She was eager to head for home and holding her back was frustrating her.
  2. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    It could be that you are holding her back? And with no other way out of the pressure of the bit she is going up?
    Have you tried riding her forward into a circle rather than trying to hold her back? I used to make my horse go round and around until he was ready to listen to me..
    ie ask for what speed direction you want, and if the horse won't go or do what you want drive it in a circle for a while and when ready ask again.
    LOL there was one day it took me 45 mins just to go down the path I wanted:D
  3. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Millypilly please be very very careful. I have been squashed flat by being fallen on. Not a nice thing to have happen.

    Please excuse my ignorance of the amount of experience that you have and forgive me if I am trying to teach you something you already know but having been on the recieving end of a few nasty falls, the last one ended up costing me literally 6 months and more of my life with a broken humerus that refused to heal, I am very concerned about the potential for nasty injury and even death from this nasty nasty behaviour.

    Monty Roberts suggests the use of a racing eye goggle mask in horses that rear, he says you get the goggles and use duct tape and tape over the top half of the blinker so they cannot see above themselves at all (These are the lycra headmasks with the tea strainer type eye covers) He uses these to break the habit and then as they are not rearing and have established that feet on the ground is the prefered behaviour then slowly tiny bit by tiny bit you cut away the tape until they once again can see above themselves.

    HOWEVER first thing is to try to work out why she is going up.

    Are your hands asking too firmly? Why is she wanting to go when you are wanting her to stop?

    A dressage teacher that I had many moons ago said to me instead of teaching your horse to stop by pulling on their mouths (Thus deadening their mouths and making them able to ignore your aides whenever they want to) to make the work they are trying to do harder. So if the horse wants to go forward and would not listen to her body weight to slow down she would ask it to go forward either in a lateral flexion or in a circle. If the horse wants to trot when she wants it to walk then she asks for the trot on a smaller circle and when the horse gives the walk she allows it to straighten up again.

    This way she taught it to listen to the slightest aide from her hands, Her horses were beautifully trained and there was never any issues of them ignoring her hands or attempting to rear when not asked for it (Dressage remember? She did some really amazing and wonderful things with her horses)

    so if she is barnsour (Wanting to return home at her speed and not the speed you want).

    First of all walk her away from home and when she is walking nicely turn her back home. When she gets hot then turn her away and head away from home, only accepting heading home if she is behaving nicely. (Now this may mean that you have to get off to stay safe. if so then work her on the ground in circles forward and backward side to side, you making her move her feet not she making you move yours. When she is quiet head home, more energy turn away from home. Make sure you ahve a nice long leadrope and halter so you can get her to do all the work while you stand in teh middle. (Yes I believe in the horse doing all the work lol)

    This can literally take hours so dont try to do it when you have only a short time to ride. You have to have all day to do it and can only return once she is settled. If you try this and return when she is upset then you have taught her that getting upset gets her home so it is vital that the timing is perfect. You have three seconds from the desired behaviour to reward and the trouble is if you give up when she is being a cow then you have taught her that being a cow is what you want.

    Next when you get home work her. Dont get off her feed her and put her away. Now the work begins. Make that saddle blanket wet with sweat, trot and trot and trot. Ask and ask and ask until she says oh my goodness can I PLEASE stop now.

    Then and only then take your feet out of the stirrups and just sit once you have cooled her down. She has to learn that sometimes the expected work is to be a chair for her rider. Seriously get a good book, a nice drink or a friend to gossip with and sit there. Face her away from the stable/yard and once you have decided that OK all is good get off away from the gate and walk back to the stable, nice groom and toss her out WITHOUT FEEDING HER.

    Now you dont have to wait long here a few minutes may be enough but she MUST NOT associate the end of the ride with a dinner reward.

    So put her in the paddock, walk away and then after a few minutes return to give her food.

    Now my hugest hugest concern here is that if you dont have the timing right in trying this you are going to have a horse who hurts or kills you. I am not joking or over exaggerating. The horse that stuffed my knee rearing up and falling on me ended up putting a jockey in hospital for 3 months with a shattered pelvis.

    So please UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE OF YOUR TIMING PLEASE GET PROFESSIONAL HELP WITH THIS. Truely spending money on good professional help is never ever wasted money, you will learn amazing things about how to train your horse and can only benefit from the help of someone fantastic.

    Stay safe please. These troubles can be so easily nipped in the bud if dealt with early but the timing is super super critical and I can honestly say that i was not skilled in my timing for too long. Once I realised how vitally important timing was my horsemanship and relationship with my horses improved immensely.
  4. theherd22

    theherd22 New Member

    I agree with SM.

    How old is your horse? I had a young tb who started rearing around the same time he came to full growth (5 ish) he was always forward going but one day he just started going up. Thankfully it only went on for a few weeks because he reared and fell on me in the warm up arena of a show In Front of my mother so we decided enough was enough.

    First thing we did was get help. The person we went to was not exactly 'professional' just older and much more experienced than I was. She had him for a week but he was like a different horse at the end as she just told him who was boss which is really all he needed. What SM said about trying to go forward and being stopped sounds like what was happening for us.

    I then had some lessons to get my own confidence back as it is an awful thing to happen and I had begun to tense up and anticipate which was not helping at all. I also got some help with my show jumping as this was the area that I was holding him back (literally making him go slowly) and once I let go he was much better all round.

    He never reared again and we moved forward a lot from there as a partnership.

    Best of luck :D
  5. equislave

    equislave Well-known Member

    I agree with both the previous posts. If a horse carries on then make it work, get it doing something to keep its mind busy and to give you control of what its feet are doing. If that means 10m circles out in the bush or doing lateral work then so be it, the horse will soon get the message but you do have to stick at it and be determined. Sometimes people are tempted to hang on when there has a lot of energy but this just makes matters worse. I would also suggest getting lessons from someone so that you can tune the horse up at home and therefore make it more responsive when out on the trail.
  6. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    If you jam a horse up in front with your hands then you will create rear. Lack of forward is not good. This is a common but highly dangerous problem usually involving inexperienced riders riding greenish poorly educated horses. :eek:

    Some horses are more naturally "upward thinkers" so will rear under less pressure also.

    Get some professional training help for you and the horse. Your horse may well benefit from being remouthed professionally to lighten him up in the front end and make him think instead of reacting! And yours hands will need readjusting to cope with a lighter horse. :)*

    Good luck!:)
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  7. Roodog

    Roodog Active Member

    Maybe have her teeth checked, discomfort can cause head tossing and if anything is painful, when you put pressure on reins the pain can intensify.
  8. Skittled

    Skittled Well-known Member

    Pacifiers :)
  9. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    lol thanks skittled. I had no idea what they were called but have seen them in his book :)

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